The Jackal

23 Jul 2014

The MH17 blame game

No matter who's side you're on, it's a terrible day when innocent lives are lost in another countries conflict. As questions still need to be answered as to why exactly flight MH17 was flying in controlled airspace in the first place, many headlines were reporting that Russia supplied the missile system that shot down the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, claiming nearly 300 lives.

On Monday, the United States claimed to have robust evidence of Russian involvement, with The Week reporting:

The US secretary of state John Kerry has said that the US has "overwhelming evidence" that Russia played a role in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

In a series of interviews on Sunday, Kerry said that Russia must take responsibility for actions that led to the suspected shooting down of the Boeing 777 on Thursday.

However, John Kerry's "overwhelming evidence" appears to be flawed if it exists at all. Today, RT reported:

US intelligence: No link to Russia in Malaysia plane downing 
Unnamed US officials are telling Associated Press that their intelligence suggests Malaysia plane shot down by separatist, no link to Russia found.

Officials believe that the passenger aircraft was intercepted by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile, which was fired by Ukrainian militia members. One official said the likeliest explanation was the aircraft was shot down in error, an assertion that seem to be bolstered by the previous downing of 12 Ukrainian military aircraft by militants in the region.

Intelligence suggests that, although the US maintains that Russia "created the conditions" that led to the incident, officials were not aware of the presence of any Russians during the missile launch, and would not confirm that the missile crew was trained in Russia.

The mainstream media has been extensively reporting on a BUK missile system that was reportedly returning into Russian territory with a missing missile after the incident. So-called journalists were all but demanding that America and its allies attack Russia over this "evidence" that they claimed was irrefutable proof of Putin's involvement. However, new information now suggests that such evidence is nothing more than a beat up:

Officials noted that their inquiry relied partly on social media postings, citing specifically video of a missile launcher purported to be a Buk system battery crossing into Russian territory, and appearing to be missing a missile. Following questions, intel officials admitted they had not verified the video’s origin or content.

Clearly the missile system in the video could have been traveling anywhere at any time and has simply been used to try and pin the blame on Russia.

Unfortunately anti-Putin sentiment has taken over our western news services that, despite a lack of any clear evidence, are putting the blame entirely on Mother Russia. The United States is also using this disaster as an excuse to implement further economic sanctions against its old adversary, something that has annoyed Russia immensely.

However with new information coming to light concerning a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet that was detected in close proximity to flight MH17 before the crash, the evidence showing exactly who is to blame and what system was used to destroy the airliner is even more difficult to decipher.

All this is no consolation to the families who've lost loved ones. Their grief is caught up in and made all the worse because of an international blame game when all they and the world really want is answers.

The politicking of the situation isn't helping to solve the crime either. Neither are the limited resources available in the area where the plane went down. Whether by accident or intent, unfortunately the scene being contaminated and the black boxes only providing limited information, the exact culprits may never be found.

However the change in tune by US intelligence personnel suggests that the mainstream media's first assertions that it's all Russia's fault were entirely incorrect. Let's see if they'll come clean and provide all the information they and intelligence operatives have available on this terrible disaster that has claimed the lives of 298 innocent people.

22 Jul 2014

Green party statement on Gaza

Today, the Green party's Kennedy Graham made a heartfelt speech concerning the conflict in Gaza. He called for an immediate cease fire and requested that Israel withdraw it's military forces. The Green party MP also read out the names of children already killed in the Gaza conflict that looks set to escalate because of a lack of political pressure. The speech is well worth watching in its entirety:

John Key weak on Gaza

If you're not aware of the situation in Gaza whereby the Israelis are murdering innocent civilians, many of them women and children, then you bloody well should be. The Zionist's attacking Gaza is the biggest story going, with every news agency worth their salt reporting on the conflict.

It seems strange then that the Prime Minister of New Zealand hasn't been interviewed properly about the situation. Usually the media is falling all over themselves to get John Key's opinion on just about everything. So why hasn't any journalist asked the National party leader what he really thinks about the Gaza conflict?

When Amnesty International reported last week:

“Deliberately attacking a civilian home is a war crime, and the overwhelming scale of destruction of civilian homes, in some cases with entire families inside them, points to a distressing pattern of repeated violations of the laws of war,” said Philip Luther.

The Israeli authorities have not provided information on specific cases to justify such attacks. Unless they can do so, any such attacks constitute war crimes and amount to collective punishment.

John Key can be excused for not saying anything about the carnage in Gaza because he was still on holiday in Hawaii with his family.

On Sunday, 3 News reported:

Prime Minister John Key says the situation in the Middle East is very complex and requires a diplomatic solution.

