What’s the Game?

Written By: - Date published: 12:57 pm, April 14th, 2018 - 194 comments
Categories: International, Politics, Propaganda, Syria - Tags: , ,

I was no great fan of Obama. But at least when it came to foreign interventions he didn’t cower before the hawks. Notwithstanding his illegal drone programme that targeted US civilians abroad in a series of extrajudicial killings, when it came to Iran, he sought to dampen down tensions. He left the destruction of Libya to France and Britain. And in the case of Syria, he took steps to align with Russia against ISIS.

But these days we have a grotesque caricature of a statesperson in the shape of Teresa May; Macron who could always be spat further than trust might ever carry him, and Trump – a compliant clown of a man who once spoke as though he would turn from the insanity of US foreign policy – all ramping up tensions over the head of Syria, and being all eager to play with lots of shiny things that kill people.

Why? What is it about Syria that has these idiots so “besides themselves”?

It’s not down to Assad being some kind of evil incarnate that they, the forces for good, feel duty bound to remove from the face of the planet. There are disgusting and decrepit enough leaders that the US, France and UK fete and court. (You can name them and/or their respective countries for yourself).

It’s not down to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Hell, these people (“our” masters) provided Sadam Hussein with all the precursors he could wish for during the Iran/Iraq war – that he used liberally in that war, and that he also used against Kurds within Iraq. It wasn’t until years later, when Sadam decided to do something about Kuwait stealing oil from Iraqi oil fields that things went sour for him with “our” masters.

Look. Do I need to mention that this Syrian nonsense has got nothing whatsoever to do with “bringing democracy” to the country? Surely not. That gets filed alongside the notion of dropping bombs to achieve humanitarian goals. Right?

So if it’s not the intrinsic evil of Assad, and it’s not “democracy” or “humanitarianism”, and it’s not some deep seated aversion to chemicals, then what is behind all this bullshit?

In September 2016, Mike Whitney, authored a piece for Counterpunch titled “Assad’s Death Warrant”. That article leaned heavily on the analysis of Robert F Kennedy Jr and suggests Assad’s rejection of a gas pipeline deal that would have seen Qatar “corner the market” for European gas supplies at Russia’s expense, and his endorsement of an Iranian pipeline instead, is what lies behind the push for regime change. The piece is worth reading. Robert F Kennedy Jr’s original article in Politico is also worth reading. Make of them what you will.

Stephen Gowans has given presentations relating to his book “Washington’s Long War On Syria” that provides very useful historical and political contexts on the country. As he points out, the tension between a radical Sunni agenda and the equally anti-imperialist Baathist agenda is irreconcilable. And it has resulted in bloodshed in Syria before. The video behind this link is some forty minutes long, and again, as with the articles above, if you want to avail yourself of some deeper analysis of Syria beyond some white hat/black hat nonsense, then find the time to give it a listen. And make of it what you will.

Should we throw in Israels preoccupation with Iran and their support of Hezbollah in Lebanon? Probably. I don’t think it has “nothing” to do with what we’re seeing in Syria. Hell, even the simplistic “fear and loathing” of Russia and all things Russian (except under Yeltsin) “our” masters have, and that stretches all the way back to 1800’s  Tsarist Russia is an ingredient in the mix.

We know that the UK and US (as well as many others) have given direct logistical, military and financial support to Jihadist gangs or groups within Syria. The Guardian had a very good article on some of the machinations it uncovered back in May of 2016. Interestingly, one of the groups mentioned in that article as receiving support is Jaish Al Islam – that’s the same Jaish Al Islam that has just recently departed from Eastern Ghouta after claiming civilians had been subjected to a chemical attack by the Syrian government. Make of that what you will.

My question is this though.

What happens if Assad survives and the steady flow of information that has been flying in the face of what we’ve been told every night and every day from mainstream/corporate/liberal media outlets becomes a stream, and then a flood washing down from the soggy, broken dam of government bullshit?

Will we, as with Iraq, tut-tut and then go back to our Netflix or whatever? Why do we keep on giving “our” masters a free pass when they, in our name, perpetrate evils on other people in this world? Shouldn’t we, as conscientious citizens, and as a duty, be making it clear and known to our governments, that the price they will pay for indulging in mendacious bullshitt is so high that they simply won’t be able to so much as contemplate stepping out of line?

That’s my question, regardless of where you stand on the rights and wrongs and maybes that are swirling around on Syria at the moment. Do we not all have a duty to seek ways whereby actions of the institutions of the countries we’re citizens of are restrained at our moral insistence?

There is something very wrong with our political culture when leaders can casually bandy about notions of military intervention and war.

Update According to the Guardian, Trump has just “ordered strikes against the Assad regime ”

From the Guardian –

“Trump refers to the “righteous power” of the US, UK and France in acting in the region. He urges Americans to say a prayer. He finishes with: “We pray that god will bring comfort to the suffering and guide the whole region.”

194 comments on “What’s the Game?”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Perfect timing Bill. Trump just announced a joint UK-France-US attack on Syria.

    • Bill 1.1

      Yeah. Kind of wanting to throw up about now micky. Need to distract myself. It’s sunny. And I have things hereabouts that need my attention.

      • D'Esterre 1.1.1

        Bill: “Kind of wanting to throw up about now…”

        Yup. Me too. Blithering bloody idiots…

  2. SARAH 2

    Watching the live announcement from Trump – OMG is all I can think of saying. Are UK, France and US now at war with Russia?

    • Wayne 2.1


      No, they are not at war with Russia.

      This whole thing has been carefully signalled. The attacks will be “de-conflicted” with Russia, to ensure Russians are not in the firing line. Syria will lose some aircraft and airfields, and command and control centres will be hit. Essentially to indicate to Syria not to cross the chemical warfare redline. Assad did so with impunity when Obama let him cross the “redline” in 2013 without consequence. Unlike Bill, I think that was Obama’s worst decision.

      There is also a broader signal to Russia. That the key nations in the West (US, UK and France) can act in unison, just as they have over the Salisbury attack. It is intended to make Putin think twice about his actions, primarily around Ukraine, the Baltics, and Georgia. But also on Russia’s actions interfering in elections (US and France were both affected) and undertaking cyber attacks. They want a Russia that respects the normal rules of international discourse, and acts with more restraint.

      • Muttonbird 2.1.1

        More likely that the West wants to reduce Russian opposition to the expansion of Western interests close to Russian borders and the borders of Russia’s allies in the Middle East.

        • mikesh

          It is a great pity Jubilation T Trump doesn’t show some “restraint”. But I guess he felt he had to act before the OPCW representatives reached Douma and proved the the allegations against Assad were ill founded.

          • D'Esterre

            Mikesh: “But I guess he felt he had to act before the OPCW representatives reached Douma and proved the the allegations against Assad were ill founded.”

            Yup. Never let the facts get in the way of a good bombing, huh?

            I guess these warmongers get off on this stuff. But they sure wouldn’t like it up ’em, were the boot on the other foot.

      • D'Esterre 2.1.2

        Wayne: “No, they are not at war with Russia.”

        Yes. They are. Do you understand nothing? All of this warmongering is aimed at Russia.

        “primarily around Ukraine, the Baltics, and Georgia. But also on Russia’s actions interfering in elections (US and France were both affected) and undertaking cyber attacks.”

        The above ranges from propaganda to outright lies. None of it justifies what’s happening today.

        “They want a Russia that respects the normal rules of international discourse, and acts with more restraint.”

        No. The US wants Russia as a vassal state, as it believed Russia was during the Yeltsin years.

        If the west wants other polities to respect the rules of international discourse, it could begin by doing so itself. I scarcely need to adduce the numerous ways in which the US, UK and France have acted in blatant disregard of international law.

        Christ almighty…. More innocents set to die, just to satisfy the Washington neocons’.


        • Ovid

          Well what are you doing here, then? If the US and Russia are at war, go out immediately and get any necessary supplies you need that can’t be produced in NZ.

          I know it’s 30 years old, but New Zealand After Nuclear War (PDF) is the best guidance available.

          • D'Esterre

            Ovid: “go out immediately and get any necessary supplies you need that can’t be produced in NZ.”

            Oh yeah, like all those supplies designed to get us through the aftermath of an earthquake. Hahaha!

      • One Two 2.1.3

        War on behalf of Israel… once again…

        They want a Russia that respects the normal rules of international discourse, and acts with more restraint

        So proxy wars, illegal occupations, overthrowing legitimate governments, murdering and maiming and displacing tens of millions…

        Whose ‘god’ are ‘they’ fighting for, Wayne…

        • Stunned Mullet

          • cleangreen

            Stunned mullet is nothing but another war monger.

            Nothing to do with reality showing a video of a chicken.

            Get real and add some intelligence before a war is started by the likes of your ilk.

      • cleangreen 2.1.4

        Wayne Mapp again saying “nothing to see here”!!!!!!!!

        This is like he did a Afganistan over the the NZ Military strikes on civilians there!!!!

