The Australian press pack was hyperventilating when the US president made the suggestion Australia might be asked to join a coalition of the willing. Then collective amnesia set in, Guardian Katharine Murphy Political editor @murpharoo 21 Sep 2019 It seemed appropriate, albeit entirely surreal, to be inducted into the vagaries of the Trumpiverse by bearing witness, in the Oval Office, to the American president suddenly raising the spectre of using nuclear weapons against Iran.
Friday’s program in Washington ran like clockwork while everybody had a script. But once we’d cleared the pomp and circumstance of the ceremonial welcome for Scott Morrison on the South Lawn of the White House, once the Australian press pack tumbled out of the sparkling spring sunshine into the Oval Office – we discovered Trump in an expansive mood……..
The president then volunteered he intended to have a quiet word to Scott Morrison over the course of their meetings on Friday, Washington time, about potential military options in Iran, and whether Australia might be persuaded to join a new coalition of the willing. ….
Morrison maintained his best poker face as the president informed the hyperventilating press pack “I always like a coalition”…..
Before we could process the information that Australia might be off to war in Iran, things spiralled. The unheralded military action could be – wait for it – nuclear.
Trump noted America had renovated the arsenal and acquired new nuclear capability, and the rest of the military was “all brand new”……..
With vexed options now tumbling out of Trump’s mouth at a clip, it did seem prudent to check in with the prime minister at this point. What was his position on Australia joining military action in Iran?……
The politically vexed question about whether Australia would do more than protect freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz was therefore moot. If any request was forthcoming, Australia would consider it on its merits, through the prism of national interest, Morrison said, before gathering his host, smiling at the cameras, and exiting, stage right. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/21/scott-morrison-scrambles-to-contain-political-mushroom-cloud-after-trump-raises-nuclear-option-with-iran