Archive for the ‘International Politics’ Category

Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress

March 4th, 2015 at 10:11 am by kiwi in america

Today at 11am EST Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his third speech to the US Congress joining Winston Churchill as the only other foreign leader in history to have addressed a Joint Session of Congress three times. On the eve of final negotiations between the US (and other powers) and Iran over a proposed nuclear deal with Iran, Netanyahu came to lay out the case for rejecting the deal proposed.

Unlike his two previous addresses, this one was shrouded in controversy in that the invitation by Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner was not sanctioned by the Obama Administration. Various administration proxies have used time in the run up to the speech to criticize Netanyahu (who faces a Knesset election in Israel in 2 weeks’ time) of politicizing the negotiations with Iran. The intense opposition from the Obama administration has seen 37 Democrat Representatives and Senators boycott the speech – an action itself unprecedented.

Netanyahu acknowledged the controversy and paid as much tribute to Obama as he could muster given how fraught their relationship has become but he wasted no time laying out why the proposed deal with Iran is bad. A good percentage of his speech was a lesson in recent Iranian history and of the many acts of terrorism perpetrated by Iran on Middle Eastern states, US interests and Israel. Netanyahu has stated many times that the greatest threat to world peace is militant jihadist Islam married to nuclear weapons. As Prime Minister of the state of Israel, job One is the protection of the Jewish state.  Whilst many world leaders saw the replacement of the belligerent Ahmadinejad with the more demur and softly spoken Rouhani as President of Iran as a sign of the softening of the Iranian regime, Netanyahu lays out the actions and statements of Rouhani since assuming power as evidence that the jihadist and terrorist mindset of the Islamic republic has not changed.

Netanyahu made six key points:

  1. The leopard has not changed its spots – Iran remains an implacable enemy of Israel AND the US.
  2. The allure of using Iran to combat ISIS is a mirage – that in the case of ISIS, the enemy of my enemy is still my enemy and that to adopt such a strategy might mean the battle against ISIS is won but the war against militant Islam is lost because Iran is by far the more dangerous of the two due to its armies, missiles and quest for nuclear weapons enabling Iran to strike far beyond just the Mesopotamian reach of ISIS.
  3. The proposed deal doesn’t impede Iran from getting nuclear weapons – it provides a pathway to such weapons. The proposed inspection regime is similar to the one that failed to contain North Korea from obtaining the bomb because rogue regimes and dictatorships never comply with agreements or feel compelled to honour treaties.
  4. No deal is not worse than this deal – the option to this bad deal is a better deal; one that continues to contain and constrain Iran.
  5. If Iran wants to be treated like a normal nation it should act like a normal nation – it should renounce terror in the Middle East and globally and it should cease to threaten to annihilate Israel. It should be allowed to continue a nuclear programme only if it behaves like other nations that seek peace.
  6. After acknowledging in the gallery Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel (a holocaust survivor), Netanyahu reminded the world that if necessary Israel would act alone. He repeated the cry “never again” and said that the Jewish people after 100 generations could now finally defend themselves.

Netanyahu is a bold and uncompromising figure. It was an open and direct challenge to Obama’s attempt at a legacy-making historic deal with Iran. Such a defiant challenge to a sitting US President has left some Israelis and many US Jews nervous of the damage to US relations. Whilst it is easy to dismiss this speech as a re-election ploy, it is important to note that Obama has shifted the stance of the US on a nuclear Iran from a “no options are off the table” to prevent Iran obtaining the bomb to a wishy washy regime that has enough holes that a duplicitous state anxious to get its own way can easy thwart. There is a sense amongst progressive elites that a nuclear Iran is inevitable and to cut the best deal possible.

This attitude was reminiscent of the prevailing elite opinion in Britain in the 1930’s as Hitler rose to, and gained in, power. Churchill’s warnings were dismissed as the ranting of an out of touch political has-been past his prime….until he was proven right. In the midst of an Israeli media firestorm of opposition, the taunts of his political opponents in Israel and the best efforts of Obama’s water carriers to denigrate the speech and Netanyahu’s “unhelpful” world view, he went over all their heads straight to the only people who can stop Obama doing a bad deal – the US Congress. Judging by the rapturous reception he got, he stands a good chance of succeeding hence why Obama was so implacably opposed to the speech. Netanyahu came across as confident, factual and determined whereas Obama as cerebral, inconsistent (shifting red lines) and the appeaser he has become.

Finally Netanyahu announced what I had long believed to be his bottom line – that if the US won’t lead the charge to prevent Iran getting nukes, that Israel would act alone militarily to at least blunt and delay what is rightly seen as an existential threat to the very existence of Israel.

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Mein Kampf

March 4th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Old copies of the offending tome are kept in a secure “poison cabinet,” a literary danger zone in the dark recesses of the vast Bavarian State Library. A team of experts vets every request to see one, keeping the toxic text away from the prying eyes of the idly curious or those who might seek to exalt it.

“This book is too dangerous for the general public,” library historian Florian Sepp warned as he carefully laid a first edition of Mein Kampf – Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto of hate – on a table in a restricted reading room.

I presume people in Bavaria have the Internet. It is on Project Gutenberg.

I know the parliamentary library has a copy also, as once when I worked there I was sent to check out which MPs had borrowed it!

The prohibition on reissue for years was upheld by the state of Bavaria, which owns the German copyright and legally blocked attempts to duplicate it. But those rights expire in December, and the first new print run here since Hitler’s death is due out early next year.

I didn’t realise it was still under copyright. Hitler died in 1945 so I would have thought copyright expired in 1995.

The book’s reissue, to the chagrin of critics, is effectively being financed by German taxpayers, who fund the historical society that is producing and publishing the new edition. Rather than a how-to guidebook for the aspiring fascist, the new reprint, the group said this month, will instead be a vital academic tool, a 2000-page volume packed with more criticisms and analysis than the original text.

Sounds like a good way to do it.

Regardless of the academic context provided by the new volume, critics say the new German edition will ultimately allow Hitler’s voice to rise from beyond the grave.

“I am absolutely against the publication of Mein Kampf, even with annotations. Can you annotate the devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler?” said Levi Salomon, spokesman for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism. “This book is outside of human logic.”

Yes it is an awful book, that represents great evil. But it was the Nazis who banned and burnt books. Trying to ban Mein Kamph would just make it more desirable – and never succeed.

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IMF on expenditure rules

March 3rd, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

An IMF paper looks at expenditure rules:

Our findings suggest that expenditure rules are associated with spending control, counter-cyclical fiscal policy, and improved fiscal discipline. We find that fiscal performance is better in countries where an expenditure rule exists. This appears to be related to the properties of expenditure rules as compliance rates are generally higher than with other types of rules (on the budget balance or debt, for example). In particular, we find that compliance with expenditure rules is higher if the expenditure target is directly under the control of the government and if the rule is not a mere political commitment, but enshrined in law or in a coalition agreement. 

So the most effective type of fiscal rule is a binding expenditure rule.

Evidence of adverse side effects is mixed. The introduction of expenditure rules is associated with a decrease in public investment only in emerging economies. A possible explanation is that any adverse effects on public investment could be mitigated in advanced economies by welldesigned budgetary frameworks and procedures. Instead, the empirical analysis points to two positive side effects. First, expenditure rules reduce the volatility of expenditure, thus imparting a degree of predictability to fiscal policy and making it less destabilizing. Second, expenditure rules are associated with higher public investment efficiency.

I’d love NZ to have an expenditure rule, such as restricting core crown expenditure to 25% of GDP over say a three year cycle or restricting the growth in expenditure to say 1% after taking account of population growth and inflation.

Expenditure rules are currently in place in 23 countries (11 in advanced and 12 in emerging economies)

So we would not be alone if we did this.

 

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Shortest press release ever

March 2nd, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

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Heh. To the point.

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Democracy in Russia declines further

March 2nd, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reported:

Boris Nemtsov,  a Russian opposition leader and former deputy prime minister, has been shot dead in central Moscow, the Interior Ministry says.

Nemtsov, 55, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, had been due to take part in the first big opposition protest in months in the Russian capital tomorrow.

He was shot four times late on Friday night (local time), not far from the Kremlin in the centre of Moscow. Police cars blocked the street where he was shot. An ambulance was also nearby.

“Nemtsov BE died at 2340 hours as a result of four shots in the back,” an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said by telephone.

I have a general rule of thumb – any death or arrest of an opposition leader is usually linked to the person they are opposing.

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Anti-extremist blogger hacked to death

February 28th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh’s capital with his wife, police said Friday.

The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born US citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured.

Police have named no suspects in the attack. Roy was a prominent voice against religious intolerance, and his family and friends say he had been threatened for his writings.

Similar attacks in the past in Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people, have been blamed on Islamic extremists.

About 8.45pm on Thursday, a group of men ambushed the couple as they walked toward a roadside tea stall, with at least two of the attackers hitting them with meat cleavers, police Chief Sirajul Islam said.

The attackers then ran away, disappearing into the crowds.

Two blood-stained cleavers were found after the attack, he said.

Roy had founded a popular Bengali-language blog, Mukto-mona, or Free Mind, which featured articles on scientific reasoning and religion.

So he was hacked to death because he opposed religious extremism and supported scientific reasoning.

All brutal deaths are sad, but I find especially sad when people are killed because of what they say – ie they are targeted speciifically.

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Will UN Security Council be fair with Israel?

February 27th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

NZ is now on the UN Security Council, and one of the issues before it is a draft resolution regarding Israel and Palestine.

I recently met with Dr Einat Wilf, who is a former Labor MP in the Knesset, a former intelligence officer, McKinsey consultant, and foreign policy advisor to Shimon Peres. She is a regularly published commentator and academic.

Her bio describes her as an atheist and a Zionist so we had a fun discussion over whether Judaism is a religion, a race or a culture. Her view was definitely not a race, and both a culture and a religion. There are quite a large number of “secular” Jews and she said that one definition of being a Jew is a belief in “up to one God” :-)

We covered the normal range of topics such as the impact of the Islamic State, Iran, whether despositic dictators were better for the region than the status quo etc. But also quite a bit on Israel and Palestine.

Wilf is very critical of the draft Security Council resolution, which NZ appears to be supporting. She makes the point:

A Security Council resolution that is balanced, even-handed and has the potential to make a real contribution to peace. In its present form, the proposal is very specific on demands from the Israeli side, while leaving the obligations of the Palestinians and the Arab states up to “fair and agreed solution.”  

 This leaves all the issues crucial to Israel up for negotiation, while whatever concessions Israel could have offered to advance them, have already been predetermined. It further leads to a situation where at the end of the 24-month implementation period, if such a resolution is passed, Israel could be found in material breach of a United Nations Security Council resolution, while no Arab or Palestinian action or refusal to take action can be. There is no specific metric for Palestinian non-compliance, since the draft speaks of their obligations in the most general of terms. 

So the resolution appears balanced on the surface as it appears to have obligations on both sides, but the obligations on the Palestinian side are so general, that it is basically impossible for them to ever be found in breach.

On the question of territory, the draft resolution leaves very little ambiguity.  It calls for a complete Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines with agreed, mutual swaps and on Jerusalem, it insists on a “shared capital” for both states.

Such specific and unequivocal demands of Israel could have been paired with equally forceful statements renouncing the Palestinian demand for the “return” of the descendants of refugees from the 1948 war — which would effectively turn democratic Israel into an Arab country with a Jewish minority.  But here, the resolution only asks for an “agreed, just, fair, and realistic” solution.

The demands for a right to return would effectively see the wiping out of Israel as we know it. If you want a peace settlement, then that needs to go off the table.

The resolution calls on all parties to refrain from actions “that could undermine the viability of the two state solution on the basis of the parameters defined in this resolution,” but then lists as its only example of such action “settlement activities.”  Settlement activity is the only specific action of any party that is criminalised in this text, whereas the text makes no mention of Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians, nor of suicide bombings, or racist or genocidal incitement. It never deplores the Arab boycott as illegitimate or unacceptable, and it doesn’t even specifically call for its end as part of a comprehensive peace.

Not much incentives for Israel!

Where it is specific

about Israeli concessions on territory, it is very vague about the “security arrangements” that will come after an Israeli withdrawal. The details are to be worked out in future negotiations, but one detail is already built in: “a full phased withdrawal of Israeli security forces.” Israel’s concerns that the West Bank, which overlook every major Israeli city and town, could become a base for Gaza-style rocket attacks, are not even a consideration.

This means that in a period where nearly every Arab regime has been threatened with an Islamic insurgency, or fallen to one, or just been ripped apart by civil war, Israel is expected to commit ahead of time to a security arrangement with zero Israeli military presence — and where any future military presence will automatically place it in breach of a UNSC resolution.

So why is NZ supporting this resolution?

I believe New Zealand can make a real contribution to peace and to the strength of the United Nations system by insisting that if such a resolution moves forward it will not “pick and choose” between the sides and the issues, but treat all of them equally and in equal measure and detail.

We campaigned on being independent and fair. I hope we live up to that.

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Professor Robert Ayson on Islamic State conflict

February 27th, 2015 at 10:59 am by David Farrar

Professor Robert Ayson (Strategic Studies, VUW) writes in the Herald:

And this brings us to the national interests that should be motivating New Zealand’s concern about ISIS internationally and its commitment to the coalition.

One is that we have an interest in the preservation, where it is possible, of the idea that recognised nation states (like us) retain a domestic monopoly on the use of force and that non-state groups (like ISIS) are denied that opportunity.

A second is that we have an interest in the preservation, where it is possible, of the international boundaries which separate one nation state from another and in preventing armed groups from violating those points of demarcation. The caliphate idea of ISIS is a direct challenge to this standard.

A third is our awareness that an unstable Middle East, where governments fear for their continuing existence, presents particular dangers to international security.

We talk rightly of Asia’s importance to New Zealand, and of the South Pacific’s, but the deployment of our forces much further afield often tells a different picture.

A fourth is that it is against our interests for a group such as ISIS to continue violent actions in Syria and Iraq which are then used to inspire overseas recruits and sympathisers, including to a very limited extent within New Zealand itself.

A fifth is that New Zealand needs a world where a significant number of states are willing, when it is necessary, to use force in the promotion and protection of collective interests.

A sixth is that we need leading western powers, who share many of our interests and values, to be willing to take leading roles in this endeavor. This does not mean we are going to Iraq because of some price of some club.

 

He continues:

I assume there are occasions when the use of force is both necessary and has some utility. Force can be a blunt instrument with unintended consequences. I cannot guarantee to you, and neither can the government, that things will be hugely better once the military campaign has been completed.

Nor can I guarantee that, once trained, the Iraqi forces will do their job nearly as well as we might wish. But I am convinced that it is not possible to deal with ISIS, at least in the short term, without the use of force being part of the approach.

Andrew Little’s talk of reconstruction and agriculture as a substitute for force is nonsense. You need both those things – but as well as force. ISIL will not give up dreams of a global caliphate because Iraq develops better agriculture.

Could there be blowback? Absolutely. But can we reduce the threat that ISIS poses to our interests and values without someone using force against it? I don’t think so.

So the only question is whether we just rely on everyone else for that force, or if we contribute a small amount through training.

But in baiting that trap the Opposition created one for themselves. They ended up in a position where there unwillingness to support even the dispatch of NZ forces for training undermined any sense that they regarded ISIS as a problem really worth worrying about.

As they have no solution, one can only assume they don’t see it as a problem.

They gave the clear impression that whenever someone mentions Iraq, it is all about reliving New Zealand’s correct decision not to join the 2003 invasion.

But now is not then. Same part of the world yes, but a different problem. Did that invasion create some of the conditions that ISIS has taken advantage of? Yes.

Does that guarantee that the use of force now will worsen the situation, and make ISIS stronger not weaker? I don’t think so. Should New Zealand be part of that effort? For me, the answer is yes.

You can be against the 2003 invasion, but in favour of military force against the Islamic State.

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Another awful interview by UK Greens leader

February 25th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

LBC has a transcript of an interview with UK Green Leader Natalie Bennett on affordable housing. Some extracts:

Nick: The third key theme is ‘The Greens will ensure everyone has a secure, affordable place to live. How would that be brought about?

Natalie: A couple of things that we want to focus on. In terms of council housing, we want to build 500,000 new social rent homes.

Nick: Good lord, where would you get the money from for that?

Natalie: Well, what we want to do is fund that particularly by removing tax relief on mortgage interests for private landlords. We have a situation where…

Nick: How much would that bring in?

Natalie: Private landlords at the moment are basically running away with the situation of hugely rising rents while collecting huge amounts of housing benefit.

Nick: How much would that be worth, the mortgage relief for private landlords?

Natalie: “Erm… well… it’s… that’s part of the whole costing.”

Nick: Yes, but how much would that bring? The cost of 500,000 homes, let’s start with that. How much would that be?

Natalie: “Right, well, that’s, erm… you’ve got a total cost… erm… that we’re… that will be spelt out in our manifesto.

Nick: So you don’t know?

Natalie: No, well, err.

Nick: You don’t, ok. So you don’t know how much those homes are going to cost, but the way it’s going to be funded is mortgage relief from private landlords. How much is that worth?

Natalie: Right, well what we’re looking at with the figures here. Erm, what we need to do is actually… uh……… we’re looking at a total spend of £2.7… billion.

Nick: 500,000 homes, £2.7billion? What are they made of, plywood?

Natalie: Erm, basically what we’re talking about is 500,000 new homes and basically each one pound spent on this brings back £2.40…

Nick: Yes, but what is the total cost of 500,000 homes?

Natalie: [Long, long pause] Erm… it’s a cost of £60,000 per home.

Nick: £60,000 per home?

