The Manus Island/Nauru deal with the US may be a mixed blessing

The Australian Government has signed up with the outgoing Obama administration to swap the remaining refugees on Manus and Nauru for an undesignated group of refugees/prisoners held in the USA. It looks as if the Trump administration will honour the deal.

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The advantage of this is that it gives the poor souls who have been left to rot in these hell holes because of the inhumane policies of successive Australian governments will have some hope of a civilised existence.

One down side is that the Australian public does not know exactly what it is getting in return. It may be that we are getting a group of prisoners who have been fighting for ISIS in the Middle East and who been held in US military prisons. Such a group of people, well-trained soldiers, devoted Islamic militants, embittered by years of imprisonment in US detention are exactly the kinds of people we are trying to keep out of the country.  They will bring all their hatred of Western civilisation to Australia.

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That would seem to be a very bad swap for a small group of people who were only seeking to escape persecution in their own countries and were unlucky enough to have wound up being caught on a leaky boat and who probably would have been good Australian citizens.

Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton should be upfront with the Australian people about what the Manu/Nauru deal with US government entails and remember the old adage “he who sups with the devil should eat with a very long spoon.”

The other downside is that we will have to put up was a huge amount of gloating about “keeping our borders safe” which may not actually be the case.

 

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