Confronting war versus promoting peace

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.

Conclusion

Mr Speaker

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.

Karol concludes:

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.

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6 Comments

  1. Iceberg

     /  6th November 2014

    She’s an idiot. In the real world there are bad people with guns. She has the priviledge of peace because thousands of others fell in front if machine gun fire to create it for her.

    Reply
  2. Brown

     /  6th November 2014

    “Most people want peace”

    Probably true but the history of the world is one of the “most” being pushed by the “less” who are in charge to do bad things. Sometimes you have to fight to protect what matters to you (although what matters in the west is increasingly hard to define) and I suspect Muslims are going to increasingly feel the point of a boot in the coming years unless they visibly resist the idea of a caliphate and imposing Sharia law on the west. I’m not sure that a “good” Muslim can do that as it defies the teachings they hold dear. Its going to be an interesting few years.

    Reply
    • Sharia law and the caliphate are tricky issues, mostly because they can represent the advance of secular politics within Islamic society. Both topics have common ground with Judaism via the “people of the way” of the early first century and with Judaic messianism. Many of the problems of Islamic society are due to the observance of Hadith which do not represent the ideals of the Quran. Add to that the adversarial influence of the west and you’ve got a recipe for ongoing conflict.

      Reply
  3. Key has no business speaking about security issues when he clings to the idiocy of the “official” explanation of the events of 9/11.

    Reply
  4. coffee_now

     /  6th November 2014

    @UglyTruth – “Many of the problems of Islamic society are due to the observance of Hadith which do not represent the ideals of the Quran.”

    Ah….. The “ideals” of the Quran.

    Would the over 500 Quran verses promoting hatred of non-Muslims (and the over 100 calling on Muslims to wage war against non-Muslims) form part of these “ideals”?

    Lofty “ideals” indeed…….

    I wonder if you would rate those “ideals” higher than those that (say) the Amish hold.
    I daresay that the Amish – in all of their history – have probably killed fewer than 1,000 people (in stark contrast to Islam).

    Reply
    • I think you’ve been reading too many hate sites, coffee_now. Can you find a single verse from the Quran which promotes hatred of people simply because they are not Muslim? Description of punishment is not the same as promotion of hatred.

      Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] – those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness – will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.
      Quran, Surah 2:62

      Say, “O People of the Scripture, come to a word that is equitable between us and you – that we will not worship except Allah and not associate anything with Him and not take one another as lords instead of Allah.” But if they turn away, then say, “Bear witness that we are Muslims [submitting to Him].”
      Quran, Surah 3:64

      Reply

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