The SAS

April 25th, 2011 at 12:55 pm by David Farrar

The Press editorial on the SAS:

Just five days before it was revealed that troops were part of an operation in last August in which nine Taleban fighters were killed. Critics of New Zealand’s deployment there have sought to portray the operation as some sort of “revenge killing” following the death in action of Lieutenant Tim O’Donnell. This suggestion was not only incorrect but was also an affront to the SAS.

Undoubtedly SAS troops would have been angry at O’Donnell’s death but these soldiers are also part of one of the most professional and disciplined military forces in the world, which does not undertake unauthorised revenge or rogue operations.

Their job in Afghanistan is to protect the provincial reconstruction team from insurgents and inevitably this involves military action when intelligence reports indicate the presence of Taleban fighters.

And the operation in August had been mandated by both the Afghan Government and the International Security Assistance Force of Nato.

The real message that should be taken from the SAS raid is that it is a reminder of the valuable work being carried out by New Zealand soldiers in a range of overseas theatres. In doing so, these military personnel continue a proud tradition of this nation consistently punching above its weight in its contributions to war campaigns and peace-keeping operations.

The Press is absolutely right.

The people who called it a revenge killing should be ashamed. The job of the SAS is to stop the Taleban fighters from killing people, and the harsh reality is they do this by killing them. It’s not revenge – it’s war.

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106 Responses to “The SAS”

  1. Dazzaman (1,129 comments) says:

    Even so, I’m sure they relished the chance at getting some utu!!….Good stuff boys!

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  2. RRM (9,587 comments) says:

    The job of the SAS is to stop the Taleban fighters from killing people, and the harsh reality is they do this by killing them. It’s not revenge – it’s war.

    +1. Not everything can be accomplished with a group conference and a few hugs, and this is why we have an army.

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  3. ben (2,412 comments) says:

    these soldiers are also part of one of the most professional and disciplined military forces in the world, which does not undertake unauthorised revenge or rogue operations.

    How could the Press know this?

    The only way they can get away with saying that is because it is polite not to ask. There is no way they could know this about the SAS.

    And how exactly does the Press rank professional and disciplined? I’d say they don’t. They’ll just say it knowing nobody will ask: how do you know, and what does that mean?

    Every country says the same thing about its armed forces. They can’t all be number one.

    I’d rather see a bit of skepticism pointed at all government agencies, including the ones with the guns. Governments aren’t afraid to take advantage of any free passes its citizens are willing to send their way.

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  4. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    The issue is a bit more complex than how the Press describes it. Moreover, there are tactical and strategic considerations at play that do not always work in concert. One can have respect for the SAS while still questioning the overall nature of their mission and the way that mission has been portrayed by the government to the NZ public. Although I am on record as supporting the NZDF involvement in the ISAF coalition, it is worth pondering whether strategic objectives are being served regardless of tactical successes such as the SAS assault on those identified as being responsible for the IED/small arms fire ambush on Lt O’Donnell’s patrol.

    I have attempted to address these matters here: http://www.kiwipolitico.com/2011/04/tactical-utu-in-a-strategic-quagmire/

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  5. Viking2 (11,215 comments) says:

    Always give the bully a bloody nose. It demands respect.

    Of course we could have sent that “silly old women” over to teach then Te Reo. Now that would have done it don’t you think.

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  6. DJP6-25 (1,294 comments) says:

    The only good Taleban is a dead one. The SAS are doing their job.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  7. lilman (909 comments) says:

    Saw those wankers on Q&A on saturday saying revenge and all about unjust and esculating situations in Afghanistan.
    What soft cocks,the more damage we do on these cretins the better,good to think these commentators
    have the high moral ground,but stop talking shit boys and take your teenage daugters over there and tell them to go to the beach,mall,school or university and see how life is for them.
    We are going to have to take these extremists sometime and where,it might as well be over there,in their home not ours.

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  8. Longknives (4,620 comments) says:

    But surely sitting singing ‘Kum Buy Ya’ and giving the Taliban a big cuddle will stop them from cutting young girl’s faces off??

    You read this Mr Locke? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1319804/Afghan-girl-Bibi-Aisha-nose-ears-hacked-Taliban-rule-gets-new-face.html

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  9. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    We’ve been in Afghanistan for 9 years. Of course the war has been riddled with revenge attacks, down-right murders, and the kind of psychological scarring that will live for decades in New Zealand after the victims (I mean heroes of course) come home.

    The “taliban” or “Al Quaeda”, while convenient boogy-men for the war-mongering brigade, are also residents and citizens of the country in which they fight. You cannot kill them without also killing the people around them. Look here if you want a recent history of the number of civilians being killed every month in Afghanistan, including 7 boys between 7 and 13 for the crime of collecting firewood for their village. http://vcnv.org/atrocities-in-afghanistan-a-troubling-timetable-updated-1

    Your SAS may be acting in a completely honourable manner, perfectly free of error and emotion. How they would manage to do that over 9 years of obscene war killing people who look like civilians I don’t know.

    Best in my opinion David if you ask why we are at war at all, instead of supporting the fact-free obfuscation of the Press just because it suits your partisan interests.

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  10. Inventory2 (10,161 comments) says:

    TVNZ did themselves no credit by trying to beat this issue up in the lead-up to Anzac Day. The SAS are our elite fighting force, and at the end of the day, are doing exactly what they are trained to do. None of them WANT to kill, but it is an unavoidable part of their job; what they signed up to. We should be grateful for their professionalism and dedication, and theior willingness to serve in the most inhospitable of places. Kia kaha SAS

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  11. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    The “taliban” or “Al Quaeda”, while convenient boogy-men for the war-mongering brigade, are also residents and citizens of the country in which they fight.

    Except very often they’re not. Very often they’re foreign fighters paid and trained by Iran.

    And the Afghan people hate them and are cruelly mistreated by them.

    But you were saying?

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  12. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    The “taliban” or “Al Quaeda”, while convenient boogy-men for the war-mongering brigade, are also residents and citizens of the country in which they fight. You cannot kill them without also killing the people around them. Look here if you want a recent history of the number of civilians being killed every month in Afghanistan, including 7 boys between 7 and 13 for the crime of collecting firewood for their village. http://vcnv.org/atrocities-in-afghanistan-a-troubling-timetable-updated-1

    Your SAS may be acting in a completely honourable manner, perfectly free of error and emotion. How they would manage to do that over 9 years of obscene war killing people who look like civilians I don’t know.

    Bryla, Afghanistan is a political mess, not a military one. It’s not the military’s job to do anything but hold and occupy territory and keep civil order. Anything else is the job of the politicians, and they have failed big-time, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and are soon to fail big-time in Pakistan.

    Overall military results from a broad perspective is that none of those operations have failed. They have not been executed wisely at all, in that it seems inherent in US strategy (i.e. they know and practice for nothing else), to bring to bear overwhelming firepower and asymetric warfare does not lend itself to that. Lots of decisions like disbanding the Iraqi Army were made that have proved to be complete cock-ups. Lots of others were made and continue to be made as well, such as Abu Ghraib in the past and drone attacks that kill civilians in the present.

