A death serving the country

August 4th, 2010 at 7:23 am by David Farrar

John Key has announced:

It is with great sadness that Prime Minister John Key has learned of the death of a soldier serving with the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamyan, .

The soldier was killed in an attack while he was on patrol.

Another two New Zealand Defence Force personnel and a local interpreter in the patrol were also injured.

“This is New Zealand’s first combat loss in Afghanistan and reinforces the danger faced daily by our forces as they work tirelessly to restore stability to the Province.

“This soldier’s contribution and that of all New Zealand Defence Force personnel should never be underestimated.

“It is with enormous sadness that I acknowledge that this soldier has paid a high price and my thoughts are with his family and the families of the injured.”

My thoughts are also with his friends and family but also all those serving in the – it is a sad reminder of the risks we rely on our servicemen and women to take.

Hopefully those injured will make full recoveries.

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44 Responses to “A death serving the country”

  1. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    terrible but inevitable I’m afraid .. going to be a very sad and reflective few weeks and longer for the families and forces

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  2. Brian Smaller (4,024 comments) says:

    jaba you are right, there was an inevitability that we would suffer a fatal casualty. But these guys are professional soldiers and they know the risks associated with their job, and frankly, it is a mark of their skill that this is the first fatality we have had despite many Jihadist attacks being made on them. Another honoured name for Roimata Pounamu.

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  3. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    The same people here who will start using this to attack the government and squeal about running away are the very same people who like to spit on soldiers and call them baby killers.

    They do not care about servicemen and never have.

    No one batted an eye when we lost one to a traffic accident and this death is very much a feature of the job. Unfortunately we’ll also see a lot of politicians at the grave who we never saw for any of who died on service here.

    This is very much something that is internal for the army and not public property. They’re his family, not everyone with a keyboard and an agenda.

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  4. Fot (252 comments) says:

    Well said Murray, my thoughts are with the soldiers family.

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  5. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Unfortunately there will be many agenda based statements, and Keith Locke will be one of the first cabs off the rank.

    My condolences to the families involved. Having served in the military for 5 years, I can say with confidence that the whole defence force will be feeling this loss.

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  6. cha (4,078 comments) says:

    .

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  7. Viking2 (11,553 comments) says:

    Unfortunate, sorrow for the families and friends but unfortuantely inevitable, buts lets celebrate the fact that we have young men willing to sacrifice their lives for the freedom that we so desire in New Zealand. Thats how these guys should be remembered.
    Lets talk about the positive in that rather than the usual home stories that infest our pages.

    Honour The Soldier.

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  8. jaba (2,146 comments) says:

    agree SlightlyR .. if I hear peacenick Locke of Goff say one bad thing about this I will join the chorus of damnation on them. A soldiers death (as with any citizen) is time for sorrow .. not agendas.

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  9. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    Unfortunately there will be many agenda based statements, and Keith Locke will be one of the first cabs off the rank.

    Of course you’re above that sort of thing.

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  10. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    Firstly, my condolences to the family.

    Then … can anyone articulate a credible reason why we are in Afghanistan? I am for us having a capable military, and would back us spending quite a lot more on defence. But I think we owe it to our servicepeople that when we ask them to put their lives at risk it’s because we have a very clear idea of what the objective is, what needs to be done to consider it a success, and at what point we’re going to bring them home.

    Unfortunately none of that is the case with the PRT in Bamyan. The original objective was to deny Al Qaeda a base for operations. Accomplished. Al Qaeda Prime is no longer in Afghanistan, is no longer a capable force, and can no longer mount major offensive operations.

    I challenge anyone here to come up with a credible reason why the NZDF is still in Afghanistan. It seems that we are there because … we are there. And that, to me, doesn’t seem a valid reason to continue to put New Zealand servicepeople’s lives at risk.

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  11. Captain Neurotic (203 comments) says:

    A sad day for the NZDF – also it has been 10 years since our last combat death that B Coy 2/1 Bn are about to have a reunion to remember Pte Leonard Manning who was killed by the Indonesia militia in Timor Leste whilst on patrol.

    – Onwards -

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  12. Inventory2 (10,406 comments) says:

    There will likely be a Notice of Motion moved at the start of Parliament this afternoon, and party leaders will speak. I will be watching the Greens’ contribution VERY carefully. Today is not the day for peacenik rhetoric.

    To the whanau of the deceased soldier, to the injured men, and to their colleagues in Afghanistan and at home, my thoughts and prayers are with you today; your service to your country is hugely appreciated. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui; arohanui.

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  13. BlairM (2,364 comments) says:

    While my first instinct was indeed “those commies had better not grandstand on this”, to mention it seems to likewise politicise what is merely a brave man who was serving his country and who tragically died for it.

    My condolences to his family – let us keep them in mind, and focus on the man’s service, not the politics of the war itself.

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  14. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Who are you to speak of what our service people deserve virtual?

    What qualifies you to second guess the deployment of volunteers?

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  15. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    Murray, I’ve had family members serving in Afghanistan over a couple of tours. I’ve had to support their families back here in NZ while they were away.

    I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t deploy our military overseas. I think we should have a very robust military.

    But I do think that politicians should only commit our servicepeople if they can give those servicepeople a clear objective, provide them with the right equipment, and give them a clear commitment to bring them home once the objective is achieved.

    We went to Afghanistan with a somewhat clear objective. But I contend that nowadays no one can articulate what the PRT is meant to achieve in Bamyan, and I’d contend that if the PRT weren’t there already then we wouldn’t be stepping up to send one there.

    Sure, there’s some nice talk about fresh water and medics helping sick kids and so on. Number 1, that’s what NGOs are for. Number 2, there will be no end of that work, so are we going to maintain a PRT in Bamyan indefinitely?

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  16. LiberalismIsASin (290 comments) says:

    Virtualmark said: can anyone articulate a credible reason why we are in Afghanistan?

    Why, yes, yes I can. We are in Afghanistan to support our allies (the USA, y’know those guys that stopped the japanese in the pacific in several titanic naval battles in WWII) in the global struggle against jihadi terrorists.

    Freedom ain’t free. My thoughts and condolences are with our armed forces.

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  17. Pat (76 comments) says:

    Virtual: “…can anyone articulate a credible reason why we are in Afghanistan?”

    Paul Buchanan: Why The NZDF Is In Afghanistan
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1001/S00161.htm

    Hat-tip Lew

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  18. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Very sad for the young man’s family. We need to be more grateful for the young folk who put their lives on the line for us.

    Duplicitous Pakistan is ultimately behind many of the deaths of young Western soldiers in Afghanistan. Next time there’s a dust up in the subcontinent we should be 100 per cent behind India. Of course, Kee’s China mates will line up with Pakistan.

    As for Slightly Righty (8.16) on Keith Locke chiming in (and Danyl Mclauchlan’s implied defence of Locke)….
    I bet the MSM have been chasing Locke several times today.

    Locke might be wise to keep his trap shut on this. In his pro-Soviet Union days he definitely didn’t support the Taleban.

    And of course, we should all remember a Taleban victory in Afghanistan would be horrendous for the half of the Afghan population that is female.

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  19. YesWeDid (1,050 comments) says:

    It is possible to separate the role of the army and the people who serve in it from the political decisions made on their deployment.

    You can criticise the governments decision to have troops in Afghanistan and at the same time respect the job done by the people in the armed services.

    Personally I think we should have troops in Afghanistan but I also respect the views of Keith Locke and others who say we shouldn’t. There is certainly no lack of wars that have been fought for the wrong reasons and left things much worse than before the war started.

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  20. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    LiberalismIsASin … “We are in Afghanistan to support our allies (the USA, y’know those guys that stopped the japanese in the pacific in several titanic naval battles in WWII) in the global struggle against jihadi terrorists”

    Qu: Why is the USA still in Afghanistan??? Where are the jihadi terrorists??? If that is the rationale then why are we not also fighting in Yemen, Somalia, Algeria etc? Your argument was true in September 2001, and was true up until about the end of 2002. It was the right rationale for us sending the SAS there during that time. But it is no longer the case.

