The rise, fall and defeat of the Islamic State caliphate

It is claimed that the last bit of territory taken and held by Islamic State has now been recovered. Islamic State, often referred to as ISIS, has effectively been defeated. This doesn’t mean they have been completely wiped out, some of them will have survived and dispersed, but with no territory, no caliphate, they are nothing but a scattered bunch of terrorists.

Reuters has a timeline of their rise, fall and defeat. Timeline: The rise and fall of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

Islamic State fighters have been defeated at the final shred of territory they held in eastern Syria, marking the end of jihadist rule that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Saturday.

  • 2004-11 – In the chaos following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, an al Qaeda offshoot sets up there, changing its name in 2006 to Islamic State in Iraq.
  • 2011 – After Syria’s crisis begins, the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sends operatives there to set up a Syrian subsidiary.
  • 2013 – Baghdadi follows in 2013, breaking with al Qaeda and renaming his group “The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.
  • 2014 – Its sudden success starts with the seizure of Fallujah in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria at the turn of the year. The jihadists take Mosul and Tikrit in June and overrun the border with Syria. At Mosul’s great Mosque, Baghdadi renames the group Islamic State (IS) and declares a caliphate.

In Iraq, IS slaughters thousands of Yazidis in Sinjar and forces more than 7,000 women and girls into sexual slavery. In Syria, it massacres hundreds of members of the Sheitaat tribe. IS beheads Western hostages in grotesquely choreographed films.

In September, the United States builds a coalition against IS and starts air strikes to stop its momentum, helping the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia turn the militants back from Kobani on the border with Turkey.

  • 2015 – Militants in Paris attack a satirical newspaper and a kosher supermarket, the bloody start to a wave of attacks that IS claims around the world. Militants in Libya behead Christians and pledge allegiance to IS, followed by groups in other countries, but they stay operationally independent.
    In May, IS takes Ramadi in Iraq and the ancient desert town of Palmyra in Syria, but by the end of the year it is on the back foot in both countries.
  • 2016 – Iraq takes back Fallujah in June, the first town IS had captured during its initial blaze of success. In August, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG, takes Manbij in Syria.
  • 2017 – Islamic State suffers a year of catastrophic defeats. In June it loses Mosul to Iraqi forces after months of fighting and Baghdad declares the end of the caliphate. In September the Syrian army races eastwards backed by Russia and Iran to relieve Deir al-Zor and re-extend state control at the Euphrates River. In October, the SDF drives IS from Raqqa.
  • 2018 – The Syrian government retakes IS enclaves in Yarmouk, south of Damascus, and on the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The SDF advances further down the Euphrates and Iraqi forces take the rest of the border region. The United States vows to withdraw troops.
  • 2019 – IS fighters are defeated at their last enclave on the Euphrates at the village of Baghouz, the SDF says.

In March 2019 the SDF declares the “caliphate” eliminated.

Wikipedia:

caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة‎ khilāfah) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (/ˈkælɪfˈk-/Arabicخَليفة‎ khalīfah), a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah (community).

That sounds like it would be like someone claiming to be a religious successor to Jesus.

Islamic state:

An Islamic state (Arabicدولة إسلامية‎, dawlah islāmiyyah) is a type of government primarily based on the application of shari’a (Islamic law), dispensation of justice, maintenance of law and order. From the early years of Islam, numerous governments have been founded as “Islamic”.

However, the term “Islamic state” has taken on a more specific connotation since the 20th century.

Like the earlier notion of the caliphate, the modern Islamic state is rooted in Islamic law. It is modeled after the rule of Muhammad. However, unlike caliph-led governments which were imperial despotisms or monarchies (Arabic: malik), a modern Islamic state can incorporate modern political institutions such as elections, parliamentary rule, judicial review,  and popular sovereignty.

Today, many Muslim countries have incorporated Islamic law, wholly or in part, into their legal systems. Certain Muslim states have declared Islam to be their state religion in their constitutions, but do not apply Islamic law in their courts. Islamic states which are not Islamic monarchies are usually referred to as Islamic republics.

So there are many variations.

So no territory, no caliphate, but there will be still some supporters scattered around the Middle East.

Vox: Trump just declared ISIS’s caliphate 100% defeated. But ISIS still remains.

That was last month. Trump was a bit premature.

President Donald Trump has just declared that ISIS’s so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq is “100 percent” defeated, touting it as one of his administration’s biggest foreign policy successes and one his predecessor wasn’t able to achieve.

The problem is that top US officials say there are still thousands of ISIS fighters active in those countries despite their loss of territory. In other words, the caliphate is defeated — but not the terrorists.

That ISIS has lost all of its territory is certainly a major accomplishment, since in 2014 it controlled an area of land the size of Britain. But “losing territory does not mean a group is defeated,” says Shanna Kirschner, an expert on Syria at Allegheny College who spoke to me in early February.

Earlier this month, Gen. Joseph Votel, who leads US troops in the Middle East, told CNN that ISIS will still have the ability to terrorize. The group “still has leaders, still has fighters, it still has facilitators, it still has resources,” he said. “So our continued military pressure is necessary to continue to go after that network.”

According to reports by both the Pentagon and the US intelligence community, ISIS still has thousands of fighters spread across Syria and Iraq. One estimate from last August found that ISIS had as many as 17,100 fighters in Syria, and about 30,000 total between the two countries.

So ISIS is still a threat, as are other groups like Al Qaeda, but they have suffered a major defeat as far as territory goes.

 

 

 

 

 

ISIL or Daesh?

The group involved in the extremist Islamic insurrection in Syria and Iraq has been called a number of things. They are commonly referred to as Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL:

  • ISIS: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
  • ISIL: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

The Levant refers to a wide area of the Eastern Mediterranean, coming from a French word meaning ‘rising’ (as in the sun rising in the east). ‘Levant States’ referred to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War 1.

Some don’t like terms involving ‘Islamic State’ because they are not a state, they have taken over parts of two states or countries but are not a legitimate government. Forces in both Syria and Iraq are trying to defeat and eliminate them from their territories.

There are some attempts to re-label them with something less complementary, and Daesh is favoured by some for this. Yahoo News reported:

If You Hear President Obama and John Kerry Call ISIS “Daesh,” Here’s Why

Daesh, however, seems opaque and out of place. The reason more and more world leaders are climbing on the Daesh wagon, however, may simply be because the Islamic State doesn’t like it.

Daesh is technically an acronym for the Islamic State’s proper Arabic name, al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham, and was used by ISIS members for a period of time. The word Daesh is now forbidden within the territory controlled by the Islamic State: If you say it, you run the risk of having your tongue cut.

By their barbaric standards that’s a minor level punishment, bot horrific nevertheless.

The term fell out of favor among the militants after a rebranding by the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in July. Part of the reason is because in Arabic the word “Daesh” can be taken as a play on words to mean something along the lines of “a bigot who imposes his view on others” or “to trample down and crush,” the Boston Globe reported.

With propaganda being essential to the ISIS strategy of recruiting foreign fighters, it comes as no surprise that the group has moved to expunge all the negative associations inherent in Daesh.

Propaganda also plays into another reason why leaders are beginning to forswear terms like ISIS and Islamic State. By talking about the group using its own terms, those fighting it convey a de facto sense of legitimacy on the Islamic State’s aims.

The Islamic State, of course, is not actually a state, but rather of collection of terrorists operating from seized territory in Mesopotamia. No “Islamic State” in that territory has ever been recognized by any government as representing any actual country.  World leaders repeatedly calling it a “state” potentially play into ISIS’s hands.

Daesh. Use it — annoy a terrorist.

We can annoy terrorists in rel;ative safety from a distance.

However I have just heard President Obama referring to ISIL several times in a news report on TV.

ISIS “act of war” against France

Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, and French President Francois said it amounted to an act of war against France.

Radio NZ reports Hollande: Paris attacks an act of ‘war’

President Hollande said the attacks had been organised from abroad by Islamic State “barbarians”, with internal help.

Sources close to the investigation said a Syrian passport had been found near the body of one of the suicide bombers.

