The Orlando murderer Omar Mateen was a closet gay bar loiterer who clearly had mental health issues connected to his sexuality. Like many from ultra masculine cultures (including the military) he struggled to reconcile his sexuality with his culture and the result was a self-loathing hate crime that cost 49 others their lives.
The only connection with ISIS was a claim in a 911 call that he was acting on behalf of the extremist Wahabi army in Iraq and Syria. ISIS will take credit for any act of violence undertaken in its name as a matter of policy.
In short Minister Brownlees justification for extending the tour is bullshit, as is the whole suggestion that New Zealand politicians have any control at all over our own defence force.
18 June 2014 John Key rules out troops being sent to Iraq
25 June 2014 John Key shifts stance
The whole deployment was driven by the US and there is little point pretending otherwise. Gerry gets told to jump and the only question is "how high".
The use of a group of largely incompetent
idiots with weapons in Iraq and Syria who are no existential threat to anyone but themselves as a justification for vast military spend ups and adventurism is simply not credible.
What New Zealand taxpayers have to ask themselves is just what benefits we expect to see from this nonsense?
For the fact is Iraq and Syria are no longer the nations defined by France and Britain under the secret Sykes Picot Agreement. And the illusion of both nations is more damaging than admitting the possibility that the UN should recognise the power realities in the region. That is the only way that peace can prevail. That, and sanctions against the main regional aggressor - Saudi Arabia ( like that will ever happen).
There was a time when New Zealand was admired for its independent diplomatic stance on military matters. That time seems to be drawing to a close and under National we appear to be returning to the role of suck up. For a nation which is pushing Helen Clarke for General Secretary of the United Nations it is obvious that "New Zealand" today is nothing more than a US puppet.