Australia no longer recognises that Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem is... Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, and as a result, Arab diplomats are reportedly mulling a boycott of Australia's live export trade to the Middle East.
What a bummer! So what's poor old flummoxed Barnaby Joyce to do?
"Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, who has made live exports a core feature of his tenure, said the issue was not his 'field of endeavour. I will leave all that wondrous stuff on foreign affairs to people on a vastly better pay scale and smarter than I am,' Mr Joyce said." (Bishop hoses down East Jerusalem row, Jared Owens, The Australian, 14/6/14)
Right... leave it to the Abbott government's... er... brain trust. Hm... that can only mean Foreign Minister Julie Bishop:
"Ms Bishop was a member of the Howard government, which in 2003 committed Australian forces to the US-led invasion of Iraq that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein. Asked on Sunday whether this had been a mistake in light of current events, Ms Bishop told Channel Ten, 'Well, I supported the liberation of Iraq at that time. I thought Saddam Hussein was one of the worst dictators on the planet at that time. And his removal was a good thing." (We offer support but no troops for Iraq, says Bishop, Dan Harrison, Sydney Morning Herald, 16/6/14)
And speaking of brain trusts and Iraq:
"Another supporter of the 2003 invasion, former British prime minister Tony Blair, hit out at critics for linking those events to the current violence [in Iraq]. In an article published on his website, Mr Blair blamed the violence on the sectarianism of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government, and the west's failure to act in Syria. 'It is a bizarre reading of the cauldron that is the Middle East today, to claim that but for the removal of Saddam, we would not have a crisis,' he wrote." (ibid)
Oh, I see... so today's Middle East has become a "cauldron" all by itself, and the 2003 Bush/Blair/Howard/Bishop invasion and occupation (that word again!) had absolutely nothing to do with it?
Funny then, that 2002 statement of US Ziocon, Michael Ledeen:
"If ever there was a region that deserved to be cauldronized, it's the Middle East today."*
What could possibly have possessed him to say such a thing?
[*See my 24/3/13 post Netanyahu & the Cauldronization of Iraq & Iran.]