    Just blindly following the USA as their lil’ deputy is no basis for our foreign policy.

    Pat … “Paul Buchanan: Why The NZDF Is In Afghanistan”. I have a lot of respect for Paul, and I’d welcome his comments here. But let me step through the rationales Paul sets out:

    First, it is part of a UN-authorised international mission. We are just doing our part. Agreed. But my question is this … what is the objective of the ISAF? More importantly, is that objective achievable? Also very important, are we genuinely fostering change and improvement in Afghanistan or are we just propping one side of a long-running and interminable conflict? My view is that the ISAF’s objective is well-meaning, but unachievable, and will deliver no lasting change in Afghanistan’s situation.

    Second, the PRT will deliver improved roads, schools, water & medical services. All laudable goals. For an NGO. Not an army.

    Third, the SAS will provide training for the Afghan Army’s own elite unit. True, and probably our only sensible & achievable objective in Afghanistan, and I do support the SAS being there. Fair to say though I’m also cynical about how the training & skills we pass on will end up being used – and on whose side they will be used – once the West leaves.

    Fourth, being in Afghanistan provides valuable training for the NZ Army. True. But if that is the objective then perhaps we would be better deploying purely military focused units into the hot spots such as Kandahar? Perhaps attach a company to a British unit on regular rolling deployment? If we’re there to improve our skills then lets really get into the tough jobs.

    Fifth, we are there because a Taliban victory has negative implications for Afghanistan, and globally. But let me turn that around a bit … can we deny a Taliban victory? While we are there we can force a stalemate of sorts. But we cannot and will not “defeat” the Taliban. And they know it. They will wait the ISAF out, just as the Afghan’s have waited out other invading forces in the past. Paul is right that the Taliban “Are Not Nice People”TM. But the alternative group that we’re in bed with aren’t angels either. And no matter what the ISAF does it cannot achieve this objective.

    I agree with the logic Paul sets out. But when I step back and try and look at the forest instead of the trees I question whether the noble objectives Paul sets out are achievable. They are not. If our objective is unachievable, and our strategy ineffective, then surely the wise thing to do is to look for a different approach. But instead we are stuck in a quagmire of thinking that “we are there because we are there”.

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  21. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    If Keith Locke does speak for the Greens – and he may not – I hope he expresses condolences for the family and friends of our dead soldier, then questions whether he should have been in Afghanistan in the first place fighting yet another interminable American war.

    That is a perfectly legitimate response from a politician in Parliament. It would not be appropriate for a funeral.

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  22. Maggie (672 comments) says:

    LiberalismIsASin (196) Says:

    August 4th, 2010 at 10:30 am
    Virtualmark said: can anyone articulate a credible reason why we are in Afghanistan?

    Why, yes, yes I can. We are in Afghanistan to support our allies (the USA, y’know those guys that stopped the japanese in the pacific in several titanic naval battles in WWII) in the global struggle against jihadi terrorists.

    Freedom ain’t free. My thoughts and condolences are with our armed forces.

    C’mon, WW2 was over half a century ago. Do we have to continue, generation after generation, thanking the USA for defending themselves against the Japanese? When are we allowed to stop and start thinking for ourselves again?

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  23. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Maggie at 11.31:

    …I hope he (Locke) expresses condolences for the family and friends of our dead soldier, then questions whether he should have been in Afghanistan in the first place fighting yet another interminable American war. That is a perfectly legitimate response from a politician in Parliament…

    It’s also perfectly legitimate to ask Locke how it was fine for the Soviet Union to fight the Taleban, and not for Western forces to.

    I would also like Locke to outline what he thinks of Taleban policy towards women, such as limiting education of girls, targeting of Western shelters for battered Afghan women, and of the Taleban’s death penalty for homosexuals.

    As for respecting the right of Locke to speak — of course. But what about the right of taxpayers to expect neutrality from taxpayer-owned electronic news media? When will they stop promoting Locke? He’s on the telly, Labour Radio, and in the foreign-owned print media every second day?

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  24. Inventory2 (10,406 comments) says:

    Lt. Timothy O’Donnell – Newstalk ZB just advised that the NZDF has released the name.

