Ardern utterly equivocates on Syrian missile strike

Jacinda Ardern has been criticised for her weak language in response to the US, UK and French missile strike in Syria. Asked again about it on her visit to Germany she equivocated again.

Yesterday Ardern’s previous comments were covered in Political Roundup: NZ’s fraught balancing act on Syria bombing

New Zealand politicians and commentators are very divided on what the best course of action is. So far, the Government has tried to take a middle path, being highly diplomatic in its response to the US-UK-France bombing of Syria, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying that she “accepts” what has happened.

This very deliberate use of the word “accepts” is designed to be ambiguous. It can be taken as support for the bombings. On the other hand, Ardern has also couched her “acceptance” of the attacks within broader statements about the need for a UN-mandated approach to the civil war in Syria. Her comments fall well short of other countries who have more clearly sided with Trump, Macron and May.

Nonetheless, this middling approach has produced criticisms from both sides of politics. And as the conflict continues, these hard criticisms suggest that Ardern may be forced to “get off the fence”.

But Ardern stayed on the fence in Germany. NZH – Jacinda Ardern arrives for discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has emerged from talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, appearing to have strengthened her stance in support for the military action against the chemical attacks in Syria.

During a joint press conference afterwards, Merkel confirmed the pair did discuss Russia and recent chemical attacks, both in Salisbury and Syria.

“And I believe that on the whole, we are one in sharing the same position,” she said.

Questioned by German media, Ardern appeared to give a subtle elevation to her own comments that US-led airstrikes on suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria, were completely necessary.

It was an issue that “cannot be left unchallenged”.

“And so whilst we absolutely maintain the need to first and foremost seek resolution through the likes of the United Nations. When that is not possible, we utterly accept the use of alternative means to address what has to be challenged, and that is a blatant breach of international law,” said Ardern.

“Utterly accept”? This has become typical language from Ardern, using strong adjectives alongside weak words.

It was a slightly strengthened phrase on similar comments she had delivered in New Zealand, that appeared to give a more reluctant acceptance of the need for missile strikes.

‘Slightly strengthened’ words sitting on a fallible fence.

One could say Ardern has utterly prevaricated.

 

44 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  April 18, 2018

    That she would want a UN mandated response shows how weak her response is. There will most likely never be a UN mandated response to Syria as Russia will veto any proposals from the West and the US / UK / France will likely veto any proposal from Russia.

    It is a cop-out to call for the UN to mandate a response knowing that anything put forward will most likely be vetoed.

    • PDB

       /  April 18, 2018

      Utterly correct Missy. Labour are a govt of hiding their real beliefs/lack of leadership behind things like ‘independent’ committees/working groups and in this case the UN who they well know will never come to any consensus on Syria.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 18, 2018

        I utterly think that you are right.

  2. Gezza

     /  April 18, 2018

    Best thing. Time people got over this. We’re in Five Eyes. If she hasn’t seen the evidence, perhaps she isn’t trusted best to say nothing. If she HAS seen the evidence, maybe it doesn’t stack up. Best to say nothing.

    We all learnt from Gulf of Tonkin! Afghanistan & Iraq that it is unwise to take US Military intelligence as verifiably true, their President is as thick as a short plank & ignorant, & blandly justifying Western powers interference in a civil war & attacking a country in the Middle East or anywhere where they have not been attacked is just a very bad idea.

    • Missy

       /  April 18, 2018

      From what was reported here the crucial intelligence didn’t come from the US, but rather France. Macron was the one that stated he had evidence of the Syrian gas attack.

      Be careful thinking all intelligence comes from the US, it doesn’t.

      • Gezza

         /  April 18, 2018

        Well obviously it doesn’t all, but nobody has seen it, & isn’t Macron rather unpopular?

        • Missy

           /  April 18, 2018

          Macron is unpopular in France, but generally popular elsewhere.

          Ummm….. how do you know no-one has seen it. Sorry Gezza, but just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean no-one has. I would suggest at the very least Theresa May has seen it, and I would also conclude that the US has been provided it to.

          This is the problem today, too many people expect to see every scrap of intelligence and who cares what it may give away to those who want to hurt us – or others – about collection methods, sources, or what we actually have access to.

          And don’t bring Iraq up either, that is the default argument for those that think they have the right to see all intelligence produced, but as I heard today, just because the intelligence was wrong on Iraq doesn’t mean it is on this. Of course it may be, but we have to have some trust in those we elect, and to be honest I have more trust in May on these matters than I do Corbyn, and Trump, so if May thought it was right to do I am going to have some faith until there is evidence to the contrary. I don’t trust May on some things, but when it comes to security I do.

          • Missy

             /  April 18, 2018

            Sorry for the rant, I have just had a 1hr plus journey home from work listening to the idiots go ‘but iraq….’ and say ‘I haven’t seen the evidence’, it just makes me angry that people think they are entitled to see it all. They aren’t. It is need to know, not want to know.

          • Gezza

             /  April 18, 2018

            “so if May thought it was right to do I am going to have some faith until there is evidence to the contrary. I do”

            Well, then. That’s that, isn’t it? Christians are like that too.
            Still luv ya like a sister though.

            • Missy

               /  April 18, 2018

              I think when it comes to this we can agree to disagree and move on….

              it’s not like you put cream first on a scone or anything important like that G…. 😉 [i hope you don’t!]

      • Gezza

         /  April 18, 2018

        They won’t even give us any cheap F-16s, Missy!

