Mike Hosking – Minister for War Propaganda?
Media personality, Mike Hosking, is well known for his close connections to the National Party and open support for Dear Leader John Key, as he made abundantly clear in February 2013;
“We have bright prospects for the future, so long as you keep them [National] in Government.”
Hosking later attempted damage-control by refuting any affiliation with National in an interview with Listener journalist, Diana Wichtel, later that same year. But attempts at “plausible deniability” fell flat. His assertion;
“I didn’t actually say they should be re-elected, I don’t think.”
– seemed to jar badly with his earnest declaration that “we have bright prospects for the future, so long as you keep them [National] in Government.”
Hosking’s support for National has recently taken a further – and potentially deadly – step, with a column in the NZ Herald extolling Key’s virtues for decision to put New Zealand military personnel in Iraq. He referred to Key’s decision as “the right, honourable and only thing to do”.
Interestingly, Hosking also expressed these insights before arriving at “the right, honourable and only thing to do”;
We have been there before and with little success.
The troops we’re going to train have been trained before with little success.
The troops we’re training are corrupt, as are their leaders.
History shows that intervention in this part of the world has never gone well.
If John Key has made a mistake, it’s in trying to argue that we’re not going to war. We are, we indisputably are.
The more he downplays it, the more trouble he’s got if it goes pear-shaped.
The more he tries to define the terms of engagement, the more trouble he has explaining how little, if any of it, went to plan.
Because it won’t, and it won’t because it’s war.
History shows us that former US Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, was fully expecting to be hailed a hero and a liberator when he rolled into Baghdad.
Recent history shows Chuck Hagel, one of Rumsfeld’s successors, got the shock of his life at just how sophisticated, ruthless and well-financed the current enemy are.
They defined the conflict, they told us how it was all going to unfold, and look what happened. Look what’s still happening.
But through it all, despite it all, we must play our part. It is the right, honourable and only thing to do.
So… Hosking admits that “we have been there before and with little success… the troops we’re going to train have been trained before with little success… history shows that intervention in this part of the world has never gone well” – and still he wants New Zealand to become involved?
A very clever man once said;
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
That man was Albert Einstein.
So… Hosking wants to repeat past exercises that yielded “little success” and where “history shows that intervention in this part of the world has never gone well” – and expects different results?
Perhaps Einstein had Mike Hosking in remind when he framed that now-famous statement.
Hosking might pause to ask himself if his unquestioned devotion for Dear Leader and the National Party has unhinged his sense of perspective?
Hosking might pause to consider that the current state of Iraq and the growth of ISIS/Islamic State is a direct consequence of American interference in Middle Eastern politics and invasion of Iraq in March 2003?
And Hosking might reflect on the justification used by President G.W. Bush at the time – the threat of so-called “weapons of mass destruction”, which Saddam Hussein supposedly had in his possession. Weapons which, it turned out, never existed.
The war was based on a lie.
Having created this unholy mess, Hosking now supports involvement by our armed forces – supposedly in a “training capacity” – to become embroiled in a hell-on-Earth created by Washington’s hawks and neo-conservatives?
Have I left anything out?
Oh yes, one further point. US casualties (dead only, not including injured, maimed, psychologically damaged/brain injured, etc) in Iraq numbered 4,491. Coalition dead numbered an additional 318 by 2009.
How many New Zealand deaths will it take before Hosking no longer believes that our involvement is the “right, honourable and only thing to do”?
And when we finally withdraw, after two years (or whatever length of involvement actually eventuates – John Key’s word on this matter cannot be taken at face value), and Iraq is still a mess riven by sectarian violence, what will we have achieved?
Because no one will possibly be able to suggest, with a straight face, that 140 New Zealand army personnel will be able to make one jot of difference where the combined might of the United States, Britain, and other coalition nations failed.
Remember Einstein’s statement: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Unfortunately, the insanity of repeating the United States’ actions, and most likely achieving the same results, will most likely also achieve another similar outcome: casualties.
Let us hope that when the first coffins are off-loaded from an RNZAF aircraft, that John Key is on hand to witness their return and attend their funeral. Let us hope he is not off somewhere, watching Max play baseball again.
If you’re going to send men and women of to their deaths, you should at least be prepared to see them buried.
Meanwhile, one Facebook user has suggested that Mike Hosking do the “right, honourable thing” by joining John Key’s military deployment in Iraq as a war correspondent;
C’mon, Mike, what about it? Get some guts, man, and join the right side!
Probably not. Iraq is an extremely dangerous place to be.
He could be killed.
NZ Herald: Media – Hosking plugs car and Key
The Listener: The artistry of Mike Hosking
Wikipedia: Timeline of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
Wikipedia: Casualties of the Iraq War
Fairfax Media: Key defends ‘hard call’ to miss service
Facebook: Mike Hosking- War Correspondant
Previous related blogposts
Other blogs (previous, on Hosking)
Against the Current: Mike Hosking claims he isn’t biased. Yeah, right
Against the Current: Mike Hosking says Bash A Beneficiary Day!
Against the Current: Mike Hosking asks – What is David Cunliffe hiding
Politically Correct NZ: Mike ‘Get Some Guts’ Hosking speak out against soldiers opting out of Iraq deployment
No Right Turn: Speak out against the war in Iraq
Bowalley Road: War And Democracy
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 5 March 2015.
= fs =