September 29th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

FEDERAL ELECTION 2007: NCC policy initiatives on biofuels and Internet safety

EDITORIAL: Horse flu outbreak: time to face hard facts

CANBERRA OBSERVED: John Howard's risky succession strategy

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Will we learn from our quarantine debacle?

DEFENCE: Emerging nuclear challenges for Australia

NATIONAL SECURITY: Another triumph for the ABC or potential calamity?

EMPLOYMENT: Offshore assets most Australians never see

SCHOOLS: How much should we pay teachers who don't deliver?

LIFE ISSUES: 'Rosita', poster-child for pro-abortion lobby

UNITED STATES: Questions over Republican nomination

OPINION: Disgrace of the West's 'cognitive dissonance'

AS THE WORLD TURNS: libertarianism, lesbian's twins, Chinese toys, anti-Americanism

Kevin Rudd's motherhood statements (letter)

Kevinism or a Ruddism? (letter)

Facility with languages (letter)

Australia needs American help with defence (letter)


BOOKS: FAITH THROUGH REASON, by Janne Haaland Matláry

Books promotion page

Australia needs American help with defence (letter)

by Greg Byrne

News Weekly, September 29, 2007


John Miller, in the past, has discussed attitudes of Australians towards the war on terrorism in terms of their being too laid back about it (News Weekly, July 21, 2007).

What is Australia's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan really all about? As with Vietnam, it's about keeping America involved with Australia. Since the fall of Singapore in 1942, Australians have needed an assurance that the Americans will always come to their aid.

This was largely behind Australia's Vietnam commitment. When the war was lost, it didn't matter to Australians because the main objective was achieved, i.e., maintaining a strong relationship with America.

If one goes back to 1999, when the Indonesian militias were butchering East Timorese on a large scale, one can see what it's really all about. US President Bill Clinton didn't want to get involved, and suddenly Australians discovered what a defence crisis without America might be like, and they were not happy.

So it's hardly surprising that John Howard was quick to respond to President George W. Bush's request to become involved in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr Howard was following the time-honoured practice of keeping America on side.

Greg Byrne,
Rowville, Vic.

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