Reprisal killings and the significant military action by Israel in Gaza are leading to a further escalation of the situation and further entrenchment of positions, Mr Key says.
"I think that's a very unhealthy situation," he told reporters today.

The government was concerned about the situation, he said.

"There are a multitude of very complex relationships in the Middle East, and I think in the end the only way through is a diplomatic solution," he said.

"We have to get back around the negotiating table."

Doesn't Key seem overly relaxed about the situation? Perhaps he didn't realise that the Israelis had dismissed any and all requests to negotiate a ceasefire.

At least he said something though, unlike when the United Nations reported yesterday:

The Security Council on Sunday called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Doha, the first leg of a Middle East tour which aims to end the conflict.

Following a late-night closed-door meeting, Ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana of Rwanda, which holds the Security Council's rotating presidency for July, told reporters that the Council had a “sober” meeting given the seriousness of the situation.

In elements to the press, Mr. Gasana said the members of the Council called for an immediate ceasefire and respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians.

...Key basically went into hiding. While other countries are starting to respond appropriately, the National led government is failing.

Today, the Daily Mail reported:

During a statement from David Cameron on the crisis, Mr Hain told the Prime Minister: "Surely friends of Israel like you and I have a duty at this time to speak the truth.

"These attacks, despite the horrendous rocket assault on Israel, despite that, and the extremism of Hamas, these attacks are not proportionate - in any other conflict they would be described as war crimes.

"That is the truth.

"And the problem also is there is no end in sight to this.

Clearly other politicians recognize the serious situation for what it is, ethnic cleansing.

Also today, One News reported:

The Prime Minister says New Zealand is deeply concerned about what is taking place in the Gaza Strip.

John Key says he's particularly concerned about the recent escalation in deadly violence.

What a weak excuse for a Prime Minister.

Despite there being clear evidence that Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza, John Key has not spoken out against the perpetrators, the Israelis.

Perhaps that's because he's determined to protect Israel. After all he re-opened their embassy here in Gods own. He also helped cover-up the Mossad spies who were found to be operating in Christchurch, one of whom was killed in the earthquakes.

So where do his loyalties lie exactly and will a reporter dare to ask?

21 Jul 2014

National supports rape culture

You might recall the ACT on Campus Auckland vice-president Cameron Wayne Browne telling a lady he was debating on Facebook to go “get raped." That's just one example of how many on the right wing view rape culture, that it's something to be used to try and win a debate and that it doesn't really matter.

In fact some right-winger's don't even think rape culture exists in New Zealand at all. That's the implication one gets after reading a post by Cameron Slater where he tries to entirely lay blame on Tania Billingsley, a young woman who was allegedly attacked by a Malaysian diplomat.

Now, dear readers, what are the odds of a Malasian diplomat deciding to follow Tania home from a bus stop, apparently at random?  What are the odds of him picking a woman that is befriended with and herself involved in women’s issues going back many years?  What are the odds of him randomly standing there not touching her, then, backing off and waiting for police to arrive out in the street?  What are the odds of Green MP Jan Logie getting involved, erm, randomly?  What are the odds of a situation that has NONE of the hallmarks of an attempted rape, being shopped by TV3 as attempted rape and the label “Rape culture” being used to intimidate and shut up critics like ourselves lest we look insensitive to (real!) rape victims?

Despite a complete lack of any evidence the deluded Cameron Slater is clearly trying to say the Malaysian diplomat was somehow set up by the Greens. What a complete moron! John Key's number one propagandist is basically trying to reduce the backlash against the government for the mishandling of the case.

Instead of fronting up Murray McCully and the Prime Minister tried to cover-up and dismiss people's concerns. They then set about placing blame on their minions for the blunder knowing full well that they weren't allowed to speak up for themselves.

Unfortunately the government often tries to sidestep their responsibilities whenever problems occur. That was the case when the story broke about a group of young men who were bragging online about intoxicating and then raping underage girls. It was also revealed that the Police weren't prosecuting these rapists because one of the perpetrators was a high profile police officers son.

These sorts of occurrences should be ringing alarm bells’ in voter’s ears. We clearly have a serious problem of rape culture in New Zealand, a culture that the government is doing nothing about and in many respects is making a lot worse.

I've only highlighted but a few of the serious cases of rape culture that the right wing has been directly involved in, tried to minimize, dismissed outright or been complicit in trying to cover-up. These aren't just random events either, because the share amount shows that a theme has developed, a dysfunctional dynamic within the current administration that in fact enables rape to occur.

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported on another case:

Rape culture protects predators

Parliament's suppression laws and MPs' silence sanction our rape culture, writes Rodney Hide

My eyes were opened after my column last week. I had called on National MP Maggie Barry to use Parliamentary privilege to break the suppression order protecting a "prominent" New Zealander. The police had charged him with "indecent assault" but the sex predator pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of "indecent act with intent to insult or offend".

"Indecent assault" is a strike offence; it's a serious charge.

Judge David Saunders discharged the sex attacker without conviction and gave him name suppression. We can't report who he is. By way of explanation, the judge said the predator had "carried a bit of a cross" since the charges were laid.

Being that this person might commit another attack, I think it's important that the public know who the former National MP is. Clearly the current system is enabling criminals like him to reoffend, because the consequences if you’re part of the old boys club are few and far between.

Another thing that’s supporting rape culture in New Zealand is our biased media. These days many journalists only seem concerned with scoring cheap political points that aren't doing our society or democracy any favours at all. What else can one conclude after reading this?

After my column, various low-level political operatives asked me who it was. It was tittle-tattle for them, I thought, but then I realised they were checking whether the predator was on their team. They expressed no concern for the victim and no outrage.

Through the week, our "prominent" New Zealander's media mates rang journalists to minimise his offending. The spin was that the judge didn't believe the woman and, sure, their mate had made a forceful pass, as he does, but not an assault. Yeah, right.

These are the enablers. They defend, minimise and excuse sex crimes. And no doubt Harris had a legion of them. They disgust me every bit as much as the predator. Those in power, those in the media and other "prominent" New Zealanders all know who the offender is. They know to be wary. Just like those who knew Harris as the "octopus".

I guess his time away from parliament has cleared Rodney Hides’ thought processes somewhat, because I cannot help but agree with pretty much everything he's saying in this latest column.

Voting for the current dysfunctional National led government is clearly not in the best interests of women, or anybody for that matter who's concerned about rape culture.

20 Jul 2014

Dotcom's explosive evidence

It doesn't matter if you love or hate the Internet entrepreneur Kim Schmitz, you've still got to admire his ability to gain media attention and win some very high profile court battles against the government.

Not only can we thank the German-Finnish businessman for sticking to his guns and taking out the corrupt John Banks, who had to resign after being found guilty for filing a false electoral return, the former hacker now known as Kim Dotcom looks set to take out one of the left's most formidable foes, John Key.

Last Wednesday, the NZ Herald reported:

Dotcom promises election eve political bombshell

Mogul claims residency checks set aside to lure him within FBI’s reach but government denies interference.

Kim Dotcom has announced he plans to drop a political bombshell five days before the general election which he says will prove the Prime Minister has been lying about when he first knew about the German internet tycoon.

Dotcom made the announcement yesterday to 3News on the first day of the internet Mana party's road trip campaign.

"On September 15, I'm doing a Town Hall event in Auckland and I invite everyone to come there because that is going to be the day when I'm going to reveal my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied," Dotcom said.

Reaction to this announcement has been rather mixed, with many arguing that Dotcom should release the information now. Assuming that the evidence that John Key lied is robust, I think Dotcom showing his hand now would be a mistake, being that many voters only make up their minds a few days out from an election.

If you're wondering why Dotcom is keeping his powder dry, look at what the teapot tapes scandal did for NZ First. It was the leaking of what Key and Banks talked about that gained a serious amount of attention and subsequent votes to ensure Winston's return. After that well timed release of information, NZ First experienced a resurgence in support to secure eight seats in Parliament.

Some have argued that having the information release timed in this way is manipulative, but it's really no different to what other parties do on a regular basis. Dotcom is simply gaining further media attention by indicating that he has the evidence. In my opinion there's really no reason to criticize this type of politicking or not believe him.

Other commentators have said that the release of information just five days out from an election won't give them enough time to properly analyse it. This is a pretty silly claim, being that any competent political analysis should only require a day or two to work through the details.

It might take the government propagandist's a bit longer to develop a counter story, but that would only be the case if they didn't already know what the evidence was. It's likely that they do and already have John Key's script ready and waiting to go.

Unfortunately much of the recent commentary against Dotcom doesn't seem to be based on the actual issues being raised. Instead it appears to be about diverting from those issues, undermining a rival party and dare I say it; jealousy because Dotcom is richer than they are.

The other implication is that many politicians are feeling unhappy about being outmaneuvered by a larger than life German and don't know how else to react apart from going on the attack. That's only going to play into the multi-millionaires hands and increase support for the Internet/Mana party alliance.

Whether you love or hate Kim Dotcom, the party he supports looks set to be a force to be reckoned with after the September 2014 election.