web analytics

Pup on the pull-aside

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, September 22nd, 2009 - 21 comments
Categories: afghanistan - Tags:

Two stories from today’s Dominion give a hint as to what might be muttered under their breath as Key and Obama pose for the cameras at the upcoming UN reception:

Key to Obama: “I’m sending more troops to Afghanistan – they’ve promised me verbally they won’t torture prisoners.”

Obama to Key: “I’m not, until I’ve got more information; McChrystal tells me we will lose unless we get a new strategy.”

The first story, headlined “PM given no-torture promise”, shows Key’s response to questions about corruption in the recent Afghanistan elections:

Mr Key acknowledged concerns about the elections, but said he did not seek advice on the issue before authorising the deployment.

He brushed off suggestions he should have waited for the final result to avoid any perception New Zealand was propping up an illegitimate government. “… we are supporting that administration as we seek to try and stabilise Afghanistan.

“I think the alternative is that we are left with a country where control is ceded to the Taleban, where in all probability more terrorist activities will be planned and schemes will be hatched, and I don’t believe that’s in the world’s best interest.”

Contrast this with Obama’s response to a report from NATO commander General McChrystal leaked to the Washington Post, headlined “More troops or Afghan war lost”:

In a series of interviews on Sunday Obama said he would not rush to a decision and wanted to first review his strategy for the region before considering whether to send more troops.

“I just want to make sure that everybody understands that you don’t make decisions about resources before you have the strategy ready,” he told ABC.

In his assessment, McChrystal painted a grim picture of the war so far, saying “the overall situation is deteriorating.”

He called for a “revolutionary” shift putting more emphasis on protecting Afghans than on killing insurgents.

“Our objective must be the population,” he wrote. “The objective is the will of the people, our conventional warfare culture is part of the problem. The Afghans must ultimately defeat the insurgency.”

Key didn’t seek advice before sending troops! That’s extraordinary in a matter so serious. He’s got it wrong about what sort of war it is as well. But Tom Scott has got it right – we’ve got a clown for a Prime Minister.

21 comments on “Pup on the pull-aside ”

  1. r0b 1

    Tim Watkin at Pundit also has a good piece on this.

    • gargoyle 1.1

      Is this the same Tim Watkin who wrote …..

      “Those advocating non-involvement by New Zealand and immediate withdrawal by US and ISAF forces must either offer an exit strategy that is both instant and orderly or be willing take responsibility for the death and mayhem that follows. Because I can’t envisage the former or do the latter, I can’t oppose the government’s decision. The least worst option is that foreign forces do what they can to stabilise the country before leaving over the medium term.

      So the core issue is how to retire those ISAF and US troops without the house of cards collapsing behind them. And that is a problem we have a responsibility to help solve.

      It is precisely because we have sent troops in on three previous occasions that we are right to send troops back in now. It is, in part, our mess. We must play our part in cleaning it up. Only then can this time of war become the time of peace that we all long for.”

      http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/the-unlikely-wisdom-of-returning-to-war

      • Zorr 1.1.1

        I understand your bringing up this previous piece of his. I have just read both but it is important to note at least one of the major starting points of the article you cite:
        “It should have been the most difficult decision this government has to make this term and it should be a decision that has nothing to do with trade. I won’t judge the personal integrity of Cabinet members on that first issue, but I fear that trade was indeed an issue.”

        The article that has been cited by r0b has the opening line:
        “Is it just me, or does the government’s handling of the SAS deployment to Afghanistan seem somewhat, well, loose?”

        Tim Watkin made the point in the August 11 article that he saw (and, at least, partially supported) the reason for heading back in to Afghanistan if it was done with the right levels of consideration for all the facts. The September 22 article may as well have opened with a giant “WTF! Who are these clowns sending our troops over to fight in a losing war with insufficient details?”

        There is no hipocrisy between the two opinions espoused by Tim Watkins in those articles as he clearly states, in both of them, his reasoning behind them. You have merely chosen to quote mine to undermine his credibility as an excellent commentator.

    • Tim W 1.2

      r0b, thanks for the link, and Zorr, many thanks for the compliment and for seeing past the simplistic anti or pro rhetoric around this war.
      I think we have an obligation to Afghanistan. We have been part of the problem there and we have to find a strategy now that leaves Afghanistan in the best possible shape for the future. Saying ‘the war’s bad, we should pull out’ isn’t a responsible answer. It would take months to pull out and whether those who hate the invasion like it or not, the Taliban is a threat to any fan of democracy and rights and could return to power if a better alternative isn’t established. What’s more, the danger of Pakistan is very real. Condemning the war has to be the start of the conversation, not the end.
      Gargoyle, if you want to be taken seriously, tell me your exit strategy (a proper plan for a military withdrawal) that is superior to working towards an exit over the next few years.
      What McChrystal and Obama are finally recognising is the damage caused by drone bombing and the like. The focus is changing, and for the better. Before they bugger off, they want to build up the democratic institutions, create a degree of safety that the locals will value and want to maintain once the international forces are gone. It’s a long shot, but it may just give Aghanis a chance at building a stable country, whatever form that may take.
      If John Key had expressed anything like a sophisticated view of what the SAS can contribute to that goal, we’d have won my support. Setting new precedents for revealing the movements of the SAS seemingly off-the-cuff and relying on the media for reports of the Afghan elections, not taking official advice? That’s scary and inept.

