Open mike 20/01/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 20th, 2024 - 85 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

85 comments on “Open mike 20/01/2024 ”

  1. Morrissey 2

    RNZ and most of the other corporate media in this country still refuse to acknowledge what Israeli forces did on October 7th. This from British-Israeli journalist Jonathan Cook….

    … What we now know – from multiple credible Israeli sources – is that Israel killed lots of its own civilians on October 7. Ynet, Israel's biggest media outlet, has just published an investigation in Hebrew showing that Hamas successfully took out Israel's all-seeing drone “eyes” over Gaza that day, leaving the Israeli military blind about what was happening. Panicked, Israeli commanders invoked the Hannibal directive, allowing those in the field to order tanks and helicopters to fire at anything that moved.

    It was Israel that incinerated the hundreds of cars trying to flee the Nova festival, killing potentially hundreds of the 1,140 Israeli civilians that died that day, as well as Hamas fighters. It was an Israeli tank that incinerated 13 Israeli civilians, and 40 Hamas fighters, holed up in a house in Kibbutz Be'eri by blasting a shell through its front wall.

    Israel, of course, wants no one, least of all the western media, talking about any of that. What it needs instead is anything that will help to distract from its crimes against its citizens and justify its committing of genocide against the people of Gaza. So it has every reason to serve up the “Hamas mass rape” story, feeding what it rightly assumes are the Islamophobic prejudices of most Israeli Jews and western reporters….
    • SPC 2.1

      This was reported in Haaretz over a month ago.

      The Hamas fighters released a prisoner who explained their 14 captives in the building.

      It appears (I've not seen any reports about the official reasoning) the Hannibal directive is a policy designed to prevent public pressure on the government to release prisoners to get soldiers (captured at border areas) back. There was no expectation of it applying to civilians (taken hostage) so as to recover territory held within Israel.

      The Haaretz articles gives possible reasons for the lack of focus on the issue, even within Israel.

      The first is that given the depth of grief and anger caused by October 7, there is little interest in calling to account those who came to the rescue of the massacre's victims. Even Dagan, whose husband, Adi, was killed in the incident, has avoided criticizing her rescuers. "People gave their lives to save us," she said. "I can only give thanks to those who were there and fought for me."

      The second likely reason is the fear that acknowledgment of what occurred by the media and public of the incident will only serve those who deny there was any massacre and other propagandists. These have rushed to exploit anecdotal reports of civilians mistakenly being harmed by indirect fire to try and claim that Israel, not Hamas, was responsible for the majority of civilian deaths.

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        This was reported in Haaretz over a month ago.

        It's still being rigorously suppressed in the U.S. corporate media, however. And in this country.

        • bwaghorn

          Weeeelll if hamas hadn't crossed the boarder and attacked civilians would thos innocent 14 be alive ?

          Not condoning isreals past present or future actions , but wars bloody and has started the latest round.

          • Morrissey

            Weeeelll if hamas hadn't crossed the boarder and attacked civilians…

            The militants (not all of them were Hamas) broke out of the illegal blockade not to kill civilians, but to kill I.O.F. soldiers (which they did–more than 300 of them), destroy I.O.F. tanks (which they did with ridiculous ease), and to take Israeli civilians as hostages. The attacking of civilians, and the mass incineration of civilians in their houses and cars was, it is increasingly being revealed, and admitted, carried out by the I.O.F., being ordered to execute the insane "Hannibal Directive."

            Not condoning isreals past present or future actions…

            That's exactly what you're doing.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        Plus there seems to be considerable censorship and suppression by the state of any opinions contrary to official lines at present.

        You can see traces of exactly how much that is happening on Haaretz (mostly paywalled). Israelis aren’t seeing the images that we are seeing of 2000lb dumb bombs by the IDF being dropped on civilians with no apparent military reason.

        I don’t even bother reading any of the other Israeli media because it is pretty clearly being censored by either the state or by the editors when compared to every other source.

        That first link pretty much says it all at the end

        Israelis fear that the world doesn’t see their pain and is only sympathizing with the Palestinians. Saragusti sees things differently. According to her, “The world saw the October 7 massacre. Journalists came to Israel, they saw the bodies, the remains of the Nova partygoers, the destruction in the kibbutzim. They delivered the message, they reported on it. But now the focus is somewhere else.

        “The fact is that people outside of Israel are seeing a completely different picture of reality. If we don’t see what they are seeing, we won’t be able to understand the growing sentiment against us. The majority of people know what happened, they know there was a massacre, they understand Israel went through something devastating. The fact that we Israelis are living in a completely different dimension doesn’t work to our advantage. We need to deal with it.”

        Yes – there was a horrible massacre by Hamas that was strategically designed to make sure that the Palestinian state issue wasn’t going to be sidelined by Israelis, Gulf states or the US. They bypassed the IDF defences in such a way to demonstrate that you cannot run a concentration camp of refugees safely.

        What has even more horrible is that the Israeli’s have demonstrated with their disproportionate response that appears to mostly be targeting non-combatant civilians that they cannot be trusted with the security of any Palestinians. Obviously being Israeli makes people into genocidal maniacs.

        • SPC

          I suspect many Israelis go to Haaretz, al Jazeera, BBC, WPost, NYTimes etc for a broader perspective.

          The free daily newspaper is pro Likud.

          Anyone inclined to an exclusive river to the sea state could be categorised as intent on ethnic cleansing, or some sort of apartheid-like alternative. Some Israeli some Palestinian and some neither.

          • lprent

            Anyone inclined to an exclusive river to the sea state could be categorised as intent on ethnic cleansing, or some sort of apartheid-like alternative. Some Israeli some Palestinian and some neither.

            Which is I can’t see either Likud or Hamas in the solution. Genocidal policies put me off. Rather than either getting the upper hand, I’d go for just dispersing the whole population of south Levant and making sure it couldn’t be reoccupied by either.

            The world has wasted far too much time on this region in the last 70 years, and it has a habit of spilling over everywhere else. Even NZ, if you count the Mossad examining our cemeteries or the the ostensible cause of the OPEC price rises in the 1970s.

        • Dennis Frank

          being Israeli makes people into genocidal maniacs

          Over-generalised. Works like that for the fundamentalists, perhaps with tacit guilt by association for the conservatives who vote for them – & reps like the yahoo PM who bridge to the center-right moderates to achieve a working majority.

          Perception, in sum, rather than reality. True that fear makes it seem more than that. Fear looms large for the Israelis – but it didn't stop the yahoo telling Biden where to get off, eh? Yahoo freezes out his only friend on the global stage so as to seem sufficiently macho to his army…

          • lprent



            However it does express exactly what my opinion of the arseholes and their government dropping multiple unguided bombs on civilian sites to try to hit a few armed persons. That is what is commonly known as area bombing or terror bombing. It is also genocidal behaviour.

            “Israel has the most technologically advanced weapons in the world and their [precision-guided munitions] have an accuracy of three meters,” he said — but with unguided bombing, munitions can land as far as 30 meters, or about 100 feet, away from their intended target.

            There can be no justification for using those in highly populated locations. However that is exactly what the IDF has been doing.

            Even worse is the widespread use of very large bombs like the 2000lb Mark 84s that cause massive 40m craters with a much wider blast radius. This is how the IDF has been levelling building across most of Gaza. In killing the buildings they have also been killing almost entirely unarmed civilians.

            It is clearly deliberate genocidal warfare by deranged Israelis because it is a massively disproportionate response to the original Hamas attacks, it appears to have no targeting towards diminishing the Hamas military, and it looks like the Israeli’s are just trying to create a civilian death camp and calling it warfare.

            Soldiers doing this kind of behaviour are just as bad as the SS guards in the Nazi death camps. Whoever planned this kind of campaign has gone far beyond any proportionate response to the Hamas attack. It is straight terrorism aimed at civilians

            • Dennis Frank

              Understandable (feeling response). I've been feeling similarly since I noticed their policy seemed to have a cavalier view of collateral damage – a dispassionate stance, perhaps, but similarly critical.

              I get the Israeli excuse that Hamas are forever hiding behind women & children – so selective targeting is impossible. True that the moslem nutters are being that pathetic. Doubt it really justifies mass elimination of civilians.

              The yahoo is intent on eliminating the threat of the rabid nutters. Whilst I agree that pests ought to be eliminated from any infected ecosystem, a peaceful resolution of a political impasse is always the better option.

              The yahoo isn't competent enough to get to it, but using the antics of a juvenile delinquent doesn't get him a reputation as statesman. History will not be kind to him!

  2. Joe90 3

    And there was me thinking that it's all about NATO, or something.


    Ukrainian statehood poses a “mortal danger” for its people, since its very existence creates a “100% probability” of a new conflict with Moscow, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned.

    “Any Ukraine” poses this threat, regardless of its political regime or leadership, according to Medvedev, who currently serves as the deputy head of the Russian Security Council.

    “The presence of an independent state on historical Russian territories will now be a perpetual reason for the resumption of hostilities,” he said.

    “It’s too late. No matter who is at the helm of the cancerous growth under the name of Ukraine, this will not add legitimacy to their rule and the legitimacy of the ‘country’

    • SPC 3.1

      It's akin to WWI power blocks British empire A vs Ottoman B (that Berlin to Baghdad rail idea is a worry), France A vs Germany B, Russia A vs Austria-Hungary B.

      Team A (sans Russia which became a one party state), the winners justified the huge cost as the war for democracy. Liberating peoples to their own nation state. Thus began the roll back of empire worldwide.

      Whereas Russia wants to restore the borders of the Tsarist regime – the Baltic states and Poland are obviously expecting full NATO vigilance. And using the German lebensraum concept where there are Russians or a threat to expand the borders .. one wonders if Kazakhstan is considering a defence treaty with China and the Turkmen regions of the former Tsarist Russia, one with Turkey.

      Clearly Russia is now intent on eliminating nation states with UN membership, while presiding on the UNSC – its purpose to provide collective security …

    • SPC 3.2

      I wonder how Medvedev explains handing nukes to Belarus, once part of Russia?

    • Morrissey 3.3

      It is all about NATO, of course. The relentless provocation of Russia since 1945, with the U.S. covertly supporting subversive right wing Ukrainian nationalists, whose anti-Semitic violence had horrified even the Germans, the trashing of treaties by the West, most egregiously the flouting of the 2015 Minsk Agreements, and the flagrant breach of the commitment to not expand NATO, has got Ukraine to where it is now: on the verge of total collapse on the battlefield.

      • lprent 3.3.1

        and the flagrant breach of the commitment to not expand NATO

        You are expressing a complete historical fantasy that has been worked as a simple propaganda tool.

        There has never been a commitment not to expand NATO. Show me the ratified document or treaty that was placed in. There were verbal assurances by various people in speeches almost entirely within the context of the reunification of Germany and if the territory of the GDR would be covered by NATO.

        Most of the ‘assurances’ were done by individuals and expressed as their personal position. They were not done as part of explicit policy by NATO or US or Canadian or individual European countries. That is an alliance and would have required agreement from each member to make any such commitment and it would have been written down.

        What there does appear to have been was considerable and deliberate use of misinformation of why those discussions took place at all. It was because of the special position of Germany and its reunification after the second world war when Germany was split militarily for security reasons by treaty between the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and France.

        There is a reasonably good discussion of the history here with enough links to dig into it.

        The rest of your comment is also just repeating propaganda fabrications. If you are stupid enough to believe them without also ever looking at the actual history, then you really are delusional – and I can’t be bothered refuting a dimwit too lazy to read the details.

        • Morrissey

          … just repeating propaganda fabrications.

          So the U.S. support of violent Ukrainian and Polish nationalists (Nazis) after 1945 is a "propaganda fabrication"? The Minsk Agreements never happened, they were just "propaganda fabrications"? And the Ukraine military is not on the verge of collapse?

          As Noam Chomsky says, "NATO is the most violent, aggressive alliance in the world."

          • SPC

            Who required Ukraine give up nukes and then broke security guarantees, pre Minsk?

          • lprent

            So the U.S. support of violent Ukrainian and Polish nationalists (Nazis) after 1945 is a “propaganda fabrication”?

            Most likely, especially since you don’t explain what you’re wanking about. You don’t provide any usable evidence to evaluate. Videos are simply useless for checking facts. In my opinion, they They are what you use when you want to spin propaganda to the weak-minded – which is probably why you like them some much.

            The Minsk Agreements never happened, they were just “propaganda fabrications”?

            Your fantasy of what they were never happened. That is because you’re a lazy dumbarse who never researches anything

            The Minsk agreements were just framework agreements for attempts to get a ceasefires. A ceasefire (and I can’t believe that I have to explain this even to a idiotic plonker like you appear to be) is not a state of peace or a commitment to work for peace.

            What ceasefire are used for is to try to stop active hostilities for long enough to allow other things to happen. Allowing medical and relief aid in. Diplomats to try to come to some kind of resolution of the conflict. To allow the withdrawal of destabilising weapons etc.

            It is a temporary cessation of hostilities. If hostilities continue, then the ceasefire has failed and the state of warfare resumes.

            Now (and please pay attention), the Minsk agreements were not part of a treaty, a commitment, or anything else that was binding as you seem to stupidly think. They were a framework for a temporary cessation of hostilities with some possibilities sketched in for reducing the conflict in the future.

            Now I realise that you are rather completely illiterate about the difference between things like what a commitment or treaty or anything else in the world of diplomacy is. You have already made that crystal clear in previous comments.

            But ceasefire agreements fail all of the time. In this case they failed mostly because of the actions of the DPR and LPR, probably under Russian Federation guidance rather more than the Ukrainian state. They were eventually formally killed by the Russian Federation less than a week before they invaded Ukraine.

            Arguably this Minsk II failed immediately because of the city of Debaltseve and the continued shelling by the DPR and probably the Russian armed forces in violation of the ceasefire in place provisions.

            Certainly the DPR violated Minsk II by planning to carrying out elections without any of the oversight and observation of the OSCE as required under Minsk II – and eventually postponed them indefinitely. It doesn’t appear that they were capable of holding elections under observation and in accordance with Minsk II.

            Basically, the Minsk II ceasefire agreement was dead by 2016 because of the actions of DPR and LPR being completely unwilling to conform to point 12 of the Minsk II agreement and to hold elections under either the law of Ukraine or under the required standards or monitors.

            Based on the Law of Ukraine “On temporary Order of Local Self-Governance in Particular Districts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts”, questions related to local elections will be discussed and agreed upon with representatives of particular districts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group. Elections will be held in accordance with relevant OSCE standards and monitored by OSCE/ODIHR.

            Basically you appear to have vacated your native intelligence and scepticism in favour of a religious dedication to being faithful to a conforting blanket of stupid propaganda.

            And the Ukraine military is not on the verge of collapse?

            That hasn’t been noticeable to anyone who has a military background. It is pretty much a stalemate on the ground since the Russian Federation forces finished their full-scale retreat in the north and south in August/September 2022. The Ukrainians didn’t manage a successful advance across minefields and barricades this last summer. But similarly the Russians antique human wave tactics have just caused them really high casualties and no effect.

            The Russian attacks on mainly civilian and infrastructure targets using drones and missiles hasn’t had much effect apart from hardening those targets. The similar but smaller Ukrainian attacks on logistical lines and Crimean air and naval targets seems to have pushed the Russians to move those resources back to a ineffectual range.

            Currently stalemate


            BTW: I really don’t value Noam Chomsky much as a authority apart from his role in developing the science of linguistics and ‘natural’ language. I like that he questions politics. But he does have a tendency to push ideology rather than looking at the facts and history or actual actions.