        So we think nothing of what ‘Wayne’ says now.

        • gsays

          Spot on, cleangreen.
          ‘De-conflicting’, ‘pre emptive strikes’…. it’s de-javu, all over again. Nothing to see here.

          I know little of the factional goings on in Syria, however I do see unpopular leaders.
          As Bill Hicks called it The Gulf war distraction.

          Edit. Snap Kay. Well said.

      • Liberal Realist 2.1.5

        Essentially to indicate to Syria not to cross the chemical warfare redline. Assad did so with impunity when Obama let him cross the “redline” in 2013 without consequence.

        Wayne, where is the evidence Assad crossed any red line? That’s right, there isn’t any! So why then do you repeat lies and propaganda?

        There is zero evidence that Syria remains in possession of chemical or biological weapons, or that it has used chemical weapons on anyone.

        BTW, I consider Obama allowing the Russian brokered compromise leading to destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons as one his best decisions. In this, Obama stood against the war hawks, avoided the murder of many innocents, and the potential for a super power standoff.

        • SPC

          Then the Syrians lost nothing in the strikes on the so called chemical weapons production sites and stockpile locations.

          For mine whenever air attacks occur in civilian areas a red-line has been crossed.

          • reason

            Supporting terrorists and being part of a rat line sending billions of dollars in weapons to these terrorist ‘rebels’ ….. could probably give us a red line painted with the blood of Syrians stretching to the white house and 10 Downing street over and over again. https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Mark-Curtis/Secret-Affairs–Britains-Collusion-with-Radical-Islam/21378882

            MI5 had maintained Libyan terrorist Assets in Manchester for 20 years … one group of extremists being anti-Gaddaffi ‘Libyan Islamist fighting group’.

            The British suicide bomber who blew himself up in England, along with over 22 teenage girls was part of the ‘Libyan Islamist fighting group’

            In Libya many ‘rebels’ were secretly supplied and trained by british SAS …. many went on to Syria to join Isis.

            John Pilger from the 1hr 43 min mark is very informative

        • Draco T Bastard

          So why then do you repeat lies and propaganda?

          Because that’s what he does. Lying and spinning appears to be his job.

      • reason 2.1.6

        battle of the rogue nations …. http://markcurtis.info/2018/04/06/when-it-comes-to-middle-east-policy-the-uk-is-nothing-but-a-rogue-state/

        in the 15th year since the illegal invasion of Iraq …. “To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” ,,,,

        ,,,,,, Wayne Mapp, A supporter of this ultimate crime walks into a thread without a shred of shame …. and writes exactly what we would expect based on his past form.

        At about the 48 minute mark of this doco you will hear ‘ Wayne Speak’ https://off-guardian.org/2018/01/11/documentary-ukraine-on-fire-2016/

        • Draco T Bastard

          Wayne Mapp, A supporter of this ultimate crime walks into a thread without a shred of shame …. and writes exactly what we would expect based on his past form.


      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.7

        They want a Russia that respects the normal rules of international discourse, and acts with more restraint.

        Those normal rules apparently being that the US does what it wants and everyone else gets to kowtow to them in fear of being bombed back to the stone age.

        Yeah, I think we’d all be better off without that normality.

      • Kaya3 2.1.8

        Am I reading a report from Fox News ffs?
        What red line did Syria cross? Show some proof? There is no proof of Assad carrying out ANY chemical weapons attacks. If you have some show it.

        What Salisbury attack? The one where both parties survived a nerve agent 5 times deadlier than VX?? What did Russia do in Ukraine and Georgia? Apart from support and defend their own people? There was NO interference in US elections, oh, except for that British company, Cambridge Analytica – or is Putin a majority shareholder?

        “They want a Russia that respects the rules of international discourse and acts with more restraint.”
        I swear that statement is funnier than anything in any Monty Python sketch. Russia is the only country in recent times that actually is playing by international rules. Unless of course you have evidence to support all those theories you read on the BBC or the Guardian recently.

        • Brigid


        • Stunned mullet

          “Russia is the only country in recent times that actually is playing by international rules. ”

          😆 comedy gold.

          • Kaya3

            Instead of inane responses how about actually coming up with something to disprove my statement? I can give you plenty to show it is 100% accurate. Take as long as you need but I won’t be holding my breath.

            Let me know how many examples you want of Russia acting with integrity while the West is breaking every law and convention we have.

    • D'Esterre 2.2

      Sarah: “Are UK, France and US now at war with Russia?”

      Looks like it. And likely with China as well.

      God help us all: none of us will escape the consequences.

      • Stunned Mullet 2.2.1

        Do you want me to send some pearls over so you can clutch them ?

        • adam

          Oh look, active murder at a state level, and stunned mullet makes jokes. What a guy.

          • stunnedmullet

            🙄 limited strike which had been telegraphed well before time and targeted to ensure there were no Russians within cooee and we have the usual crew stating that it’s the start of WWIII .

            Have people already forgotten that Israel shot up an airfield and Iranian personnel in Syria last week with virtual impunity -there’s more going on behind the scenes than we’re aware of and none of it has the smell of a direct conflict between the Russia and the West.

            • Bill

              Some people are scared. Taking the piss isn’t useful. And besides, what would it take for something to go awry in all this ‘calculated’ bullshit and for things to kick off?

              Because, way I see it, we’re dealing with complete fucking idiots throwing their weight around and fucking idiots tend to get things fucking idiotically wrong eventually.

              • D'Esterre

                Bill: “Because, way I see it, we’re dealing with complete fucking idiots throwing their weight around and fucking idiots tend to get things fucking idiotically wrong eventually.”

                Exactly. People who are flippant about this have no imagination. And no empathy.

              • Kaya3

                Exactly, as Roger Waters wrote in a song,

                Every time a smart bomb does its sums and gets it wrong
                Someone else’s child dies and equities in defence rise
                America, America, please hear us when we call
                You got hip-hop, be-bop, hustle and bustle
                You got Atticus Finch
                You got Jane Russell
                You got freedom of speech
                You got great beaches, wildernesses and malls
                Don’t let the might, the Christian right, fuck it all up
                For you and the rest of the world

        • D'Esterre

          Stunned Mullet: “Do you want me to send some pearls over so you can clutch them ?”

          Do you want to make any comments that are less facile?

        • Gabby

          You into pearl necklaces stunted?

      • SPC 2.2.2

        Doing something Russia does not like does not result in war with Russia unless Russia declares one.

        China’s attitude on war, is not to join on the side of the party that starts it.

    • Sanctuary 2.3

      The Russians are having their bluff called. Russia is a military lightweight that would lose a war to Britain, let alone the USA.

        • Sanctuary

          The UK has a bigger defense budget than Russia, much higher GDP per capita, is the worlds 5th or 6th biggest economy vs Russia coming in at 12th- just ahead of Australia. In fact, Russia’s GDP will soon be passed by the ANZAC partners, particularly as the Russian economy remains in the doldrums due to sanctions.

          The size of the Russian military counts for nothing. Numbers ceased to be a valid measure of military effectiveness over one hundred years ago. The UK military is much more efficient and effective than the Russian one and the UK commands a far stronger strategic position. For all the numbers, most of the Russian army is basically useless conscripts and most of it’s equipment is not operational or obsolescent.

          • Liberal Realist

            Care to substantiate your claims? Thought not…

            • joe90


              This essay on the fast-evolving European security situation by Aleksandr Khramchikhin—one of Russia’s most wide-ranging and prolific military observers and analysts—sheds light on how many Russians view the strategic environment and the strengths, weaknesses, and intentions of their adversaries in the West.


              The best evidence that the military situation in Europe is stable and that the continent is not on the brink of World War III is in the forces that each side has available for conducting military operations. Even a brief comparison of the present-day arsenals of Russia and NATO to those of the Soviet Union and NATO during the height of the Cold War should allay fears of military conflict (see table 1). This comparison should also take into account critically important political and psychological factors. Russia’s and NATO’s present-day forces do not measure up well against their predecessors of a generation ago.


              The very idea of Russian aggression against a NATO country is absurd and not worth discussing even hypothetically. All such scenarios belong to the category of propaganda or delusions, and are based on a complete lack of understanding of what has happened in the post-Soviet space over the past thirty years. The concept of “hybrid war” also belongs to the category of propaganda. There is no scientific definition of hybrid war, and any attempt to define it will lead anyone to the conclusion that hybrid war is war. War has always been a combination of regular and irregular armed hostilities, as well as economic and information warfare, even if their mix is different from one conflict to another.


              • McFlock

                The claim was russia v uk, not Nato.

                Hybrid war also seems to be a smoother transition between regular and irregular warfare. If you look at the command structures for regular and irregular military activities from WW2 (Army with uniformed commandos vs SOE/OSS), Vietnam (especially NVA vs NLF(VietCong)), and the Russians in Ukraine, the last is a single integrated command structure bridging assets that previously were largely command-independent of each other. So that’s why it’s different and interesting.

