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Polity: Excluded middle

Written By: - Date published: 2:59 pm, February 25th, 2015 - 24 comments
Categories: national, same old national - Tags: , , , ,

Reposted from Polity

The National counterattack line on Iraq is now out and about – courtesy of DPF. It has two parts:

  1. Labour would have done exactly the same as National; and
  2. Labour are for doing nothing at all

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.

24 comments on “Polity: Excluded middle ”

  1. wyndham 1

    But…but Helen Clark did it !

    But…but the Labour Party did it !

  2. Wayne 2

    You have misinterpreted my Pundit Item. Quite clearly New Zealand is not in a military alliance with the US, and neither is it likely to be.

    And that has fundamentally changed the way we view things here. But we (or at least most of us) still see ourselves as part of the West, so we don’t easily get to have the Chilean option, which is not to be asked in first place.

    It is noteworthy that just about every western nation is doing something. But we are more reluctant than most, hence the long drawn out debate/discussion on the deployment of trainers to Iraq.

    • lprent 2.1

      That end portion was from me. I couldn’t see what the point of your post was. Unless it was

      However, there is another factor that might give pause. ISIS appears to foment international terrorism. That at least should concern us.

      But there is bugger all public evidence that is happening outside of the region around Iraq and Syria. Every case that I have looked at has been from lone nutters who either just wanted to wave their flag (eg Sydney) or wanted to go and learn what a war was like (eg canada).

      Your post was entitled “The alternatives to war: What if we did nothing?”. Well essentially what you appeared to be arguing was that nothing (apart from that) would happen.

      However you also argued essentially that our population weren’t interested in the same way that other western nations were was because we weren’t part of the ‘club’.

      I agree. But I also don’t see that much point in being part of them either as we have spent nearly 30 years learning other ways of doing things. Those way generally don’t involve us in getting into a morass like the US and their allies left behind in Iraq.

      That was why I abstracted that one critical part of your post…

      BTW: There were some factual errors in your post that were just confusing. In particular where you said:-

      There is of course a counterfactual… It could also have been said that ISIS would not be able to develop under Assad. But it did.

      Actually it didn’t. It developed in the confusion of Iraq. It rebased a large chunk of its limited forces to Syria from Northern Iraq after the disruption of their civil war erupted. It then returned forces to Iraq after the US aircover left and their direct involvement in northern militas finished. The consequences of them frightening the US trained phantom federal forces in Northern Iraq are now well known.

    • framu 2.2

      “The alternatives to war: What if we did nothing?””

      its odd that “what if we tried something different” isnt part of that title.

      surely an alternative to war includes vastly more than “nothing”?

      You are aware that military intervention by the west in the middle east has never worked and in fact usually made things worse?

      You seem to have failed to mention it for some reason – especially when discussing WHY people are opposed. Instead you focused on location and a bunch of other stuff

      Why?

    • tracey 2.3

      By what date do you understand the action is expected to achieve its goal in Iraq Wayne?

    • Incognito 2.4

      The “long drawn out debate/discussion” was anything but; it was a long drawn out softening up of the NZ public. Key is still trying to control the narrative; he did not even allow the customary press release of his speech in the House beforehand. I believe (!) that Key had made up his mind a long time ago.

      Why is there no Status of Forces Agreement in place with the Iraqi Government? I don’t just query the legality of NZ going there but also the underlying reasons why there is no such agreement. These could be quite revealing, don’t you think?

      I also believe (!) that NZ is now a prime candidate for ISIS ‘attention’. We are such a small country, which is clearly very divided about Key’s personal war games. Any death(s), either in Iraq or here on our home soil, will reverberate throughout our society more than in other countries that are potential targets. This will stretch the public’s patience to breaking point. Just my opinion, of course.

  3. Skinny 3

    Key’s silly performance of yelling and screaming in the House yesterday missed the mark. It looked what is was, sucking up to the Yanks. The public are growing tired of the
    continual lies. He would have been better off to admit we are off to war, I mean honestly the sis will be operating behind enermy lines directing bomb strikes. The spin department of the National party have let John Key down.

    I thought Russel Norman nailed Key and his lying yesterday, well done Greens.

  4. fisiani 4

    It’s not that John Key wants to deploy troops in Iraq, It’s that John Key knows that we have to deploy troops in Iraq. He knows that we have to do this. We are not cowards. We do not stand aside in the face of brutality.
    Labour are not cowards or pacifists they are just opportunists trying to get a cheap sound bite to claw their way above 30% in the polls. They cannot win on the booming economy so they have chosen to pretend they would act differently. If you believe they would act differently I have a bridge to sell you and a 500 million Nigerian inheritance in your name.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Oh. My. God.

