May 18th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: U.S. Farm Bill ends free trade illusion

EDITORIAL: Paid maternity leave: who benefits?

Languishing Labor fills its quota

East Timor becomes independent on May 20

Straws in the Wind: Le System / Apocrypha: Dave's lost column / Ides of March / Sin

LAW: US repudiates International Criminal Court

MEDIA: Jonestown

Refugee response (letter)

Middle East (letter)

Swift solution (letter)

Neighbourly aid (letter)

Quarantine: NZ suspends California grape imports

HEALTH: The politics of AIDS in South Africa

OPINION: Media diversity: should the market decide?

TRADE: Oxfam report shows rigged rules of world trade

ASIA: Taiwan comes in from the cold

Books promotion page

Middle East (letter)

by Colin Harper

News Weekly, May 18, 2002

I applaud the view that the "war on terrorism" and the "axis of evil" should be abandoned. They are reminiscent of the "war" which overshadowed George Orwell's 1984.

Osama bin Laden listed three reasons for his actions: Palestine; the sufferings of Iraq; and American troops in the land of Medina and Mecca.

The US has not attempted to address any of these.

The basis for US policy is, always, the need to win domestic elections.

Oil is always a major consideration and Israel is the only non-Arab Middle East landing ground.

If Israel wants the West Bank, then US policy is that it should have it.

The Palestinians have no tanks or helicopters, so for lack of any other way of showing the world they have a right to their own land, they kill Israelis by killing themselves.

No wonder Colin Powell's visit to the Middle East was such a farce.

You mention India and Pakistan. They are of no interest in US domestic politics. From now on, nor will Afghanistan be.

Colin Harper
Malvern, Vic

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