John Key has outlined the Government approach to dealing with the Islamic State threat in the Middle East. There have been a variety of reactions.
Audrey Young at NZ Herald reports on what Key said in John Key: Kiwi forces will help train Iraqis fight ISIS
Three NZ Defence Force personnel have already left for the Middle East to scope out a role for New Zealand forces to help train Iraqi forces fight Isis, probably in conjunction with Australia.
But any such training would be done “behind the wire” and would be undertaken by regular forces on a base, not by the SAS, Prime Minister John Key said today.
“New Zealand cannot and should not fight Iraqis’ battles for them. I am ruling out New Zealand sending SAS or any troops into combat roles in Iraq.”
Later he said the SAS could be deployed to help to protect a base in which New Zealand Forces were conducting training.
Mr Key said the role of the SAS would not be similar to the “aid and assist” role in Afghanistan, which saw it accompany the Afghanistan Crisis Response Unit on jobs.
The Dominion Post (Stuff) raises fears and dramatics in Key lights a fuse that may fire up terror:
It may not have been coincidence that John Key chose Guy Fawkes day to light a bonfire under New Zealand’s complacency about being far removed from terrorism.
Key’s landmark speech outlining New Zealand’s national security risks paints a stark picture of the rising threat from within.
There are radicalised Islamic State sympathisers living and working among us, some of them actively discussing terrorist acts on New Zealand soil, Key told a Wellington audience.
They included those thwarted in their wish to take up arms in Syria with the Islamic State (Isis) and who now posed a threat to New Zealand’s safety and security.
With the recent shooting at the Canadian Parliament still fresh in people’s minds, few will quibble at Key’s view that we can no longer rely on our place at the bottom of the world protecting us from such acts.
They stress the threat:
But that does not minimise the nature of the threat from Isis and its chilling use of social media to spread its “kill a Westerner” message.
That could be brought even closer to home if Isis makes specific threats to New Zealand after Key’s announcement yesterday of a military contribution. That contribution is likely to be limited and confined to training Iraqi forces.
But Isis is unlikely to draw that distinction.
Karol at The Standard quotes Metiria Turei’s idealistic view in Turei for peace & freedom: rejects politics of fear
The Green Party stands for peace and freedom.
Peace is the best weapon we have in achieving personal security. It is a simple fact that New Zealanders are safest in a peaceful world.
And our democracy is only as strong as our personal freedoms. When personal freedoms are eroded our democracy is weakened.
Today, John Key has eroded both our quest for peace at home and abroad, and eroded New Zealanders personal freedoms.
By offering support the US led war with ISIS we are part of a strategy that reduces the prospects of enduring peace in the Middle East; and in the process we are also being told that we have to give up freedoms here at home too.
Today I speak on behalf of a truly independent foreign policy that works for peace as the best form of security.
A foreign policy that aligns foreign and domestic interests.
I speak on behalf of our personal freedoms. I put them on a pedestal, only to be eroded in the most extreme of circumstances.
And I speak on behalf of those New Zealanders who believe in alternatives to war and fear; those who aspire to peace and freedom.
We can build a better world, but it will require a better approach than the one outlined by the Prime Minister today.
Most people want peace – but when some people are intent on war doing nothing won’t stop them. Pacifism didn’t do much good for the Moriori.
Today Metiria Turei was bold and clear. She showed a positive way forward. I give her a standing ovation!
Rather than accept the narrative Key is trying to build, Turei identities and rejects that narrative. At the same time, she provides an alternative narrative, with a positive way forward.
The real world needs the promotion of peace, but it also needs to confronting of warmongers.