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  25. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Maggie at 11.35 reveals herself as another America-hater:

    …Do we have to continue, generation after generation, thanking the USA for defending themselves against the Japanese?

    They were defending us, too, Maggie. If it hadn’t been for the American aircraft-carriers and their pilots and for the brave US marines, this thread would be in Japanese.

    We don’t side with the Americans in gratitude for that (we show very little of that). We fight because we are part of the Western alliances, though loose members since Lange and then Klark tried to turn us into a neutral South Pacific version of Sweden.

    You are obviously a melon green, Maggie. How would you defend NZ? Run power boats across the bows of threatening warships?

    It’s sad that when we should be mourning Lt O’Donnell’s sacrifice, Leftists and melon greens will try to turn this into a peace debate.

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  26. Robert Mapplethorpe (119 comments) says:

    Jack5 It’s sad that when we should be mourning Lt O’Donnell’s sacrifice, Leftists and melon greens will try to turn this into a peace debate.

    Its not an either or. I am sure we can both mourn this tragic waste of a young man’s life and also debate why it is necessary to put others like him at risk.

    And of course, we should all remember a Taleban victory in Afghanistan would be horrendous for the half of the Afghan population that is female.

    If that’s the best you’ve got, then we sure has fuck need to get out of Afghanistan now. This is no reason to risk young men’s lives, especially when Afghanistan has a government that supports the marginalisation of women.

    However, if this IS a valid reason to risk young men’s lives and kiwi tax dollars, there are many other countries as well as Afghanistan we need to invade.

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  27. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    Jack5 …

    If it hadn’t been for the American aircraft-carriers and their pilots and for the brave US marines, this thread would be in Japanese.

    I’ll call bullshit on this one. Japan had more than enough problems controlling the territories it had already conquered that were much closer to home, like Manchuria, Indochina, and the Phillippines. They needed those territories because they provided valuable raw materials which Japan needed, such as rubber and oil.

    Australia (at the time) and New Zealand didn’t offer the same level of valuable resources, were very difficult territories to reach, it was all-but-impossible to physically assemble and transport a large enough invasion force, and they would have been all-but-impossible to control. I’m sure the Japanese military had plans and thinking on a notional invasion of Australia and New Zealand, in the same way that they surely had invasion plans for California too. Militaries love to plan. But I’m equally sure they would have been impractical and unachievable.

    What the Americans did was strike an agreement with the other Allies that they would defend Australia and New Zealand, as a commitment to ensure Australia (in particular) and New Zealand didn’t pull their troops out of the Middle East and return them home. So yes, America defended Australia and New Zealand, to the extent that that was necessary.

    But it’s a very long stretch to go from there to saying that the Japanese would have conquered New Zealand.

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  28. suratsingh (1 comment) says:

    Sad that some NZers are still in the dark about the nature of the current Afghanistan government. Some facts about Afghanistan:

    – the country is called officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and it is illegal for non-Muslims to evangalise there
    – Karzai’s government has a law on its books banning people from leaving Islam. In 2006 a man called Abdul Rahman was sentenced to death for converting from Islam to Christianity – he was spared after an international outcry, but others are not so lucky
    – last year Karzai pushed through a law which allows men in the Bamiyan region – ie, the region where NZ trops serve – who rape girls to escape punishment if they agree to marry their victim
    – homosexuality is still punishable by death in Afghanistan
    – international observers unanimously concluded that Karzai won last year’s Presidential election by fraudulent means, yet he refused to give up his position
    – under Karzai opium production has soared, as officials turn a blind eye to the practice in return for kickback
    – report after report says that Karzai, his civil servants, and his army are more interested in corruption than in fighting the enemy, and that they are putting allied troops in danger in return for favours from Pakistan

    Why should NZ’s young men die to defend such a regime as this?

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  29. LiberalismIsASin (290 comments) says:

    VirtualMark: Just blindly following the USA as their lil’ deputy is no basis for our foreign policy.

    Actually, I think it is. Who else is going to come to our aid if we needed it? China?

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  30. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Re Virtualmark at 12.15…

    I’m really sorry that the lefties are turning the sad report of a young soldier killed into a hate-America session. This is despicable, yet, Virtualmark, I can’t let you away with your biased claims.

    Virtualmark, you can cry “bullshit” as much as you like to the fact that America saved NZ from Japanese occupation. In manpower, and above all in materiel, in ships, in aircraft there was no-one able to beat Japan but the Americans. Your touching on Manchuria indicates to me that you would quickly claim the Red Chinese were the biggest problem for Japan.
    Wrong. It was the American navy and marines and their island hopping taking their air power ever closer to Japan.

    As for resources, the oil was in Indonesia, the rubber and tin were in Malaya. That’s what started the drive south, but once they picked up momentum, the Japanese grabbed Papua New Guinea and even bombed Darwin.

    Who else could have beaten the Japanese? The Brits didn’t have enough strength left. Besides, their naval aircraft were inferior, their carriers too few, too small, and too heavily armoured to carry sufficient planes. They were of no great use to the Americans, who diverted them towards secondary targets like Taiwan.

    “The Americans struck an agreement”… the British almost resisted by force Australia’s return of its troops home to fight the Japanese. Churchill wanted them at the very least in Burma. NZ was too docile and small to resist the Brits.

    In no way is it a “very long stretch” to say the Japanese would have conquered NZ, but for the battles of Midway, the Coral Sea, Guadacanal, then up the island chains. All fought by Americans.

    Now, can we get back to Afghanistan? Robert Mapplethorpe, talks of what he calls the “tragic waste” of a young man’s life. What an insult. This young man died for his country, NZ, full stop.

    If these lefties want to make a political point hot on the feels of that well fuck them. Locke was hot for the invasion of East Timor and a young NZ soldier died there. Was that an equivalent “tragic waste”, Robert Mapplethorpe?

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  31. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    LiberalismIsASin … we share a lot of cultural values with the United States, so we will naturally have a lot of overlap in our foreign interests. But it’s not 100% overlap. The US has embroiled itself in a number of unwise foreign adventures in the last 50 years. Iraq is a very recent example. But you could equally point to US support for any number of fascist regimes in South America, its involvement in Vietnam, its relationships with Panama and Grenada etc etc.

    So yes, just blindly following the US is a cartoon-level of thinking in foreign policy. Good to be friends with them yes. Likely to be in line with them on most points. But best to reserve the option to choose our own path where that is the best outcome for New Zealand.

    As for “Who else is going to come to our aid if we needed it?” … please define when you think we are going to need someone else’s aid.

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  32. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    Jack5. You are confusing “stopped an invasion of New Zealand” with “beat the Japanese”.

    Yes, the Americans basically single-handedly beat the Japanese. Drove them back from island-to-island, wiped out their navy and put the Japanese homeland under direct attack.

    But yes it is a very long stretch to suggest the Japanese could have invaded and subdued New Zealand. Japan had hugely over-reached itself invading Papua New Guinea and most of the island chains beyond the Phillippines. It did not have the manpower or materiel to invade Australia. And if it couldn’t have invaded and subdued Australia then it would have been impractical to have tried a similar invasion of New Zealand.

    The Allies combined struggled mightily to get an invasion force across 160km of the English Channel and to then protect it and to supply it. No country or alliance had or has today the ability to put an invasion force 2,000km across the Tasman Sea and to keep it supplied. And that assumes they’ve managed to subdue Australia first. Any notions of an amphibious assault on New Zealand are pure fantasy. Both in 1942 and today.

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  33. Robert Mapplethorpe (119 comments) says:

    Locke was hot for the invasion of East Timor and a young NZ soldier died there. Was that an equivalent “tragic waste”, Robert Mapplethorpe?

    In my opinion, yes.

    You seem to confuse me with Keith Locke; we are two different people.

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  34. Robert Mapplethorpe (119 comments) says:

    Jack5 This young man died for his country, NZ, full stop.

    No, the poor bastard died because his country sent him on a fool’s errand, with no purpose, no goal.

    New Zealand is neither more or less safe, no better or worse as a result of his death. It was a tragic waste of a life for no discernable benefit.

