Wednesday, March 20, 2019

On The National Party's "Emotional" Indecision As To Migration Pact Petition In The Wake Of Christchurch

> December 2018: National Party comes out swinging against UN Migration Pact it probably would have signed up to anyway, had it been in Government; sets up petition to oppose it
> Friday Night: National Party, perhaps feeling sensitive to the day's events, removes said petition from its website
> Sunday: Somebody asks National what's happened with its petition; Bridges claims it was taken down weeks ago - "well before any of the recent tragic events in Christchurch" - as part of "normal web maintenance" .
> Monday: It's pointed out that the page was still up on Friday afternoon ... so no, no that wasn't what happened
> Tuesday: National shifts to claiming that the petition was removed on Friday night by an "emotional junior staffer". Insists it wasn't lying about its previous stance.

Now, in terms of my own thoughts about the above ... whatever one thinks about immigration, and from wherever slash of whomever - the National Party's claimed opposition to the UN Migration Pact has always rung so hollow, you could creatively refer to it as having achieved Nirvana [ok, well .. Sunyata; but there's definitely no lights on inside, i'll put it that way].

This is a party which, after all, presided over back-to-back-to-back record high immigration figures, while consciously tamping down proposals even from within its own membership to lower them [c.f. Bill English announcing such a policy .. and then walking it back a short while afterwards due to opposition from some farmers and employers] ... and which had such a lackadaisical approach to the "protection of national sovereignty" and lawmaking ability which it *claimed* were core parts of its reasoning for opposing the UN Migration Pact - that it thought the ISDS provisions in the *original* #TPPA were a *good idea*. [They're *still* not a good idea in the revised CPTPP agreement, but that is another story for another time, as best told by Professor Jane Kelsey].

Or, in other words, the Nats do not and have never really cared about the issues they purported to raise by pushing that petition.

They were doing it for mere "populist points". Because apparently, the party which militantly blocked its own ears against the Voice of the People on, say, asset sales in the course of *that* referendum campaign ... was all of a sudden going to be the People's Microphone on a rather obscure piece of intergovernmental values-statement of little actual legal effect.

Or, to phrase it another way - this wasn't really about "listening to New Zealanders". it was about putting out a "YOU SHOULD BE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THIS" line into the polis, and then using that to try and make the Government of the day look scary, unrepresentative, and even more incredibly Globalist than the Nats themselves were for the previous nine years.

However, the risk with putting out emotive political content into the electorate ... is that occasionally it comes back to bite you in the hand and/or posterior.

And that's pretty much exactly what's happened here.

Now I'm NOT saying that National's stance on the Migration Pact had much, if anything, to do with Friday's atrocity. Because it probably didn't. The terrorist in question claimed he had a thousand years or more of history to Wikipedia his way through and/or visit in person during his European jaunt to (mis)inform his views - with the obvious implication that no help from any New Zealand politician was required.

Had National *not* attempted to oppose the Migration Pact, I cannot see how anything would have really changed.

Yet someone in National was plainly aware that the 'optics' of the matter ... were not going to look particularly good, in the blood-tinged aftermath of our worst-ever terrorist attack. And so - whether motivated by a sense of compassion (or, as Bridges put it today, the result of being both "emotional" and possibly also "junior"), or simply a desire to limit the potential finger-pointing post-facto from a PR perspective ... somebody chose to remove the petition from public view.

Now, I'm not sure quite what to make of National's changing story on the matter. It is at least possible that the conflicting statements are simply the result of an 'evolving informational picture'. That is to say, somebody at National HQ not understanding that "unlisted" and "not viewable to the public" are not actually the same thing. It happens.

Yet it was Bridges' response to a question asked earlier today, as to whether actually removing the petition was the right thing to do (you know, making reality finally accord with what National thought had been the case for a few weeks now, apparently - per their earlier statement, anyway... ) - "I think the reality is we're not going to be critical of it because, as I say it's a junior staff member, [who was] very emotional" - that caused me to wonder if this were really the case.

That implies that otherwise, they *would* be critical of it. But also states that they *aren't* critical of it. It is, so to speak, a bob each way - with an emphasis upon "Emotionally affected Kiwis" getting a bit of slack given recent events.

And that, I think, is very, very deliberate play from National.

They're as-yet uncertain which way both a) public opinion in general, but also b) the rather more specific sectors of opinion in various parts of the electorate which they either claim to represent or really want to win off at least one party in particular (you know, the one you would have *thought* would perhaps be opposing said UN Migration Pact were *it* not in Government) ... which way those are going to go over the coming weeks and months as we head towards the next Election Year.

They *don't* want to make it suddenly seem like they're bowing to "PC", or that they've suddenly stopped faux-caring about national sovereignty or immigration policy settings. That'd lose them the Talkback Brigade, and suchlike.

