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Scoop Feedback: NZ Picking Over The Bones Of Fear

In This Edition: Re: ARROW Anti-War Briefing 5 – “I Take Exception To Mirek Marcanik's Data” - NZ Picking Over The Bones Of Fear


Re: ARROW Anti-War Briefing 5

(See also…Taliban and Bin Laden Agreed to Extradition )

Hello, I'm not sure if this is the proper channel to respond to the Arrow Anti-War Briefing 5 story or not, but I would like to comment on that article.

The article basically stated that the Taliban were willing to supply Osama bin Laden for trial if evidence of his involvement in the 11, Sept. attack was supplied.

There two aspects of the article that I question. First, the capture of Osama Bin Laden in and of itself will do nothing to stop future attacks. That is the same as saying that removing Helen Clark from the NZ government would stop the NZ government. Secondly, requiring the provision of "evidence' to a government that is known to support terrorism is the same as providing that evidence, and the inherent implications of how that information was obtained to terrorists. For example, shortly after the 11, Sept. attack a senator for the States revealed that information about the terrorists was obtained when the FBI cracked the encrypted cell phones they were using. Obviously the terrorists stopped using those phones and an important source of information, possibly about future attacks, was lost.

I think that a crucial error is made when we equate the attacks of 11, Sept. to other terrorists attacks of the past and look to responses as some type of "police' action. 11 Sept. was the largest Terrorist attack in history. Nothing in the past compares to it. Thinking that old methods, such as trials etc... apply to this new situation is an error.

Bruce Edman


“I Take Exception To Mirek Marcanik's Data”

(See also... Scoop Feedback: Brickbats, Bouquets & Views )

Hi - I take exception to Mirek Marcanik's data given in Scoop Feedback recently.

Firstly the Sultan of Oman's F-16's are not the same as the ones NZ would have bought - they are the latest greatest advanced models - their technology is almost 2 decades in advance of what NZ would have received.

Compared to our soon-to-be-retired A-4's the F-16A's we would have received were about the same capability in terms of ability to accurately deliver weapons - they had very similar avionics. Their only advantage was their airframes had flown fewer hours and they are faster - this meant we would be able to go on operating obsolescent aircraft for much longer! Oh, and we could get them there to be shot down that much faster and burn more fuel to do it too!

Secondly his figures for the cost of LAV-III's ignore a little thing called "exchange rate", so when he talks about the US paying $4million per vehicle he's right - but that's $4 million US - or about $10 million NZ!! So $7 million for the NZ ones suddenly doesn't seem like such a bad deal after all!

Lastly, just what costs is he talking about in reference to the "coastal defence and transport vessels now being contemplated by this government" - can he please quote some actual figures, or reference some Govt publications?

I also wonder why Mr Marcanik and his ilk continue to propagate the idea that New Zealand's long serving and suffering infantry should have to do without modern equipment? The infantry (and other army corps) perform almost all the peacekeeping and other overseas duties that NZ commits to. They have done so for decades without decent gear. The A-4's have never been deployed, no-one has ever been "threatened" with them - they've never even been offered as far as I know.

Even if we did get into a "real war", New Zealand will not be there alone. The idea that we must provide a fully vertically integrated defence force is a nonsense - we never have, and probably never will!

There are many good reason for being anti the Govt defence policy, but Mr Marcanik's liberal use of inaccurate figures and supposition does his case no good whatsoever in the eyes of those of us who have yet to take a stand.

His bland assurances that "All of this could have been reasonable achieved (including other Army purchases) by purchase through (and not necessarily from) a grateful and generous partner within the ANZUS Alliance." are unsubstantiated by any proof.

We received very little from the alliance in terms of hardware when we were in it, why does he expect that it would be different now?

He denigrates the use of HMNZS Manawanui in the Solomon's. What does he think would be more useful there - a battleship? Perhaps a Carrier task force? A "real" warship would be of no use at all - the UN forces there are unarmed, and the ship provides communications and logistics support. And that's just what "aged dive-support vessels" are good for!

Funnily enough we're doing more peacekeeping now than we have ever done. Is this a sign that we're truly "sit[ing] on hands with mind in neutral (think straw and wood)"?

I think not.

As an aviation person I have recognised that the strike aircraft we had or could have had were of little use to us in real life. Their main task seemed to be to make some people feel better and look good. I believe that better equipment for our army is far more likely to save the lives of New Zealanders than F-16's or Frigates.



NZ Picking Over The Bones Of Fear

Dear Editor,

Your can see the vultures descending already.

The new is good.

New Zealand voted "safest country" with world travellers. Convention centres are closing across America and Europe. "Foreign" Airlines coming to earth like sycamore pods in autumn.

What do our tourism and business gurus suggest, "encourage tourists here and offer overseas business great and safe convention centre opportunities".

While being "remote" from the world's troubles we are, nevertheless, not immune.

Distance, it has been horrifically proven, is no deterrent to the fanatical aspirations of some groups.

What these latest accolades have done, is to have potentially alerted these groups to another opportunity to push their cause.

If these gurus of ours really believe New Zealand can take some financial and tourist strategic advantage from the current world woes and escape unscathed, then I can only say they have the scruples of vultures, the intelligence of Jim Anderton and the intelligence of a "greenie".

Mirek Marcanik



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