Posts by Bart Janssen

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  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to steven crawford,

    just becouse there is a more compelling atrocity going on simultaneously in the same place

    Depressing that dropping barrel bombs and gassing your own citizens doesn't make you the worst person in Syria. Ten years ago we were there, it was amazing, the people were lovely, hospitable, diverse …

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    State of Forces Agreement with the Iraqis.

    Is that why they will go in with diplomatic passports also?

    Yes. Because when they kill someone without such an agreement they come under local legal jurisdiction, essentially they can and should be charged with murder and sent to trial.*

    Since we can't let that happen we then pull them out with diplomatic immunity.

    It is deceitful.

    *At least I think so, I am not an international lawyer, but that is my understanding.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I’m pretty sure the answer shouldn’t be “let’s just leave it up to the PM.”

    Traditionally it has always been thus, and for good reason. The decision to go to war may need to be made quickly and as such the PM needs the power to make that call.

    That is one big reason amongst many to choose a PM who isn't a lying liar with no conscience or moral standards.

    However, if there is no urgent need to make that call quickly, historically governments have allowed parliamentary debate. It is just this government who has decided that democracy is not something they need to bother with unless they absolutely have to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Do you think the Greens would pull the plug on their first term in government?

    Yeah I do. I may have a lot of criticisms of the The Greens but frankly that would be too large a dead rat for them to swallow (many of them are vegetarians after all).

    Yes politically it would be bad for them to bring down the government. But as has been pointed out, simply voting against it wouldn't stop it and I really do think The Green would have the spine to stand up for their principles and bring the government down.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war, in reply to Russell Brown,

    seize Mosul soon

    Which goes some way to explaining the US urgency to get into Mosul.

    And yeah it isn't clear that Turkey is entirely a good guy in this chaos either, it seems to very much depend on who ISIS is shooting as to whether Turkey is all that bothered. That isn't a specific criticism of Turkey, most of the region seem to care about only some of the people ISIS kills.

    Nothing a bit of No8 wire can't fix right?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Haphazardly to war,

    Like Paul I'm also mostly a pacifist. That said there have been times in history where war has been the only plausible solution.

    The question then is "is this one of those times?"

    For me, as for most people it is pretty clear that peace is needed in Syria and Iraq. The next question is how does one do that? And that is where our current approach of leaping in to provide moral support for Australia and the US fails.

    There is no certainty that the people we train will be any better than those committing atrocities. It's not so much about killing bad guys or even figuring out who the bad guys are, that is fairly easy at the moment (but won't be once they shift back into guerrilla mode). The real problem is identifying any good guys in the current chaos.

    The Iraqi army? Not the ones who deserted to join ISIS but the ones who stayed, really? The Syrian army? Those are the ones using poison gas on their own citizens in Damascus.

    So who will we train? And what will the protection force be doing?

    There really does not seem to be any likelyhood of positive outcome from sending soldiers to Iraq and considerable risk to those men (and women?) as well as spillover risk to kiwis anywhere in the region.

    It appears from everything being said that the sole upside is goodwill from the US and Australia. Buying goodwill with the lives of our soldiers. That's not an economic equation I want any part of.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Women, science and superheroes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Science communication

    ain’t no communication going on with those ‘slacker’ kids!
    Science dictates that they need to be taught that that string needs to be taut, too…

    You are missing the artistic use of shading in the photo and the delicate colour choices.

    All much more impt than the mere fact that the communication device DOES NOT WORK.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When the fast track seems a…, in reply to Russell Brown,

    looking to obey this one

    As you should.

    The quarantine isn't too great a hardship and the potential harm is stupidly high.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Women, science and superheroes, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Science communication

    Sigh.

    My biggest regret from school was dropping English, I was good at it, mostly because I read so much. But I didn't think I needed it. I was wrong and had to learn how to write all over agian during my post BSc studies.

    /rant
    The ability to communicate science is simply part of the job of being a scientist. My experience with "science communicators" has been resoundingly awful. There are scientists who have become science communicators and do a great job. But I have yet to see anyone trained as a science communicator do anything other than draw down a salary and waste time.
    /rant

    Being good at English helps your science immensely, but first you must be good at the science. BTW high school science is not all that representative of what science really is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Masters of Reality, in reply to Sacha,

    a genuine worry that Green policy was anti-business

    A line the Nats pushed ruthlessly for several years, yes. Helpfully relayed by our feeble media.

    Yup exactly. Again I don't believe the line myself but it is clear that a lot of people were genuinely worried. That Labour might chose to respond to that FUD by distancing themselves somewhat from the Greens is an understandable if irrational response.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3562 posts Report Reply

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