October 5th 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Hurdles to the sell-off of Telstra

Queensland sugar protests grow

Turnbull contradicts Costello's new agenda

GERMANY: Floods, Iraq help Schroeder scrape back

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Goodbye to all that? Surely!

ECONOMICS: Globalisation: where is it going?

MEDIA: September 11: media's 'greed for tears' writ large

LETTERS: Vietnam commitment right (letter)

LETTERS: On our own terms (letter)

LETTERS: Democrats' suicide (letter)

LETTERS: Singapore (letter)

HISTORY: When we dead awaken

OBITUARY: Heroic Vietnamese cardinal Van Thuan dies in Rome

BOOKS:Demon of the Waters, by Gregory Gibson

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On our own terms (letter)

by Michael Jardine

News Weekly, October 5, 2002

The last major nation to launch a massive attack on another without first declaring war was Japan, when it flattened a large part of the United States Navy's fleet at Pearl Harbour in late 1941 ... a fact somewhat overlooked in the breast-beating over the Twin Towers tragedy.

Perhaps war talk against Iraq reflects an American desire for military greatness. After all, World War One lasted four years for everyone excepting the United States which joined in for the last year and a bit, and in World War Two, America made money for two-and-a-half years before being dragged in by the Japanese. Add the disaster in Vietnam and the noise in the Gulf and the Hollywood values of the American term "Gung Ho", and there we are.

Australia should look to itself and remind politicians at the next election. We have already watched the Americanisation of Australian military history in those references to the World War Two action on the Kokoda Trail - which Australians used to know as a track - neatly promoted to distract attention away from the fact that the first military defeat of the Japanese was by Australian forces at Milne Bay, prior to Kokoda.

For once I agree entirely with Nelson Mandela. By all means let us defend ourselves- but when we must, not when the White House cocks a finger.

Michael Jardine,
Mt Lawley, WA

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