Ngapuhi leader David Rankin would do us a favour by helping to round up a small army to deal with the Islamic militants who desecrated Kiwi veterans’ graves in Libya.
The idea is to track down the buggers and give ’em a bloody good thrashing.
Utu, if you prefer.
Rankin the other day was calling for the bodies of Maori soldiers buried overseas to be brought home and criticising the RSA as being “totally ignorant” of Maori customs.
This somewhat implied that Maori are not members of the RSA and are in no position to influence its thinking, which would surprise Alf who has been in many RSA clubs over the years and not spotted a race ban.
But Rankin at least was ready to put his own money where his mouth is by offering to chip in $50,000 to start a fund to have the bodies of Maori soldiers who died overseas repatriated.
This was partly in response to the recent desecration of graves in Libya.
“For too long we have ignored our toa (warriors)….their spirits are crying out to be returned home, and we need to act on that before further desecration occurs,” he says.
“If we can [spend] taxpayers’ dollars on having shrunken heads returned, then it is fair enough that Maori come up with the money to have our ancestors repatriated.”
Mr Rankin says he hopes other iwi will support the initiative but expects to be blocked by the RSA, who are “totally ignorant of tikanga”.
Oh, that’s interesting.
Rankin didn’t wait for the RSA to express its opposition to his proposal.
He boasts the gift of foresight – bloody tosser – and told us what he expected it would be.
“For seventy years, we have had the RSA, which is a Pakeha organisation, dictating to us where the bodies of our ancestors should lie… our tikanga says that the bodies must always be returned home.”
So what role did the RSA play – exactly – in deciding the location of the graves when our war dead in Libya were laid to rest?
But when push comes to shove, if Maori want to bring their boys home and if they are prepared to do the paying, let ’em do it.
Mind you, it’s noticeable Rankin doesn’t seem to give a toss about leaving non-Maori in their overseas war graves.
Has he asked any Pakeha families if they would prefer to bring their dead back home?
But whoa. This post is not intended to remonstrate with Rankin.
It is intended, rather, to arouse some interest in amassing a small army to go to Libya to dish out a bit of Kiwi justice (of the rough sort) to the buggers who damaged our graves.
We need someone tough to show the Libyan police what to do with the grave vandals.
That’s because the Libyan police are a bunch of wimps.
They caught some of the culprits but – good grief – didn’t have the bottle to hold them.
Here’s what the Daily Mail says –
Police in Libya captured three members of an armed mob that desecrated British war graves in Benghazi – but released them after a few hours because they were ‘too dangerous’.
The extremists, who admitted smashing the gravestones with sledgehammers, belong to an Islamist militia with links to Al Qaeda.
During questioning – guess what? – the craven cops were so nervous they made the men wear blindfolds so they would not be able to identify their interrogators.
We had no option but to release them, even though they admitted criminal damage,’ a senior officer told The Mail on Sunday.
‘We have no control over these men, they are too dangerous, they have more weapons. We have arrested members of this brigade in the past and their fellow fighters raided the police station to get them out.’
The vandals two weeks ago systematically overturned around 150 memorials, shattering many of them and smashing a sandstone cross.
Many of the servicemen buried there were members of the 7th Armoured Division.
Those blokes were known as the Desert Rats. They helped turn the tide of the war in North Africa against Rommel’s forces between 1941 and 1943.
The Daily Mail says it has established that those responsible are members of a Salifist sect called the Rafallah al-Sahaty Brigade that follows an ultra-purist interpretation of Islam.
Soldier Sanad Albeidi, who filmed the desecration, said: ‘I realised they were from the Rafallah al-Sahaty.
‘I knew it would be too dangerous to try to stop them. I thought they might be going to dig up some bodies so I filmed them to get evidence.
‘I posted my film on YouTube so the world could see the damage these men were doing, and the insult to British war heroes.’
Kiwi war heroes, too.
The Boss described the desecration of Commonwealth war graves in Libya as a shameful act of violence.
Fair to say, Libya apologised after the graves of the Commonwealth and Italian soldiers were smashed.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage says 11 New Zealanders are buried at the cemetery.
Mr Key says the attacks are distressing and if there is any damage to the New Zealand graves the Government would want to see them restored.
But Alf doubts we will be sending a gun-boat to take retribution, if only because our Navy might struggle to get that far.
That’s where Rankin could step in to help build a small army.
Or task force, if you like.
He might start by having a chat with the Popata brothers – if they are on speaking terms – and other stroppy Maori of the militant sort.
They have shown their willingness to rough up our prime minister.
Let them now show us how tough they really are.