Monday, March 27, 2006

Greens lack a Defence policy (quell surprise...)

A defence policy, people, resources and equipment to do the dirty deeds, and training etc is just what I expect my hard-won and reluctantly surrendered taxes, to fund, as the very first duty of Gummint. So, you (Greens) are quite correct, not having such a policy shows a fundamental unseriousness about Governing.

And your own straw person (Lord help me, I’m using the same woolly language) is the ‘illegality’ of Iraq. You’ll need to keep a careful eye on the documents now being released: the ‘Blessed July’ aspect alone (see, for example this) would make a Londoner think twice. The point is that ‘legality’ applies only to a Westphalian nation-state weltanschauung. And we’re definitely not in that Kansas any more, Dorothy.

New Zealand is strategically irrelevant to the new Great Game - the Western Enlightenment against the Third Caliphate, but does pose a security risk to the rest of the Anglosphere: our laughably lax immigration and citizenship attitudes, mean that we are seen as a ’soft touch’.

So a useful start to a Green defence policy might be to ponder awhile on the ’sustainability’ of this stance.

And this goes far beyond the electoral considerations. When you consider that the Reggie Krays of the world can now purchase submarines, aircraft carriers and crude nuclear devices (read William Langwiesche on A.Q Khan in recent Atlantic Monthlies) as well as the usual run of weaponry, and that NZ has the longest and certainly the least defendable coastline in the Pacific, all sorts of unhealthy scenarios swim up from the depths.

And Reggie, to those who knew him, had one persona that was utterly charming, urbane, philanthropic and which took in more than one ingenuous reporter. But then he also had his Little Moments.

We, of course, don’t want to be a pawn in someone else’s game. Fair enough, the quiet life and all. But then, as Trotsky noted, ‘You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you’.

Better to heed and prepare.

First Duty of Gummint - Security

This was my substantive comment on the Campbell and Fisk thread.....

The first duty of Gummint is the physical security of its citoyens.

Fisk is essentially saying, if you’ve seen what I’ve seen, you’d never go to war again.

But history is replete with cases of citizenries being trapped in what amounts to our modern eyes, as slaveries of some sort.

Tyrannies of all stripes are in fact extremely sustainable, particularly if they rely on fear engendered by letting 14-30 year old males (in ’security forces’ or the like), indulge their hard-wired tendencies to slaughter, rapine and general hell-raising.

So shooting your way into such self-sustaining loops, to release the lives of all involved for Better Fings, is literally the only way sometimes.

Fisk may well have seen a lot, and be prepared to spread a message of ‘let’s not keep doing this’. But he’s preaching to the choir. Anyone truly concerned with the sustainability of a way of life, will in a political sense, ensure that there are police, security and other specialists in violence, on hand to keep people safe. And answerable to that citizenry. So saying ‘ don’t keep doing this’ is at best mischievious, and at worst a recipe for takeover by folks with fewer scruples about employing violence.

And Campbell didn’t ask the most obvious question:

‘Mr Fisk, you have lived safely for 30 years in Lebanon, which for all of that time was a police state, client of Syria, funded by Iran. Who has ensured your own freedom over that time, and has that affected your judgement?’

Tweaking Fwogs - the CPT release

And in today’s crowning irony, solidly built chaps (and possibly chapesses, if the Special Forces have Embraced Diversity), armed with nasty shooty things, have barged their way into some poor cowering oppressed Iraqi’s shack, and forcibly ‘released’ those lovely peaceful CPT citoyens. And without dialoguing anyone, too!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

That Census

Which seems to be causing a good deal of angst as folk try to figure out ethnicity, religion and other stuff that eludes, say, DNA analysis or a blood test. But the work questions are the most annoying: the good bureaucrats at Statistics NZ clearly haven't cottoned on to the Road Warrior pattern. They seriously expect a single workplace! So it's 'No Fixed Abode' for me, and (in a classic example of questionnaires influencing behaviour) I'm just about to take my new 4x4 for a run, so I can answer 'Private Motor Vehicle' to the 'how did you travel' question. Which does generally describe my work pattern quite well, really: whereever the client wants, travel by car, taxi or plane.