But they're *also* acutely conscious that, for a pretty appreciably broad swathe of "Middle New Zealand" [often, but not always, where elections are actually won and lost - in those instances wherein they aren't won by tactically nuking NZ First and/or other support parties] - Friday's events represent something of a watershed in which the previously not-entirely-un-acceptable approach to speaking with perhaps outright concern about "Islam" , may now wind up being looked at with very different eyes, indeed.

About the only thing that *everybody* can agree upon, is that Friday's literally atrocious events, have represented a considerable shock and emotive impact to both the collective and individual psyches of New Zealanders.

So any 'inconsistency' on National's part .. well, "we'll just chalk it up to that, then."

In a curious bit of irony, that's probably the closest thing we're likely to see to empathy from Simon Bridges in a press conference, during the entirety of his (remaining) run as National Party Leader.

But I digress.

The point, I suppose, is that we have known for a long time now that National (and, to be fair, other parties too, especially when consigned to the relative discomforting boredom of Opposition), have long ago ceased in believing in acting as a genuine conveyor of polis opinion unto the corridors of power. Instead, they've "outsourced" that, to PR companies, lobbyists, and focus-groups. Which is rather like presuming that an elevator-muzak or cellphone ringtone version of a great opera is much the same thing, at best.

And often, instead, seems to be exactly the other way around to "representing public opinion"; rather becoming far more actively interested in "representing [often pre-formed] elite opinion to the public".

Hence why you need the PR companies involved. And the lobbyists, to make sure you know just *which* 'elites' you should be listening to the loudest.

Now, there's no "script" for what's going on at the moment in New Zealand politics. Not really. I mean, there's general platitudes, and there's an array of foreign case-studies that are being cited about the place [the Howard Government in Australia pushing through firearms controls being Exhibit A upon everybody's lips, it would seem] .... but just four days after the Atrocity in question, it's *far* too soon to tell how things are likely to unfold.

Hell, there hasn't even been time to start focus-grouping or whatever it is that the Nats do when they're trying to figure out which way to arc a long-term policy/political trajectory on something potentially divisive. Or what colour ties Simon Bridges should wear. Or how long Judith Collins should spend outside of Cabinet following a corruption-tinged teacup-milk-scandal. Or the precise differential value of an Indian MP versus a Chinese MP for the sake of donation soliciting purposes. Etc. ETc. Etc.

So in the absence of anything hard or reliable [inasmuch as political opinion about anything ever actually is] to go upon, they've instead adopted a creative non-stance that *might look like* something else, in at least two directions. And which endeavours to hit the mid-point of the intersecting Venn Diagram with an 'emotive' impact, regardless.

Very clever, in its own way. I wonder who wrote that for 'em.

As applies National actually deciding which way it's going to go upon this, and quite a number of other somewhat related issues ... I suspect we're going to be left wondering for awhile yet. The dust takes time to clear on these things, which is what is required in order to perceive the best "optics" for the situation.

The National party are not, by instinct, these days "leaders" - they are "managers".

Which is, one could argue, exactly the wrong set of priorities and proclivities, for an emergent and paradigm-reshaping [at least here in NZ politics] event such as this.

Will NZ Also Initiate Legal Action Against Turkish Politicization Of Christchurch Footage?

Now here is a curious thing. According to today's Herald, Turkish President Erdogan, is using footage of Friday's atrocity as part of his party's ads for a currently occurring suite of elections being held in Turkey.

In some ways, it is not surprising that the attack would have such a resonance in Turkish politics - after all, the shooter, a self-declared 'Turkophage', was quite vocal about said country, and repeatedly singled out Erdogan himself for threat of death.

Yet the ads come at a time when New Zealand authorities have been rather busy seeking to clamp down upon the dissemination of the video as Objectionable Material; and we have already seen at least one New Zealander in court for it [although to be sure, it's likely that some of his *other* postings at roughly the same time, may have 'tipped the balance' toward full-scale enforcement action], as well as, I am given to understand, an array of what are, effectively, 'cease-and-desist' notices sent out to foreign entities demanding that they halt any hosting or distribution of the materials in question immediately or face further legal consequence.

My question is a simple one: will we be *also* attempting the same thing in the direction of the AKP? [Erdogan's party]

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Christchurch Terror Attack - "God Defend Our Free Land" - For Us, The World Has Gotten A Little Bit Darker

Mandir was .. a little bit tense tonight; and was closing early, for understandable reasons.

The world has gotten a little bit darker. At least, from our perspective down here in Kiwiland.

That is to say - I'm fully aware that this sort of apprehensiveness is deplorably, "life normal" for many people in many other parts of the world, day in and day out.

Yet we are not used to it here. We have often felt safe - that the issues which plague the "rest of the world" are so remote, separated from us by thousands of kilometers of ocean, and the glass of our TV screens or the fibre of our internet cables.