    However on balance if you were to look at the overall situation and see which of military or political has been most responsible for the current situation and which has, as of now, mostly succeeded and which hasn’t, you have to say the political masters have let the side down very badly indeed, whereas the military masters, while not perfect, have overall done OK.

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  13. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    @reid “It’s not the military’s job to do anything but hold and occupy territory and keep civil order.” Then get out! Now!
    If you read the link I sent, and contemplate both the number and method of murdered children, women, and by-standers, you have to say that the idea of “civil order” is not catching on. Some of these children were murdered via an error in “handing off” target coordinates. Some because of the margin of error in targeting, the hardware itself, some because of misidentification by active units. These things are going to continue while we wage a high tech war against native guerrillas. There is nothing more certain.

    The “mission” will continue to fail. Children will continue to die. Rich western citizens like you and me allow it to happen because our own lives are relaxed and comfortable.

    We have very poor political leaders, as you observe, but that is because we have a very low quality population.

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  14. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Paul thanks for your 1:40 link, thoughtful and thought-provoking, as always.

    Although Wayne Mapp once again dissembled in public about the purpose of the raid, which resulted in the deaths of nine Taliban and reportedly eight civilians due to stray fire from close air support (not the NZSAS)

    That was the US, wasn’t it.

    You know this will bring the revenge right back into it. The Tali’s would have taken it were it just their warriors but not those others and the fact we didn’t do it does not enter the equation.

    I’ve never really thought it was ever a good idea, Key’s loosening of the no comment policy on SAS ops. This just gives me more reason to think that. Surely it’s not helpful we’ve just alerted every radical not just from Afghanistan who can read the internet and does for stories just like these, everyone. In Asia, Africa, Australia, the ME, Europe, the Americas.

    Sometimes I wish we had a D-Notice as well. That will be one of my first acts when if I seize power ever get elected.

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  15. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    Wat, who are “the freedom loving rebels” we’re arming right now in Libya? Al Qaeda and Hezballah aren’t they? Didn’t we do this before somewhere?

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  16. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    Gee reid, does every true champion of democracy yearn for the powers of censorship and martial law, or is it just the friends of the USA?

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  17. jaba (2,091 comments) says:

    wars have been around for centuries and as long as we get past Dec 2012, they will continue. War is hell and an appalling thing BUT, yes there is always a but, there are bad people in this world and the Taliban are a bunch of cretins who kill/murder their own citizens based on their interpretation of the Koran.
    Shit heads like Locke will say that’s not our business. If we must get involves then we must do it withe dialogue .. umm, never take words to a gun fight Keith.
    When I heard that by shear chance, the SAS got these cowards who blow people up I was rapt .. well done to these scary people.

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  18. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    If you read the link I sent, and contemplate both the number and method of murdered children, women, and by-standers, you have to say that the idea of “civil order” is not catching on. Some of these children were murdered via an error in “handing off” target coordinates. Some because of the margin of error in targeting, the hardware itself, some because of misidentification by active units. These things are going to continue while we wage a high tech war against native guerrillas. There is nothing more certain.

    So what?

    The “mission” will continue to fail.

    Well it’s not failing right now, militarily. It’s seriously failing politically, but what precisely can the military do about that?

    Children will continue to die.

    Indeed they will, and the solution so they don’t continue to die is to fix it politically. Unfortunately, in asymetric warfare, across an entire country, you cannot avoid civilian casualties. It’s just that simple. Of course you do the best you possibly can using every means at your disposal and best possible care and training at all times. That’s what happens now. But when you’ve got, as the US has, a .5 cal cannon instead of say, a sniper rifle, it’s not surprising, is it. (Normally it’s not a 0.5 cannon it’s something bolted onto an aircraft which is even more powerful and lacking in point accuracy.) This is why it happens, Bryla.

    See the point is, civilian casualties don’t denote mission failure. It’s a negative, don’t get me wrong. But the military set an objective and achieve it. They kill people and break things. If the right person(s) is killed and/or the right thing is broken, then tick, no matter what else happened. If you don’t understand that or if you can’t bring yourself to think about it like that because all you can think about is the humanity of it all (which we all not least those in the military actually get, BTW – yes, we do get the humanity), then you simply Bryla have no business analysing anything whatsoever to do with military matters. Sorry, simple as that.

    so you don’t have armed bandits roaming the countryside who would form up into a political war-lord

    Yes the whole point is to prevent that Bryla, the way you do that is via political solutions such as infrastructure development and helping the majority live normal peaceful lives. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan, there isn’t any infrastructure and the normal peaceful life over there used to consist of subsistence farming and opium production then the Soviets invaded and it all got a bit nasty then the Taliban took over and it was still quite nasty and then the US came in and the opium has come back but now the warlords came back cause of the opium. That’s the key to Afghanistan politics and why they hell they don’t just Agent Orange the whole crop I don’t know. (Well, I do know but none of you would so what’s the point.)

    Rich western citizens like you and me allow it to happen because our own lives are relaxed and comfortable.

    This is a very self-righteous comment, Bryla. You are saying are you not that you, yourself, despite the fact you live in a western country, that unlike most of us who live here, you and some other especially sensitive and gifted fellows, are actually capable of seeing how inhumane the whole situation and thereby calling it, in order that some of even perhaps just one or two might see the light and awaken into the compassionate humanity that is your state of enlightenment?

    Gosh Bryla, you lefties are so advanced.

    We have very poor political leaders, as you observe, but that is because we have a very low quality population.

    Yes Bryla my entire comment was referring to the western political leaders with influence over NATO and also diplomatically with respect to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc: i.e. the UK, US, EU, etc. I wasn’t talking about our little country, because you decided to widen the discussion to the war in general.

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  19. KevinH (1,141 comments) says:

    War is a dirty business, people get killed for no reason more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. On the BBC this morning Libyan Rebels were parading captured mercenaries. The look of fear on their faces was palpable, their fate unknown. In Afghanistan a Taliban stronghold could be a couple of mud huts housing an extended family. The bombs can’t tell the difference, and neither can the SAS.

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  20. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    reid:

    I agree about the “no-comment” policy. Loosening it just adds potential fuel to the fire (as do other leaks such as the annotated bomb incident). When the retaliatory raid was carried out in August and civilians were killed, ISAF announced an investigation into the incident in which “Nato forces were involved.” That sufficed, but as is usually the case a good investigative journalist looked into who those Nato troops were, and lo and behold it was the NZSAS leading the assault. At that point Key and Mapp should have just used the “neither confirm or deny” line and the story would have died, but instead Mapp claimed that no civilians were killed and that the SAS does not detain people. That stretched the boundaries of credulity, which is when the NZ MSM started asking follow up questions. On Q&A Mapp just dug a deeper hole when confronted by the follow ups.

