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Dr Muriel Newman

The Islamic State

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BaghdadiOn Monday Cabinet authorised a New Zealand deployment to Iraq to assist in the fight against the Islamic State. Around 140 personnel are being sent at the request of the Iraqi Government to take on a training role with their army. They will leave in May once official authorisation has been obtained.

There was never really any doubt that in the end New Zealand would join the coalition to help in the fight against the Islamic State when the seriousness of the threat they represent became clear. The beheadings, the burnings, the crucifixions – all staged and published on social media for the world to see – shows it to be a force for evil unlike anything seen in recent times.

So what is the Islamic State? What do they stand for? Why are they doing what they are doing? What are they hoping to achieve? And most importantly, how can they be stopped?

These are the questions that are on the mind of concerned citizens around the globe.

Fortunately, Graeme Wood, a contributing editor of The Atlantic, has long been researching these issues and in a much heralded article What ISIS Really Wants published last week, he has provided many of the answers. By talking to experts around the world, including many Islamic State supporters, Mr Wood has produced a comprehensive outline of the forces that are driving this dangerous movement.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), is a radical Islamist rebel group under the leadership of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Baghdadi is the third of four sons of a devout Sunni Muslim family in Iraq. After failing to qualify for entry into law at Baghdad University, he turned to Islamic theology, gaining a PhD in 1999. Arrested during the Gulf War in 2004, Baghdadi spent 10 months in the Camp Bucca detention centre in Southern Iraq where he is thought to have joined al-Qaeda. As a “pupil” of Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, the brutal leader who pioneered the practice of beheading hostages and making them wear orange jumpsuits, from 2007 Baghdadi was responsible for providing religious “justification” for acts of terrorism carried out by al-Qaeda under Sharia law.[1]

The Islamic State grew out of al‑Qaeda. Baghdadi followed three guerrilla leaders, stepping up in May 2010 with the clear intention of establishing a caliphate – a state led by a religious leader and governed under Sharia Law – and becoming the caliph, or commander.

A caliph has to meet certain conditions outlined in Sunni law: he has to be a Muslim man of Quraysh descent, to exhibit moral probity and physical and mental integrity, and he has to have authority over territory in which to enforce Islamic law.

By July 5 last year, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi delivered a Ramadan sermon in the newly captured Iraqi city of Mosul, he had an area larger than the United Kingdom with 6 million inhabitants under his command. He claimed to have established the first caliphate since the Ottaman Empire, becoming the first caliph in generations.

While al‑Qaeda operates as a geographically diffuse network of autonomous cells, to remain a legitimate caliphate, the Islamic State must hold territory and rule it, collecting taxes, regulating prices, operating courts, and administering services such as health care, education, and telecommunications. In addition, full Sharia law must be implemented, obliging Muslims from around the world to immigrate to the territory to live under the law.

Some estimate that around 85 percent of Sharia law is in abeyance from the lives of most modern Muslims. Implementing full Sharia law means reviving medieval traditions found in sacred texts – such as slavery, crucifixion, beheadings, stonings, and amputations – that may have lain dormant for hundreds of years. Many of these laws, such as slavery and crucifixion, are extreme, and while Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture, they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet.

Once a caliphate has been created, these laws, along with a huge body of other jurisprudence, suddenly awaken, and such laws like crucifixion – which is specified in the Koran as one of the only punishments permitted for enemies of Islam – must be used. If a caliph tries to ‘water down’ full Sharia law, he risks excommunication.

The caliph commands obedience – anyone supporting non-Muslim governments is considered to have turned their back on their religion and is subject to death. Shiites (most Iraqi Arabs are Shiite) are also condemned, since Shiism is regarded as innovation on the Koran, thus denying its initial perfection. That means roughly 200 million Shia – along with the leaders of every Muslim country that has elevated man-made law above Sharia – are marked for death.

The Islamic State is committed to ‘purifying’ the world by killing vast numbers of people. A ban on the use of cellphones (punishable by whipping or amputation) as well as a lack of objective reporting hides the true extent of the slaughter, but social-media posts suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, with mass executions every few weeks. Muslim ‘apostates’ are the most common victims. Some Christians are being exempted – as long as they acknowledge subjugation to the new government and pay special taxes.

The Islamic State’s propaganda is filled with talk of the apocalypse – when the armies of Rome will meet the armies of Islam in the Syrian city of Dabiq, near Aleppo. Now the Islamic State has taken Dabiq, it is awaiting the arrival of an enemy army, whose defeat will initiate the countdown to the apocalypse. As the masked executioner showing the severed head of the aid worker Peter Kassig said in a November video, “Here we are, burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive”.

While prophesies refer to the enemy as ‘Rome’, many think that Rome means Turkey, which ended the last caliphate 90 years ago. Others suggest that Rome might mean an infidel army of Americans. In reality ‘Rome’ could be any nation regarded as the enemy.