Indeed, even the introductory news of this afternoon's occurrences had a bit of that to it. It *Had* Happened Here. But it was in Christchurch, right? A few hundred kilometers, and the Cook Strait away. And after all - "Thar Be White Supremacists".

[Note: that is not intended as a dig at Christchurch - which has been through a huge spectrum of suffering these past eight years.]

It's only once the vague congealment of anxiety and surprise at reading the initial newspaper coverage, is overwritten by the specific shock of the TV and internet news broadcasts - wherein we find, to our horror, that victims, bystanders, first responders, heroes, and others caught up in the tumult ... may speak with Kiwi accents, may be standing in streets, in front of architecture and road-signs and cop-cars and ensigns, that we recognize ... - that things truly start to feel "familiar".

And by that, I mean absolutely, nightmarishly *unfamiliar*, precisely because it is what we are used to seeing and hearing, in the places we are used to seeing and hearing them, but through atrocity, near-completely and utterly divorced from that warm sense of comfort which the 'familiar' customarily elicits.

Yet even then, with our hearts and our headspaces going out in train to our countrymen and our guests; unless we are personally affected by it (and it was interesting hearing a senior Newshub journalist who'd just arrived in Christchurch noting that he'd been picked up from the airport by his brother, who was just about to go grab his nephew from lockdown), there's still a certain sense of the "abstract" to it.

We hope and we pray that "it" won't come any closer.

That's understandable, in the extreme. And precisely because these are extreme circumstances that we are witnessing - it feels somehow eerily 'dissonant' with the relative calm for us out here elsewhere in the rest of the country.

Yet at Mandir tonight [and for those of you who for some reason *aren't* conversant with basic Hindu religious terminology .. that's a Temple] , with the curtains all unseasonably drawn, closing time brought forward, an eye kept upon the perimeter, and a number of those who were there having that extra-electric "everything's alright" carefully-"cheerfully"-charged demeanour of the sort that actually evinces a deep-seated unease which cannot be allowed to be outwardly vocalized [perhaps partially, because white supremacist types are not often known for their faculties of discernment, when it comes to telling apart the perceived "non-white" religions] ...

... well, I guess what I'm trying to say is - without a shot being fired (that I'm aware of) in Auckland, and without the police presence that, say, the Avondale Mosque currently has camped outside it ...

It's those 'little things' that 'bring it home', a bit. That, as I say, the world seems a little bit darker, even here at the other end of the country, tonight.

Obviously, this is absolutely inconsequential in comparison to the suffering being experienced in Christchurch.

The only candle it can hold to it is one of shared grief and memorializing. And maybe, just maybe, seeking to illuminate some of New Zealanders' better nature in shared feelings of support and solidarity with same.

Yet it is a curious thing: as I approached Mandir from the east, down Balmoral Road, with the Sun setting behind it over the Waitakeres ...I noticed that the flag atop the spire seemed a triangle of black. Usually, even when silhouetted by the Sun, it retains its Saffron-coloured hue.

On the eve of World War One, the then-British Foreign Secretary, Edward Grey, remarked that "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time."

New Zealand has often seemed almost an "ark" against the tumult and the current of iniquity which so readily floods global affairs.

We can but hope that those fundamentally, quintessentially Kiwi characteristics of an inexorable resiliency of spirit and cast-iron commitment to community, mean that at least here - here of all places, in what should otherwise be (but sadly, often isn't), "the best of all possible worlds" - "the lights" may be dimmed somewhat ... but that they do not , *cannot* , go out in perpetuity.

It is clear, from what has been said by the abominations responsible for these attacks, that they chose us as a target *precisely because* we are free and we are good-natured.

Precisely because, we have hitherto been spared - despite occasional quite serious provocation - from the rampancy of hard-hearted and steely-eyed "security-mindedness" that so dominates so many other parts of the world (whether London with its "ring of steel", and omnipresent surveillance cameras, or fast food restaurants in the United States being equipped with bulletproof glass, etc.).

And precisely because, lest there be any doubt about this, we have such a society wherein the 'problems' of the outside world - around racially- or religiously- motivated murders, attempted ethnic- or religious- "cleansing", or whatever else these crimes bear a certain resemblance to ... wherein these things have hitherto seemed largely (but not entirely, to be sure) absent from our shores.

If we wind up more like the various Anglosphere etc. countries wherein these things *are* a much more common and even almost "accepted" "fact of life" , which is what the mini-minds of maleficence behind this seem to dearly wish we become ... then needless to say, they will, in a striking sense, have "won".

The New Zealand National Character has always been somewhat 'dour' - even, at times, allegedly "gloomy". [Colin McCahon's paintings, rather than the Black of our national colour, may be the better evidence for this, perhaps]

Yet it has generally also been resoundingly compassionate, and almost incandescently innovative, into the bargain.

