Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The witless on the pitiless

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  • Craig Young,

    To say nothing of at least three thousand Shia Hazara Northern Afghans massacred by the Taliban, assisted by al Qaeda on grounds of ethnic cleansing and religious dissent from al Qaeda's highly sectarian Sunni brand of Islam. That's one of the problems that I have with the US reaction. If they'd cared about the original Afghan victims of the Taliban and al Qaeda when that happened in 1998, then the whole needless 9/11 ordeal and the ensuing Afghan War need never have happened.

    Sorry, but let's put Hone Harawira's lamentable lack of knowledge into stark comparison here...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 367 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher,

    I see Hone’s comments and those of Dr Walker as akin to what happened in 1945 when the Irish government (which was neutral throughout WW2) sent formal notices of condolences to the German embassy following Hitler’s death.

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/hyde-and-de-valera-offered-condolences-on-hitlers-death-228426.html

    In terms of diplomatic protocol doing so was perfectly unreasonable but in the context of Hitler’s life and what was already common knowledge about the death camps it was an unforgiveably crass move. So too with Hone’s comments however respectful he thought he was being. Bin Laden was a mass murderer full stop and I agree with Russell’s key point that Bin Laden would have had little truck with Māori culture.

    Oops that should read was perfectly reasonable

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Terry Baucher, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    The New Yorker article is well worth a read incidentally, thanks Simon.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2008 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to R A Hurley,

    The equivalence is that both parties went out of their way to kill something. There is a good probability that both parties had god on their side. Both get rewarded.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1479 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Isn’t that what Hone himself did, ammended and apologised? ;)

    That did occur to me. But it took him two goes, and I was more graceful ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18514 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And some could suggest more intelligent ;) even.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5924 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver, in reply to Ross Mason,

    But surely the absolutely vital difference is that the Navy SEALs are members of the US military and, as such, are bound by rules of engagement, the rule of law and (if at war) the Geneva Convention (plus I'm sure a bunch of other things). The suicide bombers... are not.

    That's a huge difference! It should mean that the SEALs can't just rock up and blow someone away if they feel like it - as representatives of the US military they are (or should be) absolutely obligated to play by the rules - whoever their target is, and whatever it is he's accused of.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to webweaver,

    i think you mean "bound" by the rules of engagement.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2024 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    i think you mean “bound” by the rules of engagement.

    I think you mean "bound" by "their" rules of engagement.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5924 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to webweaver,

    It should mean that the SEALs can't just rock up and blow someone away if they feel like it

    And of course, doing so runs counter to a proud US military history of never using extra-legal means to an end.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3201 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So I’m not sure you can go as far as telling people they can’t spell their own language.

    Of course we/they can, we're imperialist overlords after all it's our responsibility to tell other people how to do things

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Yes, yes, yes and yes. Exactly. Which is why I am - how shall I put this? - cynical in the extreme about US claims to hold any kind of moral high-ground in this regard. Because as far as I'm concerned, they don't.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 329 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 506 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Isn’t that what Hone himself did, ammended and apologised? ;)

    As my Nan had frequent cause to say to me: "The apology is all very nice, dear. Next time, have nothing to apologise for." She also used to say God gave us two eyes, two ears and only one mouth and they should be used in the same proportions.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's not a case of two words being spelt identically but pronounced differently; the macron is a character and thus the words are pronounced differently because they are spelt differently.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 401 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    absolutely obligated to play by the rules -

    Rules??? What rules??? Isn't that the point of asymetric warfare? There are no rules.

    911 was one of the most brilliantly executed operations of this asymetric "war". There was no way the US was going to pull the guy in and put him on trial. Where would that be? I could really see them handing him over to the World Court, yeah right.

    Look how much trouble they are having with gitmo. You can see why even Obama didn't want to close the place down because the guys who allegedly spilled the beans were/are still in there. I wonder if they will get a free ticket "home" now???

    The moral dillema he had was whether the info they got by the time he was elected was worth throwing away. You are the POTUS, would/could you make a/the moral decision?

    I don't envy Obama at all. He's now gorn. Dead and eaten by the sharks. So be it. Now lets start thinking about quietening the world down now that he is gone. I suspect it will quieten down a tad but what with the Arab Spring (April or October???) on the rise all sorts of things might happen. We wait....

    But the US will get to keep the oil. QED.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1479 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    I should point out that my hardline on the macron comes from associating with linguists and teachers of Te Reo.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 401 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Terry Baucher,

    +1 indeed-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to HORansome,

    I should point out that my hardline on the macron comes from associating with linguists and teachers of Te Reo.

    Alles klar!

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    As my Nan had frequent cause to say to me: “The apology is all very nice, dear. Next time, have nothing to apologise for.

    And??? Did we listen Craig?:)
    No we didn't. Mine used to say "It is better to close ones mouth and appear stoopid, than open it and remove all doubt.
    The Dog feeding aside ,(she is content now).Have we not seen a person(Hone now, not the dog) who,(often) shoots off at the mouth and has to explain himself because he only understands that shouting gets attention, and as the media have portrayed this week via TMP comments( re his mum), that is just how his family roll. I will suggest that he had chosen to use Maori TV as he is used to, and TVNZ as he is being taught to.
    Still, the man is learning to aplogise, and he now has a few others at the helm to teach him further, I guess.

    Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    I do hear you webweaver. It's the hypocrazy of Democrazy that goes round and round. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5924 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to HORansome,

    Also, a small, but important point; you keep misspelling "Māori." The macron is not optional.

    Ṯẖāṉḵ ȳȱū Māṯẖēw Ī sẖāḻḻ ṯṝȳ ṯȱ ūsē ā Mācṝȱṉ wẖēṝēvēṝ Ī cāṉ.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    you say smorgasbord - I say smörgåsbord.

    Lower Grey Lynn • Since Jul 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to HORansome,

    I should point out that my hardline on the macron comes from associating with linguists and teachers of Te Reo.

    And fair enough too. Personally I'm less bent about macrons and enraged by media outlets whose pale pink editors think annual visits to Waitangi and Ratana and having the usual unrepresentative (but amusingly incendiary) rentaquote brown-necks on tap count for serious coverage of Maori society and politics.

    Different strokes for different folks...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11786 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2988 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    Since we seem to have a few people knowledgeable about Te Reo here, can I have a bit of an explanation about the semantic differences between "pakeha" or (pākehā)and "tauiwi"?

    My understanding of the meaning of "tauiwi" was that it meant "foreigner", in the sense that you're fresh off the boat and do not belong to the country. At all. "Pākehā, in my understanding, refers to European-descended New Zealanders.

    To give it context, I've felt somewhat insulted in the past to be addressed as "tauiwi" when the majority of my family have been in NZ since the 1840s - I certainly would not consider myself to be a recent immigrant or foreigner or "alien", as the Americans quaintly put it.

    However, if it is a neutral way to say "non-Māori", I'll moderate my irritation. Although I have to say that the very few instances where I've personally been labelled as "tauiwi" did not seem to be neutral in context (but then again, any word can be turned into an insult given the right tone of voice).

    Anyway, not wanting to start another bun fight on the wider issues, but I am interested in the shadings of these words from the perspective of a speaker of Te Reo.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 459 posts Report Reply

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