Trump browbeats Australian “ally”
4 February 2017
US President Donald Trump’s menacing phone call to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week, which was leaked to the media, has further exposed the thuggish character of the new administration and the brutish face of US imperialism.
During the call, scheduled to last an hour, Trump berated Turnbull over a refugee swap deal that had been brokered with the Obama administration, and then abruptly ended the conversation after 25 minutes.
This was intended to send an unmistakable message that “making America great again” means the US will lay down the law to its allies and enemies alike.
Before hanging up, Trump told Turnbull, who heads the government of one of Washington’s closest military partners, that the phone conversation was the “worst by far” of the five he had held that day with world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Just two weeks in office, Trump’s aggressive “America First” economic nationalism and militarism are sending political shockwaves around the world. Not only has the new president launched provocations and threats against Europe, Mexico, Iran and China, he has deliberately placed a question mark over a number of Washington’s key partnerships—with NATO and the European Union, and with Japan, South Korea and now Australia in the Asia-Pacific region.
Trump has declared that the US military and strategic “pivot” to Asia to confront China, initiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, along with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has failed to halt China’s rise.
Because of its strategic location, Australia has become a key component of the “pivot” and a platform for Washington’s war plans against China. It hosts several critical bases such as…