Andrew Little in Iraq

Andrew Little has just had a visit to Iraq:

NZ Herald: Andrew Little’s top secret Iraq visit

Labour leader Andrew Little has made a top secret visit to Iraq to visit New Zealand troops based at Camp Taji and is now questioning whether the two-year term will be extended.

Mr Little has just left Iraq after Camp Taji with Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Chief of Defence Force Tim Keating.

Labour opposed the 2015 deployment of troops to help train Iraqi soldiers fight against Islamic State (Isis), but Mr Little said he accepted the invitation from Mr Brownlee because he believed it was important to see first hand the work of the troops and the conditions in which they lived.

Yes it is important that the leader of the opposition sees important international situations that New Zealand is involved in for himself. Little could be Prime Minister by the end of next year (or sooner) and he needs to be well prepared.

And this shows that the Government works together with the Opposition when necessary, especially in international issues.

This will also help Little deal with Middle East issues responsibly while in opposition.

There is a neutral post on this at The Standard by ‘Notices and Features’ – Little just visited NZ troops in Iraq – with just a few fairly subdued comments.

Little’s announcement on Twitter:

Andrew Little ‎@AndrewLittleMP

Just back from visiting our troops on the ground in Iraq

This linked to:  Andrew Little visits NZ troops in Iraq and refugees in Jordan:

Opposition Leader Andrew Little has visited New Zealand troops at Camp Taji, Iraq.

Mr Little also met with Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled Al-Obedih and senior military officials from the Coalition forces in Iraq. He now heads to Jordan to see the unfolding refugee crisis first hand.

“I was invited by Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee to visit our troops at Camp Taji. I made the decision to go because it is important to see for myself the work they are doing and the conditions they are working under.

“I was pleased to see the troops are conducting themselves with the skill and professionalism you would expect of the New Zealand Defence Force. It was good to get a chance to talk to them about their experiences in Iraq.

“New Zealanders may differ on the politics of this deployment, but we are all united in our support for our troops on the ground.

“Labour opposed the deployment because the Iraqi Army’s track record was poor, even after years of training by American and other armies.

“The situation in Iraq, as well as Syria, remains hugely challenging and it is not yet certain how the Iraqi security forces will address issues of motivation and discipline, and continuing ethno-sectarian divisions across the whole army.

“It’s obvious the needs Iraq has won’t be met in the two year period the Government set for the mission, and the Government must now be open with the public about the demands being made of it and its plans.”

Mr Little will now head to Jordan, and will visit the Zaatari Refugee Camp, where 80,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria are now based.

“New Zealand has had a history of supporting humanitarian causes. We believe the Government must double the refugee quota and that we should be stepping up support for the people who are suffering in these camps,” Andrew Little says.

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11 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  29th April 2016

    Wise decision by Brownlee. Wise words from Andrew Little. About time for some.
    Not keen about taking too many more refugees if they are muslims. No doubt I will get an ear-bashing for that but it only takes one. And it can be the kids, not the parents you have to watch and worry about. If they are Christians or some other religion might be ok.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  29th April 2016

      I have` no problem at all with Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus or any other religion as long as the followers thereof are not fanatics. I like my GP, who happens to be a young Muslim so much that I want to take him home and keep him. There are Christian fanatics-I have read some very unnerving things about the religious right in the US. I once saw a video about a revival there-made by the revivalists, so no bias against them could be alleged-and it was very frightening. Talk about the Nuremberg Rallies. They were indoctrinating children, although they wouldn’t call it that, of course, and hatred for gays and other groups was being taught to them. The children were fervent. all right, but there seemed little, if any, joy-the emotions were hard to describe, so I’ll have to fall back on the Nuremberg Rallies. At one point, at a camp (I think) they were smashing coffee mugs with pictures of the then president (I am not making this up) One can only hope that it all fizzled out before the young ones were damaged for life and became little David Koreshes. The thought of having people like that in the country does not appeal. They made Hopeful Christian and Gloriavale look like anything goes ultra-liberal hippies. The only nutty Muslim who has made the news locally is that conceited Kiwi idiot who went to Syria and destroyed his NZ passport (Mark Taylor ?) I saw him a few times, strutting down the street with a full-of-himself smirk; look at me, the Great I Am. Look at me, the Great I Am A Conceited Ape, more like. I bet that the mosque had a few thanks sent up to Allah when they found that he seemed to have gone for good this time.

      Reply
  2. Iceberg

     /  29th April 2016

    I can imagine the banter in the barracks before he arrived.

    “Does anybody want to meet the wanker who bagged us on deployment?”

    “Anyone? “

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  29th April 2016

      Must take a bit of trouble getting Gerry to fit into the flak jacket now. It wasn’t a great look for him last visit.

      Reply
      • Iceberg

         /  29th April 2016

        As if shrapnel could get anywhere near a vital organ anyway.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  29th April 2016

        One wonders which is worse- Gerry in a flak jacked, or for all his impact on political polls, Andy in a Ghillie suit. I give it to big Gerry by a wide margin.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  29th April 2016

          Gerry’s already got a bloody wide margin – that’s why the flacko looks like a bursting saveloy on him. You’re giving him an unfair advantage aren’t you? 🙂
          And don’t get me started about the helmet …

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  29th April 2016

      ‘Does anyone want to meet the man who had grave concerns about our safety and the actual necessity of our deployment’?

      Reply
  3. Brown

     /  29th April 2016

    Why take Andy Capp anywhere – he’s irrelevant. The army personnel should not have to meet people that would only support them if they were deployed to fight for gay rights in Saudi Arabia or transgender toilets in Somalia.

    Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  29th April 2016

      I really admire Caitlin Jenner.

      Wish I had the balls to be transgendered 😛

      Reply

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