The National counterattack line on Iraq is now out and about – courtesy of DPF. It has two parts:
First, of course, those statements cannot both be true. So there’s that.
Second, neither statement is true. There is a vast array of things New Zealand can do to help Iraq other than “train soldiers” and “nothing.”
As Andrew Little said yesterday, his preference would have been for New Zealand to step up its current efforts, which concentrate on humanitarian support and reconstruction assistance. That isn’t “the same as National,” nor it is “nothing.” It is a contribution that concentrates on what New Zealand is good at providing, and which does help Iraq deal with ISIL.
DPF thinks, along with the Herald’s editorialist, that ISIL will wither away when it stops gaining new territory. I disagree, and I suggest he ask Israel about whether Hamas or Hezbollah have withered away in recent decades. I think ISIL whit hers away when the world stops giving Iraqis a reason to join ISIL. The more foreign fighters arrive on Iraqi soil, guns drawn, the more Iraqis (and Syrians etc) are attracted to ISIL, who say they will protect the Iraqis against the foreigners. But the more we try to help Iraqis peacefully improve their lives, the less attractive a violent alternative appears.
No Right Turn has an alternate view based more on the Greens effect on Labour.
Wayne Mapp has an odd view about us getting involved in Iraq at Pundit. It appears to be largely based on resurrecting a rather dead military alliance.
It is no accident that we are the one and only western country that is nuclear-free. It was a choice that we could make that Australia would never countenance. And the freedom we have gained from being nuclear-free will always restrain our enthusiasm for Western military causes, whether or not they are for good or for ill.
Indeed. The effect of the US, the UK, and the western military alliances turning its back on us for three decades did have that chilling effect. Something that John Key clearly wishes to get out of the way of his photoops.