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Crikey says: Abbott strikes the right note on MH17

Rundle on the Cold War rumblings over MH17. Horror in Ukraine: Ben Sandilands explains international crash-site procedure. Why you should be afraid of data retention — yes, even if you have nothing to hide. Greg Hywood slams Fairfax ‘hysteria’. HuffPo’s coming to Oz — this time for real. Ladies in the church: you’ll be surprised which religions ban women from leadership. Poll Bludger on the LNP’s thrashing in Stafford. And what’s up at News Corp? Murdoch’s intriguing tweet.

As the details emerged on Friday and over the weekend of the casualties of downed flight MH17, it was impossible not to feel grief at both the overall magnitude of the loss of life and what seemed to be a constantly rising death toll of Australians. Seeing the faces of the victims and imagining the circumstances in which they perished can only induce despair and deep anger at the perpetrators.

While Tony Abbott was his usual forthright self from the outset in relation to this horror, in this instance it has been entirely justified. He has struck the right note in balancing anger at this act with the need to ensure that some semblance of independent investigation is conducted at what is left of the crash scene and that the bodies of Australian victims are expeditiously returned. He continued to strike the right note in a media conference late this morning, in which he tempered his remarks about Russian involvement.

All prime ministers must, at some point, take on the mantle not just of our political leader but of our national leader — charged with helping the nation navigate through grief, anger and dismay as it mourns the loss of its own. Abbott has put on that mantle, and so far it has become him.

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  • 1
    Cyndi
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Seriously?

  • 2
    CML
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Crikey - Are you lot trying to make out that Abbott has suddenly become some kind of ‘statesman’? Sorry, it doesn’t wash with me!
    He is still an ar+shole. Oh!, and he is not MY prime Minister, and he doesn’t speak for me. All he is doing is using this tragedy as his ‘Howard 7/11’ moment. With Abbott it is always dirty politics. If there was someway he could blame Shorten and the Labor Party for this incident, he would do so.
    What a gullible lot you, and the rest of the media, are!!!!

  • 3
    Zeke
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Where was Abbott’s outrage and anger when the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian Airliner, killing 290 people, including 70 children? Same place as Howard’s outrage… nowhere to be seen.

    Abbott’s disgusting tirade is both premature and incendiary. At the same time he’s crying crocodile tears over this incident, 300 people have been killed by the Israeli Military in Gaza. Over 100 children are dead. Where is the outrage Mr Abbott? Oh, that’s right… we’re “friends” with Israel so they can do whatever they please.

  • 4
    dazza
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand the editorial line at all.
    In actual fact, I think Putin was right in giving Abbott a slap-down, and Abbott and the rest of the tea-party should be very, very careful.

  • 5
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    He can go on the ABC now?

  • 6
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    With spots like “Bernie Banton”/the way he went after Hanson, with Coleman’s “backing”, before taking up her xenophobic policies/”shit happens”/the vituperative “You show no remorse, no concern, no urgency about anything except saving your own hide … If the Minister had a shred of the conscience he so exemplified in his former life [he would be] probing his own soul” parliamentary attack on Garrett to get at Rudd/the way his attack dogs took to Gillard?

  • 7
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Making a big deal of sending “Lady Penelope” to the US to have her photo taken - telling the Yanks and the UN what they should be doing?
    …… But it plays up well in the media?

  • 8
    Luke Hellboy
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Seriously crikey? I’m all for giving credit where it is due, even if it is to an otherwise self-serving, delusional wanker… but you consider making uninformed, absolutist statements to the world stage as ‘the right note’? In what way? So he can look like ‘tough man’ internationally, Putin style? So he can make grand assertions lacking any credible evidence, Bush/Blair style? Or so you can justify the similar editorial line you’ve been pushing on Crikey since the incident (equally big on assertions and lacking in evidence)?

    No unequivocal statements on what happened or why or how should be made until relatively independent investigations are conducted. Just because you are not always as bad as News Corpse, doesn’t mean you are always better…

  • 9
    jmendelssohn
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Abbott’s single minded attack on Putin over this reminds me of another Australian ‘statesman’ William Morris Hughes, who was one of the most belligerent voices calling for reparations from Germany at Versailles after World War I. We all know how that ended.
    Times like this call for nuanced diplomacy, a recognition that no one - none of the great powers, none of the partisan hotheads - have clean hands.
    True leadership mourns with the grief stricken and simultaneously appeals to the better angels of all the other parties concerned.
    This is no time for Colonel Blimp.

  • 10
    AR
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    As he used to write for the Bulletin, perhaps he spent some time looking through their archives around the turn of the century when a proud headline declared “We WARN the Tzar!”
    Bit ordinary of him, ie the usual tin ear for human empathy, when he remembered the victims with the Qantas slogan.
    FFS!

  • 11
    Hector Lung
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Crikey, you are way off beam here. Abbott is loving the chance to mix it with the big boys and has delved into his Cold War fantasy land to synchronise with the USA Republican nutjobs to overstate the case re Putin. Abbott has lacked poise and lacked wisdom. The evidence we can rely on makes a case for a reckless, belligerent clash with an unwise airline and that falls well short of the case Abbott tries to make against Russia. Abbott has Putin as puppeteer for an intentional terrorist attack. No, that is not what happened. Even the intercepted messages reek of blunder not plunder. The Chinese labelled Bishop a fool, now we have Abbott as a tool…of the far right. Abbott looks, sounds and grimaces like a champ. Unfortunately his short left jabs are well wide of the mark.

  • 12
    klewso
    Posted Monday, 21 July 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    White hats vs black hats.

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