Natalie: Because what we’re talking about is, is the opportunity for…

Nick: That can’t include the land?

Natalie: Well, what we’re talking about is, what we want to see is the possibility of, um, of homes being built…

Nick: That’s not much more than a large conservatory, £60,000. So where’s the land, how are you going to pay for the land?

Good to see an interviewer holding a politician to account for promises that are clearly going to cost more than they say. We need more of that.

It has been labelled in world media as possibly the worst interview ever.

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Abbott on terrorism

February 25th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flagged a tougher stance on hate preaching and warned Australian citizenships could be revoked as he spelled out the worsening terrorist threat to the nation.

The Prime Minister outlined a number of steps to tackle terrorism in a speech at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra.

“The terrorist threat is rising at home and abroad and it’s becoming harder to combat,” Abbott said.

To date, 110 Australians have travelled overseas to join Isis (Islamic State), with 30 returning and at least 20 dead.

However, Abbott said there were at least 140 Isis supporters in Australia and the country faced a real risk of Australians returning as “hardened jihadists” intent on radicalising others.

Since September when the national terrorist threat level was lifted to “high” – meaning a terrorist attack is likely – 20 people have been arrested and charged.

Spy agency ASIO has more than 400 “high priority” counter-terrorism investigations under way – more than double the number a year ago.

Under changes to be brought in this year, returning foreign fighters will be prosecuted or monitored under control orders and could lose their citizenship and welfare benefits.

“Australians who take up arms with terrorist groups, especially while Australian military personnel are engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq, have sided against their country and should be treated accordingly,” Abbott said.

A national counter-terrorism co-ordinator will be appointed and the states will be included in the national strategy.

Abbott named the group Hizb ut-Tahrir as being among the organisations that will be targeted for “blatantly spreading discord and division”.

“The Government will be taking action against hate preachers,” he said.

 

I’m not sure the problem is Australians going to fight for the Islamic State. The problem is them returning!

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A UK lobbying scandal

February 24th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Two former British Foreign Secretaries are exposed for their involvement in a new “cash for access” scandal.

Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind offered to use their positions as politicians on behalf of a fictitious Chinese company in return for payments of at least 5000 ($10,231) a day.

Straw, one of Labour’s most senior figures, boasted he operated “under the radar” to use his influence to change European Union rules on behalf of a commodity firm paying him 60,000 a year. He has been suspended from Labour following the disclosures, described by the party as “disturbing”.

Straw claimed to have used “charm and menace” to convince the Ukrainian Prime Minister to change laws on behalf of the same firm. Straw also used his Commons office to conduct meetings about possible consultancy work – a potential breach of rules. And he suggested his Commons researcher had worked on his private business matters, raising further questions.

Rifkind, who oversees Britain’s intelligence agencies on behalf of Parliament, said he could arrange “useful access” to every British ambassador in the world because of his status.

The senior Conservative told undercover reporters from the Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches, to be broadcast today, he would submit questions to ministers on behalf of a paying client, without revealing their identity.

Rifkind also described himself as “self-employed” and had to “earn my income” – despite being paid 67,000 by the taxpayer for his work as an MP. The disclosure that two of Britain’s most senior politicians are embroiled in a new “cash for access” scandal highlights Parliament’s failure to address the issue which has plagued British politics for a generation.

MPs should not accept payment for any sort of lobbying or representation. If the 67,000 pounds a year is not adequate income, then they should leave Parliament and become full time lobbyists. But you can’t and shouldn’t do both.

One problem the UK has is that they have so many MPs, there is not enough meaningful work for all of them to do. Those who have previously been Ministers and are unlikely to be Ministers again often disengage from parliamentary work. One solution is reducing the number of MPs. The Conservatives tried to do this, but were blocked by Labour and the Lib Dems.

A rule of thumb for the ideal size of a lower house is the cube root of the population. This suggests the UK needs 400 MPs, not 650.

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ISIL now organ harvesting to raise money?

February 22nd, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

News.com.au reports:

THE Islamic State may be harvesting the organs of victims to finance its terror operations, Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations says.

Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim said today that in the past few weeks, bodies with surgical incisions and missing kidneys or other body parts have been found in shallow mass graves.

“We have bodies. Come and examine them,” he said, referring to the UN Security Council.

“It is clear they are missing certain parts.”

Ambassador Alhakim also said a dozen doctors had been “executed” in Mosul for refusing to participate in organ harvesting …

And still some people say this is nothing out of the ordinary and NZ should not do anything to stop this except make speeches at the UN.

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Anti-Semitism in Paris

February 20th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The latest viral video to capture scenes of street harassment shows a yarmulke-clad Jew encountering stares and hostile remarks while walking through Muslim neighbourhoods in Paris.

Zvika Klein, a journalist with Israeli news website NRG, says he spent 10 hours walking the streets with a bodyguard and a hidden cameraman in February to gather the footage.

“We decided ahead of time that I was to walk through these areas quietly, without stopping anywhere, without speaking to anyone, without so much as looking sideways,” Klein wrote. “My heart was pounding and negative thoughts were running through my head. I would be lying if I said I was not afraid.”

One man followed him and two different people, a man and a woman, spat at his feet. “Viva Palestine,” another youth yelled.

It is disgraceful that there are areas of Paris where it is unsafe to be a Jew.

We are very fortunate – I can’t think of a single area of New Zealand, where anyone would feel unsafe just because of their religious affiliation.

 

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What Islamic State really wants

February 19th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Graeme Wood at The Atlantic has a huge article on the Islamic State. It is a must read, especially for those who think ISIL is just another bunch of terrorists like Al Qaeda and that what motivates them are issues such as Palestine, US foreign policy, drone strikes, depictions of Mohammed etc.

Again I encourage people to take half an hour or so to read the entire article. It is hard to summarise. But a few extracts:

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

So a summary of what we know:

We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

An analogy:

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior. Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.

But not just a cult, but a religious one:

There is a temptation to rehearse this observation—that jihadists are modern secular people, with modern political concerns, wearing medieval religious disguise—and make it fit the Islamic State. In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.

The most-articulate spokesmen for that position are the Islamic State’s officials and supporters themselves. They refer derisively to “moderns.” In conversation, they insist that they will not—cannot—waver from governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers. They often speak in codes and allusions that sound odd or old-fashioned to non-Muslims, but refer to specific traditions and texts of early Islam.

This is key. It is religion, not politics, that motivates them.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail. Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it.

So if you hear a politician say this is not to do with religion, you can laugh at them. Their views are not the majority views of their religion, but they are a distinct strand.

In London, Choudary and his students provided detailed descriptions of how the Islamic State must conduct its foreign policy, now that it is a caliphate. It has already taken up what Islamic law refers to as “offensive jihad,” the forcible expansion into countries that are ruled by non-Muslims. “Hitherto, we were just defending ourselves,” Choudary said; without a caliphate, offensive jihad is an inapplicable concept. But the waging of war to expand the caliphate is an essential duty of the caliph.

So a policy of just leave them alone, and they’ll leave us alone seems flawed.

Choudary’s colleague Abu Baraa explained that Islamic law permits only temporary peace treaties, lasting no longer than a decade. Similarly, accepting any border is anathema, as stated by the Prophet and echoed in the Islamic State’s propaganda videos. If the caliph consents to a longer-term peace or permanent border, he will be in error. Temporary peace treaties are renewable, but may not be applied to all enemies at once: the caliph must wage jihad at least once a year.

I am starting to think that the response to the Islamic State must be as strong as the response to Nazi Germany.

One way to un-cast the Islamic State’s spell over its adherents would be to overpower it militarily and occupy the parts of Syria and Iraq now under caliphate rule. Al‑Qaeda is ineradicable because it can survive, cockroach-like, by going underground. The Islamic State cannot. If it loses its grip on its territory in Syria and Iraq, it will cease to be a caliphate. Caliphates cannot exist as underground movements, because territorial authority is a requirement: take away its command of territory, and all those oaths of allegiance are no longer binding. Former pledges could of course continue to attack the West and behead their enemies, as freelancers. But the propaganda value of the caliphate would disappear, and with it the supposed religious duty to immigrate and serve it. If the United States were to invade, the Islamic State’s obsession with battle at Dabiq suggests that it might send vast resources there, as if in a conventional battle. If the state musters at Dabiq in full force, only to be routed, it might never recover.

The key point being, that ISIL is not a terrorist group. The tactics to defeat it are different.

And yet the risks of escalation are enormous. The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide.

Yep. They want a grand battle.

Given everything we know about the Islamic State, continuing to slowly bleed it, through air strikes and proxy warfare, appears the best of bad military options. Neither the Kurds nor the Shia will ever subdue and control the whole Sunni heartland of Syria and Iraq—they are hated there, and have no appetite for such an adventure anyway. But they can keep the Islamic State from fulfilling its duty to expand. And with every month that it fails to expand, it resembles less the conquering state of the Prophet Muhammad than yet another Middle Eastern government failing to bring prosperity to its people.

So supporting the current coalition is the least bad option.

Properly contained, the Islamic State is likely to be its own undoing. No country is its ally, and its ideology ensures that this will remain the case. The land it controls, while expansive, is mostly uninhabited and poor. As it stagnates or slowly shrinks, its claim that it is the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken, and fewer believers will arrive. And as more reports of misery within it leak out, radical Islamist movements elsewhere will be discredited: No one has tried harder to implement strict Sharia by violence. This is what it looks like.

So it is vital to stop their expansion, and push them back.

It would be facile, even exculpatory, to call the problem of the Islamic State “a problem with Islam.” The religion allows many interpretations, and Islamic State supporters are morally on the hook for the one they choose. And yet simply denouncing the Islamic State as un-Islamic can be counterproductive, especially if those who hear the message have read the holy texts and seen the endorsement of many of the caliphate’s practices written plainly within them.

Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture. Many say precisely this. But they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet. “The only principled ground that the Islamic State’s opponents could take is to say that certain core texts and traditional teachings of Islam are no longer valid,” Bernard Haykel says. That really would be an act of apostasy.

Just as most Christians say the Old Testament is no longer valid.

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Is geo-engineering a solution to global warming?

February 18th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Scientists are calling for tests to find ways to cool the planet – the first step toward exploration of the controversial field of geoengineering, which aims to change the climate by blocking the sun’s rays.

It might be necessary if society can’t agree on how to stop carbon emissions that are heating up Earth, a panel of experts said at the weekend meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The call for small-scale tests represents a profound shift in thinking among the scientific community, which has resisted conversations about deliberate, large-scale manipulation of the planet.

“We have to know through research … what the benefits and risks might be,” said climate scientist Alan Robock of Rutgers University.

Scientists say the proposals to study sun-blocking ideas are spurred by this sobering reality: Even if we completely stopped carbon emissions today, the Earth will continue warming over the next several decades.

Geoengineering isn’t the preferred response to warming, as it has risks. However it may well become a very sensible measure in the future. I would never bet against what human ingenuity can achieve, when the motivation is there.

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We’re backed by a businessman named Bill!

February 18th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Guardian reported:

Labour’s attempts to prove it is pro business backfired on Tuesday night when the shadow chancellor Ed Balls was unable to remember the name of one of the party’s key supporters.

In a bid to prove Labour did have support from some of the most influential names in business, Balls’ attempts to reel off the names was over before it began when interviewed by Newsnight. The best he could come up with was someone named Bill.

Asked by presenter Emily Maitlis whether it was worrying that the 63 business leaders who wrote to the Financial Times backing Labour in 2005 were silent ahead of May’s general election, Balls insisted the party did have support.

“I’ve been at a dinner tonight with a number of business-supporting Labour figures,” he said. Who were they, Maitlis asked?

“Well, em, Bill. The former chief executive of EDS who I was just talking to…”

Seizing on his uncertainty, Maitlis pressed: “What was his name?”