In some ways, it is just what you would expect , from a nation whose almost every constituent, either came here themselves, or is descended from those who did, motivated and fuelled by the desire for - the hope and aspiration for - a better life, here, than could be found in those times amidst the often nightmarish and bereftly barren quarters, of so much of the rest of the world. (Seriously - Industrial-era Victorian England, does NOT sound like an ideal place to be!)

It is those values which shall see us through. And, more than "hopefully" - which shall damn near *certainly* see us find a way to "keep the lights on" here, for years - for decades - for perpetuity, to come.

I shall resist the temptation to make a joke about utilizing number eight wire as a filament.

As the National Anthem states, and no matter perhaps whom we're identifying with the personhood of providence within it ...

"God Defend Our Free Land": -

"God Defend New Zealand".

FLIPPING THE SCRIPT: On Friday's Terror Attack In Christchurch

So here is the thing. From what little we know about the perpetrators of what's surely NZ's worst terrorist attack ... the main figure appears to be an Australian who arrived here "recently".

We often hear certain sorts of people going on about the "threat" from "Muslim migration" or whatever other demographic they can scaremonger about. And yet, quite directly - quite simply - what we have seen here is the opposite. Shootings at multiple sites, would-be bombings, and other such things, with a stated intent to show "nowhere in the world is safe" ... as carried out by English-speaking white chaps.

Now I am *not* attempting to say that having white Anglosphere migrants turn up at your door is an intrinsic security risk (I am resisting the temptation to make a 'colonialism in the 16/17/1800s possibly excepted' joke).

But once again: this incident shows quite plainly that "the script" which many subconsciously run on ... of "terror incident" means one group [an Eastern religion] being the perpetrator , and another group they're more closely related to being the victims ... is worse than useless. It's an outright *obscuration* of fact.

What has happened here is quite simple.

At least one foreigner - and in all probability, also some Kiwis (although the IDs of several arrested have not yet been released to confirm this) - have come here, to kill New Zealanders, and our guests here in this country (potentially including the Bangladeshi cricket team).

They have done so, in order to further, to perpetuate, to *perpetrate*, an ideological agenda that has no place here in New Zealand.

Yet because the identified perpetrators are white, they will have been able to walk down the street, operate in our communities with *far less* suspicion or sideways-looks upon them, than an ordinary and morally blameless person who might look like they're of a particular swathe of religious minorities here in NZ.

For a third time: I am NOT seeking to suggest that there's some innate connection between being a white man , and carrying out some sort of brain-dead act of brutality.

What I *am* saying, is that - as applies the New Zealand experience today, especially - "terrorism has no [intrinsic] religion".

It is "political" violence, sought to be amplified through media, to push whatever abys(m)al agenda could not be attained through reasoned discourse.

If you're from any of the various tendencies out there which have previously sought to suggest that it's "only" a "Muslim issue" [which flies flat in the face of the fact that, for a start, the previous incident of international terrorism which took place here in NZ was, in point of fact, *French* government authored] you should probably Adjust your Perceptions, accordingly.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The OTHER Reason Street-Assault Of James Shaw Is Abominable

Waitwaitwait ... let me get this straight. Somebody goes out and tries to bash up James Shaw of the Green Party, on grounds that Something Something United Nations Conspiracy Something Something ...

... and yet the National Party, and other Neoliberal political vectors can engage in all sorts of dodgy efforts to pack up, parcel off, and otherwise dismantle our country and its sovereignty to appease globe-spanning ideological currents ...

... often loudly cheered on by the same sorts of people who'll be braying their enthusiasm for this cowardly attack upon Shaw.

Seriously. Was not the Green Party the only party in Parliament still holding out against the #TPPA, #CPTPP, or whatever it is that it's calling itself these days?

As applies "Immigration" [there's some suggestion on the news that this might be linked to the recent UN Migration Pact], did James Shaw not call for a 'sustainable immigration policy' which would have reduced numbers from the National Party's escalating years of historic highs?

I have always gotten a lot of flakk for my personal advocacy of the view that the Green Party is often far better at being "pro-New Zealand" in values, voice, and vision, than a number of other parties which like to emphatically brand themselves as National-ist.

They are not perfect. They are, after all, a political party, which semi-frequently produces politicians.

But in amidst all the clamouring would-be "castigation" of the Greens as the alleged local beachhead of whichever cockamiemie "conspiracy" is doing its rounds on the sumps of social media this week in particular ... the real culprits who actually are engaged in clandestine efforts to make your and my country a worse place to be, go largely unheralded, and certainly unpunished.

Now, lest I find myself with another visit from the NZ Police's potential-counter-terrorist chaps, I am not suggesting that somebody go out and do to, say, Judith Collins what has been done this day to James Shaw. That would be ridiculous, and highly counter-productive. Dildo-bombardments, perhaps, marginally excepted [for my international audience ... it's a long story, but it involved the protesting of a pernicious international trade-deal, and the then-relevant Minister coming into close physical contact with an object which bore a disconcertingly close resemblance to the shape of his head]

I also do not mean to invoke the annoying downright cliche of WAKE UP, SHEEPLE, directly [particularly given the various quips around NZ having 12 million or more sheep, of which a little above four million tend to walk about on two legs].

