By 4pm today NZ will be at war

John+Key+Prime+Minister+John+Key+Welcomes+taXx7-vF6yhlBy 4pm today New Zealand will be at war, not ‘possibly’, not ‘figuratively’ but literally at war and it will not be by consensus of the New Zealand Government.

The National Party of New Zealand, under the Prime Minister will have decided to put our troops in harms way without the approval of the people of New Zealand, or the majority of our representatives in Parliament.

There are many things that concern me about this, and to be clear the least of them is retaliation on home soil by an extremist group, but one of the most concerning issues is that even John Key doesn’t seem so clear on the issue.

This morning Mr. Key was on TV 3’s Firstline talking over what is to be announced today with reference to sending troops to Iraq. Mr. Key made a flimsy comparison to what Helen Clark did when she sent engineers to Iraq. This is a practice that the National Government uses often, which is saying “well they did it, so so can we.” It’s an attempt to block attacks from Labour and to try to paint them as hypocrites if they criticise the National Government’s moves. This is a valid manoeuvre if the comparisons are equal and opposite but unfortunately for Key in this instance they are not.

The Helen Clark led Labour Government sent “two rotations of 61 engineers [to spend] a year in Basra from September 2003, performing engineering and humanitarian tasks.” This can hardly be compared to training soldiers to kill in combat circumstances.

The most concerning issue is that Mr. Key claims we are not going to be war, but then also acknowledges that he is not sure if this is war or not.

From the interview when asked if we are going to war.

…on the basis that we provide training neither would we be [going to war]. So, you know, if you’re out there and you’ve got your soldiers running around involved in fire-fights and, y’know, your bombing people or whatever the ‘Yup’ you’re at war, but I’m not sure that’s the same case if you’re providing training.

I’m not sure that’s the case” are the six most concerning words to me in this whole debacle.

There is every chance that NZ soldiers are going to end up in fire fights (whilst training Iraqis) and be killed…and John Key is “not sure” if we are at war or not.

To me it sounds like how Vietnam wasn’t a war but a ‘Police Action’ and my vote is to stay out of it.

Syria…why now West?

I chatted with my wife last night and when I asked this question I saw the horror on her face until I had the chance to explain my thoughts, so please give me two minutes of your time and don’t jump to the first most obvious conclusion about this post.

Why is the West showing concern now that there has been ‘chemical attacks’?

This is when you breathe and give me a chance to explain my thoughts.

The West is getting ready to take action against the Syrian Government due to a horrific attack on civilians where chemical weapons were used. CNN reported last night that the “UK drafts U.N. resolution to go before Security Council today authorizing necessary measures to protect Syria civilians” but my question is why are ‘chemical weapons’ the straw that broke the indignant back of the West.

In this current civil war UNICEF reported in February that over 500 children had died already, by August the UN were reporting that 6,561 children had died. There are also reports that more than 600 detainees and political prisoners have died during the current conflict while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports prior to the chemical attack that 3,607 Women are dead due to this conflict.

Overall reported total number of deaths vary, but the UN reported in July that there were estimated to be over 100,000 deaths in total due to the current conflicts.

If the UK were “authorizing necessary measures to protect Syria civilians” and one assumes the Americans are on the same page…and for the record it’s a page that I agree with and am on as well…what about the other 100,000, of which it seems about 60,000 are civilians, that haven’t warranted protection. Where were the West when it got to 20,000 or 30,000 or 50,000?

It is horrific to see the images on the news of people dead and dying due to chemical weapons, but you have to concede that there are going to have been thousands, if not tens of thousands of horrific deaths so far committed on civilians during the conflict. Where were the West then?

If this is a catalyst to help innocent civilians then I support it, but if it is the West, just placating their conscience because they have seen the images on their TV screens that shock them then I say, “Shame on you West, where have you been?

America, fast becoming the used car salesman of the world

Last week I wrote of the juxtaposition that is the United States of America. Today we have another glaring example.

Last month America was in an uproar as it was revealed that remains of dead American soldiers, both in intact ‘pieces’ and cremated ashes were sent to a dump in Virginia.

This sparked outrage…and rightfully so.

For days and days the 24 hour news channels were speaking of the disrespect of the dead, especially those who have given their lives to defend their country. “There can be no greater honour than to die in battle” was the catch-cry so to be discarded and disrespected in such a way was treasonous.

When the Pentagon first said it didn’t have the time or resources to investigate how many body parts went missing, Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.) had three questions for the DoD: “What the hell?”

“We spent millions, tens of millions, to find any trace of soldiers killed, and they’re concerned about a ‘massive’ effort to go back and pull out the files and find out how many soldiers were disrespected this way?” he asked the Post. “They just don’t want to ask questions or look very hard.”

“My only peace of mind in losing my husband was that he was taken to Dover and that he was handled with dignity, love, respect and honor,” widow Gari-Lynn Smith adds to the Post. “That was completely shattered for me when I was told that he was thrown in the trash.”

Well today we see this story

The US Marine Corps will investigate a video showing what appear to be American forces in Afghanistan urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters.

The video, which was posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage Marine combat uniforms urinating on the bodies of three dead Taliban.

One of them jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke about a shower.

Apparently if it’s not one of ‘our boys’ the same rules don’t really apply.

If you want to see the video, and it is graphic, you can go here