“Faced with war, the country must take appropriate action,” Mr Hollande said after an emergency meeting of security chiefs. He also announced three days of national mourning.

Casualty counts have varied, with this reported by Radio NZ:

A French government source told Reuters there were 127 dead, 67 in critical condition and 116 wounded. Six attackers blew themselves up and one was shot by police. There may have been an eighth attacker, but this was not confirmed.

The worst attack was carried out at the Bataclan concert hall, where officials say four gunmen systematically killed at least 87 people at a rock concert before anti-terrorist commandos launched an assault on the building.

Some 40 more people were killed in five other attacks in the Paris region, the official said, including an apparent double suicide bombing outside the Stade de France national stadium, where Mr Hollande and the German foreign minister were watching a friendly soccer international.

In total eight attackers are reported to have been killed around Paris, including seven by their suicide belts.

And Islamic State have claimed responsibility:

In its claim of responsibility, Islamic State said the attacks were a response to France’s campaign against its fighters.

It also distributed an undated video in which a militant said France would not live peacefully as long it took part in US-led bombing raids against them.

“As long as you keep bombing you will not live in peace. You will even fear travelling to the market,” said a bearded Arabic-speaking militant, flanked by other fighters.

‘Islamic State’, also known as ISIS and ISIL, is a radical group that is a small but currently very brutal and dangerous in large areas of Syria and Iraq, and have been responsible for several terror attacks including the one in Paris.

In What is ‘Islamic State’? the BBC says:

What does IS want?

In June 2014, the group formally declared the establishment of a “caliphate” – a state governed in accordance with Islamic law, or Sharia, by God’s deputy on Earth, or caliph.

It has demanded that Muslims across the world swear allegiance to its leader – Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai, better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – and migrate to territory under its control.

IS has also told other jihadist groups worldwide that they must accept its supreme authority. Many already have, among them several offshoots of the rival al-Qaeda network.

IS seeks to eradicate obstacles to restoring God’s rule on Earth and to defend the Muslim community, or umma, against infidels and apostates.

The group has welcomed the prospect of direct confrontation with the US-led coalition, viewing it as a harbinger of an end-of-times showdown between Muslims and their enemies described in Islamic apocalyptic prophecies.

How many fighters does it have?

In February 2015, US Director for National Intelligence James Clapper said IS could muster “somewhere in the range between 20,000 and 32,000 fighters” in Iraq and Syria.

But he noted that there had been “substantial attrition” in its ranks since US-led coalition air strikes began in August 2014. In June 2015, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said more than 10,000 IS fighters had been killed.

To help mitigate the manpower losses, IS has turned to conscription in some areas. Iraqi expert Hisham al-Hashimi believes only 30% of the group’s fighters are “ideologues”, with the remainder joining out of fear or coercion.

A significant number of IS fighters are neither Iraqi nor Syrian. In October 2015, National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen told Congressthat the group had attracted more than 28,000 foreign fighters. They included at least 5,000 Westerners, approximately 250 of them Americans, he said.

Studies by the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) and the New York-based Soufan Group suggest that while about a quarter of the foreign fighters are from the West, the majority are from nearby Arab countries, such as Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan and Morocco.

Why are their tactics so brutal?

IS members are jihadists who adhere to an extreme interpretation of Sunni Islam and consider themselves the only true believers. They hold that the rest of the world is made up of unbelievers who seek to destroy Islam, justifying attacks against other Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Beheadings, crucifixions and mass shootings have been used to terrorise their enemies. IS members have justified such atrocities by citing the Koran and Hadith, but Muslims have denounced them.

Even al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who disavowed IS in February 2014 over its actions in Syria, warned Zarqawi in 2005 that such brutality loses “Muslim hearts and minds”.

Many victims of ISIS have been Muslims in the Middle East.

In other news, the war against ISIS goes on.

Yesterday on Stuff: ‘Jihadi John’ believed killed as Islamic State’s losses mount

The US has said it is “reasonably certain” that it has killed the Islamic State extremist known as “Jihadi John” in an airstrike in Syria.