        • Missy

           /  April 18, 2018

          Who? The French? Not sure I would want the French planes, they probably smell of garlic and blue cheese!! (yes I am trying to be funny for all those snowflakes who may get offended by my stereotyping). *sigh*

          • Gezza

             /  April 18, 2018

            No. Silly. The US. Macron wouldn’t have done anything on his own.

            • Missy

               /  April 18, 2018

              Ah, them….

              forgive me, a little tired tonight (that will teach me to go to the gym!!).

              The US don’t sell anything cheap!

            • Gezza

               /  April 18, 2018

              Explain Kim Kardashian then?

            • Missy

               /  April 18, 2018

              An aberration……

              But maybe I should have been more specific, the US don’t sell any military hardware cheap!

            • Missy

               /  April 18, 2018

              Though on second thoughts, is Kim Kardashian cheap…. she looks it, but maybe not so in reality.

              Food for thought there.

            • PDB

               /  April 18, 2018

              Gezza: Explain Kim Kardashian then?

              Big ass and breasts – displays them often.

            • David

               /  April 18, 2018

              “But maybe I should have been more specific, the US don’t sell any military hardware cheap!”

              They do. The offer of F-16’s to NZ was a genuine bargain.

      • lurcher1948

         /  April 18, 2018

        Macron just wants France to have some revelance in the middle East…

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 18, 2018

          I think that KK is no fool in some ways. The sisters were running a successful business when they were first seen on a reality television show.

  3. Blazer

     /  April 18, 2018

    Adern is adept at diplomacy…always an asset for a..P.M.

    • Missy

       /  April 18, 2018

      Yeah, her cringeworthy comment when Merkel was asked a question shows it too…..

      She is coming across like a schoolgirl trying hard to impress.

      • Blazer

         /  April 18, 2018

        talking cringeworthy…try ex P.M Key…on ..Hardtalk.

    • PDB

       /  April 18, 2018

      Totally unsure if Ardern is just trying to appease some of her far-left voting base/Winston’s Russian mates or whether she absolutely doesn’t know what to say when asked to voice an opinion on something. One thing she needs to improve is her positively mixed language on all subjects. Saying she would ‘happily’ investigate sexual abuse claims was but the start of her nonsense.

      • Blazer

         /  April 18, 2018

        you re being too literal…because you want to be..literal.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  April 18, 2018

          On the whole we are one in sharing the same position ???

          Weasel words.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 18, 2018

    Ardern = meaningless platitudes as forecast. Can’t imagine other leaders will waste much time on her beyond the photo op.

  5. seer

     /  April 18, 2018

    Gezza

    • seer

       /  April 18, 2018

      Sorry, premature emanation.
      “..Gulf of Tonkin! Afghanistan & Iraq..” – what about Libya? FUKUS again.

      Missy said “Be careful thinking all intelligence comes from the US, it doesn’t.” No further comment necessary!

      PM Cindy (&) Baby doing well. She is looking quite French in her expression in this photo.
      Osmosis, empathy?
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/assets/news/148456/eight_col_000_1426LN.jpg?1523909741

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 18, 2018

        The outfit doesn’t look too bad at this angle, but front on it looks as if she’s forgotten to change out of her too tight pyjamas. Satin stretched over a big belly is horribly unflattering and looks cheap and nasty.She looks most unprofessional and unlike the leader of a country.

        • Gezza

           /  April 18, 2018

          She looks pregnant. She is pregnant. It’s a novel experience for everyone. I don’t think anyone she meets is going to be concerned about what she’s dressed like & I bet a few female leaders would love to kick their shoes off when they’ve done the formal ceremony & talks thing & are kicking back with local embassy staff.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  April 18, 2018

            It would be a very novel experience for you and me, G.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 18, 2018

              She can look both well-dressed and pregnant, surely. She needn’t look as if she’s in her pyjamas which are too tight and extremely unflattering and ‘satin’ tends to look cheap and tacky for daytime wear, especially all over.The short top looked awful over the trousers straining and looking as if the seams were straining and about to let go. She didn’t look like a PM.

              The outfit was not only unflattering, it was unsuitable for the occasion.

            • Gezza

               /  April 18, 2018

              She didn’t look like a PM.
              Yes she did. Ours. I really have never been able to understand how so many women & girls can get so snarky over what other women wear when they expect to be able to make their own outfit choices themselves & would probably be cut to the bone to hear their own dress choice described by other women as any of the number of forms of unbecoming women seem able to think up.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 18, 2018

    Ardern caught lying again – denying she campaigned against immigration. Needs to stick to meaningless sentences:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12034897

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 18, 2018

      Well done, David Seymour for pointing this out.

      The English journalist who said that Jacinda Ardern is cheating her voters by having the baby now had a good point. Multitasking is a meaningless expression. Nobody can perform two actions at once and give equal attention to them – unless their brain is split.

  7. lurcher1948

     /  April 18, 2018

    Why dont you ethical posters get with the program,the USA are the worse users of crap in this world AMEN,the world and NATIONAL forgets quickly as the USA sprayed our troops

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 18, 2018

      And damaging the health of NZ soldiers….and their children and even grandchildren ! The law forced these men to go, it’s not as if they went on purpose.

    • David

       /  April 18, 2018

      It’s not actually a chemical weapon now is it cupcake.

  8. Kimbo

     /  April 18, 2018

    “This has become typical language from Ardern, using strong adjectives alongside weak words.”

    Ahem. In the phrase “Utterly accept”, the (emphatic) “utterly” is qualifying the (tepid) verb “accept”, therefore it is an adverb, not an adjective.

    BTW, were you aware of Kimbo’s law?: “in blogworld the validity of an argument is in inverse proportion to the use of emphatic adverbs”.