But seriously. If you are STILL attempting to pour all your energy into harassing and haranguing The Green Party, alone and all-above any other political party presently active in our politics, our Parliament, an our Government ...

... then you, sir or madam, are likely a moron - and are actively doing the work of the very same people you claim to want to stop by misdirecting the anger of the people around you in their exclusive, especial direction, alone.

I've got little to no doubt that the Green Party, as with any moderately large sized grouping of New Zealanders, has a few Muesli Bars within their number. They may even possess the occasional daft idea as actual party policy, from time to time.

Yet the only "impact" which this peculiar form of pseudo-pugilistic "protest" has upon the politics of the nation ... is the quite literal one, upon the face of the Greens' co-Leader. That's it.

And you know what one of the more ridiculous parts of the whole thing is ? Shaw's actually one of the more reasonable and personally-decent politicians around these days.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Insurgents In Jammu And Kashmir Are Not Liberators - They Kill Muslim And Hindu Alike

So earlier this evening, a terrorist attack took place in Jammu; hospitalizing at least 28, of which I'm told, some have already died. This attack was carried out in a similar manner to other such outrages over the past ten months - with a hurled grenade.

Yet while other instances have more directly targeted Indian police (one, nominally against a local police station ... which nevertheless managed to hit a bus-station in front of it, instead; and another, along the same stretch of road as the current one, which *did* actually succeed in injuring two policemen along with at least one civilian); this one just went straight for the mass-casualty civilian-target option instead.

I say this, because it is important.

Every time I have one of my pieces on the ongoing Kashmir confrontation, or other matters relating to Indian politics published, there are people who turn up in the comments-sections of the articles to angrily decry and vitriolically denounce what they see as Indian outrages, Indian excesses. Indian efforts to kill "innocent Muslims", "innocent Kashmiris", etc.

Now, I am not going to dispute that yes, civilian casualties *have* been inflicted by Indian forces. Of course they have.

Yet the explicit metanarrative being pushed by these commenters, and which I rather strongly suspect to have a far broader salience out here in the Anglosphere than many would like to admit, is that the terrorists - the Pakistani-backed, based, and bolstered insurgency in J&K and elsewhere further afield - are somehow "the good guys".

That what they are doing, in these conflict-zones, is "fighting the good fight". Working together, with huddled, oppressed masses, to cast off the shackles of some "Evil Empire" that's occupying the place {never mind that said Evil Empire left just over seventy years ago; tearing out stents in a wedge as it went, almost as a parting "favour" to its local vanquishers).

Funny, come to think of it, that's pretty much *exactly* the same treatment that was given to *another* set of ISI created and Saudi funded Sunni extremists "fighting an 'Evil Empire'", who've turned out to be the villains - the Taliban in Afghanistan, throughout the 1980s. "The moral equivalent of America's Founding Fathers", said President Reagan (and I do not necessarily disagree - but that is another story, for another time).

But while official figures on this sort of thing have not yet been released, I would be inordinately surprised if the twenty eight casualties of this latest atrocity did *not* contain a rather large number of Muslims. The demography of the area supports it.

So what does this mean?

Well, you put it together with the various other outrages of these 'insurgency' groups - the JeM and their ilk - and it quite rapidly becomes abundantly clear that while some organizations (media, certain-governmental, and otherwise) would very much like you to believe that the situation around these incidences is one of "Muslim vs Hindu" ...

... that is not, as it happens, at all the case.

Even if we leave aside the manifest series of facts that these ISI-incepted Sunni extremist groups seem to have a rather nasty habit of attacking Pakistani citizens who just so happen to be Shi'ite or Sufi; or, as we saw just a day before the February 14th attack, daring to take on the might of Iran for their Saudi paymasters ...

... it has become abundantly clear, time and time again, that the would-be "liberators" of Kashmir, have no compunctions whatsoever about killing their fellow Muslims (*whatever* their sect-ional persuasion) in order to strike at the generalized concept of India. (An India which, it must be remembered, for all its problems, has never been anything like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia in terms of its treatment nor relegation of religious minorities. Why, even the RSS has a Muslim wing) [Gosh, no wonder at least one Pakistani state was not so long ago talking about the possibility of coming back to India]

So what am I saying?

It is simple.

You are being asked to believe, by all sorts of voices around the mediasphere and elsewhere, that this is some sort of conflict - perhaps even an 'existential' one - between Hindu and Muslim.

Some Muslim extremists are, themselves, very, *very* keen upon this idea. And for obvious reasons. They want all the tools they can have access to to try and bolster their flagging cause.

But that is not what it is. Not in reality.

On one level, sure, it is Pakistan versus India. I do not seek to deny that. I do not seek to dispute that. In fact, on the contrary - highlighting the *direct* and *deliberate* role which Pakistan and its occasionally 'possibly' "rogue" intelligence service have played in these and other similar flame-fanned flashpoints, as active inceptors, is a big part of what I write.

Yet it is not "Hindu versus Muslim".

As the ongoing callous disregard for their co-religionists' lives more than amply demonstrates ... what it *actually* is, is a conflict of "the abominable" (and their occasionally ignorant, occasionally deliberate prospective supporters), versus pretty much everybody else.

These terrorists hurling grenades at bus-stations or police stations ... they do not care how many Muslims they kill in the process.

In fact, according to some approaches of political-warfare, a higher number is probably a *better* number, from their deranged perspective. Much more likely to contribute to general feelings of unease, unrest, and "India can't protect us.

They only really care that they are killing, wounding, or maiming, some Indians - of whatever religion - in the process.

This matters.

Because while it is easier for the world at large to turn its eyes away from the facts and realities of the situation, if it is thought that this is just some 'religious conflict' [an almost stultifyingly reductionist perspective upon the issues in J&K, and yet an unedifyingly common one outside of the Subcontinent] ...

When considered in its true light, it becomes utterly inarguable that the world at large , who profess to abhor atrocity and iniquity, terrorism and torment, *must* stand on India's side against these ongoing outrages.

And that means *also* lending voice to the clarion calling out of those who facilitate them, issue their perpetrators' orders, and otherwise work fiendishly overtime to endeavour to bring them about.

You know, without me having to say it, which states , and their 'softer' backers and wilful (or, perhaps, at best 'wilfully blind') partners, I am indicating here.

It is said, by some, that these insurgents are come across the border from Pakistan as "liberators" of Kashmiris.

And yet, it is a curious thing - the only "liberation" that they ever seem to bring, is Death.

Well, in that case, "charity starts at home", as the ancient maxim states.

"Full Freedom" to them, then.

जय हिन्द

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Why Raymond Huo Wants Prof Brady Blocked From Speaking To His Select Committee

So I'm just going to put a few quotes from articles next to each other ...

"Labour MPs on the justice select committee have voted against allowing China politics expert Anne-Marie Brady to make a submission on foreign interference in elections.
"Justice committee chairman Labour MP Raymond Huo said the decision to decline Brady's late request was purely procedural."
- source, the NZ Herald, 07/03/19

[I'd further note that, as made clear in the Herald article, the Select Committee was written to by Justice Minister Andrew Little to request a broadening of its scope in this inquiry to cover foreign electoral interference ... *after* the September cutoff date for submissions that Huo's citing - thus bringing it only directly into Brady's area of expertise after she would have been able to apply to submit, as an ordinary citizen, although still not vitiating the select committee's ability to hear from her anyway, at their discretion - but read on ...]

"Recall that on TVNZ a few weeks ago, veteran diplomat (and now lobbyist) Charles Finny, who has been keen to stick up for both men and celebrate their membership in our Parliament, explicitly stated that he was always very careful what he said in front of either man, as he knew – and given his diplomatic/trade background he would know – that they were both close to the Chinese Embassy. If Finny always takes care what he – just a private citizen lobbyist now – says in front of Yang or Huo, how should ministers or senior opposition MPs react?"
- source, a writeup by economist Michael Reddell, 28/11/17

"Raymond Huo霍建强 works very publicly with China’s united front organizations in New Zealand and promotes their policies in English and Chinese. Huo was a Member of Parliament from 2008 to 2014, then returned to Parliament again in 2017 when a list position became vacant. In 2009, at a meeting organized by the Peaceful Reunification of China Association of New Zealand to celebrate Tibetan Serf Liberation Day, Huo said that as a “person from China” (中国人) he would promote China’s Tibet policies to the New Zealand Parliament.

It was Huo who made the decision to translate Labour’s 2017 election campaign slogan “Let’s do it” into a quote from Xi Jinping (撸起袖子加油干, which literally means “roll up your sleeves and work hard”). Huo told journalists at the Labour campaign launch that the Chinese translation “auspiciously equates to a New Year’s message from President Xi Jinping encouraging China to ‘roll its sleeves up’.” …… Xi’s catchphrase has been widely satirized in Chinese social media. Nonetheless, the phrase is now the politically correct slogan for promoting OBOR, both in China and abroad. ……. In 2014, when asked about the issue of Chinese political influence in New Zealand, Huo told RNZ National, “Generally the Chinese community is excited about the prospect of China having more influence in New Zealand” and added, “many Chinese community members told him a powerful China meant a backer, either psychologically or in the real sense.”"
- source, 'Magic Weapons' - aka the Brady Report , September 2017.

Or, phrased more bluntly: I suspect there is a rather obvious reason that Huo moved to have Brady's testimony blocked.