    What the anti-war crowd need to understand is that the NZSAS is doing its job in an extremely disciplined and professional manner within the boundaries of what is a difficult, irregular battle space (by all accounts, including those of journalists that are not necessarily sympathetic to the occupation). The decision to have the SAS participate in the ISAF mission, including protocols about handing over POWs, or the use of plausible deniability in order to go outside of the officially acknowledged SAS remit, rest with the government that deployed them. If there is blame to go around, it lies with the policy-makers and not with the instruments of policy such as the NZSAS, especially since, all critical coverage notwithstanding, there is no evidence that the NZSAS has actively and willingly participated in human rights violations or engaged in war crimes. If anything, the contrary is true.

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  21. jaba (2,091 comments) says:

    and I agreed with the link Paul gave above .. well said

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  22. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    (Well, I do know but none of you would so what’s the point.)

    Sorry, missed the edit window.

    What I meant was, none of you would accept it, so what’s the point.

    This is cause there is a conspiracy theory which I don’t want to divert the thread into. Happy to do it on GD if anyone wants to.

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  23. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Wat, who are “the freedom loving rebels” we’re arming right now in Libya? Al Qaeda and Hezballah aren’t they? Didn’t we do this before somewhere?

    I’m going to let you in on a little secret Bryla: there are no simple and easy solutions to the Middle East.

    Well, I say secret, but everyone seems to realise it except for you.

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  24. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    instead Mapp claimed that no civilians were killed and that the SAS does not detain people. That stretched the boundaries of credulity, which is when the NZ MSM started asking follow up questions. On Q&A Mapp just dug a deeper hole when confronted by the follow ups.

    Yep. Open the door in the first place and you can’t hold it back.

    Still, the next leader can always rescind, but if it’s Silent-T, he won’t. Key can’t.

    Idiot. What did he think he was gaining? All I can think of is he didn’t understand things like that back then, which is understandable with his background. Which raises the question of why didn’t senior people in the Nats take him aside early on and council him? Don’t tell me, none of them got it, either…

    Crikey.

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  25. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    reid:

    The lack of geo-strategic understanding by the NZ political elite is a source of concern, but it could be (in fact has been) much worse: think of Mark Burton, former Minister of Defense and Disarmament (one might argue that if there was a Minister of Surrender he would have been perfect for the job). It is this lack of strategic perspective that leaves the NZ political elite dependent on the good word of the NZSIS and NZDF brass as well as foreign allies, all of whom have agendas that may or may not accord with NZ’s legitimate security concerns.

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  26. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    think of Mark Burton, former Minister of Defense and Disarmament

    Agree Paul but you must recognise don’t you, that this was all part of Hulun’s plan to dismember nay emasculate the NZDF.

    She never announced it, but you could see it all the way through. I hate to think what she did or tried to, to the SIS.

    Raymond Ching and myself were the only regular Letters to the Herald writers decrying Hulun’s emasculation of the strike wing, as I recall. (I only wrote letters sometimes…)

    There is a complete dearth of geo-strategic understanding across the entire spectrum, you name it, they don’t get it – political, commercial, left, right. It’s both appalling and amazing.

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  27. emmess (1,383 comments) says:

    Wat, who are “the freedom loving rebels” we’re arming right now in Libya? Al Qaeda and Hezballah aren’t they? Didn’t we do this before somewhere?

    These would be the same rebels that Keith Locke stood up in parliament and made a speech in support of, right?
    Surely you are not saying Keith Locke and the Greens support Al Qaeda and Hizbollah, are you?

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  28. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    DPF It’s not revenge – it’s war.

    Sorry, I must have missed the Declaration of War.

    Who is the enemy?

    How will we know when we have won?

    Are we just trying to ensure Afghanistan has a better Special Olympics team than England?

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  29. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    MNIJ,

    Like Bryla, you seem to wish for clear, simple answers to what are complex issues.

    Basically you need to grow up.

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  30. GPT1 (2,100 comments) says:

    I am disappointed by the coverage and the “revenge” headlines as if killing people trying to kill you is a bad thing. I am not quite sure what the NZDF and SAS are meant to do in a war zone – throw flowers?

    Job well done.

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  31. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Ah, look at all the desktop experts.

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  32. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Here’s my comment from ANZAC Day, General Debate thread:

    Just got home from ANZAC Day duties in Auckland. My soldiers got up early to remember those that went before them.

    As I looked at Len Brown, Rodney Hyde, Mike Lee, Judith Collins, Keith Locke and many other VIPs, I realised that they are nobodies. Though my soldiers are young and in some ways they are nobodies, their works in East Timor, The Solomans, Afghanistan, and in the Middle East, will be far more significant.

    Thank you to all those who came out to remember those that went before us, and to those that applauded my soldiers.

    Onward.

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  33. BlairM (2,303 comments) says:

    What… wait… you mean soldiers KILL PEOPLE?!!!! OMG, alert the fucking media!!!

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  34. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    Wat, you know that we’re arming in Libya now the very same people that we’re fighting in Afghanistan. If you can think at all, this ought make you question the goal of US foreign policy. The only rational excuse is the US wants to develop an arms race led recovery in itsdomestic economy. I don’t want to fight for that.

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  35. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    How will we know when we have won?

    When you don’t come here anymore Jack.

    When you don’t come here, anymore…

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  36. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    reid, I hope you’ve got a nice, deep bunker mate, to keep you safe from the hoi polloi and other human beings. As militarism, racism, and grinding poverty break down the social order, human intelligence is applied to revenge, and murder stalks the street, you can lock the doors, arm the alarms, cook up a freeze dried, and think about your moral superiority before you boot up and enter a cyber reality you like better than the real thing. The Brady Bunch, is it?.

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  37. kiwi in america (2,461 comments) says:

    Bryla
    Since the Spanish Civil War civilians are almost always caught up in wars – often with quite heavy casualties. Its a sad but tragic part of modern wars – upwards of 75% of the casualties in WW2 were civilians. I’m sure had you been around in 1939 – 45 you’d have bitterly opposed both the fact that war was waged and the manner in which it was waged. WW2 was waged with far less PC sensibilities than prevail today. The Allies were not after a negotiated peace or even mere surrender – they sought to utterly destroy the capacity of their enemies to ever wage war again and that sometimes meant the indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets with no ostensible military objective other than a desire to break the will of the German and Japanese people.

    Modern peaceniks like you use inflammatory words like murder to describe the tragic loss of civilian life in the midst of war. Contrary to popular belief, in the modern era, the leaders of democratically elected governments in 1st world democracies make the decision to go to war very carefully. If avoiding all civilian casualties were the primary objective then there would be no war. Despite the best attempts by the NZ SAS to strenuously avoid civilian casualties – I have a couple of mates in the NZ SAS who tell me that much concerning their ops – they will never be successful and some tragedies will occur. Civilian casualties do not define mission success or failure but they are all the anti war left bleat about as if this was the first war that this happened in.

    The Afpak theatre is bloody difficult. Our boys are fighting a brutal ideological insurgency with no regard for the normal rules of war. The Taliban infiltrate into civilian populations, they use women and children as human shields, they terrorise and brutalise local populations into submission, they dont identify themselves with uniforms and they torture and kill captives – all against the Geneva Convention and they oppose all that we hold dear in the west (democracy, freedom of religion, equal rights for women and gays, free press, freedom to form and join trade unions etc).

