Obama – war president

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, December 3rd, 2009 - 40 comments
Categories: International - Tags: , ,

Well, any lingering hopes that Obama was something different can now be out of their misery. He’s just another American establishment politician after all. Drawing on the rhetoric of 9/11 Obama has committed to an escalation in Afghanistan:

WASHINGTON – President Obama unveiled his plan Tuesday night to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, declaring the safety of the American people rides on winning the long, bloody fight there against Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies.

“I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Obama told a solemn assembly of U.S. Army cadets at West Point and a national television audience. “This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by Al Qaeda.”

This is a move which seeks to defy the lessons of history, both with respect to Afghanistan (“the graveyard of empires”) and America’s recent military performance (the “surge” in Iraq). “Success” is unlikely. Particularly so given that, in trying to offer some hope to an electorate that voted for change, Obama also set a deadline, July 2011, to begin withdrawing American troops. As many commentators have pointed out:

President Barack Obama’s effort Tuesday night to reassure Democrats who oppose the deployment of another 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and to emphasize a U.S. exit strategy […] could backfire. … “It’s a big mistake,” a U.S. defense official, who requested anonymity to speak freely, said of Obama’s announcement that a U.S. withdrawal would begin in 19 months. “It just tells the Taliban and everyone else how long they need to last.”

Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Obama’s disaster – as much of the media reaction has put it: “Afghanistan is President Obama’s war now”.

40 comments on “Obama – war president”

  1. Neil 1

    It took a while for him to decide and it looks like an intelligent and well considered decision.

    Bad news for the Taliban, good news for democracy. And NZ troops will play a part. Great to have a government that can work with Obama.

    • felix 1.1

      Good news for democracy where exactly?

      This isn’t what the U.S. voted him in for, Neil.

      • Michael Over Here 1.1.1

        Actually, as ambiguous as I feel about staying at war in Afghanistan, this was a clear part of Obama’s pre-election agendas. To lower troop levels in Iraq so that we could sort out things in Afghanistan and Pakistan on a clear deadline.

        Afghanistan is a nightmare right now because of Bush’s policies and the mature decision isn’t for America to just eject itself and create a failed state where the Taliban and Al Qaeda can fill the vacuum. That’s not what most Afghanis want either. This isn’t permanent occupation, there’s a timeline and there are clear goals, pretty much the opposite of Bush.

      • Bill 1.1.2

        It could be really good for democracy in Latin and South America.
        Seriously.

        I don’t know the military capacity of the US, but if enough is tied up in Afghanistan, Pakistan etc, then there just might not be enough spare capacity to fuck over the unfolding developments in the south of the continent…which is good.

        But that’s the only piece of good shit I can squeeze from the bull….oh, that and that the fluffy brigade might finally be forced to peek over the top of their rose tinted glasses and get fucking real about their snake oil ‘change we believe in’ salesman/messiah.

  2. Neil 2

    “This isn’t what the U.S. voted him in for…”

    He did run on a foreign policy platform that included increasing troop numbrs in Afghanistan. It was part of what people voted for him in for. It wasn’t any sort of secret.

    • sk 2.1

      As Keynes said, when the facts change I change my mind, what do you do sir?

      Afghanistan is evolving on a worst case path, but that path is consistent with its 2000 year history. Can Obama succeed where Alexander the Great failed? I doubt it.

      • Gosman 2.1.1

        Ummmmmm….. How did Alexander the Great fail in Afghanistan exactly?

        I think you might have been influenced by a little too much liberal history revisionism.

  3. sk 3

    It is no different to what Obama did with the financial crisis, appointing Geithner who was NY Fed President during the period the worst excesses occurred, and bringing back Summers whose policies in the 1990’s creating the initial financial boom.

    A friend of mine who is a Democratic activist warned me ahead of the election that Obama was a fake, and that it is the way it is playing out.

    John Key is more right than he realised about the similarities with Obama. We are in an age of vacuous celebrity driven politics, and the West will not recover until we are done with it.

    • Zorr 3.1

      The most disturbing thing about Obama is not the fact that, in the end, he is just another American president. But that when we look back over this period of history, he was actually the best choice of an incredibly bad pick of options.

  4. Neil 4

    “Obama was a fake”

    why a fake? he’s done what he said he’d do. He never promised to ring Chomsky for advice on foreign policy or Michael Moore on health reform.

    You might disagree with his polices but he’s been very clear about what those policies are all along.

    • Robbo 4.1

      Can I remind you that Obama made clear his promises, and with those promises crafted the yes we can, moto, and was elected for change.
      He promised to end NAFTA, lied
      He promised to end GATT, lied
      He promise to repeal the patriot acts, lied
      He promised accountability, lied.
      He promised to end lobbyists in the Admin, lied.
      in fact the MAJORITY of his promises has been broken.
      But the core promises of change was to BRING THE TROOPS HOME IMMEDIATELY.
      He and he lied, he has let down the core Democrat voter and enraged the Libertarian base.
      The Republicans are happy because its a rubber stamp extension of Bushes war and at $1,000,000 per trooper, that over $100,000,000,000 being wasted at a time when there is respectably 20%+ unemployment in the US (real confirmed figures) and millions are living in tents.
      This is the true face of Obama, he is a banker, always was a Wall St ripoff and the Military Industrial Complex will profit further while Afganis die in the thousands.
      The last remaining support base will be chiming the same Bushbot drivel they used about Iraq, “but iif we pulled out now”

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        On the other hand it might take a more than a year or two to clean up after Bush and Cheney.

        US politics has descended into a dysfunctional shit-hole; even a bleedingly obvious straight-forward health care reform, something similar to what every other developed nation has… turned into an insane worm-hole into which a popular new President has had to pour much of his political capital.

        Real change is beyond their grasp.

  5. andy 5

    This is the Surge v2.0 that Cheney,McCain and the Generals (McCrystal, Petreaus) wanted, know they have it they own Afghanistan twice over.

    He has given them the tools and money, no excuses now!

    Obama was handed the hospital pass and has deftly handed back, 6 Years of underfunded war has a lot of domestic political ramifications. He can only ‘win’ or hand it to the next Prez (Preferably Republican) at some point down the road.

  6. Scribe 6

    The announcement of a date to starting pulling troops out of Afghanistan is ridiculous. As the commentator above points out, the Taliban/Al Qaeda will just circle July 2011 on their calendars and look forward to the retreat.

    Bush had his failings, no doubt, but his decision to approve the surge in Iraq, against the wishes of many senior politicians, proved to be successful. Now Obama’s trying to same in Afghanistan. I hope it’s equally successful, though I’m not all that confident.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      er scribe, you do realise Bush’s surge had an end date right? That’s what made it a surge rather than an escalation.

      This is exactly the same deal. Or not quite…

      So I guess it seems like a poor criticism. Like you I don’t hold out much hope. Afghanistan is a real tough nut. The stand them up routine ignores the fact that the country simply can’t afford the 400,000 man force the strategy recquires.

      • Scribe 6.1.1

        Pb,

        Can you provide a reference to the end date for the Surge? I’ve just had a look at the speeches (very quickly) and couldn’t see such a date. There were some specific tasks/objectives for the Surge to achieve, so was it more “when we’ve got these done, we’re outta here”?

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1

          can’t find one 🙂

          But it was impilict due to the fact that the logistics of it meant the surge troop levels couldn’t be maintained (many of them came from overlapping deployments, those due to go home saty longer while their replacements got sent in early).

          Also, those benchmarks you mention had reporting dates, which were to be taken as guidelines as to the sucess of the surge, failure to meet them meant…

          The basic idea was to give Maliki enough grunt to hit sadr, the awakening had already dealt to AQI. Let Maliki get a grip on power, and negotiate withdrawal. (I know that’s not how the bencmarks phrase it, but look at what actually happens, rather than the rhetoric)

          Sound familiar?

