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Refugee Politics
Trump’s Australia Imbroglio
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  • LarryD

    No society, no community, can accept unlimited amounts of immigration and survive. There are plenty of examples, including the fate of the now-extinct people who lived in what is now South Africa before the whites came. As a matter of self-preservation, everyone must limit immigration to a rate consistent with their rate of assimilation. And if the migrants aren’t willing to assimilate, then they are invaders.

    Refugee issues demonstrate that “no man is an island” applies to countries, also.

    • Beauceron

      “No society, no community, can accept unlimited amounts of immigration and survive. ”
      Indeed. But we have, for decades now, taken tens of millions of new citizens. It has dramatically changed our demographics and our culture.
      We will not survive, at least not as America has been.

      • Pete

        That’s the idea of the Left — drown America in third world immigrants, both legal and illegal.

        • LarryD

          And that is why immigration is now a highly politicized issue. It’s past time to enforce the immigration laws, and change them to re-emphasize assimilation. And reduce the inflow until we have assimilated most of the undigested lump from the last thirty years or so. And this is the dynamic that has produce closed-door policies before.

          • Beauceron

            I am beginning to suspect that we are past that point now and that immigration laws simply cannot be enforced.
            The project to transform us has gone too far to reign it in now.

          • LarryD

            We may have to go through a 2d American Civil War (2dACW), but most of the illegals are in deep blue states, particularly California. Whose legislature is making noises about defying Federal immigration law, and the Constitution explicitly gives Congress authority over naturalization. And there is talk of secession, again. Given the voting patterns at the county level, I would expect a reprise of West Virginia’s origin, should California actually declare succession.

        • Beauceron

          You mean “transform.”
          It will be glorious!!

  • WigWag

    I think Professor Mead (and other pundits) may have missed the most fascinating part of the story. According to the Washington Post,

    “…President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.”

    The story is sourced to “senior U.S. officials.” This surely means that the Trump Administration deliberately leaked the news of the contentious phone call. Why would the Administration leak the contents of a phone call with the leader of an ally when the two participants were obviously angry with each other? The only thing I can think of is that Trump is deliberately sending a message to ally and foe alike that there’s a new sheriff in town and things are about to change dramatically.

    Will this all work out in the end?

    It might.

    • lukelea

      So Trump plays the media . . . again. His years of practice are paying off.

    • Arkeygeezer

      Most of what President Trump has done or said since he has been in the Oval Office has been calculated. He throws the media more head-fakes than a good football running back. I agree with WigWag, Trump’s Australia Imbroglio might just work out to our advantage. Stay tuned.

      • Disappeared4x

        I think we all need to be thinking in football metaphors. Our comments here were simultaneous – your “head-fake” works better than mine:

        “As for the Trump-Turnbull phone call? My surprise will be if that was NOT staged, pre-rehearsed, for a very good reason. Perhaps it was Trumbull’s suggestion, what with Pakistan now trying to expel almost three million Afghan refugees.”

      • ljgude

        Given Turnbull’s personality they might just have clashed naturally. I vote for his conservative party here but I’d call him a Liberal Internationalist a bit given to telling people what is good for them. Like the TPP. I can see both of them rapidly reaching the conclusion that the other is a complete idiot. Perhaps it was staged, or deliberately leaked, and perhaps it was just a natural reaction.

  • Dhako

    I can’t helped but noticed how WRM tries ever-mightily to sugar-coat the embarrassing episode of seeing an American’s president berating and ranting on elected leader from a trusted ally of America. Hence, this is another way of saying, that, if sycophancy has an annual booker prize, then I think the awarding judges of that prize will be doing a disservice to their role, if they didn’t consider our Walter in here as a “deserving recipient” of that prize, at least this year. In particularly where his “tireless work” for Trump’s administration is concern.

    Moreover, the issue of refugees and immigration from the Muslim countries is one in which Trump’s administration are showing their “true character”. Or at any rate it’s one issue in which Mr Bannon (the “honey-words-whisperer” to the ears of Trump) will keep on using it to “dog-whistle” his way to the heart of Trump’s voters. Particularly in the sense of assuring these folks, that, their take of America’s true identity will have “unapologetic enforcer” at the White-House. Hence, it’s all part of the same piece of playing to the gallery of Trump’s base.

    Furthermore, there is also a cynical reason for this ill-tempered rant on the part of Mr Trump. And that is, since he knows he will be “duty-bound” to honor this deal, unless he wants to alienate Australia who he needs for his “intended confrontation” with China, he has to create some kind of distraction for his base. And by that I mean he needs to show them that he did all he can to bad-mouth the deal. And for good measure he also “administered” a dressing down to the Australian’s leader who signed this deal with Obama. But now, after all of that, he must accept the deal, least of all, America still need Australians co-operation in the Pacific.

    Hence, this “puerile rants” on the part of Mr Trump will be a “cathartic” sort of compensation for his voters. Particularly when they know, their “hero” wasn’t happy with the deal in the first place. While at the same time, he also told what “gibberish political monkeys” those who cobbled together this deal are. And therefore, if he accepts that deal, at least his base will know that he did all that he was able to do short of creating a “fundamental breach” with American’s friendship with Australia.

    All in all, if you are going to do a political deeds in which your base will think the worse of you, then this the cynical way to go about it. Not that will create any larger sympathetic picture about you in the mind of those who you will deal with in the international scene, henceforth. But, still all that said, at the end of the day, I am sure of it, that, the likes of Mr Trump doesn’t much really care about the US’s reputation around the world other than what his base wants (or thinks he should do). And of course, this lack of world’s trust on Mr Trump’s administration will be something he will find out soon enough when he needs other nations support and co-operations.

    • Dale Fayda

      How many refugees from the Middle East is China taking in? Serious question.

      • ——————————

        The Paper Tiger doesn’t like to take refugees…it just likes to create them….

    • ——————————

      “I can’t helped but noticed how WRM tries ever-mightily to sugar-coat the embarrassing”.

      It also can’t help but be noticed how Grasshopper tries ever-mightily to sugar-coat the Paper Tiger….

  • Beauceron

    As irritated as I am with Trump’s obnoxious attitude, he DOES have a point.
    WTF are we flying 1,200 refugees from Australia to the US? Australia is a wealthy, safe, western country. They should stay there. We get quite enough of our own refugees without taking there, thank you very much.

    • Suzy Dixon

      I read the guardian article about the deal and it mentions that the camp has been plagued with thefts to sex abuse…and obama wanted to fly them here? Just wow. Maybe Australia isn’t a friend

      • Beauceron

        I don’t really blame Australia. Of course people running a country will, if they’re able, unload as many refugees to other safe countries as they are able.
        I blame Obama. It WAS an incredibly bad deal for Americans– but Obama doesn’t like America. It must be transformed.
        That still does not excuse Trump from being an obnoxious bore about things. Australia is an ally, and they are a good one. You can tell a country a deal they did with a previous administration is off in a kinder, gentler way. Obama did that with plenty of countries (Poland and the missile deal; Israel and settlements).

        • Suzy Dixon

          I blame them both. Obama = disaster. And if Australia doesn’t want them then America doesn’t need them either. If Trump goes ahead with it then he’d better shame Turnball and get some hardcore concessions elsewhere

          • ljgude

            I don’t know how many of you are aware Turnbull is from the conservative side of Australian politics but at the left of his party – similar to where Mitt Romney stands in the republican party (not saying they have the same policies). The left in Australia constantly hectors our conservative government about those refugees in detention so Obama taking them solved a big political problem for Turnbull. So as an American long resident in Australia observing politics in both countries I’d have to blame them both too. I would add that the “NO BOATS” policy has been so successful that even the Labor party here has adopted it as policy so the boats are no longer coming and the offshore population has become a lingering nuisance. So the offshore detention centers are a political problem that refugee activists constantly point to as inhumane. Eventually one party or the other will do something, but Obama being willing to take them was politically too good a deal domestically not to take for any Australian government.

      • Rick Johnson

        Don’t believe most of what you read in The Guardian. This is a fake news story. The Left has been running a very dishonest campaign against the detention centre and have made many false claims about conditions in the camps. Their media outlets have run their stories without bothering to check the facts.

        • Suzy Dixon

          I absolutely believe that they’ve had crime there including sex abuse, and Australia doesn’t want them. That about says it all

        • Unelected Leader

          I read the same Guardian article. To clarify, Suzy means that there are apparently plenty of criminals in that batch of migrants. They have apparently been robbing each other and assaulting each other.
          So, Australia should be sending them back to wherever they came from, certainly not trying to send them to the US!

      • Albert8184

        Australia doesn’t want them either…. obviously.

    • Albert8184

      Trump is obnoxious but Trump has a point. We need obnoxious.

      Therefore, those who are NOT obnoxious – the Beltway establishment – got voted out of office. The non-obnoxious bureaucrats who “reach across the aisle” and get called “extremists” and “racist” and “xenophobic” and “far right” ANYWAY…. despite their non-obnoxiousness.

  • Andrew Allison

    Consider the source.

    • Disappeared4x

      Consider what the msm did NOT cover. Maybe the phone call with Turnbull WAS a deliberate distraction, from noticing King Abdullah II of Jordan official meetings in DC: Monday Jan 30, official breakfast with VP Pence, followed by SecDef Mattis’ 1st bi-lateral with any ally, then Congress, then meeting with Trump this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, where Trump’s head fake was about Arnold.
      I have been paying close attention to Jordan since Queen Rania was spotted at TT on Jan 4, including Israeli sources, but this all flew under my radar until today:

      The White House Office of the Vice President For Immediate Release January 30, 2017
      Readout of the Vice President’s Meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan

      “The Vice President hosted His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for a working breakfast at the Vice President’s Residence at the Naval Observatory this morning. King Abdullah is the first foreign leader that the Vice President has hosted at his personal residence. The Vice President thanked the King for his efforts to advance peace and stability in the Middle East and
      reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to Jordan’s security and economic development. The two leaders discussed events in the region, including ways to accelerate the Coalition’s efforts to defeat ISIS and promote a political solution to the Syrian conflict. They also discussed the King’s views on potential changes involving the U.S. Embassy in Israel and how best to make
      progress towards a comprehensive agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. The Vice President and King Abdullah agreed on the importance of continuing to strengthen the US-Jordan partnership, and pledged to stay in close touch on events in the region.”

      WASHINGTON, Jan. 31, 2017 — “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis held his first bilateral meeting with a foreign leader yesterday and later spoke via phone with the South Korean and Italian defense ministers, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said.

      The defense secretary welcomed Jordan’s King Abdullah II to the Pentagon, where Mattis reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Jordanian strategic relationship and America’s commitment to security and stability in the region, the captain said. …”

      “Readout of the President’s Meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan

      President Trump met briefly today with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. The President conveyed the U.S.’s commitment to Jordan’s stability, security, and prosperity. The President thanked the King for his leadership in promoting peace and stability in the region. He highlighted Jordan’s critical contributions to defeating ISIS and discussed the possibility of establishing safe zones in Syria. President Trump underscored that the United States is committed to strengthening the security and economic partnership with Jordan. The President also emphasized Jordan’s
      essential role in serving as a model of tolerance and moderation in the region. The two leaders discussed the King returning to Washington for an official visit in the near future.”

      [Posted for the TAI comment-reader worried about Syrian refugees, and whether the US embassy moves to Jerusalem]

      [Also posted because of my bet that POTUSTrump’s first foreign visit should be to Jordan, Egypt, and Israel, in that order]

      Other under-reported news is about FLOTUS Melania, news also buried by the Online Algorithm Conspiracy.

      Follett’s Vol. 1 on order, along with a new history of The Silk Roads by Frankopan, due to uncontrollable urge to re-read Hopkirk’s “Great Game”, but not ready to unpack any of the 40 boxes of books after two moves last year.

  • And this is just more evidence for our allies that they cannot rely on the US under a Trump administration. Trump will reserve the power to renege on any agreement he did not personally agree to, and even those deals are probably not set in stone.

    • Dale Fayda

      Amen to that! I certainly hope that especially applies to Obama’s Iran “deal”.

    • Dhako

      Succinct and correct. In fact, the world (particularly those nations who used to rely on Uncle Sam) will be better off in thinking that unless they have some “transaction-based-deal” in which they can sell it to Mr Trump’s America in return for his support of their agenda, then they are shit-out-of-luck.

      In other words, welcome to the “Mafia-like approach to the international diplomacy”. And this mean those nations who were American’s allies (be they small or large ones) will be graded on a “strict criteria” of whether they have paid their financial dues to Uncle Sam or not. And those dues will take either in the form of monetary contribution or in the form of allowing Americans to have a one-sided trade-deal that benefits the Americans more than the host countries. And only then will Uncle Sam start offering them his “protection”. This is what awaits, the likes of South-Korea, Japan, and most crucially of all, most of the European’s members of NATO.

      • Pete

        Send Syrian refugees to China.

        • Dhako

          Well, for one thing, the Chinese didn’t create the shit-storm that is the present-day Middle-East, And, secondly, the US, have done enough “regime-change” in that unfortunate region that one could say that the US is honor bound to shoulder the clean-up of the mess it had created. But then again it seems the US would prefer to kick the hornet’s nest and let others either clean-up the mess behind them, or get stung from it.

          And this another way of saying, it’s childishly irresponsible to create the mess in Iraq, which had spilled-over to Syria, and then hope the Europeans and the Chinese (of all people) should come forward and burden themselves in putting up with the human’s exodus from that troubled region.

          • Pete

            Send ’em to China.

            Because of China’s shameful one-child policy, the country needs fresh blood. Demographically, it is aging and dying.

            And because the Chinese aborted so many female babies, this has lead to a great shortage of women in the country. So, send muslim female to China. It’s win-win — win for the muslim refugees and win for the Chinese.

      • LarryD

        America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests” – Henry Kissinger, 56th Secretary of State

        And that is true for every other country on Earth, as well.

        • Dhako

          True that. But that still begs the question that is, if that is the case, then why was these states being lied to in-terms of what the US’s commitment is in regards to their defense. After all, these states assumed that NATO’s article 5 has a teeth, or at least they can take it to the “bank” (as it were). Hence, if now all of a sudden Mr Trump’s administration is going to quote that “old diplomatic truism” (which was originally coined by 3rd Viscount Palmerston, otherwise known as Lord Palmerston, who was UK’s Foreign Secretary between 1830–1841) then these states who are allied to the US, better be told, that, America’s new chief, being someone who was brought up in New-York, prefer the “old methods” of the mafia, in which you pay your dues on time with no penny missing from it to the “boss’s enforcers”, and then your business will get the “protection” you were promised to.

          Hence it will be decent of Mr Trump to say publicly that is the “new normal” whereby all of those US’s allies who thought the US’s defensive assurance were the kind they could rely on (like days follow night) ought to start acquainting themselves with the Mario Puzo’s God-Father trilogy, since that is how American’s global preeminence that was in existence since 1945 will henceforth treat his erstwhile friends and allies.

          • Jim__L

            The US Constitution expressly states that treaties are to be ratified by 2/3rds vote in the Senate.

            Anything else, including “deals” that Trump puts together? Not real treaties.

      • rpabate

        It’s about time!

    • LarryD

      The precedent set by Carter’s abrogation of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty is, any American President can terminate any treaty from the American side, without consulting Congress. So, no change.

    • Jim__L

      This is why we only make agreements that have very broad support among Americans — because treaties are ratified by 2/3rds of the Senate.

      Not made by presidents hungry for a “legacy” no matter how much it hurts the interests of this country.

  • Rick Johnson

    Saying that there was an ‘uptick’ in illegal entrants between 2007 and 2012 doesn’t do justice to what happened. Prior to 2007, the then Howard government, a conservative, had strong border policies that stopped the flow of illegal entrants. This was abandoned by a new Labor government which caused a flood of around 30,000 illegal entrants to be detained in Australia. It also lead to the death of around 1200 people at sea. This is the greatest peacetime disaster in Australia’s history. In 2013, a new conservative government lead by Tony Abbott, reinstated Howard’s border policies and the flow of illegals stopped. The 1200 illegals that Australia is seeking to swap are the last remaining detainees from the Labor disaster of 2007 to 2012.

  • lukelea

    Those detention centers do serve one valuable function which perhaps no alternative would: they provide a stark disincentive for future would-be refugees to undertake the dangerous trek.

  • Pete

    See illegals back from whence they came.

    Trump is correct. America does not want or need illegal muslim aliens from Australia.

  • Disappeared4x

    UNRWA has proven to be “a holistic and sustainable way” to manage “refugees”. After 33+ years, UNHCR is working on repatriation of 60,000 of the 1.6 million Afghans registered-refugees still living in Pakistan (no word on the estimated one million more NOT-registered Afghans):

    As for the Trump-Turnbull phone call? My surprise will be if that was NOT staged, pre-rehearsed, for a very good reason. Perhaps it was Trumbull’s suggestion, what with Pakistan trying to expel almost three million Afghan refugees.

    Not that WaPo can not be trusted to know-all and report-all…

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    This was Obama sabotage, as Trump found a land mine (unlikely to be the last), and must now expend effort defusing it.

    • Angel Martin

      This deal was made after the election when Obama knew that Hillary had lost. If she had won he would not have left her this land mine.

      Trump should just void this deal, as it was made out of spite since Obungo’s preferred candidate lost.

  • Boritz

    Compromise time. Settle them in newly constructed multi-family dwellings in one of the nicest Silicone Valley zip codes.

    • Jim__L

      Honestly? You could probably find enough idealists here that that could be made to work.

      And, it would teach them the value of individual action over government action. So a win all around. =)

  • rheddles

    Obama made the deal with Australia, our closest ally, the only country to send troops to stand by us shoulder to shoulder in every conflict of the last 100 years. Trump should honor the deal. Put every one of these people in Guantanamo until they can be properly vetted. That will fulfill Obama’s promise.

  • jeburke

    Disappointingly, WRM has been inching toward making excuses for Trump since November 8th. As John McCain put it (to paraphrase), whatever may be the merits of the refugee deal with Australia, keeping critically important US-Australia relations o an even keel is vastly more important. I would add that Trump seems to be honoring the deal (as he should), so his brusque rudeness on the call was totally gratuitous.

  • Joseph DeMarzo

    Lets see if I got this straight:

    The agreement between Obama and Australia is objectively a bad deal for the US. They take in Central Americans while we take in citizens of nations with Islamic terror or sponsors thereof (Iran).
    Obama made the deal to satisfy his own and Clinton’s electoral needs, and those of Australia’s PM.
    Despite legitimate misgivings, Obama’s successor honors the deal in the interest of maintaining the credibility of the US. He does so even though, on a political level, it goes against the wishes of his base. The successor lets the other leader know that he is troubled by the deal, but again, adheres to it.
    If this were any other person, he/she would be lauded for honoring an agreement that he/she would not have made, again in the interest of diplomacy with an ally. But because it is Trump, the focus is on a “harsh” exchange with an ally. I recall that when HRC lambasted Netanyahu for 45 minutes due to policy disagreements, she was hailed by most, and one saw few if any articles with the tone of the WaPost, NYT, etc.
    The tendency to fault Trump no matter what is a disingenuous and dangerous course. The constant “boy who cried wolf” attitude will actually let him off the hook with many voters, even if does something that genuinely harms our nation. As the Orange One would say, “SAD”!

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