Australian Trump supporters betray those lost on MH17

12 December 2016
Newly elected One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts is off on his Christmas holidays. He and his family are going to the United States to visit relatives. And whilst I strenuously disagree with his politics, I wouldn't wish Senator Roberts and his family anything other than a happy trip.

It won't all be fun and games, though:

Because like pretty much all of Australia's new, and newly emboldened, alt right, Senator Roberts is just smitten with President Elect Donald Trump. From One Nation leader Pauline Hanson toasting Trump's victory with champagne in front of Parliament House (way to show you're in touch with ordinary workers there), to Cory Bernardi proudly wearing a Make America Great Again cap and saying the same sentiment should apply to Australia, to George Christensen, elated by Trump's victory and pondering the lessons to be learned for us, they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude. They believe he stands for what they believe they stand for: the triumph of the ordinary voter over political elites, refusal to conform to that ghastly political correctness business, a refusal to back down from your beliefs, and of course, opposition to the spread of Islam and the fervent belief that Islam is inextricably bound with terrorism.

Yes, they absolutely hate terrorism. The threat of Islamic terrorism is so great that all Muslims should be barred from entering the country, any practice of Sharia law banned (does this include, say, aspects of Sharia such as observing Ramadan? How would this be enforced - does Senator Hanson plan to pop over to people's houses and force feed them?) Halal certification outlawed, and who knows what other measures to oppress and marginalise one of the world's major religions. There's a terrorist threat, you see. We cannot take any chances.

Except that the last major terrorist horror involving Australians was when 27 of them were murdered when flight MH17 was shot down with a Russian missile from Russian controlled territory in 2014.  If you don't hear much about it now, that's not surprising. No one on the alt right seems to care much about these Russian terrorists, the Russian president who is resisting all attempts to investigate or bring the perpetrators to justice, or that the new US President they just heart so much has such a cosy relationship with said Russian President he may well be said to be tacitly allowing terrorism himself. The alt right, so incensed by Islamic terrorism, seems to care not a whit about Australians blown from the skies by terrorists if the terrorists are white, Christian and friends of friends.

Whatever else I'll say about Tony Abbott - very little of it good - at least he acknowledged that Putin himself must be challenged to take responsibility for the downing of MH17 and allow the process of international justice process to take place. The alt right don't do that. And every time the likes of Pauline Hanson or Cory Bernardi sing the praises of Trump - when Trump is at least aligning with the man ultimately responsible for the slaughter of their fellow citizens - they show the hypocrisy of their anti-terrorist agenda and a callous disregard for truth and justice.

This may seem like a long bow to draw. It's really not. If Pauline Hanson can refuse to so much as share a takeaway snack with one of her fellow Senators because it's Halal, and Halal funds terrorism, then it is hardly spurious to question Senator Hanson's adoring regard for a President who is happy to let the terrorist deaths of her fellow Australians slide. If President to be Trump is to prove himself as an international strongman who is tough on the deaths of Americans and their allies, he needs to be making it clear in the strongest terms to Putin and Russia that they cannot cover up for the MH17 atrocity any more. There is no use claiming "well, Trump isn't even in office yet, we have to wait and see what he does, he'll raise the issue MH17 then". He won't though. Whether or not Russia rigged the election or what, there's something fishy going on, and Trump won't risk his Presidency by angering the regime that helped get him there.

The wheels of international justice turn very slowly. It took many years for the perpetrators of the Lockerbie bombing to be brought to trial; countless other atrocities are never held to account. But there will never be any justice for those lost on MH17 as long as the international community is too cowed, complacent or controlled* to demand Russia cooperate with an international investigation. And the relatives of the Australians lost on MH17 deserve better than to watch their politicians' adoring support of a President who's just going to let this one slide.

1 comment:

  1. * There's another c-word (no, not that one) so beloved of Trump supporters which could, were it not for its massively racist implications, describe Putin's hold over Trump.


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