            • Morrissey

              Apart from the abusive comments that pepper your response, and detract from its effectiveness, your points are well made.

              • Incognito

                Superiority complex and victimhood in the space of 7 min!!

                BTW, you’re abusing the word “abuse”.

                • Morrissey

                  BTW, you’re abusing the word “abuse”.


                  I wonder if anyone other than your good self would fail to see this farrago as anything other than abuse….

                  what you’re wanking about …. weak-minded – which is probably why you like them some much …. idiotic plonker like you appear to be …. as you seem to stupidly think …. Now I realise that you are rather completely illiterate … Basically you appear to have vacated your native intelligence and scepticism in favour of a religious dedication to being faithful to a conforting blanket of stupid propaganda. …

                  • Incognito

                    And worst of all, because this one transcends simple abuse:

                    “BTW: I really don’t value Noam Chomsky much as a authority….”

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      McGilvray suggests that Chomsky was never motivated by a desire for fame, but impelled to tell what he perceived as the truth and a desire to aid others in doing so.

                      Despite Morrissey not valuing Chomsky much as an authority, perhaps they share some motivations – perhaps.

                      Despite his academic success, his political viewpoints and activism have resulted in his being distrusted by mainstream media, and he is regarded as being “on the outer margin of acceptability“. Chomsky’s public image and social reputation often color his work’s public reception.

                    • Incognito []

                      Not, not Morrissey, lprent.

                    • Morrissey

                      No, I love Chomsky. And I love you too, Incognito, you old moderator, you. broken heart

                    • Green Hammer

                      Incognito – Begs the question – then who do you value as an authority on the matter????

                    • Incognito []

                      The heat is getting to people.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Sorry Incognito (and Morrissey, lprent) – it's the heat you know smiley

                      Bloodnok: Ohh! Ohh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Seagoon, the heat!
                      Seagoon: Yes, the heat! Gad, it's hot!
                      Bloodnok: Yes, it… It must be the heat!
                      Seagoon: Of course, the heat! [Laughs]
                      Bloodnok: It's the hottest heat we've ever haut!
                      Seagoon: Yes. [Coughs] Oh, these jungle roads. Why are they so dusty?
                      Bloodnok: We can't get a cleaner.
                      Seagoon: Ah, it must be the heat.
                      Bloodnok: The heat, yes. Oh, it's bit of a fag.
                      Seagoon: What is?
                      Bloodnok: Half a cigarette. Oh, the heat, the heat!
                      Seagoon: The heat, oh, the heat [Etc.]


          • lprent

            Clearly you haven't really read your linked article. That is very clear.

            My point was that there were no treaties or published agreements that committed to anything. The four plus two treaty for instance was about Germany only. As the Der Speigel article you linked to said

            There is, of course, no legally binding agreement between the two sides from the period following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The verdict as to whether the West has broken its word depends entirely on how binding one believes the assurances made by Major and the others actually were.

            Individual assurances by politicians are not and have never been considered to be binding on their successors. In the light of changing events they are not even considered to be binding on themselves. Quite simply as a diplomat if you want to have a binding promise, then get it written down in a treaty or something that defines not only the agreement, but also under what circumstances that agreement would be unbound.

            Basically neither you nor Putin can point to any assurances about NATO not having a eastern expansion in any written treaty or agreement except for the ones about the reunification of and only about Germany. So frankly any argument that there was a binding agreement or promise is simple bullshit.

            Furthermore it was always understood by politicians on both sides and is clear in the correspondence in your linked article that all sides, including both the Soviet rump and the successor Russia Federation admitted that states in eastern Europe (or anywhere else) who that they made military alliances with was up to them. This is a core tenant of national sovereignty.

            As your linked article points out

            The 1990s was the decade of good intentions and vast illusions, on both sides. Gorbachev promised that the Kremlin would introduce democracy, respect human rights and recognize the right of countries to self-determination. He even broached the possibility that the Soviet Union itself could become a member of NATO. His successor Yeltsin expressed a similar confidence, claiming that "we are becoming a different country."

            The eastern empire looked for a time as though it was ready for reform. And with that impression foremost in their minds, Kohl, Genscher, Bush and his successor Clinton really did want to transform NATO and take the Kremlin’s interests seriously. There was, however, one potentially significant contradiction: On the one hand, all countries were allegedly united by the "indivisibility of security," while on the other, each country allegedly had the right to decide which alliance it wanted to join. Still, that seemed at the time to be nothing more than a theoretical problem.

            On top of that, Clinton, Kohl and the others spent years rejecting NATO membership for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Such an expansion was viewed as too expensive, the fledgling democracies in those countries appeared too fragile and their militaries were too reactionary. But then, the reform process in Russia slowed and distrust began to grow.

            Many of the new states in Eastern Europe were eager to join NATO for reasons that probably had a lot to do with bloody military incursions into Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 by Russia and other member states of the Warsaw Pact. Plus the barely concealed intent to do the same in Poland in 1983 with Solidarity.

            Plus, most of the newly independent states didn't trust their newly independent neighbouring states. NATO has security guarantee policy about attacks on NATO members, including by other NATO members. That was probably just as enticing to ex-Warsaw Pact states as the guarantee from non-NATO states.

            Plus the Russian Federation didn't exactly help with their image with the way that they dealt with the Chechen war starting in 1994 (or later with the second in 1999).

            Wikipedia points out with the first group of NATO entrants invited in 1997, with references, exactly how much some states wanted to join NATO despite (and possibly because of) Russian opposition to it.

            That year, Russian leaders like Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev indicated their country's opposition to NATO enlargement.[44] While Russian President Boris Yeltsin did sign an agreement with NATO in May 1997 that included text referring to new membership, he clearly described NATO expansion as "unacceptable" and a threat to Russian security in his December 1997 National Security Blueprint.[45] Russian military actions, including the First Chechen War, were among the factors driving Central and Eastern European countries, particularly those with memories of similar Soviet offensives, to push for NATO application and ensure their long-term security.[46][47] Political parties reluctant to move on NATO membership were voted out of office, including the Bulgarian Socialist Party in 1997 and Slovak HZDS in 1998.[48] Hungary's interest in joining was confirmed by a November 1997 referendum that returned 85.3% in favor of membership.[49]

            Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic officially joined NATO in March 1999.[54]

            Perhaps if Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact hadn't been so heavy handed in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and with the forcing of martial law in Poland in 1983 – then observing the similar attempted brutal suppression by the Russian Federation of a break-away Chechna in 1994 wouldn't have convinced these three states to slaw their way into NATO. Not to mention the military and political issues with Georgia in 1992-1993 and later, or the tilted actions in the First Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 90s.

            Your linked article concluded with

            In doing so, the West didn’t break any treaties, but some participants were concerned nevertheless. Years later, Genscher said that the expansion was just fine from a formally legal point of view. But it was impossible to deny, he said, that it was counter to the spirit of the understandings reached in 1990.

            But after 1990, the Russian Federation seems to have made a point of demonstrating that they weren't that interested in supporting the welfare and independence of independent states near their borders and reminded them exactly why they didn't trust Russia.

            Also that being part of NATO was far better at deterring their neighbours in the kinds of silly territorial military dick-waving that Russia and the CIS seems to be perpetually involved in.

            Those were the driving forces behind the expansion of NATO in 1997 and later.

            Perhaps you should start to look at why states in Europe and eastern Europe have been wanting to get into NATO. Finland and Sweden have been able in a military sense to join NATO for many decades (the interoperability and CCC requirements are very strict). It took Russia invading Ukraine for flagrant imperial reasoning and stupid propaganda designed for idiotic fuckwits to make them want to do it – for the common military security guarantee.

            • Francesca

              I'm flattered by your long reply (with only one fuckwit in sight) but I'm not persuaded

              The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991, that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels"


              As it says in the previous link I gave and that you repeated , Gorbachev was very definitely led to believe, in those miraculous times when it seemed the cold war was over and there was mutual trust, that Russia's security interests would be honoured .There were no written agreements, that is true, which is why so many Russians think of Gorbachev as a naive fool , trusting western diplomats who were secretly thrilled at his gullibility.

              And perhaps why they think of the west , the US in particular as being "non agreement capable" Forked tongues and all that

              • lprent

                … in those miraculous times when it seemed the cold war was over and there was mutual trust, that Russia's security interests would be honoured .There were no written agreements, that is true…

                Thanks for conceding the basics..

                Problem was that mutual trust would have continued to work only if mutual trust had persisted and been enhanced in the newly independent nations that used to be in Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. It was the interventions and military suppression of independence in those states over the previous 50+ years that generated the demand for military protection from those states.

                The other four parties (USA, UK, France and reunited Germany) who were were involved with the four plus two treaty and who were also 4 members of NATO out of 17 nations (from memory), were amongst the strongest opponents of adding members and adding requirements for doing it.

                Trust amongst the nations of eastern Europe didn't happen. In my view that is a direct result of the actions of the Russian Federation as the Soviet Union broke up and the Warsaw pact folded.

                The Russian Federation did a series of military interventions in Chechnya, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and other places by the mid to late 90s. That was what caused the ex-soviet and e-warsaw pact states to want to go through the difficult process to join NATO.

                That X or Y "was very definitely led to believe" simply doesn't make a promise or commitment. It certainly isn't the basis for international politics. What happened was that east Germany had grabbed its independence and wanted to join West Germany to (amongst other things) get the military cover of NATO.

                That was where Gorbachev for the Soviets and his advisers were when these 'assurances' were made. It was raised as a topic for inclusion in the treaty – but 4 out of 17 members of NATO can't make policy for NATO. It also wasn't relevant in the context of a treaty that was mostly about the schedule of the slow withdrawal of Soviet (and later Russian) troops and spooks from a reunited Germany.


                The only relationship to international politics of these assurances is that it is simply a convenient way to invent a non-existent grievance for political purposes.

                Amplify a bit of bullshit from vague talks on the periphery of meetings on a completely different topic (that did actually get written agreements), and boost it to the status of a broken commitment

                If you want modern examples of the manufactured grievance process – just look at Trump and his 'stolen election' of 2020.

                I can't see any difference between Trump's grievances and the Putin's manufacture of a promise grievance in Russia that he has been running ever since he was Yeltsin's sidekick.

                Both are bullshit for the simple-minded who prefer fantasy to digging into facts that make up historical events.

  3. Muttonbird 4

    You get the feeling the leaking of the report on the Treaty principles bill was deliberate by Goldsmith/National.

    Essentially, this is one coalition partner briefing against another. The hope was to expose Seymour's crank ideologies which even the Nats can't stomach, to have it out there right before the hui today at Tūrangawaewae, and to be able to repeat the line that the bill is going to the first reading at which point it will be ceremonially burned.

    Bonus effect, putting Seymour back in his box with a warning not to come up with policy ever again. Someone really threw him under the bus there.

    • SPC 4.1

      It may also be a reaction to Brash's involvement with ACT and his call for the end of the Maori electorates, all while Seymour is pushing the one all encompassing "New Zealanders" language, without reference to Maori, in the Treaty re-write.

    • Incognito 4.2

      Interesting hypothesis.

      Whoever leaked it wants to influence if not control the narrative. And they already succeeded, e.g.,

      This Machiavellian manipulation of people and political discourse is intrinsically polarising and divisive. It is very similar to the narrative that was created and surrounded He Puapua and how this sank many a debate & policy proposal even before they got off the ground.

      NZ people should be aware by now, after years of DP and recent orchestrated waves of mis- and dis-information, that they are being manipulated 24/7.

    • Tony Veitch 4.3

      putting Seymour back in his box

      Significantly, Seymour said on TV1 news last night that the Natz might just be a little braver when it comes to returning his bill to the house after the select committee hearings!

      Seymour has Luxon's measure – he only has to threaten to leave the CoC for Luxon to cave in! All he (Luxon) wants is his knighthood, but he sure doesn't want to go down in NZ history as the biggest failure as a PM. His ego (Luxon's) will see Seymour through!

  4. Morrissey 5

    "Slava Ukraini Slava Heroyam" no

    At the 9:40 mark of the following video, Mark Ames explains the 1941 origin of that salute….

    • joe90 5.1

      Is every shill for Poots a POS with a dodgy AF past?

      And Ames’s treatment of Russian teenage girls is documented with frightening glee. In the book he recounts one evening with an expat investment banker pal and what he thought were three 16-year-old girls:

      “When I went back into the TV room, Andy pulled me aside with a worried grin on his face. ‘Dude do you realize…do you know how old that Natasha is?’ he said.


      “‘No! No, she’s fif-teen. Fif-teen.’ Right then my pervometer needle hit the red. I had to have her, even if she was homely.”

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        Mark Ames is not a "shill for Poots", he's an independent journalist who actually lived in Russia.

        And yes, like a lot of people, he had a dodgy personal life when he was much younger. So he's on a par with the likes of Clinton, the Bushes (père et fils), Trump, and no doubt nearly every other male in the U.S. regime, and the Russian regime too.

        Now, how does that in any way affect the fact that the "Slava Ukraini" salute is a fascist salute?

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          Ames is 100% a shill for Poots, in my opinion. I always laugh when people writing about Ukraine are experts / journalists "formerly / currently based in Moscow".

          Here is Vatnik Soup's summary of Ames

          Like a good Putin puppy, he obediently promoted the Kremlin line that russia wouldn't invade Ukraine, right up to the day russia ordered its tanks across the border. Why listen to someone about russia and Ukraine, who got something as fundamental as that utterly wrong?

          If the "imminent invasion" farce is anything like Russiagate, some of the sleazier "imminent invasion!" hacks will soon start tweeting out how they were never fooled, mocking those who were. Whatever the case, no career will suffer for lying & psychic-driving the public again.

          Feb 15, 2022 · 12:27 PM UTC

          • Morrissey

            Having lived in Moscow certainly gives him more credibility than almost anyone you read, that's for sure. But that alone is not enough, of course, otherwise such outré cases as the hapless scammer Bill Browder would qualify as an expert.

            Yes, like the rest of us, Ames cannot predict the future. He got that wrong. The weight and seriousness of his journalism, however, imparts authority and credibility to his work.

            Your use of the lame "Poots" slur is a re-run of the even lamer, just as unfunny, slinging off at the Orangeman from 2016-20.

            • Sanctuary

              "…Having lived in Moscow certainly gives him more credibility than almost anyone you read,…"

              I guess that made William Joyce the most accurate reporter on Nazi Germany.

              • Morrissey

                False analogy. Nazi Germany was in no way the same as modern Russia. Are you aware that it was the Soviet Union that defeated Germany? Or does that mean nothing to you?

                And Mark Ames is a serious and respected commentator, unlike Lord Haw Haw.

                • lprent

                  And Mark Ames is a serious and respected commentator, unlike Lord Haw Haw.

                  Nope – he acts exactly like Lord Haw Haw. He was the clown at the eXile.

                  I much preferred John Dolan’s War Nerd work and still do because he usually knows what he is talking about.

        • gsays

          "Now, how does that in any way affect the fact that the "Slava Ukraini" salute is a fascist salute?"

          Because when you cant debate the subject you attack the messenger.

          Often with a thought terminating cliche such as "shill for poots".

          It's cancel culture as practiced by the 'left'.

          • Morrissey

            Because when you cant debate the subject you attack the messenger.

