Or, The Mouse that Roared … Briefly.
After blaming Russia (July 18-19) - without proof - for the downing of the MH17 Malaysian Airlines flight, where nearly 40 Australians lost their lives, the rhetoric of the Australian PM, Tony Abbott, has gone through the whole spectrum, from demanding peremptorily that Russia not stand in the way of a full inquiry into the tragedy and warning that
"There can be no excuses, no buck-passing, no blame-shifting."To the extreme of threatening last month to "shirtfront" Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his visit to Brisbane, for the G20 meeting.
The latest of our intrepid leader, Tony Abbott:
"Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he will seek an 'assurance' from Vladimir Putin that his country will co-operate with investigations into the downing of MH17, in a further softening of his tone towards the Russian President.It seems this is something we Aussies must learn to live with: the permanent feeling of vicarious embarrassment. Do you see now why I'd rather see an old-fashioned dust-up?
"Speaking to reporters at the APEC summit in Beijng on Monday, Mr Abbott dramatically toned down his rhetoric and noted Russia's pledge to do what it could to bring the perpetrators to justice.
" 'Good on Russia for saying that and I'll just be looking for an assurance from the President that what they said then - they meant and what they said then is still what they say now,' he said."
We Australians deserve better than this Coalition/Labor farce.