Three more Kiwi deaths in Afghanistan

Written By: - Date published: 7:36 am, August 20th, 2012 - 83 comments
Categories: afghanistan - Tags:

The media is reporting that three more Kiwi soldiers have been killed in a bomb attack in Afghanistan.

Our hearts go out to their family and friends.

83 comments on “Three more Kiwi deaths in Afghanistan”

  1. Carol 1

    My condolences.

  2. Craig Glen Eden 2

    Yup Carol very sad, sincere condolences to the families while their sons, husbands ,fathers may sign up for this the families don’t.

    • Akldnut 2.1

      This is so sad – I’m gutted for the soldiers families.

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        So what steps are you taking to make sure this doesn’t happen to other families? Have you contacted your M.P. and demanded he/she press the prime minister to pull our troops out?

        • Akldnut 2.1.1.1

          Bunter Bennett won’t speak to me or call back after I told her to “F” off my property so I went into Cam Calders office while out South but each time I ask for a reply to my demands they ignore me, so I don’t even try anymore.

          Have you?

          • Morrissey 2.1.1.1.1

            Bunter Bennett won’t speak to me or call back after I told her to “F” off my property so I went into Cam Calders office while out South but each time I ask for a reply to my demands they ignore me, so I don’t even try anymore.

            I sympathize with you. Be careful not to antagonize that ghastly woman or she’ll mount a campaign of defamation against you.

            Have you?

            Yes. He was polite enough. Like everyone, he knows that this war has no justification, but I hold little hope that he will find the courage to actually speak that truth.

    • GregJ 2.2

      It is worth pointing out that women also serve in our armed forces, including in Afghanistan – and it is rumoured that one of those killed may be a female soldier.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Why is the fact that one of our soldiers was a women make any difference?

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          Public reaction to a female KIA or one taken prisoner can sometimes be different. Male and female soldiers cannot be assigned the same roles when dealing with a Muslim population. Modern military forces commonly distinguished roles (formally and informally) which are not filled by women.

        • deuto 2.2.1.2

          It doesn’t Draco – but a number of comments on the Standard today have referred to the NZ troops in Afghanstan being ‘our boys’ , or ‘sons, fathers, brothers’ etc without any appreciation/recognition that those troops also include women.

  3. IrishBill 3

    My condolences also.

  4. deuto 4

    My condolences also to the families, friends and colleagues – Stuff are now reporting that one of the three is a woman.

    Goff is currently being interviewed on Nime to Noon and, if I heard him correctly, is saying that in his opinion, there is no longer a prospect of achieving the original objectives of our participation in Afghanstan and we should possibly withdraw.

    • Morrissey 4.1

      Goff is… saying that there is no longer a prospect of achieving the original objectives of our participation in Afghanstan and we should possibly withdraw.

      Goff and Helen Clark are as culpable in this criminal fiasco as Key is. In fact, their culpability is greater, for they sent the troops there in the first place. They mouthed the propaganda about “reconstruction” and fibbed about good-natured Kiwi soldiers winning the hearts and minds of the locals.

      The revelations about those good-natured Kiwi soldiers being bullied by American grunts into handing over captive civilians for possible torture and summary execution make the lies of Clark, Goff and Key even more craven.

      • bbfloyd 4.1.1

        Amazing what rubbish goes through what passes through a tories mind nowadays….. Only an incurable bigot with the attention span of a goldfish would feel competent to make the kind of statement you’ve just made morris minor….

        try again.. and this time, spend more than five seconds absorbing tory slogans to use as your intellectual basis….

        You may not make such an ass of yourself….(i’m assuming you have the wit to understand the big words contained in the articles outlining reality as it is, not as the tories would wish it to be)

        • Morrissey 4.1.1.1

          Amazing what rubbish goes through what passes through a tories mind nowadays…

          Whatever hallucinogenic substance you are on, I don’t think it improves your writing style. I enjoyed being called a “tory” for a moment or two there, until I realized it came from a confused mind.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        “They mouthed the propaganda about “reconstruction” and fibbed about good-natured Kiwi soldiers winning the hearts and minds of the locals.”

        So you knew, with 100% certainty, that it was all for naught before the soldiers were sent?

        Maybe you should buy lotto tickets if you’re so good at predicting the future.

        • pukeko 4.1.2.1

          Kaua koe e whai atu i ngā mahi a te hukehuke rā, kei raru kōrua tahi

        • Morrissey 4.1.2.2

          So you knew, with 100% certainty, that it was all for naught before the soldiers were sent?

          I know with 100 per cent certainty that no New Zealand soldiers were killed in Afghanistan before Helen Clark had her arm twisted and sent them there.

          I know with 100 per cent certainty that the overwhelming majority of Afghanistan’s people want the invading troops out.

          But why don’t you listen to one of them yourself, accompanied by the world’s most respected dissenter?…

  5. rosy 5

    Such a tragic loss for the families and friends of these 3 men. Deepest sympathy.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    Holy sh*t.

    The NY Times reports that most of the recent attacks on NATO troops were by our “allies,” the Afghan army, NOT by the Taliban!

    Read the NY Times article. According to the NATO high command our soldiers were probably ambushed by Afghan army soldiers, NOT the Taliban!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/world/asia/afghan-attacks-on-allied-troops-prompt-nato-to-shift-policy.html?ref=global-home

  7. Enough is Enough 7

    Enough is Enough.

    There was never a right time to send our boys and girls into harms way. However now is definitley the time to pull them out.

    Clark and Key should not be able to sleep tonight thinking of the families of these troops who have been killed for no reason whatsoever.

  8. Pete 8

    Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker (26), Private Richard Harris (21) and Corporal Luke Tamatea (31).

    It’s a damn shame.

  9. Salsy 9

    The Herald are quick to run a piece which supports Key’s “blame it on the Hungarians” line.

    Hungarian soldiers responsible for security in the Baghlan province “unfortunately … have been reluctant to actively patrol the area”, Mr Patman told TVNZ’s Breakfast this morning.

    But at the end of the article this:

    Mr Patman said Hungarian troops were not likely to change their tactics.
    “Many countries now know that the international presence is going to be pulled out by 2014. [Hungarian soldiers] are probably not going to adopt new techniques that … could run the risk of unnecessary casualties before a major troop pull-out.

    Perhaps New Zealand could learn something of the Hungarian strategy after all…

    • Jenny 9.1

      With our withdrawal already announced, and with the fair expectation that all our brave men and women could all be returned safely to their families.

      Such stupid pointless meaningless deaths #?*!!

      To be prepared to die for a cause can be a noble sentiment. But just as in Vietnam after the American withdrawal was announced, no one wanted to be the last GI to die in a lost cause.

      What could more New Zealand deaths in Afghanistan possibly achieve?

      Can anyone tell me?

      Key needs to speed up the withdrawal so that more kiwis don’t die pointlessly.

  10. Only people with the heads up Uncle Sam’s arse can think that NZ ever had any business in Afghanistan. It was and is a US war using the UN to cover for its blind rage over 9/11.  Clark and Co bought it because it has the UN stamp of approval. NZ became the US deputy’s (Howard’s) dog. It doesn’t matter if the Taliban (created by the US to fight a pro-US regime in the 80s) or ‘Afghan’ army killed NATO troops, they are all Afghans in their own country defending themselves from those who are occupying it. However you read it it proves the old cliche that Western countries that venture into Afghanistan to conquer it, always end up getting wiped out. Good.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2009/08/afghanistan-defeat-imperialist-invaders.html
     

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Only people with the heads up Uncle Sam’s arse can think that NZ ever had any business in Afghanistan. It was and is a US war using the UN to cover for its blind rage over 9/11.

      Well, not so much blind rage, but an attempt to secure oil and NG pipelines from central asia which bypass the instability of the middle east and the political whims of Russia.

    • Vicky32 10.2

      , they are all Afghans in their own country defending themselves from those who are occupying it.

      Absolutely right! Seconded, thirded, fourthed and so on….

  11. I just don’t think today is the day for debating our length of tenure in Afghanistan. Give it a few weeks and sure. But the headlines about Goff and Shearer saying we need to pull out make me sick:

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/08/your-soldier-was-hero-you-hold-that-to.html

    Today belongs to remembrance of the dead.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      I don’t see how you honour the dead by allowing more to die without good cause.

      I just don’t think today is the day for debating our length of tenure in Afghanistan. Give it a few weeks and sure.

      If the NZDF are taking casualties more frequently now, when will we ever get a chance to debate what we are doing in Afghanistan?

    • Murray Olsen 11.2

      Following your logic, Monique, if soldiers were dying every day we’d stay there forever with no debate. The fact that more have died over nothing worthwhile makes it exactly the right time to debate this.

    • Carol 11.3

      Actually – this thread is a memorial one, Monique. There’s another thread for discussing the issue. You are politicising a memorial thread.

    • gobsmacked 11.4

      According to Monique’s logic, Afghanistan must not be discussed in the US Presidential election. Or at any time over the past decade.

      If they had to “give it a few weeks” after suffering casualties, given the scale of their losses, they would never discuss the war at all.

      The problem with not discussing is that it leads to not understanding, which leads to more deaths, and not only in Afghanistan.

    • gobsmacked 11.5

      Just to keep you updated, Monique, the “length of tenure” is being debated this afternoon/evening on Radio NZ, Newstalk ZB, Radio Live, TVNZ, TV 3 news, Campbell Live, Stuff.co.nz, etc, etc.

      Even some bereaved family members are speaking on the TV news, about bringing the troops home.

      So your swipe at Shearer/Goff is unwarranted.

  12. Tim 12

    Deem me a cnut if you will, but I’ve followed all this since the time it became public – from VERy early morn. Then I witnessed a Jonkey press conference at 11.30 and I was truly embarassed – especially as he shuffled together the pages of his speech just given at the end. Atually- he kept the media waiting just to show who was in control.
    A Performace!!!. I’m not suggesting the man does not have sympathy or genuine concern, simply that his concern is MORE about him and how people perceive him first and foremost, THEN the deaths.
    I MUST come across all staunch and concerned. Stay the course!. {Look left at photos of the dead}.
    The guy sounded drunk as he shhhhsssstraifed his way through a prepared speech full of the usual platitudes….ultimate sekrfois et al. Keep it up… PLEASE John! A few more hobbits will awake.

  13. seeker 13

    My sincere condolences, sympathy and prayers go out to the families of these brave soldiers. Am feeling deep grief myself so I cannot imagine what their families are going through. I just pray they stay strong.

  14. It is good to see the Taliban have worked out that to get the invades out of their country it is smarter to kill the Alliance soldiers than the US ones, killing a US soldier just reduces the unemployment # in the US, and whats another yank? Where as poping off our guys really hurts the Alliance, a dead Kiwi has got to be worth more points in the ‘game of war’ than several dead yanks.

    I am amazed people are upset by our guys dying, I mean it is a war zone? They are ALL coming back with death sentences anyway, what with all the radioactive crap they have been living around while in Afghanistan – specifically Depleted Uranium.

    And don’t they volunteer for this adventure? it wouldn’t be as much fun if you didn’t stand the chance of dying or better still killing someone.

    In the end these people are just state funded murderers.

    IrishBill: Take a month off.

    • gobsmacked 14.1

      Robert, seek help.

    • pukeko 14.2

      Parawai.

    • Te Reo Putake 14.3

      You’re probably going to regret this comment when you sober up, Robert.

      • Robert Atack 14.3.1

        Not at all.
        New Zealand troops are just backing the lie that is 9/11.
        They are supporting an occupying force?
        Why get pissed at me? It is the government that has sent them into harms way, and most Kiwis are happy with that. Sure the Taliban are a bad lot, but so are the Israelis when they get fired up, and there are plenty of other countries that ‘need’ invading, to bring democracy, consumerism, and everything we enjoy …. ignoring the fact that we are passed peak ‘luxury’.
        Politicians and TPTB are a bunch of 3 year olds, they would literally crawl over dead babies to maintain their lifestyles, like most people they are unable to grasp the end of growth, some even think we should or have to ‘climate change’ to the brink of extinction to bring the second coming of Christ, then his dad and him are going to turn the planet back to like it was before we fucked it ????? people are just stupid. And politicians are a great representative of this useless gene pool.

        ‘We’ are being lied to and ripped off daily by our government, EVERY politician is lying to us everyday.

        Happy Kiwi Saving.

        In the end we are just bacteria, but a real dumb one, a bit like yeast.

        • bad12 14.3.1.1

          Yeast aint that dumb, i have a potato one on the cook in my hot-water cupboard right now, in 2 days time it will be banana bread,

          And,

          Banana bread aint dumb it’s the bomb…

  15. Dion 15

    While I offer my prayers and sympathies for those soldiers that have been killed in Afghanistan I am also mindful of the futility of war. Both the war in Iraq and Afghanistan should have never been authorized and waged because the justification for it was based on a bunch of lies.

    The US imports more oil from Iraq than they do from Saudi Arabia. Afghanistan is of strategic importance to the US so one wonders how genuine thier motives are? Do they care about bringing democracy to these countries? I don’t think so.

    I am also deeply saddened by the millions of innocent civilians no different from you and I in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen who have been killed by the bombs dropped by US and NATO forces. Somehow our media fails to mention this

  16. Tim 16

    @TRP p= I hope he does regret it when he sobers up. I wonder though WHAT of Jomkey when he does.
    Over the millenium, I think its almost safe to say 50% of my family engaged in the military.intelligenc wing have either been killed or traumatised by all this sort of total SHITE.
    It’s why Jonkeys 11.30 am “press conference” was so fucking hollow and offensive.

    How the hell did a usually smart NZ electorate be conned by a used-car salesman dressed in the so-called respectability of “suited finacial market free-trader’ professionalism”. Not only is there a really UGLY emperor with no clothes, but the protestations of sympathy and “utlimate proice” crap are beginning to be recognised as the spin and bullshit they really are.

    Fuck off John. There’s a cute little Hawaiian retreat – go for it now rather than when the shit really hits the fan – save us all the anguish. Current course – result inevitable it’s really only about your pathetic ego when it comes down to it

    • Anne 16.1

      Fuck off John.

      He’s going to fuck off – my pick is towards the end next year. Why not. All the doors that can be opened to him have been opened. Not much point in hanging around any longer. He’s done his dash as PM, and there’s an even bigger stash to be made on the international financial markets.

      It gives Stephen Joyce about nine months to enjoy his honeymoon and have an election before the voters twig they’ve swopped one egomaniac for yet another…. who could turn out to be even worse.

  17. Jenny 17

    I was sorry to hear that the number of New Zealanders killed in Afghanistan now totals 10.

    My immediate thoughts went to their loved ones and families.

    I then thought, how many of the enemy have our troops killed? Is it two of theirs, for every one of ours?

    I would expect with us having unlimited ammunition and supplies, far superior weapons, hi tech body armor, reliable transport, logistics and communications, our total firepower and professional training would ensure that the ratio of enemy killed would be much higher than the 10 kiwi dead.

    Is it 20, 30, 50, 100, who knows?

    My next thought was; Wouldn’t it be better to just end the cycle of violence?

    What could more deaths achieve?

    • pukeko 17.1

      He āhua rite tēnei tono ki te kōrero nenekara rā, “Ko koutou mā kāore anō kia tae mai, tēnā whakatūhia mai ō koutou ringa.”

    • bad12 17.2

      I would suggest that it’s going to escalate, the cycle of violence that is, the Chief of Defense Reece Jones was saying on RadioNZ this afternoon that permission has been given for New Zealand to also operate in the neighbouring Baghlan Province,

      If the Kiwi troops go playing gang busters in Baghlan looking for revenge we all can expect more body bags back here via Bagram…

  18. North 18

    My heart is with those people the soldiers. Equally with their shattered loved-ones. Facing a hellish life without their loved-one.

    So I mentally gulped when today I heard John Key quoted saying along the lines that to pull out of Afghanistan (presumably “now”) would horrify the families as offensive to the memories of the soldiers and their service. In a just cause. Does he know all those aspects personally and at first hand ? Bit of a question if he doesn’t.

    Well it’s 7.04 pm and we’re into John Key on “Close Up”. Everyman Sainsbury giving John Key a good run at looking vaguely “Churchill in wartime” to overstate.

    Pretty surely it’s John Key looking after John Key. Apologies to the people who got a hiding above for being political too early. Key has declared the politics of it imperative.

  19. Jenny 19

    Key must listen to the families of our soldiers.

    ‘‘We’d been hoping that [Prime Minister] John Key would have sent him back by now, after the last lot passed away.’’

    The grandmother of slain Kiwi soldier Corporal Luke Tamatea says she wanted him to come home after the last deadly attack on New Zealand troops two weeks ago.

    Loraine O’Brien said she was devastated after hearing the news ……

    O’Brien told Te Kaea News that Tamatea phoned her about a week ago because he knew she was worried about him.

    ‘‘He said, ‘don’t worry about me nana. I’m alright’ and those were his last words to me,’’ she said.

    ‘‘We’d been hoping that [Prime Minister] John Key would have sent him back by now, after the last lot passed away.’’…..

    stuff.co.nz

    Is this why our Prime Minister does not want to attend the funerals for those slain?

    That he might have to face the families of those he has put in harms way?

    Will John Key attend the funerals?

    Or will John Key continue making excuses for avoiding his duty as Premier to honour these soldiers?

    • DJ 19.1

      What a ridiculous disrespectful post. Shame on you. He personally visited those families last time and I am sure he will do the same again. Did anyone else do this? No!

      I personally would not want all the politicians at my son’s funeral grandstanding to the world, pretending they cared whilst dropping a well rehearsed tear for the cameras.

      • xtasy 19.1.2

        DJ: Excuse me, what are you worked up for?

        Soldiers have “fallen” or died for eons of times in human history, for good, bad, right, wrong and whatever causes that were claimed, usually by dominant, privileged rulers that had no scruples to send the young ones off to sacrifice their lives for whatever nationalistic, idealistic or whatever causes.

        This whole soldier ethos of dying for your country, your mates, your family, for a good cause and so on, it has been repeated throughout history endlessly.

        Now even the Hitler youth believed they were right and sacrificed their lives for the right cause, so did the kamikaze youth from Japan, so did Mao’s brigades, Lenin’s fighting troups, and further back the ones fighting for the dominance of Rome, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and whatever.

        Who ever paid the bloody price?

        The ordinary foot soldier and their families! Who won, who lost, what did it usually achieve?

        A plaque on some rock or what, how is that for “spirit” and liveliness?

        The RSA fought in good faith agains dictators, but any sensible person knows also, they also in part committed atrocities!

        Shove your over-holy crap into the grave, where it belongs, thank you.

        Every person who dies deserves fair respect and consideration. Soldier, voluntary nun or aid worker in the slums of Calcutta maybe even more so than some highly armed soldiers in Afghanistan, trying to protect a rotten, corrupt government that also allows opium trade.

        What have the dumbed down and manipulated masses in this country come to, if the media gets away every time to glorify the so called “sacrifice” for bloody what?

        I am sick to death of all this shit. Throw away you uniforms, get naked, real, human and put your lively human effort and strenght where it is most needed: To fight for justice against unfairness and poverty, first of all in your own country, and in the realm around it. Then you deserve a bloody medal, that will be in spirit not rotten or rusty metal.

        Thank you!

  20. Balanced View 20

    Any chance we can leave this post for condolences and remembrance?
    Any politicising should be made on Open mike.

    • DJ 20.1

      Too late the wankers went into full post mode straight away …….

      • gobsmacked 20.1.1

        Hi DJ, if you don’t want to “politicise” here, there’s a wide-ranging debate on the other thread. Feel free to join in.

        • pukeko 20.1.1.1

          Te standard tērā e haunga mai nei.

          • Adele 20.1.1.1.1

            Tēnā koe, Pukeko

            Ko wai koe?

            Why are you repeating practically verbatim phrases from the Māori online dictionary? The original phrase that you have erroneously bastardised is thus

            “He ika tērā e haunga mai nei. / That fish is smelly”

            Every recent post you have made in the reo has been similarly taken from the same Maori online dictionary and misused. So why the pretence?

            • bad12 20.1.1.1.1.1

              I seriously suspect that that one is the false face of one who recently copped a little stretch of a banning from The Standard, (like as in life-time),

              Have carefully studied ‘its’ appearances in various debates going back a bit and ‘it’ seems to have some twisted motive (revenge) as the basis for ‘its’ comments…

  21. Jenny 21

    Gordon Campbell writes that it is gutless crawling to the Americans by our leaders that New Zealanders are dying for.

    “…… we should be clear about the motives at work here.”

    “…… when Prime Minister John Key wears his sad face and talks gravely about sacrifice, we need to keep in mind that the lives in question have been sacrificed for a political commitment that is meaningless. There is no noble purpose involved here, only the usual grubby business of politicking – that by joining the effort in Afghanistan, New Zealand might gain some political or trade favours from the Americans.”

    Gordon Campbell August 20, 2012

    “….our soldiers will continue to be sitting ducks, who are doing little more than trying to survive a totally arbitrary period of deployment.”

    “On the current timetable, our PRT forces are not due to be withdrawn until September 2013. That timeframe lacks any intrinsic sense. There is no reason to believe that between now and then, our PRT presence will make Bamiyan safer for the locals in any sustainable fashion, or that the aid projects with which the PRT has been involved will survive their withdrawal. Nothing that New Zealand will achieve between now and September 2013 can justify the further loss of life that now seems inevitable….”

    Gordon Campbell August 20, 2012

    “Whenever he is pressed on the purpose of our Afghan deployment, Key usually responds by saying that we’re fighting global terrorism and/or enabling Afghanistan to rebuild. Well, if it ever made any sense, the ‘fighting global terrorism’ rationale ended many years ago, after the destruction of al Qaeda as a functioning global network and the capture and/or killing of its leaders……”

    “The Dutch saw the writing on the wall and pulled out their troops two years ago. There is no good reason why we should not do likewise, and get our forces home by Christmas. Because what our troops in Afghanistan are really defending – and dying for – in 2012 is John Key’s reputation, and his welcome mat in Washington.”

    Gordon Campbell August 20, 2012

    • geoff 21.1

      yup, nice one Jenny.

    • Morrissey 21.2

      It’s honesty like that, along with the fact that he’s humiliated Graham Bell and Richard Griffin on air, that means Campbell is not asked to appear on National Radio’s wretched “Panel” programme any more.

      • Grumpy 21.2.1

        Campbell would have a lot more credibility if he had written those comments years ago and substituted “Clark” for “Key”……….

        • Morrissey 21.2.1.1

          Campbell would have a lot more credibility if he had written those comments years ago and substituted “Clark” for “Key”……….

          He did, and on many occasions. You really need to catch up on your reading, my friend.

    • ropata 21.3

      Key wants a FTA with the USA in order to brag to his pals in Hawaii

      • Colonial Viper 21.3.1

        i.e. a “Free Trade” agreement giving all the advantages to multinational corporates, a few morsels to big NZ interests, and sells our ordinary citizens down the river.

        • Grumpy 21.3.1.1

          An FTA is the goal. .nothing changed since the Clark days…….wait, didn’t Helen get a plum job at the UN?

          • Colonial Viper 21.3.1.1.1

            An FTA is the goal. .nothing changed since the Clark days…….

            a quarter century of globalised neoliberal free markets has been a huge wealth pump from the many to the few.

    • mike e 21.4

      +10

  22. AmaKiwi 22

    The “war on terrorism” has always been b.s. How do you have a war with no specific enemy?

    The first Christians were terrorists in the eyes of the Romans. The revolutionaries in the British and Spanish American colonies were terrorists in the eyes of their European masters; freedom fighters in the eyes of their neighbors. And so it has been with every protest movement. Heck, in some countries outspoken women are terrorists.

    “Be afraid, very afraid. Embrace Big Brother. Only he can protect you.”

    This is highly classified so don’t spread it around. The Teleban sent a suicide squad to blow up the Inter-Island ferry but our police intercepted them, which is why Big Brother will be expanding civilian surveillance. It’s for your own good.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      The “war on terrorism” has always been b.s. How do you have a war with no specific enemy?

      Shades of 1984.

      • mike 22.1.1

        I felt a 1984 chill back when Bush was talking about the ‘war on terror’ going on for as long as it takes. A war without end. Since then I can just turn on Fox news and get that chill anytime I want.

  23. xtasy 23

    Sad all this, yet, has anyone ever seriously looked at near death experiences?

    Generally the reports and feed-backs are very consoling and calming. Those that have been there usually no longer fear death. Combatants of course are on the very front line of life and death challenges, survival and so forth. I feel extremely sorry for those that get maimed, disabled and seriously injured and survive to live a life of misery.

    It is disgusting what Taleban are doing, using these hideous, cunning IEDs.

    Yet anyone exposed to such threats would only wish for her or him to hit it straight and for sure, to be spared any suffering.

    Maybe the madness of yihadis does also explain that death is not really that much to fear about. If life is crap, then it may be a salvation, especially if it serves a cause.

    Extreme these thoughts are, but I dare to raise the unthinkable, to ponder about in times of distress and unbearable pain.

    Voluntary euthanasia is becoming more acceptable to me, looking at all this stuff.

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      It is disgusting what Taleban are doing, using these hideous, cunning IEDs.

      About the same as hellfire equipped killer drones being controlled by “pilots” half a world away, who fight a distant war impersonally, from the luxury of their own home town.

      I feel extremely sorry for those that get maimed, disabled and seriously injured and survive to live a life of misery.

      This is exactly what anti-personnel mines have been designed to do for the longest time. But who says that civilisation does not advance? For in every new war, they find new ways of killing and maiming people.

      It is an unfortunate business.

      • xtasy 23.1.1

        CV – do you ever sleep? O is the revolutionary fervour giving you 24/7 energy to burn?

        • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1

          The second time he told me a story… about how someone offered him a boat cloak on a cold night. And he said no, he didn’t need it. That he was quite warm. His zeal for his king and country kept him warm.

  24. Wairua 24

    Key’s self-interest in attending his son’s ball-game in the US rather than representing NZ at the funeral for one of his soldiers who died in Afghanistan can only hurt him at the next election.

    He was his Commander-in-Chief. Loyalty flows both ways ..

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    Future generations are the ones bearing the brunt of National’s failure to provide education services the funding they need to make ends meet, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “For nine years in a row the Government has told our ...
    2 days ago
  • The real costs of National’s election bribe
    The cost of National’s poorly-targeted election year budget bribe is that there’s nothing to fix the housing crisis, health funding is cut, and funding for schools is cut, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “As the dust begins to settle ...
    2 days ago
  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    2 days ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    3 days ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    3 days ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    4 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    4 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    4 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    4 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    5 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    6 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    6 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    3 weeks ago