Asia-Pacific

Jan 24, 2014

Dangerous brinkmanship with Indonesia could have disastrous consequences

Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison are playing a dangerous game with Indonesia. Unless someone starts taking responsibility Australia could find itself in a mess, says former diplomat Bruce Haigh.

Australia has a problem. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have taken Australia down a path from which there are only two outcomes: further aggression and confrontation with Indonesia or retreat.

47 comments

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47 thoughts on “Dangerous brinkmanship with Indonesia could have disastrous consequences

  1. Cheree Corbin

    Great article. Thanks

  2. The Pav

    The first 13 words of this article are probably the most accurate ever on Crikey

    “Australia has a problem. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison”

  3. The Pedanticist

    Given that domestic GPS is accurate to within 3 meters, it’s difficult to give any credence to the statement that the RAN “strayed” across the border.

  4. Steve777

    When are the adults we were told about at the election coming to take charge?

  5. drmick

    I wonder, in his ignorance and arrogance, if he and Major Mistake & Rear Admiral Funnybusiness have run a “what if” scenario.
    There are a lot more Indonesians that there are Australians. 49% of the Australian population will gladly point out the immature angry fact free rubbish that have antagonised and dissed our new gracious Indonesian overlords, should the worst eventuate.

  6. Malcolm Street

    There was an interesting interview on ABC radio Canberra (666) this morning with an academic who reckoned the government is essentially pursuing (not his words) a crash through or crash strategy – they are going flat out to stop the boats no matter what and hope that they can do this within a matter of months and then worry about repairing the relationship with Indonesia. IOW their domestic political imperative of STOP THE BOATS has absolute priority over our relations with Indonesia!!!

    If true this is absolutely insane – as he said by pushing so hard for a purely Australian solution it’s making it far harder to find a *regional* solution which is necessary to get to the core of the problem.

    So if they haven’t stopped the boats after six months and Indonesia has had a gutful what then? Back to the ’60s with Confrontation round 2?

  7. Malcolm Street

    BTW – IMHO Tony Abbott is neither conservative nor an intellectual. He’s a doctrinaire Catholic reactionary, Cori Bernardi-lite.

  8. JohnB

    Malcolm (2:18pm), thank you for drawing attention to two loose words that detract from an otherwise excellent, if worrisome, contribution.

  9. roger

    Why has no one asked the Minister if, as is standard practise, video of the Navy operation was taken and whether or not he has seen it? It might likely go a long way to resolving what actually happened.

  10. zut alors

    ‘Abbott has displayed and deployed characteristics at odds with his image as a conservative intellectual…’

    Intellectual?! I’m not aware of such an image. Even my Liberal voting friends would never use the word in reference to Abbott.

    Otherwise the article is spot on.

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