Now that a caliphate has been declared, the caliph must operate an ‘offensive jihad’, waging war at least once a year to expand its territory. Islamic law rejects permanent borders and permanent peace treaties.

Should the Islamic State lose control of its territory it will cease to be a caliphate and the oaths of allegiance – including the religious duty for Muslims to immigrate and serve – are no longer binding. The propaganda value of the caliphate would disappear.

To keep up the supply of fighters, The Islamic State has reduced the age of conscription from 18 years to 15. Officials are now going through cities like Mosul, which has a population of 1.5 million, conscripting at least one young man from each family. The punishment for those who are not willing to fight ranges from whipping to execution.

It is within this context that other nations are seeking to contain the Islamic State through air strikes. Every month that it fails to expand, it resembles less the conquering state of the Prophet and more like another Middle Eastern government failing to bring prosperity to its people. While it is still receiving significant financial support from sympathisers outside of Iraq and Syria to expand its war effort, many of the Gulf oil states that are giving money are doing so to prevent it from invading their territory.

Ironically the biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. If America were to be drawn into a ground fight it would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide and would massively bolster recruitment, through claims that the United States was embarking on a modern-day Crusade to kill Muslims.

To date the Islamic State attacks on Western targets have been the actions of frustrated supporters unable to immigrate to the caliphate because of confiscated passports or other problems. While the Islamic State applauds such attacks, it hasn’t as yet planned or financed one. (The Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last month was an al‑Qaeda operation.)

Graeme Wood predicts that the Islamic State will eventually become hamstrung by its radicalism. It has no allies and the land it controls is mostly uninhabited and poor. If it stagnates, its credibility as the engine of God’s will and the agent of apocalypse will weaken. Fewer believers will arrive, and the movement will be discredited.

There is also discord within the Muslim world over the authenticity of the caliph. While Baghdadi is a jihadists Salafi (a branch of Sunnism), most Salafis are not jihadists and most reject the Islamic State. While these Quietist Salafis are committed to expanding Islam, they believe that Muslims should not divide one another. They do not believe that God anointed Baghdadi saying that a caliph could only arise out of a consensus of scholars from Mecca and Medina.

The Islamic State’s ambitions and strategy were spelt out in social-media chatter as far back as 2011, when it was just one of many terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. Followers were told that the group’s ambition was to “restore the Islamic caliphate”. Baghdadi had already styled himself as “commander of the faithful,” a title ordinarily reserved for caliphs. Foreign fighters who’d heard their message began joining their ranks.

When the caliphate was declared, the number of recruits escalated – thousands of foreign Muslims from France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, and even New Zealand are thought to have immigrated to the Islamic State. Many have gone to fight, and some intend to die.

This weeks NZCPR Guest Commentator, Dr Ron Smith, the former Director of International Relations and Security Studies at Waikato University, outlines the pros and cons of New Zealand contributing to military action against the Islamic State:

“There is an international coalition, led by the United States, which is said to be dedicated to the destruction, or, at least ‘containment’ of the Islamic State threat. So the question for New Zealand is, should we join this coalition?  We are talking here of many of our traditional allies and security partners.

“As a small state, traditionally supportive of collective security, the answer seems to be ‘yes’.  This is particularly so when we note that these traditional allies are also major trading partners.  And what we are being asked to do is not, after all, a great deal.  We have been asked to provide a few dozen trainers for the Iraqi army. These New Zealand military personal will be situated on a secure military base and will not be engaged in combat operations.  Surely, we cannot refuse?”

The international coalition of 62 nations opposing the Islamic State already has a sizeable contingent of troops in Iraq including 3,000 from the US, 700 from Canada, 600 from Australia, 300 from Spain, 280 from Italy, 250 from Denmark, and Britain will soon have 2,000.  Most personnel are involved in training the Iraqi Army, which is estimated to have 250,000 troops, plus armed police, while others are engaged in airstrikes. As of February 17, the coalition – mainly the US and Britain – had carried out 1,383 airstrikes in Iraq and 1,094 in Syria.

Some estimates put the Islamic State’s armed forces at over 100,000, including over 20,000 foreign fighters. Their internet recruitment campaign using social media to connect young radicalised Muslims with jihadists in Syria and Iraq is said to have overtaken Al-Qaeda in its effectiveness.

The threat to humanity and world peace posed by the Islamic State cannot be underestimated – especially if they gain the allegiance of al‑Qaeda. Anyone who believes in human rights should surely support the international coalition in their attempt to help contain and defeat them.


Do you support New Zealand sending troops to Iraq to support military action against the Islamic State?

*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Nothing will save the middle east- certainly not more knights and crusaders. Bruce
My question is, why don’t we train them here where the risk to our personnell is minimal. Peter
Regrettable though it is to risk the lives of New Zealanders, we cannot allow these fanatics to enlarge their power-base and make worse a situation that already threatens to involve the whole world in conflict. Greg
The vast majority of western democracies are NOT sending troops. Brian
As Karl du Fresne says, doing nothing is not an option! We can’t stand by and see the civilised world held to ransom! Paul
Sixty countries supporting with troop contributions is great. We have important issues here at home where we should devote our resources. Peter
We must try to stop the expansion of this evil. Ann
Yes but I wish Keys would learn to keep his trap shut, Continual yapping only doesn’t help. Robert
No doubt whatsoever. Don
These act of barbarism must be contained. Rick
Essential that we do so. Tom
Although ISIS is mostly a creation of the US and the CIA it cannot be left to prey on innocent people. Ronmac
Why does Key want to stop a backward barbaric stone age culture overseas when we have a backward stone age violent culture in NZ that we pander to, glorify in our schools, put on a pedestal and give it whatever it demands? Derejk
Yes better there than here. James
Agree with John Key calling on opposition parties’ to get some guts and do the right thing’. Now John Key needs to get some ‘guts’ and deal with our own Maori separatist radicals and bring a firm halt to them dividing our country with their power and greed. Monica
Do it now, it will be harder to stop the longer we ignore the threat. John
It only needs good men to do nothing for evil to prevail. John
Absolutely, if nothing is done about these bastards they will over run the world, good on John Key for his insight and “guts” to help stamp them out. Athol
I predicted years ago that some maori will convert to islam in order to justify attacks against us. Only a matter of time. Terrorism, religion, maori greivances, etc are all examples of the same thing, allowing followers to switch between them with ease. Gang members convert to religion, swapping one form of bullshit for another. There is much more to say about this. G
A war cannot be won without boots on the ground, or rather aerial bombardment without follow up will not do the job and will only serve to turn or harden moderates. It must be kept in mind also that the whole of the Middle East is driven by the two old enemies of civilization, Tribalism and Religion. Michael
ISIS cannot be allowed free rein to expand and spread their inhumane policies (Sharia law) over everyone. They will not stop at their own lands, if unchecked. New Zealand has at least to show solidarity with nations trying to stop this expansionism. Sheila
We have a responsibility and an obligation to assist in wiping out the scum that is isis. Carl
We must do something to get rid of these sick bastards. Richard
If I were 50 years younger I would be over there with my father’s old .22 rifle. He was a WW ll veteran and a very good shot.. Pene
We cannot allow what is clearly utter evil to prevail. Grant
Einstein said evil only exists when good men do nothing. Les
I do not subscribe to isolationist theory and we must stand against evil wherever it is. John
Every country is at risk as Muslims are everywhere. Most of course are ordinary people who want a quiet life but it only takes one radical to cause a great lot of misery if executions are carried out in the name of ISIS. Andrea
ISIS are denying people of there basic civil rights and are using religion as an excuse, I feel it is the duty of all able countries to assist in distruction of this evil. Andrew
Definitely yes!  Jack
Must support. Think Ruanda &Somalia mayhem when UN failed to act.. Jim
Send as many as we can they intend to take over the world and send us all back to the dark ages. Richard
It astonishes me that the hand ringing apologists with their heads burried in the sand are still here and living in the last century. NZ is seen as a joke when this group pop their heads up and mouth off their opinions which is clearly out of step with the rest of the world. They hide behind a screen from reality and hope it will just all go away and they wont have to do anything………….Until !! David
It’s a no brainer, sadly. Janie
Fighting ISIS is the same as fighting Communism, Fascism and Nazism – Just another form of barbarism. Don R
ISIL is threatening global action and practicing greater levels of barbarism than the Sadam Hussein regime ever did. Surely a Country of 4 million citizens can commit a military contribution of 0.004% of its population towards collective defence without all the navel gazing we have at the moment. Michael
But worried about backlash against nz by the extremists. Graham
Such an insane demonic regime using religion and Shari Law is a big step before year 40 AD. Bob
We cannot allow this barbaric behaviour to continue unchecked. Desmond
Absolutely. This evil threat to the world requires the free world to unite NOW! Barry
Yes, but not the way John Key has gone about it. Kelvin
Whatever it takes. Richard
They must be stopped. Al
If we dont hit them now it will become to late and they would get a bigger hold on more land and take over other places. If we let them do this, they as a evil people will be harder to stop and many more people will died at their hands. So hit them now before they get to big to stop or it could be a 20 year war and alot more would died. Robert
These people are simply – criminals. Its not another version of the Crusades at all. They need to be wiped off the face of the earth. Steve
I support NZ tropps as loong as they are in a Non Combat role, No Fighting for the NZ troops. Geoff
We are dependent on our allies, and we should pay our dues. Joseph
It’s a no-brainer. They MUST be stopped Stewart
National has bitten a small portion of the bullet on this, but regretfully in way that suggests in this country we fear reprisals from the Muslims by sending into action combat troops that really will support our Allies. That word Allies naturally is a red rag to all our Opposition parties, whose continual anti American political stance is a feature of their socialistic hatred of Capitalism. Anyone watching and enduring the debate in our Parliament cannot be but amazed at the self centre inward political cowardice that emanates from those who put their political desires and ideology expediency against this ISIS terror. The obvious logic of this rhetoric is that it is not Our Fight stems more from the ignorance that N.Z. is, and has been for decades, at the frontline. The idea that distance these days can form a barrier against aggression is an illusion created by Politicians whose aim is, as always, to be re-elected whatever the cost. Judging by the responses in our National Newspapers and our Media they too need to wake up to the reality of the ISIS terror machine; not only in the Middle East but here on our own doorstep. The Australian Prime Minister has no such illusions regarding ISIS, and is to be commended in the response in sending into action Australian troops to fight alongside the Allies. If we continue in this country to carry this policy of appeasement and our present ‘head in the sand attitude’ we will have a State and public frightened to assert the rule of law; and our tradition forged by two world wars of never giving into the tyranny of fear will become a thing of the past. Of the Opposition Parties one can only say they represent a reincarnation of the same Parties, who in the 1930’s, called for Peace, knowing full well the intent of Hitler and the Nazi Party. The assertion by Peter Dunn that we are a long way from this conflict and it is not our fight, is an echo of that past, from a man whose has not grasped the reality that our back door is the Middle East. It is wonderful what a safe seat in Parliament does for outbursts of ignorance!!! Mr Abbott has the courage in the face of a rising support for Labour in the Australian Parliament, by strengthening the Allies with boots on the Ground. Obviously he prefers to do the right thing despite being well down in the Polls and under leadership pressure. Our Government should try to emulate that message of loyalty. honour and duty before sinking into the cesspit of politics. Muslim terrorists are only going to be defeated by a force of arms, and by a more internal security against the threat within our own borders from the Islamists. Brian
Like lambs to be slaughtered. David
Why? What good would it do ???? Ken
The longer nations sit back and do nothing to stop ISIS, the worse the overall outcome will be. Look at history. If Hitler had been stopped sooner, millions of lives would not have been lost in a full world war. Gifford
Absolutely! John
When I was 10 years old in Sandard 4 I was taught English and Maths and at weekends how to play Rugby and Cricket. When the Second World War broke out this man enlisted and in a short time he reached the rank of Sergeant and was sent to fight the Nazis. He was killed in action along with many others. I think of this man often and I am thankful for the freedom that I and my children and grandchildren have enjoyed. Unfortunately we have to take arms against who try to destroy us because it is the only way to stop such transgression. Peter
Thanks for your stand. Andrew Little would have defended the Holocaust on the grounds the German Trade Unions supported it and said it was okay. Arthur
NZ sent troops to every major war in the 20th century. Is it not time to join Switzerland and Sweden and become neutral? Don
I agree fully that we should assist. Peter
Remaining indifferent is not going to assist anything. This action may not achieve anything but at least we think that we are trying.
Prefer to see it stopped there, rather than wait until it reaches our place. Kabe
NZ has no choice. Either we are allied to the tradition likes of USA, Aus, UK, etc. or we risk isolation which by the way centres around TRADE. Forget about the moral issues. Just look at the pragmatic – it is the way of the world, rightly or wrongly. Either way, NZ is simply too small to moralise. Geoff
Yes. But in doing so there is no moral high ground. Western history of exploiting the Middle East resources and peoples has contributed to wholesale destablisation of that area like never before. Creating problems with no seeming solution. Not even given the aid of our 100 military boost. David
There is no need to put young NZrs at risk. Remember what was done in the past to end evil regimes from 15000 ft. Colin
It’s simple – ISIS want all persons opposed to their thinking dead!! Stui
If it was happening here, we would want other countries to help and not sit back and say it doesn’t concern them. Dianne
We cannot bury our heads in the sand and expect it to go away. Sooner or later NZ will be hit by someone who is aligned to these killers. Too late then….. Carl
How can we expect help from other countries if we don’t support them? Bruce
Its time to make a stand on principle and to back it up. Alan
We are currently attempting to eradicate the Quensland fruit fly at its source in Auckland. What is so different to eradicating ISIS at its source in the Middle East. Of course it has to be done and we as a global villager must assist. Dennis
Our government was asked for assistance and rightly gave it. I know hindsight is 20/20, but surely there have been occasions in the not so distant past, when perhaps intervention of this sort may have been justified. Jill
Many years ago I spent 2 years in the Gulf region with British forces.I know what these people are capable of. Tony
Much as I feel anti-war these people need to be eradicated – they are a problem to the world not just to the Middle East. Gill