At which point the shadow chancellor had to admit he couldn’t actually remember. “It has just gone from my head, which is a bit annoying at this time of night.”

The hole got deeper when Maitlis replied: “Okay. So frankly you’ve got Bill somebody. Have we got anyone else? Cos you were talking about 63 or 50 FTSE 100 leaders. Now we’ve got Bill somebody.”

Oh dear that is a fairly bad fail.

It did get me thinking. While overall more business leaders tend to support National, the Clark/Cullen Labour government did have a reasonably significant number of business supporters. Hugh Fletcher, Stephen Tindall etc.

But since going into opposition and coming up with policies such as their electricity effective nationalisation policy, I struggle to think of any prominent business supporters apart from that Selwyn guy, and the gym owner. Certainly no one from a top 50 company. And as I said, while most business leaders do tend to be centre-right, it is by no means all.

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21 Egyptian Christians slaughtered by ISIL

February 17th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Egypt called for a seven day period of mourning over the death of 21 Egyptian Christians, beheaded by Isis militants, and warned it would “avenge the criminal killings.”

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned that his country would respond to the deaths as it saw fit.

Militants in Libya had been holding the 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, all laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January.

These were not soldiers. They were labourers who were executed because they belonged to the wrong religion. Targeting people for death due to their religion is what the Nazis did.

People are fooling themselves if they think that ISIL is just a small localised conflict or civil war. Their ambitions are global. They openly boast of it. They seek the death of subjugation of  anyone who doesn’t follow their religion.

 

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Another week, another lethal Islamic terrorist attack

February 16th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Danish police shot and killed a man in Copenhagen on Sunday they believe was responsible for two deadly attacks at an event promoting freedom of speech and on a synagogue.

The event was to promote freedom of speech – tragic.

Note this wasn’t even an event displaying depictions of Mohammed. This was a seminar to discuss freedom of speech.

And the attack on the synagogue is just another lethal anti-Semitic attack.

With these events becoming almost a weekly event, how long can it be until it occurs in New Zealand?

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Walking the talk in education

February 14th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

An interesting article at CIS:

Jennifer Buckingham is a prominent advocate of school choice. She’s middle class and strongly believes parents should be able to choose where they send their children to school. So which primary school did she choose for her two daughters? ­Raymond Terrace Public School, located in the low-income town of the same name, just north of Newcastle in NSW.

More than half its students are from the bottom quartile of socio-economic rankings and about a fifth are indigenous, both indicators that are statistically linked to lower academic outcomes. Buckingham says that when her eldest daughter, who has just graduated from year six, started at Raymond Terrace in kindergarten it was perceived by many in the town “as a school people wouldn’t deliberately send their children to”.

What makes her choice of school all the more interesting is that Buckingham is an education policy specialist and research ­fellow at a right-wing think tank, the Centre of Independent Studies (CIS). From her perch at the CIS, Buckingham is a strong advocate of private schools and their role in providing wider choice to parents.

Yet she chose a struggling public primary school for her daughters. Why? “I could see the potential at Raymond Terrace Public School, and thought that I had something to contribute,” she says.

And how did she contribute:

But along with the right to choose, another part of Buckingham’s education credo is that parents should be able to be influential in their children’s schools – and that is exactly what she has done.

With Picton at the helm, and plenty of input from Buckingham, Raymond Terrace has seen a remarkable lift in performance. In 2008, Raymond Terrace’s Naplan results were level-pegging with similar schools in the area. The latest available 2013 figures show it is significantly ahead of its peers. It is also well ahead of the three other primary schools in the town – two public, one Catholic.

At a time when Australia’s schools are seen to be failing – with literacy and ­numeracy standards falling against ­comparable countries, and a sharp ­ideological divide over the Gonski funding scheme and the national curriculum – ­Raymond Terrace stands out as an example of what can be achieved in an individual school by a ­committed principal who has solid support.

The Raymond Terrace story is also notable on another level. ­Buckingham is an education commentator who walked the talk and enrolled her own children in a failing school she intended to help improve.

So school success is not predetermined by socio-economic status.

One key development was a visit from noted educational reformer John Fleming in 2010. Fleming’s 10 years in charge of Bellfield Primary School in Melbourne is one of the celebrated success stories of turning around a failing school, and last year Fleming was appointed by federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne to be deputy chair of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership. Fleming came to Raymond ­Terrace to offer his advice.

It was a turning point in Picton’s ­willingness to engage with Buckingham.

“Had John Fleming been a waste of time, I probably wouldn’t be here talking to ­Jennifer today,” says Picton.

It led to three “pillars” – principles set then which the school still operates by.

One is explicit teaching, where the key skills of reading, writing and maths are taught explicitly and directly to students and then practised repeatedly until testing shows they have got it. This is in contrast to still-popular education theories in which children are expected to master these ­fundamental building blocks of knowledge by exploring for themselves.

Another is building a relationship with the children, and expecting teachers to get to know each child well and understand what they are capable of, with the aim of boosting self-esteem.

Last, there is creating high expectations, in which children and parents are ­encouraged to aim for the best.

The three pillars seem very sound.

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Good Abbott and Bad Abbott

February 13th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

In just 24 hours Tony Abbott performs greatly and also appallingly.

The good is his response to the Australian Human Rights Commission:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Australian Human Rights Commission ought to be “ashamed of itself” over its children in detention inquiry, which he says is a blatant attack on his government.

The commission report – tabled by the government on Wednesday – called for a royal commissionafter finding there were 233 recorded assaults involving children and 33 incidents of reported sexual assault. It also reported there were 207 incidents of “actual self harm” and 436 incidents of threatened self harm.

In an interview on 3AW radio in Melbourne, Mr Abbott slammed the commission, questioning the timing of the report.

“Where was the Human Rights Commission during the life of the former government when hundreds of people were drowning at sea?” Mr Abbott asked on Thursday morning.

“Frankly this is a blatantly partisan politicised exercise and the Human Rights Commission ought to be ashamed of itself.”

When asked whether he felt any guilt over the horrific findings in the 315-page report, Mr Abbott replied: “None whatsoever.”

“The most compassionate thing you can do is stop the boats. We have stopped the boats.”

The 315-page report interviewed children in detention from January 2013 to March 2014 under both the Labor and Coalition governments.

But the Abbott government is questioning why the commission announced the inquiry in February 2014 once it had come into power, rather than when the Labor government was in power and the numbers of children in detention were at its highest. The last national inquiry of children in detention by the commission was in 2004.

Mr Abbott said Gillian Triggs, president of the Human Rights Commission, should instead be thanking the former immigration minister Scott Morrison for dramatically reducing the number of children in detention.

“I reckon that the Human Rights Commission ought to be sending a note of congratulations to Scott Morrison saying ‘Well done mate because your actions have been very good for the human rights and the human flourishing of thousands of people’.” 

It was an appallingly partisan hatchet job on the Coalition, and Abbott was great calling a spade a spade.

But then later that day:

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott was met with opposition outrage when he described rising unemployment in the defence industry as a “holocaust of jobs”.

Mr Abbott was answering a Labor question about the latest unemployment figures, including a rate of 7.3 per cent in South Australia where defence industry jobs have traditionally been strong.

“Under members opposite, defence jobs in this country declined by 10 per cent,” Mr Abbott told parliament.

“There was a holocaust of jobs in defence industries.”

Mr Abbott subsequently apologised and withdrew the comment. He replaced the word “holocaust” with “decimation”.

“I shouldn’t have used it, I did withdraw it and I do apologise,” he said.

You should only use the term holocaust if you are talking about the extermination of six million people in WWII, and not any other context.

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Paul Buchanan on Islamic State

February 13th, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Paul Buchanan writes:

There are three specific reasons why NZ has to join the fight, two practical and one principled.

The practical reasons are simple: First, NZ’s major security allies, the US, UK and Australia, are all involved as are France, Germany and others. After the signing of the Wellington and Washington security agreements, NZ became a first tier security partner of the US, and as is known, it is an integral member of the 5 Eyes signals intelligence network. It therefore cannot renege on its security alliance commitments without a serious loss of credibility and trust from the countries upon which it is most dependent for its own security.

Secondly, most of New Zealand’s primary diplomatic and trading partners, including those in the Middle East, are involved in the anti-IS coalition. Having just secured a UN Security Council temporary seat at a time when the UN has repeatedly issued condemnations of IS, and having campaigned in part on breaking the logjam in the UNSC caused by repeated use of the veto by the 5 permanent members on issues on which they disagree (such as the civil war in Syria), NZ must back up its rhetoric and reinforce its diplomatic and trade relations by committing to the multinational effort to defeat IS. Refusing to do so in the face of requests from these partners jeopardises the non-military relationships with them.

The third reason is a matter of principle and it is surprising that the government has not made more of it as a justification for involvement. After the Rwandan genocide an international doctrine known as the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) was agreed by UN convention to prevent future horrors of that sort. It basically states that if a defenceless population is being subject to the depredations of its own government, or if the home government cannot defend the population from the depredations of others, then the international community is compelled to use whatever means, including armed force, to prevent ongoing atrocities from occurring. There can be no doubt that is the situation in parts of Iraq and Syria at the moment. Neither the Assad regime or the Iraqi government can defend minority communities such as Kurds or Yazidis, or even non-compliant Sunnis, from the wrath of IS.

That, more than any other reason, is why NZ must join the fight. As an international good citizen that has signed up to the R2P, NZ is committed in principle to the defense of vulnerable others.

The best summary I have seen of why NZ should contribute. Buchanan continues:

Most of all, why has Andrew Little run his mouth about reneging on the NZDF contribution to the anti-IS coalition (which involves formal and time-constrained commitments)? Little has previous form in displaying ignorance of international affairs, but this level of hypocrisy takes the cake. Does he not remember that the 5th Labour government started the rapprochement with the US after 9/11, and that it was the 5th Labour government that initially deceived and misled about the real nature of the SAS role in Afghanistan as well as  the true nature of the mission in Southern Iraq (which is widely believed to have involved more than a company of military engineers). Is he not aware that a responsible country does not walk away from the security alliance, diplomatic and trade commitments mentioned above? Did he not consult with Helen Clark, Phil Goff or David Shearer before this brain fart (or did they gave him the rope on which to hang himself)? Does he really believe, or expect the informed public to believe, that on defense, security and intelligence issues Labour in 2015 is really that different from National? If so, it is he, not us, who is deluded.

All this shows is that Labour is still unfit to govern, or at least Little is not. If he does not understand the core principles governing international relations and foreign affairs, or if he chooses to ignore them in favour of scoring cheap political points, then he simply is unsuited to lead NZ before the international community.

Buchanan concludes:

Andrew Little should know that, and the Greens and NZ First need to understand that this is not about belonging to some exclusive “club” but about being a responsible global citizen responding to the multinational call for help in the face of a clear and present danger to the international community. Because if IS is not a clearly identifiable evil, then there is no such thing.

In any event the fight against IS is dangerous but cannot be avoided.

It is worth remembering that Dr Buchanan is from the left himself. This makes his criticisms all the more stinging.

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Du Fresne on Islamic State

February 12th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Karl du Fresne writes:

It’s hard to think of a more challenging conundrum than the one posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).

Labour leader Andrew Little was right last week to describe Isis as evil. It’s a word seldom heard these days because it implies a moral judgment, and moral judgments are unfashionable. But “evil” is the only way to describe men who coldly behead their captives, and then amp up the shock factor by burning one alive.

There is an element of gleeful sadism in their barbarism. Last week they pushed a gay man from the top of a tall building – reportedly the fourth such execution for homosexuality.

Sadistic is a good work for it. It is not just that they revel in killing people, but they revel in killing them in such sadistic ways. Being thrown off a building or burnt alive as examples.

Almost unnoticed in the background, Isis is proceeding with its grand plan to establish an Islamic caliphate, which means systematically slaughtering or enslaving anyone who stands in its way. No-one, then, can dispute that Isis is evil. The conundrum is what the rest of the world should do about it.

This is why it is not a fight one can ignore. This is not just a localised civil war in Iraq and Syria. They literally wanted to expand to as many countries as possible. Anyone who thinks they will be content with what they have is detached from reality.

Yet doing nothing is not an option. Either we believe civilised values are worth defending and that vulnerable people deserve protection from mass murderers, or we don’t. And if we do, we can’t just whistle nonchalantly while looking the other way and pretending it isn’t happening. …

This is not like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the objectives were hazy (or in the case of Iraq, tragically misconceived). Isis is not some shadowy terrorist entity; it’s a functioning army, operating in plain sight.

That doesn’t make it easy to defeat, but neither is it an excuse to do nothing.

Unfortunately Andrew Little, while condemning Isis as evil, doesn’t think it’s our business to stop them.

It’s interesting that where Isis is concerned, the Left sharply deviates from its tradition of siding with the weak and vulnerable.

The Islamic State, it insists, is not our problem, no matter how many innocents die.

Labour’s policy is to do nothing but send out press releases.

I suspect the Left is unable to see past its antipathy towards America and can’t bring itself to support any initiative in which America plays a leading role. Its ideological blinkers blind it to the fact that on this occasion, America is on the side of the angels.

Most reprehensible of all is the craven argument that we should avoid antagonising Isis for fear that some deranged jihadist will strike at us in revenge.

That’s moral cowardice of the lowest order.

Prime Minister John Key is right to highlight the inconsistency in the Left’s stance, and I applaud him for saying that New Zealand will not look the other way.

It’s rare for Key to commit himself so emphatically, and commendable for him to do so on one of the pressing moral issues of our time.

Imagine if the 1st Labour Government was led by modern day Labour. Michael Joseph Savage and Peter Fraser committed NZ to fight against the Nazis. The Little led Labour would be insisting that we do nothing without the League of Nations okay.

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Dunne has a point

February 12th, 2015 at 9:09 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Mr Dunne also launched a stinging attack on comments made in New Zealand last week by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond when he said: “Frankly we’ve got used to New Zealand being there alongside us, alongside the US, the UK, Australia, as part of the family.”

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said the training was made at the request of the Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating.

Prime Minister John Key has already made it clear he wants to deploy up to 100 NZDF staff in a training mission with Australia which has 600 people in Iraq.

Mr Dunne, a minister and the leader of United Future, described Mr Hammond as a “patronising figure from abroad loftily telling us we are in the club, we are part of the family and it would be lovely to have you along for the next round of unmitigated slaughter”.

He said the debating chamber had plaques on the wall of other times “the family” had acted together.

“Gallipoli, the mindless slaughter of Australian and New Zealand troops in the pursuit of a British objective, Passchendaele and the Somme, so to come here and say to New Zealanders today ‘we love having you on board, you are part of the family but you’ve still got to queue up at the aliens gate at Heathrow’ is unacceptable in the extreme.”

I agree that any action should not be justified on the basis of being part of any family, or club.

It should be justified if it meets the criteria that it is morally the right thing to do, the risk are not too great, and the action will help improve the situation.

Mr Little, the Labour leader, said everybody felt the urge to do something but: “After 10 years of training of the Iraqi Army by the … best-resourced army in the world, what is it that we can do now that is going to make a difference?”

It’s a fair question, but the situation is not fluid. A number of things have changed.

  1. A new Iraqi Government is less divisive and more able to command army loyalty
  2. The rise of the Islamic State and their barbaric actions against native Iraqis being so much worse than the previous insurgency. This has changed the dynamic there, and greatly increased the motivations of the rest of Iraq to join together to defeat them.

It is rather more complicated that that, but the point is the situation is not static. Justifying doing nothing on the basis of a previous failure, only works if no variables have changed. And they have.

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UK Police lose the plot

February 12th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Independent reports:

A police force was forced to apologise today after one of its officers told a newsagent to hand over the names of four people in the name of community cohesion, after they bought a commemorative edition of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Wiltshire police confirmed that it had deleted the names of the buyers from its system, which were collected after officers toured shops warning newsagents to be vigilant during an “assessment of community tensions” in the sleepy market town following the attacks in the French capital in January.

Appalling. Beyond appalling. You buy Charlie Hebdo and the UK Police put you on a watch list. The Police officers in question should transfer to Saudi Arabia.

Hat Tip: No Right Turn

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Another fanatic in the UK

February 10th, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Telegraph reports:

A teenage Islamist fanatic who idolised the Lee Rigby killers was caught in the street with a hammer and knife on his way to behead a British soldier, a court heard.

Brustholm Ziamani, 19, was stopped and found with the weapons wrapped inside an Islamic flag and had researched a series of military bases around London. …

He went by the name Mujahid Karim on social media and in May last year posted on Facebook that Sharia Law was on its way to the streets of the UK.

He added: “We will get Dem kufar (non-beliveers) soon, we r soliders of Allah.” …

The jury heard how police had previously found a five-page letter belonging to Ziamani after attended a flat in Camberwell in June.

Addressed to his parents, he said what he was “about to do is an obligation”.

He said because he had no way of getting to Syria or Iraq he would “wage war against the british government on this soil the british government will have a taste ov there own medicine they will be humiliated this is ISIB Islamic States of Ireland and Britain.”

He warned: “You people will never be safe Brits and americans Russian thousands upon thousands ov muslims due daily.

“Now we will take a thousand ov yours then tens thousands and send you all to hell-fire. You want war you got it British soldiers heads will be removed and burend u cannot defeat the muslims we love to die the way you love to live.

“My fellow muslim brothers these people want war lets kill them slaughter them and implement sharia in our lands and UK.

“Kill every gay, every Shia, every les.”

It is easy to dismiss these as the rants of an illiterate moron.

However he was arrested as he was on his way to kill one or more British soldiers, armed with a hammer and knife so he could behead them.

What is scary in this case is how quickly he became radicalised – just a few months.

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