The man, a British citizen named Mohamed Emwazi and a symbol of the group’s reign of terror, was the focus of a US drone strike on a vehicle near Raqqah.

Breaking news from the BBC: Libya IS head ‘killed in US air strike’

A US air strike has killed the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Libya, the Pentagon says.

Iraqi national Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, was a “longtime al-Qaeda operative and the senior ISIL leader in Libya”, it said, using another acronym for IS.

The air strike took place on Friday night.

The Pentagon said the strike demonstrated that it would “go after ISIL leaders wherever they operate”.

Despite what some claim there is no ‘appeasement’. Many countries have joined the fight against ISIS.

Terror attacks like the ones if Paris will no doubt increase the resolve to destroy ISIS.

Unfortunately it will also increase the blaming of all Muslims including calls to marginalise and drive out Muslims from Europe and other Western countries.

An unfortunate but in part unavoidable reaction of Islamic State to being attacked will be ongoing acts of barbarity, retaliation is a major part of how they operate.

This division and the promotion of Islam versus the rest is what ISIS want.

The world needs to support the many millions of moderate Muslims and fight resolutely against terror tactics of groups like ISIS.

ISIS – apostles of the Apocalypse

A caliphate established by radical Muslims that supports genocide and appears intent on precipitating World War 3 with an aim of engineering the Apocalypse – “that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.”

A chilling explanation of what is driving the Islamic State, by Graeme Wood at The Atlantic, and the deadly destination they are intent of reaching.

What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

Short version – they want to revert to practising Islam word for word as written 1500 years ago. This means reliigious law, genocide and precipitating the end of the world.

In conversation, they insist that they will not—cannot—waver from governing precepts that were embedded in Islam by the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers.

The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

Virtually every major decision and law promulgated by the Islamic State adheres to what it calls, in its press and pronouncements, and on its billboards, license plates, stationery, and coins, “the Prophetic methodology,” which means following the prophecy and example of Muhammad, in punctilious detail.

And being fanalical religion based they are not the sort of people to be persuaded that they might be wrong.

Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable.

We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), follows a distinctive variety of Islam whose beliefs about the path to the Day of Judgment matter to its strategy, and can help the West know its enemy and predict its behavior.

Its rise to power is less like the triumph of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (a group whose leaders the Islamic State considers apostates) than like the realization of a dystopian alternate reality in which David Koresh or Jim Jones survived to wield absolute power over not just a few hundred people, but some 8 million.

And holding territory is an important part of their plans – an essential part.

Control of territory is an essential precondition for the Islamic State’s authority in the eyes of its supporters. This map, adapted from the work of the Institute for the Study of War, shows the territory under the caliphate’s control as of January 15, along with areas it has attacked. Where it holds power, the state collects taxes, regulates prices, operates courts, and administers services ranging from health care and education to telecommunications.

So doing nothing and allowing them to capture and control more territory doesn’t seem a wise option.

But combatting their influence and their spread won’t be easy and it won’t be without paying potentially a heavy price.

They are provoking more and more countries. That must be deliberate.

They want to precipitate World War Three and want it to be the war that ends all wars, the end of human civilisation.

They only represent a small minority of Muslims. But they are growing in numbers and influence.

We should be worried.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent – Edmund Burke

It’s a long article but worth wading through – What ISIS Really Wants

Caliphate (Wikipedia):

A caliphate (Arabic: خِلافة‎ khilāfa) is a form of Islamic government led by a caliph (Arabic: خَليفة‎khalīfah   pronunciation (help·info))—a person considered a political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire Muslim community.

The Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation which some consider an early form of Islamic democracy.

During the history of Islam after the Rashidun period, many Muslim states, almost all of them hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates.

The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a Caliph should be elected by Muslims or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam, however, believe a Caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt (the “Family of the House”, Muhammad’s direct descendants).

In 2014, the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levantdeclared itself a Caliphate; nonetheless, its authority remains unrecognised by any country.

The Middle East mess

This could also be titled the Middle East mess. I observe what goes on there but don’t usually comment on it because it’s such a convoluted mess with little apparent chance of resolving the many conflicts. One article on Huffington Post the Syrian/Middle East situation illustrates how messy it is – Israel Strike Underscores Security Concerns In Syria Beyond ISIS, Upping Stakes For U.S.

An Israeli-linked airstrike in Syria on Sunday is drawing attention to an element of the messy Syrian civil war that the U.S. has tried to downplay: the Obama administration’s failure to check the growing influence of Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, within Syria, as the U.S. and its allies have focused instead on rooting out the Islamic State. Analysts say the strike could force the U.S. focus away from the fight against the Islamic State, fuel retribution against Israel and bolster tensions with Iran — just as the West tries to achieve a deal on that country’s disputed nuclear program.

Without going into further detail this is some of the strands to the mess that the article mentions.

  • Israel airstrike in Syria
  • Israel said to have killed an Iranian general in airstrike
  • Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, within Syria
  • Islamic State in Syria (and Iraq)
  • Israel allied with the US.
  • Iran is the main backer of Syrian President.
  • Iran and Hezbollah continue to threaten Israel.
  • US (and allies) bombing Islamic State –  the group that both the U.S.-led and Iranian coalitions are opposing
  • Washington is loath to condemn the nexus of Iran-supported Shiite power in Syria is because of American interests in Iraq, where Iran and its Shiite militia proxies are influential.
  • The U.S. has also expressed its support for Iranian actions against the Islamic State, and it is keen to avoid antagonizing Iran
  • Lebanon based Hezbollah attacking Israel from areas they control in Syria.
  • Hezbollah fights the Islamic State, al Qaeda and moderate rebels in Syria.
  • Israel is suspected to be making that fight more difficult for Hezbollah, Iran and Assad by providing assistance to the Sunni Arab rebels that the Shiite alliance is fighting.
  • Syrian activists have claimed that Israel has gone as far as coordinating with the Syrian al Qaeda affiliate, the Nusra Front.

The US went back into the Middle East to retaliate and neuter al Qaeda. And in the news this morning Islamic State has two Japanese hostages. Who’s fighting who in Syria and the Middle East?

Good Goff debut at SST on Middle East issues

Phil Goff’s first column in the Sunday Star Times is on the Middle East and what we are doing or may do about the conflicts there. Phil Goff: Arms not the answer is a good balanced debut.

New Zealand has rushed through legislation designed to counter any threat from Islamic State or from terrorism generally. One of the changes is to give government greater powers to stop people travelling overseas to fight for Islamic State.

Generally I support that. We should try to stop any New Zealander joining an organisation that is routinely committing crimes against humanity. But it is important that we don’t go further in restricting the rights of New Zealanders to fight for causes that are legitimate.

Supporting restrictions but with some reservations and warnings is a sensible position for a senior opposition MP who when leader was involved in security briefings.

The new surveillance laws also must not be used in a way that unfairly targets the Muslim community. People I know in that community are already telling me they are suffering abuse from others because they are wrongly associated with Islamic State.

Sound security without resorting to unfair targeting and witch hunts is important.

The low threat of terrorism here is not because of the anti-terrorist laws but because we are largely a harmonious and inclusive society. That deprives terrorist groups of a recruiting ground.

The nature of New Zealand Society is our best defence.

The Government is also planning to send 40 to 100 soldiers to help train the Iraqi army to fight against Islamic State.

I don’t support that.

Fair enough. I don’t know enough about the pros and cons to make a judgement.

But risk and sacrifice can only be justified when there is a good reason, a clear and achievable objective and an exit strategy.

Unfortunately those providing humanitarian aid in the Middle East can do so at great risk too.

We shouldn’t do nothing, especially with threats like Islamic State, but we also shouldn’t become involved in unwinnable conflicts nor should we provoke unnecessarily.

We can play a more constructive role. We are now on the UN Security Council. We should be pushing for international efforts to starve Islamic State of combatants, weaponry and funding. Rather than military support, we would achieve more by providing greater humanitarian aid to help the millions of refugees in the region.

I’m sure those things will be considered. Our seat on the UN Security Council is in part thanks to Goff and David Shearer and Helen Clark. Our foreign policy has been and should be as much as possible a cross party effort.

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.