Islam New Zealand
A comprehensive chronology of the local Muslim community to 2016

Old media

By “old media” I mean the mainstream media, which has, by almost every reckoning, had its day. I continue to subscribe to my local paper, the Manawatu Standard, only to keep up with local developments. It’s useful, for example, if one wants to find out what the Palmerston North City Council plans to do about a dangerous intersection. In almost every other respect, the paper is a waste of time. Being a Fairfax Media publication, it is not, politically, going to step out of line. Indeed, it is not going to do much more than parrot official policy — which, in today’s world, means right-wing/corporate policy.

‘America is on the side of the angels,’ says New Zealand columnist

This is a typical example of the right-wing trash that appears in the Manawatu Standard. Karl du Fresne’s claim that “on this occasion, America is on the side of the angels”, reminds me of broadcaster Kim Hill’s shocking interview with John Pilger in 2003. I don’t think the full transcript of this is available; but I clearly recall Hill repeatedly pressing Pilger with the question, “Surely, the Americans are doing the right thing now [by invading Iraq]?” — after acknowledging that they had often made mistakes in the past. (Pilger did not, of course, agree with her. And his prediction that the invasion would result in catastrophic loss of life was borne out.)

Now we have columnist Du Fresne saying essentially the same thing about America’s decision to launch air strikes against ISIS/Islamic State — strikes that, incidentally, have packed only a tiny fraction of the punch that was put into Shock and Awe in 2003. What Du Fresne fails to mention is that, just as Saddam Hussein was once a CIA asset, ISIS is America’s baby. Its formation was a direct result of America’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, it includes jihadis who were trained by the Americans in Jordan, and it fights with weapons supplied indirectly (and possibly directly, in some instances) by the Americans. None of this should come as a surprise, as the main American (and Israeli) objective in Syria has always been the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power — by almost any means possible, and irrespective of the number of people killed in the process. Furthermore, the Americans have a long history of using terrorist groups as proxies in their pursuit of geopolitical objectives. They did so in Afghanistan in the 1980s, and more recently in Libya. So the “evil” is by no means confined to the terrorist groups themselves. — Posted on October 12, 2015

Left and ISIS