Placing Huo in charge of what has turned into the effort to track, monitor, and where possible, to *counter* PRC malfeasance within our polity - is not entirely unakin to asking a mosquito to go off and find the cure for malaria.

Also, lest this be misinterpreted as some kind of hit on Labour ... I have absolutely no doubt that were National still in the driving seat, they'd have MPs acting *exactly* the same way.

After all, the National-led previous Government consistently moved to block investigation or scrutiny of Dr. Jian Yang, despite numerous 'red flags' being actively waved by our security services.

There are good people inside Labour, and our Parliament more generally. I see no reason why Andrew Little,when broadening the scope of the inquiry to specifically include potential foreign interference in our election, would have done so with an intent to have Professor Brady, our foremost expert in exactly this field, excluded. Indeed, quite the active contrary.

The fact that events have played out in the manner that they have - suggests that Fate is in ample possession of a flair for the dramatic, and a keen sense of irony.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

India And Iran - United In Struggle 'Gainst Perfidious Pakistan?

For some time now, I have been writing upon the strong viability of Indian-Iranian geopolitical co-operation; particularly in light of shared security concerns, and a most unfavourable 'short schrift' from the Americans meted out towards both on matters economic.

This concept has, perhaps understandably (although invariably infuriatingly) received much push-back from voices that would identify as being on the "right wing", who almost seem to *prefer* the idea of being opposed by a monolithic "all Muslims together, all the time" than to concede they share a fundamental interest with many non-Sunni groups; and who are wilfully blind to the actual realities of both politics and religion in the broader Middle East.

But I digress. The point is, that recent events would appear to be vindicating my earlier perspective; and in a manner that should now have Pakistan *seriously* worried.

So for context on what's going on here ... literally a day before the attack on Indian forces in Kashmir, Pakistani-backed and based Sunni extremist irregulars (seeing a pattern here?) carried out a *very similar* aggression against an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps convoy travelling in Sistan/Balochistan, very near the Pakistani border.

Iran has wasted no time in identifying the culprits - with the Iranian military directly stating that it believes the Pakistani Government and ISI (and, for good measure, Saudi Arabia) to be ultimately responsible.

[Interestingly, they have also suggested an American/Israeli enthusiasm and involvement in the long-running campaign against Iran waged by these militants; and while this might sound like characteristic 'conspiratorial thinking', it is worth noting that a) Israel has over the last few years been at pains also to improve its relationship with Pakistan, particularly within the military sphere; and b) that Israel has had no issue working with other Al-Qaeda affiliates in the very recent past, where this has been seen to oppose Iran - such as Al-Nusra, in Syria. American involvement with Sunni extremists did not end with the Mujahideen of Afghanistan, either - with recent efforts in Yemen, again against perceived Iranian interests, showing the U.S. to be fully capable of co-operation with localized Al-Qaida And Friends 'when it suits'. It is also worth noting that the Americans have had an officially authorized policy of CIA-directed operations against the IRGC to be carried out cross-border from neighbouring countries, since at least the Presidential directive on the matter in 2008]

However, my purpose in writing is not simply to show that there is an abundant and fundamental pattern of Pakistan seemingly actively cultivating instability and iniquity in the borders of seemingly all of its *non-China* neighbours. That has been abundantly clear, and for some time now. Indeed, certified memetic man-of-myth Major-General Qassem Soleimani has directly pointed this out in the context of issuing the Pakistanis a "friendly warning" that continued "test[ing] of Iran" shall lead to "revenge" being taken against the perpetrators and facilitators of such attacks.

His colleague, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi (also a former IRGC commander), the military advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei, did not put it so cheerfully - stating Iranian intent for a "crushing and proper response". Sentiments echoed by current IRGC commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jajari: "Pakistan should also know that it should pay the cost for the Pakistani intelligence organization's support for [these militants] from now on and this price will not doubt be very heavy for them."

The considerable anger of the Iranians on this front is eminently understandable. After all, they have been waging a long-running effort against these Pakistani-enabled insurgencies for some decades now; and despite periodic assurances from Islamabad that "something is being done" about the militants, they nevertheless keep turning up again - and with mysteriously advanced abilities to infiltrate through the Pakistani border in considerable numbers, with the strength and arms to directly attack Iranian military installations.

Indeed, Maj.Gen. Soleimani himself spent much of the 1990s operating in the 'convection zone' that runs along the bounds between the Iranian and Pakistani spheres of influence, actively interdicting and combating the activities of that decade's crop of Pakistani/Saudi/Americani supported insurgencies.