    The anti war left see the Taliban as some modern day version of Che Guevara or Fidel Castro boldly holding their homeland against imperialist foreign aggressors like Britain and the US – the same people who were all misty eyed about Soviet Russia and would see or hear no evil concerning the millions Stalin purged and starved in the Gulags.

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  38. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Bryla,

    Please stop being such a child.

    You are behaving like there is some simple and obvious alternative course that the West could pursue which would see the people of Libya be free of oppression both from Gadaffi and from the regional Islamic fundamentalists.

    Please do share it with us, and with the rest of the world.

    Let us know exactly what you would do.

    We’re waiting (well, actually we’re not.)

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  39. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    Wat, that’s so easy.

    Develop a culture of nonviolence. Get real good at communication and problem solving. Eliminate poverty. Follow the commandment to love one another.

    NGO to NGO contact with and between all the countries of the region/world.

    Start at home. Stop murdering children. Disarm.

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  40. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Bryla,

    Here’s the thing: other people don’t give a toss for your self-indulgent wank.

    For example, it is in Iran’s very constitution to export the barbaric Islamic fundamentalist creed. For that reason they fund and support terrorist and insurgent groups around the globe. They will never stop. They do not care about childrens’ lives or human rights. They will keep killing until all the world is under an Islamic theocracy.

    And your answer to such ruthlessness? “Develop a culture of nonviolence. Get real good at communication and problem solving. Eliminate poverty. Follow the commandment to love one another.”

    Get over yourself.

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  41. Komata (1,138 comments) says:

    FWIW, my few cents:

    Sadly, it is perceived by the current crop of newspaper article writers and their Editors (none of whom have ever graced the inside of parade ground) as being oh so very clever, cool and ‘modern’ to reveal all and everything that the SAS do, using tabloid-type journalism in the style of the women’s magazines. These individuals have absolutely no idea about what the SAS actually do and care even less – it is all about sensationalism and ultimately the selling of papers and TV air time. Secrecy, the reasons why this may be necessary, and the even reason for the existence of the NZSAS as a unit don’t come into their thought patterns, yet paradoxically it is that very secrecy which makes it worthy of their interest – they just HAVE to expose the ‘secret’ to the world cos ‘it’s so exciting’. (and if an overseas newspaper does it first then, in a fit of ‘inverted pride’ that is all the more reason to ‘bring it to the attention of the public of New Zealand’).

    A contributing factor as well is that the majority of the MSM in New Zealand subscribes to the socialist viewpoint that all western military activity is inherently bad and that Communism/Socialism and ‘Freedom fighters are ALL good (they simply never ever do any of those atrocities which they are supposed to commit of course), the NZSAS is fair game, and the bigger the ‘scoop’ on their activites the greater the jounalistic prestige (especially if it’s NASTY’ and a ‘poor inocent (bomb carrying local gets hurt – ‘oh the humanity’!!)

    The ‘Ghosts’ meanwhile just get on with the job, quietly, professionally, and with no comment – just as they have always done . . .

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  42. Longknives (4,620 comments) says:

    Stop Press- Bryla has solved all the Worlds problems! We just need to ‘disarm, communicate and love’ one another! If only Bryla was around in 1939 to share this message of love…I’m sure Hitler would have had second thoughts about marching into Poland and no doubt plans for the ‘Final Solution’ would have been replaced with a large Organic food and Hemp festival…

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  43. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    It is this lack of strategic perspective that leaves the NZ political elite dependent on the good word of the NZSIS and NZDF brass as well as foreign allies, all of whom have agendas that may or may not accord with NZ’s legitimate security concerns.

    No independently-funded think-tanks Paul. That’s the difference. As I’m sure you already knew.

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  44. kiwi in america (2,461 comments) says:

    wat dabney
    Its the same mentality that saw Western peaceniks go to Baghdad and be human shields for Saddam Hussein or the Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni who moved to Gaza in solidarity with the Palestinians but was murdered a few days ago by Muslim extremists.

    Ah yes the Keith Locke school of foreign policy – support Pol Pot and the Soviet invasion of Afganistan and blame all the world’s conflicts on evil American imperialism.

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  45. lilman (909 comments) says:

    Bryla your a coward,you really are !
    Non violence,in what universe will that achieve the stability we all crave.
    I have served in the forces in asia and in Bosnia and saw first hand how power from the barrel of a gun respects the nonviolent people trying to live normal lives amongst chaos.
    It wasnt until the strong intervention of a multinational force that checked and ensured measured response to muslum and nationalist powers, forced them to the table.
    It wasnt for the faint of heart, but it did force change,at the loss of many innocent lives.
    Non violence,ffs what a joke,they would have killed all and any who didnt fit their cleansed nation.
    A elderly Woman beaten and raped ,left in the street,infront of her family,somethings never leave you,and they shouldnt if we are to show respect to the victims of oppression.
    Cowardice is a poison,strength is hard fought.

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  46. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Sadly, it is perceived by the current crop of newspaper article writers and their Editors (none of whom have ever graced the inside of parade ground) as being oh so very clever, cool and ‘modern’ to reveal all and everything that the SAS do

    Probaby true, but let’s be honest, this is a pretty fuckin badass photo:

    http://static2.stuff.co.nz/1264718680/915/3253915.jpg

    Just glad he’s on our side.

    To quote Samuel Johnson “Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier.”

    Again, probably true. I’m the ultimate civilian. I cannot imagine fighting for my life.

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  47. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    @ Longknives who said “If only Bryla was around in 1939 to share this message of love…” It is the world’s good fortune that I am around now, when I am so desperately needed.

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  48. Komata (1,138 comments) says:

    Bryl

    Re: ‘Disarm’.

    I would strongly suggest that you read-up on your European History up to the Seige of Vienna, to see what happens when Islam comes a-callibng and also read-through critical assessment of the Koran, (Google ‘The Quran Dilemma’ as a start) because you simply don’t seem to get the point – Islam DOES NOT BELIEVE IN LOVE, JOY, OR NON VIOLENCE, and if they see that you do, then more fool you – your viewpoint will probably ensure your early death should you have the misfortune to live in a country which they control.

    Putting it bluntly ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF CONQUEST. It is deliberately violent, (because Mohammed wrote the Koran that way) it takes no prisoners, it loathes with a passion Jews, Christians, Pacifists, Liberals, deviants, and anyone else who stand in its way (and whom it perceives as ‘an enemy’) and has no compulsion about eliminating these groups and others.

    It is ruthless, acquisition-of-territory orientated and intent on World Domination!!

    Sadly, there are no ‘peaceful’ muslims – they are merely a ‘Fifth column’ (I presume you understand the term) the ones who are doing nothing obvious at the moment, but who will, when the time is right will take appropriate action ‘in defence of their faith’ – just as they have been told to do.

    And, perhaps surprisingly, it is coming to a nation and neighbourhood near you.

    Disarm by all means – but don’t scream for help when you’re taken advantage of because of your pacifism. You will only be getting what they think you deserve.

    Sadly, you won’t have been the first . . .

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  49. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    I think you may have a narrow, even prejudicial view of Islam there Komata ol’ buddy.

    Even so, one short answer to your assertion is that if Islam “does not believe in love, joy and nonviolence” it doesn’t matter. God has promised these things, and they will be brought into being. Our job is to get with the program, and pay no attention to boring old naysayers.

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  50. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Wat, that’s so easy.

    Develop a culture of nonviolence. Get real good at communication and problem solving. Eliminate poverty. Follow the commandment to love one another.

    NGO to NGO contact with and between all the countries of the region/world.

    Start at home. Stop murdering children. Disarm.

    Bryla, that’s so easy.

    You explain “problem-solving” to the first, second and third Taliban you meet, along the road to Kandahar.

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  51. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    I think you may have a narrow, even prejudicial view of Islam there Komata ol’ buddy.

    You’re an expert on Islam now? How many years did you spend studying the subject? Decades, no doubt. After all, it took khomeini that long to reach his position which prescribes mullahs being supreme in the political system.

    But no.

    Let’s be honest here.

    You are a totally ignorant fuck.

    You know absolutely nothing about the subject, but are happy to spout off about it, “ol’ buddy’.”

    Even so, one short answer to your assertion is that if Islam “does not believe in love, joy and nonviolence” it doesn’t matter. God has promised these things, and they will be brought into being. Our job is to get with the program, and pay no attention to boring old naysayers.

    Oh wait. Suddenly the deaths of innocents and children don’t matter anymore? Suddenly all those “murders” count for nothing. All that shit you posted above about children being killed whilst they were collecting firewood count for nothing because “God has promised these things.”?

    You sad, sad man.

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  52. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Steady on wat, old chum.

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  53. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Bring them back at once. New orders. Hunt down and exterminate the liberal scumbags, media morons and gaggling tossers. They pose a bigger threat to our society then the killers of Mr O’Donnell.

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  54. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Hold me back

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  55. niggly (810 comments) says:

    Bryla (250) Says:

    @ Longknives who said “If only Bryla was around in 1939 to share this message of love…” It is the world’s good fortune that I am around now, when I am so desperately needed.

    Bryla, sometimes I wonder whether you’re so deluded in that you think of yourself as some sort of false-prophet (which is scary in itself) or whether you’re a control freak obsessed with manipulating people and public opinion.

    Trouble is unless you’re disturbed or have another hidden agenda you cannot seem to see your arguments have holes which simply don’t stand up to facts and scrutiny, and we can all see through them. Even when pointed out here you ignore the response and change subject.

    And you’re one of the public faces of the Australian “peace” movement? Sheesh, you have about as much credibility as Keith Locke.

    All talk – all talk about pacifism, which would be fine in itself, except like Keith you wish to dismantle the Western security system including NZ’s small contribution, and worse still THINK that everyone else in the world will respect us because we should cut our ties with the rest of the Western world and remain neutral & independant???

    In a global interconnected world that helps – how?

    In the history of the world that involves international commerce and strength of force, that helps how?

    How strange how you think you can defy known history as demontrated throughout millennia.

    I don’t think you’re disturbed despite your ramblings, so what’s your real agenda, commrade?

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  56. Elaycee (4,318 comments) says:

    The biggest disappointment about this whole issue has to be the fact that the mainstream media has seen fit to print a ‘story’ about our SAS in action. By drawing attention to the activities of our SAS, the editors of these publications demonstrate a total lack of judgement. No surprises here…

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  57. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    From DPJ6-25:

    The only good Taleban is a dead one.

    There have been a few of these overtly racist catechisms previously in western history:

    eg

    the only good injun is a dead one

    the only good nigger is a dead one (after being liberated from slavery, best known as the highpoint of western charity)

    My rejoinder to this remark is: who is the Taliban?

    Generally, the actual Taliban is credited with about 10,000 operatives, who, be the way, must be incredibly effective at what they do to keep so many troops from so many countries so busy. Never mind.

    My point is that the ISAF force is an occupation force, and resistance to occupation is legal under international law. The fact is that the majority of Afghans are hardwired to resist occupation and do not need the Taliban as an excuse. This is not to say that those who killed our soldier were not Taliban, but the term Taliban seems very suspiciously like a catch-all ie all Afghan males who resist occupation are Taliban. I find this difficult to believe.

    But what is easy to believe is that Kiwiblog, and Kiwibloggers, Bryla excepted, has no problem to David Prosser’s praise of mass murder.

    So tell me David P, what about the wives and kids of said Taliban? Fair game, too?

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  58. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Luc,

    Can you please advise us, what “race” are the Taleban?

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  59. lilman (909 comments) says:

    yep,Luc ,fair game,they are the future and support the present,sorry dont like it, but we are not talking about stealing milk money here.
    Eventually we are going to have to address how we want to live in the future.
    I want my children to be able to go to school,choose their clothing,husbands and where and when the want to live and have children.
    I want the fact that other New Zealanders can travel the world and say their beliefs aloud.
    You get the community you deserve,that counts in the global community as well.
    Anti-Islam no!!
    Anti-oppression you bet,until the day I die, but I would prefer it can be avoided.
    If you want to choose to live in a world ruled by fear and the gun then roll over and brace yourselves.
    If not,time to harden up!!!!!!!!!!

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  60. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Luc Tailban don’t seem to give a fat rats arse about wives and children, put a sack over the wife and a bomb on a child’s back.

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  61. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Basically, Luc, as Mayor Giuliani said after 9/11: “we are right and they are wrong.”

    Is that too hard a concept for you to grasp?

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  62. bc (1,344 comments) says:

    Well of course it is a revenge killing – isn’t that what you do when two opposing forces are fighting each other in warfare?

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  63. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    wat, fairly obvious isn’t it?

    Not us.

    lilman

    Taliban are a nationalistic movement who do not threaten us – I feel sorry for the Afghans if they end up with them, but that’s no reason for our wholesale killing of any and many Afghans, including non-Taliban.

    SSB

    Neither do we, apparently, when we bomb the shit out of those wives and children. Say, Bob, would you resist occupiers? Or would you wave them through and give them a standing ovation?

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  64. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Well of course it is a revenge killing – isn’t that what you do when two opposing forces are fighting each other in warfare?

    No.

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  65. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Can anyone please tell me how the Taliban became our enemy?

    Or is that just doing what Uncle Sam says, again?

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  66. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    My rejoinder to this remark [the only good nigger is a dead one] is: who is the Taliban?

    Well Tally Ho then Luc, By Crikey, Eh What, Old Boy?

    Pray tell, like wat asked, ages ago.

    Can anyone please tell me how the Taliban became our enemy?

    Define “Taliban,” Luc.

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  67. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    No Luc, would send you out first. If they got on with you then I would be worried.

