ABC News (reporting Australia’s Prime Minister’s comments) – ‘”Look, I’m going to shirtfront Mr Putin … you bet I am,” he told reporters in Queensland. “I am going to be saying to Mr Putin [that] Australians were murdered. They were murdered by Russian-backed rebels using Russian-supplied equipment.” A shirtfront, an Australian rules football term, is a “head-on charge aimed at bumping an opponent to the ground,” according to the Macquarie Dictionary.’
Half way across the globe, a gentle breeze brushes by. It must be Putin smiling in reaction to scurrilous rumblings coming out of Canberra. He is a seasoned statesman toughened by years of surviving in a ruthless political and military environment. Putin is no fool. He is no pushover. Every word that he speaks and every step he takes is always measured. How would the chess master react to the little man from Down Under? Will he pull out his wild card and check-mate the tongue swaggering Abbot in one single stroke when both man meets? Perhaps he may, making Canberra looking like a fool. Or he may just display his little sly smile again and let the opportunity pass. Canberra is only a side show. He may just bid his time and save the bullet for the more important kill shot reserved for the Americans?
In the short span of time that Abbot leads Australia, his speeches reflect a man who opens his mouth before even his brain is engaged. Actions taken by Canberra after the MH370 and MH17 events portrayed a man who shoots from his hip without consultation with the brain. There seems to be a total disconnect. Speeches pertaining to foreign policies emanating from Canberra ever since Abbot took office are often baffling. Abbot went on to declare a diplomatic taboo that Japan is Australia’s “closest friend in Asia” to China’s chagrin. The remark was swiftly given a curt retaliation by China’s Foreign Minister who promptly made the sarcastic statement that “China may not be Australia’s closest friend at the moment but we can surely become your most sincere friend.”
Abbot went on the get Australia embroiled in the Middle East wars by sending troops and fighter jets according to USA’s promptings. He did flip-flops about the military engagements while trying to pacify national concerns about military support for the ISIS agenda. Once again, he manifested his cowboy stance and readiness to renege on his words as often as is needed. All these events do not speak well of Aussie leadership. The imminent G20 show on Aussie ground will be interesting theatre. Abbot is set to fire his shotgun – “There’s plenty of evidence to indicate indirect, if not direct, Russian involvement in the shooting down of this plane, which saw hundreds of souls snatched away from their families with no justification or rationale,” ….. “It was an act of murder. I believe Putin knows more about what happened with MH17 than he’s let on.”
Indeed, Putin may know more of what happened with MH17. And what does Abbot know about MH17 now that the investigation report came out with nothing of real significance? Let’s watch the G20 show “When Putin meets Abbot”.
The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves, but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.