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Issue #1666      November 26, 2014

Taking Issue by Andrew (Andy) Alcock

Re: Obama’s comments at the G20

The article, G20 Summit Abbott govt – climate pariah, by Bob Briton, (the Guardian 19.11.2014) summarises very well what happened to the Australian government at the G20 Conference when the US and China put climate change on the agenda. And then, Obama made comments about the Great Barrier Reef which have troubled the government.

Since then, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, has come out criticising Obama and making very dubious claims about what the government she is a member of is supposedly doing to save the Reef.

Barack Obama, of course, was a very naughty boy at the recent G20 conference for speaking out about climate change and expressing concern for the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

After all, Tony almost announced Australia’s involvement in the new Iraq War almost before Obama declared it!

These Americans have no sense of fair play and decency. If our leaders support their lies internationally, why can’t the US leaders support our leaders’ lies?

The statement by Julie Bishop does not alter the fact that scientists who have been keeping a close professional watch on the Reef, believe there are many problems and they consider the actions by the Queensland and Australian governments are making the situation worse.

Mr Obama has been a bitter disappointment to some in many areas eg he has done nothing about bringing peace to the Middle East and just backs Israel no matter what it does (he could organise an international ban on military hardware to Israel). There is his use of drones which have taken the lives of thousands of innocent people. His government has been arming ISIS and now it believes that it must defeat it (he should have thought about this before!)

As a key person who knows Indonesia very well, including the genocidal and human rights abuses committed by the Indonesian military (TNI) in several countries in Asia, Obama has done nothing to curtail its behaviour. (At least, Bill Clinton stopped military aid to Indonesia after the huge orgy of killing that accompanied the 1999 independence referendum in East Timor – now Timor-Leste).

Now they say that he is a lame-duck president after the mid term elections. However, he has spoken out strongly about the need to take climate change seriously and to take greater steps to protect the Great Barrier Reef. And that is good. As bad as he is, he is not as right wing and stupid as his Republican counterparts or Hilary Clinton for that matter. So let us be thankful that at least he has done a few small good things to make a change even if he should have done more.

The icing on the cake is that he has embarrassed a very right wing Australian government that was not taking climate change or steps to preserve the Great Barrier Reef at all seriously. Julie can tell a lot of fibs about it, but it might just make her and Tony do more on the environmental front. Of course, it would be good if they got really annoyed and called off the Australia US Alliance that sees us get involved in so many unnecessary wars.

Sadly, this is not likely to happen. We need to be working towards becoming an independent, non-aligned nation that works more seriously for human rights, social justice, fairness between nations and environmental responsibility and not involve ourselves in the machinations of the big powers who only want to take resources from smaller nations and tighten their grip on international political power.

Next article – Abbott government dogged by splits

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