          Note worthy in Obama’s speech, (and related to what happened with the surge), is the focus on US interests over the liberal hawk fantasies around democratisation…

          http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2009/12/02/obama/index.html

          • Zorr 6.1.1.1.1

            One of the things that is important to mention here to add to PBs post is that the Iraq “surge” ‘worked’ for a couple of important reasons.

            1) They bribed a metric fuckton of tribes/groups for support.

            2) They were running their military in to the ground over the short term for what was meant to be a long term gain. As it stands currently, the US military is in the worst possible shape it could be in and is spread incredibly thin with practically zero troop reserves. This is why Obama has to draw down from Iraq to even be able to bolster Afghanistan because there are no troops left in the US.

  7. Afghanistan: The graveyard of empires.

    We can only hope. This is what Robert Baer, the very man on whom the lead character in Syriana (Cloony) was based has to say about it.

    What We’re Up Against In Afghanistan Is A “War Of National Resistance”

    Doesn’t sound to good eh?

  8. Neil 8

    “The announcement of a date to starting pulling troops out of Afghanistan is ridiculous. As the commentator above points out, the Taliban/Al Qaeda will just circle July 2011 on their calendars and look forward to the retreat.”

    that’s one possibility but I think the plan is hit the Taliban hard, train Afghan troops to take over and work on negotiating with elements of the Taliban that come to the conclusion armed conflict isn’t getting them anywhere.

    Also, having a withdrawl time table undercuts the “imperialism” propaganda.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Hearing about this on the news last night was /facepalm moment. Sheer stupidity, they need to pull out and let them sort themselves out. Won’t happen though as the US still wants that oil pipeline.

    • Gosman 9.1

      What oil pipeline?

      Oh do you mean that mythical oil pipeline that members of the left keep bringing up as the ‘real’ reason the US and West are in Afghanistan?

      You mean one they have had close to eight years to build yet noone seems to be doing much about it?

      The one that they could have built a compteting oil pipeline from Central Asia, under the Caspian, across the Caucasus, through Turkey, across the Mediterranean, and then via the Atlantic to the US East Coast in the amount of time and money they have spent in Afghanistan so far.

      Yeah, you’re right. It is all about the oil pipeline.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        Mythical? The US definitely had, and do have, plans for an oil pipeline running through Afghanistan. Sure, they may have been able to build one cheaper than going to war but they didn’t.

        • Gosman 9.1.1.1

          Oooooerrrrrrr! They haf ze plans!

          This reminds me of when I was at Uni and the Bolsheviks used to try and sell some Newspaper that tried to argue that the breakup of Yugoslavia was all because the nasty West wanted to sell more McDonald Cheeseburgers or something or other to them.

          • felix 9.1.1.1.1

            So you scoff because it’s mythical and you scoff because it’s not?

            No wonder you’re confused about bolsheviks and yugoslavia.

            • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s a mythical because it has formed an integral part of the giant conspiracy theory that you and your ilk are want to believe about the reasons behind the West’s involvement in Afghanistan.

              Please note that the actual pipeline was mooted in 1995. For something that is meant to be the motivating factor for spending Billions of dollars as well as commitiing tens of thousands of troops don’t you think something would have happened by now in terms of building the damn thing?

              BTW congrats to Draco for linking to wikipedia to support his argument.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks for the history lesson, but that’s not what “mythical” means.

              Also: …the giant conspiracy theory that you and your ilk are want to believe…

              Ah, you might want to check your sources there, buddy. Do you think everyone’s out to get you or something?

            • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1.3

              So the US went into Afghanistan for… no reason at all? Remind me, why DO you think they invaded?

            • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1.4

              Ummmmmmm…. Felix you seem to have this conspiracy theory thing around the wrong way. It is the Conspiracy theorist who is the paranoid one, not the one pointing out how ridiculous the conspiracy theory is. You might want to get that right before you post on the topic again 😉

              @ Redlogix.

