MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trump, the Queen and Putin.

It could have been worse. Donald Trump did not try and grab Queen Elizabeth by the pussy – at least as far as we know. But no doubt his critics would say that was only because he was so preoccupied with kissing Vladimir Putin’s arse.  

As the rest of the world scrabbles through the smouldering remains of the most recent incursion from the most powerful man on earth, even the most sanguine are starting to ask just what they have got themselves into. And, not before time, Australia’s leaders are wondering what is coming next and how they can cope with it.

Even Malcolm Turnbull, determinedly insouciant about the chaos all around him, has been forced to admit that perhaps Putin is not quite such a nice person as Trump assumed in Helsinki, and perhaps POTUS’s initial announcement that he accepted Putin’s protestations of innocence over hacking the 2016 election were a trifle naïve.

Of course Trump, after accusations of treason from furious Americans, offered the hopelessly unconvincing explanation that he had tripped over a double negative. But the consensus was that it was just anther case of The Donald’s adoration of dictators, the conviction that he can adlib his way through complex negotiations and the obsessive egomania that allows him to say and do anything that comes to mind in the belief that his supporters will not waver over the contradictions.

Both Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Labor counterpart Penny Wong have signaled that Trump’s recklessness and unpredictability will make Australia a different and more dangerous place and many other experts in the area agree: we can no longer unquestioningly rely on our great and powerful friend – if, indeed, Trump’s America is in fact a friend.

At this stage we have been at least partially shielded from the America First rhetoric that has cut a swathe through Europe, but the record says that no treaty is binding, no alliance secure. Australia might be the last page in the annals of Pax Americana to be discarded, but it is in the book.

Trump’s army of acolytes tell us that at least their man means what he says, and very often he does – at any given moment. He is, after all, dedicated to the idea of gaining advantage, however ephemeral, and there is nothing insincere about that. But even when he makes sense, no one has any idea what he will do next. It is all slogans – make America great again, America first – or dog whistling to the fundamentalists, the racists, the gun lobby and his mega-rich friends. And, of course, the constant threat of pussy-grabbing, whether literal or metaphorical.

This is not a recipe for international order, the desperate need for a set of policies that can at least try to deal with an increasingly unpredictable future. Bishop and Wong at least have acknowledged this, and Turnbull seems to be reluctantly coming around to the idea that we just might need a contingency plan if Trump casts his vengeful and myopic eyes on our region.

Or, perhaps worse, if he doesn’t. Either way, it is time to exit Mark Latham’s conga line of suckholes when the one we are sucking up to is already sucking up to Vladimir Putin..

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5 Responses to MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trump, the Queen and Putin.

  1. Robin Win says:

    And maybe, Mungo, it is time not only to reassess our relationships to the US but to also take stock of the media hysteria generated over there on the election of Trump and which we have been quick to jump on board with. The ‘proof’ of Russian malfeasance is flimsy to say the least. $100,000 spent on Facebook, questionable associations with Russian agents of influence, hacking of the DNC servers which a retired technical head of the NSA in conjunction with a retired head of the Soviet ‘desk’ (think large Department in Australian terms) within the CIA have categorically stated could only have been done using a USB given the transfer speeds; IE. an inside job. And as for Peter Strzok and his testimony as an FBI agent to Congress, the less said the better as many highly placed people in the States think he perjured himself and in a more honest world would probably be arrested.

    So far all I can see is that Russia recently had an election certified as sound by various Western bodies but some in the West, for their own political reasons question. We claim we are a democracy but are bullied by unelected media bodies and partisan ‘think-tanks’ whose providence is unknown but whose influence is malignant to say the least and whose selfish antisocial values are being permeated within society. It truly is a case of ‘don’t look here, look there’ or to take the biblical statement ‘Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.’

    No matter how much Bishop and Wong wring their hands over the current state of world affairs it is patently obvious that they are still singing from the old hymn sheet and it is debatable if they have had the wit to recognise that the world has changed dramatically in the last 8 years other than the emergence of ‘wrecker’ Trump with the result that we had better become a lot more nimble in our international relations but I wonder if they and the relevant public servants are up to the job.

    And as Andrew Glikson has written within this blog today (‘A mainstream media drive towards a nuclear WWIII?’), we are blindly groping towards war with Russia and China, a war that absolutely no one wins and and because of which we all die.

    The hypocrisy of our stance is outstanding:-
    We complain about the ‘Annexation of Crimea’ by Russia, ignoring the fact that it has been a part of Russia, not the Outlands aka Ukraine since 1783 and that Khrushchev’s donating it to the Outlands aka Ukraine in 1956 was in contravention of the USSR constitution. Maybe we should be demanding that the UK return Gibraltar to Spain and that Hawaii should once again regain its independence from the US having had its monarchy overthrown and its king, David Kalakaua being forced to sign a new constitution in 1887 by having a bayonet held to his throat by US Marines. This was after 4000 of his countrymen had been slaughtered by the same Marines, hence the name ‘the Bayonet Revolution’. In contradistinction the ‘annexation’ of Crimea in 2014 was without the loss of life. Now if we did all that then the charge of hypocrisy would be somewhat lessened.

    So let us stop this total suicidal stupidity of following the US in their propaganda which seems like a steady drum beat to war and start by creating peaceful relationships with both Russia and China which maybe to the benefit of all.

    We truly are living in the land of the Magic Pudding right now.

  2. John O'Callaghan says:

    Australia has Americas DNA coated all over our collective tongues and it’s about time we all purchased some tongue scrapers!

  3. R. N. England says:

    No mention of Putin is permitted without the obligatory truckload of sour grapes. Even Mungo toes that line.

  4. Simon Warriner says:

    And yet Australia is content to suck up to thugs who shoot unarmed kids and medics, and is happy to do all manner of deals with the House of Saud whose rule has rewritten the book on dictatorship, and whose regime has sponsored all manner of supposedly Islamic terrorism. Go figure, the hypocrisy is endless.

    Would you have been happier if the summit had resulted in escalating tension between the two nuclear powers?

    As for it’s being Trumps America, I think you have it quite bad and wrong. At present it looks like it is Netanyahoo’s America, and he is scrapping with the MIC for control while Trump is trying to wrest it off the MIC but might share it with Izzy. Sort of like 3 two year olds fighting for a toy.

    I do agree though that we need to rethink our reliance on the alliance. Time to get serious about armed neutrality. Bring our troops home, train a real self defense force, including compulsory military training, and make ourselves so expensive to hold that it will not be worth trying to attack us.

    Oh, and it might be a really good idea to do something about that non existent strategic fuel reserve we don’t have. Who was the twat that let that go, and why aren’t they in the stocks doing a tour of capital cities to get the feel for over ripe seasonal produce?

  5. Andrew Glikson says:

    Dear Mungo
    The question is not whether Trump or Putin are nice people or not so nice people — the question is that, here are two superpowers each capable of destroying the world as we know it, with thousands of nuclear missiles, and it is imperative the two sides commence negotiations and peace talks in order to avert the greatest disaster the world has ever faced.
    I will appreciate your comment on my article in this issue.
    Regards
    Andrew

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