In which Turnbull is thoroughly played by Trump

2 Feb



Towards the end of the Obama administration, a classified “deal” was made between the then President and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, to send an undisclosed number of refugees from detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru to the US for resettlement. In return, Australia agreed to accept refugees from Costa Rica.

The classified nature of the deal infuriated Republicans, who after the election of President Trump called for details to be released, claiming the agreement covered the resettlement of an estimated 2,400 refugees, some from countries already on Obama’s list of “countries of concern.”

It was on the basis of Obama’s list that Trump formed his own list of seven predominantly Muslim countries from which entry into the US is now forbidden for ninety days, with refugees refused resettlement for one hundred and twenty days.

Both Obama and Turnbull were likely confident of a Clinton win when the agreement was reached, though Turnbull did express confidence that if elected, Trump would honour the agreement.

It was and remains, an unholy deal. The US is the last of a number of countries successive Australian governments have attempted to persuade to take refugees who legally sought asylum in Australia, and were incarcerated  in off-shore camps for exercising those legal rights. Both the LNP and ALP have engaged in increasingly desperate efforts to wash their hands of the refugees, and both parties were relieved and enthused by the US “deal.”

It’s been revealed today through leaks to the Washington Post, that Trump exploded at Turnbull during a phone call over the weekend, telling him it was the worst deal he’d ever heard of, and why did he, Turnbull, expect that Trump would agree to importing the next Boston Bomber. Trump later tweeted this:

The clue as to what is actually going on here is in the tweet, and to understand it, you need to know some context.

In 2011, Trump’s attacks on President Obama’s origins were at their height, the so-called “Birther” controversy. At the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner that year, Obama, who was guest speaker, took the opportunity to thoroughly trash Donald Trump, who was also present. Witnesses to this trashing claim Trump’s humiliation and rage were palpable, and many have since commented that this was the moment that determined Trump to enter the presidential race, and in victory avenge himself, lay his humiliation to rest, and assume power over every Obama initiative instigated during his administration, with the aim of dismantling as many of them as possible.

Much as in our own country, Tony Abbott set about dismantling every Labor government initiative of any note, regardless of its value, simply because it was a Labor initiative, and he could demonstrate his power to be greater than the ALP’s through this destructive rampage.

Trump misses no opportunity to denigrate Obama, either overtly or covertly. This “dumb deal” of Obama’s is being used by Trump to demonstrate to the American people that his predecessor was reckless enough to enter into a secret deal that allowed refugees from “countries of concern” into the US, and in so doing, risk the safety and security of Americans. Trump’s message  is that he is better than this. He knows a dumb deal from the Obama administration when he sees one, and he’s not going to just go along with it.

Turnbull and the refugees are collateral damage. Turnbull deserves it. The refugees do not.

Trump personally loathes and fears Muslims. He is also no doubt genuinely irritated at having to negotiate his way through this “deal” which, should he decide to honour it (and he may yet, the man is mercurial and entirely unpredictable) will cause him considerable embarrassment, given his hardline stance towards countries that are also the homelands of many of those whose fate is in limbo. Politcially, Trump allegedly said to Turnbull, I’ll get killed by it. I don’t want these people.

The future of the refugees is still as uncertain as it has been for years. At the very best, Trump might agree to “extreme vetting:” a process very few are likely to survive, given their homelands, the involvement of many in protests against their ill-treatment, and their demonised reputations, for which Australia is entirely responsible,  having cast them as “criminals” and “illegals” in order to win political favour with the ignorant.

It is with increasing incredulity we now watch as Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton attempt to rebrand those they’ve slandered as criminals and illegals, into “genuine”refugees worthy of resettlement in the USA. As we are wont to observe on social media, you could not make this shit up.

Turnbull continues to insist that Trump has agreed to honour the “deal.” However, neither he nor the media are particularly honest in their explanations of this deal: it is not a deal to accept anyone. The terms are such that the US can refuse to take even one refugee, and still honour the agreement. This has been known by the government for some time:

Our politicians seem not to have caught up with events. Trump is feral. He’ll do what he wants. He has no regard for diplomacy, checks and balances, time-honoured channels, or the right way of doing things. We’re in an entirely new political landscape. Documentary film maker Michael Moore claims there’s a coup underway even as we speak, a coup in which a handful of men destroy the US state via the transference of executive power to a small, tight inner circle, over-ruling any efforts by relevant agencies to intervene in their power grab.

The only certainties we can have about Trump is that he will act in ways that benefit and gratify his personal goals, and that his thirst for revenge is a legendary driving force.

Turnbull is in a pickle, and one he richly deserves. This is the karma bus coming to call.

However, he has an opportunity to redeem himself, at least as a human being, if not as a politician. I fear that latter ship has sailed. He could, however, recognise that there is nothing left to do but bring the refugees here, and attend to it without further ado.

At the moment he continues to insist, like a petulant and disappointed  child, that Trump “promised” to keep the agreement, and he won’t stop believing he will. Unfortunately, Turnbull doesn’t seem to realise yet that keeping the agreement does not mean the US accepting any refugees.

Meanwhile, those on Manus and Nauru continue to suffer. Pawns in successive Australian governments’ pandering to xenophobia, fear and ignorance. Well done, both major parties. Now let’s see you get out of this mess.

20 Responses to “In which Turnbull is thoroughly played by Trump”

  1. Marilyn February 3, 2017 at 3:28 am #

    The cartel of ALP/LNP racists are useless cunts

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 3, 2017 at 7:46 am #

      Except cunts have *depth & warmth*…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote February 3, 2017 at 11:20 am #

        But a useless cunt is like tits on a bull . . . 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn February 3, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

          Xactly, or fish on a bike, our cartel are colder than witches tits. and if brains were spunk they couldn’t duff an ant.


  2. helvityni February 3, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    ..with Turnbull’s ‘good’ news after the infamous phone call to Trump, Morrison, Dutton and Ms Julie were beaming, Oz was once again all the way with USA.

    Funnily enough at the same time Mal started to look extra anxious, the call had not been going too well at all, he aged before our eyes….

    Why should America take OUR asylum seekers, I never understood, yet many found it an excellent solution…are we all totally heartless, they are PEOPLE, and they have already been assessed and found suitable to be settled HERE…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 3, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

      They should be settled here, I agree Helvi. That seems so unlikely I would like them to go to Canada and NZ, as second choice.


  3. Barry Waters February 3, 2017 at 10:22 am #

    Soon there may be only one possible solution to Turnbull’s need to close down Manus and Nauru and that will be to allow the refugees being held in detention to come into Australia. If Trump thwarts Malcolm’s deal with Obama, the ironies will lie thick on the ground. Can Trump help the refugees by leaving them all in Malcolm’s hands? Can Trump, who is riddled with islamaphobia, be the one to refuse the deal and ends up giving these refugees a future and freedom? And in Australia at that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 3, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

      Barry, I’m pretty sure Trump intends to see to it that they all fail his extreme vetting.
      In which case Turnbull has a massive problem and deserves every bit of it.


  4. doug quixote February 3, 2017 at 11:19 am #

    The entire thing would be hilarious if it weren’t for the plight of the asylum seekers.

    On the positive side, as Turnbull and Dutton seek to rebrand the asylum seekers as worthy of entry to the US, they will eventually be compelled to admit them into Australia!

    No, you can’t make this shit up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sam jandwich February 3, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

    See, I think the fact that Trump didn’t just immediately reject the proposition out of hand is a sign that Australia does have a modicum of political capital with him.

    What will happen of course is that following “extreme vetting” he will accept a small number of women and children as refugees (the most physically attractive I’ll wager) as an exercise in saving face for all and following due process. As for everyone else… I fear that if they are rejected by the US then the Aussie public, bless them, won’t accept them either.

    And, well here’s an idea: China could adopt the moral high ground, give them asylum, and humiliate Australia in the process? Otherwise, unless NZ or Germany step in then it’s entirely possible they’ll be condemned to wait until Trump is no longer with us, or until their countries of origin are declared “secured”, whereupon they’ll be sent back to who knows what.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

      I have a much darker view, Sam. Trump put on the tantrum so as to get Americans in sympathy with him against Obama, and to ensure that when he does finally refuse the refugees he can say his people won’t stand for it.
      I say this because the language he used to day was of the *criminals in prison* type. Prepping the country to refuse undesirables.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Samjandwich February 3, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

        Ok yes… I still find his personality type very hard to empathise with, but perhaps that’s because I’ve never experienced anyone quite as bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. paul walter. February 3, 2017 at 11:42 pm #

    Trump is a huckster. He’d sell his wife and daughter for tuppence if f it advanced whatever he imagined to be of advantage to himself.. We have seen the sort before. Abbott, Howard, Netanyahu, Joyce, Hanson.. they are blusterers who bully opponents into submiission, lie straight faced to get their own way and stab friends in the back with a smile.. Not the sort of borderline people you’d want running things.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. paul walter. February 4, 2017 at 9:13 am #

    This game has more twists than a snake’s tail. Now Trump seems to have been bullied behind the scenes into taking a more affable approach to little Malcolm. I can’t get past Trump, who is now going after Dodd /Frank to ensure they get a major recession out him as well as a major war.

    Personally, I think Turnbull would do well to follow Michelle Grattan’s advice:

    The people swapping deal really looks bad in the light of the last couple of days..gahhh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 5, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      Yes Turnbull should walk away, bring them here and defuse the situation.


  8. Frank February 4, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    I like the fact, reported by The Australian today that Donald Trump has issued an edict directing all his female staff to dress like real Women! No nasty pantsuits like Hillary wore. Too ugly. No dressing up like lesbians in mens clothes. All women must wear high heels and short skirts with a bit of lippy applied and they have all been ordered to smile at men’s jokes! (Think Penny Wong forced to wear a mini skirt, then made to flirt with a Liberal. Hah!)

    I love this bit: “President Trump has always made it clear that he judges women by their looks. Being interviewed by a female journalist was fine, he once said, “as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass”.

    When he bought the Miss USA beauty pageant in 1997 Mr Trump, 70, vowed to get “the bathing suits to be smaller and the heels to be higher”.

    Awesome. It’s a bit like building a wall and making Mexico pay for it, but this time, he’s making the women pay for their sexy gear too!

    I always thought that Trump was about fixing America. Wrong! He’s also making American Women Great Again. Smoking Hot in fact! Let’s face it. Women do need improvement after all those feminist rallies protesting Trump, dressed in those ridiculous pink pussy hats, vagina masks and those inane signs. I bet they didn’t even get home in time to cook their husband’s their dinner? No more mean, ugly bitches dressed up like Chairman Mao in boiler suits, but hot saucy wenches in mini-skirts and high heel boots looking like the girls on Fox News, my favourite channel. Did you notice that the chicks on Fox News always have their legs crossed? Clue: No underwear. That’s how they get a bigger audience than CNN. Beaver shots.

    Did I say Donald is my role model? What a guy. Oh, and give the refugees on Nauru $10 grand each and an airline ticket back to whatever shit-hole they came from. End of Story. Trump will be happy. Trumbell will be happy too. Clock it up on the National Debt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. paul walter. February 5, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    This is all getting very Kathy Reichs ..* legendary eyeball roll*. .


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