On Abbott and Syria

Ed Klavins writes: Re. “While Turkey plays games with jihadis, we’re with Stupid in Syria” (yesterday). Abbott is desperate to bomb Syria. In the last months, some 40-50,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Europe. If he wants to bomb Syria so badly, maybe he can agree to take a contingent of, say, 10,000 Syrians for resettlement in Australia? I read USA has agreed to do so, so why not follow their lead here as well? I think every country dropping bombs on the Syrians should have an obligation to take in those that are trying to find a better life.

Greg Poropat writes: On the basis that it does not comment on the detail of diplomatic exchanges, the United States will not confirm or deny if it has asked Australia to engage in an act of aggression against another state, Syria. Our prime minister, a self-confessed liar for whom there is a mountain of evidence that he will say almost anything if he believes it will provide him with a political advantage, holds no such reservations and says that the subject arose during a discussion with the US President, a discussion whose “initial” subject was about a completely unrelated matter, the proposed Free Trade Agreement.

Can he be believed and, if so, what are we to make of this? Is it beyond the pale to think that if there is a scintilla of truth to Tony Abbott’s statement, the discussion produced a Free Trade Agreement “trade” in exchange for a coming Australian commitment to bomb Syria? And if this did happen, given the boofhead’s form and desperation, perhaps the “trade” actually was a trade concession from Australia in return for the

James Burke writes: It gets better: Jabhat al-Nusra have released some of the US-trained Division 30 rebels they had kidnapped. Division 30 responded by calling Jabhat al-Nusra “brothers” and stated Division 30 is “on the same page with all the holy warriors in Syria”.*

So, looks like another dead end in the American quest to find capable Syrian Sunni allies who aren’t Al Qaeda-leaning apocalyptic jihadis. I’m beginning to suspect they’re taking poor advice. Probably from whoever suggested they back the Saudi war against the Houthis in Yemen, which appears to be entrenching Al Qaeda in Aden.** That would be Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which in January had the Saudi ambassador to France marching through the streets of Paris, along with the millions asserting “je suis Charlie”.

Too soon

Jock Webb writes: Re. “On Kaspar Wowser” (yesterday). I agree with John Falconer. I am a long term lover of historic aircraft and was very distressed to see that pilot Andy Hill had been involved in such a calamity. The Shoreham Air Show is a well patronised annual event which did not deserve it’s callous and offensive link to a serial nincompoop of many years standing.

No more -gates

Peter Rosier writes: Re. “Ban the cliches” (yesterday). Josh Rosenberg, if your view predominates,  the use of the cliche to which you so unlovingly refer will become Gategate.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey