web analytics

Revolutionary Spain, Revolutionary Syria, and the Bastards We Vote For.

Written By: - Date published: 3:36 pm, February 11th, 2015 - 63 comments
Categories: culture, democracy under attack, democratic participation, education, feminism, history, International, Left, political alternatives, political education, racism, Revolution, social democracy, Syria, vision, war - Tags: , , , , , ,

Imagine this – a society where women and men are afforded equal rights and decisions are the result of deeply participatory and grassroots democratic procedures. Believe it or not, that’s the case in Syria today within the autonomous cantons of Efrin, Kobane and Cizire where some 4 million people live

Until last week, when a link to a Wallace Chapman RNZ interview arrived in my inbox, I had heard nothing about any such thing happening in Syria. The interview really ought to be listened to.

Some internet searching has turned up, not what I’d call a ‘huge trawl’ of further information from major media outlets. There was, among precious little else, an opinion piece in the Guardian by David Graeber entitled ‘Why is the world ignoring the revolutionary Kurds in Syria?’ It should be read.

Given that our government, in concert with other western governments, bang on about democracy and women’s rights in the Middle East, some might then wonder why they don’t promote and embrace the Rojava Revolution (as the people of the region have named it), call for an end to sanctions affecting the autonomous Cantons and provide whatever aid and help is required.

The Constitution of the Rojava Cantons states in the pre-amble

Under the Charter, we, the people of the Autonomous Regions, unite in the spirit of reconciliation, pluralism and democratic participation so that all may express themselves freely in public life. In building a society free from authoritarianism, militarism, centralism and the intervention of religious authority in public affairs, the Charter recognizes Syria’s territorial integrity and aspires to maintain domestic and international peace. (my emphasis)

Again.

Read the David Graeber article linked to above – hell! Read this one too – if you are wondering why our governments would rather such sentiments (and others besides) weren’t expressed in relation to democratic governance. Liberal governments, as history teaches us, despise democracy and would rather embrace fascism than defend or promote it.

Case in point? As of Dec 4th, any Australian going to Syria to aid the Rojavans in any way shape or form will face ten years in jail. The Al-Raqqi Province the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs has decreed as ‘off limits’ runs between the autonomous Cantons of Cizire and Kobane.

Meanwhile, any financial, medical or other assistance anyone may be tempted to send the way of the peoples of Rojava will instantly fall foul of the blanket western definition of the PKK as a terrorist organisation.

Any attempt to sign the facebook petition calling for the lifting of that definition will find a deleted facebook account.

Thank god then for people like Australia’s Northern Territories Labor Party President Matthew Gardiner. (His face book account has been stripped of all content btw)

63 comments on “Revolutionary Spain, Revolutionary Syria, and the Bastards We Vote For.”

  1. Chooky 1

    thanks…interesting

  2. Ad 2

    Spanish Civil War, Guatemalan left, Angolan Marxist militants, South African Marxist militants; there are plenty of old leftie analogies to buttress moral urges to get in there.

    There have also been plenty of posts on TS saying how complex the Middle East is, with a strong subtext inferring that intervention by nation-states has been wrong all along and further intervention would be even more wrong. Looks like quietism, caution, cynicism, and the standard retreat to the right wing doing the international heavy lifting because they have historically had fewer qualms about using the military, taking the glory, fudging mistakes, and picking up their gun.

    This wasn’t the left’s pattern in the first half of the twentieth century.

    The Prime Minister only yesterday signaled he will now frame the left hard as cowards. The media will boil this down very hard, very fast. They will both conflate WW1 into it, however fairly or not.

    We have two hard questions ahead, which the left must answer:

    1. Which kind of state-sanctioned professional military intervention do we assent to as citizens?

    2. When does the left pick up a gun?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      When does the left pick up a gun?

      We did that a long time ago – despite calls to decommission the Army, Navy, Air Force and GCSB, the Left is armed as much as any other party in Parliament.

      Whom do we target, and what are the rules of engagement?

      • Ad 2.1.1

        That’s the interesting this about citing the Spanish civil war, because it was a civil war – there were very few rules of engagement. The invitation from Bill is to get into a war with no rules of engagement. Very seductive; it’s the precise analogue of ISIS inviting its own fighters to join them.

    • Bill 2.2

      Ad, until last week, any and all western interventions were based on what pack of bastards to back. I’ll stick to my guns (not picking them up) on that one and maintain that all such intervention is wrong.

      Here’s a thing though. Current western intervention is bolstering the embargo on those autonomous regions and more or less delivering heavy weapons to fcking ISIS.

      Current reports from major news outlets consistently fudge and ignore the context of people of Rojava dying fighting ISIS – I mean, the fcking Guardian wanked on about martyrs (dead women combatants) in one article while ignoring the framework or context that led to them taking up arms. (Graeber mentions it in the second link I provided and I’m sure you could find the Guardian article with minimal searching)

      Others laud the US and NATO air strikes ( eg – Yazidis stuck on Mount Sinjar) while ignoring the fact that it was men and women from the Autonomous Regions that facilitated the descent of tens of thousands of men, women and children down the mountain and along the corridor they maintained following those air strikes…

      In the end, unless we prevent it, our governments will sit back and allow the peoples in the Autonomous Cantons to be wiped out by who-ever when their interests no longer coincide with their own…Spain redux.

      And there is nothing ‘lesser’ about anyone on the left providing medical aid or expertise…being a driver…being a builder or a plumber or whatever. BUT. Our own governments have decided that any and all persons traveling to Syria for whatever reason – even the most philanthropic reason – are fcking terrorists.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Well, the government of Kurdistan has formally recognised the Cantons, and are going to be part of any ongoing solution, especially now Turkey seems more amenable to a Kurdistan existing at all…

        • Bill 2.2.1.1

          But if you just take the time to read some of the links, you’ll understand that the Rojava Revolution is predicated on rejecting any notion of a Kurdish state.

          So, Turkey being amenable to a ‘Kurdistan’ is just irrelevant nonsense. And I’m deeply suspicious of your other statement… if you have a link to the Kurdish state government formally recognising the Cantons and, by extension, the Rojava revolution, I’d really appreciate you posting it.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1

            I was about to, and then I found a reference to it in your links.

            It’s the Duhok agreement, I think.

            • Bill 2.2.1.1.1.1

              If I’m reading the info in that link correctly, there was a positive vote within parliament, and yet no formal recognition by the government.

              The language used in reports of other links (google search for Duhok agreement) is, at best, confusing. It would appear to me that the agreement is between two hierarchical organisations and amounts to an attempt at sidelining the people of the cantons and effectively hi-jacking the Rojava Revolution via ‘recognised’ (liberal)vehicles of authority.

              I could be wrong. It’s just my reading of contradictory and confusing language.

              But how else to explain shit like “The groups agreed to…” where ‘the groups’ are two discreet Political Parties and not, it seems, subject to the democratic mechanisms being developed and honed within the Cantons?

              http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/221020141

              I’ll say it again. The Rojava Revolution isn’t just about Kurds and it certainly isn’t about any ambition to form a Kurdistan or any state bound form of representative parliamentary democracy.

              EDIT: Just read the third comment below the linked article and it reflects (confirms?) my own suspicions. -“The main problem in KRG is being divided beetween parties. And know you want to create that problem in Rojava? For your own intrests. There is unity in Rojava. You just want power.”

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The Kurdistani government in Iraq espouses similar values: independent media, free elections, democracy, so it isn’t just about Kurds either.

                That said, they’ve spent the last two and a half decades defending their borders against everybody. The desire to expand them cannot be their top priority, especially in the face of Wahhabist (is that what ISIS are?) aggression, not to mention the “war” on “terror”.

                I see the Rojava as an extension of Kurdish democratic revolution, and still the KRG has to respect Realpolitik as much as the House of Saud or the Tea Party.

                The cantons want the KRG to fully open the border. Not exactly what you demand of enemies, eh.

                • Bill

                  OAB. I don’t know whether you’re doing what I’d term ‘a TRP’ and willfully refusing to understand, in this instance, the very unique situation within the Cantons (who the peoples are and what they hope to achieve – a form of libertarian municipalism as espoused by Murray Bookchin…which is why his photo is on the front of the post), or whether you genuinely can’t get your head around the gulf in mentality that exists between ‘recognised’ Kurdish liberal authorities of the region and the peoples of the Autonomous Regions.

                  But I have to dash anyway.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I get the link.

                    I’m struggling to see the difference between what the KRG has achieved in their existing territory and what the inhabitants of the Cantons have achieved in theirs, other than that the KRG has had ‘relative stability’ for decades rather than years.

                    Probably I’m not paying sufficient attention.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                PS: who says that “being divided” is a problem? The Borg?

                Division is a feature of every bloody democracy I’ve had the misfortune to support, I’m willing to bet that the inhabitants of the cantons are similarly diverse, and that the various parties of the KRG will reach out to those factions with shared values.

                • Bill

                  More straw men. Can’t see a reference to “being divided”. But that as it may, you do understand the difference between diversity and division, yes?

                  And this “every bloody democracy (you’ve) had the misfortune to support” have always been liberal democracies and not in any way, shape or form like the democracy being forged in the Syrian Autonomous Regions where diverse peoples don’t support what’s going on so much as partake and participate.

                  And liberal democracies are always inimical to genuine democracy. 1930’s Spain is your historical pointer if you need one. Post WW2 Northern Italy affords another historical example if needed.

                  And now I am gone for the evening.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The main problem in KRG is being divided between parties.

                    The very comment you quoted as the foundation of your argument, Bill. Don’t forget to breathe.

                    PS: you think the KRG was founded and exists because of a Liberal uprising? Seriously?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Bill’s point I believe is that party politics is toxic to any true democracy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      CR then so is brain physiology/chemistry/neurobiology, at which point “true democracy” fails the reality check, no?

                    • weka

                      “CR then so is brain physiology/chemistry/neurobiology”

                      How so?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Weka, because they create a spectrum of opinion, aka “divisions”, aka “party politics”.

                      In wartime, people tend to unify. In peacetime, not so much.

                    • weka

                      What makes you think biology is the cause of that rather than it being an indicator of some other effect?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      OAB, not sure why you are trying to liken organisational and institutional impediments to democracy (political party structures) with innate physiological ones.

                      Pretty silly of you.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      CR, Weka, I guess you can argue that biology has no influence on worldview, and that worldview has no influence on politics if you like.

                      Organisational impediments to “true democracy” exist because people organise, even revolutionary people:

                      …the political and moral fabric of a democratic society in order to function with mutual understanding and coexistence within diversity and respect for the principle of self-determination and self-defense

                      The Charter of Social Contract (foundation of the Cantons). My bold.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    PS: I’m not making light of this, or misinterpreting you deliberately. Just trying to make some sense of it.

                    Am I harbouring illusions about the KRG? Most probably.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.2

            PS: seriously, you think the Turks are going to take on the Peshmerga in Iraq after how long?

            • Bill 2.2.1.1.2.1

              I’m not referring to the Peshmerga. They’re the military arm of the Iraqi Kurdish government not the Kurds and others who are fighting ISIS and defending themselves in Syria.

              Do I have that wrong?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The troops defending Kobani were reinforced in part by Peshmerga after Turkey agreed to allow them (the Peshmerga) free passage through their territory – again, not the actions of enemies.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  NATO and the USA arm twisted Turkey for over a year to allow that to happen.

                  In the mean time, Turkey ran military raids on various groupings of Kurds that they call “terrorists.”

                  Not exactly the actions of friends.

      • Ad 2.2.2

        That’s a really deep moral morass you are inviting us to make sense of.

        I also fully respect that the left needs to find a way to react with the same moral certainty that Key has when he accuses Little of backing away when people are getting their throats cut live on television. Identifying virtuous cantons is a way of reaching for that moral certainty. Finally, someone with modern values worth rescuing.

        I also totally take your point that there are more kinds of intervention than picking up a gun. One could be kinder and ask “When do we go over and join in with the resistance effort?”

        My reaction is the opposite of yours. To me, the more complex the Syrian/Iraq war becomes, the more we (individually and as a nation) should be guided only by nation-states acting to UN mandates.

        • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.2.1

          I also fully respect that the left needs to find a way to react with the same moral certainty that Key has when he accuses Little of backing away when people are getting their throats cut live on television

          The Labour Party needs to respond with actual moral certainty, not this faux Crosby Textor BS that Key puts on.

          Can Labour do that? Can Little do that?

          The lines and strategy to push back are easy. The political team I am part of can put together the package in 30 minutes flat. Can Wellington?

      • greywarshark 2.2.3

        Ad likes to play devil’s advocate.

    • Colonial Rawshark 2.3

      2. When does the left pick up a gun?

      When there is a realistic and plausible plan for victory, and when the strategy for the aftermath isn’t going to make things even worse than they are; not when the fucking chicken hawks all start deciding to act and talk all tough.

      Do you see a plan for victory on the table?

      Key is a coward. He sends other people to die in a lose-lose scenarios while he drinks cognac and smokes cigars.

      If the Left can’t pull their PR together to cover off both him and “oh I guess sometimes shit happens” Tony Abbott, then we deserve to be slammed into the media wall.

  3. tracey 3

    IF the parties seeking to swoop in on IS gave a shit about women or democracy they wouldn’t be so cosily allied with Saudi Arabia.

    • Bill 3.1

      indeed

    • Chooky 3.2

      Tracey +100…if the Kurds are to be protected the causes of ISIS and the funding of ISIS need to be dried up…(Saudi Arabia and its friends … the opponents of Iran and Assad/Syria…those who have destabilised the Middle East and given the fuel to ISIS)

      ……in the end the solution has to be political and through UN.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        The starving of funds and arms for ISIS and the mis-named ‘Syrian Free Army’ and a host of others is probably do-able via the UN and various policy changes by certain Nation States, including NZ.

        But…and it’s a big ‘but’…the UN and all its members are of the liberal tradition and will not tolerate any genuine expression of democratic agency by any of ‘the great unwashed’. That was the parallel between Spain and Syria that Graeber was at pains to point out…

        Any UN or other liberal ‘solution’ would include the rolling back and stomping down of the Rojava Revolution.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1.1

          That very much depends on the military situation at the beginning of the inevitable ceasefire.

          As such, the KRG is the Rojava revolution’s only credible (less compromised than the other ones) ally. The Peshmerga have already helped defend it with their lives. I’m picking natural alliances have an even chance of success.

          Edit: I’d far rather our forces were placed at the disposal of the Peshmerga than the USA, that’s for sure, especially if the UN are persona non grata.

    • Chooky 3.3

      This was posted by SaveNZ on Open Mike yesterday …the solution to ISIS has to be through the UN

      Noam Chompsky Solution to ISIS…..

      And to solve the mess, the US again decided to act against the international law, building an anti-ISIS coalition that is “meaningless, apart from being illegal.”

      “A law-abiding state would go to the Security Council, ask for a declaration by the Security Council of a threat to peace, and request the Security Council to organize direct response to it. And that could be done. The US could then participate in it, but so could Iran,” which is a major military force and would probably wipe out ISIS in no time, if it was allowed to join the fight on the ground, Chomsky believes.

      http://rt.com/news/203055-us-russia-war-chomsky/

      • Tracey 3.3.1

        and, stop selling weapons to non nation states… and then group together and attack the black market of arms dealing …

        to say this is not a solution is wrong. some nations simply will not choose this solution, which is not the same as “there is nothing else we can do”

        • Colonial Rawshark 3.3.1.1

          Actually the total market of arms dealing has to be hauled dramatically backwards, not just the black market.

  4. Descendant Of Sssmith 4

    So those on the right wish the left to take up arms.

    Are they inferring therefore that if the US is overthrowing and fighting leftist governments as they have done historically the left should take up arms against the US. Are they inferring that the right would support such moves because the principle of fighting for “your side” makes it a fair and just war. Can’t have the left not having the courage of their convictions

    As the left watches this government, and previous ones including Labour, dismantle one after another the socialist systems that existed / still exist in this country they should take up arms and wrest control back off the right wing bastards that have done this?

    Equally should the right respond with the same take up of arms when their is leftist intervention in right wing governments.

    What is it with this desire to intervene, to fight, to kill, to hurt that drives people like you ad.

    It’s quite clear that the battles various right leaning governments choose to part-take in have very little to do with the atrocities happening in any particular country (otherwise I’d be looking forward to our invasion of China, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Israel et al) and much more to do with strategic and political relationships that they wish to influence (positively or negatively) and foster.

    Probably a good time to reconsider War Is A Racket as well. There’s some people making some good money out of this war-mongering as they have always.

    http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

    And besides the Prime Minister framing the left as cowards doesn’t make them cowards. You know he’s taking a political cheap shot but this government is good at insulting it’s own citizens – it has no respect at all for the very people it’s supposed to govern on behalf of.

    I take no responsibility at all for any label he wishes to put on me and nor should anyone else.

  5. Colonial Rawshark 5

    If only the fucking Left had the guts to back their own people to the hilt, the bottom 50% of NZers, as bravely as they want to pick up guns, approve mass surveillance and be part of capitalist empire extracting labour and resources from the third world (which they created).

    Nauseating.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Someone help Colonial Rawshark out to the carpark to throw up so that we don’t end up with bile all over the debate.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 5.2

      In a democracy they’re only “their” people if they vote for them.

      Clearly either the politicians are not left or and/or the voters aren’t.

  6. The parallel between Spain and Syria goes so far but no further.
    In Spain a bourgeois democratic republic was attacked by a fascist army.
    Correctly volunteers from the Western left of all shades joined the ranks of the republican army to defend it against the fascists.
    Some mistakenly joined the bourgeois Spanish regimes in Madrid and Barcelona rather than forming a militia independent of these regimes.
    The Stalinists did so because they feared an independent working class at a time when they were in alliances with the Western democracies against fascism.
    In Barcelona the anarchist leaders betrayed their rank and file by joining the bourgeois regime also.
    The civil war was lost because the fascists were armed by Italy and Germany while the republic was not armed by the ‘democracies’. In fact they did all in their power to prevent the arming of the republic.
    The only way that this war could have been won, was the formation of a popular councils and militias independent of the bourgeoisie and the Stalinists, backed by massive workers brigades from around Europe, that would have begun a revolutionary war to smash fascism right across Europe.

    In Syria we have a fascist dictator, Assad, opposed by a popular democratic revolution.
    Some in the leadership of that revolution, the FSA for example, want to form a bourgeois republic as an alternative to Assad.
    But many revolutionary fighters reject these bourgeois leaders as aligned to one or other imperialist powers.
    There are numerous militias that are locally organised and loosely coordinated so effectively that they have resisted Assad despite being starved of arms by the ‘democracies’, so that without SAMs Assad’s planes dominate.
    Moreover, because most of the Western left has defended Assad and parroted his line that he is being attacked by foreign terrorists (an irony since he has mercenaries from many countries including the Iranian Republican Guards) funded by the Saudis, Turkey, the CIA, you name it. He also released from his jails many who went on to form the ISIS in Syria.
    Because of this reactionary campaign in the West the revolution and its democratic objectives has been largely ignored, and unlike Spain there has been no massive flood of left wing volunteers to join the militias.
    Yet these popular militias that organised Local Coordination Committees that are run on a democratic basis have been able to survive for four years against Assad, and in the last 2 years against the jihadists armed by the West and its local allies.
    Unlike the PYG that has fought to defend Rojava from the ISIS with the benefit of US etc air support, the Syrian revolutionaries have been starved of military support by the West and by the Western left, except for a few notable exceptions.
    One is the Leon Sedov Brigade made up of Trotskyists that still exists as an example how to organise independently of the FSA bourgeoisie, the imperialist powers and their local stooges, and fight on three fronts to link the Syrian revolution to the Palestinian revolution and the wider Arab Revolution.
    Check out the articles on the ongoing popular Syrian revolution here.
    https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/
    In particular this recent overview
    https://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/revolution-reaction-%E2%80%A8and-intervention-in-syria/

    • “The US continues to argue that there is no question of normalising relations with Mr Assad, nor of considering him as an ally against Isis. Yet the underlying impression is that the whole Assad question has been put on the back burner, as if that would enable a swifter victory against Isis. That narrative casts the military effort against Isis in Syria and Iraq as a fight against extremism. Yet extremism was deliberately fed by Mr Assad from the start, when he released jihadi prisoners from his jails and then avoided targeting Isis in places such as Raqqa, its stronghold on Syrian territory. Mr Assad can happily bathe in the ambiguities of claiming that the US-led coalition, through third parties, regularly informs his forces of air strikes.”
      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/10/guardian-view-bashar-al-assad-bbc-interview-lies-tyrant

      The Guardian underscores that the US is now in an informal alliance with Assad to deal with IS. So sending NZ troops to fight IS and jailing (like Aussie) those who want to fight Assad, is siding with the worst enemies of human rights; the US, its convenient ally Assad, its military ally Israel, against the target, IS, that originated in the US funding the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the 80s and 90’s.

      Against this coalition of the evil, perpetrators of terror, is the coalition of the masses, popular militias armed and supported by the international working class to defend and extend democracy and socialism.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    Of course Key will want to form a government of national unity, as NZ does when committing to a serious war…

  8. Andrew Welsh 8

    The argument that the ‘allied’ coalition fighting IS ‘do not give a shit’ because they turn a blind eye to what goes on in Saudi Arabia is no different to the Allies working with the USSR during WW2 to overthrow Hitler. Those on the left may not like it but Stalin was no angel…. A means to an end (working with the USSR), perhaps and the end result (east verses west) was not ideal but after 6 years of war 25 million dead there had to be an end to the madness. IS is no different to the SS, they have to be stopped.
    I also agree with the writer regarding the Kurds, I have followed the PKK since the mid 80’s. I am right in my politics but support the principal of self determination.

    • vto 8.1

      Where do you get your information from?

      Truth is the first casualty in war.

      I don’t believe anything that comes from mainstream media or western government. They are conflicted all to hell.

    • adam 8.2

      Andrew, many on the left know that the problems embedded by Lenin, gave rise to an individual like Stalin.

      Here is a couple of books from leftists from the 1920’s who outline out how the revolution had been captured.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Disillusionment_in_Russia

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bolshevik_Myth

      Both have further links to full versions of the texts.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.3

      The argument that the ‘allied’ coalition fighting IS ‘do not give a shit’ because they turn a blind eye to what goes on in Saudi Arabia is no different to the Allies working with the USSR during WW2 to overthrow Hitler.

      Bit of a dumb analogy. The “allies” no where their energy and financial interests lie. That’s what they go to war for. Saudi Arabia is a friend in this regard, ISIS is not.

  9. Philip Ferguson 9

    Some good background articles on Syria: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/on-syria/

  10. Philip Ferguson 10

    One of the weaknesses of the rise of the radical left in Greece is that its electoral support isn’t matched by working class action such as factory takeovers, let alone the emergence of bodies of dual or alternative power to the capitalist system.

    In factory occupations we can at least see the germ of an alternative way of organising society, so an occupation like the Vio.me one in Thessaloniki has pointed the way:

    Greek lessons: workers occupy factory, continue production: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/greek-lessons-workers-occupy-factory-continue-production/:

    Video on the Vio.me struggle: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/4506/

    Greek factory: “the machines of self-management have been turned on”: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/greek-factory-the-machines-of-self-management-have-been-turned-on/

    Workers’ self-management only solution – interview with spokesperson for the Vio.me occupation: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/workers-self-management-only-solution-interview-with-spokesperson-for-vio-me-occupation/

    For a report on Syriza meetings in Ireland to build solidarity see the piece below on the eirigi site: http://eirigi.org/2015/02/08/lessons-from-greece-internationalism-in-action/

  11. greywarshark 11

    Comment on Morning Report this morning Radionz relating to Australian think tank advocating on war issues and making comment on NZ deployment in Middle East.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20166933
    How handy to have an authority like The Australian Strategic Policy Institute to call on that backs up what the government is planning on doing, yet is against the citizens’ interests.

    And in Oz they are talking about 20 new frigates and submarines, how many, do we need them. Healthy discussion!
    http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/
    Also a bit extra on them (I can’t get this to load)
    The Strategist | The Australian Strategic Policy Institute

    Also – Federal police want to use military drones to spy on Australians from the sky
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/federal-police-want-to-use-military-drones-to-spy-on-australians-from-the-sky-20150211-13bvbs.html
    edited

  12. adam 12

    I know I harp on about this guy. But, the world would be a sadder place if he had not fought for the Republic.

    http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/people/douglas-jolly

    This sick and twisted approach to the middle east is just FUBAR. The liberal democracies are at sixes and sevens, and once again working people are the ones who get it in the neck.

    So in effect – thanks Bill – great piece.

  13. Wayne 13

    greywarshark,

    Interesting comment on the role of ASPI. I have written on the subject of the arms buildup in the Asia Pacific for CSIS in Washington and S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. They can be accessed on their sites.

    Basically there is a widespread consensus in Australia to have a powerful military. They have quite a different view of their place in the world than does NZ. The Aussies, including the general public consider they must be a serious military player in the Asia Pacific. And indeed they are. I would put them about no 5, after the US, China, Japan and India (maybe also after South Korea)

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      More money for the military industrial intelligence complex. Meanwhile Australia continues to impose cut backs on areas of community, science and technology unrelated to the war machine.

      Same as we can see happening in the USA.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        CR
        Good comment. It is good that someone does the scan with the light bed of the rationality machine when discussing political moves of all kinds.

      • The Murphey 13.1.2

        Q. Does the ‘average aussie’ who is ‘pro military’ understand that by ‘protecting’ their ‘way of life’ they are ensuring it will in reality continue to be taken away ?

        Q. At what point might a realisation occur ?

  14. finbar 14

    Greece,will be the testing palate.Socialist capitalist governance,defiant on its stand and hard fast too.Capitulation is inevitable,outside aid from China and Russia.They may like to hang the upcoming the other financial collapse on them, that is coming for those not closed to see.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago