Major blowback from Obama's insult to Australia at the G20 in Brisbane
Barack Obama has managed to damage the formerly close relationship between the United States and Australia, a cornerstone of our presence in the Pacific. Unless you read American Thinker, you probably don’t know about the fuss created when President Obama stuck his nose in Australian domestic politics and insulted that ally during his closing remarks at the G20 Summit in Brisbane last week:
Federal Coalition members are ... angry at the US President’s public intervention in the Australian climate change debate at the G20 last Saturday, when most of his remarks in the summit’s closed session on energy, where the issue was discussed, were devoted to US gas supplies and production that have been boosted by coal-seam gas and shale oil…
Senior Queensland government MPs are so angry at Mr Obama’s remarks about the Great Barrier Reef and his attack on coal production in a resources state that they are considering a formal complaint.
The reverberations are now being felt. Australia’s most widely read poltical blogger, columnist, and television commentator, Andrew Bolt, writes in the Melbourne Herald-Sun:
This is more like it - and Barack Obama could be further punished for his pathetic politicking by Australia now joining China’s regional infrastructure bank:
TRADE and Investment Minister Andrew Robb ... has sent Barack Obama a sharp return-fire message: that Australia expects to be treated with respect — not insulted — and that the President’s remarks in Brisbane were wrong, misinformed and unnecessary…
The Robb remarks are both an honest expression of sentiment in much of the Abbott cabinet and a useful message to the Obama White House about the President’s gratuitous intervention in Australian politics against the Abbott government…
Robb told Sky News’s Australian Agenda program yesterday he was “surprised” by Obama’s speech, he believed the President was “not informed” about Australia’s climate change policy, that his “content was wrong”, that Australia’s 2020 targets were “roughly comparable” to those of the US and other nations, that his speech gave “no sense” to government efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef and that his remarks were “misinformed” and “unnecessary”.
In short, Robb dumped all over Obama…
Much, much worse than the verbal spat, Australia is being pushed into the waiting hands of China, eager to buy more of Australia’s vast natural resources, including coal. You will remember that China can keep burning coal and emitting CO2 in greater quantities for a decade and a half more thanks the “deal” that Obama made, obligating America to cut its emissions now, while China is allowed to peak its emissions “around” 2030.
Australia is now contemplating a major step, pulling it away from the U.S. and toward China:
Mr Robb also intensified pressure within the government to alter its position and join the China regional infrastructure bank, playing down the security factors that led cabinet’s National Security Committee to reject membership at this time.
The Obama administration lobbied the Abbott government heavily to stay aloof from the bank, with Ms Bishop winning a cabinet struggle against the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, who is keen for Australia to participate…
Robb said the Chinese had told him the bank would operate on “world-class governance standards"… and that Australia would be a “big beneficiary” of its operations.
President Obama has now alienated the U.K., sending back the bust of Winston Churchill, and Canada, endlessly delaying the Keystone XL Pipeline vital to Canada’s energy sector (the most vibrant part of its economy). Now he is going for an Anglosphere hat trick by alienating Australia and driving it into a closer relationship with China, much closer to Oz, much more eager to buy its exports, and potentially a good fit into a new world economic order centered on China.
But of course, the American media will not tell you about this major disaster for American foreign policy.
Hat tip: John McMahon