      • Kaya3 2.3.2

        Probably the most idiotic comment of the decade.

  3. Poission 3

    Explosions heard in Damascus.Where a large number of Russian members of the Duma have been since Wednesday.

    Raving nutcase (and known chicken and self admitted draft dodger) Bolton wants substantive targeting of syrian infrastructure.

    “Mr. Bolton favors an attack that would be ‘ruinous,’ crippling some part of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and national infrastructure, according to a person familiar with Mr. Bolton’s thinking.”

    • joe90 3.1

      Multiple air strikes.

      Reports coming out of strikes vs Jemraya District, Damascus. Jemraya is where the Scientific Studies and Research Centre is located


    • mickysavage 3.2

      What better way to return a nation to civilisation than by bombing it to rubble.

      • SPC 3.2.1

        Most destructive action has been by the government to passive areas they do not hold.

        • Bill

          Really? You even got some names of some areas that are “passive” but have seen more destruction than seen by “non-passive” areas? Some links too perhaps?

          • SPC

            It was an auto-correct typo, replace passive with pacify.

            • Bill

              Not “free” or “liberate” then. “Pacify”. I get you now.

              • SPC

                That sort of depends whether the civilians are forced to remain / unable to leave or not.

                Of course in most cases people just stay in their homes unless the fighting gets so extreme they leave if they can.

                The governments comparative destructiveness is related to its weapons capability. This does not speak to “people” remaining in their homes being oppressed while under Islamist rule – but this rarely involves destroying property.

  4. Kay 4

    I don’t understand the politics. I’ve tried to but I just can’t.
    May- Brexit, NHS, Austerity disasters, incompetance in general.
    Macron- national rail strikes, industrial action, he doesn’t seem terribly loved by his people
    Trump- Porn stars, love child and everything else. Seriously wants and needs the media distracted.

    What better distraction for all 3 but to go and bomb someone? Wouldn’t be the first time would it?

    • D'Esterre 4.1

      Kay: “I don’t understand the politics. I’ve tried to but I just can’t.”

      That’ll be because the motivations of the west are inexplicable to anyone with an ounce of common sense such as your good self.

    • Bill 4.2

      The 40 min vid linked in the post gives a very good explanatory background and solid analysis based on sources that can be checked via simple enough google searches if you’re interested.

      My rule of thumb is that if “our” media is presenting a confusing or contradictory picture, it’s usually because we’re meant to throw up in our arms in bewilderment and walk away.

      That’s when it pays to seek out intelligent and well researched opinion from beyond liberal/mainsteam/corporate sources of media. The info is there. It’s just that most people haven’t the time or inclination to go digging.

  5. Your Attention Please by Peter Porter

    The Polar DEW has just warned that
    A nuclear rocket strike of
    At least one thousand megatons
    Has been launched by the enemy
    Directly at our major cities.
    This announcement will take
    Two and a quarter minutes to make,
    You therefore have a further
    Eight and a quarter minutes
    To comply with the shelter
    Requirements published in the Civil
    Defence Code – section Atomic Attack.
    A specially shortened Mass
    Will be broadcast at the end
    Of this announcement –
    Protestant and Jewish services
    Will begin simultaneously –
    Select your wavelength immediately
    According to instructions
    In the Defence Code. Do not
    Tale well-loved pets (including birds)
    Into your shelter – they will consume
    Fresh air. Leave the old and bed-
    Ridden, you can do nothing for them.
    Remember to press the sealing
    Switch when everyone is in
    The shelter. Set the radiation
    Aerial, turn on the Geiger barometer.
    Turn off your television now.
    Turn off your radio immediately
    The services end. At the same time
    Secure explosion plugs in the ears
    Of each member of your family. Take
    Down your plasma flasks. Give your children
    The pills marked one and two
    In the C D green container, then put
    Them to bed. Do not break
    The inside airlock seals until
    The radiation All Clear shows
    (Watch for the cuckoo in your
    Perspex panel), or your District
    Touring Doctor rings your bell.
    If before this your air becomes
    Exhausted or if any of your family
    Is critically injured, administer
    The capsules marked ‘Valley Forge’
    (Red pocket in No 1 Survival Kit)
    For painless death. (Catholics
    Will have been instructed by their priests
    What to do in this eventuality.)
    This announcement is ending. Our President
    Has already given orders for
    Massive retaliation – it will be
    Decisive. Some of us may die.
    Remember, statistically
    It is not likely to be you.
    All flags are flying fully dressed
    On Government buildings – the sun is shining.
    Death is the least we have to fear.
    We are all in the hands of God,
    Whatever happens happens by His will.
    Now go quickly to your shelters.

    • Kay 5.1

      Oh jeeze Tony, really didn’t need that. Flashbacks to a couple of horrific movies we were forced to watch at high school in the 1980s.

      • Sorry, Kay – an over-reaction on my part – I hope!

        Did you see ‘Threads?’ This is where we could be heading!

        • Kay

          We all hope it is Tony. (the over-reaction part)
          Yeah, Threads. And The Day After. Dragged off to see that with my entire 4th Form year for English class. I don’t think we ever really got over it.

          • Beatie

            Yes Kay, in 1970 my class had to watch a terrifying BBC documentary ‘The War Game’ about the aftermath of a nuclear attack. Even at 16 years old, I was angry about having to watch it because it made nuclear war seem inevitable and why were they forcing children to watch, rather than those who created war.

    • gsays 5.2

      Hi Tony, I read Your attention please and the words are familiar, annoyingly so.
      Like an earworm, I have been (w)racking my brain….

      The Scars, an 80’s band from Scotland, used it on their Author Author album.

  6. JohnSelway 6

    I don’t think anyone knows who or what is right in Syria anymore.

    Everyone is wrong and no one seems to know what they are doing

    • Monty 6.1

      Your quite right. The first thing that is lost in these situations is the truth.

      Watching the Russian news channel here in Hong Kong and there is a lot of angry rhetoric.

      My Russian is good enough to keep up sadly.

      • JohnSelway 6.1.1

        No one seems to know why they are doing it anymore either. It just a proxy war between everyone else to prove they are the most righteous and be damned the civilians

  7. Ad 7

    There are no good moral positions left to take in Syria, for anyone.

    • adam 7.1

      Actually there are, but if you want to run with that lie feel free.

      Rojava, but as you have aptly done, like many a western liberals – you will wash your hands and make statements which write real human beings off.

      • stunnedmullet 7.1.1

        In regards to Rojava i’ll agree with you 100%.

      • Ad 7.1.2

        Any particular Just War theory you would like to roll out in Syria?

        If you have one, there are plenty in response right now.

        There’s certainly no legal fiction being proposed here. No one on any side bothers with mandates.

        In moral terms right now in Syria, any attack by any side is just another show of force.

        You can try and find little motes of idealism to defend, but then, they have others.

        • adam

          Are you anti democratic and anti working people Ad? Just wondering, as the people of Rojava are both those things.

          So your saying that democratic Rojava has no mandate process? Wow, just wow. You have no idea what is going on there do you? If you’d like a link Ad, ask I can help with that.

          Mind you with the comment “little motes of idealism” I’m convinced you actually don’t know what is happening in Rojava.

          Women and men trying to build a better world is not worth a dime in the eyes western liberalism, thanks for confirming that for me Ad.

    • Carolyn_Nth 7.2

      Trump could at least act within the framework of the US constitution.

      Bernie Sanders tweeted:

      It is Congress, not the president, which has the constitutional responsibility for making war. The international community must uphold the prohibition against the use of chemical weapons, but it is unclear how Trump’s illegal and unauthorized strikes on Syria achieve that goal.

  8. joe90 8

    2018 Russian presidential candidate Alexey Navalny

    Башар Асад нам не друг. Его семья пришла к власти в результате нескольких военных переворотов. Это настоящая хунта. Они ограбили страну и терроризирует собственный народ. Путин сейчас спасает Асада деньгами российских пенсионеров. Это должно быть прекращено.— Alexey Navalny (@navalny) April 14, 2018

    Alexey Navalny
    Verified account @navalny
    33m33 minutes ago

    Bashar Assad is not our friend. His family came to power as a result of several military coups. This is a real junta. They robbed the country and terrorized their own people. Putin is now saving Assad with the money of Russian pensioners. It must be stopped.

    google translate

    • One Two 8.1

      What’s your view J90?

      Does your stated ‘russophobia’ smear every Russian?

      Or only the ‘bad’ ones…

      Account verified 33minutes ago…

      Numbers have meanings…

    • D'Esterre 8.2

      Joe90: “Alexei Navalny”


      [No idea why your comments ae caught in “the trap” today. If you have sign in details, then use them. That’s sometimes the solution] – Bill

      • adam 8.2.1

        He’s a centre right Presidential candidate.

        • D'Esterre

          Adam: “He’s a centre right Presidential candidate.”

          Yeah, I do know who he is: just attempting (not very well) to make the point that he’s a no-account would-be pollie with microscopic support in Russia. His opinion has as much worth as the size of that support.

    • Kaya3 8.3

      You are kidding aren’t you? Navalny?? Presidential candidate??? He had less than 2% support before he was arrested as the western shill that he was.
      Put the Herald down for a minute and read some real analysis.


      • D'Esterre 8.3.1

        Kaya3: “You are kidding aren’t you? Navalny?? Presidential candidate??? He had less than 2% support before he was arrested as the western shill that he was.”

        Yeah, I omitted to mention that, but you’re so right.

  9. Congressional Democrats aren’t exactly challenging Trumps bombing Syria. They have “assented, if not openly endorsed”. Its pretty much a total replay of 2017. This article might as well be reprinted today.


    Politics these days really are like Groundhog Day…I just have a bad feeling were never going to live this day the right way.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Politics these days really are like Groundhog Day…I just have a bad feeling were never going to live this day the right way.


      I suspect it isn’t that far different to what was happening during the collapse of the Roman Empire. Got the big, powerful nation telling everyone to do things their way backed up by muscle transforming over time to the same nation cutting taxes, cutting back on the army and paying off the ‘barbarians’. The ‘barbarians’ just waited until Rome wasn’t powerful enough due to politics catering to only the rich and then ran over them.

      We can see the same trend in the US Empire. Just a lot faster.

      • gsays 9.1.1

        I referenced Bill Hicks up thread.
        He talks about the US Iraq ‘war’. Bush snr’s middle east war.
        Michael Franti- “Bush War one and Bush War two”.

        Their is a sickening familiarity to these goings on.

  10. joe90 10

    CNN –

    Mattis: “No additional attacks planned.”

    Dunford: “This wave of airstrikes is over.”

  11. cleangreen 11

    Trump needs a distraction from the investigation upon him from FBI/CIA.

    Trump will follow the line used by Thatcher before the falklands war, so you know where we are going now.

    As your article does say “Trump refers to the “righteous power” of the US, UK and France in acting in the region. He urges Americans to say a prayer. He finishes with: “We pray that god will bring comfort to the suffering and guide the whole region.”

    God help us all I say.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      God help us all I say.

      Why would he bother?

      Shit like this only happens because we let it.

    • cleangreen 12.1


      You are showing what CIA wants you to see ‘nothing’ as you do know that the US intelligence network has a system to prevent any planes being tracked don’t you?

      If not then you are less informed than you believe you are.

    • Sacha 12.2

      Standard daily flightpaths, sorry. Can’t get insurance to fly over there at the best of times.

  12. SPC 13


    The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.

    In 2013 President Obama claimed he would uphold the use taboo as a “red line”, but didn’t.

    Under a 2013 agreement for which Russia was a guarantor, Syria was to have eliminated all its chemical weapons.

    It has become a test case for the international rule of law.


    Last year Macron told Putin that the use of chemical weapons in Syria “would result in reprisal and an immediate response”.

    Obama was derided in France for not following through on his own “red line” after Syrian attacks five years ago.

    “When you fix red lines,” Mr Macron told a French newspaper last year, “if you can’t enforce them, you decide to be weak.”

    He said any action would “target chemical weapons” stocks.



    In 2013, Parliament defeated a call by then-Prime Minister David Cameron for air strikes in response to an earlier chemical attack in Syria (the Obama inaction). Labour legislator Emma Reynolds, whose party helped defeat Cameron’s planned 2013 strike, said failing to act then had set a “dangerous precedent”.

    In the UK, cabinet ministers agreed “on the need to take action” in Syria to “deter the further use of chemical weapons”, the office of Prime Minister Theresa May said.




    the sort of limited response he ordered last year in response to another suspected use of chemical weapons (unlikely as Syrian airfields have now been cleared of assets).
    repeated attacks on airfields designed to show the cost Assad brought on himself by using such weapons again (a form of no fly zone)
    delay of threatened action to quarantine Syrian airforce capability in hiding at Russian bases (what has happened so far) to realise a form of no fly zone at no expenditure of weapons stocksi
    major strike against rebuilt military command and control system (bunker bsuters and deep penetration warheads)
    bombing chemical weapons stocks locations

    I am becoming a fan of delayed but coming action – form of no fly zone against Syrian air capacity. It’s a win if civilians do not die as readily from air bombing in the months ahead.

    • cleangreen 13.1

      Good propaganda there SPC. Did you know the white helmets are US CIA funded activists/associates?

      That line is used by the 1% who want total control of our Governments under the ‘Agenda 21’ plan so you must be proud of your work there.

      Any sovereign state now is under your plan under an attack from USA or it’s allies and we all now are very less safe because USA/UK/France gang crossed the line declaring war of a sovereign state with their will.

    • dukeofurl 13.2

      Chlorine as an industrial gas isnt banned under the Chemical Weapons convention., but its use as a weapon is.

    • Jenny 13.3

      In the face of genocide this may be the only option.

      “I am becoming a fan of delayed but coming action – form of no fly zone against Syrian air capacity. It’s a win if civilians do not die as readily from air bombing in the months ahead.”


      The following will really put the Assadists and Putinbots in a spin.

      “Donald Trump Would Be Right to Strike Syria”
      An opinion in favor of intervention

      As New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in 2013, “it’s better to stand up inconsistently to some atrocities than to acquiesce consistently in them all.”

      That doesn’t mean Americans shouldn’t worry about how Trump might try to use strikes in Syria to divert attention away from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, help himself electorally or encourage calamitous wars with Iran or even North Korea.

      Whatever his motivations, Trump was right to hit Al Assad in April 2017 … and would be right to do so now. Yes, mass murder by Al Assad’s and Vladimir Putin’s forces continued after Trump’s first strike in 2017 last year, but larger-scale gas attacks ceased for a full year. That made the difference between life and death for countless Syrian civilians.


      • Morrissey 13.3.1

        You’ll be signing up for some of the killing, no doubt, Jenny?

        • Jenny

          You mean, this?

          Or this?

          • Morrissey

            How does following the lead of Donald Trump and bombing more Syrians help improve the situation, Jenny?

            • Jenny

              Yes, mass murder by Al Assad’s and Vladimir Putin’s forces continued after Trump’s first strike in 2017 last year, but larger-scale gas attacks ceased for a full year. That made the difference between life and death for countless Syrian civilians.


              In answer to your question Morrissey, we can only wait and see.

              P.S. What I also might mention here in passing Morrissey is that according to all sources so far, no Syrians were killed in these strikes. This is mainly due to the fact that this attack just like the last one was telegraphed to the regime well in advance.

              And yes mass murder by conventional means will be continued by the regime against the Syrian people.

    • reason 13.4

      The ‘no fly zone’ imposed over Libya …… resulted in around 9000 bombing raids killing many many children …. the majority of whom were under 10 years old…

      If I had their names I’d shame SPCs vanished memory …

      And for blood hawk Jenny to ignore …. A link to the rat line sending billions of dollars of death to the people of Syria … from a country with a proud fascist past ///Croatia was among the first countries to supply weapons to anti-Assad rebels as part of a CIA-led and Saudi-funded program.

      ” identified 68 cargo flights (50 confirmed as carrying arms and ammunition plus 18 likely) from South Eastern and Central European countries in just over one year, to three key suppliers of the Syrian rebels: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. ”


      • SPC 13.4.1

        The no fly zone over Libya was not a no fly zone, it acted outside of its no fly zone mandate (which was to prevent air force power being exercised in civilian areas during a “civil war”).

        • reason

          Well how about the Iraq no fly zone …. when the sanctions / siege were in the process of killing half a million Iraqi children …. was that a good no fly Zone ?.

          No fly zones seem to be a propaganda construct …. manufacturing consent for bombing / destruction / subjugation.

          A better idea IMO …. would be to stop sending weapons and training extremist mercenaries.

          Hows that for a novel idea ?

          • SPC

            You seem to have the problem of conflating one thing with another.

            1. A no fly zone does not involve bombing targets (unless the mandate is exceeded), it prevents others doing so.
            2. A no fly zone and sanctions are two separate things.

            The no fly zone concept is not discredited under 1, those applying it are.

            And as for 2, the no fly zone successfully protected Kurdish Iraqi lives, that sanctions on Iraq put other Iraqi lives at risk does not change that.

            • reason

              Your channeling Madeline Albright … with half a million children killed … Thats Killed …. not put at fucking risk……. you mealy mouthed apologist.

              “Pilots patrolling the so-called no fly zone in the north of the country have spoken angrily about how they have been ordered to return to their base in Turkey in order to allow the Turkish air force to bomb the Kurds in Iraq-the very people [the U.S. and] the British are meant to be “protecting”…

              “Human Rights Watch noted:
              It appears that in return for Turkey’s support for Operation Provide Comfort, the U.S. has agreed not to publicly criticize what Turkey does with its own Kurdish citizens, located directly across the border from the zone protected by U.S. warplanes…. [E]lements within the U.S. government possess detailed knowledge of the full scope of Turkish abuses as well as the key role played by U.S. weapons.”

              You do realise the no fly zone in Iraq was just a pretext for bombing and destroying whatever they wanted ? … “the Bush administration has used the zones to preemptively degrade Iraq’s already limited ability to defend against a large-scale US attack, while not citing a single incident of attempted repression of Shi’ite or Kurdish populations as justification.”

              ” The no-fly zone bombings represent the longest continuing US bombing campaign since the Vietnam War. The Pentagon estimates that it carries out an average of 12 “missions” a month in Iraq (other figures put the number higher)”

              ” Largely, Washington leaves the story about humanitarian justifications to the obliging media, which continues to report the raids as being motivated singularly by concern for the rights of Shi’ites and Kurds.” ….

              While here at TS we have you… SPC

              No fly zones are western propaganda … manufacturing consent for the bombing and killing which is their true purpose …. or do you trust Trump, May and the other blood hounds to be good boys and girls with their bombs and missiles this time round?


              • SPC

                It’s you’re, you are, not your.

                Differentiating between the concept of a no fly zone and what those who enforce them have done while enforcing one is not hard either.

  13. D'Esterre 14

    Bill: “But at least when it came to foreign interventions he didn’t cower before the hawks.”

    You could have fooled me and many others. If it walks like a duck and all that….

    “when it came to Iran, he sought to dampen down tensions..”

    Obama’s motivation regarding Iran was transparent: he did that purely so as to get up Netanyahu’s nose. They hated each other. Ditto that resolution on Israeli settlements he allowed to go thru in the UN, in the dying days of his presidency.

    “He left the destruction of Libya to France and Britain.”

    He failed to prevent Clinton from triggering that regime change, but was too cowardly to commit US troops to the battle.

    “And in the case of Syria, he took steps to align with Russia against ISIS.”

    Say what? When did that happen?

    Throughout his two terms Obama was pusillanimous. In terms of foreign policy – that part which affects the rest of us – he was no better than any of his predecessors, nor of his successor, as it turns out.

    Those poor bastards in Syria: being sacrificed by yet another POTUS who doesn’t have the cajones to stand up the the neocon crazies.

    • Bill 14.1

      “And in the case of Syria, he took steps to align with Russia against ISIS.”

      Say what? When did that happen?

      From July 2016.

      The proposal, as revealed in a leaked document, was an offer for the US military to work with Russia against Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. In exchange, Russia would have to convince or strongarm its ally, Bashar al-Assad, into grounding his own planes and halting attacks on civilians and moderate opposition groups.


      Now sure. Those “moderate” opposition groups were a fiction. But by (how to say?) convincing Russia to jointly focus on groups and gangs the US (and others) weren’t supporting, then the US and others could have perhaps established a better foot hold in the country.

      So the overture (cynical as it was) was made. And (rightly in my opinion) rejected.

      • D'Esterre 14.1.1

        Bill: “The proposal, as revealed in a leaked document…”

        Ah, so that’s what you were talking about. No wonder I couldn’t remember it.

        As you rightly point out, that offer was deeply cynical and unprincipled: yet another way in which Obama revealed his pusillanimity.

        And Putin’s response to it demonstrated his courage, and showed strength of character that Obama didn’t have.

        Obama was just as awful as every other US president in my lifetime.

  14. D'Esterre 15

    Bill: “Do I need to mention that this Syrian nonsense has got nothing whatsoever to do with “bringing democracy” to the country? Surely not. That gets filed alongside the notion of dropping bombs to achieve humanitarian goals. Right?”


  15. Ad 16

    With the attacks so well forecast to Russia and Syria by the US President, he can show he did something, and get back above 50% poll favorability.

    Also works just as well for Putin and Assad, who had well enough time to shift assets and achieve eradication at the same time.

    The careful timing between attack, tweet, and action sets the equation out carefully.

    Putin and Trump have precisely priced and contracted the cost of using chemical weapons here:
    Russia completes the military conquest of Syria and Trump regains political control of the US.


    • cleangreen 16.1

      Ad; you seem to enjoy war games right?

      • Incognito 16.1.1

        With all respect, if one tries to make sense of something that is utterly senseless, if one tries to understand something incomprehensible, it does not mean that they enjoy it or get some morbid satisfaction from it, does it?

        Why do some many commenters here on TS feel the need to judge (and correct) other commenters on their presumed personal traits? Why can’t they just focus on and reply to, and challenge, the comments and opinions without resorting to personal attacks or insinuations?

        Maybe this (my) comment should go to OM but I think it is pertinent to Bill’s OP because many comments under this Post don’t seem to deal with the actual content of the OP or relevant commentary.

        I’ve said enough; it saddens me that so much energy & effort gets f-ing wasted here; we’re obviously not getting any closer to a solution or general understanding.

    • Stunned mullet 16.2

      Cynical and probably a good guess.

  16. joe90 17

    Please do something, please, theatre.


    "And we are also hearing reports, many of the targets, in particular the air bases in some of the military installations that had been struck, had indeed been evacuated of personnel earlier in the week," @sethdoane reports from Damascus, Syria https://t.co/bTaJ40jGwj pic.twitter.com/DEbN2aQFjG— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 14, 2018

  17. cleangreen 18

    War seems inevitable now.

    This is a very dark day on sunday, we just hope this does not escalate out of control as russia is the cool head here not the warring US/UK/France coalition.

  18. Exactly what legal grounds to the US, UK and France give for this act of aggression?

    It seems have they have acted unilaterally, with no mandate from either their own citizens let alone any real international support, they are now so arrogant they have not even bothered to even to pretend there is any evidence of guilt on Assad’s part or otherwise. (and I am not saying he didn’t order the gas attack).

    Corbyn has been the ONLY sane political voice that I have heard throughout this whole affair.
    But then again being sane and reasonable doesn’t seem to be that politically fashionable these days…the MSM certainly don’t like it much…except at FOX!

    Even Tucker Carlson on FOX (WTF) saw straight through the very thinly veiled bullshit on this one…

  19. cleangreen 20

    This was a very good analogy of what will happen if this is allowed to carry on here by aggression from these trio of US/UK/France.

    FRANCESCA says: on TDB

    “Major wars don’t happen by calculation and deliberation. They happen by an accumulation of tensions ,hair trigger alerts, a build up of armaments,and strategic positioning, then a misstep, irrational actors, and an unstoppable juggernaut set in to motion.”

    We should reconsider our hunger for aggression shown by some bloggers here.

  20. Cinny 21

    Uncross your arms trump and show us the proof

  21. RuralGuy 22

    The boss seems like she accepts Assad as the source of the chemical attacks and the rationale behind the airstrikes. JA says all the right things re: diplomatic solutions and UN Security Council, but there isn’t any condemnation of the US, UK and French action.

    Given she gets security briefings, and is elected to govern on behalf of us, if she’s onside with the bombing – then I’m onside with the bombing.


    • SPC 22.1

      Playing it safe she joined in criticism of “any” chemical weapons use.

      Easy enough, it’s those taking action that have to be sure about evidence first.

    • Bill 22.2

      What chemical attack?

      The OPCW were invited in by Syria and Russia in order to inspect the site of the alleged attack. They are due to arrive in Damascus on Monday.

      But when a terrorist organisation that you’ve been funding (Jaish Al Islam), who themselves have been accused of using chemical weapons (link in the post), says, via fucking twitter!, that there’s been a chemical attack, then hey – I guess that’s proof that the Syrian government and Russia used chemicals.

      Jaccinda’s either idiotic or happy enough to play the game. She hasn’t gone down in my estimation.

      • cleangreen 22.2.1

        According to the RT TV network the OPCW are scheduled to have arrived today Syria time Saturday morning at around 8am so if US/UK/France who knew the time the international inspectors were to arrive just hours after they hit the tarmac at Damascus.

        As predicted by many, Trump has not waited for an investigative team from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to carry out it’s work. This despite an OPCW team having already landed in Damascus to conduct it’s investigation.

        I am so suspicious of what is going on here again now.

      • Brigid 22.2.2

        “Jaccinda’s either idiotic or happy enough to play the game. She hasn’t gone down in my estimation.”
        Mine neither.
        In fact I will as far as to say she’s a stupid female dog.

        [Please try to not go down those paths, aye? Besides, when we’re talking canines, there is no such thing as a ‘female dog’ – such a thing being an oxymoron.] – Bill

        • Brigid

          My bad I know.
          I will desist and also stand corrected on the female canine thing.

    • Southern Man 22.3

      I agree with RuralGuy – we sheep have got to stick together.

  22. Anne 23

    I confess to being thoroughly confused by the whole Middle East theatre, but RNZ is running the best live updates on the current attack:


    Jacinda Ardern’s full statement is at 4:11pm

    • Carolyn_Nth 23.1

      Ardern seems to be having it both/all ways – talking a line similar to Corbyn in saying countries should return to the UN to negotiate a better outcome, while saying Russia has made it impossible to do anything in the UN Security Council because veto, and also saying she understands why Trump et al have taken the action they are taking.


      • Anne 23.1.1

        Have to agree there Carolyn_Nth, but assume she believed she had no choice but to go along with “the game” – in the meantime.

        I bold the last bit because I know Jacinda and I don’t believe she’s anyone’s puppet, but there is a line she has to be very careful not to cross for the moment.

        Time will tell if I’m right.

        • Carolyn_Nth

          I agree that it’s highly likely she’s operating within a very narrow acceptable frame.

  23. dukeofurl 24

    Whats funny is that the gaolposts have shifted for the West

    “Both the White House and state department announced on Friday that the US had “a high level of confidence” about the regime’s culpability for the use of poisonous gas in Douma.

    The declaration marked a shift from a statement by the defence secretary, James Mattis, on Thursday, that the US was still looking at the evidence.”

    They seem to have been waiting for the ‘concrete evidence’ but not anymore

    .Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signaled Thursday that the U.S. was prepared to wait for definitive proof that Syria carried out a chemical attack before launching an attack,..


    • Bill 24.1

      The “first” use of chemical weapons around Damascus was meant to get Obama unleashing hell, yes? But he held back and it transpired that the UN inspection team couldn’t/wouldn’t apportion blame. (That mission was essentially monkey wrenched by France the US, UK and others suddenly alleging multiple uses of chemicals in multiple locations and charging that team on the ground to investigate them all)

      And today, in spite of solid evidence to the contrary (ie, the projectiles used did not have the range to have come from any government held area) “everyone” just takes it as read that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in Ghouta ‘back when’ and that Obama didn’t respond.

      I’m picking this would have been a re-run of that bullshit.

      If there had been chemicals used, their use would have traced back to one of the criminal/terrorist gangs. Again. So that meant getting that attack in quick smart before everything unraveled.

      So by tweet and unverified video footage, claims being made by a terrorist and western backed group Jaish Al Islam, constitutes enough proof to lead to the bombing of Damascus.

      What were the targets btw? I mean the real targets. All this bullshit about chemical facilities when Syria destroyed its stockpiles under international supervision a few years back really needs to be called for the bullshit it is.

      Are we to believe that under some of the most aggressive and widespread sanctions ever imposed on a country that a chemical weapons programme somehow got kick started?

  24. Hellfire 25

    Great to see “Dear Leadet” of NZ confirm support for military action by Trump

  25. AsleepWhileWalking 26

    Guest points out Syria had no motive for the alleged chemical attack, US was about to withdraw.

    Interviewer responds by cutting home off – can’t go off script!

  26. cleangreen 27

    “Yes Trump did a good job, as he has blown up the evidence now hasn’t he”.


    Anyway it was like the movie “On deadly Ground” when the firefighter actor (Steven Seagal was called to the oil head fire at the Aegis oil field in Alaska that was on fire and actor Steven Seagal came up and extinguished the well head that was on fire,

    His boss said “good job as usual” and he turned to his boss actor (Michael Caine) sitting in the helicopter and said, “It doesn’t really matter anymore now does it, I have blown up the evidence now haven’t I”.

    Was this simply what Donald Trump has done now also using the same Aegis oil policy?

  27. In Vino 28

    Ummm Cui Bono? Syria and Russia were obviously going to win there anyway. Trump himself has said Isis is pretty well gone. So why would our dastardly villain Assad need to use chemical weapons? To me it is more likely that the defenders would fake a chemical attack upon themselves. We have not yet had time for full analysis with hindsight and accuracy, but the headlong rush has been made. (Carefully, so as not to provoke the Russians, it seems.)
    Today’s speech by Trump was the most nauseating POTUS speech I can recall.
    When I was young I first questioned our own propaganda after I had read how the British press convinced the British public that it was right to go to war against Germany in 1914. They printed outright rubbish about German atrocities committed in Belgium. Check out Robert Grave’s book ‘Goodbye to all That’.
    So I questioned what I was being told regarding the Tonkin Gulf Incident (Viet Nam War).
    Years later, I found out that I was right to question it – it was contrived bullshit.
    With these gas attacks, why would I be wrong to suspect the same thing?
    So many idiots are keen to drink in our own propaganda.

    • McFlock 28.1

      If you’re Assad, why not use chemical weapons? They can cheaply overwhelm emergency services and sow alarm and chaos in the area. Why not turn a withdrawal into a rout? What’s the downside – hunker down for a brief barrage on rear areas, then you’re back in business.

      And similarly, if rebels gas themselves, what tactical or strategic benefit would they expect from it? Ineffectual bombing of hanger-queen aircraft on evacuated airbases that are operational again within hours?

      From any given perspective, use of chemical weapons by either side is either inexplicably stupid or coldly rational. All the existence of the allegation does is indicate just how fucked up the situation is.

      Another motive for airstrikes that I don’t think anybody’s mentioned is that Syria has become a resource suck for the major powers, all (except China maybe?) viewing it as a weapons testbed and a way to impose economic attrition upon their opponents/competitors. Russia’s carrier deployment was a bit of a fizzle, but they also seem to have deployed some late-generation aircraft still in the testing phase, have a load of PMCs and SF in the area, and beefed up air defenses. Whereas the US have their special forces but also ISTR at least one USMC artillery brigade, and the airpower deployments. Folks are spending a shitload of cash, and hoping that the other players at the table go broke before they do.

      • In Vino 28.1.1

        They don’t gas themselves, they fake the film etc. Last gasp propaganda.

        Assad would not be so stupid as to do as you suggest . Would you? He was winning anyway.

        • McFlock

          “So stupid”?

          It’s only stupid if there’s a significant downside. Why would he think the response to this allegation would be any more significant that to the previous occasions he was accused of using chemiocal weapons?

          “Winning” isn’t a binary situation. Advancing into a defended withdrawal is more costly than advancing into an area in chaos with only sporadic resistance. So if I were a complete prick who had stocks of a cheap way of turning a withdrawal into a rout, couldn’t see much of a downside to using it (a low probabolity of significant response and/or a likelihood they West or Israel would bomb me anyway), then yeah, as a totalitarian leader I’d go for the cheaper option.

          The only worry for Assad would be losing the support of Hezbollah or Russia. Neither give a shit, and actually would probably be happier if he takes a bit of grump doing something that makes their fighting for him easier.

          • Exkiwiforces

            You are correct McFlock on your assumptions, Assad lost a lot of manpower during the civil war to point that using CW’s became the only option to plug gaps with his manpower crisis and the same could be said for other side as well.

            As they are both haemorrhaging manpower and territory as military ops in an urban environment sucks the life out of the Infantry units while at the same time trying to hold to territory already gained or about to lose becomes a very fine juggling act or a game of Russian roulette and sooner or later a zero sum game IRT the use of WMD or carpet bomb etc to perverse to your forces in being or lose which is not an option for either side atm.

            Infantry are like police, doctors, nurses, teachers and tradies etc etc as they are a means to achieve an endstate whatever that maybe, but having to few of them leads to all shorts of problems from now and to the long term.

            It’s a numbers game in the end and the use of CW’s by either side is to perverse what they currently have left in Forces and territory. As the Yanks will say the Hail Mary option or MAD.

            In plain English, a game of high stakes poker where no one wants to lose.

            • Brigid

              “Assad lost a lot of manpower during the civil war to point that using CW’s became the only option to plug gaps with his manpower crisis”
              I don’t agree with that.
              Syria, under the direction of the opcw destroyed all chemical weapons in 2014.

              Any investigation by the OPCW of alleged chemical weapons attacks have not found that the Syrian Government were culpable.
              All the OPCW reports are published on their website.

              There is no strategic advantage to using chemical weapons, when the Syrian military can destroy what ever is deemed necessary much more efficiently with what arms they have.
              I’d agree they certainly seemed stretched in coping with ISIS/Al Queda et al before Russia offered assistance, but using chemical weapons (which they don’t have, and given the sanctions against the country would have difficulty procuring) would gain very little.

              The Syrian President Bashar Assad explains the pointlessness of using chemical weapons as was claimed in April 2017 at Khan Shaykhun

              • McFlock

                Any investigation by the OPCW of alleged chemical weapons attacks have not found that the Syrian Government were culpable.

                That’s not strictly true, is it:

                Expresses grave concern with the findings of the thir
                d and fourth reports of the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism that the Syrian Arab Armed Forces had been involved in the use of toxic chemicals as weapons in three cases in the Syrian Arab Republic: Talmenes, on 21 April 2014; Qmenas, on 16 March 2015; and Sarmin, on 16 March 2015;

                • Brigid

                  Yes it is strictly true
                  ‘grave concern’ does not equate with ‘proof’.
                  Does it

                  • McFlock

                    The concern was that they found that the Syrian government had done it.

                    It’s just such a source of sadness that you’ve blinkered yourself to the point of illiteracy.

                    • Brigid

                      “The concern was that they found that the Syrian government had done it. ”
                      That is not what the report says, as you well know.

                      If they’d found the Syrian Government had done it they would have said.
                      “The Syrian Government did it”
                      The report didn’t say that

                      And please quit your insults

                    • McFlock

                      Expresses grave concern with the findings of the third and fourth reports of the OPCW-United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism that the Syrian Arab Armed Forces had been involved in the use of toxic chemicals as weapons in three cases in the Syrian Arab Republic: Talmenes, on 21 April 2014; Qmenas, on 16 March 2015; and Sarmin, on 16 March 2015;

                      That’s exactly what it says. They literally included the phrase “the Syrian Arab Armed Forces had been involved in the use of toxic chemicals as weapons in three cases in the Syrian Arab Republic”.

                      The third report is pretty explicit:

                      54. The Leadership Panel examined the existing information regarding the two impact locations in Talmenes on 21 April 2014. There is sufficient information for the Panel to conclude that the incident at impact location No.2 was caused by a Syrian Arab Armed Forces helicopter dropping a device causing damage to the structure of a concrete block building and was followed by the release of a toxic substance that affected the population

              • Exkiwiforces

                Actually Brigid,

                Unlike you I don’t rely on news outlets from one side reporting the same garbage.

                I use all open news outlets I can find on the web or in print, then I cross reference it from Janes Defence Web Services which is more reliable than Defence News. Com, David KilCullens analyst of the current shit fight in the MER, the CBRNe monthly both magazine and their website, my background in agriculture/ horticulture and finally my background as a CBRND Warfare trainer with the info that I have been exposed to as member of my units CBRND cadre team.

                Then I use my time as Operations/ mission planner and start do the what’s called the Military Appreciation Process and from there I start at my:
                My Assumptions
                My Facts:-
                Chlorine and common insecticide use intensive agriculture practices that Syria has. That these chemicals can be use to make a rather cheap nasty and deadly chemical weapon system. That doesn’t require much IRT weaponisation as long it’s causes injures, shocks the defenders in a state of panic/ disorganisation which causes morale to drop or collapse of a part of the defensive line/ positions WTB is the main reason to use CBRN weapons in the first place and death is rather a secondary outcome as CBRN weapon injuries soak up more manpower than conventional WPN’s.
                The Syrian Armed Forces TTP’s are based on the old Soviet/ Warsaw Pact and current Russian Doctrine.

                The Syrian Army has taken a batting IRT it’s Infantry units and combined all arms units.
                Mass desertions of Syrian Army at individual level all the up to Corp level in one and even from his own power base the Alwatie tribe within the Syrian Forces.
                The refugees that flooded in Europe over 70% of them were reported to be men of military age who have completed their National Service or were about to start their National Service IOT avoid being called up for active service.
                Like all single party regimes that we know from history, as long as the regimes power base stays intact then he or she remains on power as they really don’t give a shit about Mrs and Mr Joe Bloggs or their fath as their endstate is to hold on whatever the cost.
                From here I then go into
                Mission Analysis- Review the Situation both En and Friendly
                Own Force Analysis,
                Friendly COG,
                CR’s and
                Analyse Superior Commanders intent and Determine Own Mission.
                Analyse Tasks-
                Essential Tasks,
                Specified Tasks and
                Implied Tasks.
                Inherent Threats/ Controls.
                Determine Freedom of Action.
                Limitations: Restrictions and Constraints.
                ID Critical Facts and Assumptions.
                Confirm/ Alter Mission.
                Battlespace Analysis-
                Define the Battlespace,
                Environmental Characteristics,
                Battlespace Info requirements and
                Battlespace Assumptions.
                Define Battlespace Effects incl Weather effects.
                ID Battlespace Threats and Opportunities.
                Stakeholder Analysis-
                ID Stakeholders,
                EST Stakeholder Models,
                ID Stakeholder Capabilities,
                Determine Stakeholder COA,
                ID Stakeholder Intent (en force obj’s)
                EN ML and MD,
                Determine ENCOG
                EN CC’s
                EN CR’s
                EN CV’s and
                Stakeholder Assumptions.
                COA Development and the 4 sub para’s.
                COA Analysis and the 3 sub para’s.
                Decision and Execution, and the 2 sub para’s.

                Then I could do a CONOPS brief, and OPORD followed by a formal set of orders. Also there would be map overlays as well as a picture is worth a thousand words.

                And that’s how I come up with my conclusion and resulting comments.

                For further information can be found on Uncle Goggle and Wikipedia IRT’s to the Military Appreciation Process and the History of MAP. If you like watching grass grow or watching golf on the giggle box, then reading about MAP is for you and BTW try deliver it as a lesson.

                The Russian MAP is a interesting read and so is the Chinese one BTW. You should be able to find it on the internet and you might goggle translate.

      • spikeyboy 28.1.2

        From Bills post money is the driving dynamic of all war. Someones getting their profits cut and doesnt like it. There is a clear trail of large (eye watering) amounts of money being funnelled from the west to the jihadis in Syria. To think that this money has no strings attached seems naive in the extreme. So asking what benefit the jihadis recieve from “gassing themselves” is not the right question. What benefit the backers of the jihadis gain is more to the point. Pretty sure it was in one of Bills linked articles or video that said the Saudis were prepared to foot the whole bill for a USA invasion of Syria. So the payoff for the “gassing” is to keep the US engaged with Syria. This is the number 1 priority for all the backers of the jihadis.
        If you feel up to a little maths you could check out how to analyse evidence between 2 or more hypothesis. This link is especially in relation to Syria. One downside though is that you have to be prepared to view a lot of disturbing photo and video evidence. If you arent prepared to do this then perhaps you need to be a little more circumspect on how you attribute responsibilty.
        One of th keys to good analsis is to be able to be imaginative when thinking up possible narratives. The reason is that you dont know where the evidence will lead. And if the hypothesis is no good, it really doesnt take long to set it aside


        And part 2


        • McFlock

          2 points:
          Money is a motive for war. Direct income, and longer term strategic blocking of other states. But it is not the only driver of war. Maintenance of geopolitical or even internal political power (money is power, but not all power is money), population stresses, even impulsive and stupid leaders can create wars.

          Secondly, math only applies when the margin for error in probability calculations is unlikely to affect the final result. For example, that body in the morgue. Interesting spin. Of course, if he was closely known to one of the workers, they might have laid him down and covered his face with a bit more care than with the others. Then gets word to the guy’s wife. She lowers the cloth to ID him, holds his hands before placing them back on his torso, puts a sheet under his head, the family took the body away ater in the day, and then all you have is that a body was leaking from somewhere. You pour a litre of milk on the floor, and tell me that the thin sheet wouldn’t be soaking throughout, having at least that much come out onto an impermeable tile floor for that wee dribble.

          So is murder of one particular survivor (when there were other survivors anyway) the “only plausible interpretation” as the dudeyouagreewith says? I’m not so sure about that. So his calculation is seriously flawed, so his result is flawed.

    • Grey Area 28.2

      That’s pretty much the same reaction I had to this news tonight – the parallel to 1914. I wondered how much we have we learned in a century? Europe and other chunks of the rest of the World were drawn into fighting a bullshit war then.

      It appears we have learnt SFO.

      We are being led into war by mental midget glove puppets like Trump and May.

      TVNZ’s coverage tonight at 6pm nearly brought me to tears. Who the f*ck is running our newsrooms that allows such accepting, jingoistic lies to be broadcast as news?

    • Carolyn_Nth 28.3

      I do think that when the US and/or UK and allies start to intervene in another country through military means, there’s usually some ulterior motive – not a humanitarian one.

      As Bill said in the post:

      There are disgusting and decrepit enough leaders that the US, France and UK fete and court. (You can name them and/or their respective countries for yourself).

      And there’s many other terrible actions being carried out by other countries, while the US, UK et al sit back and do nothing. I think sometimes they just take opportunities when they arise, to further their own aims – doesn’t need to be the result of some false flag thing.

    • Grafton Gully 28.4

      Soldiers of the German army killed hundreds of civilians and looted and destroyed buildings in Louvain, including the priceless medieval library. They killed civilians elsewhere too, justifying this by accusing them of attacking German forces as “franc tireurs”.

      British propaganda used German atrocities in Belgium to justify continuing the war because the atrocities were real.

  28. McFlock 29

    I’m not sure there is much in the way of “moral insistence” of the populace for most governments to follow.

    Especially in Syria. Hell, even without chemical weapons I’m in two minds as to whether the less-wrong resolution is to actively and aggressively demolish Assad’s regime with airstrikes, or simply lock in the loss and assist him in the interests of regional stability.

  29. Drowsy M. Kram 31

    So many BIG, smart ‘missiles’, so many defenceless ‘targets’. Earn your keep, missiles – show ‘em what you’ve got.

    Trump, May, Macron – triumphant protectors of the innocent, or warmongering neocon escalationists (for the greater good, of course)?


  30. Beatie 32

    Here’s an interesting article about Washington’s long term strategy in the Middle East. The ‘New Middle East’ project was first introduced by Condeleeza Rice in 2006.

    ‘The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.’


  31. joe90 33

    Guess this translates as no need to retaliate.

    MOSCOW, April 14 (Itar-Tass) – RIA Novosti. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that none of the cruise missiles launched by the United States and its allies in the zone of responsibility of Russian air defense units covering the facilities in Tartous and Khmeimim was not included.

    The US did not notify Russia of the impending strikes against Syria
    None of the cruise missiles launched by the United States and its allies in the zone of responsibility of Russian air defense units covering the facilities in Tartous and Khmeimim was not included, “the report said.
    As reported by the department, on April 14 at 3.42 Moscow time to 5.10 Moscow time, aircraft and ships of the US Armed Forces, together with the British and French Air Forces, suffered a missile attack on the military and civil infrastructure of the Syrian Arab Republic.


    google translate

  32. mauī 34

    A very sad and ominous time. One can only hope the public is a little more schooled up than 15 years ago when Saddam was toppled.

  33. Kaya3 35

    Anyone who thinks the strikes are in anyway justified and that there is any truth in the accusations leveled against Assad and his military is a couple of cans short of a six pack.
    The empire is crumbling, lashing out on the way down. Macron and May becoming increasingly isolated politically at home and abroad. Time to feel “special” again, so let’s make a gang and hang out with the big thug and beat up some little guys.

    This is the best analysis of the madness that I have read to date.

    “But back to Rove. What was he saying? Three things:

    Number one: We – that is the Globalist Deep State, centred in Washington DC – are sovereign over the entire globe and we will do as we please.

    Number two: That we don’t follow reality, we create it.

    Number three: That we are prepared to do things that will make your jaws drop, your hair stand on end, and your eyes boggle as you wonder what is going on, and while your jaws, your hair and your eyes are busy doing their thing, we will have moved onto create our next reality.

    In other words – we are God – and not a kind and merciful God, but a God who lords it over all peoples’, nations and tongues, who tells lies, and then tells more lies to cover up those lies and – when you poor saps are trying to work out what it is we’re really up to – before you know what has happened, those lies and those lies to cover up lies will have become the new reality. We’ll have moved on and the world with it, and the narrative we have created will have been written in the history books, which we ourselves shall write.”


    • James 35.1

      “and that there is any truth in the accusations leveled against Assad and his military is a couple of cans short of a six pack.”

      So Jacinda is a few cans short of a six pack?

      • Morrissey 35.1.1

        She worked for Tony Blair. What would you expect from her? Courage? Honesty?

    • Ed 35.2

      Very interesting.
      Craig Murray is another brilliant source.

      “I have always denied the UK’s claim that only Russia had a motive to attack the Skripals. To denigrate Russia internationally by a false flag attack pinning the blame on Russia, always seemed to me more likely than for the Russians to do that to themselves. And from the start I pointed to the conflict in Syria as a likely motive. That puts Saudi Arabia (and its client jihadists), Saudi Arabia’s close ally Israel, the UK and the USA all in the frame in having a powerful motive in inculcating anti-Russian sentiment prior to planned conflict with Russia in Syria. Any of them could have attacked the Skripals.

      It is also worth noting that the most ardent supporters of this military action, outside Saudi Arabia and Israel, are the Blairites in the UK and the Clinton Democrats in the USA. The self-described “centrists” are actually the unhinged extremists in today’s politics.

      This attack on Syria is, beyond doubt, a huge success for the machinations of Mohammed Bin Salman. Please do read my post of 8 March which sets out the background to his agenda, and I believe is essential to why we find our nations in military action again today. Despite the fact the vast majority of the people do not want this.“


  34. Ad 36

    Consider how unlikely these statements were 24 hours ago:

    – Donald Trump is almost universally praised for doing the right thing

    – Donald Trump looks statesmanlike

    – Donald Trump is in complete control of United States political discourse

    – Theresa May, Emanuel Macron and Donald Trump are united as a global alliance that most people agree with

    – The global mainstream media (apart from a very few) are convinced that Donald Trump, Theresa May, and Emanuel Macron are on the side of the good

    – Most governments (including our own) agree that Donald Trump is right

    – The Russian, Iranian, and Syrian governments do not care whether the United States bombs their assets or not

    – Massive bombing occurred without major civilian casualties

    Now, we should probably all be worried about stuff like facts, or what difference it made, but as politics this is a pretty successful 24 hours for aerial bombing.

    • Stunned mullet 36.1

      Fair points – it’ll be an interesting couple of months coming up for the geopolitical hacks as tp where it all heads from here.

    • Andre 36.2

      However, cheerleading from pundits has been remarkably subdued. Unlike the last time, when lots of pundits that should have known better were orgasming out phrases like “I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night,”.

      In fact, some of his nominal supporters were pretty negative about the whole thing. Apparently Alex Jones had an epic three-hour meltdown over it.

      ” On the verge of tears, an emotionally distraught Jones, said the president he has long supported had “been doing so good,” but now, “he’s crapping all over us.”

      He added, “Trump’s now a fraud. Done.”

      “I’m not in a f**king cult for Donald Trump, f**k him!” a livid Jones yelled. “F**k his family!” ”


    • reason 36.3

      “Theresa May, Emanuel Macron and Donald Trump are united as a global alliance that most people agree with”

      your telling porkies with that one AD … read swordfishs post … giving polling results that show even in warmongering England your wrong /open-mike-16-04-2018/#comment-1474793

      Also most people in the world regard the usa as the biggest threat as war makers

      Martin Luther King is more right today than ever ….. “The United States is “The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World Today”

      Nelson Mandela is more correct today than ever …. “If There is a Country That has Committed Unspeakable Atrocities in the World, it is the United States”

      Both of these great men would see straight through you AD ….

  35. Cinny 37

    Åke Sellström is the man tasked with leading the UN Chemical Weapons Inspection team who arrived in Damascus today.

    Here is a TED talk he did from 2015, he tells the story of investigating the same back in 2013. Just over 16 min long, well worth a listen.

  36. mauī 38

    In the words of Hone – we’ll switch you off if you don’t.. shut up!

    lol Absolute gold 😆

    • dukeofurl 38.1

      Heres a guy with actual military experience in Iraq, a retired general questions the motives and evidence and they say as they cut you off.
      “Im sorry, well have to leave it there”

  37. savenz 39

    A great post, Bill, in particular

    “There is something very wrong with our political culture when leaders can casually bandy about notions of military intervention and war.”

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bullying their critics
    Over the past month we've heard some horrific stories about bullying in the police. The police's response? Try to bully people into silence:The police have told a whistleblower to retract his statements to RNZ about being bullied or face legal action. The demand came just hours after Police Commissioner Mike ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 5
    Today is a Member's Day, which should see the final part of the committee stage of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. The big question today is the referendum clause: will it be necessary, or can the bill pass without it? While the majorities for his amendments during the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 hours ago
  • There is no ‘gendered brain’
    One of the key arguments used by trans ideologists is that some male-bodied people (ie men) are women because they ‘feel’ they are women.  To make this hocus-pocus sound a bit more credible, some will argue that such men have a ‘female brain’.  But this is thoroughly anti-scientific too. . ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 hours ago
  • Canada’s electoral system is broken
    Canadians went to the polls today in parliamentary elections, and appear to have re-elected blackface wearer Justin Trudeau. Unfortunately, they use first-past-the-post, and they've provided a perfect demonstration of how unfair this system is:PartySeats% Seats% VoteLiberal15746.4%33.1%Conservative12135.8%34.4%Bloc Québécois329.5%7.7%New Democratic Party247.1%15.9%Green Party30.9%6.5%Other10.3%2.4% [Results from Elections Canada] Yes, the Liberals got fewer votes ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • Measles: the quackery that is homeopathic “vaccination”
    A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a health-related FB page that had published a post from a homeopathist, offering homeopathic “vaccination”¹ against measles (using something called a “Morbillinum nosode” at a “potency” of 200C, which I’ll explain shortly). I followed the link, left a comment ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    21 hours ago
  • Colombia: 20th anniversary of La Gabarra massacre
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh This year marks the 20th anniversary of the La Gabarra massacre. The community organised an event to remember the most well-known of the horrendous heart-breaking events that befell the communities of this area of the municipality of Tibú: the massacre carried out on August 21st 1999. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    22 hours ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    1 day ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    1 day ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 days ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    2 days ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    4 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    5 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    5 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    6 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    6 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    6 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    6 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    7 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    7 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    1 week ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Ministerial Statement on the International Convention Centre fire
    Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement relating to the Auckland fire. The Government is closely monitoring the situation with the fire at the NZ International Convention Centre and is thankful that everyone is now safe. Firefighters are doing an incredible job managing the fire and bringing it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago