February 2, 2017

"The potential unraveling of a refugee pact between the U.S. and Australia that President Donald Trump blasted as 'dumb'..."

"... threatens to strain ties between the longtime allies amid China’s push to extend its sway in the Pacific region," writes Rob Taylor in the WSJ.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had been counting on the Obama-era deal to close off one of his government’s biggest flashpoints and resolve the fate of 1,250 refugees stranded in two Australian-backed camps in the Pacific, which for years have drawn criticism from rights groups and the United Nations over their conditions. Instead Mr. Turnbull found himself clashing with Mr. Trump in a weekend phone call, according to people familiar with the talks.

In a Twitter post Thursday, Mr. Trump suggested he could back out of the deal, which was reached in November. “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!” the post read....

Asked if there was a “Plan B” if Mr. Trump backed out, Mr. Turnbull said his government was still working on agreements with other unspecified nations, but Australia wouldn’t back down on its border-security laws, which bar asylum seekers arriving by boat from settling in the country.

“Our expectation naturally, given the commitments that have been made, is that it will go ahead,” he said. “The only option that isn’t available to [the refugees] is bringing them to Australia for the obvious reasons that that would provide a signal to the people smugglers to get back into business.”
So, Australia refuses to take in the refugees and absolutely must stick to its position so it won't incentivize more migration. But it does desperately want to move the refugees somewhere else that they'd presumably like as much as Australia. Doesn't that call into question the cited reason for excluding them? If the real reason is the concern that some of them are dangerous, it's the same reason Trump and the Americans who agree with him don't want to let them in here without "extreme vetting."

The way Turnbull presents it, "extreme vetting" wouldn't solve Australia's problem, which is the migration even of nondangerous persons. He's overtly anti-immigrant, isn't he?
Under laws first put in place in 2001, successive Australian governments have required asylum seekers coming by boat to be intercepted. The conservatives, on winning power in 2013, set up a maritime blockade that Mr. Turnbull has offered as a model for Europe....

The deal for resettlement in the U.S. was meant to be a solution that allowed Mr. Turnbull to uphold a promise to voters in elections last July, which left his conservatives with a precarious one-seat majority.
"His conservatives"? Malcolm Turnbull is the leader of the Liberal Party of Australia...
The party's ideology has been referred to as conservative, liberal-conservative, and conservative-liberal. The Liberal Party tends to promote economic liberalism and social conservatism.
I'm only beginning to try to imagine the political position Turnbull is in and how Trump might be thinking of working with or against him.

Here's the WaPo article "'This was the worst call by far': Trump badgered, bragged and abruptly ended phone call with Australian leader":
Trump, who one day earlier had signed an executive order temporarily barring the admission of refugees, complained that he was “going to get killed” politically and accused Australia of seeking to export the “next Boston bombers.”...

“I don’t want these people,” Trump said...

“President Trump’s decision to honour the refugee agreement has not changed,” an embassy spokesman had told the reporters, according to an official in the Sydney consulate. “This was just reconfirmed to the State Department from the White House and on to this embassy at 1315 Canberra time.”...

During the phone conversation Saturday, Turnbull told Trump that to honor the agreement, the United States would not have to accept all of the refugees but only to allow each through the normal vetting procedures. At that, Trump vowed to subject each refu­gee to “extreme vetting,” the senior U.S. official said....
Reading that, I'd say that it seems that Trump is concerned with protecting himself politically, and that there is no real conflict with Australia. Trump wants the word out that he hates the deal, and he's deflecting the blame onto Obama. Meanwhile, the deal will be honored and the refugees will be subjected to the "extreme vetting" — Trump's standard shorthand way to assure us that he's got a way to filter good and bad people and to try to deflect the inevitable charge of xenophobia.

110 comments:

Darrell said...

The number was 1600, according to Yahoo.

David53 said...

It is interesting to compare our Syrian refugee program with Australia’s. Australia agreed to accept around 12,000 Syrian refugees, I think about 6,000 have been accepted so far. I think we will be taking about 1,200 of the refugees they don’t want. Here is an excerpt from a BBC news article on the matter.

“Ahmad Hemmed, a migration agent, who has helped many Syrian families in Sydney, told the BBC that the majority of the refugees have been unable to adapt.
"There are people that after I meet them here after even a year, they do not like the country and they are scared to mix with the Australian community," Mr Hemmed explained.
"They are still isolating themselves with similar cultural background people and I think they are raising their kids in the same way, which for me it is really concerning. They live in Australia but they are not actually carrying Australian values."

The Cracker Emcee said...

The Australians reasoning is bizarre. We don't want these people, we insist that you take them.

Good for Trump. Unraveling Obama's idiocy is probably going to entail stepping on a few toes arounf the world. So be it.

Seeing Red said...

Ummm, Ozland already started to pivot to China in the last few years. Which is what Obama wanted, don't forget. Less US influence.

Can't have it both ways, people.

Rantburg is a great site for stuff like this.

steve uhr said...

Darrell said:

"The number was 1600, according to Yahoo."

My guess is they're cannibals and if we wait long enough there will only be one left.

Original Mike said...

Why would we take them? What's Australia offering? A generous shippment of Lord Nelson Three Sheets Pale Ale would be a good start.

Hagar said...

It isn't just the Australians reasoning that is bizarre.
The Democrats and MSM - "but I repeat myself" - also immediately say, of course, if Australia does not want them, we must take them in.

buwaya said...

This refugee policy is stupid on steroids.
Australia started its camps on these islands as a way to discourage illegal immigrants sailing over on boats, by the tens of thousands as they had been doing. Its been a huge political scandal. It worked, the boats stopped.
Now the camps are themselves become a scandal.
So Turnbull wants them gone, the Obama deal was a political payoff to him.
But if the boat-riders can hope for US repatriation should they make it to Australia, the boats will come again.

buwaya said...

Turnbull was backing Global Warming policies, international agreements, etc., in contrast to Abbott who he deposed in a party revolt. Which was backed by powerful financial interests once the commodities boom tailed off. There are wheels within wheels in all this.

Prince WillHRH said...

Trump sure did give that Turnbull a piece of his mind! Such a strong leader! We don't care that he's insulting to foreign leaders of countries that have been one of our strongest allies.

Sebastian said...

OK, so Australia wants to dump "non-dangerous" refugees on us because they actually want to maintain a much tougher immigration regime against any uncontrolled immigration, Trump says wait a minute, and he's the bad guy. Of course, if he were to advocate the Australian approach for us, the left would howl in outrage.

Left out of the debate is the responsibility of other countries. Trump should make admission of any further Muslim refugees conditional on resettlement of a coupe of million in Indonesia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco. Makes more sense in any case: the David53 quote only confirms long European experience with lack of integration. Quite apart from present dangers, the long-term festering alienation of Muslim minorities does no one any good. See Minneapolis, Rotherham, the banlieus, etc. etc.

mockturtle said...

As I understand it, part of the Obama agreement was that Australia would, in turn, take in refugees from Central America. What a deal!

Sebastian said...

"Ozland already started to pivot to China in the last few years." Just goes to show Trump's nefarious power. Just like in Latin America, he made us lose power and influence even before he got into office.

Leora said...

I don't understand why Canada can't take them. Trudeau said he wanted them.

MayBee said...

I think we are supposed to focus on OMG TRUMP IS RUINING OUR ALLIANCES ALL OVER THE WORLD rather than the fact that Obama committed us to a really horrible deal with no upside for us (which is sooooo Obama)

buwaya said...

Turnbull is feeling weak as Lib-Nat leader.
Feeling the heat. He wanted this to go away.
Australia has its own politics, and is not a unified block as an ally. Heck, previous Australian governments were often rather anti-American, opportunistically.
And they need the US far more than the US needs them.

MayBee said...

Whatever an American President does, he must never get upset with a foreign leader. Ever.

Oso Negro said...

Why must we be the dumping ground? FUCK that, we have enough wretched refuse of our own.

Darrell said...

John McShitstain called the PM and offered his total suppport to him. Typical. He should send an aide to Australia to pick up the PM's call notes at taxpayers' expense.

Eustace Chilke said...

If admitting them to Australia is an attraction for more then moving them on to the US is the same. Possibly more so. How dumb are the people who make these treaties? Neither party to this one is served by it. But they insist that if we knew what they know we'd understand why they do as they do. I call bullshit. Somewhere, maybe hidden and maybe not, there is a load of self dealing treachery in these matters.

Hagar said...

Canada is no good for the poor dears. It gets cold up there.

Hagar said...

Besides, if they go to Canada, they still cannot vote in U.S. elections.

Gahrie said...

We don't care that he's insulting to foreign leaders of countries that have been one of our strongest allies.

Well you definitely didn't care when Obama insulted and acted against the interests of our two closest allies.

Angel-Dyne said...

"Refugees". Quote unquote.

On average, how many safe countries (including Muslim countries) did most of these "refugees" pass through before making the attempt to get into Australia?

But Australia needs to let them in so that they can produce the next generation of PoC activists to bitch about how racist Australia is.

Drago said...

Prince WillHRH: "Trump sure did give that Turnbull a piece of his mind! Such a strong leader! We don't care that he's insulting to foreign leaders of countries that have been one of our strongest allies."

Yes.

An Obama fan actually wrote that. Just now. Without irony.

What is it about the leftists that makes them believe that everyone will go along with them pretending that history started when a republican assumes office and nothing before then will be recalled?

Yancey Ward said...

I think, in another post, Ms. Althouse is correct- the details of this phone call were deliberately leaked with Trump's blessing. The media, in their stupidity, seems to think this will make Trump look bad, but given the details which can't be ignored because they are the entire core of the leak itself, you find a refugee deal that basically boils down to Australia dumping a problem on the US.

Chuck said...

Trump is stuck on the phrase "illegal immigrants."

We've already been through the various levels of polite phraseology with Professor Althouse; I have always taken the position that I would use "illegal aliens" whenever that phrase was appropriate, because it was a phrase found in court decisions and federal statutes. I think it is the correct phrase, to describe the people who are here illegally.

But now I see Trump using his Twitter account to refer to people who may come here per the Australian program as "illegal immigrants." And that is an even worse phrase, than something so vague as "undocumented immigrant" or some such thing.

The Australian transferees would be coming to the U.S. legally, per the program (notwithstanding the fact that Trump doesn't like it, and he may or may not be right) as "refugees." So they would not be "illegal immigrants."

Trump should be a lot more careful about his language.

Original Mike said...

"The Australian transferees would be coming to the U.S. legally, per the program (notwithstanding the fact that Trump doesn't like it, and he may or may not be right) as "refugees." So they would not be "illegal immigrants.""

Haven't studied this issue so maybe I'm wrong, but news reports are they came to Australia without permission. Is this incorrect?

Chuck said...

Original Mike; they came to Australia, requesting asylum. And claiming refugee status. Of those that Australia asks us to accept, I think that they are all legally classified as "refugees." Australia processes them, before asking us to take them.

Original Mike said...

Someone can just show up on your shores calling themself a refugee and that makes them one?

The Cracker Emcee said...

""The Australian transferees would be coming to the U.S. legally, per the program (notwithstanding the fact that Trump doesn't like it, and he may or may not be right) as "refugees." So they would not be "illegal immigrants.""

Haven't studied this issue so maybe I'm wrong, but news reports are they came to Australia without permission. Is this incorrect?"

You're correct, OM. Chuck thinks disingenuous pedantry masks the lameness of his comment.

Rocketeer said...

Has some one already noted that in Australia, the Liberals are what we refer to in America as conservatives?

The Cracker Emcee said...

This just in: US harbors 13 million Hispanic refugees.

Original Mike said...

I've been to Australia 4 times in the last 3 years. Each time, I ask permission first.

Yancey Ward said...

Chuck,

The people entered Australia illegally- full stop. We can debate whether or not Australia should keep them on some island indefinitely, and we can even argue about whether or not Obama made the right decision on accepting them as refugees, but to carp about Trump using the word "illegal" is just pretty petty pedantry, but from what I have witnessed of your mental devolution the last several weeks, understandable.

Jack Wayne said...

This is easily fixed. After extreme vetting, all these illegal aliens get returned to their country of origin. They're gone from Australia, they're not in America and no one gets encouraged to try the same stunt.

Life-long Republicans hardest hit.

Chuck said...

Original Mike said...
Someone can just show up on your shores calling themself a refugee and that makes them one?


Well, no. But once they have requested asylum under the 1951 International Refugee Convention, and have been processed as such (as the 1,250 or so in this case) and brought to the United States under an agreed program (as the White House concedes, even now, post-Trump phone call), they are not "illegal" anymore. They are "refugees."

I say that these people are "refugees" in the interest of legal clarity, just as I have insisted that the term "illegal alien," and not some more-p.c. term, is the right one.

Check this out, for some more plain-English discussion:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-us-australia-refugees-illegal-immigrants-difference-dumb-deal-nauru-papua-new-guinea-a7558581.html

rehajm said...

I think we are supposed to focus on OMG TRUMP IS RUINING OUR ALLIANCES ALL OVER THE WORLD rather than the fact that Obama committed us to a really horrible deal with no upside for us

I believe the Obama strategy was to accept everyone and they would be so grateful they would become an omnipotent leftie voting block. If a few of them took out a few white voters, net net probably a plus.

Larry J said...

Prince WillHRH said...
Trump sure did give that Turnbull a piece of his mind! Such a strong leader! We don't care that he's insulting to foreign leaders of countries that have been one of our strongest allies.


If your best friend tries to screw you over, you do have the right to call him on it.

rcocean said...

Here's Bloomberg's hysterical headline:

"Trump Twitter Bursts Throw Decades-Old Alliances Into Chaos"

Man, that's a lot of work for a tweet that just called our taking in 1400 refugees "dumb".

Maybe, the Aussies are the real sensitive types.

rcocean said...

OMG, trump may have told the Aussie PM the deal was "dumb" OMG, OMG.

Our alliance is over. Its isolationism all over again. Its Hitler all over again. OMG. OMG.

rcocean said...

Maybe, if Trump doesn't accept them, the Aussie will stop taking in Refugees they don't want.

lgv said...

I find it very interesting. Once again, if the US had the same immigration policy as Australia, would progressives be happy? The answer is no. It's very hard to legally emigrate to Australia, much harder. Same with most non-EU industrialized nations.

Unfortunately, their laws don't keep people from showing up in boats. Now they are in a bad situation and Obama cut a deal to save their precious protected land from being overrun with immigrants. I wonder what the quid pro quo was. Once again, the MSM is focused on negativity rather than the substance of the issue, so it is about being polite and not about taking immigrants sight unseen.

For Chuck, the process of calling them legal refugees is simply a formality that happens only if we take them. If these refugees escaped on boat from their internment islands and went ashore in Australia, they would wanted criminals.

traditionalguy said...

That Trump guy is making America first again. The USA got nothing out of the deal except another sneaky way for Mullah Obama to flood the small towns in the USA with as many Muslim snakes as possible. The Aussies should ask Japan to take them off their hands. That would make the Japs laugh.

MaxedOutMama said...

The Australian PM has said that the call ended courteously.

Why the US should be taking these refugees is still unclear. Trump may refuse to take any whose bona fides can not be firmly established, which would be a way to honor the previous president's stated commitment without doing too much damage to the US.

I am sorry for everyone involved, including the refugees themselves and the Australians, but the truth is that the experience hasn't been that good in Canada, either. There are cultural problems, most especially with respect for women, that are extremely evident.

I believe that neither Australia nor Canada nor Europe nor the US has any obligation to take in any refugee who will not respect our laws, which demand that the rights of other residents in the land must be respected.

The Drill SGT said...

what buwaya said...

PS: The Aussie's are known for plain speaking. I suspect the PM has heard worse :)

SayAahh said...

I though that was why Barack made space at Gitmo?

Known Unknown said...

Something something pots and kettles.

Charlie Currie said...

Cubans need to figure out how to sail to Australia so they can be deported to the US.

traditionalguy said...

With our help, the frozen snakes, called Muslim Refugees today, will thaw out, get strong, learn our ways so they can attack weaknesses, and emerge as a conquering invasion force. If they don't do that, then they were never real Muslims at all.

cubanbob said...

Australia is near Indonesia. Indonesia is a Muslim country. Indonesia government officials are very bribe-able. Trump be a sport, spot the Ozzies the cash to pay the bribe to take these people of their hands. A win-win scenario. The Muzzie refuges get to go to a culturally and religiously compatible country. The Indonesian officials get extra compensation and the US and Australia get relieved of another headache and a lot of long term costs. Whats not to like?

James Kahn said...

"Obama committed us to a really horrible deal with no upside for us (which is sooooo Obama)"

And, as I understand it, he did this post-election, as part of his general sabotage and poo-flinging tantrum because the electorate rejected his preferred successor.

As Daniel Greenfield points out, Turnbull must have known this and took advantage.

Birkel said...

Trump is Hitler. I get that.

What land mass gets to play Sudetenland?

buwaya said...

" Trump be a sport, spot the Ozzies the cash to pay the bribe to take these people of their hands"

The Australians have already tried this themselves, many times.
The Indonesians won't do it for any amount apparently.
The Aussies variously got the New Guinea govt and that of Nauru to take the money.

jvermeer51 said...

Let's keep in mind Australia's tough immigration policy. There are 250,000,000 impoverished Indonesians a short boat trip away; one which can be made pretty close to never leaving the sight of land. The last thing they want to encourage is a "Camp of the Saints" flotilla.

ELC said...

If this is a mistake on Trump's part (which I do not admit, even for the sake of argument), then Trump could make a mistake like this every week for the next four years and still be better for America than President Clinton would have been.

Matt said...

Trump fully proves how dumb he is by tweeting his ignorance of this pact. But his fans continue to love him. Our new stupid emperor.

Birkel said...

Matt:

Can you describe the benefit to the United States of taking the people under discussion into her borders?

Clyde said...

Trump's right. It was another dumb deal by Obama. Why would we want those so-called refugees to come here? They shouldn't be our problem.

BillySaturday said...

While Trump insults Australia and threatens Mexico he kisses Putin's ass.

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/02/foreign-policy-insider-no-readout-of-trump-putin-call-because-white-house-turned-off-recording/

Ilan Berman, vice president of the conservative American Foreign Policy Council think tank, reported that the White House turned off its recording equipment during President Donald Trump’s call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Following the call with Putin on Saturday, the Kremlin published a readout of the hour-long conversation that suggested the Russian president was pleased with Trump’s tone.

But while the Kremlin produced a detailed 10-paragraph readout of the call, the White House released only a vague one-paragraph statement saying that Trump received a “congratulatory call from Russian President Vladimir Putin.”"

Bad Lieutenant said...

Isn't there a problem with piracy in those waters? Remarkable that refugee ships don't get pirated or just disappear. Perhaps it would eventually be seen as too unsafe to make the trip.

buwaya said...

"Perhaps it would eventually be seen as too unsafe to make the trip."

It was extremely unsafe. The "ships", usually old fishing boats, were very unseaworthy and meant for a one-way journey, overloaded and with unqualified crews. At the height of the boat crisis hundreds were dying every year. The Australian Navy and Coast Guard was often rescuing them in sinking condition.

The same thing has been happening in the Mediterranean on a much larger scale btw, since the fall of Gaddafi.

rcocean said...

Thankfully, Self-appointed President John McCain has called the Australians to "reassure" them of his 100 percent support.

You'll have to wait till Sunday to know the rest of President McCain's foreign policy activities.

Drago said...

Birkel: "Matt: Can you describe the benefit to the United States of taking the people under discussion into her borders?"

No, Matt cannot.

He is just a level 1 automaton for the left.

Angel-Dyne said...

Chuck: I say that these people are "refugees" in the interest of legal clarity...

I doubt anyone is confused about the technical legal status of these people. People really are quite capable of understanding the legal niceties without allowing themselves to be distracted from what's really going on re the ongoing global "refugee" crisis by pedantic "clarification". This despite several decades worth of efforts by the usual suspects to obfuscate the plain facts with "legal clarity".

Hence the (to you) incomprehensible indifference of ordinary informed sane people to legally imprecise vocabulary.

Bad Lieutenant said...

It was extremely unsafe.


Perhaps not unsafe enough. And what is this rescue BS?

Yes I know, clean hands. Privatize! Isn't there some public spirited billionaire out there who can afford a few torpedoes?

Hyphenated American said...

For months we've been told by media that Trump is hitler, and he would do horrible unspeakable things to Moslems. And now the media is demanding USA to bring in more mislems into the country. Does it make sense? Won't those mislems be safer in Australia?

viator said...

"MALCOLM Turnbull thought he could outsmart Donald Trump and trap him into taking 1250 of our boat people.

Huge mistake, and now he’s been humiliated.

There is no surprise that an angry Trump attacked Turnbull in their call at the weekend and hung up halfway through, after just 25 minutes.

What did Turnbull expect?

This political disaster was always on the cards from the moment Turnbull announced, on November 13 last year, that he’d signed a deal with then US president Barack Obama to take our boat people detained on Nauru and Manus Island.

That was very dumb because just five days earlier Trump had been unexpectedly elected the next president, having campaigned hard against exactly this kind of thing.

Trump had made it perfectly clear that he was against taking in alleged refugees from jihadist countries without at least “extreme vetting”. Turnbull knew this. In fact, he’d planned to announce his Obama arrangement early this year, but after Trump’s win rushed it forward in an apparent attempt to present Trump with a fait accompli.

Andrew Bolt - Melbourne Herald Sun

Mark said...

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had been counting on the Obama-era deal . . . “Our expectation naturally, given the commitments that have been made, is that it will go ahead,” he said.

Turnbull entered into this with the full knowledge that it would be opposed by Trump, but he thought he could pull a fast one and stick it to Trump.

No deal. He has only himself to blame for this blowing up.

Seeing Red said...

Yup. Has he not been paying attention?

eric said...

There is a lot of BS obfuscation going on in this refugee debate.

There are basically two types of refugees.

Those who are warehoused and those who are relocated to new homes

Warehoused refugees are taken in temporarily, even for years sometimes, until the danger passes. The United States never does this in the USA to my knowledge (although I wouldn't be surprised if it happened at some point in history).

These are the millions of refugees living in Turkey and such.

Then there are the refugees who are relocated to permanent new homes. The USA takes in about half the world's relocated refugees and it's stupid.

Trump should turn the tables on these people. He should promise to take in a million refugees. Then he should have sheriff Joe set up some large camps for these people to temporarily live in, with the absolute gaurantee that they'll all be gone by the end of his first term.

Seeing Red said...

And how are the refugees going to get here, hmmm?

Quantas?

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
previous Australian governments were often rather anti-American, opportunistically.


This is largely nonsense. The US has never had a better ally when it comes to helping fight its wars. In Australia, as in the US, those wars were often considered ill-considered, but still they fought.

What has happened is that China has become a more important ally than the US outside the security realm. China is Australia's number one trading partner and there has been considerable Chinese immigration to Australia along with vast amounts of investment. There are now close ties between the countries at multiple levels. The abandonment of the TPP will increase that trend.

Michael K said...

"Matt said...
Trump fully proves how dumb he is by tweeting his ignorance of this pact. But his fans continue to love him. Our new stupid emperor."

It seems we have a couple of new trolls.

"The US has never had a better ally when it comes to helping fight its wars. "

And an old one. The US saved Australia in WWII. Until about 40 years ago, Australia would not even allow an Asian to visit.

We are the best ally Australia has ever had. Turnbull and Obama cooked this up to play a trick on that dumb Trump guy.

tpceltus said...

Just curious, was the Obama-Turnbull agreement pre- or post- election? I just read about "November", but haven't seen the actual date.

Jon Ericson said...

Post

Roughcoat said...

Australia's contribution to land combat operations has been paltry, even pathetic: 2000 combat troops in Operation Desert Storm, 300 in Afghanistan. They contributed NO combat troops to Operation Desert Storm, just some antiaircraft units.

Australia is a rich, prosperous country that benefits immensely from the U.S. defense umbrella we have extended over the eastern and middle Pacific and, until recently, over the western Pacific as well. They can afford to spend a great deal more on defense but they won't. Like so many other countries they are content to freeload off of us.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Until about 40 years ago, Australia would not even allow an Asian to visit.


This is an overstatement, Chinese went to the goldfields in Australia during the gold rush similar to California, but it is true that there has been a remarkable change in their immigration policy over the last few decades. Australia is steadily becoming an asian nation, albeit still a majority white one.

Roughcoat said...

NO Australian combat troops were killed in combat in Operation Iraq Freedom. That's because they scarcely participated in combat operations. Three died in accidents.

In 15 years of conflict in Afghanistan 41 Australian Defence Forces soldiers have been KIA.

No Australian military personal were killed in Desert Storm.

The fight against radical Islam is Australia's fight too. Or should be. But they don't do much fighting, as evidenced by their casualty statistics.

AReasonableMan said...

Roughcoat said...
NO Australian combat troops were killed in combat in Operation Iraq Freedom. In 15 years of conflict in Afghanistan 41 Australian Defence Forces soldiers have been KIA. No Australian military personal were killed in Desert Storm.


If we were going to use Trump's standards for assessing war heroes, “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”, then all those non-dead Aussies are presumably war heroes. The dead ones failed to meet the Donald's standards.

But, you are correct that the Australians have not taken a lot of casualties. The wars you mention were even less popular in Australia than they were here. They don't frame it as a war against Islam for obvious reasons, an Islamic nation of 250 million people lies directly to their north. It would be like Canada declaring war on Christianity. It's relatively cost-free to declare war on Islam in the US.

Roughcoat said...


You wrote: The US has never had a better ally when it comes to helping fight its wars.... still they fought.

Based on force size and participation, and on political commitment, the U.S. has had many and far better allies than Australia. That was the point I was responding to. The reasons for Australia's paltry contribution to and engagement in the global war on terror, i.e. the lack of popular support among Australians for conducting military operations, is not relevant to that point. Your assertion that it's "relatively cost-free to delcare war on Islam in the U.S. is absurd. In the first place, the U.S. has not declared war on "Islam." It is combating the forces of radical Islam and Islamic terror, a struggle that has entailed astronomical costs in blood and treasure. You may not approve of our role in that struggle or the way we have conducted our affairs both militarily and politically, but to suggest that the struggle has been "relatively cost-free" is simply wrong.

Amos said...

I'm Australian and I love it that Trump is telling Turnbull to stick his deal. These people are not America's problem, they aren't even Australia's problem, were it not for the utter weakness of our worthless 'leader'. Most of them are Iranian illegal immigrants. They are not refugees, they are trespassers who refuse to leave.

Jupiter said...

Here is a Muslim that got in, Linda Sarsour, the HellSow from NYC who organized the Women's March, explaining her ideas about feminism;

"Brigitte Gabriel=Ayaan Hirsi Alii. She's asking 4 an a$$ whippin'. I wish I could take their vaginas away - they don't deserve to be women."

Note the 4 instead of for, the dollar signs in a$$, the apostrophe on the end of whippin'. Obviously, this Muslim POS is assimilating into American culture very well. Where can we get 10 or 20 million more just like her?

Jon Ericson said...

Amos: To use Professor Reynolds' verbiage: colonists.

Roughcoat said...

I generally like the Australians I've met and I'm favorably disposed toward their country. I always seek them out when I'm traveling overseas because I usually find them sympatico in terms of temperament, behavior, world view, etc. But facts are facts.

AReasonableMan said...

Roughcoat said...
Based on force size and participation, and on political commitment, the U.S. has had many and far better allies than Australia.


Such as?

The US plus Australia, together with Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, comprises the The Five Eyes intelligence alliance.
To quote wiki:
"Despite the impact of Snowden's disclosures, some experts in the intelligence community believe that no amount of global concern or outrage will affect the Five Eyes relationship, which to this day remains one of the most comprehensive known espionage alliances in history."

Of those four other countries Australia has been the most consistent ally over the last sixty years. The US doesn't have a better ally.

AReasonableMan said...

I was referring to the overheated war on Islam rhetoric, which is largely cost free in the US. This rhetoric is not an option for responsible Australian leaders. You are right, I think the real war has been misguided, but this in large part for the unacceptable costs compared to the dubious at best 'benefits'.

Roughcoat said...


Suggest you research the contribution of combat troops and formations by countries other than Australia in Desert Storm, OIF, Afghanistan and, not least, the present conflict with ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

E.g., the statistics for Desert Storm are highly revealing insofar as they prove my point.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_of_the_Gulf_War#Egypt.

Note especially the numbers for Muslim countries in the Allied coalition. Topping the list is Saudi with c. 100,000 troops. Egyptian contributed 20,000, Syria 14,500, Morocco 13,000.

Toward the bottom of the list is Australia with a mere 700 troops.

Again, my criteria is force size and participation. Your comment about the so-called Fives Eyes is off-point and therefore irrelevant.

You don't know what you're talking about. You're changing the subject away from the point I'm making and addressing; and in doing so, you're arguing in bad faith. I will have no further communications with you.

Bob Loblaw said...

"There are people that after I meet them here after even a year, they do not like the country and they are scared to mix with the Australian community," Mr Hemmed explained.
"They are still isolating themselves with similar cultural background people and I think they are raising their kids in the same way, which for me it is really concerning. They live in Australia but they are not actually carrying Australian values."


So they'll take the ones who are willing to assimilate, and we get the incorrigibles?

Seems legit.

AReasonableMan said...

So your argument is that the Saudi's are a better ally to the US than the Australians?

I doubt you can find another person (Birkel doesn't count) who agrees with this assessment.

How many Australians were involved in the 911 attack?


Roughcoat said...

I was referring to the overheated war on Islam rhetoric, which is largely cost free in the US.

A functionally meaningless statement. I was NOT referring to what you term the "overheated war on Islam rhetoric," I was addressing your original point. You're changing the subject. I do not accept your premise, i.e. that there is an overheated war on Islam rhetoric. I do not accept that our waging of the GWOT has been misguided or that the costs have been unacceptable. Nor have the costs been "dubious." I do not accept the implications of framing "benefits" in quotes. The struggle is necessary and therefore beneficial.

Roughcoat said...
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n.n said...

The cover-up of progressive wars and rising anti-nativism are illuminated in the dawn's early light. The refugee crises will be resolved with the end of Obama's wars.

Roughcoat said...

The tangible, material/military contributions made by Australia to combat operations in the GWOT have been negligible. They have not been good allies in this respect. Many other nations, including Saudi, have sacrificed more in terms of blood and treasure than Australia.

Roughcoat said...

The refugee crises will be resolved with the end of Obama's wars.

The wars to which I assume you're referring -- correct me if I'm wrong -- are the series of conflicts collectively known as the global war on terror. These are not "Obama's wars," an unfortunate formulation. They are one war, a world war, a war that must be fought if only because our enemies are not going to stop fighting it even if we choose to unilaterally end our involvement. This war was being fought well before Obama became president; there is an argument to be made it has been ongoing since the sixth century. It was fought badly under Obama's misbegotten direction, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be fought. Ending "Obama's wars" will not end the refugee crisis much less end Islamic aggression and violence against the non-Muslim world.

Jupiter said...

Roughcoat said...

"They are one war, a world war, a war that must be fought if only because our enemies are not going to stop fighting it even if we choose to unilaterally end our involvement."

I'm with you there, but Saudi is no ally in the war you're talking about. The Saud dynasty has been buying off the Muzzies by financing their war on the West. Meanwhile, they are willing to let us fight their war against the Shias for them, as long as we don't let our soldiers wear crosses, cover the heads of the women we send to die to protect them, and generally kiss their dicks while they build Wahhabi subversion centers throughout Europe and the US. Let the Iranians nuke them. They won't be missed.

AReasonableMan said...

Roughcoat, your argument that the Saudis are a better ally than the Australians is, and I don't say this lightly given all the crazy shit I have read here, the craziest thing I have ever read here.

dbp said...

If Obama thought it was such a good idea to take these people off of Australia's hands, why didn't he do it while he was president?

If the Australian PM thought he could count on Trump to keep promises made by the lamest of lame ducks, then he is extraordinarily stupid and that is hardly the fault of Trump.

Roughcoat said...
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Roughcoat said...

I've said my piece.

Aussie Pundit said...

Australians don't use the word "liberal" to mean 'left wing'. That's a modern distortion of the word's meaning that's come into fashion in America.
The Liberal Party of Australia is a centre-right party, and was founded back in the days when 'liberal' was a word rather like 'libertarian,' meaning non-restrictive and pro-market.

Aussie Pundit said...

Also, the illegal immigrants in question are not going to enter Australia. That was never the issue. The problem is that they are warehoused in camps in nearby South-West Pacific countries while the wheels of bureaucracy turn.

So the choice is not "do they go to America or do they go to Australia", the choice is "do they go to America or do they sit for another few years in offshore processing centres."

Jon Ericson said...

Thanks, AP.

FIDO said...

It would help if Chuck wasn't engaging in pettifoggery.

We should, he is pedantically correct about, not use the word 'illegal immigrant' because in THIS case, they are not OUR illegal immigrants.

So I suggest we use a more accurate term: "People We Don't Want Here

These "People We Don't Want Here can't get through an Australian vetting process so why should we imagine that they can pass an American one? Should we KNOWINGLY take dangerous "People We Don't Want Here? Is that Chucks argument? Is that the argument of CNN?

But let's dig into refugees. Here is my humble little set of conditions to take in any refugee.

1) You must sign a paper renouncing Sharia law in your native language and Arabic.

2) You must have a family.

3) You are not allowed to live within 100 miles of any other refugee family. No refugee enclaves.

4) It will be made PERFECTLY clear that if the wife or children show up with a lot of bruises in public, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE FAMILY, either HE or the entire family will be deported. If they want to stay, they are welcome to. You are here on sufferance.

They can then make choices accordingly if they want to go to a war torn Hellhole or come to America. The choice is not so clear cut.

Jupiter said...

AReasonableMan said...

"Roughcoat, your argument that the Saudis are a better ally than the Australians is, and I don't say this lightly given all the crazy shit I have read here, the craziest thing I have ever read here."

ARM, even given your peculiar point of view, that is an absurd claim, although not the most absurd I have ever encountered in Althouse' comments. But like a stopped clock, you are right that a Muslim monarchy cannot possibly be anything more than an ally of momentary convenience to a Christian Republic. The only thing the Saudis have ever had to recommend them is the huge puddle of oil they are sitting uneasily on top of. And the value of that puddle is decreasing, while the cost of maintaining the crime that is Saudi Arabia is becoming unsustainable. They are doomed, and the question is what will replace them.

Ron said...

Ann says: "If the real reason is the concern that some of them are dangerous, it's the same reason Trump and the Americans who agree with him don't want to let them in here without "extreme vetting.""

Ann, what makes you so sure that is the main reason?

AReasonableMan said...

Jupiter said...
ARM, even given your peculiar point of view


In this usage the word peculiar means - in alignment with sensible moderates throughout the country.

aritai said...

You would think every government has to be held responsible for its own actions, even if results in their people repla cingtheir current government. As the U.S. just did. So just like Europe, accept them in if that was the consequence of your decision, even if you have to pay the consequences, loss of your job and civil riots, like are happening in Europe. Maybe the next "rulers" will have more sense, and not try to pass off a problem without appropriate compensation. Though perhaps a change in leadership would be just compensation. Then again they could take direction action against those attacking their country by fighting those who send these soldiers, refugees or whatever to attack them, and solving the problem that way. Just like Australia was saved by the U.S. when Vietnam, their problem at the end of the day had just been left to pass their revolution to Indonesia. Nice for the U.S. to help out, uncompsenated at the end of the day, but not their problem. At least when viewed from the Mid-east.

Martin said...

Why, exactly, is it on the US to take in refugees from, I assume, places near Australia? I wouldn't use Trump's words, but WTF?

Did Obama owe a personal favor to Turnbull? Because I can see maybe a political interest for Turnbull, but why is that our problem?

I fail to see how the national interest of either country is affected by 1250 refugees from Indonesia or Malaysia. And Turnbull should have known that a verbal, even a written promise for Obama, not confirmed by Congress, has no binding authority. If he has an argument to make as to why it is in our interest to accept these people that he doesn't want, he should make it--Trump said he would "look into" it, he didn't slam the door. But it is a new day over here and Turnbull should show it is in our interest as well as his.

gnome said...

Australia is the only country which has supported the US in every conflict it has been in since WW II. Our troop contribution isn't big, but we don't have a big population and we do have a big area of our own to worry about.

We don't provide cannon fodder any more, like we did in Vietnam (where were your UK, Israel etc allies then?) and neither should you. We do share your technology proportionally. We have no desire to have our boots on anyone else's ground. The only territory we ever want to take and hold is our own, and that doesn't take a big army.

The US has its own interests in the western Pacific region and having Australia as a totally reliable partner works in those interests. South Korea and Japan will never be as safe a base for the US as Australia. (The Philippines, once under your control - where are they now? Subic? Clarke AFB?) Sure, that's in our interests too even if it makes some parts of the country specific nuclear targets.

Apart from those, we also provide the US with military training areas and opportunities hard to find elsewhere.

As to the illegals- not one of these people has ever set foot in Australia. We pick them out of the ocean for their safety and take them to Nauru and Manus. They claim their desire to come to Australia gives them some right to protection from Australia - we say if they try to come here illegally by boat they will never be allowed to settle in Australia. But we will try to find other places to put them.

The deal with Obama was to take those on Manus and Nauru who have satisfied the criteria for genuine refugee status and swap them for an equal number of illegals entering the US from Central America. The ones we are willing to take in return are likely to be the same sort as the ones we hand over - middle easterners who have found an illegal route into their preferred destination.

The deterrent is that they won't get to the chosen destination. Trump's opposition enhances the deterrent, but it really wasn't that dumb a deal.