              Obama seems to be quite sure of the reason behind the US intervention in Afghanistan so I am not sure why you missed it. To recap for you though, it was to deny the perpetrators of the September the 11th attacks a secure base from which to plan and train for another attack. Given the fact that they have yet to do so then it has been successful to date.

            • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1.5

              it was to deny the perpetrators of the September the 11th attacks a secure base from which to plan and train for another attack.

              Invaded a whole country to track down one likely dead man and his handful of henchmen?

              Seems almost as implausible a reason as the pipeline.

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.6

              Gosman,

              You have me confused with someone else. You see conspiracy theorists where there are none, that’s why I call you paranoid.

              Of course if you can find a reference to me espousing conspiracy theories I’ll take it back. Otherwise I think you should apologise for your error.

            • Gosman 9.1.1.1.1.7

              It is quite clear felix that you were unwilling to even look at the Scientific arguments that people like NickS, Edward_the_cat, Quoth the Raven, Scott, and myself put forward. You failed to make a single comment about them.

              Instead you decided to engage in ad homenim attacks on myself for supposedly besmerching peoples good names without evidence yet failed to do the same when the 9/11 Truthers engaged in similar, or worse, behaviour.

              I think that it is pretty clear where you sit on the whole 9/11 Conspiracy theroy and it ain’t on the rational side of the debate.

              [lprent: I suspect that you’ll find the felix hasn’t expressed an opinion during the OpenMike discussions. I certainly can’t remember one. My observations of his habits is that he likes to throw those little 4 spike things (caltraps?) into discussions and watch people step on them. If he has no particular opinion or interest in the topic, then he distributes them pretty evenly based on how much he dislikes people or how much it amuses him (usually by winding them up a bit).

              Which leads me to the important point. If you want to say that someone has a particular opinion, then you’d better be prepared to search it out on this site and demonstrate it. Otherwise you might find that I get interested in the interests of forestalling flamewars. It usually doesn’t pay to get me interested when I’m in moderator mode… ]

            • RedLogix 9.1.1.1.1.8

              mmm.. like I’m still waiting for you to reply to any of the CCD nutters we have trolling through here. Their brand of nuttiness is less rational, and ultimately far more dangerous, than that espoused by even the most obsessed fringe 911Truth dweller… but I’ve yet to see you challenge any of them yet.

              Which side of rationality did you say you were on again?

  10. infused 10

    You’re about 8 months too late. He was an idiot from the start.

  11. Santi 11

    Eight months too late indeed. Also, Obama is a socialist to boot.
    Ouugh to feel sorry for the USA to have elected such a tosser.

  12. rave 12

    Obomber is not a socialist. He’s a sucker for Wall St.
    The US interest in Afghanisan is to keep a puppet regime in place as an advance base to break up the CIS and get the oil and gas of central Asia out of the grip of Russia and China.
    Pepe Escobar in Asia Times is a good read.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KK06Df01.html

    catpcha: intelligence

  13. Pascal's bookie 13

    John Cole, (US Army vet, ex-RWNJ). Thoughts and predictions :

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=30679

    Nut graphs:

    But here is where I am now- in my gut, I just don’t think there is much of anything we can do. We could send 150k more troops there for ten years, and all it would do is bleed us and run our military further into the ground and cost billions and billions more (and this doesn’t go in to the money we need to spend on our injured and dead and the annual budget). As soon as we leave, the same folks will come back and re-assert their authority. Just like they have for centuries.

    Now I know this is not drinking the American exceptionalism kool-aid, and thus makes me a traitor, but at this point I believe that Obama and his commanders honestly believe they might turn it around, but in reality, it just strikes me that what we are doing is very much like the surge in Iraq. We’re going to calm things down, declare victory, pretend we have won, and leave.

    Although we aren’t really leaving that quickly from Iraq, now, are we? I’ll support the troops and the President, and I’ll keep paying my taxes, but I have no faith in what is about to happen and am prepared for a lot of American and Afghan dead to no good end.

