Home' Greymouth Star : June 13th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
hat is going on in
Iraq and why?
An al Qaeda
apparently backed by
other Sunni groups
and fighters, has seized a large section of
northern Iraq after previously taking much
of north-eastern Syria with an eye toward
establishing an Islamic state straddling the
two countries. The situation on the ground
is changing rapidly, but some patterns and
explanations are now emerging:
Q: Why is this happening now?
A: Th e group, the Islamic State of Iraq
and the Levant, is taking advantage of two
trends: growing discontent among Iraq’s
minority Sunnis toward Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government,
which they accuse of discrimination;
and the increasingly sectarian dimension
of the Syrian civil war, as mostly Sunni
rebels fight to oust a regime dominated
by members of a Shi’ite sect. Taking
advantage of the breakdown of state
authority, militant fighters easily cross the
border. The Iraqi territory recently seized
by militants is populated over whelmingly
by Sunnis, many of whom, at least for
now, may see al-Maliki as more of a threat
than the Islamic State. Signs are also
emerging that the Islamic State is backed
in its current campaign by former military
officers and other members of ousted
dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime.
Q: Will Iraq be a divided state?
A: Th e recent developments have
renewed the possibility, much discussed
during the war a decade ago, that Iraq be
divided into three separate regions or even
nations the mostly Shi’ite section, made
up of Baghdad and much of the south
and east bordering Iran; a Sunni area,
comprised of western Iraq and parts of
the north; and a Kurdish zone, also in the
north and including the cities of Irbil and
Kirkuk, which Saddam tried to populate
Q: What happened to the Iraqi security
forces? why won’t they fight?
A: Corruption and sectarianism are
widespread problems in the security
forces, with little sense of professionalism
or loyalty to the Baghdad government.
Sunni soldiers tend to ser ve in Sunni
areas like Mosul and Anbar, where many
of them are demoralised by the idea of
fighting against members of their own
Muslim sect. Police forces are usually
drawn from local populations so are
particularly vulnerable to local pressures
like intimidation. In at least one case, the
Islamic militants beheaded an officer and
then distributed a video of the attack.
Q: How have the rebels been able to
move so quickly?
A: The Islamic State commands between
7000 and 10,000 fighters, according to
United States intelligence officials. The
group’s military strategy is still somewhat
of a mystery, but the extremists have
cunningly crafted their tactics and message
to meet local considerations. In Syria,
they are quite open about their ideology
and goals, imposing their strict brand of
Islamic law, banning music and executing
people in the main square of the city of
Raqqa, which they control. In Iraq, they
focus on portraying themselves as the
protectors of the Sunni community from
al-Maliki’s government and have at least
so far overlooked some practices they
Q: What role are the Kurds playing?
A: Kurdish fighters from the ethnic
group’s autonomous enclave in the north
are showing signs of taking a greater role
in fighting back against the Islamic State.
Their role is a potential point of friction
because both Sunni and Shi’ite Arabs
are wary over Kurdish claims on territory
outside their enclave.
Q: What is Iran’s position?
A: Iran’s president has blasted the Islamic
State as “barbaric,” and its foreign minister
offered his country’s support to Iraq in its
“fight against terrorism.” Iran has halted
flights to Baghdad and is beefing up border
security. As a Shi’ite country, Iran shares
an affinity with the current governments of
Iraq and Syria.
Q: Why do I see different names for the
A: The Islamic State of Iraq and the
Levant is a literal translation. It is also
sometimes called other names including
the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The
name refers to the group’s stated goal
of restoring a medieval Islamic state, or
caliphate, in Iraq and Greater Syria, also
known as the Levant traditional names for
a region stretching from southern Turkey
to Egypt on the eastern Mediterranean.
4 - Friday, June 13, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
323 BC - Death of Alexander the Great, king
of Macedonia, aged 33.
1381 - The Peasants’ Revolt, a popular
uprising led by Wat Tyler and sparked by the
implementation of a poll tax, begins in Britain.
1878 - The phonograph is demonstrated for
the first time at the Royal Society of Victoria.
1900 - Boxer Uprising against Europeans in
1917 - Fourteen German Gotha
bombers carry out the first large-
scale bombing raid by planes on
London, killing 162.
1927 - US aviator Charles
Lindbergh is honoured with a
ticker-tape parade in New York City
after his pioneering transatlantic flight.
1964 - South African anti-apartheid activist
Nelson Mandela begins his life sentence.
1971 - Australian woman Geraldine Brodrick
gives birth to nine babies.
1986 - Death of Benny Goodman, US
clarinettist and bandleader.
1997 - Timothy McVeigh, a 29-year-
old army veteran, is sentenced to death for
bombing a government building in Oklahoma
City in 1995, killing 168 people.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
William Butler Yeats, Irish poet (1865-1939);
Basil Rathbone, British actor (1892-1967);
Slim D usty, Australian country singer (1927-
2003); Malcolm McDowell, British actor
(1943-); Ban Ki-moon, the current
UN Secretary General (1944-);
Dennis Locorriere, US singer of
Dr Hook fame (1949-); Richard
Thomas, US actor (1951-); Stellan
Skarsgard, Swedish actor (1951-);
Tim Allen, US actor-comedian
(1953-); Ally Sheedy, US actor
(1962-); Steve-O, American stunt performer
(1974 -); Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, US
“One is easily fooled by that which one loves.”
— Moliere, French actor-playwright
“ Do you not know that you are God’s temple
and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?”
— (1 Corinthians 3.16).
Crook this week took
a profitable shortcut
for a venison haul. O ut hunting, believed to be
somewhere in the hills at the back of Kaiata, he
let go a shot from his rifle with the net result:
two deer. Colin surprised the two animals
fighting. Both stags, they separated, one
standing just behind the other. The bullet went
through the neck of one and dropped the other
through the head. One was a nine-pointer and
the other a seven-pointer, and 16-year-old
Colin picked up £17 for his brief work.
Cases like this are rare — one local venison
processing worker put the odds at one in a
thousand. But rarer still was a case reported
here last year of a stalker killing three deer with
the one bullet. This was a family group of a
stag, a fawn and doe all standing together when
the bullet hit them.
Perhaps even rarer still is another deer case
report — a dead animal with no death marks
on it at all. The hunter who hauled this one out
said he fired and missed and he believes the
deer simply died of fright.
The Hokitika Borough Council is to ask
the leaders of the various denominations for
comments on mixed denominational burials
before the introduction of a lawn cemetery, said
the mayor of Hokitika Mr W J Richards. He
added that in the past the cemetery had been
divided into sections occupied by the dead of
Mr J B Cotter was re-elected unopposed as
president of the Denniston Miners’ Union
at its annual meeting. The secretary is
Mr E J Dooley.
uFood for thought
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03 755 8422
We are broken-hearted to view the
vicious vandalism of our groves of
pohutukawa trees at Blaketown.
To see these noble trees which once
pressed their leaves and branches to the
skies and sun and stars, now denuded and
pollarded to hell. Before any more trees
are to be butchered at Messenger Park we
implore the woodsman to spare our trees
— our friends and our believed bearers of
crimson crowns in summer’s glory. We are
saddened beyond all imagining. Mercy.
Greymouth surger y
Yet again I see the explanation West
Coasters were getting a ‘greater amount
of surgery than other areas’ being used as
a reason for scaling down local ser vices
(Greymouth Star, Saturday, June 7).
In an article published on April 6, 2013,
the general surgeons were told to cut
down the number of procedures using
the same reason. This would not only
downgrade local ser vices but will strain
the Christchurch public system, forcing
more people to go for private surgery.
What the public are not told is that
the staffing structure required to staff a
hospital like Greymouth should make it
possible to provide more procedures. In
larger hospitals, some of the work done by
senior doctors is done by registrar (trainee
in specialty). To compensate for the lack of
specialty registrars, there should be more
senior doctors per population, allowing
more procedures to be performed.
More highly specialised specialists
coming over periodically do not fill the
gap of lack of local specialists in acute care.
Large hospitals like Christchurch have on-
site ICU staff and senior staff in accident
and emergency, as well as specialty
registrars supporting the senior doctors.
This means specialists providing acute care
in Greymouth need more experience to
compensate for this lack of support staff.
A properly staffed hospital should be able
provide same day specialty access to GPs
in most instances.
Hemp and bamboo
instead of coal
As we can see from overseas trends, coal
is on the way out. Energy creation has to
come from renewable sources so coal use
can be limited for essential industries, like
Coal has always been the mainstay of
the West Coast but now we have to think
outside the square and come up with
alternatives for employment.
I have thought of two wonder crops
which would be suited to the climate
— the growing of industrial hemp and
bamboo. Both are fast growing and,
when you look on various websites, have
Hemp can be used for fabric and
clothing, building supplies, paper, food and
beverages, pharmaceuticals (hemp oil), and
chemical clean-ups. It contains minuscule
amounts of THC and is a different species
from marijuana (cannabis). Unfortunately,
the governments so far have strangled any
attempts to seriously trial this crop.
Bamboo is an incredibly light and strong
material and can be used for flooring,
building supplies, furniture, including
bicycle frames and clothing.
There is huge potential here and it
should be examined as a future economy
for the West Coast.
In regards to the article on Bowyn
Morgan (Greymouth Star, June 5), I
would like to thank the Greymouth Star
for their support of Bowyn and other
young athletes over the years.
I would also like to mention that without
CMP Kokiri freezing works (ANZCO)
sponsoring Bowyn he would not have
been able to go overseas to fulfil his boxing
commitments. Also, Cocky Walton (Fat
Max’s Gym), who has supported Bowyn
and all my boxers and many other athletes
of all codes — a true unsung hero.
Animal and human
I am writing about the mistreatment
of creatures that has been in the news
recently. I have nothing but sympathy
for poor Midnight, the kitten and its
owners who have been through such a
terrible ordeal. Thankfully, people were so
wonderful and the community response
and the immediate actions of the vets has
saved Midnight and hopefully the kitten is
now on the mend and will recover.
What worries me is that many, many
unborn children in New Zealand go
through a much worse ordeal in clinics
and public hospitals every year throughout
New Zealand (not on the West Coast),
and none sur vive.
No one can convince me that abortion
As the election looms, please check the
pro-life attitude that candidates have and
help stop abortion in New Zealand.
Project Rachael (0800-111811) is a
group that offers help to anyone who has
been hurt by abortion and is looking for a
healing or helping hand.
West Coast economy
I am originally from Canterbury and
have lived all over the world and now in
Northland. I have often been to the Coast
and find it one of the best places to visit
— beautiful, wild, friendly people, and
whitebait. However, I am appalled at the
treatment you get from the Beehive.
I was appalled that Helen Clark stopped
the beech logging, which would have had
virtually no impact if done one tree in 10
by helicopter, and created money and jobs.
I was excited to hear about dairy
farming and flipping, but I am told that
the RMA makes that really hard, too,
yet they want to put even more dairy
farms in Canterbury. What madness. A
government with vision would make some
financing available and put 100 to 500
more dairy farms on the Coast.
I am sure there are lots of other
initiatives that could be put in place to
help your economy and create real jobs. I
suggest you all make a plan, and then take
it en masse to the Beehive and camp there
till they actually get behind you. We take
too much nonsense in New Zealand from
our governments. Do not let them away
Wishing you all the best.
Grey Hospital care
I am from Tasmania and was recently
working in the Greymouth area when
at approximately 2am I had a medical
emergency and a work colleague called the
ambulance on my behalf. I was in a great
deal of pain at the time, and even then the
response time seemed only a few minutes.
The care and attention shown by the two
wonderful young ladies in attendance was
only matched by that which I received
at the Greymouth Hospital where I was
admitted for two nights.
Every person showed compassion,
commitment and a very caring attitude
that is a credit to them all. My sincere
‘thank you’ to all concerned and thanks
to their great care I am back healthy and
happy again. PS: My wife Vicki sends
a big ‘thanks’ for sending me back to
Tasmania in one piece.
I can relate to Maree Massey
(Greymouth Star, June 9) about the great
ser vice given by the nurses and doctors of
Last May 29-31, I was a patient and I
have high praise for what everyone did for
me since coming to the West Coast on
November 18, 1973.
After being admitted to Morice Ward,
where I have been a patient about five
times, they were all so kind to me.
Elenore Mary Flanagan
I write to thank Electronet ser vices
for my retirement function held on June
30. ‘ Thank you’ you to chief executive
Rob Caldwell for his kind words and
presenting me with a gold watch and
travel voucher, and flowers to Syliva
on behalf of the company. This was a
humbling experience for me.
Thanks to the other speakers — Cyril
Shirley on behalf of the social club,
Sandy Walker, Wayne Dwyer and Wayne
Robbins for his best wishes from the store,
where I have worked for the past 17 years.
The gift of a weather station from Sandy,
Julie and Wayne was appreciated and
Thanks also to all Electronet staff
and ex-P and T lines staff, technicians,
Blaketown Rugby Club members who
attended and made it a memorable
night for both Sylvia and myself. Thanks
also must go to Robyn and Ngaio for
organising the function. I leave with many
fond memories. It has been a privilege
to work for Electronet Ser vices. May we
both wish the company all the best for the
Wind farms the
Yet again the Coast has been kicked in
the guts with job losses. I hope coal never
completely goes as we have a Woodsman
multi-fuel fire which keeps us cosy and
My view to alternative employment
is wind farms. Westport, Reefton,
Greymouth and Hokitika could each
build a factory which makes different
components to make them. We have our
own engineers who could design them.
The West Coast has a huge capacity to
have wind farms for cheaper power. On
calm days we can fly some greenies up to
the ridges to talk. That alone will give us
The people who lose their jobs will be
the first employed. If the business takes off
we could export overseas. Nothing will be
made in China etc, even if it is cheaper.
The business will be financed by the
Greens, Government and our West Coast
Development Trust, so we have part
ownership. There will be no leaving the
Coast if it gets ‘too big’.
Crops can be destroyed in one storm and
DOC owns most of the Coast, so that will
be a no-go from the start.
The Greens are a party of many
Congratulations to the young artists
showcased on the wall by Ray White
(Greymouth Star, June 10). What an
improvement to the area.
Let ’s not stop there. Greymouth has a
wealth of artists/sculptors. Let ’s improve
our town and get more out there.
Fear for kea
The kea resident in the Croesus-Paparoa
zone soon to be saturated by multiple
drops of 1080 deadly poison by the
Animal Health Board, will be wiped out.
In 2013, the conser vation status of
our native kea changed from naturally
uncommon to naturally endangered —
the same status as the great spotted kiwi,
which are also resident in the same drop
DOC’s propaganda slogan ‘Battle for the
Birds’ is a shameful disgrace — poisoning
the birdlife to save the birdlife.
The kea, our parrot, has been a victim
of deadly 1080 poison on far too many
previous occasions. Surely the zone they
and kiwi habitat can be excluded from
1080 poison out of the thousands of
hectares soon to be saturated.
The people of Blackball have good reason
to be very worried as their drinking-water
uptake is in the same catchment. I hope
they are provided with a home water
testing kit for every household. As testing
every three days by the Animal Health
Board just does not feel good enough.
Stop the drop.
Daaron, Raewyn and Roxy Turton
Paying for the
At the time of the Pike River Mine
disaster the government of the day gave
the people of Greymouth $3 million
as a donation to a suitable memorial
for the occasion. This money was to be
added to further ongoing donations from
businesses and the public. The capital
amount, the design of the building (as yet
not approved) and the ongoing expenses
of this project now see us with a debt well
in excess of the original amount.
The ‘Miners Recreation Centre’ (as
it was to be called) has been designed
without consultation with any of the
supposed ‘users’ and money has been
siphoned off to pay not only for the
landscaping of the aquatic centre but for
the much needed replacement boiler that
just happens to be planned next to the
At all times decisions as to plans or
finance seem to disappear ‘in committee’.
It is my opinion that the original
donation was seen with extra donations
and could not only be used for a new
amenity building but could help the
failing aquatic centre with costs such as
fuel and staff, and possibly even fix the
beam problem at the centre.
I donated money to the Pike River cause
and not to make the aquatic centre look
better, and now if the council goes ahead
and changes the name of the miners’
centre it less resembles its original intent.
In my opinion, this is blatant misuse and
misdirection of donated funds.
I do not necessarily want another
memorial. I want the council brought
to task. I want more information made
available. In fact, I want a democracy, not
a dictatorship. Come on Coasters
— stand up and be counted.
Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul.
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