The War Club Family

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 pm, February 8th, 2015 - 73 comments
Categories: China, colonialism, Deep stuff, Europe, history, International, iraq, john key, military, same old national, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags:

There’s a fascinating article in the latest New Statesman titled “An Empire that speaks English: the right’s dream of a new world order.” Suddenly UK Foreign Minister Philip Hammond’s recent visit here makes sense. So does John Key’s references to sending Kiwi troops to Iraq on behalf of the “club” or the “family.”

The full version will no doubt be available shortly on the NS website; some excerpts from the article are here:

The idea of the “Anglosphere” – and the policies and strategies pursued by some of the political leaders of its constituent countries – has become a source of increasing, almost magnetic influence on British conservatives.

The concept of the Anglosphere – which they define as centred around the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the US – depends on the long-held belief that Britain’s best interests lie in forging closer relationships with those countries that share a language and have broadly similar cultures and political structures, and gives Britain the opportunity to operate as a “global economy”.

Tracing the history of the idea back to the Second World War, the authors write that an assortment of political forces makes this seem attractive to many on the right:

The appeal of this idea is not just a reflection of growing disillusionment with Europe. For many, the rise of China, the increasing threat of radical Islam and the uncertainties of the global economy all make the question of locating political allies and sympathetic states much more imperative for the UK. The future of the west, some argue, may be contingent upon a closer coalescence of the Anglosphere countries.

Quite why they would trace the idea back to the Second World War might be a mystery. I’ve just spent some time researching the story of my uncle shot down and killed with 27 others in Malaya in 1942 in a suicidal mission flying obsolete biplanes against Zeros. The story of the fall of Singapore is of one long British bungle, of arrogant over-confidence mixed with under-supply – their officers thought ” the Japanese could not fly airplanes because their sight was poor.’ Churchill abandoned the southern Dominions in favour of Russia and the Egypt, and at least the the Australians still haven’t forgotten.

The idea of the Anglosphere is not really about us – it’s about Britain and the US operating as “a global economy.” Think TPP and TTIP.

But New Zealand and in particular John Key do have a key role to play in the strategy. Key has just been elected Chairman of the International Democratic Union, the right-wing political union founded by Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s. He takes over from John Howard, former Australian Prime Minister. Former British Foreign Secretary and Tory ideologue William Hague, and billionaire turned pollster and pundit Lord Ashcroft, are big players in the IDU. His job is to provide the political glue.

It’s the IDU club and the IDU family Key is talking about when he argues he wants to send New Zealand troops back into a futile war zone.

The New Statesman authors conclude that the Anglosphere is not a political concept the left should ignore:

The Anglosphere is far from being just a quirky, nostalgic idea. It is at the heart of a re-emerging political world-view. Understanding its power, reach and history is imperative for a centre left that needs a more clearly defined strategic ambition and sense of political direction if it is to do more than survive buffeting by the storms.

I couldn’t agree more.

 

73 comments on “The War Club Family”

  1. Murray Rawshark 1

    FJK is obviously picking sides against an emergent China, hoping that the Chinese won’t notice. Maybe their vision will be as bad as that of the Japanese pilots?

    I see this as a very dangerous development, where we’ll be fodder for fading British dreams of grandeur and delusions of American exceptionalism. Under Kirk and Clark, we began to learn to stand on our own feet. Key has us back on all fours, sucking on whatever comes near our mouth.

    • greywarshark 1.1

      @ Murray R
      +1

        • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1.1

          +3

          USA Russia China all border the Pacific. The USA is a kleptocratic empire in decline unable to look after its own citizens and infrastructure – and it is exporting its bad habits of totalitarian mass surveillance (which even the NZ Labour Party will vote for).

          Russia is an authoritarian oligarchy, a highly unequal society, but has masses of energy and natural resources. The 21st century is China’s as it returns to its normal historical position of being the biggest economy and civilisation in the world. If it survives the environmental destruction and civil discontent brewing within its own borders.

          Given all of this, NZ needs to take a far more nuanced view of its own strategic interests, and holding tightly on to an anglosphere which is an ever declining % of world population and GDP may not be the only way to go.

  2. meconism 2

    This Angloshere may be re-emergent as the quoted article suggests, but when we still use the language of empire to describe the worlds political geography, and here I am thinking about particularly, ‘the Middle East’, a term that only means anything when you consider in which city you have to be standing to see ‘the Middle East’ as that place between the ‘Near East’ and the ‘Far East’ ; Well we don’t seem to have come very far at all.

  3. joe90 3

    Sixty years ago grandma said – that woman’s family have already had two of my sons so I’ll be buggered if I’ll curtsey to the bitch – and I say fuck ’em

    http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/151500/MALTA%20MEMORIAL

    http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2037300/BOURAIL%20NEW%20ZEALAND%20WAR%20CEMETERY

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    If the monolingual Right are so determined to become an exclusive club*, what’s the obvious advantage to the multilingual Left?

    *echo chamber much?

  5. I suspect that the New Statesman article is driven at least in part by many Conservatives wanting an alternative to the EU. It is the right of UK politics that is anti-EU, not the Left.

    My knowledge of various UK Conservatives indicates that they loathe (foolishly in my view) the EU and harken back to a different era. And they tend to to resort back to the anglosphere. In my view it is absurd.

    The world has moved on. Both Australia and NZ have China as their main trading partner, and that is not going to change anytime soon. NZ’s future is essentially driven by the Asia Pacific. Of course that does include the US, Aus and Canada. So US relations is a permanent feature of NZ strategy. It is one of the two great powers of the Asia Pacific, and will remain so for many decades into the future.

    As for TTIP, that is about the US and the EU. Not surprising when they represent the two great economic blocs on either side of the Atlantic. It would be rather problematic for Britain if it pulled out of the EU, they may not easily get into the TTIP.

    As for TPP, well while Australia, Canada, NZ and the US are all negotiating parties, the main nexus of interests for the US will be Japan and the various ASEAN nation that are in the negotiations. And that is pretty much obvious from the current state of negotiations. They essentially revolve around Japan and the US.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      My knowledge of various UK Conservatives indicates that they loathe (foolishly in my view) the EU and harken back to a different era. And they tend to to resort back to the anglosphere. In my view it is absurd.

      Atavism in Right wing political circles is hardly news, Dr. Mapp, and yes, how absurd it is.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      I have a question Dr. Mapp: why do sadists gravitate to the National Party? How do they get through the selection process and become candidates?

      • Murray Rawshark 6.2.1

        I think they are actively sought. The real question is how anyone else gets through the selection process.

      • greywarshark 6.2.2

        I think that UNACTs put their contenders through a special eye test. Their vision is checked to see if it can be classed as significantly tunnel-visioned with virtually no peripheral vision. Then there is a dress sense check to ensure they are presentable, their teeth are checked for ensuring satisfactory photo-ops.

        After this they have a performance test where they are suddenly presented with a list of obvious lies and dodgy general untruths which they must endorse in ringing and confident tones. After this success, they are up for choice if they can answer a scratch test of common NZ facts about rugby, tourism, name the biggest city in NZ, the biggest industry, the wealthiest people in every industry sector, each geographical area, and those having UNACT significance etc. Then it’s a shoe-in.

  6. Perhaps, OAB, sadists make it into the National Party the same way crooks do….get selected by other crooks. Just surmising here…

  7. greywarshark 8

    Another reminder of the two-faced approach to political manouvres that we have seen so much of from USA and its handmaidens. This one on morning news from Hammond the Brit Foreign Secretary – notice the two-faced effect stamped on his own face. One side has the mouth going up and the other going down. Sad to see this politician in such an advanced state of degeneration.

    “This man (Putin) has sent troops across an international border and occupied another country’s territory in the 21st century acting like some mid-20th century tyrant. Civilised nations do not behave like that,” he said.
    This from Reuters. The name still carries graitas for me. Does that match up with reality these days?
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/02/08/uk-ukraine-crisis-hammond-idUKKBN0LC0AQ20150208

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      He’s spreading fundamental misinformation that it is the Russian military is fighting Ukranian forces, when the majority of separatist fighters are actually Donbass locals. (Yes there are likely some Russian soldiers “on leave” who are also participating with the separatists).

      Basically, it appears to me that the Ukranian army has been so poorly led that they have thrown away many of their best units.

      Note that German intelligence says that Kiev’s estimates of 5,000 to 6,000 dead in the conflict is a wild under-estimation. They believe that 50,000 civilians and combatants have been killed so far.

      Worthwhile noting that 96% of Crimean residents voted to go with Russia instead of staying attached to a shaky right wing Kiev government.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1.1

        That 96% of voters in Crimea, which the west refuses to accept, compares with 88% in the independence referendum in Slovenia in 1990, which is now a EU member

        In 2003 only 66% voted for Slovenia to join Nato, which it did in 2004. I guess it doesnt count when you get over 90%?

        We are still waiting for EU sanctions against nato member Turkey for its invasion of
        Commonwealth country Cyprus in 1974.
        But Im sure John Key will speak out while he is in Gallipoli this year for Anzac commemorations

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.1

          @ ghost
          Sometimes events move on so fast that the balance of probabilities for decision making has to change. It becomes a moot point about 1974, when world shaking events are happening frequently now.

          I am reading about WW2 regularly which is interesting and instructional and backgrounds things happening now. But doesn’t help solve today’s troubles.

  8. Jones 9

    Interesting… this puts a new perspective on John Key’s cryptic “we’re on the verge of something special” at the last election.

    • seeker 9.1

      Agree jones. Especially when key received congrats on his win from the liberals in Queensland and he said something to the effect that it was just the right wing network giving support.
      Right wing net work sent a real shudder down my spine .
      Later we heard that key had been made top dog of the right wing International Democratic Union or IDU. The shudder became deadly chill..Says so much about key that he is looked up to by the world’s right wingers. This is probably because as the arch manipulator and spinner, who can make everything wrong sound right, key is the best in the world and greatly looked up to to get them everything they want. Fancy being looked up to for being the best global liar.
      For key I think the I DU extra U (I DU U) is his zenith at the mo. and almost his raison d’etre

  9. SaveNZ 10

    Yep they want a different era.
    A white one.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.1

      Global demographics is way way against that. The US itself is going to be a ‘majority minority’ nation by about 2040.

  10. Phil 11

    I’ve just spent some time researching the story of my uncle shot down and killed with 27 others in Malaya in 1942 in a suicidal mission flying obsolete biplanes against Zeros. The story of the fall of Singapore is of one long British bungle, of arrogant over-confidence mixed with under-supply – their officers thought ” the Japanese could not fly airplanes because their sight was poor.’ Churchill abandoned the southern Dominions in favour of Russia and the Egypt, and at least the the Australians still haven’t forgotten.

    Maybe your research is broader than this part of the post suggests, but as it stands that’s a pretty appalling use of selective history. You’re ignoring much wider socio-political factors for decisions that were made.

  11. greywarshark 12

    Churchill abandoned the southern Dominions in favour of Russia and the Egypt, and at least the the Australians still haven’t forgotten.

    Mike Smith it seems that Churchill is a favouriate punching bag. He was not perfect but most of him was passable – he was wily and staunch with the strength to get himself and Britain through those dire exhausting years. I think he should be given some kudos for it.

    And as far as Singapore goes I understand that the Brits had all their armaments facing the sea,and the Japanese instead approached from land over swampy terrain that the Brits had assessed as being a natural defensive trap. That’s how my defective memory remembers it. I think the idea was that the Singaporeans could hold off the Japanese by bombarding them land to sea.

    Churchill probably thought his pants were on fire by this time. Trying to keep track of numerous war fronts, and work in with the USA before and after they entered the war.
    edited

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.1

      Japanese forces bicycled through the Malayan peninsula to get to Singapore, instead of attempting amphibious landings by sea…

      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        @CR t
        That’s what I remembered. Lateral thinking by the Japanese, against the big machinery of Brit.

        • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.1.1

          Lateral thinking and advanced planning – the Japanese spent the late 1930s selling cheap reliable bicycles to the Malaysians…which were all very quickly appropriated by the Japanese soldiers when they turned up, for their own use.

          • Mike Smith 12.1.1.1.1

            General Percival who surrendered Singapore made an assessment in the 1930’s when he was a colonel that Japan would attack Singapore by land. from the north of the peninsula, that air power was the answer, and that they could stop any invasion by torpedo-bombing. So they built airfields on the coast near the beaches. A conference in 1938 assessed that they needed over 500 modern aircraft for this strategy to succeed, but compromised at around 350. When the Japanese invaded, there were about 150 aircraft serviceable, of which nearly half were obsolete. The Japanese simply overran the coastal defences and captured the airfields, many with fuel and supplies intact.
            My uncle was killed in a last desperate attempt to stop a later invasion when the obsolete biplanes were almost all that was left to Percival.
            Churchill’s priorities at the time for modern aircraft supply were Britain, then Egypt, then Russia. Singapore was left to its fate, as his other priority was to bring America into the war which the Japanese duly managed to assist with at the same time they invaded Malaya. The Australian government of the time saw Churchill’s behaviour as a betrayal which is why Australia has ever since looked to the Americans for defence.
            And CR is right about the Japanese planning. They had come to the same view as Percival about how to conquer Singapore. Their troops practiced by landing on and crossing Hainan Island through the jungle. Every soldier on the invasion fleet, of whatever rank, was issued with a booklet (designed to be read in a confined space) which outlined in great detail how they would win in Malaya.

            • Colonial Rawshark 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks for the detailed comment, Mike.

            • greywarshark 12.1.1.1.1.2

              I have been catching up on the Pacific history and Singapore. I had seen Tenko about the women in Japanese controlled camps, I have heard about the forced labour, and the comfort women, and a bit about the Kakoda Trail. I’ve put some details about Singapore for those who’ve forgotten.

              This historical summary shows that the unreadiness of the Brit troops to defend Singapore was a major cause of the outcome. The Japanese had fought and won in Malaya in 8 December 1941 the day before the Pearl Harbour attack. Then they moved towards Singapore. They were fast moving and ruthless.
              Captured wounded Allied soldiers were killed where they lay. Those who were not injured but had surrendered were also murdered – some captured Australian troops were doused with petrol and burned to death. Locals who had helped the Allies were tortured before being murdered….

              The army in the Singapore area was led by Lieutenant General Arthur Percival. He had 90,000 men there – British, Indian and Australian troops. The Japanese advanced with 65,000 men lead by General Tomoyuki Yamashita. Many of the Japanese troops had fought in the Manchurian/Chinese campaign and were battle-hardened. Many of Percival’s 90,000 men had never seen combat [some of these Australian]…On February 8 1942 the Japanese attacked Singapore.
              General Percival had spread his men out to cover a 70 mile coastline. But almost half the Japanese 23,000 men attacked the city of Singapore and many of the defence forces were too far away to assist.
              http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/fall_of_singapore.htm

              Then I found an interesting film. There is an allegation that a British peer was in league with the Japanese and that he was a man known to Churchill.

              The Fall of Singapore – The great betrayal (BBC documentary only shown in Northern Ireland)
              Published on 14 Jan 2014
              This landmark documentary film by Paul Elston tells the incredible story of how it was the British who gave the Japanese the knowhow to take out Pearl Harbor and capture Singapore in World War 2.
              For 19 years before the fall of Singapore in 1942 to the Japanese, British officers were spying for Japan. Worse still, the Japanese had infiltrated the very heart of the British establishment – through a mole who was a peer of the realm known to Churchill himself.

              This is one of the comments.
              The Japs attacked Pearl Harbour by following a plan developed during naval war games the US staged to develop defenses and reveal weakness years prior to the event. It split the US navy into two camps and is well documented. They flew in under the rain shadow that blocked radar coming off the volcano and almost exactly followed the American plan of the successful attacking US “team” to the horror of a large part of the navy who saw it coming.
              The hole thing had been observed and reported by agents on the island. It is a great doco. but the hole story is far more complex as I’m sure you know. And I do mean well documented as it was fearlessly debated at the time and ever since. It is as studied in naval circles as any of the great naval battles in history and is a great read if you like that stuff. Regards. Orley.

              Looking at the need for planes in Britain to contain a German attack.
              The Battle of Britain was from July 1940 to October 1940. Dowding conserved his planes and his men strategically as essential to repel the German air attacks. From what I have read the Brits were under strength in aircraft. Before war was declared Churchill had been trying to get political understanding of the Germans readiness for war, to little avail. It is not only Churchill’s fault that the Singapore aircraft were under strength.

              And as you say, the need to bring America into the war was paramount. If this had not happened Britain could not have won, and Singapore would be lost anyway. It was part of the horrible logic forced by war. The Brits had to hold their own positions and rely on the USA in the Pacific.
              edited

  12. Ad 13

    A much more interesting post would be to define what an international “left family” might have in common.

    Easy to bat this essentially “English five eyes” grouping as a late nostalgic burp emanating from the dead commonwealth body.

    But New Zealand is weak strategically because it is at the centre of no grouping of any substance. We’re not a Non-Aligned State, we’re loathed in the Pacific Forum, we’re a pimple on APEC, our CER grouping with Australia is essentially commercial, and we’ve long given up any international negotiating heft to greater powers.

    Regrettably, Key is not a Statesman’s ass, and never will be. Statecraft by golf doesn’t count.

    We should at least aspire to be better than this.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Yeah looks a bit off. But aren’t we a pimple on any large grouping? A pimple has quite a lot of upward rising energy in it so don’t quickly cast assertions on them.

      Where are we with China? Essentially commercial? And how would that play out?

      Australia, will their dry and dusty throats want our liquid UHT milk and will they try to mould us into their home farm along with Tasmania? We could export all the water we have left, to their supermarkets as plain water or brewed. We have already sold our big-money-minting brewery to Japan.

      Still we have something to sell before we must stand at the side of the road in our skimpy outfits.

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.2

      Easy to bat this essentially “English five eyes” grouping as a late nostalgic burp emanating from the dead commonwealth body.

      The FVEY group of countries form an extremely powerful intelligence and surveillance partnership, to the extent that its capabilities and activities are far beyond the reach of any group of elected officials or politicians to control or provide effective oversight.

      But New Zealand is weak strategically because it is at the centre of no grouping of any substance.

      NZ is weak strategically because it no longer has a clear concept of its own long term national interest, nor the political will to develop that clear concept and and how to achieve it.

      In other words, we are content just muddling along.

  13. whateva next? 14

    Listening to Key discussing the fate of the Jordanian pilot, and other atrocities overseas to justify his position… I wondered when he developed his interest in treatment of people overseas, he didn’t seem to care about the atrocities committed under apartheid at the time? To start talking about atrocities now, when there is nothing new about what is happening, except these people are posting on the internet, and he wants us to accept complete loss of privacy, whether for prevention of terrorism, or more dubious reasons we will never get to know.

    • b waghorn 14.1

      I notice he isn’t talking big on what Russia is up to either. He’s a bit like a junior bully out the back of a fight throwing punches at the air.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.2

      What is the difference between ISIS executing a Jordanian pilot by burning alive, and an American incendiary or thermobaric warhead roasting alive a wedding gathering or village.

      We seem to OK state-of-the-art GPS guided mass conflagrations while declaring old fashioned burning as barbaric.

      • greywarshark 14.2.1

        Trouble is we apparently enjoy this barbaric sort of thing enacted as fiction, ie Harrison Ford in The Temple of Doom. Person lowered into flames in a cage. It’s only a hop step and a jump when psychopaths get into doing it for real. Maybe we should have higher standards of fiction, remembering the old adage that ‘fact is stranger than fiction’. At least we could control our fiction.

        • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.1.1

          A fascinating remark, GW – the “terrorists” are communicating with the west using a particular kind of high-def Hollywood style theatrics. Looks like they have been learning from us.

      • Wayne 14.2.2

        The difference is all about intention, (which I am sure you know).

        Most airforces don’t deliberately bomb wedding parties. But ISIS deliberately decided on this type of death and went to some trouble to actually do it.

        Of course the whole problem with air campaigns is that they are not as precise as say a soldier with a rifle.

        It is the reason why air delivered munitions are designed smaller and smaller, to limit the damage. Drones actually tend to be more precise than manned aircraft. The operators have more time to study what they are attacking, and also the machines are traveling slower. Virtually all recent drone attacks appear to have been quite precise as in a specific vehicle or building (or room in a building) is attacked.

        In WW2 whole towns and cities were destroyed. It does not happen now.

        Though Kobane seemed to be comprehensively wrecked. From the footage of the actual attacks, some pretty large bombs were used, probably 2000 lbs. I presumed that was because the civilians had left and the buildings were targeted at the direction of the Kurd fighters since they were ISIS strong points. We have not heard of any civilian casualties in Kobane, they all seemed to be ISIS or Peshmerga. But do we know the full story?

        • b waghorn 14.2.2.1

          “It is the reason why air delivered munitions are designed smaller and smaller, to limit the damage”

          Oh well as long as only the odd innocent person is being slaughtered buy tha US that’s all good then/sarc

          • Wayne 14.2.2.1.1

            b waghorn.

            I did acknowledge that airpower is imprecise. It does result in civilian casualties. And that is its fundamental problem.

            Of course it is the problem with war generally. People both combatants and civilians get killed. The dilemma is do you say never go to war not matter the cause.

            Some here (vto and macro for instance) effectively say because the US is a nuclear power we should never be involved with it, no matter the cause.

            I guess that is one of the fundamental political fault lines that exist in politics. It is not the position of National, nor Labour for that matter, but I imagine it is for the Greens and Mana.

            • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.2.1.1.1

              The lesson of WWI is that leaders should not get their country’s young men and women involved in military actions with no possibility of success.

              The Iraqi Army is over 100,000 strong. Let them deal with the few thousand ISIS fighters in Iraq. After all the USA and the UK trained the Iraqis up over the last 10 years, right?

              This has nothing to do with the US being a nuclear power or not; it has to do with the US constantly screwing the pooch in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, to the extent that it now has to partner up with its deadly enemies from 3 or 4 years ago (Assad in Syria, Iran in Iraq, Taliban in Afghanistan) just to keep its agenda going.

              • Phil

                The lesson of WWI is that leaders should not get their country’s young men and women involved in military actions with no possibility of success.

                Pedantry:

                That’s only a lesson which can be drawn with significant hindsight. Neither the military nor political leaders of any nation in the early 1900’s had a decent grasp of just how wildly different the upcoming battles were going to be from those fought in wars just a few years or decades previous.

                Technological development had shifted the balance of power so quickly and so far from offensive-advantage to defensive-advantage that literally everyone was caught by surprise. Pre-existing plans simply could not conceive of things like engineering developments that allowed soldiers to dig deeper into the earth, or machine guns that would totally negate the use of cavalry, or even the stopping power that something as simple as barbed wire would have on troop movement.

                By the time military and political leaders started getting their head around these concepts and developments, it was too late and the major powers were locked-in to an enduring conflict.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Speaking of pedantry. Lessons from events are learnt after the events themselves occur, not before.

            • Macro 14.2.2.1.1.2

              “It is not the position of National, nor Labour for that matter,”

              “I can smell the Uranium on your breath Wayne.”

              Apologies to a well known Labour PM.

              Just remind us Wayne –
              a. Which Party was it that introduced the Anti Nuclear Legislation?
              b.Which party was it that would have the Anti Nuclear Legislation gone by lunchtime? And is sucking up to the US now?

            • tricledrown 14.2.2.1.1.3

              Wayne the dilemma for you is your part of the elite ruling classes you know none of you bastards will ever have to get down and dirty but your quite happy to send anyone else off to war!
              from the party of personal responsibility!
              Yeah Right!
              But you can sure divide and conquer spin and propaganda.
              When our soldiers return home with radiation burns agent orange poisoning dirty bomb damage post traumatic stress disorder etc.
              You elitist bastards deny them and their families the help they need.
              The soldiers that were used as guinea pigs in the pacific and Australia Moeroa etc who have intergenerational genetic damage still haven’t recieved a cent.
              Wayne you are a coward hiding behind the Apron strings of power.

            • vto 14.2.2.1.1.4

              No Wayne I did not say that at all. You are lying. See the actual words just below in evidence

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.2.1.1.5

              Dr. Mapp, don’t you realise that there is significant opposition to current US foreign policy in the USA?

              According to polling. most citizens regard the war in Afghanistan as a mistake, never mind Iraq.

              Sure, you can make polls say anything, and follow the leader is still a stupid approach to international affairs.

              Are you really so simple you think the Left wants to have zero foreign policy? Or are you just going to end up out on a limb with your Tea-Party idols?

        • vto 14.2.2.2

          If that is so Wayne, then why do “the club” have the biggest set of nuke weapons on the planet?

          Your claims don’t wash

        • Murray Rawshark 14.2.2.3

          Yes Wayne. MOAB is a full 1400 kg lighter than the WW2 Grand Slam. The main difference is that Grand Slam was designed to take out hardened military targets, such as U-boat pens, and was a penetration weapon. MOAB is airburst and was designed to slaughter Iraqis en masse.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-43/B_Massive_Ordnance_Air_Blast

        • Macro 14.2.2.4

          In WW2 whole towns and cities were destroyed. It does not happen now.

          And what is the point of the whole arsenal of nuclear weapons residing in the US then? Enough to wipe out the whole Earth.

        • Macro 14.2.2.5

          You cannot win a War if you do not have a plan.
          http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/isis-in-iraq-britain-has-no-plan-for-tackling-the-militants-and-no-idea-whos-in-charge-10031274.html
          The Club is in a war without any plan as to how it will end. To join it, will just kill young NZ’s without any justification what-so-ever, and endanger the lives of every other NZer. It is just a stupid act by a morally moribund bully.

          • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.2.5.1

            Basically, the US destroyed the country once known as Iraq, and it ain’t ever coming back because they can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again, not even with NZ’s help.

          • Jones 14.2.2.5.2

            Perhaps the war is not intended to be won, but instead waged in perpetuity.

        • Colonial Rawshark 14.2.2.6

          The difference is all about intention, (which I am sure you know).

          That’s utter bullshit, Wayne, because beyond the issue of “intention” there is the issue of “blundering poor judgement.” Consider a recidivist drunk driver who kills over and over again, but says that he doesn’t intend to cause any harm. Society and our justice system has a pretty perspective on that.

          Same with the US drone programme which early last year was said to have killed 2400 people under Obama alone, some large % of them being civilians, and up to 200 of them Pakistani children.

          How credible is it to keep saying “well, we didn’t intend to harm any civilians” when it just keeps happening over and over and over again.

          And what does it say about us when we say – those multiple civilian deaths are sufficiently justifiable, appropriate and acceptable that the western powers can keep rolling on, but the occasional beheading and immolation by ISIS is a barbaric monstrosity and a casus belli.

        • tricledrown 14.2.2.7

          Wayne with no brain.
          Trouble is there are no rules in war and if Chaney Bush Rumsfeld etc can use torture and murder indiscriminate drone and bombing, war crimes their enemies are not going to take it lying down.
          Because the enemy ie ISIS doesn’t have modern weapons other than the ones supplied by the pentagon,ISIS is retaliating in a way to hurt the US and its allies.
          Given Your mate George Dubbya said he was going to bomb these people back into the stone ages(dark ages) he has succeeded!
          the result of 100’s thousands of civilian casualties has caused the radical Gihadist backlash!
          Wayne now you want our people to clean up the mess.
          It will never be resolved never ever!

        • tricledrown 14.2.2.8

          Drone attacks in the Yemen are responsible for many innocent civilian csualties and are the the reason for growing resentment of locals who are now joining up with Alcaeda insurgents to get back at the US.
          The main reason the US is loosing the war on terrorism is the US neglected intelligence agencies after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

        • tricledrown 14.2.2.9

          Wayne the Garullus Git.
          Waffler Wayne the cowardly spin Doctor with no brain.
          You are pushing scripted propaganda again!

          [lprent: I cannot see a point in there. Just silly abuse. If I see it again then you will get a ban for pointless abuse. ]

  14. greywarshark 15

    CR
    Well going a bit further with the Hollywood thing and copycatting. I seem to remember that there was reference to a film of a plane crashing into a tall building.

    Looked up Google and in answer to question –
    Before 9/11 was there a movie where a plane crashed into a tower?
    There were 8 comments/answers.
    This was the first:
    The most famous 9/11 predicting film, isn’t a film at all. It was an TV episode of the X Files spin off “The Lone Gunman” in which the lads prevent a government agency from crashing a plane into the World Trade Center, in order to legitimise arms spending and an incursion into the Middle-East..
    (and there were others.)

    Also ne did crash into the Empire State Building in 1945.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-25_Empire_State_Building_crash

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.1

      And right here Condoleeza Rice proclaiming in a bit of disingenuous cover ass that no one could have imagined that airplanes could be used as missiles to be slammed into buildings.

    • Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honour also considered a 9/11-style attack on the White House by a 747 pilot.

      Why didn’t we stop 9/11?
      Clancy wasn’t the only one to recognise the threat. In 1974, a man named Sam Byck hijacked a plane in hopes of crashing it into the White House and killing President Nixon. And in 1994, Algerians hijacked a plane so they could crash it into the Eiffel Tower. In 1996, Iranian terrorists reportedly planned to hijack a Japanese plane and crash it into Tel Aviv. The use of planes as weapons has been a growing concern, and that’s why the US took measures to protect the Atlanta Olympics from aerial attack.

      9/11 and the missing Iraqi W.M.D. were epic fails by the U.S. intelligence community.

      • Phil 15.2.1

        9/11 and the missing Iraqi W.M.D. were epic fails by the U.S. intelligence community.

        Yes, they were failure’s on the part of the intelligence community, but were they ‘epic’? It’s hard to tell, but I lean toward no. They were less failures of imagination and scenario-building, and more failures of data, reporting and information silo’s.

        For instance, the FBI had all the information it needed to put together a case for an imminent terrorist attack earlier in 2001, but that information was not available to any one person or group – it was separated by location and office in a way that was difficult to merge into one case file.

        Their Florida office were aware that flight-training had taken place. Other parts of the agency knew about travel to and from Afghanistan. Financial funding of the terrorists was known in yet another location. None of this is conspiracy or deliberate failure, it’s just that disparate pieces of information are exceedingly difficult to link together without the benefit of hindsight.

        • Colonial Rawshark 15.2.1.1

          The NSA made deliberate programme choices in 2000 and early 2001 which meant that they would be very unlikely to be able to pick up on a terrorist plot like 9/11, like the Fort Hood shooting, like the shoe bomber, like the Times Square bomber, like the Boston Marathon Bombing, like the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

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