Soldier comments 'unfortunate' - Key
Tue, 28 Aug 2012 6:07a.m.
Threats against a woman who made "unfortunate" comments about a soldier killed in Afghanistan can't be condoned, Prime Minister John Key says.
Barbara Sumner-Burstyn, a Canadian now living in New Zealand, last week accused Lance Corporal Jacinda Baker of "killing innocent people".
She said on her Facebook page: "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."
Former soldier Ted Grainger reacted by creating a Facebook page titled "Sumner Burstyn give back your NZ passport".
It gained more than 21,000 followers and Ms Sumner-Burstyn says some responses were extreme and included threats to rape or kill her.
Mr Key told reporters he thought Ms Sumner-Burstyn's comments were "unfortunate... this is a fine New Zealand soldier who has passed away and I think we should be careful in making those kind of comments".
Mr Grainger has shut down his Facebook page.
"Obviously we don't condone some of the reactions but I think it's a highly-charged debate and it's important for everyone to be thoughtful," Mr Key said.
Ms Sumner-Burstyn has apologised for her comments, saying she had a difficult few days.
She says her family has had to flee their home after her contact details were published.
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5/09/2012 11:43:59 a.m.
It is obvious that Ms Burstyn is angry about this B/S war and not L/Cpl Baker it was unfortunate that she let her emotions run her head when posting the comment. But it does prove one thing that violence breeds violence and nothing positive comes from war, especially one which has nothing what so ever to do with us. I guess as well as the loss of lives and the millions of dollars its cost NZ we now gain one more thing we are attacking each other. Well done JK for keeping us there you can be proud of your achievement. Oh and MACCA it matters not what job you do in the forces you belong to the same gang with one objective. Like a bank robbery, if you only drive the get away car does that mean you are not responsible for the crime!
28/08/2012 1:24:30 p.m.
Craig Young wrote:
While I oppose our continued presence in Afghanistan, I am disgusted at the brutal and insensitive comments Burstyn posted on L/Cpl Baker's Facebook page.I oppose that presence precisely because I do not want any more of our service personnel killed and because I want them all home safely.Burstyn does not speak for me, nor does she speak for anyone else opposed to our presence there.
28/08/2012 1:19:47 p.m.
macca, people who are interested in saving lives become doctors or paramedics. Soldiers, and their support personnel, are part of an institution thats goal is to take lives; in this case, the lives of third-world peasants on the other side of the planet.
No surprise taht NZ sets up an organisation to train people in doing violence and then finds them directing that violence at other NZers.
28/08/2012 9:28:06 a.m.
@James Nothing Ms Burstyn posted was correct, L/Cpl Baker was a medic (a non-combatant)so prohibited from taking offensive action. She trained to save lives (which she had done) not take them. To post such lies on L/Cpl Baker's own units facebook page was a calculated and callous action designed to provoke an angry response. As for your other comments I suggest you educate youself on what the NZDF is doing in the many countries they are currently deployed.
28/08/2012 9:00:44 a.m.
She is 100% right. You must ask yourself the sanity of any person who wants to be in the army and learn how to shot and kill other people! these countries have done nothing to us and how could they, they're practically 3rd world still! You want to go and kill people then they will probably want to/ need to kill you! western countries are massively powerful and we wouldnt even have to take one gun over thier to help them move into democracy. But its not about that. All people no matter who, all those who murder are mungrel scum!
28/08/2012 7:31:41 a.m.
I think Ms Sumner's comments were so uncalled for. One because LCPL Baker is not even a combat soldier but a medic; and second she doesn't even know the person for her to comment and question her morality.
It's very unfair for her family who is still grieving with the loss. I think Ms Sumner owes them a very sincere apology not the one that she gave online given because she was being attacked.
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