  2. outofbed 2

    Yes r0b making it up as they go along , seems par for the course
    But when you start putting lives at risk that a different matter
    When is this government going to be held to account for their amateurish approach to things?

  3. randal 3

    its a fib that johnny key is going to be asked the top ten questions on the letterman show. they are actually going to toss him in the will it float tank!

  4. Ianmac 4

    I was sure that one of the reasons for being in Afghanistan was to instal and protect an oil pipe-line which crosses through the country. The cluster of USA Army bases happento straddle the area. Therefore hard for USA to quit. Detail? Just one from my memory.

  5. Ianmac 5

    Fairly sure that the pipeline was built about 2002 and guarded ever since hence the concentration of troops in the South?

    • Bill 5.1

      Was never built. There are two proposed pipelines running through S Afghanistan (one of the proposals would have sweet f.a. to do with the US and NATO) and the US and NATO are building a base there.

  6. burt 6

    He brushed off suggestions he should have waited for the final result to avoid any perception New Zealand was propping up an illegitimate government

    Nothing illegitimate about that govt once it’s validated – and that’s all that matters isn’t it – that the govt say they didn’t break any laws…. “most people” in that govt would agree that they did nothing wrong so we should just move on really.

    • Maynard J 6.1

      Where did this ‘move on’ line come from Burt? I am wondering whether it was something actually said, or just a meme that you are intent on spinning. I mean you use it each and every time National does anything wrong in order to defend them while pretending that you are somehow holding people to account, because you seem to think that all events are exactly the same… Would be interesting to see some context around the original “quote”..

  7. I agree with Zorr, but would add that I really take issue with Tim’s stated reasons for continuing the military action in Afghanistan.

    To call carrying on the way we are the “least worst option” is just a little shallow, in my opinion.

    And even assuming Obama follows the call for a massive increase in troop numbers (and that necessarily entails a massive increase in civilian deaths in that country as those US troops are trained to kill, not nation build) flies in the face of the lessons of history.

    The same argument of leaving behind civil war etc when the invaders depart has been trotted out so often even in my lifetime that it beggars belief our political masters and esteemed commentators still fall for it.

    Think of India, Vietnam, Algeria: same arguments but the invaders still departed. The best answer I have come across was delivered by Ghandi to the British. Something like: Just pack up and leave…what happens next is none of your business!

    And then make and stay friends with whomever wins control. If it is the Taliban, at least the supply of poppy-derived drugs on the world market will drop substantially.

    The worst option is, in fact, escalation. The best option is to leave and let Afghanistan sort themselves out – it was a mess before we arrived and will remain a mess, at least for a while, after we leave.

    Al Qaeda remains a legitimate target, but Afghanistan’s civil war is none of our business.

  8. hire 8

    obama wants more time to about what to do………… what a crap man…..

