My God, the revelations about Tony Abbott just keep on coming!
'Twas only on Saturday that we learned that Tone had once traversed the length and breadth of the Dark Continent in search of Cecil Rhodes. (See my 17/8/13 post Tony Abbott Carrying On Up the Khyber.)
Now we learn from an impeccable source that he's practically an old Middle East hand as well:
"He has travelled a bit in the Middle East and knows quite a lot about it, and remains a straightforward supporter of Israel, even opposing, as an overreaction, the government's decision to expel an Israeli diplomat accused of misusing an Australian passport." (A contest between constructed and unreconstructed man, Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 17/8/13)
(If I may be so bold as to correct the old suppository here, it wasn't the Israeli diplomat himself but his Mossad mates who misused not one but several Australian passports.)
Is there no end to Tone's accomplishments? Apparently not. Just take a look at the level of sophistication underpinning his support for the war in Iraq:
"Although a safer world is in everyone's long-term interest, there's little immediate reward in being its policeman. The invasion of Iraq, for instance, certainly didn't give America or its allies access to cheap oil [or] strategic bases... It was to liberate other people, to advance everyone's interests and to uphold universal values that the 'coalition of the willing' went to war in Iraq. If it's possible to engage in an altruistic war, this was it." (Battlelines, 2009, p 158)
No, it doesn't get much more sophisticated or nuanced than that.
And don't think that under an Abbott dispensation, we'll be leaving all the heavy lifting to the US. Oh no:
"Former general Jim Molan has observed that Australia hasn't really pulled its weight either in Iraq or Afghanistan... It's wrong to expect America to be the world's policeman with only token assistance from allies. If Australia is to matter in the wider world, Australians should expect more, not less, future involvement in international security issues." (ibid, p 159)