Features Australia

Nobel laureates manqués

23 June 2018

9:00 AM

23 June 2018

9:00 AM

Calls for a Nobel Peace Prize for Donald Trump reminded me that if anyone should be a Nobel Laureate, it is John Howard for his remarkable achievement in liberating the people of East Timor.

As eligible nominators for the Nobel, I teamed up with the late and lovely Senator Jeannie Ferris, sending a powerful submission to Oslo in good time for the 2001 prize. It’s hard to believe that it did not make the shortlist on its merits, with the final vote by the five Norwegian politicians scheduled for October of that year.

But in August, the freighter MV Tampa hove into view, flying, of all  flags, the Norwegian.

Quel désastre.

The Tampa had responded to a call from Australia to save 438 souls from a sinking vessel in the Indian Ocean. They had paid a small fortune to jump the immigration queue into Australia.

Acting on instructions from Jakarta, Tampa’s Captain Arne Rinnan set sail for the nearest suitable port, Merak. The leaders of those he’d saved came up onto the bridge, not to tell him they’d prefer to be taken to Australia, but to indicate what would happen if they weren’t.

Bur Howard refused permission, not because he was uncaring but because he realised that if he agreed, the criminals would follow this by sending in an increasing armada of vessels crammed with illegal immigrants. Some would inevitably drown. He was right; this was what happened when the Rudd government, either stupidly or as some say, deliberately, unravelled Howard’s carefully constructed defence of the borders.

Rinnan tried to trick his charges into thinking he wasn’t taking them back to where they came from. When this didn’t work, he gave in and just headed for Australian waters.


Although the Tampa had been effectively highjacked, the Norwegian government strongly criticised the Australian decision not to give in. But Howard’s position was absolutely correct for any sovereign country: ‘We will decide who comes into Australia and the circumstances in which they come.’

Supported by the overwhelming majority, this outraged the elites both in Australia and around the world. The collateral result was that however much he deserved it, he would be denied the Nobel. This was awarded instead to the UN and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. The most prominent of Annan’s string of failures was abandoning the people of Rwanda to genocide. He had achieved nothing even remotely close to the liberation of East Timor.

As for President Trump and the Nobel, the usual critics say it’s too early.  Curiously, it wasn’t for Barack Obama, who’d only been in office for 11 days when nominations closed. His career before politics was as a community organiser — whatever that is. Neither of his closest and longstanding mentors, the unrepentant revolutionary terrorist Bill Ayers or the extremist racist pastor Jeremiah White, could be described as peacemakers. Obama had done nothing at all to justify his award.

By way of contrast, Trump’s short presidency has been replete with dramatic achievements from the early and surprising defeat of the Isis caliphate to the recent summit in Singapore. The point is that whatever the current calumny with which the mainstream media charge him, or whatever infantile, foul abuse comes out of the mouth of some unhinged actor or actress, foreign powers, especially the hostile, take him very seriously.

They know he means business. Just imagine, for example, what Trump would have done if he had been in Chamberlain’s place when Hitler double-crossed him after Munich and didn’t stop with the Sudetenland.

Such is the inconsistency of the mainstream media that those who were warning recently that Trump would propel the world into a nuclear war are now saying he gave away too much to Kim Jong-un.

Not so. Apart from a look into the marvels of his presidential limousine and a video on what a North Korean Riviera could look like, all Kim Jong-un received was a pause in the regular war exercises held in the South. Can anyone doubt that if timely progress is not made on denuclearisation, Trump will pull out?  Just contrast that with the 150 billions released as well as the billions of cash delivered  to the Iranian mullahs so recklessly by Obama, without provision for proper inspections, without any control on ICBM development and without a scintilla of restraint over their rampant terrorism.

Now they’re saying Trump has started a trade war with China.

The trade war started when the Beijing communists adopted Mussolini’s crony corporate capitalism model, and then began stealing and forcibly acquiring the latest American intellectual property, including military secrets. A country doesn’t suddenly come from the backward communist third world to being a super power; to do that you have to use ruthless mafia-style tactics. The communists have mastered how to steal or extort the world’s most advanced intellectual property and to engage in cyber warfare. Beijing is in this for the long haul, to rule the world in the same way that they ruled the Middle Empire, through ruthless force.

Just as Donald Trump is not letting the Beijing communists get away with it, he is not letting any barnacle allies get away with freeloading on the most benign superpower the world has seen since the British were in their prime. The Americans, in their naive goodness, gave even defeated powers like Germany and Japan massive aid. In retrospect, they should have lent that aid with a rate of interest reflecting the risk taken and the lack of  security.

There has been a long peace in Europe, the Balkans apart, not because of the ridiculous pretension that the Brussels Eurocrats achieved this, but because of the sacrifices of Britain and her Commonwealth and then the enormous efforts and generosity of the United States. Trump is only calling for a timely correction in the way some allies have repaid America, not through free but unfair trade and an inadequate contribution to their defence.

And just as the elites denied Howard his Nobel, its difficult to believe they won’t ensure the same result for Trump.

He is too great a leader to lose any sleep over this.

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