Sunday, August 26, 2012


Let us be very clear.   Filmmaker Barbara Sumner-Burstyn has every right to 'dish' one of our three dead Kiwi soldiers when she said ..... "Oh, so fallen soldier Jacinda Baker liked boxing and baking - did they forget she also liked invading countries we are not at war with, killing innocent people and had no moral compass".

It is a right gifted her by members of the military prepared to put their lives on the line defending the ability of people like Ms Sumner-Burstyn to say what they think.

No matter she is wrong; no matter that she was disrespectful to the dead; no matter that her remarks were tasteless; no matter that Lance Corporal Baker was a medic; no matter about the pain those remarks caused to her grieving family; no matter her remarks were inflammatory; no matter that the cowardly attack was made from outside New Zealand; no matter that she is clearly one of those sad people whose blind prejudices against our involvement in Afghanistan cause them to attack the military as easy targets when in fact they should be directing her anger against the successive governments who sent them there.

Ms Sumner-Burstyn deserves all the odium she has received over her outburst although I suspect for her it is likely to be 'water off a ducks back' being the effete precious person she clearly is.   

The 'left' side of the political divide is welcome to her.


Paulus said...

Stupid woman she should stay in Canada.

Robin Klitscher said...

On a wall in the RSL at Maleny, Queensland, there is a plaque which reads something like "For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste which those whom they protected will never know."

It seems that that taste and Ms Burstyn will be forever strangers.

Mere Henri said...

Totally agree with Paulus and Robin.
Even after her so-called attempt at an apology on comments this unfortunate woman uttered, it still wasn't heartfelt. Yes, Barbara Sumner-Burstyn, you are sorely out of touch.
Regardless of the reason NZ has soldiers in overseas campaigns, a family has lost a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a niece, a cousin, a friend and NZ has lost another hero. You're an idiot.
I place my faith and hope on those men and women who lay down their lives so people like you and I can enjoy the freedom.
Perhaps you should become a war correspondent or use your skills to do a NZ version of Restrepo. Might give you a different point of view.

Anonymous said...

Why do you think the left want her??

Psycho Milt said...

...should be directing her anger against the successive governments who sent them there.

Yes. It's a straightforward, easily-understood concept, but so many people fail to grasp it. Understandable in this instance, though - someone who claims a medic went over to Afghanistan to kill people is obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Maybe she just couldn't take any more of the pious cant in the media. These guys were killed saving NZ politicians from embarrassment, not defending our freedom.

Monique Angel said...

The Burstyn apology is awful and it finishes with her misspelling Jacinda Baker's name. She would have been alerted to this in a flash ( I for one commented quickly), but she has chosen not to change the spelling. This is just bizarre.

Marc said...

I hear Minto (never one to miss any opportunity for self-promotion) is demanding that all NZ forces withdraw from Afganistan immediately. Irony is lost on this idiot who fails to appreciate his public platform has only been provided by military intervention on all our behalf for decades.

The Veteran said...

PM ... you were going fine up until your last paragraph.

Maybe, just maybe, you should ask those who have served and are serving in the PRTs if they think their mission is worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

Burstyn is now as welcome in NZ as Rushdie is in Iran

Anonymous said...

New Zealand is better than this. We do not need shallow superficial people judging our new Zealand's risking their lives whilst self
Raving our county and helping others. You shallow woman do and get anion her coffee and a manicure and leave NZ for genuine real people

Anonymous said...

I was particularly put out by her comment about "the dark underbelly of my country." Irony is totally lost on this woman -- her comments being among the darkest "underbelly" you could point to. She became a kiwi to take advantage of our country, and clearly knows jack all about being a New Zealander, and who we are, and what we do...all the while sucking funding from the New Zealand Govt for her particularly awful docos ( award winning yes; unbelievably bad, yes). And the New Zealand Herald employed her - any surprises that the Herald gave her a forum to put forward more of her self-serving drivel?

Ross said...

Just read the comments by Barabara Sumner Burstyn. Feel totally sick. Don't need this kind of grandstanding bullshit. This has no place in nz. Maybe she should consider living elsewhere as her attitudes are not welcome here

Anonymous said...

What an arrogant, stupid, conceited dumbass prat. Another pseudo-media intellectual (get the spectacles ) who has a sense of entitlement thinking that she can grandstand her idiotic misinformed rubbish. This woman makes me want to vomit.

Sharyn said...

Barbara Sumner-Burstyn's comments are a disgrace and an insult to the culture of Aotearoa,New Zealand. She can never truly be one of us after this.I hope she gets a life somewhere else.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Boot the bitch.

Psycho Milt said...

Maybe, just maybe, you should ask those who have served and are serving in the PRTs if they think their mission is worthwhile.

The soldier's opinion of the merits or otherwise of his mission is irrelevant, isn't it? Fully entitled to have one, just don't expect to be asked what it is before you get volunteered to do the govt's dirty work.

Burstyn is now as welcome in NZ as Rushdie is in Iran

I doubt you understand just how apt that description of the response to her comment actually is.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Kiwis in the PRT build relationshipa,built hospital;s,schools,bridges etc. They help and support local elected government. There involvment in the region have meant fewer girls executed,and more girls educated. They were left alone until the HERALD published the article with far tomuch information regarding Willie Apriarta. Now they are talking tothe Taliban by phone! Send the HERALD editor to Canada to join Barbara!

The Veteran said...

PM ... I doubt very much if those who have served/are serving in the PRT see their job as "saving NZ politicians from embarrassment" (your words).

Maybe, just maybe, they are helping to develop infrastructure in that sorry country. Maybe, just maybe their presence is allowing females to go to School (not favoured by the Talaban). Maybe, just maybe, they are there doing good.

I understand how some cretin masquarading as a film producer might have some difficulty understanding these simple truths but I don't undertand why you should want to take her side with that comment.

Old saying. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then there's a good chance it is a duck.

Stop quacking.

Anonymous said...

I guess she found out pretty fast just how loyal New Zealanders are to their own. To me it seemed like her view was coming from a Canada VS USA gripe. I'm glad she got the public serving she did, even if some of the public reaction was fairly extreme. It mirrored back the disgusting words that came from her and surprise surprise she didn't like it, all's fair in love and war. I for one have huge respect for each and every member of the military services and give kudos to the work they are doing around the world.

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

"I disaprove of what you say but I will fight to the death your right say it".....well only up to point Babs.

Psycho Milt said...

Like I said, what the soldier thinks of his mission is irrelevant, it's the govt's motives that count. In this case, defending our freedom isn't the motive, and I doubt very much that an altruistic determination to help the locals has much to do with it either, given that that help would be as useful after next April as it is now. These guys were killed because politicians are duplicitous, self-aggrandising, lying weasels - ie, for pretty much the same reasons that any soldiers get killed. That applies to the govt that committed us to this clusterfuck in the first place as much as it does to the incumbent weasels. I'd rather see us showing respect for the NZDF by being a bit more careful with their lives, rather than by inventing delusional bullshit about why they're getting shot at by locals in somewhere on the other side of the planet.

Judge Holden said...

"Boot the bitch."

With that outstanding comment, Adolt demonstrates once more that he truly is a dolt.

chris said...

The women has attacked a dead medic. She comes from a country that had to withdraw troops in shame from Somalia because they slaughtered people they were supposed to be helping.
The womens an idiot. Now she's proven it there's no need to give her any more attention.

G.Sims said...

She has risked the safety of her own family and now they all know what losing their 'freedom' costs. To then condemn others for 'shameful and disgusting behaviour' is just downright hypocrisy. Speaking ill of the dead is shameful and disgusting in my book! It has happened to someone I admire and love and you never get over the hurt and cowardly behaviour of the mongrel who says such things.

Psycho Milt said...

She has risked the safety of her own family and now they all know what losing their 'freedom' costs.

"She made a stupid comment on Facebook and now her whole family knows NZ has a lot of violent dim bulbs who love forming a lynch mob." FIFY.

Simon said...

Ron Paul is anti-war as much as Summer-Bustwyn but Paul gets record political donations from the military.

There is a way to go about it and its also about being effective.

The case for withdrawal has been badly hurt.

Anonymous said...

Barbara Sumner Burstyn

Has she ever actually had a good word to say about New Zealand? I wonder if she has ever made similar comments about the Armed Forces in her native country Canada, they are also involved in Afghanistan.

I really hope she never returns to New Zealand, would it be possible to petition the Government to have her citizenship cancelled? If she doesn't like our country, our people, our Soldiers and Government so much she can always give back her passport and never return.

The Veteran said...

Folks ... thank you for your input. The comments section is now closed.

I have exercised my right to delete the more extreme ones from quite obiviously sick, sick people who need to seek help.

This post may have attracted a record number of hits. It was accessed from a number of countries outside NZL including the USA, UK, Aust, Germany, France,
Netherlands, Taiwan, Russia and South Korea ... but not Canada!!!!

Snowdog said...

I'm from Canada. I fought in Afghanistan. I have loads of Kiwi mates. I don't want her in my country either. This story is just starting to make the rounds in Canada so please don't expect our lack of knowledge of this incident as condoning her behaviour. Further, I'm not so sure that she was born in Canada, there are conflicting reports on that.

The Veteran said...

As I said. This thread is now closed ... Snowdog's comment excepted as it demonstrates the contempt S-B is held in her country of birth (assuming she didn't lie about that also).

Yes Anon, I removed your recent comment. What part of "the comments section is now closed" don't you understand? Go and cry on S-B's shoulder. You deserve each other.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Veteran said...

Sorry 8.44. Consistency rules ok.

David said...

By allowing this woman to come back to Canada we are depraving some village in Afghanistan of an idiot. To the family of this brave soldier and to the people of New Zealand I profoundly apologize for the asinine rantings of this poor excuse for a human being.



Anonymous said...

She was born and raised in New Zealand and is in Canada writing a book. She has apologized for her comments and I believe that these comments were from the heart. The backlash has had its desired effect and she is humbled. Her comments were thoughtless, careless and cruel however the vitriol and violence aimed at her and her family are as, if not more shocking. Dark underbelly? Violent and black is more like it.

Anonymous said...

Message to all of Barbara Sumner-Burstyn employers - I will never purchase your product and will do everything to avoid her.
Do not hire her.

She is ignorant, incompetent, inept. She clearly has nothing to offer any debate except her stupid opinion. Hard to believe a person of her age and prior standing can be so Stupid.

The apology is still 'all about me'. How's about she actually and unreservedly make an emotional apology.

Stay in Canada.

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian all I can do is apologize for the incredibly insensitive, immature and misguided comments of this coward. Her every comment illustrates the greart depth of her ignorance towards the soldier in question, the meaning of "morality" and the state of the world, especially Afghanistan.

Once again, I don't know this woman, but as a Canadian I am profoundly sorry and embarrassed for any pain she has caused people with her cowardly, childish rant.

fury12 said...


She can stay in Canada permanently.

No one forced her to open her BIG WAHA, classless cow!

If she had a problem with our soldiers being deployed to Afghanistan to aid in rebuilding a broken, worn torn land and to provide medical aid where warranted as OUR JACINDA did, then she ought to have taken our government both the current and previous to task over her concerns, and voice her nastiness at them.

She like John Key are able to carry on with daily life in relative safety because of our military personnel's engagement with other coalition forces in Afghanistan and in other nations around the globe who are deemed a threat to our safety.

I've read her NZ Herald article titled, Barbara Sumner Burstyn: Twisted logic of mothers who abandon mothering... gain some insight into what kind of mind or planet this person has and is on and I am somwhat bemused by her statement "A year ago, I watched Naima el-Abed carefully, looking for some sign of grief at the loss of her son. Instead I saw something far more chilling. I saw her pleasure. As if the death of this boy was a victory."

War is Ugly, War is about Power and the saddest part for me is that though our people know the risks they take when enlisting and when deployed to worn torn nations, many pay the price with their lives...Whilst at home the government through their policies are engaged in killing off their respective whanau and for me that is the ultimate hypocracy of it all.

John Key can attend as many of his son's basket ball games as he wants and Barbara Sumner-Burstyn can mouth-off from afar all she wants...but at least OUR JACINDA and her 9 brother's they existed, they lived and they loved for the common good and safety for us all.

Haere e nga mate, haere atu koutou i te huanui, i te ara kua papatauria e te tapuwae kauika tangata. Takoto mai koutou i te urunga e kore e nekehia, i te moenga e kore e hikitia.

Ehara ra i te kakahu hou te kakahu o aitua, he mea i uhia ki te ao i te horahanga mai o te takapau i whakamamaetia ai to te tangata
whanautanga mai ki tenei ao.
Haere, haere, haere whakaoti atu koutou. Amine.

Firstly, a tribute to those cherished ones who have departed from the path followed by the living and who sleep on the pillow that moves not, and the bed that cannot be carried away. The great orators of our many marae have taken that pathway from which no backward glance are possible.

The cloak of mourning is not new to us, it was pre-ordained for men and women from our first dawn. Amen

Barbara Sumner-Burstyn's apology is not accepted by me.

She should have heeded her Mama's advice in another old NZ Herald article, Barbara Sumner Burstyn: And now for the good news: some of us care

Her opening statement: "I rang my mum the other day. "Your column was good this week, dear," she said, and then paused, "but don't you ever have anything good to say?"

She has a point. I seem to have the kind of mind that gravitates towards the negative, the underhand and the dishonest.

In direct contrast to me, my mother is the living example of the old saying that if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Now I am aware of her MIND, in her own words, "gravitates towards the negative, the underhand and the dishonest."


Brammetjebram said...

I cannot help but think that when a journalist makes remarks like that she is not merely thoughtles, but she does it deliberately. Journalists are very well aware if their words are provocative and what kind of reaction they will provoke. So in my opinion Mrs. Sumner-Burstyn got exactly the reactions she wanted and now in due time she will use it to advocate her own ideas further, even as she has already done in her halfhearted apology.
In my opinion she deliberately abused the death of a brave soldier and a medic as well to promote her own ideas.
Her compass can only be called immoral and her attitude respectless.
Undoubtledy she got the reactions she wanted. So now she can play the victim and use these reactions to her own advantage and to promote her version of the truth.
The death of a soldier should never be used as a weapon or an argument in a discussion about moral values. The only values that are important in moments like these are respect, sympathy and dignity. I did not recognize any of these in the words of this journalist.
If the Taliban killed her with a roadside bomb, Mrs. Sumner-Burstyn used similar but even more poisonous material in her own private war.
Neither though will be able to destroy the memory of this wonderful, courageous girl, who had the right moral compass. She served her country, her comrades and the people of Afghanistan and she was part of a loving family, who will greatly miss her.

Tommy B said...

So Sumner Burstyn is as welcome in Iran as Salman Rushdie? Does that make New Zealanders as narrow minded as Iranian fundamentalists?

Anonymous said...

So Sumner Burstyn is as welcome in NZ as Salman Rushdie is in Iran? Does than make New Zealanders as narrow mionded as Iranian extremist fundamentalists? Pity.

Ross said...

Yes, she has freedom to say what she will, but equally others are free to boycott her, in terms of business and services.
That's each of us having a choice, no threats, no violence, just pay her back in lawful ways for her disrespect and her dishonesty.
And it is a dishonest, self-serving apology, for it was NOT the first time she dishonoured the war-dead.

BTW, it ain't ust you Kiwis upset Many Canadians, who are your allies in Afghanistan, share the rage.

Self_Aware said...

The death of any person is a loss and to take a life deliberately is a crime whether it is done under the blanket of an national army, a police force or any other organization. We have the technology to avoid lethal force in virtually all circumstances, and yet we glorify and praise war, killing and those we ask to partake in it. It is fine to be in an army, but as soon as you place a gun in a persons hand, sit them in front of a killing trigger, put them in a killing machine you are approving murder and violence, this is the crime.

William Sparling said...

I had posted an apology as a Canadian for this foolish woman's comments and later discovered that she isn't really a Canadian at all (although she has residency by marriage). Regardless, we in Canada are largely horrified by her comments (except for our own home-grown crowd of fools, dumbasses, and dolts whcih can really be found in any country - including NZ). Utterly dispicable and groundless, her comments should definately be held up to scrutiny and she must be held responsible when she eventually returns to her home country of New Zealand.

Some of the comments and vitriol mistakenly directed to Canada over this, about we just let them go as being from emotion and outrage rather then good sense. person accused my Country and The Canadian Forces of being mass murderers over the Somanlia Affair. That was ONE man (who later attempted suicide and severely damaged his brain -although I would say he was already damaged goods- to avoid trial) who committed the single torture and murder. Others who did nothing to stop it were punished and a good regiment disbanded for political purposes. The only 2 other deaths were looters who were shot while attempting to enter a secure compound containing armed helocopters and ammunition stocks. Having dealt with that let us move on.

By and large, the majority of us in Canada despise those who make such comments. We have our own dead from the Afghan effort, including our own first Female to die from enemy action, Captain Nicola Goddard. She, like so many others, saw the mission as worthwhile and was working to make a difference. Had some pinheaded fool publicly assaulted her character, as this one did LCpl Baker, the rage here would have mirrored yours. And our rage, while somewhat muted by difference, supports LCpl Baker and her family, friends and mates.

Please accept my deepest sympathies for Jacinda's family, friends, and mates; for I too have served and grieve with you.