Donald Trump is right. It is a dumb deal. But not for the reasons he thinks.

Trump thinks that the refugee exchange deal that the Obama administration signed with the Australian government is a “dumb deal” because he will have to backtrack on some of his outrageous pronouncements on refugees of the last week.  He will also lose quite political skin in the process.


And it looks as if there are going to be a lot of dumb deals during the Trump administration if the first two weeks are any indication.

But the Manus/Nauru Island deal is a dumb deal from Australia’s point of view.

This is because it exchanges a group of relatively harmless refugees for group of prisoners of unknown and probably fairly dubious provenance, most likely ISIS fighters from Afghanistan or the Middle East who are currently being held in US or CIA prisons. Bringing them into the country will be importing exactly the people we are keen to keep out.

Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton haven’t told the Australian public what the refugee swap actually involves and probably for pretty good reason.


We should probably expect them to ‘fess up.

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


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