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Prominent Australians, including politicians, call on their government to save Julian Assange from extradition to USA

Growing calls for Australian government to defend Julian Assange   https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/19/assa-o19.html?fbclid=IwAR2smK6ChQzsIB7Ndld4N_No68RpVViDz5V-RH7qTiYfWmFWFdqkThOA-DQ

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2019 Over the past week, several prominent public figures, including federal members of parliament, have called on the Australian government to fulfil its obligations to defend WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange, including by taking steps to prevent his extradition from Britain to the US.

The statements come in the lead-up to British extradition hearings in February, that will decide whether Assange is dispatched to the US. He faces a maximum sentence of 175 years in an American prison for exposing US war crimes and diplomatic intrigues.

There are concerns within the Australian political and media establishment that the refusal of successive governments to defend Assange, an Australian citizen and journalist, has generated widespread anger and opposition. The fear in ruling circles is that if Assange is extradited, or if his parlous health continues to deteriorate, the latent support for him will coalesce into a political movement against the entire official set-up.

In a statement to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, independent MP Andrew Wilkie declared that Assange is “an Australian citizen and must be treated like any other Australian. He was not in the US when he provided evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. He can’t possibly have broken their laws.”

Wilkie said that if Assange is extradited to the US, he “faces serious human rights violations including exposure to torture and a dodgy trial. And this has serious implications for freedom of speech and freedom of the press here in Australia, because if we allow a foreign country to charge an Australian citizen for revealing war crimes, then no Australian journalist or publisher can ever be confident that the same thing won’t happen to them.”

He concluded by stating: “Put simply, he must be allowed to return to Australia.”

Wilkie, a former intelligence agent who resigned to speak out against “weapons of mass destruction” lies used to justify the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, has previously condemned the assault on democratic rights. In 2010 and 2011, he made statements and spoke at public events in defence of Assange. Alongside the Greens and a host of civil liberties organisations, however, Wilkie has largely remained silent about the WikiLeaks founder’s plight for a number of years and has boycotted all actions taken in his defence.

Wilkie said that if Assange is extradited to the US, he “faces serious human rights violations including exposure to torture and a dodgy trial. And this has serious implications for freedom of speech and freedom of the press here in Australia, because if we allow a foreign country to charge an Australian citizen for revealing war crimes, then no Australian journalist or publisher can ever be confident that the same thing won’t happen to them.”

He concluded by stating: “Put simply, he must be allowed to return to Australia.”

Wilkie, a former intelligence agent who resigned to speak out against “weapons of mass destruction” lies used to justify the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, has previously condemned the assault on democratic rights. In 2010 and 2011, he made statements and spoke at public events in defence of Assange. Alongside the Greens and a host of civil liberties organisations, however, Wilkie has largely remained silent about the WikiLeaks founder’s plight for a number of years and has boycotted all actions taken in his defence.

Joyce, a populist who has sought to build a base of support in rural areas, was well aware of the sentiments in favour of Hicks among workers in regional centres and country towns. He played a role in the sordid agreement brokered by Howard, which saw Hicks returned to Australia in 2007. Hicks was forced to serve out a bogus prison sentence in Australia and was banned for a year from speaking to the media.

In comments to the media on Monday, former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr hinted at the concerns animating the comments in defence of Assange by such figures from within the political establishment.

Carr told the Sydney Morning Herald that ordinary people would be “deeply uneasy” about the prospect of an Australian citizen being handed over to the “living hell of a lifetime sentence in an American penitentiary.” He criticised current Foreign Minister Marise Payne over her claim that she made “friendly” representations on behalf of Assange to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo has denounced Assange as a “demon” who is not entitled to any democratic rights and labelled WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

Carr stated: “I think the issue will gather pace, and in the ultimate trial there will be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”

In his strongest comments in defence of Assange yet, Carr declared: “We have an absolute right to know about American war crimes in a conflict that the Australian government of the day strongly supported. We wouldn’t know about them except for Assange.”

Carr is no political innocent. During his decades in the Labor Party, he functioned as a secret informant for the US embassy, beginning in the 1970s. He was a leading minister in the Gillard Labor government which refused to defend the WikiLeaks founder and instead pledged to assist the US campaign against him.

That Carr has spoken out now is a measure of the fears within the ruling elite that the defence of Assange will animate millions of workers, students and young people in the coming period.

In keeping with the central role of Labor in the US-led pursuit of Assange, no prominent current figure in the party has joined the calls for him to be defended. When the WikiLeaks’ founder was illegally expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy and arrested by the British police in April, Labor MP Tanya Plibersek shared a Tweet denouncing his supporters as “cultists.”

Julian Hill, a little-known federal backbencher representing a working-class electorate in outer Melbourne, is the only Labor MP to have spoken out. He told the Guardian on Thursday that Assange is “an Australian and, at the very least, we must be vigorously consistent in opposing extradition to countries where he might face the death penalty.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded this week by blandly declaring that Assange must “face the music” in the US. Senior government ministers have previously maligned Assange, repeating the lies concocted by the US intelligence agencies to discredit him.

Liberal Senator James Paterson attempted to provide a more sophisticated argument for the government’s refusal to defend Assange, telling the Sydney Morning Herald last week that both Britain and the US were “rule-of-law countries.”

Paterson piously stated: “This is not the case in many other countries in the world. Sadly, we know there are Australian citizens detained right now in China and Iran who are not facing free and fair legal systems … and the Australian government does have a greater obligation to assist those citizens.”

The suggestion that the Australian government has a responsibility to defend its citizens in some jurisdictions, but not in others, is a legal fiction that has no basis in Australian or international legislation.

Paterson’s statements, moreover, fly in the face of repeated warnings by United Nations officials and human rights organisations that Assange’s legal and democratic rights have been trampled upon by the British and US authorities.

Paterson’s comments point to the real reason why successive Australian governments, Labor and Liberal-National alike, have joined the US-led vendetta against Assange. Their participation in the attacks against him has gone hand in hand with unconditional backing for the US alliance and support for Washington’s military build-up in the Asia-Pacific region, in preparation for war against China.

The record demonstrates that no faith can be placed in any section of the political or media establishment to defend Assange or any democratic rights. All the official parties and institutions in Australia are implicated in the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder. They will take action only to the extent that they fear the political consequences if they do not.

Workers, students and young people must be mobilised as part of an international movement demanding the immediate freedom of Assange and all class war prisoners. This is the only way that an Australian government will be forced to uphold its responsibility to prevent Assange’s extradition to the US and allow him to unconditionally return to Australia.

October 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

China Calls for Maintaining Global Strategic Stability and Reducing Nuclear Conflicts Risks

October 17, 2019 Posted by | China, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

2019 Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor report

October 17, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s “outrageous” claim to “universal jurisdiction over every person on earth”- plea from Australia to save Julian Assange

 

October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Putin warns on the need for a new nuclear weapons treaty

PUTIN TAKES SWIPE AT TRUMP FOR WITHDRAWING FROM NUCLEAR TREATY: ‘IT WAS NOT WORTH RUINING’, Newsweek, 

BY BRENDAN COLE ON 10/14/19 Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that a new nuclear weapons deal needed to be struck urgently as he criticized the decision by Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which had been in place since the Cold War.

In an interview with Arabic-speaking journalists ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Putin reiterated Russia’s opposition to the withdrawal in February from the INF, which had been signed in 1987 by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan.

It banned missiles with ranges of between 310 and 3,400 miles but the U.S. and Nato had accused Russia of violating the pact by deploying a new type of cruise missile, a claim Moscow denied.

Putin said: “It think it was a mistake…and that they could have gone a different path. I do understand the U.S. concerns. While other countries are free to enhance their defences, Russia and the U.S. have tied their own hands with this treaty. However, I still believe it was not worth ruining the deal; I believe there were other ways out of the situation.”

Putin said that the U.S. must back a new START Treaty, which expires in 2021, to restrict a race to acquire strategic nuclear weapons.

“The new START Treaty is actually the only treaty that we have to prevent us from falling back into a full-scale arms race. To make sure it is extended, we need to be working on it right now. We have already submitted our proposals; they are on the table of the U.S. administration. There has been no answer so far.

“If this treaty is not extended, the world will have no means of limiting the number of offensive weapons, and this is bad news. The situation will change, globally. It will become more precarious, and the world will be less safe and a much less predictable place than today,” Putin said, according to a transcript of the interview on the Kremlin website.

Putin said that his doubt over the U.S. commitment to nuclear disarmament stretched back to 2002, when under President George W. Bush, Washington withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which had imposed limits on missile defence systems……… https://www.newsweek.com/putin-start-treaty-trump-arms-race-1464921

October 15, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Urgent need for diplomacy with Iran

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

At long last – some Australian politicians speak up for Australian Julian Assange

Barnaby Joyce joins calls to stop extradition of Assange to US, The Age, By Rob Harris, October 13, 2019 Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has joined calls for the Morrison government to try to halt Julian Assange’s potential extradition from Britain to the United States on espionage charges, as the WikiLeaks founder’s supporters intensify their campaign to bring him to Australia.

Mr Joyce joined former foreign minister Bob Carr in voicing concerns over US attempts to have the 48-year-old Australian stand trial in America, where he faces a sentence of 175 years if found guilty of computer fraud and obtaining and disclosing national defence information.

Also seeking to increase pressure on the federal government is actress Pamela Anderson, who is demanding to meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison to request he intervene in the case. She plans to visit Australia next month.

Assange’s supporters say they are increasingly concerned about his health and his ability to receive a fair trial in the US………

Mr Carr has challenged Foreign Minister Marise Payne to make “firm and friendly” representation to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, believing Australians would be “deeply uneasy” at a fellow citizen being handed over to the “living hell of a lifetime sentence in an American penitentiary”.

Mr Joyce, who in 2007 was the first Coalition MP to call for the then Howard government to act over the detention of Australian David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay, said his position was principled and he gave “no opinion of Mr Assange whatsoever”.

“If someone was in another country at a time an alleged event occurred then the sovereignty of the land they were in has primacy over the accusation of another nation,” Mr Joyce said.

“It would be totally unreasonable, for instance, if China was to say the actions of an Australian citizen whilst in Australia made them liable to extradition to China to answer their charges of their laws in China. Many in Hong Kong have the same view.”

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh Prison in south-east London for bail violations after spending seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of rape and molestation in 2012.

In June, the then British home secretary, Sajid Javid, signed an extradition request after the US Justice Department filed an additional 18 Espionage Act charges over Assange’s role in obtaining and publishing 400,000 classified US military documents on the war in Iraq in 2010.

Mr Carr, the former NSW premier who served as foreign minister in the Gillard government, said he understood many people would have reservations about the “modus operandi” of Assange and his alleged contact with Russia.

“On the other hand, we have an absolute right to know about American war crimes in a conflict that the Australian government of the day strongly supported – we wouldn’t know about them except for Assange,” he said.

Mr Carr said the Morrison government should make strong representations to the US on behalf of an Australian citizen who “is in trouble because he delivered on our right to know”.

“I think the issue will gather pace and in the ultimate trial there’ll be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”……..

Mr Carr said the Morrison government should make strong representations to the US on behalf of an Australian citizen who “is in trouble because he delivered on our right to know”.

“I think the issue will gather pace and in the ultimate trial there’ll be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”…….https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/barnaby-joyce-joins-calls-to-stop-extradition-of-assange-to-us-20191013-p53080.html

October 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Pamela Anderson to take on Australian Prime Minister over his neglect of Julian Assange’s plight

Pamela Anderson coming to Australia to petition the Prime Minister to Help Free Julian Assange, Phillip Adams, [No. I don’t think that he is that Phillip Adams] Brisbane, Australia OCT 11, 2019 — By Monique St Clair 

Pamela Anderson is on her way to Australia, and she’s challenging our Prime Minister on entry.

The former Baywatch superstar is headed to the Gold Coast next month to shoot a series of ‘Unexpected Situation’ commercials for Ultra Tune.

The ads are expected to air over summer, in conjunction with the 2020 Australian Tennis Open and Big Bash Cricket.

She’s no stranger to the land down under, after her affiliation with jailed Wikileaks founder and Australian, Julian Assange, gained world-wide attention.

Late last year, Anderson made a public plea on 60 minutes for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more to help.   “Defend your friend, get Julian his passport back and take him back to Australia and be proud of him, and throw him a parade when he gets home,” Ms Anderson said.

Scott Morrison then told 1029 Hot Tomato’s Flan, Emily Jade and Christo that he’s had “plenty of mates who’ve asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out with Pamela Anderson.”

Ms Anderson called out the comments as ‘disappointing’, ‘smutty’, and ‘unnecessary’, and is now – a year later – wanting to address them face to face.

She’s announced she’ll again be petitioning him to intervene on Julian Assange’s behalf.

“What is also important to me about this visit is the opportunity to speak to the Australian people and petition Prime Minister Morrison to intervene on behalf of Australian citizen, Julian Assange, who is being made a scapegoat of and suffered inhumanely for disseminating factual information we all should know about.

“Mr Morrison made a series of personally, disparaging remarks about me and I’d like to challenge him to debate this matter in front of the Australian people,” Ms Anderson said in a recent statement.”

Sources of content : http://www.mygc.com.au/pamela-anderson-challenges-scott-morrison-ahead-of-australia-visit

October 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

USA – North Korea talks broke down, but USA calls them “good discussions”

North Korea’s chief negotiator says discussions with the United States on Pyongyang’s nuclear program have broken down, but Washington says the two sides had “good discussions” that it intends to build on in two weeks. ABC News 6 Oct 17

Key points:

  • North Korea said the talks broke down because negotiations had not met their expectations
  • The US State Department said North Korea’s comments did “not reflect the content or the spirit” of the “good discussions” that took place
  • It was the first time US and North Korea had conducted working-level negotiations since a February summit

The North Korean negotiator, Kim Miyong-Gil, said the talks in Stockholm had “not fulfilled our expectations and broke down”.

“I am very displeased about it,” he said.

Speaking outside the North Korean embassy, he read a statement in Korean that a translator next to him read in English.

Mr Kim said negotiations broke down “entirely because the US has not discarded its old stance and attitude”.

Saturday’s talks were the first between the US and North Korea since the February breakdown of the second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.

North Korea has since resumed missile tests, including an underwater-launched missile that fell inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone on Wednesday……. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-06/nuclear-talks-with-us-leave-north-korea-very-displeased/11577176

October 6, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency reports improved cooperation with Iran 

October 5, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran prepared to make a new nuclear agreement with Trump

Iran’s Zarif raises the prospect of a new nuclear agreement with Trump  https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/23/middleeast/zarif-us-talks-intl/index.html, By Tamara Qiblawi,  September 23, 2019  Iran’s foreign minister outlines proposal for a new deal.   New York (CNN)Iran’s foreign minister has raised the prospect of a new agreement with the United States that would see permanent sanctions relief exchanged for Tehran’s permanent denuclearization.
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif outlined a proposal for an agreement that would augment the 2015 nuclear deal, from which President Donald Trump withdrew in May 2018.
Iran would be prepared to sign an additional protocol, allowing for more intrusive inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities at an earlier date than that set out in the 2015 deal. The country’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, would also enshrine a ban on nuclear weapons in law, said Zarif.
Such a move could potentially address one of Trump’s main objections to the existing deal: Sunset clauses that allow Iran to resume higher levels of uranium enrichment.
In return, Trump would need to lift sanctions on Iran, and have the step ratified by Congress, said Zarif.
“We are prepared, if President Trump is serious about permanent for permanent. Permanent — Iran was never a nuclear weapons state, but permanent denuclearization as they like to hear it,” said Zarif.
Taking steps to tighten controls on Iran’s uranium enrichment program would need to happen “in return for what (Trump) has said he’s prepared to do and that is to go to Congress and have this ratified, which would mean Congress lifting the sanctions.”
Under the 2015 agreement, Iranian sanctions relief would be sent to Congress for ratification in 2023.
A lifting of US sanctions by Congress could allay Iranian hardliners’ fears that a new agreement with a US administration could be canceled after the next US election. Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 agreement dealt a heavy blow to the multilateral agreement that was clinched during the tenure of President Barack Obama.
Zarif also would not rule out the possibility of a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week.
Asked if the two Presidents would meet, Zarif said, “Provided that President Trump is ready to do what’s necessary.”
Responding to Zarif’s comments, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook said, “Foreign Minister Zarif does a very good job of misrepresenting the true nature of the Iranian regime. They are very committed to their campaign of exporting violence and exporting revolution, undermining the sovereignty of other countries.”
“We continue to leave the door open for diplomacy. In the meantime our campaign of economic pressure will continue.”
Trump has previously said he “no intention” to meet Rouhani in New York. Last month, the President floated the possibility of direct talks with his Iranian counterpart. The meeting would mark the highest-level talks between Washington and Tehran since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
During his address at the UN General Assembly, Rouhani is expected to elaborate on plans for “de-escalation” in the region. “We believe we need to start working together for peace, for confidence-building, for de-escalation, for exchanges, and even for a non-aggression pact,” said Zarif.
“The olive branch has always been on the table, but we are showing it again,” he added.
In an interview with CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh last week, Zarif threatened “all-out war” in the event of a US or Saudi military strike on Iran.
Zarif told CNN that Iran hoped to avoid conflict, adding that the country was willing to talk to its regional rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But Iran would not hold talks with the US unless Washington provided full relief from sanctions as promised under the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran’s top diplomat said.
He again denied that Iran was involved in attacks this month on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which dramatically ratcheted up tensions in the region.
The US, Saudi Arabia and the UK have blamed Iran for the attacks, which knocked out half of the kingdom’s energy production.
On Friday, the US announced it would send additional troops along with enhanced air and missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in response to the attack.
“As the President has made clear, the United States does not seek conflict with Iran,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said. “That said, we have many other military options available should they be necessary.”

September 24, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Leaders of world’s largest emitting economies do not have real plans to meet goal of net zero emissions

The UN asked for climate plans. Major economies failed to answer    Climate Change News, 24/09/2019,  Delivering on a goal of net zero emissions is a ‘daunting’, ‘civilisational’ task, which a summit on Monday showed leaders do not have plans to meet, By Chloé Farand

World leaders were asked to come to the UN with concrete plans to cut emissions to net zero.

But on Monday, the presidents and prime ministers of the world’s largest emitting economies stumbled. Signalling just how difficult the work of removing CO2 will be compared to setting targets.

The tougher 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement, backed by UN chief António Guterres and the majority of the world’s nations, requires achieving net zero global emissions by 2050.

Guterres asked leaders to come to UN headquarters in New York and tell the world how they would meet that goal.

A coalition of 77 smaller countries said they were committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and 70 countries expressed their intention to set a more ambitious climate plan next year, evidence of “a boost of momentum and ambition,” Guterres said in his closing remarks.

While there were “inspiring signs of progress”, with “the private sector and subnational actors moving faster than national governments”, “most of the major economies fell woefully short” of enhancing their ambition, said Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute.

“Much more it still needed to reach carbon neutrality by 2050,” Guterres warned.

The “how” of the question, which requires countries to integrate climate action into economy-wide policies, was left unanswered. Fully decarbonising the world economy is a gargantuan task, even for the world’s richest countries.

The path to net zero emissions “is something we are just discovering,” former French climate ambassador and CEO of the European Climate Foundation Laurence Tubiana told CHN. But the top levels of government are not yet engaged.

“I haven’t met any leaders who know… how to get there. Most [countries] haven’t started really seriously” and most leaders “don’t have a clue” how they will meet a 1.5C compatible target.

According to Elina Bardram, head of unit for climate action at the EU Commission, while “numbers and slogans are very easy to go by but the hard work of actually implementing is what drives the process forward”.

Both the UK and France, which have already legislated to become carbon neutral by 2050, have been warned by their climate advisors that without new and robust carbon-cutting measures, they won’t be on track to meet the 2050 goal……….https://www.climatechangenews.com/2019/09/24/un-asked-climate-plans-major-economies-failed-answer/

September 24, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, politics international | Leave a comment

Exasperation in South Korea as US-North Korea nuclear talks are failing

US-North Korea nuclear talks are sputtering. South Korea is furious.  “The US position has been really harmful,” said a senior adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.  Vox, By Alex Ward@AlexWardVoxalex.ward@vox.com  Sep 23, 2019,  SEOUL — The Trump administration likes to say that all is going well with its effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons. As long as Pyongyang doesn’t test long-range missiles or the bomb, negotiations remain mostly on track, President Donald Trump consistently claims.

But one country is clearly bristling at America’s management of the North Korea problem: South Korea.

That became immediately clear during my trip to Seoul this week, just days before South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to meet with Trump at the United Nations. After chats with multiple government officials and experts, the sense in the capital is that the US proceeded with its own North Korea agenda without much thought for its staunch ally’s positions.

“We’re not at the negotiating table,” a top South Korean official told me on the condition of anonymity. “That bothers me.”

That’s not only making it harder for Washington to strike a nuclear deal with Pyongyang, these people say, but could also potentially doom Moon’s top project: improving inter-Korean ties……… https://www.vox.com/2019/9/23/20875380/south-korea-north-korea-usa-nuclear-negotiations-moon-unga

September 24, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA | Leave a comment

Donald Trump’s chilling nuclear warning to Iran

September 22, 2019 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment

Donald Trump keen to build a military partnership with Australia’s PM ‘man of titanium’

Donald Trump suggests China ‘a threat to the world’ while praising Scott Morrison as a ‘man of titanium’  US president signalled he would raise with Morrison a military contribution in Iran but then indicated he did not do so, Guardian,  Katharine Murphy Political editor

 @murpharoo, Sat 21 Sep 2019 Donald Trump has declared China is a threat to the world “in a sense” and raised the spectre of Australia joining a coalition of military action against Iran as he characterised his ally Scott Morrison, as a “man of titanium”.

Following a ceremonial welcome for Morrison on Friday Washington time attended by more than 4,000 guests, Trump praised Morrison’s personal fortitude, describing him as “a man of real, real strength, and a great guy”.

The American president signalled he would raise with Morrison a possible military contribution in Iran beyond the current freedom of navigation commitment in the Strait of Hormuz, but later in the day indicated he had not, in fact, raised the issue during a bilateral meeting at the White House.

The Australian prime minister made a point of praising the president’s restraint in relation to Iran to date and made no commitment beyond saying the government would consider any request from the administration on its merits. …….

Trump said he was interested in building a coalition for military action with Australian participation, but then told reporters at a subsequent press conference Iran wasn’t discussed, and Morrison then described Australia’s possible participation as “moot”…….. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/21/donald-trump-suggests-china-a-threat-to-the-world-while-praising-scott-morrison-as-a-man-of-titanium

September 22, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, USA | Leave a comment