Given the recent Iranian uncovering of a swathe of 'potentially' Pakistani-facilitated terroristic plots targeted at this year's celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, which appears also to have underpinned this recent stepping up in Iranian rhetoric against Pakistan, it would seem fair to say that their patience with the Pariah State has run very low indeed.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard do not mess around. With deference to their records in Iraq, in Syria, and in Lebanon, they have abundantly demonstrated their ability to significantly reshape the flow of events - and even entire states - according to their design (indeed, it has been reported that Soleimani played an instrumental role in securing direct Russian intervention in the Syrian conflict).

Admittedly, such craftings can take a number of years to come to even partial fruition; but for those whose hobbies include the cultivation and moving of mountains, this is only to be expected.

Particularly given the IRGC's habitual preference for measures that enable such dramatic outcomes to be achieved *without* the necessity of a full-scale state-level invasion by the armed forces of Iran. A characteristic considerably informed by the latter course of the Iran-Iraq War, and a long-running observation of the follies of others in this specific regard.

Pakistan is already counting the cost and weighing up the strenuous risks inherent in further escalation of its conflict against India, in conventional terms.

Yet especially with the potential for a 'stepping back' to perhaps occur on that front in the near future; it may very well prove that the 'subtle knife' of the IRGC shall be what keeps the Pakistani generals up at night for the next half decade.

Soleimani's simple statement to Islamabad reminds one of the message which Tito sent to Stalin following the latter's series of attempts upon his life:

"Stop sending people to kill me. We've already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle... If you don't stop sending killers, I'll send one to Moscow, and I won't have to send a second."

Still, if the Pakistanis have proven anything over the past half-century or so, it is that they have an extreme ability for acting in what is ultimately the antithesis of their own self-interest.

In the case of recent developments, this is perhaps partially explicated by their preference for acting in the interests of other states - the Saudi Arabians and others, as identified by the Iranians; and the Chinese et co, as everybody knows.

No doubt, this is why the PRC alone seems to be able to avoid the unique 'beneficence' besetting those with Pakistan as a neighbour - of cross-border extremist exigencies at the day-in day-out drop of a hat.

It is regrettable in the extreme - although not, I suppose, un-understandable - that some states continue to throw in their lot with perfidious Pakistan.

But while the situation in, say, 1971 (wherein the Pakistanis were able to call upon the potent potential services of the United States' nuclear arsenal and the ravening hordes of the ironically titled People's Liberation Army; and would have been in a position to benefit from same had they not collapsed in rather short order on both the Eastern and Western Fronts against the might of the Indian forces, before these 'interventions' could be brought to bear on their behalf), provided Pakistan with a series of 'backstops' in the form of powerful international friends fully prepared to overlook the moral turpitude of their colleague's deplorable conduct ...

... today they are looking increasingly isolated.

It is true that Russia has engaged in something of a rapprochement with Islamabad. Yet this is worth little when compared to the strongly enduring Indo-Russian diplomatic and most especially military relationship.

It is true that billions of dollars of Saudi cash swash the coffers of their state, and pad out the payrolls of perhaps half a hundred Pakistani-based and backed "insurgencies" the world over. Just as has been the case for some decades now, at least ever since the US decided to 'sup with the devil' in order to ouster the Soviets from Afghanistan.

But how has this flailed - utterly *flailed* - against the opponents they have sought in Syria, and in Yemen, and in India and Iran more currently.

It is also true, although many stubbornly refuse to believe it, that Israel - the so-called "friend" of India - has put serious efforts, perhaps hand-in-glove with their sand-strewn partner in crime to the east, into improving their own relationship with Pakistan. Including by engaging in illicit and illegal military technology transfer of a sort that may even have played a role in Pakistan's downing of an IAF plane late last month.

Yet while one should never rule out the ability of the Americans to do something stupid and unprincipled, and ultimately against their own best interest in the longer term ; especially given the recent deterioration of relations between India and the United States which is something of a presently-occurring Exhibit A for this phenomenon ; we can be hopeful that the ongoing trajectory of relations between the Hegemonic Hyperpower and the Harappan-situated Pariah state shall continue to work downward and in India's overt favour.

[We are also strongly supportive of Congresswoman and current Presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's strident stance of pointing out exactly what has happened here, with each of America's so-called "Friends" being the exact opposite in practice. Long may it continue, and much may it catch on!]

The steeling of Iran's stance towards Islamabad, then, is vitally important, in a geopolitical sense; for the ongoing isolation and weakening of Pakistan - and the severe curtailment of its ability to carry out these sorts of cross-border outrages with apparent heedless lack of regard for the Damoclean blade of Consequence.

Just as Iran has taken the inarguable lead in combatting Sunni militancy extremists, in the forms of ISIS or other vectors of atrocity across the Arabian peninsula and further afield, its declaration that the patience of Persia is running out for toleration of Pakistan's excuse-making and sundry further shenanigans should be likewise welcomed, and for exactly the same reason.

"Airyans" to the West of them, "Aryas" to the East - not even the water-hoarding serpent which lies to the north shall be able to save them then!

जय हिन्द !!!