Monday, May 09, 2005

Why let the facts get in the way?

Winston's witch-hunt is in full swing, and he's named another former Iraqi official who arrived in New Zealand as a refugee. The problem? The man is a defector, who fled Iraq after objecting to corruption and the treatment of Kurds and Turkomen. But why let the facts get in the way of a perfectly good witch hunt? He's an Iraqi, all Iraqis are evil and complicit in Saddam's atrocities, and therefore they have to go...

It's past time for the government to stand up to Winston's xenophobic tarring of all Iraqis with the same brush. But somehow, I don't think they will. Instead, they'll try and deport a refugee (again), in violation of New Zealand and international law (again), in an effort to pander to the nastiest elements of our society (again). Why do we vote for these people again?


Well, that makes sense under FPP, but we have MMP now. And there are very definitely parties with a better record on the human rigths front than Labour...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/09/2005 01:41:00 PM

Hold your horses! Taihoa!

Who knows what the "facts" are? I do not, even after reading the Herald link.

Let's be realistic here:
If you were an immigrant pedophilic man-boy-love advocate and ran a bookstore would you not claim that you were a "whistleblower" and you never had heard of such things? Would you seek to minimise and downplay the activities that would preclude your residence here? Obviously!
What do you expect one of Saddam's henchmen to say? "Sob, sob, I was concerned at the Kurds were being given a hard time..." in 2002! The massacres and dislocation had been going on for decades and yet only when the regime was on it's last legs that he suddenly starts caring about the Kurds!

Just because no one likes Winston Peters doesn't mean everything he says is shonky. People voted against his Super scheme in a referendum because he was promoting it. If it wasn't him it might have passed. People are making the same mistake now in jumping to the defence of people who would be prima facie dodgy if anyone else had raised the issue. No? Really? If Keith Locke had sat there ringing his hands with John Minto and Marie Leadbetter at his side saying a functionary for a despised oppressive dictatorship was living in our midst and the government is supporting un-prosecuted war criminals running loose would you really have posted those comments?

"The man is a defector"?! Like the in-laws of Saddam that fled to Jordan to betray him and then went back after he promised them safety. They were executed almost immediately and good job too, they deserved it. It seems from the report that these may be the sorts of people we are dealing with here.

No wonder our immigration system is so munted when people accept flimsy sob stories at face value. Not just us but the UNHCR as well.

You state: "Winston's xenophobic tarring of all Iraqis with the same brush." No, just the ones he has some information on. Who do you think would give him that information? I'm guessing other Iraqis (unless there are leaks from"whistleblowers" in the immigration department). You state: "He's an Iraqi, all Iraqis are evil and complicit in Saddam's atrocities..." Well, if you look at the information in your own comments about being an Iraqi official for many years he must automatically be under suspicion. Pol Pot's regime, Idi Amin etc. - would you accept that someone in those regimes at governorate level for many years and bails just before it collapses is innocent because they became, after the first million were slaughtered, disillusioned with "corruption"!!!!? No - he admits he had a falling out in the hierarchy (of which he claims he was not part) and fled. Maybe Goering could have used the same excuse "I had a falling out with Hitler in the last fortnight of the war therefore I am a defector." (He probably did!)

Is he the sort of person that deserves the refuge of this country? There are question marks, are there not?

You say, based on one or two reports, that he is legit. I say, based on the same information, he is probably not. But of course we don't really know. I would put the Iraqi guy in the same category as Jim Peron, ie. there appears to be a case to answer and we need more information. I don't care if he has a piece of paper from the UN either, that proves naught.

Posted by Bomber : 5/09/2005 01:46:00 PM

Tim -

I'm one of those annoying old school conservatives who believes in things like due process, the rule of law and *ahem* evidence.

If Winston has a credibility problem with reasonable people on all sides of the political spectrum, it's because the extravagant claims made (under parliamentary privilege usually) never quite pan out. Of course, it doesn't matter to Peters because he's on to the next headline-grabbing, poll point-scoring LIE.

For the record, I supported the Iraq War, will not shed a single tear if Hussein and his cronies are tried and executed for crimes against humanity in Iraq, and believe the immigration system in this country is an unfunny joke.

I just don't believe Peters gives a shit about Iraq or serious reform of the NZIS. These are serious questions for serious people; not some hack media slut on the campaign trail.

(BTW, since you brought up Jim Peron... Has Winston forwarded to the Police any proof of his initial claims that Peron is a paedophile who sells child porn out of his Auckland bookstore? Or doesn't it matter now he's got all the media milage out of that particular smear?)

Posted by Anonymous : 5/09/2005 02:45:00 PM


Yeah Winny's out for himself as per. And yes, no one under the age of 80 believes he could govern competently let alone should.

Has everything he said panned out? The stats would be very harsh to him. The winebox was good, but too technical for the public to care, and too relitigated for anyone to remember what happened.

OK, the guy's got more baggage than the new A-380, but, is he right on this one? - Maybe. Was he right with Mr Peron? - Maybe. I have yet to hear any definitive and credible explanation from Peron. I used to own a second-hand bookstore too and I could have made a far more convincing tale than the red-herring salads he was tossing. Add to that various comments people in the blogosphere have made who say they know him and his defence is less than credible.

PS. I am very much against the Iraq war and always have been. That does not mean Saddam's acolytes, "defectors" or not, should not be scrutinised (of course).

Posted by Bomber : 5/09/2005 04:11:00 PM

There should be one standard for "character" in immigration laws - is the person likely to commit a serious crime here? Since telepaths are thin on the ground, the only reasonable way to express that is: "have they committed a serious crime here or elsewhere?"

On that basis, if someone turns up and we can't find record of a conviction (for a serious crime recognised in New Zealand law) then they should be allowed in. If there is evidence that they have committed a crime and not been convicted, we should endavour to either try them here or extradite them.

We should not choose our immigrants on the grounds of their personal views and beliefs - any more than we should expel New Zealanders for unattractive beliefs.

(and yes, I used to think otherwise)

Posted by Rich : 5/09/2005 09:39:00 PM

> I just don't believe Peters gives a shit about Iraq or serious reform of the NZIS.

the thing about systems )like our political system or capitalism for htat matter) is that you should not need to worry about what they seriously give a "shit" about - if the system is designed correctly it won't matter.

I think winston is a very useful opposition leader - god have mercy on us if we make him primeminister though.

Posted by Genius : 5/10/2005 07:18:00 AM

Its all a US plot We should be admitting everyone of Saddams people to our country.CNN and Fox used fake sites in the US desert made to look like Iraq to decieve us.In fact we should be voting for these pople to replace the current government They would do a much better job.Keith Locke should be made Minister of Immigration immediately.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/10/2005 03:04:00 PM