    Politically, I expect the neocon right to continue to offer back-handed compliments while the rest of the right slowly starts to undermine the mission by suggesting withdrawal might be the best option, while the liberal hawks cheer and the political left fights Obama every step of the way (for good reason). Then, as 2011 approaches, and nothing has changed but the cost and the body count, and the commanders on the ground have been given their chance but the facts didn’t change, Obama will begin to withdraw. At that point, expect every Republican to call him a quitter and an appeaser (the ones siding with withdrawal will switch in a NY minute), the left will tell him “I told you so all along,’ the country will be sick of war and disillusioned, and we’ll just have nothing to show for it but more dead and wounded, a continued expense, and a dead domestic agenda.

  14. Bill 14

    Strange.
    37 comments and not one pointing to the fact that the invasion of Afghanistan was illegal.
    Just saying.

  15. A Nonny Moose 15

    It gets very tiring listening to people talk in political absolutes. It IS possible to like a politician or leader, yet still appreciate what their mistakes are and that they have to work within a larger political machine.

    What would you have Obama do? Yank every and all personnel out of Afghanistan, only for the real hole in the dyke to show…the one over the border in Pakistan? Then you’d be screaming he was the president who let Pakistan have nukes/commit genocide and/or racial cleansing.

  16. Robbo 16

    What, you think America should continue a foreign policy of invading countries and killing hundreds of thousands of people?
    If you think “if they leave” it would turn into a mess, well heres news for you, it is a bloody mess, and it all started when Neocons met and preplanned this “regime change” before 911. BEFORE, hell it is in the current investigations into Iraq.
    People dont want to read, official documents released under The Information Act like.
    Osama Bin Ladin, CIA name Tim Osman worked for the US right up to the day he died.
    While the world looked for Osama, he was in a Dubai US Military Hospital getting dialysis.
    Hijackers DID NOT originate from Afganistan, they were from Saudi Arabia, the home of the Bin Ladin Family and large shareholder in the Carlyle Group, along with personal freinds the Bush Family. Bush and Bin Ladins are investment collegues in military.
    Several Hijackers of 911 stayed at an FBI house and had licenses under US Military base.
    US customs allowed the Hijackers into the US and allowed them out and back again, knowing while on the terror watch list.
    Directly after all flights across the US were grounded, all Bin Ladins were flown out under protection.
    These and hundreds more points are public knowledge now, look it up.
    Coincedentally 911 is just the mother of all excuses to wage war, invade the middle east and turn western countries into surveilled 1984 style grids.
    And if you dont realise thats all it is about is money, greed, power and control, then you are fodder to the lie that is “the war on terror”

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Climate Change: Vote for the climate
    Local body voting papers went in the post on Friday, and should be arriving over the course of this week (mine arrived today). And if you care about climate change, I urge you to vote. While local government seems irrelevant and out of touch (like a whine of old white ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Climate Change: We must do more
    Like many people, my submission on the Zero Carbon Bill urged more ambitious targets. And if the select committee was in any doubt, they're needed:An assessment backed by the world’s major climate science bodies has found commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions must be at least tripled and increased by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Cracking down on mining
    NZ Energy and Environment Business Week reports (in Scoop) that the government is finally moving on reforming the Crown Minerals Act, including banning mining on conservation land and repealing the hated Anadarko Amendment:The Government is planning to change the Crown Minerals Act’s purpose from “promoting” mining in light of changing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • Fluoridation – A new fight against scientific misinformation
    Anti-fluoride campaigners think a new Canadian fluoride IQ study is the best thing since sliced bread but the scientific critiques warn they are wrong. Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty The new Canadian ...
    21 hours ago
  • GM Strikers Are Waging a Battle on Two Fronts
    Reprinted from Jacobinmag by Jane Slaughter and Chris Brooks Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership. Forty-nine ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    2 days ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 week ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    1 week ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.