The price of the club

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, January 21st, 2015 - 179 comments
Categories: iraq, john key, war - Tags: , ,

Key made some interesting comments in a BBC interview yesterday. To summarise:

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand’s likely military contribution to the fight against Islamic State “is the price of the club” that New Zealand belongs to with the likes of the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada in the intelligence alliance known as Five Eyes.

In his strongest hint yet that the Cabinet will approve a deployment of troops to train Iraqis alongside Australians, Mr Key in an interview with the BBC drew heavily on New Zealand pulling its weight as part of “a club”. “Ultimately are we going to say we are going to be part of a club like [we] are with Five Eyes intelligence?”

“Part of the club”, “the price of the club”, phrases very much indicative of Key’s attitudes. A club is exclusive, comfortable, a place where he wants to be chummy with the big players. It’s a long way from the front lines of the war where we he will be sending NZ’s soldiers.

America’s bungled military interventions in the “Middle East” are widely unpopular, but international action against ISIS does seem to be an exception. A recent survey covering 5,100 respondents finds majority support for military intervention in all seven Arab countries surveyed. This finding, and relevant UN resolutions, do provide an argument for international action.

Had Key justified NZ’s (likely) participation in these terms I think the interview would have passed unnoticed. As it was the “price of the club” comment was widely reported. The desire to be in the club is the wrong reason, it’s removed from the realities of intervention, and it’s a bit desperate. It reminds us all that there was a time when NZ wasn’t afraid to walk away from the ANZUS “club”, a time when we made our own foreign policy.

179 comments on “The price of the club”

  1. Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 1

    This “price of the club” line from John Key ranks with the top idiotic rubbish a few years ago surrounding the silly John Howard/George Bush stuff about Australia being the USA’s regional (deputy) sheriff in Asia.

    The thing is, this time, there is no question that it has actually been spouted and proudly asserted & imprudently claimed by John Key.

    • Olwyn 1.1

      The thing is, this time, there is no question that it has actually been spouted and proudly asserted & imprudently claimed by John Key.

      I agree, and was surprised when I heard it. It at once raises questions as to what other costs come with club membership, how far you have to go to get kicked out, and whether the benefit of being in the club is worth the price, and outweighs the cost of being ejected from it. A politician who wants to work within international law, and who would like the chance to rebuild the local economy, now has a little more conceptual space open for framing their arguments and pushing their case. Thanks John.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        How can you be blackballed out of this club? What is disgraceful behaviour? Let’s do it.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackballing

        • Olwyn 1.1.1.1

          What is disgraceful behaviour? 😀

          Errr…not joining illegal attacks on peoples and countries, not putting local assets up for sale, ensuring that the people in your country are housed and employed, saying ‘socialism’ approvingly in public, rejecting the idea that we are enlightened and Muslims are medievals, not doing enough shopping… Looked at like that, it is not a very appealing club anyway.

        • tracey 1.1.1.2

          going nuclear free

  2. Jenny Kirk 2

    He (Key) is really showing his true colours now ! This third term of the Nats will wreak great damage on NZ …….. its appalling to even think about it.

  3. Molly 3

    And don’t forget – the price to be in the club is not paid by John Key – but by our servicemen and women.

    (And he has such little disregard for the “highest price” that two of them paid in 2012, that he attended his son’s softball tournament instead of their funerals.)

    • BassGuy 3.1

      My thoughts exactly – the “membership fee” is paid with the blood of others.

    • BLiP 3.2

      Yes, interesting timing that commitment to watching his son’s baseball tournament, wasn’t it? Personally, I’m not buying it. John Key had previously demonstrated his utter disregard for the death of New Zealand soldiers when he claimed that he had been so moved by an earlier death that it had significantly impacted on the manner in which he dealt with another matter. With this example of John Key’s contempt for truth and sacrifice in mind, the more likely scenario is that the baseball tournament excuse was concocted to ensure John Key was out of the country when the need to cover up the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom became apparent. Not long after John Key left for the baseball tournament, the GCSB fronted up at acting-PM Bill English’s office asking him to sign a Ministerial Warrant to prevent news of the illegal spying being made public.

      This latest trip to the UK is also interesting timing. After New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism decided the best place to spend his holidays was in the United States, he subsequently flies directly to London where, at the same time, there will be a meeting of the Five Eyes Network. An anonymous spokesperson for John Key states that he will not be involved in the Five Eyes meeting yet here he is talking about “the price” being being in “the club”.

      Hmmm . . .

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    🙄

    Never mind whether it’s the right thing to do or not. What are we to this “club”? Prospects?

  5. Heather Grimwood 5

    I have utter disgust at Key’s comment re the ‘club’. It certainly shows clearly his attitudinal frame-of-reference. Can we suffer it and its implications until 2017 ???

  6. Gosman 6

    NZ never walked away from the Anzus ‘club’. The ‘club’ told us it was not willing for us to be part of it. We were still keen to be involved. Hence why we have been active in the intelligence gathering and sharing area.

  7. wyndham 7

    Our contribution apparently, is in a “training” capacity for the Iraqi military !
    The Americans, and probably others, have spent billions and continue to spend even more on this futile process of “training” a dispirited and unenthusiastic rabble. To what avail ? A large part of the country under ISIS control, largely achieved with the use of a massive armaments supply that was intended for use by U S troops. And now the answer is more “training”?
    Meantime the Americans are obliterating whole communities with their relentless bombing. No wonder they are detested and no wonder the likes of ISIS find support amongst Arabs and amongst anyone that cares to actually think about what is going on in the name of – – – – – – of what ?

    • Gosman 7.1

      “Meantime the Americans are obliterating whole communities with their relentless bombing.” I doubt you have much in the way of evidence for this. That is not to state they aren’t bombing but Drone attacks are hardly the same as Carpet bombing a city or even village.

      • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1

        LOL

        The US has destroyed Iraq as an operable sovereign nation, and that country is never ever coming back.

        • Gosman 7.1.1.1

          What absolute rot. The US caused far more damage to Japan and Germany during WWII not to forget North and South Vietnam. Those places recovered very rapidly from the damage.

          • vto 7.1.1.1.1

            so simple, so empty

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Do you honestly believe the US caused greater physical damage to Iraq than it did to Germany or Japan? On what basis do you hold this view if you do?

              • vto

                I was referring to the cred-sapping simplicity of your point about comparing Iraq situation to that of Germaby and Japan post WWII

                • Gosman

                  Care to explain why or are people just meant to accept your word on the topic?

                  • McFlock

                    because it’s a near-certain bet that any randomly-selected commenter will have more integrity and honesty than you.

                  • North

                    The Marshall Plan for one thing you obfuscating Alice In GodKey’s Wonderland Fool. You have no idea what a twisted zealot you prove yourself to be on a daily basis. Where’s your fascist brother SSLands ? Peas in a pod.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Iraq’s never coming back mate. It’s been permanently destroyed by the USA. Twelve years, two trillion dollars, hundreds of thousands of hours training Iraqi troops, and the capital is only 50km from falling.

                And now the US is going re back in there training Iraqi army units to “stand up” for themselves. LOL have they not learnt, you cannot train people to kill their relatives.

                But you can rest assured, the moment that the US leaves Afghanistan, the Taliban will be back in charge.

                That’s another monumental US win.

              • Paul

                Google Fallujah, Gosman or depleted uranium.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Oh why are the people of Fallujah tolerating ISIS and not welcoming back US backed forces with open arms!!!

                • Gosman

                  Ah yes. Depleted Uranium. The Fluoride of the anti-war movement. Lots of anecdotal evidence over the terrible effects but little hard persuasive scientific evidence. I would think dropping an actual uranium atom bomb would have a bigger impact. Don’t you agree?

                  • McFlock

                    Apart from the fact that, unlike fluoride, there seem to be significant unexplained increases in cancers and birth defects in DU-exposed areas with no immediately obvious alternative cause. There is smoke. Something’s burning. DU is a reasonable suspect, albeit one of several possibilities.

                    • Gosman

                      At least you acknowledge that there is not yet any persuassive case to suggest Depleted Uranium causes massive amounts of health problems. It is certainly a possibility it is true. However this article suggests the likelihood is small.

                      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-science-of-the-silver/

                    • McFlock

                      slippery word, “persuasive”. I suspect you’d be as easy to “persuade” re:DU as the chair of Philip Morris was re:tobacco.

                      That article also finished with the paragraph:

                      Although depleted uranium may not pose an immediate threat, because it is both radioactive and toxic, some action is warranted. Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the UNEP, sums up the recommendations made by the Balkans Task Force in 1999: “Highest priority should be given to finding pieces of depleted uranium and heavily contaminated surfaces. Measures should be taken for the secure storage of any contaminated material recovered.

                      And of course that article article dealt with exposures resulting from brief conflicts in largely rural areas, rather than kids growing up amongst the ruins of America’s longest war.

                    • freedom

                      From Gosman’s own Scientific American link
                      “And it’s on the order of 20 years or so. So you wouldn’t expect to see radiation-related cancers from, say, Kosovo now. That would be against everything we know about how radiation causes cancer.” There are two exceptions to that rule: thyroid disorders and leukemia. “Radiation-induced leukemia occurs generally in the first five years.”

                      mmm, what was that last bit again?

                      “Radiation-induced leukemia occurs generally in the first five years.”
                      what an “anecdotal” co-incidence for all those kids in Iraq dying of leukemia and thyroid related illnesses in the years immediately after the first Gulf War.

                  • joe90

                    The Fluoride of the anti-war movement.

                    And more doctors smoke Camel….

                    http://www.nytimes.com/2001/01/09/world/1999-us-document-warned-of-depleted-uranium-in-kosovo.html

                  • freedom

                    You are of course correct Gosman, if you choose to ignore the hours and hours and hours of those pesky visual anecdotes that are not hard to locate. Where burnt bodies and deformed children and poisoned land and broken people coincidentally suffer from conditions which you continue to believe are not related to the well documented effects of the materials the US admit using in the conflict.


                    WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME PEOPLE
                    https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=depleted+uranium+children&client=ubuntu&hs=3C6&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=yPm-VP_FDIHQmwXBrYCABg&ved=0CB0QsAQ&biw=1347&bih=911

                    ( I do know it’s pointless to try but maybe one day he will decide to use his brain for thinking independently )

                  • Truth Will Out

                    He says from the safety and comfort of his armchair, with his exaggerated sense of entitlement, thousands of miles away from the consequences of him being completely wrong. What a hero.

                  • Paul

                    Words fail me

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Your Germany/Japan/Vietnam recovery parallels to Iraq are also stupid and irrelevant. Iraq has nothing in common with those homogenous cultures. Just saying.

          • Heather Grimwood 7.1.1.1.2

            Huge money was put into West Germany and Japan from US to ENSURE their recovery…….can’t remember names of the schemes now but ‘lend-lease’ comes to mind. The aim was to have them strong again as buffers against supposed enemies of US.

            • Colonial Rawshark 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Indeed…also to ensure their dependence on US supplied oil and resources….

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.2.2

              I believe Iraq also received quite a bit in US aid as well. Not to mention the huge amounts of money as a result of have over 100,000 troops stations there.

              • Murray Rawshark

                Huge amounts of money paid to Halliburton and whatever Blackwater calls itself these days.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Yeah that “aid” to Iraqis has really helped the country. How many Iraqi cities even get 24 hour electricity now like under Saddam’s rule?

              • tricledrown

                Yeah 5 Eyed gooseman most of the Aid has ended up in Corrupt officials and the likes of ISIS have benefited hugely,just like the taliban in Afganistan.
                The US are making more enemies every time they get involved in trying to solve the Muslim worlds problems.
                The more medling the bigger the mess!
                Training Iraqi solders who will most likely turn on their trainers!

              • tracey

                the costs of US troops is not the same as money to enable a place to recover “very rapidly from the damage.”

            • Murray Rawshark 7.1.1.1.2.3

              The Marshall Plan supported European reconstruction. The US also kept a significant military presence in Germany. In Japan, the Americans backed the Emperor, who was the already existing authority. MacCarthur did carry out a rural reform.

              Lend-lease was a program where the seppos lent obsolescent war equipment, notably WW1 destroyers, to the British in exchange for leasing imperial bases around the world. They also supplied some material to China under the program. Before they entered the war, it was a way of avoiding their own Neutrality Act, which prohibited the sale of arms to combatants.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                One part of the Marshall Plan was to get those country’s energy systems converted to oil. And in particular, USD denominated oil, securing the role of the USD as the world’s reserve currency, enabling the US to print infinite amounts of it.

              • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                In Japan, the Americans backed the Emperor

                MacArthur and Truman protected Emperor Hirohito from being prosecuted as the leading Japanese war criminal, in the face of opposition by Australia. Club membership didn’t have much use for Australia there, did it? If only the fallen Australians could have spoken from their graves …

          • McFlock 7.1.1.1.3

            yep. All the UXO and birth defects in Vietnam are from the post-destruction economic boom /sarc

            • North 7.1.1.1.3.1

              Ever seen the relatively young beggars in the street in Ho Chi Minh City Gooseman ? With the joints of arms and legs and hands at all crazy angles. And experienced the tears welling in your eyes as you reach the next intersection and have it flash through your mind……”Jesus, that’s not polio……that’s not crashing the bicycle”. Agent Orange.

              You’re an unmitigated, cold-blooded, psychotic beast Gooseman, and, “I would suggest…..”, should a foul karma visit you…..tough ! – “I would suggest”.

      • wyndham 7.1.2

        Absolute rubbish Gosman.
        Try a simple Google of :us bombing iraq 2015

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.2

      wyndham: a vital point. “Training” is an excuse for spending time, money and blood on something which can not be achieved.

      The Iraqi forces will never ever be ready to “stand up” and fight for themselves.

      You cannot train people to kill their own relatives and tribe members.

      • Wayne 7.2.1

        Colonial Rawshark

        If that was true there would never be civil wars. In any event isn’t this part of a Shia/Sunni conflict?

        I think it is unlikely that ISIS will be permitted to establish (or rather sustain) a proto-state in Iraq. The Kurds have been able to do, but they broadly play within the “rules.”

        ISIS in a whole variety of ways does not, including shooting unarmed prisoners, exiling local tribes (Yazidi’s), beheading foreign journalists and aid-workers, training terrorists for action in western nations. All of which occurred before the UN decided they operated sufficiently outside international norms to warrant international action.

        It is quite possible to be a separatist movement and establish a new state, but there is a way to go about it that does not attract international condemnation.

        ISIS are operating so far outside international norms that they will fail, at least in their quest to establish a new state in northern Iraq.

        • Colonial Rawshark 7.2.1.1

          The Sunni/Shia divide is an important element yes; ironically the US has been supporting a Shia led government which is close to Iran and yet antagonistic to Iraq’s own Sunni community (especially those closely identified with Saddam’s Baath movement).

          I think it is unlikely that ISIS will be permitted to establish (or rather sustain) a proto-state in Iraq. The Kurds have been able to do, but they broadly play within the “rules.”

          Would you not say that they have already established a proto-state in Iraq, given that for months they have controlled lands with a population of up to 6M Iraqis (and several hundred thousand Syrians). They are actively hiring to create a civil service. They have not needed to ask anyones permission to do so.

          To become internationally recognised as a sovereign state is not something which appears possible, however.

  8. joe90 8

    Bloke wrote a song about pricks like Key.

    .

    Some folks are born, made to wave the flag
    Ooo, they’re red, white and blue
    And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”
    Ooo, they point the cannon at you, Lord

    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no senator’s son, son
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

    Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand
    Lord, don’t they help themselves, y’all
    But when the taxman comes to the door
    Lord, the house looks like a rummage sale, yeah

    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no millionaire’s son, no, no
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no

    Yeah, yeah
    Some folks inherit star spangled eyes
    Ooh, they send you down to war, Lord
    And when you ask ’em, “How much should we give?”
    Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!”, y’all

    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no military son, son
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, one
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one, no, no, no
    It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate son, no, no, no

  9. vto 9

    This will lead to us being targeted by those who have targeted Sydney, Ottawa, etc in response to the wests warmongering….

    expect trouble

    Mind you it wont be our first “terrorist” attack will it – the French have done it, anti-unionists have done it

  10. mac1 10

    “Being in the Club” is Key’s justification? I’d say then that the real father better own up so he might be paying for the child’s upbringing.

    This being in the club is as bad an analogy as Keith Jacka Holyoake’s “guns for butter” argument during the Vietnam War justifying our involvement in that illegal, costly and immoral war.

    • Gosman 10.1

      The Vietnam war was not illegal. It was definately costly to both the Vietnamese and the US (less so for us I would suggest). Whether it was immoral or not is a separate matter. Beyond the view that all war is immoral it was a pretty standard anti-colonial guerrilla war. It wasn’t very much different to the Malaysian emergency, which noone seems to bemoan NZ being involved in that conflict.

      • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1

        LOL keep rewriting history mate, and sideline morality as a matter of convenience.

        The thing which matters is that in the end, the USA never learnt a fucking thing from Vietnam. And appears to have learnt nothing from Iraq.

        So let’s go in over the top with them, it’ll be fun.

        • Gosman 10.1.1.1

          There is no rewrite of history. Please advise what the significant difference between the Malayan emergency and the Vietnam War was.

          • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.1.1

            Who cares about that ancient historical shite? It’s their relevance to the ISIS situation in Iraq (= none) which is the question here.

      • joe90 10.1.2

        standard anti-colonial guerrilla war.

        The colonialists threw in the towel and went home in 1954.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War#Exit_of_the_French.2C_1950.E2.80.9354

        • Gosman 10.1.2.1

          South Vietnam became a proxy colonial state but with the US taking over in the colonising power role.

          • joe90 10.1.2.1.1

            Cite?.

            • Gosman 10.1.2.1.1.1

              It is my opinion. I am happy if you don’t agree. I am willing to argue my case though.

              • joe90

                US taking over in the colonising power role.

                Of course they did.
                /

                SHORT TERM OBJECTIVES

                […]

                (d) France will change its political and military concepts in Indochina to:

                i. Eliminate its policy of “colonialism.”

                ii. Provide proper tutelage to the Associated States.

                iii. Insure that a suitable military command structure, unhampered by political interference, is established to conduct effective and appropriate military operations.

                https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon/pent9.htm

      • mac1 10.1.3

        The entry into that war was justified by a falsehood, the Tonkin Bay Resolution, which was later found to be manufactured, similarly to the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ discovery which justified the invasion of Iraq was later found to be false. That is my definition of illegality- deliberate lying. The means of waging war were illegal- mass killing of civilians, use of chemicals to defoliate the countryside, use of murder squads and clandestine killing, napalm used on villages, street executions…………

        Your claim that it was a bit like the Malaysian emergency actually is outlandish. Note for example the naming of the two conflicts. One is called an emergency, the other a war. One took place in a country, Malaysia, where at least the major power had colonial claims. America had no such interest in South East Asia. The French did, but not the Americans.

        The Malaysian emergency did not involve the full fire power of the most powerful country in the world. It did not cause the deaths of over a million civilians. It did not involve ‘bombing a country back to the Stone Age’ with more bombs than were dropped by all sides in WW2. It did not involve the deaths of fifty thousand American soldiers alone. It did not involve the biggest street demonstrations in this country since the Depression. It did not divide this country as it has never been divided uptil the 1981 Springbok tour.

        And our involvement in the Vitenam War was justified by the high moral argument by our then Prime Minister, Keith Holyoake, of ‘guns for butter’. There were other bullshit justifications, the “Domino Theory” was one, and another was a Christian crusade against Communism with the slogan “Kill a Commie for Christ”.

        Gosman, you know not of what you speak.

        • Gosman 10.1.3.1

          The fact you keep calling it the Malaysian emergency instead of the Malayan suggests you don’t know as much as you like to think you do either ;-).

          • mac1 10.1.3.1.1

            Thanks for the correction. It takes more than a snide remark however to destroy the substance of an argument. I note that you choose the chance to ridicule rather than the chance to debate substance.

            Just to add a little citation for your edification. Google Wikipedia on the Tonkin Bay Resolution. This little snippet came up at the end of the article.

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

            “In October 2005 the New York Times reported that Robert J. Hanyok, a historian for the US National Security Agency, concluded that NSA deliberately distorted intelligence reports passed to policy-makers regarding the August 4, 1964 incident. He concluded the motive was not political, but rather to cover up honest intelligence errors.”

            Secretary McNamara knew that the first Navy reports were unsound but did not advise Johnson who later said that “as far as we knew we were shooting at whales out there.”

            That was not a prescient view of politics in New Zealand fifty years later, but an indication of the shonkiness of the morality, legality and intellectual quality of the time.

            • mac1 10.1.3.1.1.1

              Gosman, I missed the winking smiley at the end of your comment, so I withdraw the “snide remark” reference. I wonder why it didn’t come up as a yellow emoticon?

              The charge that you don’t debate the substance however still applies. 😉 (edit I got an emoticon. Maybe the full stop prevented yours. All in the interests of better communication. Hint. Hint.)

          • Murray Rawshark 10.1.3.1.2

            Cut and pasted from Gooseman 10:23 am:

            It wasn’t very much different to the Malaysian emergency, which noone seems to bemoan NZ being involved in that conflict.

            From 11:53 am

            The fact you keep calling it the Malaysian emergency instead of the Malayan suggests you don’t know as much as you like to think you do either ;-).

            How many people using the Gooseman account today?

      • mac1 10.1.4

        Gosman, oi! How do you spell the name of that Emergency again, after your having pointed out to me that I had got it wrong?

        “He who lives by the sword should avoid its point when wielding it.” 🙂

        That quote is mine, it’s nicer than using the h******te word or calling someone out for “pots and kettling”. 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Gosman 10.1.4.1

          “Malayan emergency”.

          Why do you ask?

          • mac1 10.1.4.1.1

            Mon vieux Charlie, read your comment at 10.1. There, my dear, hypocritical and
            potty friend you used the phrase “Malaysian emergency” which you were then very keen to point out that I was wrong in using.

            So, Gosman, be aware of what you yourself write, be aware that questions asked of you might give you a chance to explain, or change, before you invite the great door of history to slam shut on your ignorance. 😉 😉 🙂

      • Murray Rawshark 10.1.5

        There was no war. The US never declared war. Johnson used the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, based on a faked attack. Nixon said he was the boss and so he could keep doing it after the Resolution expired. They called it a police action. Carpet bombing is a normal policing measure. I’d say there’s a better case for it being illegal than not.

    • Ross 10.2

      Mac,1 and to all commenters here, I live in Viet Nam and would like to take this opportunity to point out

      1. The name is Viet Nam. Two words. The term Vietnam is a colonialists bastardisation. And Nam rhymes with tram.

      2. It was “The American War.”

      3. Lest the conversation venture further into these parts, Viet Nam lies on the Eastern Sea, not the South China Sea which has nothing at all to do with China. Another colonialists bastardisation.

      • mac1 10.2.1

        Thanks, Ross, for that correction. I was in China last year and visited a museum where it was clear that the name of a conflict is important, and what happened in 1937 in China was the beginning of the War of Resistance against Japan. Just as much as we have in New Zealand with the Land Wars of the 1860s or closer to my home, the Wairau Affray of 1843.

        Obviously, the people of Viet Nam have a different name for the the war against the French colonialists. Do they regard the American War as a war against a colonialist or something separate? How should the people of Viet Nam be called correctly, in English?

        • Ross 10.2.1.1

          The Vietnamese are the most loving and forgiving and easy going people I have ever had the opportunity of shamelessly categorising. They are happy referring to their country as Vietnarm. That term is simply accepted as the foreign version of their name and out of courtesy adopt it when talking with foreigners. They name of the war, however, is non negotiable.

          One fascinating element of their history is that they have spent a considerable time being occupied. Before the 20 years of American imperialism was 100 (odd) years of the French preceded by a jaw dropping 1,000 years of Chinese rule. 1,000 years! What kind of cultural glue holds a people together over 1,000 years? The kind the Americans thought they could bomb back to the stone age.

          After such a history the country doesn’t (I don’t think) consider outside aggressors as anything other than another nuisance to be endured until they can be removed permanently. And they do get removed eventually.

          • Wayne 10.2.1.1.1

            Also don’t forget the 1978 war between China and Vietnam. Largely caused by China to “teach Vietnam a lesson.” Only lasted a month but resulted in 40,000 Chinese soldiers killed. In short China lost the war.

            But as a consequence China realised it had to modernise by opening up to the world. Hence the “Four Modernisations.” And therefore the open market (relatively) economy that China has today. Of course since Vietnam won the war they did not think it necessary to modernise to nearly the same extent.

            Sometimes a lost war has a more powerful impact on the loser than on the winner. Actually I guess Gallipoli is also an example of that.

            • Ross 10.2.1.1.1.1

              Interesting point Wayne. Lately China have become increasingly bellicose in their claims over the Eastern sea by brazenly parking oil rigs in areas that were never theirs, and now creating artificial islands and occupying other rocks and outcroppings. Anywhere they can plonk a flag down. The response has been muted and diplomatic. These two neighbors know each other very well and play the long game. I’m not actually sure how well placed Viet Nam is to enforce their own boundaries compared to China, but your observation that:

              “Sometimes a lost war has a more powerful impact on the loser than on the winner.”

              …seems to hold true, ironically, for most wars. Witness the emergence of Germany and Japan after the second world war and now Viet Nam.

            • tricledrown 10.2.1.1.1.2

              Wayne rewriting history i suppose as a former young turk!

          • mac1 10.2.1.1.2

            I have admired the Vietnamese for their forgiveness in the face of their recent history. Thanks for your comments and confirmation of the innate goodness of people.

  11. fisiani 11

    So would the pacifist Left as exemplified above simply ask ISIL to stop beheading people and stop raping and torturing. Must be a lot of Greens commentating today. The Labour Party understands that ISIL will not respond to polite requests.
    When an ostrich sticks its head in the sand you can see more of its arse than its brain.
    John Key is NOT a warmonger, he is NOT currying favour. He is simply stating that New Zealand will be honourable and make a commitment to assist in the campaign to rid the world of ISIL.
    This is just another ant-John Key rant posting. Please keep doing them. It reinforces the deluded tiny world of the extreme Left.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.1

      The West created the space that ISIS lives in by destroying the Iraqi government, and supporting a corrupt sectarian replacement regime which endlessly pissed off and pissed on all the Sunni muslims in the north of the country.

      The west also trained, funded and armed many ISIS fighters in the hope that they would take down Assad.

      And now the west has given ISIS Strykers, Humvees, and Abrams tanks. By leaving all that hardware trustingly with an incompetent Iraqi army.

      Learn some facts before you make a fool out of yourself, Fizzi.

      PS the west’s good friends Saudi Arabia beheaded 87 people last year. All good with that mate? They’ve already chopped off the head of a woman in Mecca this year. Are you all good with that mate? The Saudis are big backers of ISIS. Are you all good that the USA is good friends with them mate?

      • TheContrarian 11.1.1

        “The West created the space that ISIS lives in by destroying the Iraqi government”

        The void being filled by ISIS also owes it’s creation to the Arab Spring when a lot of strong governments which previously kept groups like ISIS in check (like Hussein for example) collapsed. Ironically by removing the dictators those protesting for peace and democracy removed the strongmen of the region. Which is why it isn’t just the West that are targets for violence.

        To place the blame purely on the west is a far to simplistic view.

        • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1.1

          Possibly, but neither northern Iraq nor Syria which is where ISIS now hold territory was subject to ‘Arab Spring’ style uprisings. Instead the west + their allies played decisive and active roles to undermine the ability of those governments to control their own territories.

          • TheContrarian 11.1.1.1.1

            Syria has been embroiled in a civil war that started as a direct result of the Arab Spring. But the toppling of regional strongmen created a perfect vacuum.

            Either way though, “Because The West” is far to simple, there are regional actors involved as well as the Sunni and Shiite fighting each other which has being going on long before the west was involved.

            • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1.1.1.1

              You can’t cook a coup without some local ingredients.

              Of course I agree re: regional actors, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bahrain etc. But their actions have been tacitly OK’d by Washington.

              • TheContrarian

                By regional groups I meant more those inside the countries vying for control, like Sunni on Shiite violence which predates western intervention and is destabilising.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Yes the Sunni/Shia division was there but Saddam created an effective secular state with mixed neighbourhoods and a mixed civil society, even while he ruthlessly controlled/put down such internecine and sectarian conflicts.

                  The clever Americans came in and poured fuel on these old divisions with various stupid de-Baathification programmes, making redundant over a hundred thousand trained Iraqi military personnel, and then supporting an overtly pro-Shia (and very corrupt) government in Baghdad.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2

      The campaign to rid the world of ISIL.

      Earth to Fisiani. In 2001 Al Quaeda was a campsite, now it’s a country. Courtesy of the campaign to rid the world of Al Quaeda.

      Get a fucking clue about military strategy: is that too much to ask as our contribution to the “club”?

      • Colonial Rawshark 11.2.1

        ISIS has tripled or quadrupled its ground in Syria since US airstrikes began.

        Whoops – what is the real objective here?

      • Gosman 11.2.2

        Al Qaida has actually been beaten down quite successfully. The issue is the hydra headed off shoots of militant Islam.

        • Colonial Rawshark 11.2.2.1

          AQ only ever had a few hundred members.

          To have “beaten them down successfully” after spending years and untold $$$ is hardly a mark of success. More evidence of ineffectiveness rather than bragging rights, don’t you think. Especially as you note, AQ are now the moderate middle of the road guys on the block.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.2.2

          “Successfully”.

          🙄

        • tricledrown 11.2.2.3

          Gooseman you are a complete idiot if you expect anyone to believe that utter bullshit!
          Like George HW Bush former director of the CIA said to his son,Don’t goe into Iraq you will open a hornets nest.
          While Bin Laden is dead he was lightening years ahead of Bush junior setting up sleeper cells all over the world.
          GW Bush fell right into his trap and now gooseman you have fallen into Bushes naive trap.
          Fighting a conventional war against a guerilla terrorist organization!
          Boko Harem Isis etc etc the Muslim fundamentalists are being radicalized at an even faster rate than ever beforehTime for a rethink on this failed strategy!
          Piss poor propaganda Goose!
          AlQaida beeten down lol lol ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
          You had better go back to your handlers goose !
          RWnj ‘s brain scan’s show they don’t think your proof Goose!

    • vto 11.3

      why does fisi get tolerated around here by the moderators? he/she is the very biggest tro1l of all – never seen the prick engage in reasonable debate with anyone. Simply rolls in, lays out complete bullshit designed to antagonise and then disappears ……. definition of tro1l

      • Fisi probably has been banned before, but his contributions are too infrequent to be much of a pest. The comments expose RWNJ groupthink and are good fodder for mockery.

    • Why would they listen to the left? You should talk to them as a fellow conservative.

  12. logie97 12

    R.I.P. our short-lived but proud independent foreign policy voice.

    • tracey 12.1

      so now Jimbo just has to nod incessantly when the US, UK or australia speak at the UN or on the SC?

  13. Bill 13

    Way to shut down dialogue or debate!

    Do people want a discussion on going to war? Do people want access to some critical analyses? Do people want to weigh up various pro’s and cons? Well, that’s all gone…all rendered irrelevant.

    The question is now based on an absurd reduction of reality that’s then been set atop the critical ‘in the club or out of the club’ dilemma. That’s the beginning, the end and the whole of the matter.

    So, any analysis and all objection will now be countered by brainless ‘in the club’ rhetoric. “We have to! Even if it’s wrong, we have to!

    The rights and the wrongs of waging war now sit well outside any permissible point of consideration.

    What was that final line of reasoning from that awful ‘Team America’ film? Something about get the fuck out of the ball park unless you are willfully parking misgivings and backing ‘the team’ 100%?

    Oh well, on a brighter note, at least those designated as terrorists carry out fairly surgical strikes these days, unlike, say, smart bombs double tapping wedding parties on the back of some unfortunate kid having a ‘listed’ sim card in their phone.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 13.1

      Mmm, has the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ now mutated into ‘The Club’?

      So, any sovereign states that are not in The Club might risk being labelled the Axis of … ?

    • Olwyn 13.2

      The rights and the wrongs of waging war now sit well outside any permissible point of consideration.

      As I have implied earlier in this thread, the good thing about this is that he hasn’t conflated the two – he has not simply obeyed the club’s orders while claiming that the rights and wrongs of the war have been considered. Instead he has brought stuff into the foreground that normally remains in the background. That leaves the door open to questions like “How far is it acceptable to go in obedience to this club?” and “How much does our membership compromise our sovereignty?” and so on. The club and its demands are no longer background conditions that must go unmentioned but must always be taken into account.

      • Bill 13.2.1

        I get what you’re saying (I think), but to my way of thinking, both the unmandated and unaccountable ‘club’ and any considerations related to any such ‘club’ are entirely illegitimate.

        John Key and any other political leader can imagine all the allegiances and clubs they like. But to attempt pushing any ‘club’ rationale onto a country’s citizenry is fucking despicable. He doesn’t (shouldn’t) get to go off to war just because he and his political buddies reckon they should stick together and back one another.

        • Olwyn 13.2.1.1

          Of course they are illegitimate, but Key’s casual mention of the club exposes that illegitimacy. This probably won’t stop Key in his stride, any more than DP did. However, a PM that openly offers an illegitimate rationale for going to war is at least open to charges of acting illegitimately.

  14. John Key channelling 50 cent. Ugh.

  15. vto 15

    The NZ public needs to understand the deceit that is “training”…

    Training allows others to be freed up for frontline action. Our steps to go to war in the middle east mean more soldiers on the frontline. We are absolute direct participants in the war against isis.

    The other deceit of course is this idea that we are not “at war” because no formal declaration has been made. Complete and utter total 100% lying bullshit.

    First casualty of war is truth, and we are getting it in spades. Do not believe anything, especially anything coming out of a government or a politician. This is the history. Ignore it at your peril.

  16. “the price of the club”

    A club (also known as cudgel, baton, truncheon, cosh, nightstick, or bludgeon) is among the simplest of all weapons. A club is essentially a short staff, or stick, usually made of wood, and wielded as a weapon since prehistoric times.

    Most clubs are small enough to be swung in one hand although two-handed variants are known.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_%28weapon%29

    and for those who like poetry – I penned this a while ago

    I am examined
    little eyes watch
    as I remember
    an untidy day
    closer to a settled
    bird with spear
    coiled and club,
    always club.
    I am examined

    http://mars2earth.blogspot.co.nz/2010/11/visual-poem.html

    anyway the price of the club is too high imo in every way conceivable

  17. Paul 17

    To correct Key.
    By ‘we’ he means the sons and daughters of the poor ( and their families) who will pay the price.
    If Key really thinks the price is worth paying, then he should reintroduce conscription so the children of bankers, politicians and CEOs have the same chance of fighting for the cause as the children of the poor.

  18. BLiP 18

    This softening up of the New Zealand public for direct military involvement in the Middle East has been going on for at least seven months now. Back in June 2013, John Key said there will be no New Zealand military intervention in Iraq, barring an unlikely United Nations Security Council mission. Now, he’s saying its “The Club” which decides whether or not New Zealand will be involving in killing innocents on behalf of the United States.

    Kinda puts all the puff and fluff about New Zealand gaining a seat on the Security Council into perspective, I guess.

    • b waghorn 18.1

      Makes me wounder if we got on the security council because key is a US lap dog as opposed to NZ being a respected part of the global community.

      • BLiP 18.1.1

        Dunno, but maybe. Believe it or not, New Zealand does appear to be viewed as an independent player. Perception is reality, and all that. Yet, what is apparent is that New Zealand is being two-faced about its position on the value of the Security Council. On the one hand, our Prime Minister suggests that New Zealand won’t lend military support in the Middle East without Security Council support then, on the other hand, says its up to “The Club”. Perhaps now that New Zealand does have its seat, it no longer has to schmooze and John Key is now in the process of manufacturing a TINA-type excuse to go to war.

        Oddly enough, New Zealand popped up the other day promoting a “two state solution” to the on-going Israel vs Palestine issue. This is in the face of the United States saying just the other day that it does not and will not recognise Palestine as a sovereign state. On the face of it, it would appear that New Zealand is going against the US on this issue. Then again, perhaps New Zealand is working hand-in-glove with the United States by allowing its junior partner to test out alternative solutions without being seen to be supporting them.

        Its all a fucking mess . . . [sigh]. Given the fundamental mendacity of both the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key and international positions regarding the Middle East we are unlikely ever to know what’s going on until after its happened.

      • tracey 18.1.2

        we were the only member of the club nominated…

  19. freedom 19

    Today’s State of the Union speech, shows we are such an important member of The Club that they somehow forgot to put us on their map

    View post on imgur.com

  20. Truth Will Out 20

    This argument/debate/comment thread could go on forever and none of you will ever win it.

    Who WILL win it though, are the arms manufacturers and the financiers of all of these conflicts, as well as the politicians (like John Key) who are all in their pockets.

    No matter what side you take in this cluster f*cked sh*tfight, you are all playing right into their game(s).

    Good luck with that. Let me know how it’s working for ya in another ten years.

    Jesus wept.

  21. fisiani 21

    It seems that most commentators here do not want to be “part of the club”. Weird. Is this just some typical anti-American jealousy at play? Or is it typical namby pamby hand wringing pacifism?

    • McFlock 21.1

      If you need to commit acts of violence that you would not normally consider, simply so you can join the club… well, you’re not trying to join a “club”. You’re trying to join a “gang”.

      If you want to join the gang so you can spy on your own people more effectively, you’re a violent perverted peeper trying to join a gang of violent peepers.

      • tracey 21.1.1

        Fisiani hasnt commented for a while. i suspect he joined the army and has been in basic training, hence no time to post here. Wanting to put his money where his mouth is, he has asked for deployment asap to Iraq to fight ISIS

    • Paul 21.2

      It is called humanity.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.3

      Learn some military strategy you witless gimp.

    • Truth Will Out 21.4

      Is “fisiani” the latin word for f*cked in the head?

      Were you born this stupid or did you learn to be this way?

      Only a complete and utter psycho would look for reasons to go to war.

      The only thing society needs protection from is drop kicks who think like you. Your very existence robs worthier forms of life of valuable oxygen.

      If you want war that much what the f*ck are you doing here arguing for it?

      Why don’t you grow a pair, go and enlist, and race to the frontline so we can all breathe a sigh of relief when you get your empty head blown off?

      Seriously – if you are that certain it’s so necessary, why aren’t you over there “defending our freedom”?

      If you think it’s so important to be “part of the club”, what the f*ck are you arguing your case from the safety and comfort of your armchair thousands of miles away from the action?

      Could it simply be because you are a complete f*ckwit?

      • North 21.4.1

        Nah Nah Nah……TheGodKey’s given Fizzy Anus a special exemption from getting out of his armchair……special acknowledgment for the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of voters he claims to have converted to National during the election campaign. Famous Fizzy Anus !

      • fisiani 21.4.2

        Which part of NZ proposed military action in Iraq is “going to war”?
        Why exaggerate? Are you struggling with language?

        • freedom 21.4.2.1

          Soldiers who train other soldiers to fight aren’t “going to war” because they are not doing the fighting. Is that your position fisiani?

          • tracey 21.4.2.1.1

            armies dont kill, people do…

            no wait…

            wars don’t kill, people do…

            oh wait…

            leaders don’t get killed, poor witless citizens do

            • freedom 21.4.2.1.1.1

              fisiani won’t answer because he knows that someone will say

              “what about the nurses and doctors and journalists and many many others who have died over the years, in the middle of these ‘support roles’? I am sure their families would love to know how they died if not by going to war.”

              or words to that affect, and he has nothing

        • Heather Grimwood 21.4.2.2

          I equate ‘facilitating’ with ‘going to’ ( in regard to war).

      • fisiani 21.4.3

        Which part of NZ proposed military action in Iraq is “going to war”?
        Why exaggerate? Are you struggling with language?

    • tricledrown 21.5

      Fishy we stopped being a colonial poodle very late in our history now we under Key we are now the lapdogs again.
      Ofcourse you won’t be sending any of your children.Your just the lapdog of the lapdogs the propaganda poodle!
      Telling everybody how they must think!

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    Fighting terrorism is a matter of law enforcement.

    ere is no reason for Western democracies to go to war. Whatever its motivation, terrorism poses no existential threat to any stable society, much less liberal democracies. Only failed states, failing states and those at civil war face the real threat of takeover from the likes of the Islamic State or al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. For Western democracies under terrorist attack, the institutional apparatus of the State will not fall, political society will not unravel and the social fabric will to tear. But there is a caveat to this: both the democratic state and society must beware the sucker ploy.

    I suspect that finding ourselves as part of an extremely violent ‘club’ is part of “the sucker ploy” and we’re the suckers.

    • Wayne 22.1

      Draco,

      Your quote is a wrong assessment of the risk. While ISIS is obviously not an existential threat, it is clearly a source of terrorism and a place where terrorists train.

      Based on your positioning, you would just leave ISIS in place, to do pretty much whatever it likes. And that also seems to be a general theme of most of the commenters on this site.

      Certainly not an appealing prospect for most western governments. Which is why a significant number of them are taking more direct action against ISIS, to essentially remove it from control in northern Iraq, and also Syria (though that is much more difficult).

      So where does New Zealand fit? Well, typically we join such multilateral actions, when they have UN authorization, which this does.

      Why do we do this? Because we are among that group of nations that take such actions, with whom we have shared values and interests.

      Now I understand that the reference to a “Club” was bound to inflame the Left. However, it is no more than shorthand for what I have described. Well, the “Club” is a more limited group, being more associated with the “Five-Eyes.” For the Left (or more accurately, the Far Left), this is not something they agree with, but the Right is generally comfortable with the concept.

      New Zealand is always the most peripheral member of the “Club.” We are the smallest, we are the most distant, we are nuclear free. We therefore feel less impelled to join in the various “causes.” And John Key is clearly going for the least level of commitment with trainers, actually a decision yet to be made.

      Australia on the other hand is always going to take a more front foot approach. They are a formal ally, they are bigger, they feel closer to threats generally. And they consider by taking early action, they haver a much bigger voice in the mutual affairs of the “Club”, which generally they get.

      In my view we need to do enough from time to time to be relevant within the group of like minded nations. It has to meet a national interest test, but one of those interests is doing enough to be relevant, i.e. be part on intelligence sharing, have mutual training, and have good security relationships with the other four nations.

      If New Zealand took the view of the Far Left and the Greens, and never did anything with Five-Eyes and in fact pulled out of Five Eyes, that would be a dramatic foreign policy shift for New Zealand. One that I would expect to be a central part of an election campaign, since it surely is something the people should have a say on.

      After all the outcome would for New Zealand to become like Chile, and while that might appeal to some or even to many, it is not something that should occur without a broad debate and a fairly explicit electoral choice.

      One of they key issues for New Zealanders to consider is whether such a shift would fundamentally harm the relationship with Australia, since I imagine the Aussies would not be indifferent to such a choice being made by New Zealand.

      • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.1

        Firstly. The FVEY club is not a military alliance like ANZUS or NATO. Boots on the ground involvement is not part of the FVEY agreement. Don’t posit it as such.

        Secondly. This isn’t about leaving the FVEY club. The rest of the members do not want to lose the capabilities and coverage that NZ provides.

        Thirdly. Western countries and their allies (including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey) are still assisting in funding, arming and infiltrating foreign fighters into Syria. To get rid of Assad. ISIS in Syria now controls a large proportion of the country. This is where ISIS in Iraq came from.

        Bottom line is that the west screwed up, is still screwing up, and we should not get involved.

        • Wayne 22.1.1.1

          Colonial Rawshark

          The reference to “Club”, is not just about “Five-Eyes”; it has about a group of nations that have a similar view of the world (though hardly identical). They often act in concert, and collectively are seen as leaders in the West. So when military action is envisaged you can’t always say “no”, and expect to still have a voice among these nations. I think the PM summed up that point very well.

          One of the disarming things I experienced was at the NATO/ISAF conferences on Afghanistan, which took place every six months. The Defence Ministers and Defence Chiefs would meet to discuss and plan the strategy.

          The format involved the Defence Ministers each making national statements during the plenary session. There were also lots of bilaterals, where much of the real work was done. The Chair was the Secretary General of NATO, Ankers Rasmusssen, former PM of Denmark.

          He invariably asked the plenary contributions to be made in this order; US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Germany, Norway, Poland, etc. It got to the point that I asked him for NZ to go around 8 or 9 since I thought it gave the wrong impression to be at 5. However, I guess the Sec Gen thought it gave exactly the right impression.

          One of the interesting feats was the enthusiasm of the Eastern European nations. They were clearly paying their “dues,” and ensured that everyone knew that. The other interesting point was how forthright Norway was, consistently over the three years. Greece was at the other end of the spectrum and was treated accordingly. It has probably flowed over to their economic affairs.

          So these relationships are not just about the written text of agreements, it is about mutual understandings and making sufficient commitment to be taken seriously.

          • The Murphey 22.1.1.1.1

            Q. Where do you see unending military action taking humanity ?

            Leaders in a global coup is the only leading ‘The West’ is good for.

            Global destabilization brought to the world by the war, oil and banking cartel.

          • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.1.1.2

            Then you better review how the “western club” perspective of the world keeps screwing things up in the ME and central asia.

            You’ve given us detail about the pecking order amongst the important people at the important meetings. You speak about NATO/ISAF and all the “hard work”. Yet the pro-Islamic pro-Sharia Taliban will once more be in charge of most of Afghanistan within months of the Americans leaving.

            The Americans even have to rely on the nasty untrustworthy Russians to get out of Afghanistan.

            So I’ll make my point a different way.

            Stand for principle, not peer group pressure. Recognise that “training” the Iraqi forces is a total waste of time and money – you cannot train people to kill their own cousins. And stop repeating failed western interventions and failed western strategies.

          • tracey 22.1.1.1.3

            when do we go into crimea and eastern ukraine? And Nigeria?

      • Draco T Bastard 22.1.2

        Based on your positioning, you would just leave ISIS in place, to do pretty much whatever it likes.

        Nope. I believe we need to leave it to the people to fix it giving minimal assistance if required while ensuring that no arms can be transferred to the area from outside.

        Certainly not an appealing prospect for most western governments.

        Why not? It doesn’t actually affect them. Of course, there is all that oil there that the Western government want because they’re too lazy to build renewable energy at home and, seemingly, because the multi-national corporations want it to make lots of profit.

        Why do we do this? Because we are among that group of nations that take such actions, with whom we have shared values and interests.

        Actually, it’s because our government is a wholly owned subsidiary of US Inc. Why doesn’t the government take a referendum on it and see what the people think?

        In my view we need to do enough from time to time to be relevant within the group of like minded nations.

        But we’re not a like minded nation are we?

        It has to meet a national interest test, but one of those interests is doing enough to be relevant

        Do we even need to be relevant to these warmongers? I don’t think so especially considering that, in context, relevant here means kowtowing to the US and it’s interests against our own.

        If New Zealand took the view of the Far Left and the Greens, and never did anything with Five-Eyes and in fact pulled out of Five Eyes, that would be a dramatic foreign policy shift for New Zealand.

        I feel that, if we’d continued the direction that we started under the 5th Labour government we would eventually removed ourselves from the ‘club’.

        One that I would expect to be a central part of an election campaign, since it surely is something the people should have a say on.

        I agree. Lets put it to a referendum right now.

        After all the outcome would for New Zealand to become like Chile

        You mean with a US supported murderous dictator in place of our democracy?

        • Wayne 22.1.2.1

          Draco,

          No, I mean Chile as it is now, which I am sure you actually understood. Lots of people would like New Zealand to have the same position as Chile does (or perhaps Ireland). Both are regarded as modern progressive nations.

          My point was for New Zealand to take that path would require democratic consent. That is, the issue being argued in the context of an election since it is such a significant shift. It would mean getting out of Five Eyes. It would mean a distinctly less close relationship with Australia. And also with the US and the UK.

          Now I know the Hard Left and the Greens favor this. That is why I use the term “Hard Left”, because clearly the moderate left as represented by much of the Labour Party would not want to do this, though clearly the left of the Labour Party would.

          Helen Clark as PM never proposed this option, even though she is properly acknowledged as one of the founders of nuclear free NZ. And neither did New Zealanders voting for her between 1999 and 2008 think that this was likely.

          By the way I thought Michael Cox’s op ed was completely inappropriate.

          • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.2.1.1

            The “Hard Left” phrasing again?

            It’s very sad that you, who understand the history of NZ better than most, continue to ply this bullshit.

            No, I mean Chile as it is now, which I am sure you actually understood. Lots of people would like New Zealand to have the same position as Chile does (or perhaps Ireland). Both are regarded as modern progressive nations.

            Then why did John Key quit going on about Ireland’s economic miracle, the Celtic Tiger, and becoming a low tax financial hub just like Ireland?

            Was there some problem which popped up there?

            As with Ireland’s 11% unemployment rate and Bankster run economy?

          • Draco T Bastard 22.1.2.1.2

            My point was for New Zealand to take that path would require democratic consent.

            Yep. I agree. But I think that also applies when we go to war.

            That is, the issue being argued in the context of an election since it is such a significant shift.

            Actually, because it is such a significant shift (and so is going to war) I believe it would be better if we asked directly between elections using referenda.

            It would mean a distinctly less close relationship with Australia. And also with the US and the UK.

            Why do you think being an independent nation would be so bad? We have free trade don’t we? And a voice at the UN?

            Helen Clark as PM never proposed this option,

            No she didn’t and I never said that she did but she did steer us on a more independent foreign policy than National. In fact National seems to be busy kissing US arse in NZ’s name.

            That is why I use the term “Hard Left”, because clearly the moderate left as represented by much of the Labour Party would not want to do this, though clearly the left of the Labour Party would.

            The Labour Party are right wing and reality has a radical left bias. Basically, we cannot survive with a right-wing government as they destroy everything.

  23. Art Croft 23

    NZ’s never had an independent foreign policy. Our policy has always been driven by what the larger powers believe or find fashionable. IMO 5 Eyes serves NZ well and allows us some small influence at the top table. Better than being locked out, kept in the dark and irrelevant. If that means sending a few troops to Syria so be it.

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.1

      Our involvement in the FVEY arrangement is not contingent on sending soldiers to Syria, Libya or Iraq, you sillybilly. You should also understand that we augment FVEY capabilities given our unique position in the world i.e. we provide the grouping with plenty of added value and they want us in there. So to a certain extent you are raising a red herring.

      This is about John Key’s special club, for John Key’s on self promotion.

      Why can you not see that?

      Why do you say that standing up for principle and keeping Christian troops out of Muslim lands makes us “irrelevant”? Have you somehow not noticed that the current disaster with ISIS is directly related with recent US military intervention in Iraq?

    • Draco T Bastard 23.2

      I’d rather be irrelevant because then we’d be able to set our own policies and not have to send our people to die in worthless wars.

  24. mac1 24

    I am sure Neanderthals learnt the price of the club. As did the godless unnumbered who were beaten to death by mace-wielding bishops who had been forbidden to shed blood. Those who live by the club………….

  25. Neil 25

    I wonder if this club has a secret silly hand shake to acknowledge each other.

  26. Truth Will Out 26

    @Fisiani

    Tell the families of the members of the “reconstruction teams” whose bodies came home in pieces that their deaths weren’t the result of war.

    You are a pathetic disgrace.

  27. saveNZ 27

    Wasn’t Key denying last month he was preparing to deploy troops when NZ First had him up about it? I guess it is hard to keep up with all the lies when you are never held to account.

  28. Heather Grimwood 28

    Thanks to those who restored info to forefront of my aged personal computer…yes, the Marshall Plan it was and indeed it promoted self-interest in supply of oil.

  29. Pascals bookie 29

    Hi Wayne.

    You say that NZ, by providing ‘trainers’ will be enetring at the lower end of contribution.

    What are the other club members providing other than that? The only other thing I’ve seen mentioned is air support which NZ is in no position to provide anyway.

    Also, while we’re at it, have you seen the reports that the Australian forces are ‘training’ a group known to have committed war crimes in the current fight?

    It’s a mess Wayne, a sectarian war, not a damn invoice for club dues.

    Our service men and women swear an oath to follow orders given them by civilians, that’s a precious and rare thing. Citizens have a duty to try and protect them from politicians who give them stupid orders. Your snearing about the ‘far left’ or whatever are an embarrassment.

    • tracey 29.1

      last time we sent “trainers” it turned out they were actually fighting.

      • Pascals bookie 29.1.1

        And who exactly, will we be training? Iraqi army, or temporarilly re-badged Shia militia? Who the hell knows, and the govt sure as hell isn’t saying.

        Wayne won’t say either, watch him avoid discussing any actual deatail about what exactly the plan is or how what he describes as the plan is supposed to work in practice. How will the plan actually untite Iraq, if that’s the plan.

        How will we convince the Shia led government, who relies on the milia for it’s support, to give up the gains they won on the battlefield in 04 through 10. How will we convince Shia that Sunni can be trusted back into the fold, and how will Sunni be convinced that Shia will let them?

        Silence at the actual dynamics in play that led to ISIS, much ballyhoo about nonsensical points like “safe havens”.

        • Colonial Rawshark 29.1.1.1

          The US tried to train the Iraqi security forces up for a decade to “stand up” on their own two feet.

          ISIS turned up, maybe four thousand men with assault rifles and other light weapons. And the entire Iraqi army, up to a hundred thousand men geared up with a couple of hundred million worth of US weapon systems, ran for the hills.

          I guess it’ll be different this time Wayne.

          Can you please explain how?

  30. Colonial Rawshark 30

    Radars to illicitly see inside peoples homes brought from Iraq use back to the USA

    This equipment was designed to help US combat troops root out insurgents in house to house searches.

    And of course, as always happens, it is being brought back for use in the centre of empire against ordinary people. Searches without search warrants.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-21/what-4th-amendment-police-across-america-are-using-radars-see-inside-peoples-homes

    • Chooky 30.1

      …looks like Stasi …. NOT democracy

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

      • Colonial Rawshark 30.1.1

        Bill Binney, the top NSA whistle blower, did advanced intelligence work against the Stasi and other Soviet state secret police in the 70s and 80s. He rates the ability of the NSA to spy on its own citizens as “several thousand times greater” than what the Stasi could pull off.

  31. A Voter 31

    Key should just drop the pretense and admit we would better off neutral like his Swiss neighbours while hes running the country from afar before we are a “nuke trail ” then we would definitely be neutral permanently
    The hypocrisy of the Key twerp really knows no bounds God defend NZ and stuff the monarchy

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