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Could This Be Gillard’s Biggest, Most Epic Fail Yet?

21 Nov

Remember how your humble blogger described the Gillard “deal” to base US troops in Northern Australia?

In just a few words … “This Will End Well”:

More brilliant strategy from our government.

Ill-considered.

Counterproductive.

Dangerous.

Unnecessary.

And sure enough, barely four days later, and it is already becoming clear that I was right.

What has been achieved, is another Labor epic FAIL.

They have antagonised not only China, but Indonesia as well.

Not that you would think so from the government and media “spin” lies about those nations’ reactions:

Smith downplays US-China crossfire claim

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has downplayed suggestions of China’s displeasure with a new military arrangement between Australia and the United States, saying the official response has been measured and appropriate.

Under the new arrangements announced during US president Barack Obama’s visit to Australia, US marines will start training in the Northern Territory from next year, increasing to a force of 2500 by 2016.

Liu Weimin, a spokesman of China’s ministry of foreign affairs, said the move may not be in the interest of countries in the region and questioned the expansion of military ties while global economics were still shaky.

But an editorial in China’s state-run People’s Daily goes further, saying if Australia uses its military bases to help the US hurt Chinese interests, then “one thing is certain … Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire”.

Mr Smith said media commentary should be “divorced” from China’s official response.

“And the official response has quite frankly been a measured one,” he told Network Ten on Sunday.

“It hasn’t been over the top.”

Ahhhh … Steve, ‘ol son. Two points.

One. The Chinese are famously circumspect in their language. An official response saying that our government’s decision “may not be in the best interest of countries in the region” is a pretty big red flag.

Two. The People’s Daily is state-run. The regime can, will, and does, make clearer statements in its media organs, than it ever does in official diplomatic comments. So you can probably take as gospel that if The People’s Daily speaks of Australia being caught in “crossfire”, that is exactly what the regime is really thinking.

Indeed, they said a little more than that, didn’t they?

A strongly-worded editorial in the state-owned People’s Daily said the new Australian-US defence pact posed a security threat to Australia.

“Australia surely cannot play China for a fool. It is impossible for China to remain detached, no matter what Australia does to undermine its security,” it said.

“If Australia uses its military bases to help the US harm Chinese interests, then Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire.”

The editorial admonished Australia for relying on China for its economic interests while turning to the United States for political and security purposes.

No question about it.

You have antagonised the Chinese. Best get yourself a copy of Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War”, Mr Smith. It might help you get a clue.

And what about Indonesia? We’ve long had a tetchy relationship with them.

Did our government consider the possibility of “blowback” from our nearest big neighbour?

Gillard reassures Indonesia in bilateral talks

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the Indonesian president understands Australia’s growing military ties with the United States are not a threat.

Ms Gillard says she discussed the issue with president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of yesterday’s East Asia Summit and during their bilateral meeting in Bali today.

Yesterday Mr Yudhoyono told reporters that both Ms Gillard and the US President, Barack Obama, had guaranteed they had no intention of disturbing Australia’s neighbours.

Ms Gillard says Indonesia has no reason to be concerned.

“President Yudhoyono certainly understands that this is a step forward in our defence cooperation with the United States,” she said.

“We are a long-term ally of the United States. That this step forward in our defence cooperation is not aimed at any nation in our region.”

The very fact that reassurances have had to be given, proves two things.

1. The prospect of a US-Australia military deal was not discussed with the Chinese or the Indonesians prior to announcing it. FAIL.

2. They are concerned … else there’d be no need for reassurances. FAIL.

This grandstanding decision by Gillard, part and parcel of nauseatingly brown-nosing the warmongering Peace Prize winner Obama during his flying visit Downunder in order to get a desperately-needed lift in the polls and save her leadership during “killing season”, may very well turn out to be Gillard’s biggest, most epic fail yet.

Big call.

But then, so is pissing off (1) your biggest customer, (2) your biggest creditor, and (3) your biggest neighbour, all just to lift your own beleaguered standing within your own party.

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