      You think the Iraqi “army” is a suitable vehicle for our goals.

      You already bought the bridge. I don’t want it.

    • Skinny 4.2

      Of course Labour would act differently by not allowing the sis to direct air strikes. We have seen a number of countries suffering terrorist attacks on their own soil. By going
      to war we are a target. That is the difference fisiani, spin it which ever way you please.

    • b waghorn 4.3

      @fistula labour wanted to look into what was the best way to contribute which is a much better approach than sending a force into harms way that will achieve nothing,

    • lprent 4.4

      Oh piss off on your stupidity fisiani.

      I’m an ex-soldier. Tell me *any* valid reason why I should think that we should get into Iraq? Or listen to you wanking the great patriotic flag.

      Civilians like John Key and yourself should really stop jerking off on “guts” when you were just too weak kneed and insufficiently patriotic enough to volunteer to be soldiers. Why do I suspect that you were too busy doing a money grubbing experience on your knees while I was in the green? Or on your knees sucking up John Key now for that matter.

      I’ll listen to Wayne with a respectful skepticism because he did his service. You on the other hand appear to just be a contemptible armchair general.

    • Sabine 4.5

      Well the booming Rock Star economy let to a 50 cent rise in the minimum wage as per the NZ Herald today.

      More can not be given to minimum wage earners said the National Mouthpiece, as it would cost jobs…..the number he gave was 5000 jobs lost if the minimum wage would be increased by more than just the 50 cent announced.

      So Fisibabe, 51 cent an hour minimum wage increase would cost 5000 jobs….and you call that a booming economic?

      Really please do us all a favour and go back to parody school. You are not that good.

      [lprent: Pays to stay on topic, especially in my posts. ]

    • peter h 4.6

      So your back, where were you in all the Donghu liu crap. Is Key the man, that mans and tells the truth over this,I hope your going to help pay back the 100 billion because your hopeless lot have no show. talking about crap, booming economy

    • tracey 4.7

      Do you know when he is sending a group to Nigeria to help train the army to bring down Boko Haram for their atrocities?

    • Wynston 4.8

      Oh yes your beloved leader Shonkey “wants to deploy troops to Iraq”. If he doesn’t he might not, amongst other things, get another round of golf with Obama.
      If he truly wants NZ to stand up to “brutality” then he should be sending troops to Nigeria (a member of the Commonwealth), Somalia, Sudan, and West New Guinea (sorry, West Irian if you are a supporter of Indonesia) to name but a few!

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    Turns out that Daesh controlled Fallujah is a full 55kms from Taji, where NZ troops will be based. That’s comparable to the distance from Dunedin to Milton or Wellington to Paraparaumu FFS.

    • Gareth 5.1

      It’s also worth noting that, according to the BBC, the US bombed Taji via drone more than once in January.

      Doesn’t sound like “behind the lines” to me.

  6. Sabine 6

    sorry Lprent, but my edit did not come through.

    hit enter to early.

    The PM needs a success….the country is not doing so well, the economy is not doing so well…so a success (yes! success) in foreign politcs will hopefully have people talk about other things than corruption, unemployment etc.

    We should do nothing in Iraq, other than providing humanitarian aid, everything else is just getting us in trouble.

    And why bother what Labour would do, or should do? It is National that did not pass a vote but is essentially going alone. So all the blather about labour seem empty.

    • Stuart Munro 6.1

      Yes – Key needs a short victorious war – like another pathetically incompetent administration last century. It ended badly.

  7. Did anyone notice the Herald (pro war, pro Key) editorial today, which I thought was rather odd. The first comments on the editorial were posted rather earl (all 81 of them through moderation before 9am), nearly all of them pro/for the editorial, from commentators that I had not seen on the Herald site before. The usual Herald commentators (such as “Gandalf” – who usually comments first) were queued quite far down. It seemed rather odd to me (but perhaps I am being blinded by my utter despair at Key’s utter contempt for the democratic process, his parliamentary peers and the representative democracy that he continually undermines……and finding it hard to believe that most other people could possibly be falling for Key’s propaganda).

    • REdBaronCV 7.1

      Yep I noticed that too and concluded that the trolls had been put out in force. Nact probably has more of them than the number of army being deployed. Perhaps the two groups could swop – oh – wishful thinking..?

  8. barry 8

    The problem with supporting the Iraqi army is that it is one side in a civil/sectarian war. Because the army (and the militias that NZ will also apparently be training) have been quite brutal towards the Sunni population which is why the Sunnis are largely supporting Daesh even if they don’t agree with the extremism.

    Iraq actually needs police training and civics to teach the pollies to get past sectarian interests. Training the army won’t achieve much.

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