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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    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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