-- R.G. Menzies
LIBERTARIAN/CONSERVATIVE DIGEST AND COMMENTARY FROM AN ACADEMIC PSYCHOLOGIST in Brisbane, Australia. My academic publications are widely read
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If conservatives want to copy Trump, embracing Putin is the worst place to start (?)
Like Mr Trump, I see some virtue in Vladimir Vladimirovich and I have written to that effect on several previous occasions. (See here. Scroll down). I like Mr Putin nearly as much as I like Mr Trump, in fact. So I am one of those evil people that the Leftist Australian journalist below is inveighing against. Vladimir Vladimirovich is in fact an exceptionally enlightened ruler by Russian standards.
The Leftist writer below, David Wroe, tries to make the case that Putin and Russia generally are dangerous, evil and should be shunned. Which is amusing. A few decades back Leftists would hear no ill about Russia -- at a time when there really was cause for concern about Russia. The points made below are however specious and are typical of the Leftist habit of telling only half the story.
Mr Putin is somehow blamed on the shooting down of a Malaysian airline over Ukraine. But the Ukraine was at the time in a civil war and was known as dangerous airspace -- and most airlines kept away from it even though that increased their costs. It was penny-pinching bureaucrats running the Malaysian airline who took the big risk of flying their plane over Eastern Ukraine. It is they who are to blame
It took Russia's intervention to set in train the now almost complete destruction of ISIS but our friend below can only complain that the defeat helps the Syrian government.
The Syrian government is certainly brutal but dictatorships seem to be the only sort of regime that works in Muslim lands. Islam is an authoritarian religion. "Submit or die" is its historic message. Democracy didn't last long in Egypt. Turkey has once again returned to a version of the authoritarian rule that has characterized most of its history and vast American efforts to democratize Iraq and Afghanistan have certainly been an abject failure.
I could go on but I think I have said enough to show that it's just the usual dishonest Leftist propaganda below. You believe anything in it at your peril>
The Trumpification of the right wing of Australian politics has begun.
On Sunday night, Coalition backbencher George Christensen defended Vladimir Putin's Russia, saying on Twitter it had been "demonised unfairly" and asking, "What threat do they cause us or the West?"
This is a startling message to a country that lost 38 people in the shooting down of flight MH17 in the skies above Ukraine. In his tweets, Mr Christensen distanced Moscow from involvement in MH17 and said only that separatists "allegedly" shot down the plane, though on Monday morning he clarified that he accepted most investigators' conclusion that "separatists backed by Russia" were responsible.
But his string of tweets point to an affinity with the US President's foreign policy view that strong men who pursue their country's national interests with scant regard to the international system are to be admired and emulated.
Pauline Hanson did much the same on Monday morning, saying "I've got no problems with Vladimir" because he is "a strong leader" who is "standing up for his nation" and that's what Australians want of their leaders too.
Newsflash to them both: Australia is not the US or Russia. It is a middle power that needs rules and a level playing field. As one of our finest foreign policy thinkers, former Department of Foreign Affairs head Peter Varghese, put it in a 2015 speech: "Australia can neither bully nor buy its way in the world, so an international, rules-based order is in our best interests."
Take another one of Christensen's Sunday night tweets: "Russia [is] the real reason ISIS is losing."
Moscow has propped up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad but has targeted a wide range of anti-regime forces, not just the Islamic State, and has indiscriminately bombed civilians, killing thousands.
Its intervention has removed any incentive for Assad to compromise and allow a political solution in Syria, ensuring that Syrian Sunnis will feel aggrieved for at least another generation. That will help seed the next generation of sectarian fighters and jihadists that will replace the Islamic State when it is defeated.
By contrast, the Australian Defence Force has for more than two years carefully targeted Islamic State forces in airstrikes while advising and training Iraqi forces on the ground. Not one civilian is known to have been killed in Australian air strikes, and the ADF's efforts alongside the US have tried to avoid empowering the Assad regime.
Mr Christensen also called Russia "a democracy" and branded the hacking of US political parties "fake news", even though Mr Trump himself has admitted Russia was responsible for the hacking and US intelligence agencies have stated in a public report that Russia hacked political parties for the express purpose of tilting the election in Mr Trump's favour.
Russia is working to break up Europe and tear up the international system of rules and norms that has made the last 70 years the most prosperous and stable the world has seen. It wants to return the world to spheres of influence around powers that use might to make right.
That is the threat Russia poses to us all.
By JR on Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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