Monday, October 13, 2014
Australian Sellout – Putin to Attend G20
Most of us will remember for a long time where we were the moment we learned that the Russians shot down Malaysian flight MH17 over Ukraine, killing nearly 300 men, women and children. I was in a staff meeting at UN DPI/NGO.
Leaders of democratic countries and average men and women on the street expressed their outrage at Moscow’s latest crime against humanity. President Obama, Prime Minister Harper of Canada, Prime Minister Cameron and others conveyed their shock, horror and condemnation over Moscow’s wanton destruction of innocent lives during a war it launched just as cruelly against Ukraine.
The harshest condemnation came from Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott.
“Australia takes a very dim view of countries which facilitate the killing of Australians, as you’d expect,” Abbott said. “The idea that Russia can wash its hands of responsibility because this happened in Ukrainian airspace just does not stand serious scrutiny.”
Abbott suggested that Putin’s attendance at the November G20 meeting would hinge on Russia’s unequivocal support for an investigation, saying Australia would wait and see what next unfolded.
“Australia is a self-respecting country,” he said. “Visitors to this country are people who have done the right thing by this country.”
Abbott stated: “The idea that Russia can wash its hands of responsibility because this happened in Ukrainian airspace just does not stand serious scrutiny. This is not something that can just be dismissed as a tragic accident when you have Russian proxies using Russian-supplied equipment.”
He also said: “This looks less like an accident than a crime and if so the perpetrators must be brought to justice.”
Putin did not do anything to absolve himself and atone for his crimes.
In the ensuing three months memory of the murdered Australians faded into oblivion and Abbott and the world returned to business as usual. Now Canberra is even allowing the Russian despot Putin to enter Australia and attend as an equal among equals the G20 meeting in Brisbane on November 15-16.
Like Pontius Pilate, Abbott explained his duplicity by blaming his G20 colleagues: “It’s not Australia’s right to say yes or no to individual members of the G20.”
The Australian press quoted Abbott as offering lame excuses that there were many aspects of Russia’s foreign policy he was not happy with and he deplored its “blatant aggression” towards its “smaller, weaker, neighbor” Ukraine.
“Obviously we had the MH17 atrocity earlier this year where 38 Australians were murdered by Russian-backed rebels using Russian-supplied equipment, so there is much to deplore in Russia’s foreign policy,” Abbott said quoting himself.
“But the G20 is an international gathering that operates by consensus. It’s not Australia’s right to say yes or no to individual members of the G20. Russia is a member of the G20 and as such, we’re obliged to accept the Russian leader in this country.”
Australia is the sovereign of its own land and can decide who can visit it, as Abbott said directly after the historic catastrophe. It can even propose to change the venue of the G20 meeting – anything to show its disdain with Putin and his criminal policies.
With the remaining G20 member sitting quietly about Putin’s attendance at the meeting, Australia has been set up as the fall guy. Gladly they’ll allow international heat – as much as will be generated by indignant righteous average citizens – to scorch Abbott while they wistfully stand by watching.
And that’s what international affairs are all about. No morality, just interests and excuses. Imagine inviting Hitler to an international meeting 70 years ago in the height of World War II? Have the rules of international relations changed that drastically?
As expected, Ukrainian Australians have voiced their anger at Abbott’s duplicity.
“In the future, world leaders will greatly regret appeasing Putin – the greatest threat to international order and prosperity and Western values. It is a huge mistake, as Putin has repeatedly shown that he will take a marathon when given a millimeter,” Stefan Romaniw, president of the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organizations, said. “Given he has ignored or mocked all diplomatic entreaties to date, it is spin to suggest that the G20 is the right forum at which to make Putin accountable for his actions. All it does is legitimize Putin, rather than criticize him. If someone suggests that the G20 is an economic forum, why admit as a peer someone who is acting against G20 aims by singlehandedly destroying the economy of his own country and neighboring countries, and wielding gas supply as a political weapon.”
For the next month or so, Abbot and his 18 democratic G20 colleagues should look at Putin’s face in newspapers and magazines. They should study his smug, arrogant, obnoxious, sneering image and understand that they’ll be looking at it in person for two days next month. Some will rub elbows with him, others will stand next to him for the group photo as if nothing happened. But Putin’s demeanor, eyes, gestures, words will be mocking them with the words: “I won, you lost. You can’t hurt me. I can do whatever I want. I can invade, kill, disregard international treaties. And you’ll still accept me and treat me as one of your own.”
You should be proud of yourselves.
Surely the Ukrainian Australian community will not sit by passively. They and Australians of x-captive nations’ descent should throw Abbot and his supporters out during the next elections.