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  68. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Taliban are a nationalistic movement

    No, they’re not.

    who do not threaten us

    So we should let them commit mass murder and oppress the entire population? Is that what you’re saying?

    If the Nazis hadn’t invaded other countries but had contented themselves with murdering all the Jews in Germany, that would have been okay?

    Hmm.

    Somethings not quite right here.

    I thing it’s you.

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  69. lilman (909 comments) says:

    HHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    Do you have kids Luc?
    Tell me you havent bred!!!!!!!!
    No threat, you really need a reality check.
    Take you daughter to the taliban,tell them you are a New Zealander,tell them we are no threat.
    Tell them she is going to have a beach party,dont worry they will drive themselves.
    Tell the non threatening Taliban they then will go night clubbing ,then to a concert.
    TELL THEM, GO ON ,THEY ARE “NO THREAT” after all.
    Tell them that all the things we do in New Zealand should not be a concern because we are no threat to them.
    Read them a couple of passages from the bible to show you come in peace, go on I DARE YOU.
    Fact is you would have you throat slit,I would know this because they would film it and post it on the net.
    Heres something you could do- I will pay for you and your family to go to Afghanistan ,full costs but you must travel to the Taliban community to do all of the above ,If the outcome is favourable I will sell everything I own and give it to you non return.
    WHERES HE GONE ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,?

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  70. emmess (1,383 comments) says:

    Can anyone please tell me how the Taliban became our enemy?

    By us infidels mere existence

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  71. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I’m here, lilman (love the moniker!)

    So it’s a humanitarian intervention, is it?

    I must have missed that bit.

    I thought the US went in to get Bin Laden.

    So the Taliban and the general Afghan population we (including our heavily armed and “heroic” SAS) insist on killing with gay abandon are just mission drift?

    wat

    if we went to war against all countries who offended our sensibilities, it would truly give new meaning to the term “perpetual war”.

    But then, you may get off on that, in your safe home, in your armchair, in front of your fire, stroking your…weapon…

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  72. wat dabney (3,714 comments) says:

    Luc,

    if we went to war against all countries who offended our sensibilities, it would truly give new meaning to the term “perpetual war”.

    If I understand you correctly, the genocide of the Jews was nothing more than a case of the Nazies “offending our sensibilities.”

    Am I correct?

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  73. lilman (909 comments) says:

    I am at home,but you havent answered,taking the wife and kids on that trip?
    As ex military ,having seen desperation,misery first-hand,trying to help, in the confusion of terror,I go by what I know.
    Things become very clear cut in conflict,they die or you die.
    You choose to help,or you posture and hold the moral high ground.Thing is all that posturing cost lives and you are still at the same point,what to do?
    Funny thing, never saw much morality anywhere,just people in survival mode.
    So tell me are you up for the trip,or are you staying at home holding the moral high ground?
    How did you know I have a fire going?

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  74. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Luc everyone knows the Taliban are a milky mixture.

    The fact they are makes them no less dangerous, does it.

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  75. infused (644 comments) says:

    The LWNJ on TheStandard fuck me off to no end.

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  76. Inventory2 (10,161 comments) says:

    Bryla – why don’t you go and share your non-violence theories with Gadaffi and the likes of Robert Mugabe. Oh; and take Penny Bright with you for moral support :-)

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  77. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    It is a pity this thread has deteriorated into taunts and name calling. This time at least, it was Bryla and Luc who stirred things with shallow vacuous peacenik generalisations. Of course, the hate-mongerers then took the bait and the thread was thereby stuffed.

    The facts are this: the intervention in Afghanistan was authorised by nearly a half dozen UN Security Council resolutions and is being carried out by troops from a dozen countries including two Muslim countries (Turkey and Malaysia) led by NATO. Chronologically ordered, the resolutions authorise the use of force to remove al-Qaeda and the Taliban from Afghanistan, to protect vulnerable populations (under the responsibility to protect–R2P–doctrine) and to prevent a Taliban restoration. The latter may be impossible to prevent or needs to be negotiated rather than imposed, but that is a political rather than a military matter. The resolutions also include provisions to constitute, arm and train a Afghan national army and police force, and specifically call for the promotion of universal rights in the country. THAT is what ISAF is fighting for. Not for oil, not for gas, not for coal and not for glory. Private parties may see opportunity in the nation-building efforts (such as private security firms and Chinese mineral investors), but contrary to simplistic “Lefty” logics this is not some straight-forward neo-imperialist power grab. It is far more complicated than that and the mission has broad international sanction.

    But even if we object to the intervention in spite of the UN mandate and the need to uphold R2P as a matter of international principle, and even if the intervention has been flawed in conception and at times a major cluster f**k in implementation, the fault with that lies with the authorising parties–which are national governments–and not exclusively with the personnel on the ground. To be sure, some US troops have lost their rag and committed atrocities (which tells us something about what a constant state of war can do to the human psyche). But the NZSAS has only been accused of being guilty by association in human rights violations (which it discovered after the fact) and has worked to prevent them when and where possible. It is thus unfair to characterise them as paid murderers when in fact they display a degree of self-discipline and fire control that, TBH, puts their lives in greater danger than if they Rambo’ed their way into a fight. Luc and Bryla are simply wrong in their views of how the NZSAS operates.

    If criticism of the NZSAS mission is due, it should be leveled at those who authorised it without explaining fully and honestly to the NZ public what that mission really entailed. If an informed NZ public does not want the NZSAS to be put in combat situations, the they should and will be withdrawn by the command authorities. But if the NZ public does not have a full and honest picture of what it is that the NZSAS are doing, at least in terms of the general nature of the mission and the implications thereof, then it is being misled by the government and command authorities for reasons that may not have to do with the nature of the Afghan conflict or NZ’s national security interests. That is where attention should be focused: on what the NZ government agreed to when it authorised the re-deployment of the the NZSAS in 2009 (they are now into their fourth rotation after an initial government pledge of one six month tour).

    The Taliban are not a direct threat to NZ, to be sure. AQ in Afghanistan has been decimated. But a Taliban victory will have repercussive flow-on effects throughout Central Asia (most obviously in Paksitan with all that entails but also in Uzbekistan and Kazakstan, where Taliban-styled Islamic irridentists have begun insurgencies). There is therefore a broad international community interest in not seeing them prosper even if the Karzai regime is a less than ideal alternative. But given the lesser evil necessities of the moment, that is the hand that has been dealt and those are the cards that must be played. The long-term answer is political, not military, but it is only the military card that will bring the Taliban and tribal warlords to the negotiating table. That is where the NZSAS come in, because the reconstruction efforts of the likes of the Bamiyan PRT will go for naught if there is not an indigenous security force capable of imposing order and securing some durable peace with the Taliban and warlords. In the measure that the NZSAS trains the CRU and engages in combat operations, it is doing its bit to achieve that goal.

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  78. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Bryla, the same tool who thinks an event in which 300 people died was “nonviolent.” He’s wrong on just about every issue he burbles about and he doesn’t have the self-awareness to be able to realise it.

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  79. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Paul, as I have said to you before, this is Kiwiblog. In my view, the thread degenerated from the moment DPF approved revenge attacks. I’ve just been sniping from the rooftops.

    I do not recall any UN resolutions before the US launched its first (justified) attacks on the al Qaeda stronghold. The rest is just mission drift and cover for the US who found themselves unable to leave after the drift began.

    After 9 years, anyone who seriously thinks the Taliban can be defeated must be seriously deluded, sorry.

    I saw a report where our SAS went into a village, a village, and took out 55 men to be handed over for torture. Like I think I said above, we are at the stage where any male Afghan is considered Taliban. I find that stretches my credulity.

    We should just respect the rights of Afghans to sort themselves out and leave.

    As Kofi Annan said, war is always a humanitarian disaster.

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  80. niggly (810 comments) says:

    It is thus unfair to characterise them as paid murderers when in fact they display a degree of self-discipline and fire control that, TBH, puts their lives in greater danger than if they Rambo’ed their way into a fight. Luc and Bryla are simply wrong in their views of how the NZSAS operates.

    Indeed, kiwi troops have not been killing civilians despite the inference as “fact” by the odd commentator here and mainly elsewhere. Interesting that General Petraeus stated to the Sunday Star Times the NZSAS “executed more than 90% of its operations without firing a shot”.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4546090/Top-medal-from-US-for-Kiwi-SAS-commander

    Paul, in your reply above I pretty much agree 90% with your views expressed but not entirely. For example do the NZ politicians i.e. “those who authorised it without explaining fully and honestly to the NZ public what that mission really entailed” really need to explain exactly what the SAS mission is? SAS are tasked for reconnaisance and combat we know – so what more do we need to know? Where they are? What each mission entailed? What next, a SAS facebook page updating the public on their every move every hour of the day?

    Granted also the politicians say the SAS mission is mainly in Kabul, but why the “outrage” they were deployed to Baghlan province? We know the NZDF PRT mandate is Bamiyan and the PRT patrols cannot engage in Baghlan. So that leaves the SAS to, in which they are experienced to.

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  81. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    In the measure that the NZSAS trains the CRU and engages in combat operations, it is doing its bit to achieve that goal.

    Bless them.

    There is therefore a broad international community interest in not seeing them prosper even if the Karzai regime is a less than ideal alternative. But given the lesser evil necessities of the moment, that is the hand that has been dealt and those are the cards that must be played. The long-term answer is political, not military, but it is only the military card that will bring the Taliban and tribal warlords to the negotiating table.

    This is precisely the point lefties lose the plot and start imagining and pretending and actually believing all sorts of imaginary beings and things. Since this is an SAS thread, I suggest we should do what the SAS would probably do, which is I imagine wrap them in fluffy bunny blankets and whisk them off to chocolate land.

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  82. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    As for Luc, he seems perfectly happy about Afghans being slaughtered so long as it is other Afghans who do it. It’s helpful to understand that it is this mindset which allowed Robert Mugabe and other “anti-Imperialists” to get away with their crimes (particularly in the 1980s and early 1990s in the case of Mr Mugarbage) and which has existed for many years before that (see Vietnam).

    I’m sure we all enjoy taking lectures about morality from him.

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  83. niggly (810 comments) says:

    I saw a report where our SAS went into a village, a village, and took out 55 men to be handed over for torture. Like I think I said above, we are at the stage where any male Afghan is considered Taliban. I find that stretches my credulity.

    I’d like to see a link to that “report”, so we can verify whether the source or website linking to the report has any credibility (or even whether that incident actually happened).

    Also, NZSAS simply don’t pull-up en-mass to some town and round people up (as you appear to be inferring, in that “any male Afghan is considered Taliban”), unless there was credible intelligence to require NZ special forces to do so and as opposed to Afghan ANA Army or US etc. So link please before you/me/we pass judgement.

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  84. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    Luc:

    The UN resolutions exist and are not mere cover for mission creep (although I agree that there has been a lot of that).

    I know something about the 2002 raid near Kandahar. The NZSAS captured 55 men under cover of darkness (which was the time a young girl fled in panic and fell into a well, dying as a result). They were under orders to give each prisoner a number that was inscribed on a plastic ID tag, which were supposed to be used by US military personnel as a record for the site of the capture as they took the names and other personal data of the prisoners. As it turns out and unbeknown to the NZSAS, the US military was in full Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo mode (and I make no excuses for that), so they just abused the prisoners before letting them go under the twisted logic developed by Lt General Jeffrey Miller (commander of Abu Ghraib and later at Guantanamo) that this would intimidate them to the point they would not fight again. How ignorant of Pashtun male culture he was. But I repeat: the NZSAS operated in good faith on tactical intelligence provided to it by its US and Afghan allies. It did not knowingly or willing send anyone to be tortured. A man died in the confrontation when he pointed a weapon at an SAS trooper and the little girl died as well. That sucks, and the NZSAS will be the first to have engaged in a self-critique of how that happened. Their entire corporate ethos is about focused fire and minimising unnecessary harm, which is why that ethos is often at odds with that of its larger partners (the US in particular, at least until Stan McChrystal took over, however briefly).

    If I thought that the NZSAS was going “rogue” I would say so, But I have reason to believe that they have not.

    I agree with Kofi Annan on war, but his credibility is a little suspect as a result of Rwanda and his spectator actions during the genocide. That was also a war, however undeclared.

    I agree that the level of debate on KB is often little more than gutter-sniping (incidentally, where is RB these days?), but rather than stir I would suggest ignoring the read-out-loud heavy breathers.

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  85. niggly (810 comments) says:

    Is that the incident in which as a result the NZSAS (or correctly Defence or Govt) then actively sought clarification in how future prisoners would be treated by the “authorities” be that Afghan or US/ISAF etc?

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  86. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    niggly:

    I was not referring to operational details but to just ‘fessing up to the fact that the NZSAS would or could be involved with, and indeed lead, combat operations in specific situations. Yet from the moment they justified the re-deployment in 2009 both Key and Mapp have repeatedly said that the NZSAS mission is for training and mentoring primarily, to provide back-up to the CRU when they deploy, and that they do not detain anyone or proactively engage in combat. Yet, by admitting that the NZSAS was involved in the August 2010 “reprisal” raid and the Xmas Eve 2010 raid on a suspected insurgent weapons depot in Kabul, the government put paid to their initial lies, yet at the same time continued to maintain the fiction that the NZSAS does not lead such operations or take prisoners (which they did in both instances).

    Perhaps the public at large does not care about such things but I for one am fed up with being lied to, and then hearing that OIA requests on the matter are being delayed, obstructed and/or “sanitized” in the interests of “national security.” Such abuse of authority is inimical to democratic civil-military relation and must stop.

    As to your subsequent question, the answer is yes (although it was not the only thing that raised NZSAS concerns).

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  87. niggly (810 comments) says:

    Paul – unlike you I haven’t formed a final opinion on the matter, so am curious about your concerns, which you express above, thanks.

    When I say I haven’t formed an opinion what I mean is previously SAS operations weren’t talked about. Even in Labour’s time PM Clark would simply say she wouldn’t comment on the SAS in Afghanistan. National seem to be a bit more open, but as a result, perhaps one could say unfairly (or fairly?) they then leave themselves open to new criticism (eg from people including yourself) that the information that National releases doesn’t provide the full picture.

    Anyway I better appreciate your position now, so in your opinion, what would you say if you were the Defence Minister or PM? Would you say something like “the SAS are primarily operating in Kabul with the Crisis Response Unit BUT may undertake the occassional covert mission outside of Kabul”? Or would you say alot more? I’m asking because I want to understand exactly to what extent you believe the NZ public should know, because this issue is annoying you greatly (as per your comments above and writings over at KP etc).

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  88. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    what would you say if you were the Defence Minister or PM?

    Nothing at all, niggly, nothing whatsoever.

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  89. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    niggly:

    If I were the government I would say “The government does not confirm or deny NZSAS involvement in any specific event for reasons of operational and diplomatic security. However, the government is prepared to say that the NZSAS is an elite combat unit that conducts combat operations as well as trains and deploys with allied units in local security maneuvers in the overseas theaters in which it is deployed. The NZSAS can and will deploy in theater to engage hostile forces as a matter of course, depending on the tactical requirements of the authorising command.”

    This generic response can pertain to East Timor, Nigeria, Iraq (never acknowledged), the Solomons, or wherever else they are sent. The point is that my statement, general as it is, pretty much sums up the nature of their craft. Put another way: they aint no PRT.

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  90. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    “The government does not confirm or deny NZSAS involvement in any specific event for reasons of operational and diplomatic security. However, the government is prepared to say that the NZSAS is an elite combat unit that conducts combat operations as well as trains and deploys with allied units in local security maneuvers in the overseas theaters in which it is deployed. The NZSAS can and will deploy in theater to engage hostile forces as a matter of course, depending on the tactical requirements of the authorising command.”

    I like that a lot better than my response Paul.

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  91. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I see Hurf Durf, he who will not be named, has turned up with his usual immature and inapt red herrings.

    Hurf, are you saying Britain should never have “granted” Rhodesia independence? Was dispossession and oppression a better system?

    Oh, that’s right, you think the last great European colonisation project (Palestine) is for the greater good, don’t you? It’s a shame the victims don’t agree with you, but, let’s face it, you were born white to rule.

    And has the West intervened in Zimbabwe?

    We know the answer.

    So why in Afghanistan?

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  92. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Paul, generally we are on the same page, but I do think that in cases involving the US you have rose-tinted glasses.

    In my view, the UN resolutions were nothing other than the unipolar superpower imposing on the international community to provide cover for the mission creep in Afghanistan.

    Put baldly, the US won the war it needed to, against al Qaeda, in Tora Bora.

    In Afghanistan, it should have stopped there.

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  93. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Rhodesia was already independent though. Derp.

    you think the last great European colonisation project (Palestine) is for the greater good, don’t you?

    No.

    It’s a shame the victims don’t agree with you, but, let’s face it, you were born white to rule.

    lol guilt

    mad much?

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  94. reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Put baldly, the US won the war it needed to, against al Qaeda, in Tora Bora.

    In Afghanistan, it should have stopped there.

    Oh.

    I see.

    So that’s what should have happened..

    Crikey Luc, have you thought about applying for PacCincCom or whatever they call it cause you’d be snapped up lickity split.

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  95. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    reid: Yours is the short response.

    Luc: We will have to agree to disagree on the UNSC resolutions. I truly believe that there was more to them than a quest for US cover.

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  96. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Hurf, you have lost me, but I was only 14 or so when that was all happening in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. So what would I know?

    Reid, what’s their address?

    Paul, no sniping for you, I respect you too much for that, but I think you are wrong. It’s a shame we never have the opportunity to thrash it out face to face.

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  97. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    I was talking generally, Luccy-Loo. Don’t worry your little cotton socks.

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  98. Paul G. Buchanan (301 comments) says:

    Luc:

    I get back to NZ permanently in late May. We can arrange a visit. As for PacCom: the title is CINCPAC, but you have to be a four star US Navy admiral and be willing to relocate to Honolulu in order to get the job.

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  99. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    hurf

    when it comes to you, don’t worry, I don’t.

    You still have a lot of growing up to do.

    I do notice how you avoid the hard questions.

    That’s OK, your brain is still developing.

    You’re doing OK, really.

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  100. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    That’s great, chuck! Splendid news!

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  101. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Paul

    That would be great.

    If you send an email to luchansen@live.com I’ll send you our home email address.

    PS How do i become a Four Star General?

    Am I late again?

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  102. kiwi in america (2,461 comments) says:

    Paul
    Thanks for the background and for calming things down.

    Luc
    The west should’ve intervened in Zimbabwe. There was a naive assumption that Mugabe’s excesses would be moderated by the new black South African regime and other more moderate black leaders in the African Union.

    The Taliban can never be properly dealth with because they can retreat to the Pakistani side of the border and the US and its allies have been unable to effectively cope with the impact of the growth of radical Islamic in Pakistan and the infiltration of its Intelligence Service. The US, having funded Pakistan as an ally for so long, finds it too difficult to deal as ruthlessly with the Taliban on the Pakistani side of the mountains as they were dealt on the Afgan side.

    The issue of collateral civilian deaths is separate. As stated by so many on this thread – it is the horrific side effect of almost all wars and this war is no different.

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  103. kiwi in america (2,461 comments) says:

    Bryla
    “God has promised these things, and they will be brought into being” – please elaborate on what this means?

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  104. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Holy shit someone get Rhys Jones on the phone, all the finest military minds in New Zealand are actually commenters on Kiwiblog.

    He was foolish surounding himself with professionals with decades of practical experience when Joe Blow off the street clearly has all the info and technical know how on what our forces should be doing.

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  105. DJP6-25 (1,294 comments) says:

    Bryla 2:24 pm. We are at war because Islamic fundamentalists hosted by the Taliban flew planes into the Pentagon, and World Trade Center. They killed 3000 people. The Taliban refused to give up Osama Bin Laden. So the US invaded. Fundamentalist Muslims don’t have our best interests at heart. Giving them a hug and a moro bar won’t change their mind.

    If they’d done the same in China, or Russia, there would only be radioactive craters where Afghan cities now stand.

    Islamic fundamentalisim is the evil of our generation. Nazisim was the evil of our parents generation. Just in case you’d forgotten. Hugs and candy bars didn’t fix that problem either.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  106. DJP6-25 (1,294 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen 7:53 pm. Bzzt wrong. I don’t do racisim. I leave that up to the left. After all, they only disapprove of it when it’s the wrong kind. For your information, I’d have said the same thing of the Germans, Italians, and Japanese if we were having this discussion in 1941. They were the enemy then. Islamic fundies are the enemy of all civilised people then. As for wives and kids. If you host terrorists who do a 911, don’t expect them to be safe. All they had to do was hand Bin Laden over. They’re the authors of their own misfortune.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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