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  35. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    Slightly off topic, Robert Mapplethorpe, but do you mind much if I ask you whether your pseudonym choice of “Robert Mapplethorpe,” name of a famous photographer, has any special significance?

    It’s still fresh in my mind the confusion between a person and a pseudonym elsewhere on these threads.

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  36. Robert Mapplethorpe (119 comments) says:

    I think you’d do better attempting to justify wasted lives than worrying about a screen name. Or do you get the feeling your position is untenable and this makes a nice diversion?

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  37. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    As always there are those who speak with assumed authority and questionable knowledge.

    One of the items taken from the I1 (run aground after being dmaged by Kiwi and Moa) was Japanese military currency for the ocupation of New Zealand. The Japanese had decided to bypass Australia and take New Zealand using it as a base to isolate Australia after they had taken Port Morseby.

    The Japanese were stopped on the Kokoda trail by some Aussie territorials (ooo look not the US single handed after all) and at the coral Sea by the US navy in the first naval battle where the fleets did not sight each other.

    Had these engagments gone the other way the Japanese WOULD have invaded New Zealand according to their time table. They had planned to land at Paekakariki, this being the best long and shelving beach on the west coast central to the political target, Wellington.

    Actually history from actual study, not from having watched Sands of Iwo Jima and reading a commando comic.

    The war in the Pacific included Australians and New Zealanders, British as well as many islanders, Dutch, Phillipinos and French. This doesn;t even touch the mainland and the Chinese and Korean contributions. The only recognition to the American contribution are two plaques on the Wellington waterfront (put up by the 2nd Marine Division) and a memorial at Camp McKay thats is vitually brand new. The plaque from the Marines says “If you need a friend you have one”. People with short and/or selective memories want that to be a one way arrangement.

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  38. Jack5 (5,145 comments) says:

    No Robert (re your pen name), just curious.

    As to wasted lives. I’m not sure what you mean by that. What soldier’s death would you class as not wasted?

    What are the criteria? Who would set them? Who would judge if they were met? Can any soldier’s death meet your criteria?

    The NZ troops where the lieutenant was killed seemed to be doing a reasonable job helping hold the peace, helping locals, helping their schools etc, helping partial restoration of the Buddhist monuments vandalised by the Taleban.

    I feel sorry for the loss of a young life, and I sympathise with his family and his comrades.

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  39. Robert Mapplethorpe (119 comments) says:

    Jack5, this post of yours quantifies exactly why I see his death as a waste. The justification for any foreign troops being in Afghanistan keeps changing. Even Key can’t stay “on message”.

    Is “helping locals” worth a young man’s life?

    Is “helping schools” worth a young man’s life?

    Is “partial restoration of the Buddhist monuments” worth a young man’s life?

    I keep hearing “nation building” as a justification, but nations are not built by foreign troops, they are built by nationalists and in Afghanistan, its the nationalists that we are told to think of as enemy.

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  40. virtualmark (1,536 comments) says:

    Murray …

    One of the items taken from the I1 … was Japanese military currency for the ocupation of New Zealand.
    The Japanese had decided to bypass Australia and take New Zealand using it as a base to isolate Australia
    They had planned to land at Paekakariki, this being the best long and shelving beach on the west coast central to the political target, Wellington.

    Read back through my post at 12:25pm … I agree that the Japanese no doubt had plans for the invasion of New Zealand. But I strongly question whether they ever had the ability to execute those plans. They did not have the men. They did not have the equipment. They did not have the ability to transport the men & equipment, even if they had them. They certainly did not have the ability to keep them supplied in a hostile country. Plans yes. Realistic ability no.

    And I’m somewhat intrigued by how New Zealand could isolate Australia. Trouble sea lanes to Australia’s east yes. But it’s not hard to go west across the Indian Ocean …

    The Japanese were stopped on the Kokoda trail by some Aussie territorials (ooo look not the US single handed after all)

    Read back through my post from 1:49pm and you’ll see I said the US basically single-handedly beat the Japanese. Basically. Yes there were Aussies, Kiwis, Brits etc involved too. My grandfather was a Corsair pilot in the RNZAF in the South Pacific. So it wasn’t just the US. But I’d hazard a guess that over 90% of the Allied men fighting in the South Pacific were Americans.

    And it was the Americans that beat the Japanese. The Aussies & Kiwis fighting in New Guinea and the Solomons and so on stopped them, but it was a backwater skirmish in the overall war effort.

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  41. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Murray, do you have a source for that claim about Japanese invasion money meant for New Zealand and a plan to bypass Australia and invade New Zealand being found on the I1? I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I’ve never heard such claims before. There seems to be heated debate in Australia at the moment about whether the Japanese ever seriously intended to invade the country, with Peter Stanley’s book Battle for Australia, 1942 making the case for an invasion plan. Neither Stanley nor his critics mentions a plan to bypass Australia and attack New Zealand. A google reveals nothing on the internet discussing the subject.

    Japanese Englis-language pound notes certainly existed – I used to own some – but my understanding is that they were printed for use on the Gilbert Islands and in the Solomons. The Japanese definitely got a sub down here and flew a couple of float planes over New Zealand in 1942-43, but as for invasion plans…

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  42. davidp (3,587 comments) says:

    Scott… I’ve flicked through Stanley’s book and he seems to demolish the idea that Japan had a usable plan for invading Australia. He also shows that a lot of the “evidence” for an invasion plan is based on novels of the time, or rumours that have no basis in reality. Like Aussie bank notes for instance.

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  43. Scott Hamilton (298 comments) says:

    Sorry david, I got books muddled up. I was thinking of Bob Wurth’s 1942: Australia’s greatest peril. I think Wurth and Stanley have been at loggerheads. I think Murray must have confused about plans on that Japanese sub, but it’d be fascinating if he wasn’t. Here’s a poem by the great Kendrick Smithyman which offers a speculative account of a float plane’s flight over New Zealand:

    MISTER NAKAMURA
    After, Mr Nakamura succeeded in his business,
    a popular sports goods shop in Kyoto
    carries next to everything a sporting person
    might want. You name it and Mr Nakamura will,
    otherwise he’ll try to, get it for you.
    He has a soft spot for our countrymen,
    identifies them readily, if asked confides
    “Yes, I have visited New Zealand,
    a strikingly beautiful place, fertile and peaceful.”
    He saw quite a lot of it, especially the North.

    That was on a Sunday, very like today.
    Early, quietly, the big sun surfaced seaward
    of White Island which was dramatically smoking.
    They put out her float plane.
    Mr Nakamura flew over the Bay, Tauranga, Waikato,
    the Manukau, and Auckland. Visibility was fine.

    Ships in port and ack-ack batteries
    argued about him. Eventually, hotheads won,
    they phoned in to report a Japanese float plane,
    requested permission to open fire. Denied.
    More telephoning, site to battery, battery to regiment,
    regiment to Area to Combined HQ to Wellington.
    On Tuesday Wellington ordered “Shoot Mr Nakamura
    out of our skies.”

    Like a competently benign angel Mr Nakamura passed
    observing amiable state of wharfside Waitemata,
    idyllic Gulf, something of northing coast,
    then out to sea, looking for a convoy,
    most for the big transport President Coolidge.
    They had their timing wrong. Coolidge wasn’t
    coming back, stuck on a reef in the Hebrides.

    Mr Nakamura turning to base was naughty.
    It makes him laugh now to think how daring he was,
    “Just joyriding, sightseeing a bit.
    I thought, Koji, you may never see this again.”
    Although he intends to year by year he has not
    so far, business demanding him, but keeps
    fond memories of his (he jokes) “Flying visit.”

    His command of (slightly outmoded) idiom comes
    in handy, tourists generously respond.
    Nostalgically he assures them, “Such a peaceful
    land. Nobody shoots at you. Japan had
    much to learn” and enquires,
    “That big island, it is still smoking?”
    Yes, indeed, it is still smoking.

    28. 10. 84

    http://www.smithymanonline.auckland.ac.nz/document?wid=771&page=0&action=searchresult&target=

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