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Paris 3 – common sense from Democrats

Written By: - Date published: 8:32 am, November 16th, 2015 - 161 comments
Categories: International, iraq, Syria, us politics, war - Tags: , ,

The fallout from the Paris attacks continues.

In the USA, the country that is arguably to blame for much to the world’s current instability, the political reaction from Republican candidates has been completely predictable: Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks. In particular Donald Trump has covered himself in muck [Update: Trump turns out to have been an odd controversy about an old tweet].

Fortunately the Democratic candidates are sounding a lot more rational. From their recent debate:

Sanders objected to Clinton’s line about who bore responsibility for Isis. “I don’t think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the massive instability that we are seeing right now,” he said.

In a possible preview of a major general election debate to come, Clinton rejected a “clash of civilizations” framework Republicans have used after the Paris attacks. “We are not at war with Islam or Muslims,” Clinton says. “We are at war with violent extremism.”

It will be a disaster for the world if we end up with one of these Republican loons as the next president of the USA. It will be a disaster for the world if France reacts to these attacks the way the USA reacted to 911.

161 comments on “Paris 3 – common sense from Democrats ”

  1. Chooky 1

    +100 …good post !

    • Grindlebottom 1.1

      Anthony, The “Republican Candidates Urge Aggressive Response After Paris Attacks” link in your post above is currently producing at the New York Times:

      “<b<Page Not Found
      We’re sorry, we seem to have lost this page,
      but we don’t want to lose you.”

      And the Trump link is producing an article saying his offensive tweet is an old one in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack. Still a stupid comment, but not a response to the latest Paris attack.

      • Manuka AOR 1.1.1

        Try this one: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/us/politics/republican-candidates-urge-aggressive-response-after-paris-attacks.html
        “A dark portrait of a vulnerable homeland — impotent against Islamic State militants, susceptible against undocumented refugees and isolated in a world of fraying alliances — came into sharp relief as several Republicans seized on the crisis to try to elevate terrorism into a defining issue in the 2016 election.

        “Leading Republicans like Donald J. Trump, Ben Carson and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas called on the Obama administration to halt plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees next year. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, warning that the Islamic State would leverage the Paris attacks to add recruits and raise money, said the United States needed to move immediately to assemble a stronger coalition to fight the militants. And former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida urged Americans to recognize that “an organized effort to destroy Western civilization” is underway.”

      • r0b 1.1.2

        Thanks, updates made.

  2. vto 2

    as suggested some whiles ago this is all shaping up for a nuke in couple parts middle east …

  3. Bill 3

    Unfortunately, disaster’s coming down.

    I believe Cameron already has the RAF executing bombing runs in Syria without any parliamentary endorsement and is looking to expand operations without a vote.

    France is already bombing in Syria. The US is already bombing in Syria. Did Canada pull out?

    Meanwhile, one tenuous link to a person involved in the Paris terrorism being perhaps Syrian (a passport stamped a month ago that may or may not belong to the person it was found beside). One French national confirmed and one Belgium national having an arrest warrant issued against them.

    Other threads. Remember those chemical attacks that the US laid at Assad’s door but that had the finger prints of Turkey and Al Nusra (al qaeda) all over them? What about that helping hand that Turkey lends Al Nusra? Or the arms conduit that the US set up to move arms from Libya to Syria?

    A very good piece on the above by Seumas Milne in ‘The Guardian’. The links in the piece really are worth exploring.

    • proud poppy wearer 3.1

      You avoided mentioning Russia’s involvement. Why is that ?

    • Sabine 3.2

      read somewhere on a french paper that the syrian passport might be a fake. There is also a warrant out now for a young French guy it seems, and for what its worth that young man has absolutly no place to hide in europe. Unless he is happe to be buried alive for the next 5 -10 years.
      I would not be surprised if he would be apprehended rather quickly.

    • Grindlebottom 3.3

      France is already bombing in Syria. The US is already bombing in Syria. Did Canada pull out?

      Can’t find anything saying Canada’s actually pulled out of bombing IS yet, but Trudeau sounded pretty determined that it would, and soon. Be interesting to see what timeline he gives now. This may have an impact on that decision.

    • What has happened to the Russian no fly zone thing? And their ability to blow anyone out of the air from that ship just off the coast of Syria? Maybe it is just over Assad’s part ?

  4. proud poppy wearer 4

    Wasn’t the USAs first reaction to the New York attacks to try and pin it on Iraq with intelligence reports and when there were none forthcoming and information pointed to OBL demand that the Afghan rulers hand him and the others responsible.

    Also it is worth noting that in one of GW Bushes best political efforts while in power he went out of his way to make the point that this wasn’t a war with Islam despite many of those in the power in the middle east trying their best to make it all about islam vs the west to stir up the masses into jihad.

    • Bill 4.1

      The Taliban made repeated efforts to hand Osama Bin Laden over to the US prior to September 2001.

      The US repeatedly refused to cooperate in any hand-over as that would have meant recognising the legitimacy of the Taliban government. They (the Taliban) offered to hand him on through Saudi Arabia (the Saudi’s recognised their governance as legitimate) but the Saudi’s – under pressure? – refused to be conduits.

      The Taliban even went so far as arresting him and asking the US to provide incriminating evidence to use in his prosecution on terrorism charges they were happy enough to piggy back on his original charge (something to do with making public statements against previous agreements not to) . Know what the US provided them with? A pre-taped and already broadcast 60 Minutes interview he’d given! And so the Taliban had to let him go again.

  5. Chooky 5

    At least they are debating it in the USA and Clinton on the mat:

    From Clem on the Daily Blog

    “7 Takeaways From Democratic Debate: Terrorism, Wall Street Ties and ‘Carnival Barker’ Trump

    Clinton put on the defensive on Middle East policy:

    Sanders struck an early blow against Clinton by alluding to her vote to authorize the war in Iraq, which he dubbed the worst foreign policy blunder of his lifetime.

    “I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and ISIS,” he said. “I don’t think any sensible person would disagree that the invasion of Iraq led to the massive level of instability we’re seeing right now.”

    O’Malley expanded his criticism of Clinton to U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and foreign locales that took place during her tenure as Secretary of State.

    “We are not good at anticipating threats and building up stable democracies,” he said.

    Sidestepping her vote to authorize the Iraq War, Clinton sought to defend the Obama administration over its involvement in Libya as well as charges that it underestimated the ISIS threat.

    “Yes, this has developed. I think there are many other reasons why it has,” she said. But I don’t think the United States has the bulk of the responsibility.”


  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    For starters:

    Shut all european borders to refugees forthwith so that extremely rigourous vetting processes for refugees can be created

    Deport all islamic clerics and other political/religious etc type leaders that espouse hate speech and attacking the west

    Deport all known terrorists

    Deport all refugees that are known to be radicalised or commit crimes


    Rather then continue this phony war commit full troops on the ground especially in support of the Kurds and completely smash ISIS (of course by completely smash obviously you can’t completely smash them but rather weaken so that they’re a much smaller and more manageble group) into the ground

    Once ISIS is severly weakened support the regional groups (unplatable as it may be) in the area to contain ISIS

    While doing this:

    Oil rich islamic countries in the area need to be convinced (economic, diplomatic or invasion) to take in and spend money on refugees of the same faith, they’ve been dragging their heels on this

    • Bill 6.1

      Deport all known terrorists

      So, where should a French terrorist be deported to? Or a Belgium terrorist? Or a….you get the picture.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        Sorry you’re right

        Revoke the citizenship first and then deport them to their country of origin and if they’re french-born then reopen up Devils Island

    • Pascals bookie 6.2

      Good on you for putting out a plan.

      to be clear tho, to commit to this plan may mean going to war with Turkey (in support of the Kurdish front), and the plan will engender serious blowback from the gulf states due the support of Shia groups implicit in your plan.

      How many troops etc would you support for this? Whatever it takes? That could be up to 150K according to some experts, with a financial ocost running into the high 100s of Billions to do it properly. And that’s assuming it doesn;t become a war with shia opponents more generally.

      These potential costs need to spelled out before going, because committing without explaining the cost means support for the war will collapse after we start. POliticians will then not do what it takes, but stay in there doing ‘just enough to lose’.

      So, would you support tax increases to p[ay for this, and potentially a draft in NZ to maintain deployments? Or would you rather have it done without appreciable cost?

      • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1

        I’m sure something could be worked out to give the Kurds an autonomous state for themselves (the Kurds deserve it) plus Turkey has its own issues with ISIS so probably a case of the whats the greater evil working out

        Russia should be called in (especially in light of the attack on their people on the plane flight) to help defray costs

        Increase in taxes to pay for this: Yes
        Draft NZ in: Yes

        Without appreciable costs would be the way to go but unlikely

        • Pascals bookie

          “I’m sure something could be worked out to give the Kurds an autonomous state for themselves (the Kurds deserve it) plus Turkey has its own issues with ISIS so probably a case of the whats the greater evil working out”

          This is a big hope. Why are you sure that Turkey would accept the idea of an independent Kurdish state along its border with the Kurdish homelands in Turkey? They have been fighting to prevent exactly that, off and on, for decades. It’s clear that this is something Turkey takes very seriously.

          Yes, ISIS is a problem for Turkey, but when you look at the operations against ISIS and against the Kurds, it becomes clear which one Turkey sees as they bigger threat to her interests. (last I checked it was about 20 to 1 in terms of airstrikes).

          The point is that we cannot dictate what our allies interests are, and when we take a side, we have to accept that side’s interests. So if we take ‘the Kurds side’ that implies taking their side, potentially, against Turkey. We can’t ignore these realities or wish them away. That makes us unreliable as allies, it is a betrayal that leads to blowback.

          If we take the Kurds side, we need to commit to defending them. Because if we do not, they will be crushed when we get bored of it, or when we deem ISIS sufficently degraded.

          • Puckish Rogue

            You are right and, unfortuntely, we would need to be prepared to defend the Kurds but, in this instance, I’m confident a diplomatic solution could be found

            The UN might actually be of use for a change

            • crashcart

              Just like the Iraq war I am sure it will all be over in a few weeks.

              Forgetting the sarcasm can you point to when military involvement has had a positive outcome in the middle east?

              ISIS want American soldiers to shoot at and bomb. Nothing would make them happier than having a large number of invading troops on the ground. Now in the end woudl ISIS win. No more than Saddam or the Taliban. However the problem as you rightly point out is that you can’t destroy them completely without straying into the relms of ethnic cleansing.

              I don’t know what the answer is in the middle east but I can’t see it being the same damn thing the west have been doing cause that sure as hell aint working.

        • Paul

          Armchair warriors like yourself should join up.
          Or shut up.

    • maui 6.3

      The US tried smashing everyone in Afghanistan and Iraq after 2001. 14 years later look at the scenario we’re in, the ME is in dire straits, their refugees are ripping Europe apart, and terrorism in the west is worse. Your solution is a massive problem.

      I’m not sure how you would manage with thousands of refugees dying on fencelines either. Just look the other way and hope they turn back..

      • Puckish Rogue 6.3.1

        The USA are really good at smashing but they have no end game, what they really need is a hearts and minds game plan but for whatever reason they just don’t/can’t

        • RedLogix

          Because troops who are occupying a country, and who know in their heart of hearts they have no moral or military business being there will always get beaten.

          (There is an exception to this rule, but you have to live with the consequences.)

          • Puckish Rogue

            That is also true, as Vietnam demostrated but ISIS is a different kettle of fish to the americans I wouls suggest

            • Pascals bookie

              Reckon to win hearts and minds, you have to scale down force protection to the point that local civilians are a higher priority than troops. ie, same as it would be if patrolling your own nation.

              • Puckish Rogue

                The yanks learnt a lot from the brits but unfortunately they seemed to miss that bit out

                • Pascals bookie

                  And I’m not blaming the troops at unit level, it’s the political level.

                  There’s too much talk about ‘doing what it takes’ meaning being prepared to kill heaps of people, and no where near enough talk about being prepared to pay the price to make it worthwhile.

                  The fact is, we aren;t prepared to pay that price. Thes eattacks are awful, but they are not a threat to our society big enough that we are prepared to pay a large price, they are only a threat big enough that we are prepared to go out and kill some people.

                  The terrorists know this.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Sadly i think you’re correct, the terrorists know the west is weak and won’t do what needs to be done so the terrorists can continue doing attacks like this with impunity

                    • Pascals bookie

                      hmm. I don’t think that’s quite right. I’d say more that they know we don’t actually give a shit about the things our govts do in the ME.

                      Our populations don’t give a shit about the Saudi, or Jordan, or Egypt and Gulf states we support. Don’t really care if they get different regimes. Its not that we are weak, when faced with something they give a shit about, democracies tend to mobilise harder and further than any other system.

                      So we aren’t pre[ared to pay the price needed t defend a bunch of shit head regimes we don’t really care about. These attacks goad us into having to pay that price or gtfo.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      ISIS is claiming its authority for the Caliphate from holding territory. It isn’t going to be satisfied with just throwing “the crusaders” out of muslim lands. It seems logical to try and destroy them completely in their “state” in case they get completely out of control and grow much bigger, which is on the cards. But I think that’s ultimately going to take lots of boots on the ground to ring fence them and root them out of the houses wherever they are. Air attacks only stop them from from moving around. Only problem is it’ll be a bloodbath so understandably no-one’s really keen on providing lots of boots on the ground themselves.

                      I suppose the other option is to redouble efforts to try and specifically kill Abu Bakr Al Bagdahdi and see if ISIS collapses with him gone. I expect not though. I imagine they’ll just select another Caliph.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      Yeah nah.

                      ISIS claims all sorts of shit, and it does matter, and yes, that famous Atlantic piece is important, and fascinating. But it’s not even close to the whole story.

                      What matters is why that apocalyptic vision resonates, because in and of itself it’s a fucking horror show. So why are people fighting for a horror show, or rather, not fighting against it.

                      Put in the position of being a 10 year old Sunni kid in Mosul/Fallujah/Baghdad in 2003.

                      Country gets invaded, all hell breaks loose. You lose your childhood, very likely some family members, your family’s property. You likely become an internal refugee. You are now 22, the regime in Baghdad oppresses you, you cannot return to your home; it is now owned by a Shia family. You have no work. All you have known is war.

                      Who are you going to side with? The people saying ‘hey let’s keep trying with the cooperate with the proven bad faith Shia in Baghdad’, or the guys saying ‘Fuck these Shia pricks, lets get the caliphate on like we did back when. Do not be afraid of them, make them fear you. Be fear inspiring.’

                      Sending in massive ground troops will do what to that dynamic? How do you know who is ‘hardcore ISIS’, and who is ‘ISIS coz there’s nothing better right now’?

                      Fundamentally, I think we will eventually negotiate. probably not with ISIS in name, but with the Sunni of the areas ISIS now control. We will need to agree on new borders, and then enforce them.

                      Until the local kleptocrats running the shit shows that are excuses for our allies in the region see this as necessary, things will go on as they are going now.

                      Destroying ISIS without fixing the political situation that makes ISIS the least bad option for many in the area, will only create ISIS 2.0

                      EDIT: check out this report of interviews with captured ISIS fighters, http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-discovered-from-interviewing-isis-prisoners/ esp the comments at the bottom from the US military brass guy.

                    • tracey

                      What needs to be done and how. Be specific and explain why it will succeed. Please include an analysis of the demise of the Taleban and Qaeda in your answer.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      Yeah, I just finished reading that PB, then I also read this one which was linked at the bottom:

                      Tracey the Taliban’s been happy to stay within its home territory and hasn’t tried to export its brand of fundamentalism. The invasion of Afghanistan was a major blunder that should never have happened. They weren’t an international threat. They were even offering to hand Bin Laden over to Saudi for trial. Their resurgence isn’t an international threat either. Though ISIS has now established itself there as well and is a threat to them.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      I def agree that we should quit turning a blind eye to the horror shows of statecraft that are the gulf states. It’s not just Saudi, but yep.

                      We can’t (meaning ‘the west’) do much about Wahhabi Islam though. It’s like if some Islamic leaders got up and said ”All y’all need to quit with the Evangelical southern baptist perversions of Christianity and get down with that St Francis of Assissi’ It just won’t work.

                    • tracey


                      The taleban is still killing innocent people so “we” didnt defeat them. But you dont feel threatened by them anymore so arent focussed on their killings?

                      So your treatise is “we” keep killing those we think might come for us and even though the 2005 london bombings didnt spread… you think paris a decade later will? Iam genuinely trying to understand your position and that of others.

                      I cant see any evidence that if we keep doing what we have already been doing we wont get a different outcome.

                    • Grindlebottom


                      I know “we” didn’t defeat the Taliban. I never thought we would. Looking at the topography of the country and its history, I always thought they’d just melt away & come back when the US coalition departed. I know they keep killing innocent people, but I bet nowhere near as many as the invasion and occupation did (and possibly the Kabul regime still do). I think they should’ve been left alone to sort themselves out, and still should be. I’m not focussed on the Taliban’s killings? No I’m not. We did no good for Afghanis or ourselves going there.

                      I also think “we” should never have gone into Iraq. Most of the world could see the arguments for the invasion were fake and the principal beneficiaries looked like being the odious US security, construction and other corporations who were slavering to get in there for all the lucrative opportunities Cheney and Rumsfeld were holding out to them.

                      That invasion was yet another ill-considered criminal aggression. Apart from the thousands killed by coalition forces during the invasion and occupation, it seemed obvious conflicts would arise between Sunni & Shia & Kurds, even a breakup into separate mini-states, once Saddam was removed. I expected Al Qaeda mujahideen to pour into the place to kill Americans, but they did actually get knocked back somewhat by the US surge.

                      Now ISIS has arisen out of this disaster and the end of the surge. ISIS is a whole different problem altogether from the Taliban and even Al Qaeda. Yes, I think a full on, proper attempt should be made to wipe them out because even if the West just got right out of the ME & North Africa they’d still pose a potential ongoing terrorist threat to every Western country with a sizeable muslim population. How that’s done, and who should do it, I guess I don’t really know. That’ll have to be sorted out with all the other players including local opposition parties, Russia, Iran, Hezbollah,probably Assad’s regime, etc. Doing nothing and expecting their fellow muslim countrymen to somehow remove and/or control them on their own doesn’t look a realistic option. Millions of their countrymen are fleeing them as well as Assad.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The Taliban are Pashtuns.

                      The Pashtun society, old and tribal as it is, will likely out last this iteration of western civilisation.

                      Remind me when the last time a major colonial power successfully controlled Afghanistan.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      Well exactly CV. Conquering Afghanistan from outside always has been and still looks to be impossible. I have no idea why the US thought anything would be different for them after modern Soviet munitions and armour and aircraft had made no absolutely no difference. I don’t think even the Taliban had full control at the height of their power.

    • Sabine 6.4

      Hulk to the red courtesy phone please……Hulk smash Isis……smash smash smash

  7. Heather Grimwood 7

    Sound much-needed comment Anthony, a welcome antidote to what I’ve already heard this morning from non-critical thinkers.
    It is urgent that people AND OUR MEDIA …all of us world citizens after all….understand the reason/s for this and other atrocities against the West and speak out without fear of repercussions, physical or blackmail in its varied manifestations.

  8. Murray 8

    Mindless rednecks are still with us. You can’t stop violence with violence. Violence begets violence. Is it necessary to comment further?

    • Puckish Rogue 8.1

      Yes you can stop violence with violence but that violence needs a plan to go with it

      • Chooky 8.1.1

        Have you got a little list of society offenders ?…I am afraid you may have to look to top Western politicians ( corporate backed) who have destabilised the Middle East and bombed Middle Eastern countries creating a civil society disaster and a humanitarian crisis …thereby a wasteland for ISIS terrorists to thrive

        • Puckish Rogue

          Well when a policeman stops an offender using physical force (or a wepon) then thats one way or wehn the UN went into Timor hysical violence was used then as well

          but as a say violence needs a plan to go with it

          • Chooky

            eg. The whole of Libya is in danger of being overrun by ISIS”

            ‘ISIS Sets Sights on the Mediterranean’

            by Peter Martino


            …”As a failed state, Libya has become easy prey for ISIS, which so far only controlled territory in Syria and Iraq. Libyan military sources say that the terrorist organization also has a huge training camp of up to 4,000 jihadists near Sabratha, just 45 kilometers from the border with Tunisia, and less than 70 kilometers west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital. The fact that ISIS has managed to secure coastal territory in Sabratha in the west, in Sirte along Libya’s central coast, and in Derna in the east, indicates that the whole of Libya is in danger of being overrun by ISIS.

            ( now why did NATO bomb Libya again?….and why was Sarkozy so keen to support this bombing?…and get rid of Gaddafi?)

            …a once economically thriving Libya with a very good standard of living for all Libyans is now a disaster area…with floods of terrorised refugees leaving the country..creating the space for a ISIS stronghold




            • Puckish Rogue

              So what? The problem is happening and its happening now, terrorist attacks are happening in Australia and I believe its a matter when not if happens here

              • Heather Grimwood

                Which is why I have supported peace and allied ( lower case a ) movements since a teenager.
                In particular I maintain that by not partaking in aggressive events, New Zealand can ensure it is a most improbable target.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Thats nice in theory but in reality NZ has and does so I truly believe that there’ll be a religiously motivated attack in NZ sometime soon

                  Probably some home grown dropkick influenced but that won’t make any difference to the victims

                  • Heather Grimwood

                    Yes, I agree with you PR this time. I erased last sentence of my last comment which said that our likelihood of being a target had increased considerably due to foreign policies of this government, a fact that has concerned me considerably.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I figure that most of the comments on here seem to be from the view point that its all theoretical and that it couldn’t happen here which means it will happen here

                    • Grindlebottom

                      It could happen here because of our support for Western coalitions in the ME, but the risk of home-grown terrorist attacks is probably still low. Our muslim communities are small and we don’t yet have a history of extremist preachers and lots of disadvantaged, disaffected muslim youth.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      we don’t yet have a history of extremist preachers and lots of disadvantaged, disaffected muslim youth.

                      If MI5 are correct in pointing the finger at wingnut racists, I suspect the real reason is that wingnut racists have focused their hate elsewhere.

          • tracey

            But that doesnt stop the next one PR… therein lies the problem with your solution

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        No, you can’t no matter the plan.

    • Morrissey 8.2

      Mindless rednecks…

      Do you mean to say “bigots”? Then say it. Please stop identifying extremism and foolishness with working people. I know lots of “rednecks”, and they are nowhere near as bigoted or extreme as politicians, businessmen and broadcasters.

    • Brutus Iscariot 8.3

      “You can’t stop violence with violence.”

      Uh well, you can actually. Your violence just has to be more overwhelming than the other party’s.

    • Grindlebottom 8.4

      You can’t stop violence with violence.

      Murray that argument’s been made and proven incorrect continually throughout history. Unfortunately violence does stop violence, sometimes for quite long periods. Pacifism hardly ever stops violence in the face of determined aggression by any country or group bent on it.

      • tracey 8.4.1

        Can you name the period of time in human history, say in the last 100 years when violence eradicated violence?

        • Grindlebottom

          Well, Germany & her allies stopped fighting with a large number of countries after WW2. So did Japan. The particular violence those two countries engaged in wasn’t the sort that pacifism was a great counter to and reciprocal violence ended it. There are lots of examples of wars where reciprocal violence ended initial violence Tracey. You know that. History’s littered with them.

          • tracey

            Violence just pops up in other aces. Violence doesnt eradicate violence. People were still dying awful deaths years after hiroshima and nagasaki were bombed… so violence by the japanese govt against others stoppdbut people continued dying and sufering from the bombs.

            • Daniel Cale

              Violence popping up in other places doesn’t refute the point though. Hiroshima and Nagasaki stopped Japanese aggression towards the allies. The conclusion of WW2 changed Germany irrevocably as a nation, and it has not been an aggressor since. All ti takes for evil to prosper is for the left wing to persuade the rest of us to do nothing.

              • Tracey


                As for your quote it is rarely the left who do nothing… it is usually the right…

                And so you have a focus point…. this is the statement that was made.

                ” You can’t stop violence with violence.”

              • Educate yourself, Daniel. It is generally the left that first identifies threats like ISIS and organises against them. A point I made in a post here earlier in the year.

                War HUH!

                • Tracey

                  The irony from Dale is almost funny. In some ways I hope his ignorance is feigned

                  • Grindlebottom

                    Tracey the point is you can’t stop violence with non-violence unless every other fkr is a pacifist. It’s a great ideal but we’re a long way from that being the case.

                    • Tracey

                      I get your point. I simy disagree that violence is the answer to violence. Thats all.

                      I dont profess to have an answer but as I said history suggests the current strategy will fail and we need to explore alternatives which i suspect will be harder and less financially rewarding for major states than bombing and other armaments.

                    • gsays

                      “you can’t stop violence with non-violence”

                      parihaka, grindle?

                    • Grindlebottom

                      That didn’t work out at all well for the inhabitants of Parihaka or their leaders. They were rendered powerless, humiliated, further dispossessed of their lands, jailed repeatedly, subjugated. They showed tremendous dignity & courage, but you don’t think that’s violence, what happened to them?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That’s not quite true Grindlebottom.

                      The highest art of warfare is to subdue the enemy without violence. Sun Tzu.

                      Certainly this rarely involves planting flowers in gun-barrels, and requires great military and diplomatic skill, and it’s as true now as it was 2,500 years ago

                      Whether the “West” has the military or diplomatic chops to achieve this is questionable, although I note the Pentagon hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with the White House on the matter.

      • Pasupial 8.4.2

        If we can stop violence with violence, then surely violence should be history. Somehow that does not seem to be the case.

        This song has been running through my mind the last few days (at first I thought it was U2’s “One” as the verse harmonic progression is quite similar):

        We can chase down all our enemies and bring them to their knees.
        We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can’t bomb it into peace.
        We may even find a solution to hunger and disease
        We can bomb the world to pieces, but we can’t bomb it into peace.

        Power to the peaceful
        Love to the peaceful

  9. One Two 9

    Politicians don’t make the decisions about going to war, they sell the directive they are given

    WAR Industrial Complex decides which locations require ‘intervention’

    Believing the Blue Team are lesser ‘Neo Cons’ than the Red Team, is foolhardy

  10. Morrissey 10

    Hillary Clinton is a liar just as notorious as her husband…..

    “We are not at war with Islam or Muslims. We are at war with violent extremism.”

    The United States, far from being “at war with” ISIS, has supported it in its terrorist campaign against the government of Syria.

    • savenz 10.1


      Yep is it lies or is it a complete lack of self awareness in the US?

      Do the US understand that they created ISIS and funded them? That ISIS never existed before the US created them. The US and other countries can not fund terrorism in different geographical locations and then turn if off at the click of a switch. Under globalism the terrorists have a habit of following the aggressors back to their home countries and with increased immigration many nationalities live within each country.

      How many innocent people have been killed in these wars? Imagine instead of wasting money on drones and weapons the US and others spent that money on their own people’s wellbeing, educating more people and innovating for the new economy. Instead they are 14 years in war with no end and escalating into Europe and other countries and have a trillion dollars in debt and have massive inequality and social problems and cajoling other countries to join them in a useless war. What is the US end game? Bombing the crap out of the middle East for another 14 years and committing genocide?

  11. Sabine 11

    Frances involvment in Africa – it seems that no one mentions that


    France has been at war for a while now, much like the US and the UK however they don’t fight their wars on their soil, they fight them over other countries.
    No one should be surprised when that War then arrives at their foot steps.
    The saddest thing about this is tho, that those that die, be it Beirut, Baghdad, anywhere in the Hindukush, or Yemen for that matter are the ones that don’t fight. They are only ‘collateral damage’ victims of ‘accidental bombings’ going to weddings, or victims of “incorrect information” as the Hospital of the Doctor without borders despite it being clearly marked as a hospital etc. etc .etc.

    Anyone who believes that one country, or some countries can rain murder and mayhem down onto another country because of freedom n corporate interests should also believe that what goes around comes around.

  12. Clean_power 12

    ISIS will be blown to pieces not a day too early. Its military defeat is now certain.

    • savenz 12.1

      @ Clean power – dream on.

      The US and west have been bombing for 14 years and have won nothing, – they’re increasing terrorism not decreasing it.

      • infused 12.1.1

        They are hardly ‘bombing’ shit.

        • tracey

          Taleban are all gne now, right?????the taleban are gone now aye infused… we solved that problem with your method. Not liking the alternatives or them being hard doesnt mean they dont exist

        • McFlock

          They are hardly ‘bombing’ shit.

          well, they’re not exactly dropping daffodils.

        • Pat

          so you advocate France bombs itself and Belgium?…..that sounds like a plan

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough,
            It isn’t fit for humans now…

            John Betjeman.

            • Pat

              im not sure industrialisation is France’s most immediate problem….but then again ,perhaps it is

    • Sabine 12.2

      I am sure the English said the same during the American Revolution, as the US Americans said the same during the Vietnam War, and the Russian said about the Chechen Rebels, and oh lookit it seems we are still trying to ‘freedomise’ Iraq and Afghanistan.

      How is that smashing and blowing to pieces of countries coming along? Oh yeah, it is the National Parties 101 Keyboard Brigade pretending to be a macho macho man.

    • left for deadshark 12.3

      I know I’ved come in to this later in the day, but I think you hit the wrong button this morning. Wasn’t it meant to be (Robertson for leader) just say’n.


  13. galeandra 13

    The genesis of ISIS seemingly is like that of al queda before it, in some part at least an outcome of the US attempt to remote control events in the Middle East and to engage proxy forces in support of its own agendas.
    An old (June ’15) article in The Guardian used declassified US intelligence reports to help spell this out. ttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/15/terrorists-isis.
    There’s also a very useful discussion on the reasons for which some young muslims have become converts to Daesh/Isil by Scott Atran in the Guardian comment section.http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/15/terrorists-isis
    If that doesn’t convince then the article by Lydia WIson based on interviews with young prisoners-of-war in Kirkuk just might: http://www.thenation.com/article/what-i-discovered-from-interviewing-isis-prisoners.
    The interwebs are awash with useful well-considered discussions of the events behind and around the recent events in Paris, Lebanon and Egypt.
    Might I suggest that some of the more gung-ho commentators who infest these pages at least do some reading to clarify their understanding and to give peace a chance? I shudder to think what the governments of NZ and Australia might commit to given the rabidly shallow opinions of some of their supporters in the blogsphere.

    • Daniel Cale 13.1

      ISIS, AlQueda et al owe their origins to islamic radicalism, not anything the west has or has not done. Since the time of Mohammed, Islam has sought to conquer and subjugate, beginning with the very first caliphate. To continue to blame the west is naieve in the extreme.

      • maui 13.1.1

        So much wrong with that comment that its difficult to know where to start. This religion or extremism you speak of sounds very dangerous, almost like it would be responsible for 50 or more invasions of other countries in as many years. Ohh, turns out America has done all that since World War II, following a culture that is close to your own. The boogeyman religion isn’t so bad after all is it.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.2

        MI5 says you’re full of shit.

        …there is evidence that a well-established religious identity actually protects against violent radicalisation.

        Full. Of. Shit.

  14. Sabine 14

    France raining down bombs on syria as we type, surely only terrorists will die and no civilian casualties err… collateral damage will be reported.


    cause clearly we don’t fucking learn.

    • infused 14.2

      What’s the alternative? Talk them to death?

      • maui 14.2.1

        Well considering the go to option is to wipe an ideology off the face of the earth with bombs, and similar actions have got us into this mess, I would think talking would be a rational proposal.

      • savenz 14.2.2

        Worked for Northern Ireland. And that was what Corbyn always advocated.

        Interestingly part of the lessons that former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara made about Vietnam. Here are the lessons to be learnt from the failed Vietnam invasion. (Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_of_War)

        War is a blunt instrument by which to settle disputes between or within nations, and economic sanctions are rarely effective. Therefore, we should build a system of jurisprudence based on the International Court—that the U.S. has refused to support—which would hold individuals responsible for crimes against humanity.
        If we are to deal effectively with terrorists across the globe, we must develop a sense of empathy—I don’t mean “sympathy,” but rather “understanding”—to counter their attacks on us and the Western World.
        One of the greatest dangers we face today is the risk that terrorists will obtain access to weapons of mass destruction as a result of the breakdown of the Non-Proliferation Regime. We in the U.S. are contributing to that breakdown.

        He also advocated

        Moral principles are often ambiguous guides to foreign policy and defense policy, but surely we can agree that we should establish as a major goal of U.S. foreign policy and, indeed, of foreign policy across the globe: the avoidance, in this century, of the carnage—160 million dead—caused by conflict in the 20th century.
        We, the richest nation in the world, have failed in our responsibility to our own poor and to the disadvantaged across the world to help them advance their welfare in the most fundamental terms of nutrition, literacy, health and employment.
        Corporate executives must recognize there is no contradiction between a soft heart and a hard head. Of course, they have responsibilities to stockholders, but they also have responsibilities to their employees, their customers and to society as a whole.

        • infused

          When their end goal is to wipe out the entire west, talking ain’t going to work. Comparing this Northern Ireland shows you don’t quite understand their religion and end goals.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            There are several articles linked on this page that explore the reasons people join Daesh, and here’s Infused with some racist gobshite, ignoring them.

            • tracey

              And perpetuating the notion that the only alternative is a fireside chat

              • proud poppy wearer

                “Indeed, there has been much written and spoken since the bloody horrors of Friday night about how, in the fight against evil, it is peace, love and understanding that will win. How, in the battle against men with guns, grenades and suicide vests, it is the simple courage of people standing together that will ultimately triumph.

                Good doesn’t triumph over evil. And, contrary to popular belief, peace, love and understanding don’t stand much of a chance in the face of a barrage of bullets or a suicide bomber pressing the trigger at a football stadium or in a crowded concert hall.

                Indeed, the triumph of good over evil has rarely happened in human history without the helpful backing of rather a lot of guns, tanks and bombs. The good guys only win when their guns, tanks and bombs are bigger and better than those of the bad guys.”

            • McFlock

              Cosmic warriors need their opponents to also be cosmic warriors in order to justify the extremes to which they will go.

  15. Heather Grimwood 15

    In reply to PR at 11.16a.m……Which is why I put theory into practice to utmost of my ability.

  16. Bill English Says We Have The Moral obligation To Kill All Hardcore Terrorists. I agree!

    • b waghorn 16.1

      When did he say that??
      This morning on henry he said Isis teaches it followers that they have a moral obligation to kill non believer s (or words to that effect) are you sure you’re not just making shit up.?

      • travellerev 16.1.1

        Interesting. Reminds me to download articles as I find them. Which I do often. As they get rewritten over the day as PR people need to clean up when Politicians say stupid thing.

        The proof will be if and when we are being told that we have to send more young people into John Key’s club’s army to fight them evil terrorists. What you reckon? They gonna say since they’re religion is to kill unbelievers we have to kill them first?
        That’s what they have been doing since 9/11!

    • savenz 16.2

      @ Travellerev Especially when they increase Bill English’s and Key’s share values in defence companies!

      We all know double dipper Bill is a real moral guy, NOT.

      And of course Key loves those photo ops with ‘the troops’ in Iraq for 5 minutes – not quite morally interested intervening in his own body guard from Iraq illegally inprisoned on Christmas Island by our ‘allies’ Australia.

      Seems anyone can be inprisioned these days, just knowing a bike gang can get all your human rights removed.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.3

      Deliberate lies, or ghoulish self-serving delusions?

      I’m picking delusions.

  17. Burton B 17

    Israeli police executed a palestinian in a hospital recently. Violent extremism I say. Israel is a festering pustule.

  18. Ad 18

    Hilary Clinton will become President of the US in late 2016, so I don’t believe the US is the big mover to watch.

    It’s the other Security Council permanent votes that will be critical; China, Russia, and France in particular will all be under immense pressure diplomatically and internally to reconsider how they intervene with ISIS, Syria, and northern Iraq.

    Everyone has interests to defend here.

    A thought: will a takeover of more northern Saudi and Iraqi oilfields by ISIS focus EU and US minds sufficiently to move away from imported oil reliance? Once ISIS influence really starts hitting the $$Oil Barrel price, that’s the intersection of Climate Change policy with the security apparatus of the Deep State.

    The permanent members will get that.

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    What I Discovered From Interviewing Imprisoned ISIS Fighters

    More pertinent than Islamic theology is that there are other, much more convincing, explanations as to why they’ve fought for the side they did. At the end of the interview with the first prisoner we ask, “Do you have any questions for us?” For the first time since he came into the room he smiles—in surprise—and finally tells us what really motivated him, without any prompting. He knows there is an American in the room, and can perhaps guess, from his demeanor and his questions, that this American is ex-military, and directs his “question,” in the form of an enraged statement, straight at him. “The Americans came,” he said. “They took away Saddam, but they also took away our security. I didn’t like Saddam, we were starving then, but at least we didn’t have war. When you came here, the civil war started.”

    This whole experience has been very familiar indeed to Doug Stone, the American general on the receiving end of this diatribe. “He fits the absolutely typical profile,” Stone said afterward. “The average age of all the prisoners in Iraq when I was here was 27; they were married; they had two children; had got to sixth to eighth grade. He has exactly the same profile as 80 percent of the prisoners then…and his number-one complaint about the security and against all American forces was the exact same complaint from every single detainee.”

    Why are these things happening? Because the West brought war.

    • Grindlebottom 20.1

      Yes and now they have to deal with the blowback. And so far nobody has the perfect answer.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1

        Well, the perfect answer was to not make the violent fuckup in the first place. Now we’re stuck with imperfect answers but going in guns blazing isn’t included even in those imperfect answers.

    • tracey 20.2

      I read once that some palestinians i n gaza were so desperate and feeling hopeless about any future they took up offers for their familiy to receice 10kUS in return for them being suicide bombers….

      If this were really all about getgtng into “Paradise” why do some get away instead of dying in the cause?

      It is complex and no where as simple as some make it out, hence so far there is no solution

      But doing the same thing over and over in the belief the outcome will be different next time is as insane as those “we” are trying to stop.

  20. Tanz 21

    What’s the alternative – peace talks? It’s okay to just randomly bomb and kill is it?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Far from being random it looks planned and deliberate, like a “surgical strike” on a wedding party.

    • tracey 21.2

      Say it 2000 times and see if the strategy is any more effective than this morning. Your solution is revenge which is never a long term solution. The “problem” just manifests in a different way.

  21. Considering some of the Republicans have suggested doing things that could trigger a military confrontation between the U.S. and the Russians, or the U.S. and the Chinese, the Democrat reaction to the Paris attacks is very rational.

    I think it is part of a Republican’s brief – whether or not they choose to do so being something else altogether – to appease the commentators on Fox by trying to out do each other in the stupid statements category.

    The Democrats could go one step further by removing I.S. references completely from their speech and replacing them with Daesh. Politicians in Europe are, and President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have already adopted this policy.

  22. Tory 24


    Boots, bombs and bullets coupled with pressure on the states that fund Islamic State, yes.

    • Gangnam Style 24.1

      Feeling excited are we?

      • Tracey 24.1.1

        Hes ordering tickdts online rght now to go and eradiate the violence. Thats how sure he is that it is

        1. The right thing to do
        2. The only solution

    • joe90 24.2

      A newly elected Polish government with a defence minister who reckons there’s a Jewish plan for world domination.

      Macierewicz told listeners to Radio Maryja in 2002 that he had read Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a pamphlet that purports to be a Jewish plan to control the global economy and media, but which has been exposed as a hoax.

      He acknowledged there was debate about the pamphlet’s authenticity, but told a listener: “Experience shows that there are such groups in Jewish circles.”


      btw, their new Prime Minister was born in Oświęcim.

  23. Tory 25

    And your answer is Tracey? I advocate military action coupled with pressure on the countries that support IS. Looking through comments you offer nothing other than criticism. I guess sitting on the fence means you are never wrong…..

    • One Anonymous Bloke 25.1

      I have an “answer”: stop listening to racist murderphiles like you whose vile attitude creates terrorism, according to MI5.

    • Pascals bookie 25.2

      Good oh, but ‘military action’ isn’t a magic wand. What action would you support, what would you not support?

      And is the pressure on these countries you claim support IS doesn’t happen, would you still support the military ation? ie, do you think not pressuring IS’ politoical support would undercut the action to a point that it would become counterproductive?

  24. One Anonymous Bloke 26

    Action Directe, The Angry Brigade, the Red Army Faction, the IRA.

    European terror groups are nothing new. The only things that have ever worked to combat them are police work* and conversations.

    *no, you Tory simpleton, not beating confessions out of innocents: police work.

  25. Mike the Savage One 27

    Good grief, I have been reading in various European media reports and commentaries, and what some self proclaimed “experts” write is utter trash journalism. Many have no idea about the history of Islam, about what Jihad means and what expressions of Islam there are, yet they seem to think that now after the Paris attacks they know enough to tell the public what it is all about, this new escalation of terrorism from groups like IS.

    Also in New Zealand we have one idiot follow the other, when it comes to “news” and reporting, and making their comments and judgments. So I listened in on Radio Live this afternoon, and after talking with some external experts, Duncan Garner said, we should not call these guys that did the atrocities in Paris “Islamic State”, as they are not “islamic”. Garner felt calling them “IS” was giving them too much credit. He suggested we rather call them “Daesh”, which is the way they are often called in the Middle East.

    The problem is, that solves nothing, Mr Garner. You are as ignorant as the many callers that call into your “Drive Show”, as DAESH is just a wrongly spelled abbreviation, as it should be DAIISH, which means exactly that, “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or The Levant)”, more correctly:
    “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Iraq wa al-Sham”

    Garner has long ago struck me as a bit ignorant, and only smart at a mediocre “throw the ball and kick a goal by out-sprinting that player” kind of guy. Anything complex, detailed or “foreign” is not his forte.

    Here is what the various names used for IS are and mean:

    Using an insult may serve the interests of western leaders and diplomats, but will hardly address the challenges IS pose.

  26. Scott Atran, who has studied religiosity as a biological and cultural phenomenon for decades has this to say about ISIS:

    It’s “the first of the storm”, says Islamic State. And little wonder. For the chaotic scenes on the streets of Paris and the fearful reaction those attacks provoked are precisely what Isis planned and prayed for. The greater the reaction against Muslims in Europe and the deeper the west becomes involved in military action in the Middle East, the happier Isis leaders will be. Because this is about the organisation’s key strategy: finding, creating and managing chaos.

    Simply treating Isis as a form of “terrorism” or “violent extremism” masks the menace. Merely dismissing it as “nihilistic” reflects a wilful and dangerous avoidance of trying to comprehend, and deal with, its profoundly alluring moral mission to change and save the world.

    Isis is reaching out to fill the void wherever a state of “chaos” or “savagery” (at-tawahoush) exists, as in central Asia and Africa. And where there is insufficient chaos in the lands of the infidel, called “The House of War”, it seeks to create it, as in Europe.

    what inspires the most uncompromisingly lethal actors in the world today is not so much the Qur’an or religious teachings. It’s a thrilling cause that promises glory and esteem. Jihad is an egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer: fraternal, fast-breaking, glorious, cool – and persuasive.

    Part of Atran’s argument is that, like it or not, ISIS is seen as an exciting ‘hope’ for the world by a disturbingly large number of – perhaps especially young – people.

    We need to ask why so many people might resort to this kind of mutated vehicle for human hope?

    Perhaps there’s a hint in history.

    La Terreur anyone?

    • RedLogix 28.1

      And with God on your side, you cannot be defeated.

      For this reason losses do not matter, surviving does not matter, territory barely counts and weapons materials are irrelevant. What counts is chaos. This was my thesis at the outset.

      The more chaos, the more insistent the soundtrack of an ascending chorus of atrocities, the greater the impact they believe to have.

      Of course all death cults ultimately expire. And take with them the vehicle they high-jacked. At some point in the future, Islam will be but a memory.

      As will the world as we currently understand it.

      • joe90 28.1.1

        And with God on your side, you cannot be defeated.

        And tefillin.


      • Mike the Savage One 28.1.2

        Re Islam and it vanishing, I would not raise my hopes too high. Even if it would, there will most likely be a new phenomenon and movement of whatever kind that may follow then, provided there is still human existence on the planet then.

        My view is that some of these problems are the result of human society’s failures and misguidedness.

        There appears to be in at least a significant number of human beings a need to see a “greater purpose” in life, than to merely live a mortal’s life of work, work, earn money, spend money, consume, work yet more, have some fun now and then, work even more, slave more, exploit more, get more material goods if you can, improve your own status to keep up with the Jones’ and so forth. That is for people who may have work or can do business, it does not even include those that cannot participate in even that.

        The simple fact that there are and have apparently always been some forms of religion, of a belief in some higher power, and that life is not just what we see and hear day to day, tells us something.

        Whether this is just all stuff that is made up in people’s minds, or whether there may be more to it, which science has not discovered and proved yet, that still needs to be established in the future.

        Sad thing is, that such beliefs, such religious or similar beliefs, can be exploited by misguided leaders – or even “evil” intending manipulators, who motivate others to go to extremes such as what we see with suicide attacks, mass killings and what else there may yet come.

        With the way our societies in the west have gone, those that feel a need to have a life with a greater purpose, seem to see ever less of this to be achieved in their societies. Hence perhaps the attraction to ISIS and whatever other extreme movements, claiming to act in the name of God or whatever authority.

        So our “leaders” may need to ask more questions, than just preach the stereotype good and evil tales, and the need to punish, which is as medieval thinking as what IS preach.

        There is a reason or cause for everything! Ignoring that leads state leaders and governments to continue making the mistakes of the past, and to create the fertile ground for future wars to come. Lest we forget, they say, but it is the eternal remembrance of past battles, which are then used again, to justify future battles.

  27. Gael 29

    Heres an option from way out left field with rose tinted idealism….. estimate of global military spending in 2014 is $US1766billion. What if everyone on the planet agreed on a certain date at a certain time to put down their weapons shake hands with their neighbour and say sorry about that. Then every government spent their annual military budget on planting native and fruit trees?

    End of climate change, world hunger and unemployment. But I can hear the guffaws already. Sadly it seems the only time we are kind to each other is during a natural disaster… pity.

    oh and apparently nz is hosting the international weapons forum in welly this month….nice.

  28. Gael 30

    http://Www.nzdia.co.nz “defence” forum my apologies…

  29. paddy gilroy 31

    Rainbow Warrior, and the west’s reaction should not be forgotten

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