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • EU and UK FTAs top of list for first ministerial trip since COVID-19
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor today announced details of his planned visit to the United Kingdom and European Union next week, where he will hold trade and agriculture discussions to further New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The visit will add political weight to ongoing negotiations with both the EU ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Arihia Bennett to chair Royal Commission Ministerial Advisory Group
    Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu chief executive Arihia Bennett MNZM has been appointed chair of the newly appointed Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “Twenty-eight people from diverse backgrounds across Aotearoa have been selected for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Medical Association General Practitioners' Conference, Rotorua
    Ki ngā pou maha o te whare hauora o Aotearoa, kei te mihiTo the pillars of our health system I acknowledge/thank you Ki te ope hapai hauora o roto o tēnei rūma, kei te mihi To our health force here in the room today, I acknowledge/thank you He taura tangata, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Karangahape Road upgrades are streets ahead
    The upgrades to Karangahape Road makes the iconic street more pedestrian and cycle-friendly, attractive and environmentally sustainable, Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said at the formal celebration of the completion of the Karangahape Road Enhancements project. The project included widening footpaths supporting a better outdoor dining ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to APEC business event
    E ngā tumu herenga waka, ākina ā ngaru, ākina ā tai ka whakatere ngā waka ki te whakapapa pounamu, otirā, ki Tamaki o ngā waka Tena koutou katoa… To the great leaders assembled, who guided your waka through turbulent times, challenging waters and you continue to navigate your respective waka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pause on Quarantine Free Travel with Victoria extended
    Following an assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria will continue for a further seven days, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. There are now 93 cases associated with the outbreak in greater Melbourne, spread over four clusters. Contact tracing efforts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supplier Diversity Aotearoa Summit: Navigate 2021
    *** Check with delivery *** A mihi to all who have contributed to making today a success – starting with you! As you have explored and navigated government procurement today you will hopefully have reflected on the journey of our people so far – and how you can make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pukemiro School to close
    Pukemiro Primary School near Huntly will close following years of declining roll numbers, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “I’ve consulted with the School Commissioner, and this decision acknowledges the fact that the few remaining students from last term are now settled at other nearby schools. “I want to thank ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt acts to protect NZers from harmful content
    New Zealanders will be better protected from harmful or illegal content as a result of work to design a modern, flexible and coherent regulatory framework, Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti announced today. New Zealand currently has a content regulatory system that is comprised of six different arrangements covering some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Consultation on exemption of new builds from proposed tax rules
    The Government has today confirmed new builds will be exempt from planned changes to the tax treatment of residential investment property.  Public consultation is now open on details of the proposals, which stop interest deductions being claimed for residential investment properties other than new builds.   “The Government’s goal is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech for Predator Free 2050 Conference
    Introduction E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa   Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei i raro i te kaupapa o te rā Ko Ayesha Verrall toku ingoa No ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New stock exchange to help grow small businesses
    A new share trading market, designed as a gateway to the NZX for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), has been granted a licence by the Government. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said Catalist Markets Ltd will provide a simpler and more affordable ‘stepping stone’ for SMEs to raise capital. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Visa extensions provide certainty to employers and 10,000 visa holders
    Changes to onshore visas will provide employers and visa holders with more certainty, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi has announced. Around 10,000 Working Holiday visas and Supplementary Seasonal Employment (SSE) work visas due to expire between 21 June 2021 and 31 December 2021 will be extended for another six months to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Border class exceptions approved for more farm workers and vets
    The Government has approved border class exceptions for an additional 200 dairy workers and 50 veterinarians to enter New Zealand, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today.  “It is clear from conversations with the dairy and veterinarian sectors that they are facing workforce pressures. These border exceptions will go a long ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More freezers and South Island hub to support vaccine roll-out
    A South Island hub and 17 new ultra-low temperature freezers will help further prepare New Zealand for the ramp up of the vaccination programme in the second half of this year, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new freezers arrived in New Zealand on 27 May. They’re currently being ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech at the release of Climate Change Commission's final advice
    Good morning – and thank you Prime Minister. Over the last three and half years we have been putting in place the foundations for a low-carbon Aotearoa that will be a catalyst for job creation, innovation, and prosperity for decades to come. In that future, many of our everyday tasks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Achievable blueprint for addressing climate change released
    Report says Government making good progress on emissions reduction, but more action required Meeting climate targets achievable and affordable with existing technology Economic cost of delaying action higher than taking action now Benefits from climate action include health improvements and lower energy bills All Ministers to help meet climate targets ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to release of Climate Commission final report
    A few years ago in a speech in Auckland, I compared climate change to the nuclear free movement of roughly four decades ago. And I did so for a few reasons. Firstly, because the movement of the 1980s represented a life or death situation for the Pacific, and so does ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Barrister Michael Robinson has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Robinson graduated with a BA and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1996, and commenced practice as a solicitor with Brookfields in Auckland.  In 1998 he travelled to London ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government takes action to improve protections for subcontractors
    The Construction Contracts (Retention Money) Amendment Bill – which provides greater financial protection for subcontractors, has passed its first reading today. The Bill amends the retention provisions in the Construction Contracts Act 2002 (CCA) to provide increased confidence and transparency for subcontractors that retention money they are owed is safe. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 1 million more Pfizer doses to arrive in July
    Pfizer has scheduled delivery of an estimated 1 million doses of vaccine to New Zealand during July, COVID1-9 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These consignments will double the total number of Pfizer doses we have received this year to more than 1,900,000 – enough to fully vaccinate almost 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Long-term home of the Independent Children’s Monitor identified
    The Independent Children’s Monitor (Te Mana Whakamaru Tamariki Motuhake), which is currently located within the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), will become its own departmental agency within Government. “Following the recommendations of several reviews, Cabinet agreed in 2019 to build a significantly expanded independent monitor for children in care,” Carmel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Racing Integrity Board members announced
    The new Racing Integrity Board will be up and running from July 1 to ensure high standards of animal welfare, integrity and professionalism in the racing industry. Racing Minister Grant Robertson today announced the appointments to the new Board: Sir Bruce Robertson KNZM – Chair Kristy McDonald ONZM QC Penelope ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt crackdown on organised crime continues
    A major operation against multiple organised crime groups with international links will make a significant dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks, Police Minister Poto Williams says. “I want to take an opportunity to congratulate the Police for their role in Operation Trojan Shield. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farm planning framework supports farmers into the future
    A new framework, agreed between Government and industry, will make it easier for farmers and growers to integrate future greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater regulatory requirements into their farm planning, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “The Good Farm Planning Principles Guide out today, provides guidance for how farmers can organise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Task Force Green Approved for Canterbury
    The Government has activated Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) in response to the Canterbury floods. The Minister of Social Development and Employment, Hon Carmel Sepuloni says $500,000 will be made available to help with the clean-up. The flooding in Canterbury has been a significant and adverse event damaging farmland, homes, roads ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago