Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Trump-Turnbull and refugees. Full Transcript of phone conversation.

August 5, 2017
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Asylum seekers on Manus Island.

There are about 1800 refugees on Manus and Nauru facing their fourth year in detention.

“Australia maintains one of the most restrictive immigration detention systems in the world – Australian Human Rights Commission.”

http://www.smh.com.au/world/full-transcript-donald-trump-and-malcolm-turnbull-telephone-conversation-20170803-gxp13g.html

 

“The President: Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

Prime Minister Turnbull: I am doing very well.

The President: And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

Prime Minister Turnbull: He is a great mutual friend yes.

The President: Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.

The President: Good.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

The President: That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing – it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

The President: Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

The President: Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Can you hear me out Mr. President?

The President: Yeah, go ahead.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

The President: Who made the deal? Obama?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people – none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

The President: Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people –

The President: That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

Prime Minister Turnbull: This is our experience.

The President: Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

The President: Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

The President: Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

Prime Minister Turnbull: With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

The President: Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

Prime Minister Turnbull: The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

The President: No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

Prime Minister Turnbull: I would not be so sure about that. They are basically –

The President: Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

Prime Minister Turnbull: But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.

The President: Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed –

The President: Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

Prime Minister Turnbull: That is the point I have been trying to make.

The President: How does that help you?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

The President: Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

The President: Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

Prime Minister Turnbull: Correct, we have stopped the boats.

The President: Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

Prime Minister Turnbull: These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

The President: Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

Prime Minister Turnbull: They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

The President: They were from wherever they were.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

The President: What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

Prime Minister Turnbull: No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

The President: I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

Prime Minister Turnbull: You will not.

The President: Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

Prime Minister Turnbull: You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

The President: I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]. I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

The President: [inaudible] this is crazy.

Prime Minister Turnbull: Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

The President: It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

Prime Minister Turnbull: You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

The President: I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.”

A tragedy

July 18, 2014

daffodils

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/07/dutch_death_toll_on_ukraine_cr.php

“Dutch death toll on Ukraine crash plane rises to 173, flags half mast

Friday 18 July 2014

The number of Dutch nationals killed in Thursday’s plane crash in Ukraine was revised up to 173 on Friday morning, as Malaysia Airlines published more details about those on board the doomed flight.

Public buildings in the Netherlands have their flags at half mast on Friday in the wake of the crash and hundreds of people have been leaving flowers outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev.

Many of those aboard the plane were on their way to an international Aids conference in Melbourne and are thought to include several renowned researchers.

Television programming has been adjusted and celebrations to mark the end of the four-day Nijmegen march have been toned down as a mark of respect, Dutch media report. The planned summer holiday photo session with the Dutch royal family has also been cancelled.

Missile

It is increasingly likely that the Malaysia Airlines plane which crashed close to Ukraine’s border with Russia was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, experts said on Friday.

US officials have told CNN radar has confirmed the Boeing 777 was hit by a surface-to-air missile. The United States is analysing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from, the official said.

Black box

News agency Reuters reports the second black box has been found at the crash site. The first is thought to have been handed over to Moscow on Thursday evening. One black box records plane details such as speed, the other cockpit conversations, Nos television said.

So far over 120 bodies have been recovered, the Ukraine rescue services have told Russian news agency Interfax.

Reuters also states Russian president Vladimir Putin has telephoned Dutch prime minster Mark Rutte promising him a full and independent inquiry. According to nu.nl, Putin also said the tragedy emphasised the need for a speedy end to the conflict.

Rescue workers

The plane was shot down over an area of Ukraine currently controlled by separatists who have given open access to rescue workers. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has described the apparent shooting down of the plan as ‘an act of terrorism’.

US president Obama has reportedly spoken to Poroshenko to discuss the tragedy and has told him US experts will help any way they can with the investigation.

The UN security council is expected to hold an emergency session later on Friday to discuss the latest events in Ukraine.

Journalist Noah Sneider tweeted from the scene on Thursday night: ‘At crash site of #MH17. Bodies everywhere, organs splayed out. Too gruesome to post photographs. This is an absolute disaster. #ukraine.’

Lucky escape

A family from Zeeland who were booked to fly on Malaysian Airlines MH17 had a lucky escape when they turned up to board the aircraft and found it had been over-booked.

Gert Jansen, his wife Pudji and son Pasha were given alternative seats on a KLM plane flying via Dubai, brother Bert told the Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant.

The Ukraine crash is the biggest air disaster to affect the Netherlands since the 1977 Tenerife air crash when 248 people aboard a KLM flight were killed in a collision with another plane.”

© DutchNews.nl

.dpuf

Obama and Gillards New Year resolutions. (Hope eternal)

December 24, 2012

imagesCA1K5Y8Mmassacre at Newtown US

The tasks ahead for Obama and Gillard.

 

The only way out, it seems, would be for Obama to go hard on the Gun toting and  bullet lobbing pro-kill-‘m Senators and NRA by saying ; Either do away with your lethal guns voluntary or, I’ll resign and let the nation make this choice for once and all. We go for another election with a change of the second amendment of the constitution. The second amendment has been given so many different interpretations; surely they can find one that will support changing this ‘bearing of arms” by all and sundry.

When the Amendment was first passed in law back in 1791 by James Madison guns were just guns which took time to load and fire, giving a fair chance of survival, while in 2012 guns are killers by just looking at them.  The founding fathers then sought to place trust in the power of ordered liberty of democratic government versus the anarchy of insurrectionists. Today, the cult by the manically adherence of the right to bear arms by the individualist has usurped the insurrectionist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

imagesboat people

The issues in Australia are not less problematic by our obsessing with asylum seekers. How fortunate or unfortunate that we have islands that we can ship them to. Those poor European countries are being entered by refugees on trains, boats, swimming ,walking and heaven knows what else, even in containers, ’refugees sans frontiers’, they could be called.  They enter by the tens of thousands, weekly. There are very few isolated European islands that boat people can be isolated on and forgotten about. The obstinacy by our politicians on having blown this up by the hysterical ‘border protection’ mantra is now costing hundreds of millions for just a few thousand.

At least most European countries have been canny enough that the might of the millions of refugees from war torn countries is best handled by, at least making the best of a bad thing, and treat them humanely and, after due process, let them work and pay tax. Howard’s refrain of “we will choose who come here and the method by which they come” could not possibly work there.

Neither does it work here. They come, no matter what obstacles are put into place, not even the risk of getting smashed against rocks deters the helpless refugee. They have nothing to lose. Some of the boat-people haters say, they are filthy rich which seems odd; why risk getting smashed onto rocks or drown from leaky unseaworthy boats?

I feel sorry for Chris Bowen. He tries to be, unconvincingly, unyieldingly hard like the rest, steely and feigning resentment against those more humane. His heart isn’t in it. Hopefully his wife will whisper kind words when he is tossing and turning during guilt ridden sleepless nights. He looks quickly sideways whenever he has to give an expected heartless comment about ‘deterrent’ or ‘no advantage’ to journalists. A shocking portfolio.

The opposition has no such trouble; full blown hatred against refugees comes fluently natural and so does their concrete determination to do all in their power drunkenness to show, and straight into the camera, unflinchingly, as much empathy as the ‘arbeit macht frei’ consortium some seventy years ago at Auschwitz.

Morrison’s, C. Pine’s and Abbott’s public resentment against refugees is genuine and without artifice. They all seem to have ‘against everything’ in their genes. The headmasters must have given them more than just the strap on their backsides.

Julia will have to consider, after getting re-elected and with a mandate, change our position, process all boat people on-shore, give them permission to work and pay tax. This world is different now. We can’t forever thump our noses at the most unfortunate and UNHCR.

The neighbours might talk.

Love and Marriage go together like Carrots

May 10, 2012

From the Salon des ABC refuses.

The good news just keeps on coming. First there appeared on the news yesterday an item on finally considering a ‘fat tax’ and this morning by no less than the President of the United States, Mr Barack Obama, the support for same sex marriage.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-10/obama-backs-same-sex-marriage/4001992

It is only a matter of time before some kind of disincentive for junk food will be introduced in Australia. The rumblings by health experts on the costs of obesity far outweighing the benefits of profits by the junk food corporations will finally have to be acknowledged. Why is it that so many bad things are allowed to continue? It seems that nothing must stand in the way of ‘freedom of choice’, even if it is killing us.

A few months ago the proposed legislation to limit gambling on poker machines was so watered down it became useless. Once again, the shouting supporters of ‘free choice’ were the loudest and concerns for the tens of thousands of families’ lives continuing to be ruined, were side-lined. One of the most depressing sights would have to be a stroll through those poker machine dens in clubs. There they all are, at 10am, queuing up outside the clubs, including many of the overweight and in total silence desperately feeding money into a clanging and blinking machine. The answer by the club industry,” it supports many of our youth sporting clubs and without the revenue from those poker machines we would also not be able to supply entertainment and cheap meals to our members, many of whom are retired pensioners”

.

That’s just so great, isn’t it? We support the good by first allowing and encouraging something bad! In any case, if those sporting youth clubs are so good, why are our young increasingly suffering from being overweight and becoming victims of diabetes? Does revenue from gambling and eating junk food go hand in hand?  Yes, it does. Both are the extreme sides of allowing unfettered ‘freedom of choice’. How come though that in some countries they do act on obesity and excessive gambling? Denmark and the UK are some of the countries having introduced a brake on the consumption of fat by increasing the price of fat. Excessive gambling and availability of gambling venues have also been clamped down in many countries.

Any government worth its salt ought to consider the good for society, even if at times, it means restricting this silly  ‘choice’ above all mantra. It took years to get cigarettes on the undesirable social benefits list, even though it meant restricting the societal exercise in the holy cow of ‘choice’.

Why not put gambling and unhealthy foods on the same list as smoking. Restrict the number of poker machines with maximum 10 cent limits and decrease the cost or subsidize good foods. Put a good solid fat tax in place. Increase revenue and slim the population. A win, win for all. Make carrots and cabbage machines freely available at clubs and sporting venues. Replace coke machines at our hospitals, schools, center link offices and police clubs with plain natural water or freshly squeezed fruit juice dispensers.

The freedom of choice has also reached a ridiculous level in our media. It doesn’t seem to matter how people are being demolished, attacked, denigrated, insulted or slandered; nothing must stand in the way of freedom of expression. It’s freedom, in at least the UK,  included the invasion of privacy by journalists happily hacking away into people’s private lives.

The single most outstanding exclusion in all this lovely freedom in Australia is its obstinate stance against same sex marriage. By hook and by crook (more crook) its opposition to same sex granting of a marriage certificate seems to be an almost impossible obstacle to overcome. How odd, that a simple ‘freedom of this choice’ is so difficult to allow. What is it? How come that when it comes to equality involving a union of two people that might or might not include sexual union as well, seems to remain a barrier when it comes to marrying. We allow relations between same sex people but it is the recognition into a registered marriage that seems to remain a puzzling and seemingly unsolvable conundrum for our unmarried Prime minister to accept…

Anyone for a cabbage? Your shout.