Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Australia is spying on Indonesia. So what--- doens't everyone do that to oneanother?

The ‘news’ that Indonesia is a bit miffed at the idea of Australia possibly spying on their President amongst other matters, should come as no surprise. Many countries have been doing such things for many years. It is part of the world as it is and has always been, albeit it using rather different technology, ranging from good old fashioned ‘listening,’ pigeons flying off with messages, right through to the methods used today and I could not even begin to understand just how technical they have become.
Friends spy on friends in this modern world. Neighbours keep a watch on their counterparts. Allies keep up with the play. Any country that is not involved even at the most basic level simply does not exist. Even so-called failed nations, probably have some sort of espionage going on, even if it is just to line the pockets of the ‘despots’ who rule them.
The Australian PM is playing it pretty calmly as he deflects questions in Parliament. His opposition should be careful about what they ask, because they too were involved in clandestine operational matters. If the truth were to come out about the complete activities of ‘spying agencies,’ world-wide (and it is in a way---that’s why the embassy of a certain Central American country is home to a ‘wanted whistle-blower) then there would be a huge number of red faces.
I take a pragmatic view of these activities and one would be na├»ve to say the least if they propose that such activities be banned. An argument can be made about how many lives have been saved over the years, simply because a ‘spying agency’ has forewarned or prevented a disaster in terms of an enemy’s planned actions. Of course the flip side of this is that Governments use these same agencies to create ‘mischief and harm’ of the own, much of it on their own citizens. That is what gets to most people who line up on the side of ant-spying. Corrupt leaders don’t have this tendency alone either. It seems that spying on citizens and the affairs of other nations has been and always will be part of the world as it is.
The difference now is that we are heating about such activities even more. The reaction to this access to information has already begun and Governments and agencies find ways to block such access and close down the voices of ‘reason.’ If I sound confused, just imagine what it is like for the ‘people’ who think that they control such ‘agencies.’ Don’t you feel sorry for them? Yeah right!

Rangiriri: Today is a significant day in the history of New Zealand.

150 years ago in 1863 a significant event occurred at Rangiriri.  The British had invaded the Waikato, part of their campaign to gain more land in the region for the burgeoning settler population. The Governor (Grey) ordered this invasion on the pretext that settlers and the growing town of Auckland were being threatened by the Maori who could rightly claim that they were trying to preserve the land they still held. At the time and for many years after this time, New Zealanders were taught about the ‘Maori Wars’ and how the brave British fought to claim land from the rebellious Maori. Governor Grey had insisted that Maori in the Mangere area should swear an oath of allegiance to Queen Victoria. Naturally, Maori said that this was not necessary as they already had a King. Grey’s response was to use this as a reason to launch the invasion of the Waikato and take the land of those who refused to lay down their arms. History has not always being recorded accurately re the actual events that took place or the reasons for them. It has only been in the last few decades that we had had a semblance of the ‘truth’ surrounding the colonization of New Zealand although there has always been a number of ‘scholars’ who have reported history as it happened. Not all Pakeha supported the ‘invasion’ and many Maori sided with the Crown. The reasoning for this can be construed in many ways, according to the ‘spin’ put on by the holders of those views.
Today will see an acknowledgement of the bravery and ingenuity of the men (and women) who fought in the battle at Rangiriri and also continue the journey towards reconciliation; one that acknowledges the torrid beginnings of modern New Zealand, not one based on some Victorian view of the world. Moving forward is the only way to go but it must have its roots in ‘truth.’