Good people doing nothing starts wars ie Fascist powers and Japan. WE should b e part of a coalition, where is the useless UN in all this – surely ISIS is the pinnacle of human rights breaches. WE only need a Brigade with armour and air cover to root them out in a month – they are not professional soldiers just a rag tag bunch but have more will than we have and some bravery if you would call it that. Thomas
Involvement should be limited and regularly reviewed. Thankyou for the info. Laurie
We would probably be losing fit young men not having a say to help a country who has a completely different kind of life. Mary
It takes good people to do nothing for evil to succeed. Never forget what Hitler did in the past. Glenn
The end goal of ISIS is an islamic world Caliphate (World domination). Every Islamic group seeks that. The Koran urges the kind of behaviour which SIS employs, but most other Muslims hold (I hope) to a more peaceful way of achieving the same goal. We are better off to meet the threat now rather than wait until it is forced on us and threatens our freedom and all our lives… Harvey
Do whatever we can to stop the spread of this evil mob who aim to take over the world and kill the rest of us. If we think NZ is immune from this virus; don’t worry, it is coming to a town near you. Duncan
It is vital we return the interest and trust of our partners in the world and that mean s we join them and support them, as we would hope they would support us if we ever face a mad russia attack, not an impossibilty the way they are behaving. Christopher
We should fight for good causes, with some prospect that the outcome we fight for is materially better than what we are fighting against. In the case of the increasingly Iranian aligned Iraqi government and the growing Shiite militias that case has not been made. Michael
Islam is the enemy until it is eradicated there will always be problems. John
United we stand, divided we fall. Mitch
To do nothing is not an option. Alan
Look what happened when they ignored one Adolf Hitler. Bill
Do we wait for them to attack us?? World domination appears to be their task. Ngaire
Don’t be intimidated by gutless savages. That is what they want and, sooner or later … we will have to move to deal with them. If anyone in this country agrees with their barbaric beheadings and burning of people, then they have a real problem, and this country needs to deal to them also. Des
Just before the Sydney cafe attack I purchased a copy of “The Politically Incorrect guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” by Robert Spenser. Like your article, I found it a real eye opener. It is obvious that ISIS, a consequence of Islam is like its founder Mohamed is controlled by the Devil as only he could cause so much evil. Nations must take action to stop this evil group now or suffer the furure consequences. PS – I have read the Koran and another book on this subject explaining Mohamed’s teaching. Brian
I find it appalling that almost half the N.Z. population want to leave the fight against the Islamic State to others. Owen
Freedom is costly, it has always had to be defended; once more we are called to take a stand. Can we do any less than our forefathers did? Delia
Most definitely – the so called Islamic State is evil and must be stopped. David
We must help to stamp out this threat against our freedom and safety. Send more troops, what is the point of a army if we don’t use them! L.G.F
Any decision for troop deployment such as Iraq or anywhere else should be a decide by a parliamentary vote. John Key did not put it to parliament as he knew he would not have the numbers. Also we should only send troop overseas under a UN mandate. George
We need to support our allies to help stamp out terrorism. Don
ISIS law is inhuman and must be destroyed.We can’t sit on our hands and hope it will go away. Neil
We need to stand up and be counted as a nation and not pussy-foot around hoping that if we do nothing they will ignore us… Yeah Right!!! Fat chance!! David
So there we have it!! Orwells perpetual war as in his book 1984 has come to pass.The real problem with ISIS is that these extremists have no clear frontline and the are a global threat The most certainly have sleeper agent cells in every country ( incl NZ) and can and will strike any time they wish. They make no distinction between participating or non participating countries against them. I am certain that we can expect an act of terrorism here in NZ any time now.The only way to curb this threat would be to close the borders hermetically to anybody coming from the middle east and being a Muslim and have a very close look at the ones which are in the country already.And if necessary remove anyone who has any ties to suspects.Otherwise there is no other way than to bomb the living daylights out of the ISIS units and utterly destroy their supply and logistical networks plus surpressing any support they get in financial terms. As far as NZ involvement in this matter is concerned. In principle yes but I see a big problem with the Iraq army. All effort made so far have not been entirely sucsessful because of their half pie execution of their dutiesobligations as an effective military orgaisation. And this is not based in a lack of help rather than in their flawed attitude in general. The Iraq government is not known to be honourable and there is too much political infighting and instability between religious factions too. Michael
Whilst I support the sending of troops, I believe the likes of ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram etc, cannot be defeated militarily. Aggressive Islam has reared its ugly head repeatedly since its inception fourteen hundred years ago. IMHO, we should turn our attention to discrediting and destroying the ideology driving the all-to-frequent jihads. David
I think it is better now rather than later, although I think it will be a forever war. but is there an alternative?’ Anthony
Graeme Wood’s analysis is excellent and Dr Newman’s summary very helpful. Any help that can slow or drive back ISIS will be worthwhile. Western countries however can learn from the situation by restoring and protecting their populations’ civil rights and limiting the excesses of state control and abuse. Hans
And more Derek
Bloody oath, these ah solls have to be wiped off the face of the earth. Clark
We can’t bury our heads in the sand. This is a serious business for the free world to remain so. Derek
Someone once said for evil to triumph good men should do nothing, we cant let this happen we must help this evil force must be stopped, have people forgotten Hitler already. Linda
The Mainstream Media analysis of what ISIS is does not even come close to reality; the reality is that ISIS was created to create fear in the American public to forward the purposes of elite bankers who are driving both sides of the conflict. They fund and arm ISIS, largely from US. Surely you realize that the original invasion of Iraq by US was on false pretenses (to find WMD), as was the invasion of Libya (the real reason was to prvent Gaddafi issuing a gold dinar currency). US has also installed a neo-Nazi led government into Ukraine, all fully documented with statements of admission by Obama, Victoria Nuland and leaders within the Ukraine “government”. In reality “ISIS” is not Islamic and more than KKK is Christian. You have fallen for the “divide and conquer” ploy. “ISIS” is in reality a bunch of mercenaries paid by interests such as George Soros and others. I have done my research. Now do yours….and be sure to open ALL avenues, not just the Mainstream Media lies! Would you drink Coca Cola because you saw on TV that it “adds life”? Come on! And you think I am crazy! Nigel
We are now being asked to mop up after George Bush destabilization of the area during the disastrous Iraq war. Ron
ISIS, including every last man, woman and child member, supporter, and sympathizer, should be exterminated from the face of the earth like the rabid vermin that they are. Nothing less will erradicate their vile idealology and stop it from ever coming back to infect the human race again in the future. Douglas
At least not without public vote, to enact the democracy we’re supposedly enabling. Blake
Isis must be stopped .. Nzers known to suport and fight for brutality must have their passports canceled so they cannot return to NZ. Bob
Red and green commie pacifists make me sick. War is an obscene and filthy business but pacifism is the ultimate obscenity. Where people are suffering we should be there to help. Doing nothing or preventing others from helping is criminal. The first thing to do is to send in the troops and push the bad guys away and help those suffering when it is safe to do so. The answer to the problem of boat people is to set up enclaves in the countries they come from and give them a safe place to live where they can prosper without being preyed upon by criminals and the corrupt. K
Wipe this heinous group off the face of the planet. Hitler was a choir boy compared to these fellas. Internet Community should squash their access to influence the vulnerable. Chris
Hopeless! Supporting a military and a government that are corrupt will not help, may help Isis. John
Evil triumphs when the good do nothing. George
This a religious war and the Iraq government is a not a unified government and is corrupt. Garry
Our NZ servicemen and women, do not join the armed forces for fun. They are aware of the commitment which is required from them when asked to represent our country. Sending qualified/experienced servicemen to Iraq– is necessary .But sending people to Iraq, also shows that we do not support terror,shocking cruelty and murder that Isis is committing But there is a much deeper moral involvement, from our National Party, and Labour would do well to really listen –to the reasons why we are sending servicemen NZ shows. Jenny
Reluctant yes, in view of fact Iraqi Army has already had billions of dollars worth of training, but remains useless, due to corruption. Roy
I served as a volunteer in the NZ Army for the Korean War to defend South Korea from aggression and see how they have developed given the gift of freedom, so we must support the Iraq government now for their freedom. Forbes
In consideration the USA and Britain are arming ISIS, who’s side are they on? If we support Britain and the USA, who’s side are we on? The Middle East has been at war with each other since biblical times, it’s their culture. Who are we to interfere? If we win this battle will it bring peace to the Middle East? No chance, war is their culture! It’s been tried before in vain. I can’t think of one reason why we should send troops in order to escalate the death toll. George
Those who vote for ; have not seen their father in agony , having suffered a broken back and leg wounds from action in the first world war . These people we have elected , have not the expertise to carry through with the promises they have made.  I have seen several members of our extended families suffer from wounds , gas and mental suffering . I cannot believe that the present politicians will follow through with their present promises. We have had the ability to protect ourselves; our families, and our property away from us . I have seen too many political promises broken to believe what they promise now. In 1899, Winston Churchill wrote a speech to beware the islamic nation . After the 2nd war, Major General , Sir Howard Kippenger , warned his family to beware the muslim nation . The Islamic nation is evil in it teachings but must be defeated both mentally and physically. Malcolm
Its a smaller world now and we need to help our neighbours when in trouble. Murph
IS was created by the U.S. of A. The U.S. of A is supplying arms & other aid to IS! See globalresearch.ca. Isabel
The first coward who starts a protest should be given a free trip to see what it is like over there. Johan
That club is well out of our league. Stewart
We really have no choice, 62 nations can’t be wrong in wanting to eradicate this gang of sub-human terrorists. Terry
We must play our part in the fight against such barbaric activities. How much would it cost for a huge fence to contain them in as against the cost of conflict?>?? Joe
The west has meddled in middle east last 100 years & achieved nothing except control oil. Steve
We cannot stand by and condone the actions of ISIS. They pose a threat to all western civilisation. Pam
Yes it it better to suppress them over there than in New Zealand. Noel
Of course we have to show suppprt. How can we not go & sit back here while the rest of the world helps defend us from IS? That is just bludging. John
We have no choice but to stand with the western allies to resist barbarism. David
Seen it all before. In the late 1930s it was called pacifism. The result is history. Unfortunately any aid in whatever form afforded may well be wasted, given the corruption that exists in Iraq, and the religious fanatics populating the region. Ron
You must be joking. As your article correctly points out,, the so-called Islamic State gains vast support everytime aggression against it increases. A drone to kill its ‘caliph’, Yes. Commit land forces and endanger NZ troops and NZ citizens, No. And before someone mentions how evil it is, read about the Christian mutilations by of Leopold II in the Congo and the Christian bombing of Dresden. All religions that reject doubt are evil. Ron
We are morally obliged to join our allies in the fight for humanity. Chris
Our world is not an ideal place and we therefore must be realistic in our approach. Whilst it is doubtful that ISIS can be eradicated militarily, the combined intervention of many nations will send the strongest of messages that the world will not sit idly by and permit madcap radicals to wreak the worst kind of terror on fellow humans. Peter
As Fredd Dagg said -get in behind. NZ should whole heartedly get in behind John Key and respect the value of a human life. Obviously the Labour & Green parties don’t think the human life is worth considering and hide behind the skirts of their members. Greg
Send Them, They did not join the Army to do a hairdressing or floral art course as the Labour party would invent, like peace makers with packs on their backs full of biscuits & chocolates dolling to kids & the such like, waving an olive branch & releasing white Doves everywhere. A Helen Clarke approach. Where is she now. Her opinion of all this? Da Da. Max
No is not an option. Frank
No to do so is clearly not an option. Lois
Having spent some of my time as an Engineer in the Meddie on a coal burner with Arab firemen i was never able to understand their complete lack of logic or “my” understanding of “common sence”. Graeme
This movement of evil, death, torture and destruction must be halted and we cannot morally stand back and be aparty. Did we not learn the lessons from the Nazis in WW2? NZ is currently sliding into an abyss of liberalism and gutless acceptance. We must do our bit and override the cowardly left, the greens and others who cry for isolationism. Donald
NZ would still be targeted whether we send troops or not. We must stand guard here and there.. Elayne
One of the very few decisions John Key has made with which I agree. Alan
It is better to pop a pimple than lance a boil. Tony
Once again, New Zealand is being led by the nose, by the money makers of the world. Sadly, the money makers in New Zealand are 100% supportive. There are NO WINNERS in any war. Only losers all round and until people understand that, these situations will always stay the same. John
Fight them on their soil not our soil. John
Those who gave their lives in the first and second world wars would turn in their graves if they knew that we were even thinking about not joining in the fight to destroy this menace. Peter
We spent many years and sacrificed many young lives to have our present freedom and quality of life. Let us not forget the sacrifice that so many made for us to free the world of evil in all it’s forms. We heartily thank our government and our military for taking action on our behalf. Russell
The Prime Minister is right if it is not stopped now it will be happening here. Political Parties opposing going will not be in power for many years to come. This action is to keep all New Zealanders & the people of the world safe. Nigel
Absolutely. Look back into the past to seewhat happens when evil is not eradicated at the earliest opportunity. What an evil organisation they are. Peter
Yes absolutely! they are evil and must be stopped! They are getting way too extreme and sadistic to let them continue to terrorise people! Rhys
One question. Is ISIS compatable with 21 st. century humanitarian normality? David & Ruth
We must treat terrorists, Muslim, like Texas ranchers do with their rattlesnakes, Kill them before they kill us. Richard
Remember Hitler. Mike
A very reluctant Yes. I’ve noted in recent news that when old digs ~ soldiers who have actually been at war, under fire ~ are interviewed, they are quite opposed to any troops being sent anywhere. One old bloke reckoned we should never have been in Vietnam, Afghanistan. My dad, a WWII vet in his later years became quite anti-war, yet previously was never a dove. What is China doing as an international citizen? They are a major trading nation. They seem to be quite invisible in this affair. Why aren’t the cowardly jihadists having a go a 1.3 billion non religionists; start their converting there. Peter
Absolutely we need to be united with the other leaders against this evil. Sharon
Yes, I think all countries in the world need to band together to eliminate these people. I also feel that all Muslims should speak out, as their religion is being hijacked for someone elses agenda. Beryl
Let the war mongering yanks sort it out. They created it for their own enrichment and agenda. Peter
Go to win and not be hamstrung with limited force restrictions. John
Unfortunately it’s a necessary thing to do whether we like it or not..these radicalists are barbaric and must be stopped or curtailed at the very least. I am not happy with being involved but we must unite as a nation against this destructive group. It’s a poison that needs to be dealt with like any other disease or virus emminating throughout the world. No we don’t want our people to go but I an hugely disappointed that the ministers did not join wholeheartedly as a United country to back the decision that has been made by our prime minister. Divided we stand or the radicalists get their way in this small country by dividing us enough to make us fall (fail) ..we already have that in our country already with the nation’s first people. Good luck to all our forces going to a very unhealthy country. Audrey
This is a very real, growing threat, and to do nothing is worse than sending the troops. I don’t, however agree with the PM’s language. Maybe we need to spend more on a defense force, instead of whittling it down, and diverting so much into the hands of the few. Lorna
YES, absolutely I do! Well done Mr Key. The Prime Minister of New Zealand has shown he has courage to lead and is not GUTLESS! Constance
sseeing that John Key is so keen to send troops away why does he not send his son as well. Lionel
Absolutely, this is a threat to the world and must be stopped. Carolyn
Stay out of the zionist/American mess. They started ISIS and it is their baby gone wild. NZ already has 200,000 muslims in Auckland and they will start trouble soon enough, and then we deal with that. This is proven by 1400 years of history. Larry
Just by being a non-Islamic state, New Zealand is already a target. If you aren’t a Muslim and prepared to abide by Sharia Law then you are a target. Standing by and doing nothing is not an option. All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. Witness Hitler and Nazi Germany! Martin
Those who disagree should start reading history and present day publications such as ‘Christianity, Islam and Atheism’ and stop relying on the newspaper and tv. for their information, and start thinking about the freedoms we have to lose. Judith
When touring round Europe/Turkey and visiting war grave sites I was often asked ‘what on earth were we doing fighting so far from home?’ My somewhat flippant reply was that we were ‘supporting Mother England”. An older ‘me’ is starting to question the motives of those we are drawn into battle with. Oil oil oil and big american business interests seem to be behind all this strife. Just a thought. Tim
New Zealand “Country bumpkins” using outdated methods and equipment cannot succeed when the most powerful of nations have failed. This is an exercise in tokenism and futility! Kenneth
Our input is miniscule in that theatre of discord. It is not worth putting good Kiwi lives at risk, in a battle that probably no-one can ever win. Hugh
Freedom costs. Our ancestors fought for the privileges that we take for granted. It is our turn to protect the future. Not to join the World fight means that we will accept Isis into our Country as we have shown our willingness ‘not’ to oppose their doctrine. John
It is distressing that we have none to send. A dozen or so ‘Trainers’ supported by ten times as many logistics folk, is not “sending troops”. Geoffrey
Un democratic decision. Same example as selling our Assets? Hone
We have to do our bit against these butchers. William
For those who continue to wax lyrical about supplying only “humanitarian aid” – one cannot do that in a hostile security environment – the security environment has to be benign or “humanitarian aid workers” will get killed. Those of us who have been in such situations in recent years will readily attest to this! Andrew
We can not sit back and watch this happen. Ray
As a person some years ago it was evident the excuse of the type of religious madness was inevitable. Lance
We are characterized historically by our desire to be a part of the ‘coalition’ to do otherwise would send the wrong message to the world community that is who we are as a nation. Michael
By virtue of our size, our contribution will be small, but every support must be given to rid the world of the evil. Vern
Absolutely! Maddi
We have no navy to speak of, depleted Air Force and less than 5k in the regular army; our political allies, the UK and USA have asked for our support and we should give it. Sue
It is most necessary. Jim
It is about time someone spoke out re the reqirements of Islam an written in the latter half of the koran. This needs to be made more public so westerners understand what and where jihad comes from. Ian
In an ideal world the removal of the evil that is ISIS would be undertaken by the UN. However, we must accept that the UN is more likely to vote for the removal of Israel than ISIS. Nobody truly understands how interwoven the relationship is between ISIS, al-qaeda, militant islam and moderate islam. That is why what happens in Iraq can have a direct effect on New Zealand regardless of whether we send troops. John
It’s the right thing. Terry
Of course NZ should be part of the coalition effort to destroy the evil Islamic State. All of the Parliamentary Parties that opposed it should be ashamed of themselves. Andrew
All civilised nations should work together to win back the territory seized by IS so they self-destruct. Michael
As long as Kiwi troops are in a training role, the deployment is the right thing to do. Sandy
I can’t believe that other political parties oppose helping Iraq and contributing to the coalition. It shows how shallow they are. Paul
Of course NZ should contribute. Graeme
The Islamic State is evil. They must be destroyed. But our troops should not be put in danger. All power to the coalition. John