            Here's a remarkable instance of that from a couple of hours earlier today:

            what you’re wanking about …. when you want to spin propaganda to the weak-minded – which is probably why you like them some much …. a [sic] idiotic plonker like you appear to be …. as you seem to stupidly think …. Now I realise that you are rather completely illiterate about the difference between things like what a commitment or treaty or anything else in the world of diplomacy is. You have already made that crystal clear in previous comments. … Basically you appear to have vacated your native intelligence and scepticism in favour of a religious dedication to being faithful to a conforting blanket of stupid propaganda. …

            And worst of all, because this one transcends simple abuse:

            BTW: I really don’t value Noam Chomsky much as a authority….


      • Cuato9 5.1.2

        You realize you're quoting from Ames's satirical writings, from their satirical Moscow paper and book The eXile right? It was known for its offensive satire, but it was satire as everyone knows. Surely you're not the type who's pretending ignorance in order to use ad hominem to distract from Morrissey's point about the origins of the ukrainian salute.

        • joe90

          but it was satire

          And when Ames articulated his violent misogyny in a 2000 interview. Was that satire, too?


          He spoke about his sex life in Moscow. “Russian women, especially on the first date, expect you to rape them,” said Mr. Ames. “They’ll go back home with you and say, ‘No, no, no,’ and if you’re an American, you’ve been trained to respect the ‘No,’ because you’re afraid of sexual harassment or date rape, and so you fail over and over. But it took me a while to learn you really have to force Russian girls, and that’s what they want, it’s like a mock rape. And then you come back here and you’re really freaked out–because you don’t know if that actually exists deep in all women’s psyches, that that’s what they all want. All relations between guys and girls is basically violent, I think. It’s all war.”

    • lprent 5.2

      Whoever this Mark Ames is, in at least one thing he is mainly noticeable as a lying idiot. Hardly something I'd expect from 'journalist'. Sounds more like just another propagandist who can't look things up.

      You simply don't know how to do basic research. You and Ames obviously require your information to mashed and fed up like pap for a toddler.

      The prompt and the response have been around since at least the 19th century. It took me minutes to dig this out.

      It was widespread during the short lived Ukrainian republic from 1917 to 1921. Was banned by the Soviets. For some reason it becomes popular whenever the Russians aren't around.

      I didn't bother to get a look at your video mostly because it sounds like you're describing people fist-pumping (like the ones after the liberation of Kherson). I suggest you need to look at NZ rugby fans and players who do that frequently when they have victories. Are they fascists as well?

      Knowing your level of blind obedience to ideological propaganda – I suspect that you'd probably say yes.

      • Morrissey 5.2.1

        I suggest you need to look at NZ rugby fans and players who do that frequently when they have victories. Are they fascists as well?

        Are you really trying to claim some sort of equivalence between actual Nazis and football fans? Argumentum ad absurdum is rarely a good strategy.

        • lprent

          Argumentum ad absurdum is rarely a good strategy.

          Indeed – that was what I just said about your argument about fascist salutes. According to you, it seems like the fascists own certain body motions.

          Do you have a genetic basis or that you were just making an absurd argument?

          Should dancers, pop-stars, rugby fans (and many other people) using a common body action all be regraded as fascists because a notorious fuckwit – morrissey said that certain body movements were genetically programmed to only be done by fascists?

          Or are you just being a simple fuckwit who has no knowledge about the common usages of body actions.

  5. Dennis Frank 6

    Triads happening all over:

    Saturday marks the first of three major events for te ao Māori, all within three weeks. Iwi and hapū across the motu will meet on three separate occasions to kōrero and wānanga about the Government’s proposed policies on the Treaty of Waitangi and te reo Māori use.

    The annual events of Rātana and Waitangi Day are usually pivotal moments in the cultural and political calendar. Marking the start of the political year, they provide platforms for the celebration of te ao Māori and foster dialogue between iwi Māori and te Kāwangatanga (the Government).

    But this year, another event has been added to the calendar, Hui-ā-Motu, called by the Kīngitanga to “unify the nation and hold the Government to account”.

    So Maori have upgraded their sociopolitical stance from the trad dyad. Neptune's trident becomes relevant as a useful symbol! Each of the three prongs correlates with each special occasion in their triad. Any competent astrologer will tell you that Neptune represents our innate spirituality so the spiritual basis of politics is being activated at our primary ethnic interface.

    Don't expect anyone in the Greens to comprehend such deep Green thinking – democracy forces them into the shallows inexorably, so they huddle in the middle ground not too far from the sheeple. Don't expect politicos to be capable either (possible exception: Margaret Mutu). Spirituality is tacit in contemporary society. As Kahneman pointed out, the tacit realm is where the primary action is. It only becomes explicit in social movements when circumstances are catalytic. Now, maybe…

  6. David Rivers 7

    Re Trickdown's comments, the reason Labour lost to the financial power group was that it hung onto the liberal right idea of no capital gains tax.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  7. Tricledrown 8

    ACT Seymour is fanning racial division from the wagging the dog. With a small minority he has managed to damage years of progress and harmony.

    Maori have suffered 180 yrs of constant belittling scapegoating theft of land denigration of culture the intergenerational forced poverty .

    European settlers have had the benefit of the stolen land creating intergenerational wealth while suppressing those whose land it should still be with recompense for all losses including social status.

    If Maori had retained those lands Maori wouldn't be at the bottom of the heap.

    Then you get these Johnny come lately who promote the rule of law and land right's but it never applied to Maori now or then.

    As Jew Seymour should know better the Germsn govt had to pay $70 billion to the Jewish people for stealing their wealth. And return all art gold etc stolen by a white racist regime.

    Yet we have a White Jew perpetrating a removal of rights of a Minority because they signed a treaty which protected Maori right's but weren't dealt with by court's legally Maori weren't given proper legal representation in sale of land. then confiscated land was illegal.

    But Jews in Europe didn't have a treaty with Hitler but get much better compensation.

    While Maori signed a treaty that gave them the same property rights.But settlers defrauded and illegally confiscated land.

    Then when NZ set up parliament

    Only male landowners were allowed to vote but Maori were mostly landowners giving them a majority which was supposed to be followed under the treaty.

    No Europeans illegally undemocratically gave Maori land owning Males only 2 seats in Parliament.

    Now Seymour wants to disband the Maori seat's Maori Language protocols etc.

    After 180 years of deliberately dehumanizing Maori. A Jewish man is courting /dog whistling white supremacists to further dehumanise Maori.

    [Comments such as yours are fanning division. Comparing ACT with Nazi Germany and Seymour with Hitler is an example of this. Seymour has claimed Māori ancestry; does this make him a ‘White Māori’? Your dim-witted labels are not arguments, as you seem to believe. Instead, they’re fuel on the fire of division & hatred.

    You’re in Pre-Mod until you’ve shown that you have understood this Mod note and given hard evidence to support your claim that David Seymour is a “White Jew” – Incognito]

    • SPC 9.1

      For 60 years, Fred and Donald claimed Swedish ancestry. They are of the Bavarian Drumpf family.

      Donald is teetotal, no one in Munich has anything in common with him these days.

    • Green Hammer 9.2

      I think Joe90 is saying that the 2024 election will be a stolen election.

      Nice one Joe!

  8. Ed 10

    Over 10000 people congregate at Tūrangawaewae marae to participate in a national hui called by Kiingi Tuuheitia.

    Does not feature in the top 17 stories on the Herald online.

    Speaks volumes about our corporate mainstream media.

    • SPC 10.1

      I once asked Tapu Misa to write about Maori issues when a columnist at the Herald, so someone was.

  9. joe90 12

    The last sundown town siren, warning non-whites to leave the town before dark, was sounded in October 2023.

  10. Pat 13

    A second piece advocating 'localism' (subsidiarity) as opposed to centralisation for the day. (the first being..

    Brendon Harre

    "Left-wing progressives should relearn the lesson that has been long known to social policy people that if housing is unaffordable, it is just about impossible to make progress on any other social issue. The solution is building a lot more houses, all types of houses, as the — The Housing Crisis is the Everything Crisis — explains so well (H/T Chris Harris).

    I would suggest that Labour do a “How better localism helps New Zealand” policy investigation. Something the size and scope of its two-year “Future of Work” project that it reported on in 2016. The party should have a look at localism from all directions — not just the ‘bottom-up’ housing and infrastructure paradigm that I have discussed in this piece. For instance. What would better localism mean for Māori? The Environment? Mental health? Social housing? And so on.

    Labour should consider that making reforms to housing, infrastructure, and planning the built environment are consistent with their core values. That the fight for affordable cost-of-living dates back centuries and was a vital part of the fight for greater political rights. For instance, in the 1830s and 40s, British trade unions joined forces with progressives to campaign against the landed gentry to implement affordable food laws."

  11. joe90 14

    Trotter's having a moment.


    As the bicentenary of the signing of Te Tiriti looms ever nearer, the Pakeha settler state faces two, equally unpalatable choices. It will either have to accede to a Māori-led constitutional revolution, or find its own, twenty-first century equivalent of General Cameron. A Pakeha military leader prepared to shove back harder than the movement for tino rangatiratanga can push.

    • SPC 14.1

      The (Spanish) Civil War – when a society gets the false narrative of a choice between communism or fascism? TPM or ACT? Suntan to assimilate or playrimmerspacestation whiteracestarsruleoverfromabove?

      At the moment we are being manipulated to reject the “extremes” of both centralised government of the left (diminishing capacity for state led public delivery) and an authoritarian settler dominance of the right regime as equally bad.

      It is part of the ever diminishing circle of difference between neo-liberal and neo-liberal lite alternatives being provided for democratic governance.

      A right wing populist backlash threat posed to coerce the social democratic left into silence.

    • Muttonbird 14.2

      That is dreadful. Could be penned by Hitler himself. What an horrendous racist Chris Trotter has become. No surprise this white supremacist rubbish is platformed by his stablemate and fellow white supremacist, Bryce Edwards. VUW should be ashamed of themselves funding this shit. I’m surprised they haven’t had it taken down.

      Just one point is illustrative enough. Trotter makes the comparison between demaorification and the previous govt’s pandemic response. His theory being Māori are a disease to be eliminated…


  12. joe90 15

    Brave man, I reckon.

    @[email protected]

    This is an article that took a lot of strength to write and I might take it down again. But I felt like it is an article that is very necessary right now.

    bastianallgeier.comMy grandpa was a Nazi

    Jan 19, 2024, 23:57 ·

  13. Green Hammer 16

    Incognito – what happened? Who do you value on this ?

  14. joe90 18

    This has been spreading over the interwebs for a couple of weeks.

    It gets more and more awful by the update.

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