his otherwise excellent Herald pieces occasionally betray a disappointing academic unworldliness.
he bends over backwards to be unbiased
The cycle, or whatever, of 'engagement' rolls on now with Kills and Moon (but notably Kills esp) catching a stepped up level of, even more horrid, abuse on their social media accts, which is followed by the tutt tutting, and the 'what is wrong with people'.
I blame the parents. Or something.
It's just surreal right?
The assault on Tikrit (homeland of Saddam and the Baathists etc) is being led by the head of the Badr militia, who literally fought for Iran during the Iran/Iraq war, who is being 'advised' by the Iranian Quds forces most famous general. And the PM is asking Tikrit tribes to 'just chill, you'll be fine, and BTW this is your last chance to support the government '.
That unity unicorn better show up soon.
Fair enough. Here's another response, from Bernard Haykel, the expert cited in it quite extensively:
“If Muslims start criticizing these texts that ISIS is using, saying that they are no longer relevant or no longer applicable, ISIS would declare them apostate,” Haykel said. “If you start telling ISIS that following a tradition of the prophet has been abrogated, has been superseded by some other tradition or some other verse, or that it’s no longer valid, or that it applies only to the seventh century but not today because we’re modern, you will be declared an apostate on the spot by ISIS.”
The issue, Haykel says, lies in ISIS’s “ahistorical” theology, which justifies their horrific actions by essentially pretending that the last several centuries of Islamic history never happened.
“This is something I did point out to [Wood] but he didn’t bring out in the piece: ISIS’s representation of Islam is ahistorical,” Haykel said. “It’s saying we have to go back to the seventh century. It’s denying the legal complexity of the [Islamic] legal tradition over a thousand years.”
The decision is about symbollism, and symbollism matters. This decision affects how we are seen in the world more than it affects the outcome in Iraq/Syria. But the NZ PM can’t just come out and say “Our troops won’t make any difference but we’re going to send them anyway”, so he plays the diplomatic game.
I agree that symbolism matters, but symbols are tricky things. What is it that we are symbolising? If we are symbolising our commitment to various things that the actual effort doesn’t live up to, then it is a hollow symbol. If we say, ‘this probably won’t work, but at least we tried’, that only really says something good about us if we try our hardest. If we only, (as a global community), try a little bit; enough to say 'we did something' then that’s an awful symbol.
Deploying troops to make a point about ourselves as a nation, irrespective of the realities of war on the ground, is a pretty grim symbol when we consider how things may well play out for the residents of Mosul.
It would also mean that any casualties we take, or inflict, would be in aid of our image abroad, rather than anything else. The actual war has to be the important thing, in my view, not the unrelated geopolitics of ‘our place in the word’.
Ackshully: While sounding similar to 'actually', it means 'alternatively'.
Also, from the HoS's own reporting:
"All decisions relating to what facilities were included as part of the move were made by Auckland Council, not the mayoral office, and all costs were part of that Auckland Council budget.
"Anonymous briefings to the press and other attempts at destabilisation are not at all helpful"
Well no, they are actively and purposefully damaging to the party. They are 'not at all helpful' as a deliberate strategy. But Cunliffe made them do it, by being popular with the membership and the unions, the bastard.
There's a side of this story that isn't really getting any attention. Yes, Cunliffe bears the repsonsibility he bears. But the LP is a party and it's not acting like one.
Cunliffe doesn;t make his caucus opponents do what they do. he isn't responsible for them talking to Watkins off the record etc.
Everyone knows that he isn't popular with many of his play mates. but it's not a glee club, it's a political party. Not all the 'refreshed' Nat mps were happy with how they were treated. Did we hear a peep? No, we did not.
Look at this from last early in the year:
'And they're a bit unhappy so they've reformed again and are just having a bit of a chat about how poorly performing Mr Cunliffe has been this year. They're not going to roll him. They're just concerned he's not delivering on his promises. I'm told that there's a bit of a go slow. Some of the MPs and the staff have decided well he can lose the election and we'll roll him straight after the election.
A go slow, that's what I'm told, they won't roll him but they're not working hard for him'.
Pretty short odds on that anon commenter being the same anon commenter who told Watkins that Cunliffe gave up a few weeks ago and was just positioning for the leadership squabble.
Not having the friendship of your caucus is a problem. having a caucus that won;t accept the expressed will of the party though, is a much bigger problem. I don't know how Cunliffe is supposed to fix that.