Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I fear for the people of Afghanistan ---Sharia will rule!

For centuries foreign powers have meddled in Afghanistan; mainly for strategic reasons. Sure, they 'tart' up their motives under various guises but there is little doubt about their real intension--geo-political gain. The pain this has caused to the disparate people of Afghanistan has been huge. On the other hand, the hard sloggers, represented throughout history by working class western soldiers has also been high for the simple reason that no country has ever been able to conquer the warring tribes of Afghanistan. Three of the worlds greatest powers have tried and failed; in the UK's case--twice. Why then continue this useless misplaced strategy? It is inevitable that the Taliban will be back, within months of the finish of the latest 'intervention.' 2014 is when this country will be plunged back into mediaeval conditions and the main sufferers will be the women, girls and the poor.
New Zealand is a country that sent it's troops, mainly to help with 'reconstruction.' I wonder how many of their 'projects' will remain intact after the handover of power, first to the local government, then to the Taliban. We have lost the lives of about ten of our young people---for nothing. Even those who helped us, in the form of translators have had to leave Afghanistan because they will be targeted by the Taliban. They are of course very welcome in NZ.
Turning our back on Afghanistan is an extremely hard act, but what are the choices? Do we keep pouring (that mainly means young USA soldiers!) troops and resources into this opium-ridden country? Do we keep spending billions of dollars on a fight that is unwinnable? The only people who gain are the arms manufacturers and various other 'service providers.' Would not that money be better spent in the countries of origin, to reduce the unemployment and poverty of their own people?
There is one hard question that must be addressed. The position of Pakistan in this terrible problem is one that is shrouded in corruption and non-action. I know it is an extremely difficult balancing act for the above government, but it appears that the  lack of action has both fed and prolonged the quagmire that is the Afghanistan problem. The people of Pakistan suffer as well. Must it take countless actions like that Malala suffered to bring that proud nation to the realization that it must be part of the solution? Time will tell but history must inform!

Anglican Church shows its true colours re the refusual to allow a 'gay wedding' in St Matthews.

Anglicans have apparently joined other churches and turned their back on a significant proportion of their 'followers' by the latest move to forbid a gay marriage to be 'celebrated' in St Matthews. This church was one in which gays felt welcome. Perhaps the move by their vicar to the Presbyterian Church in Remuera was too much for this 'ancient' institution and that deep down the 'Church of England' is nothing more than being Catholics in Drag.
Of course the Anglicans are no different to most churches. Very few allow such services re the gay community, so why should we expect them to be any different. Well, we do. In latter years, along with Methodists, the Anglicans have promulgated many aspects of social change and were beginning to represent some connectedness to their communities. All that is at risk, just as the numbers attending dwindle.
Does that equate to the 'newer and more fundamentalist churches offering hope? Hell no. If anything those places of worship  represent an even more 'closed door policy' to anything that resembles real social change.  No wonder, religion in any of its 'faces' is increasingly diminishing in NZ as an irrelevant force. Are there any beacons of hope out there?  Take a close look at yourselves, Anglicans and maybe you will attract your former parishioners back into your 'caring fold.'

Kiwi's phones siezed and data downloaded by UK officials! Maybe 'tit for tat' time!

If it is good enough for UK authorities to be able to 'seize and search' the data base in phones carried by New Zealand visitors to the UK, then surely we should do the same to Brits entering New Zealand. Imagine the pompous outcries for the  'Barmy Army' that comes to NZ from the UK each time a UK sports team challenges us. I can just hear the indignant outrage from our pommie cousins if their phones were 'examined' at the border.
It is time that New Zealand realized that our so-called special relationship with the UK is a thing of the past. Such special treatment has been gradually eroded since the UK entered the Common Market way back in the 70's. Since then, despite out misinformed siding with then UK over the Falklands fiasco and other 'theatres' of war, NZ had been treated no differently from other nations. If anything the trend has strengthened since the UK became tied to Europe via the Euro Parliament.
Will the UK then turn to it's former friends, like Canada, Australia and of course NZ? I doubt it somehow.
The UK has a huge problem at its borders; no one doubts that. Strengthening border controls is part of the response to global terrorist threats and any moves that the UK takes to counter that threat is understandable. But please former master and place of residence for our 'Head of State,' Her Royal most Highness,' remember our history. That your former colonial puppets now try to enter your 'home,' along with the threats that some of them pose,  that should not equate to treating NZers like potential criminals. God knows what you will do with Australians!
My deep sense of outrage does not mean that we want to see less UK resident coming to NZ. You are still welcome. Come and live with us if you wish. We need your skills and your sense of humour to balance the 'small mindedness' that some of my compatriots display.
Of course the best way for Kiwis to respond to their phones being seized it to make sure that  the phones contain messages of loyalty to the 'Crown' and heaps of conversations about the 'Royal Baby. That will bore the tit's off the officials and the phones will be quickly returned!