February 2nd 2008

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: TRANSPORT: End of the line for rail freight?

FINANCE: Sub-prime mortgage crisis paralyses credit system

EDITORIAL: East Timor's new beginning

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Economic storm facing new government

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: A stern test for multiculturalism

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: Family values overlooked in the market-place

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Reading the signs for the New Year (Through a hedge backwards...) / Hijacking foreign aid / Sub-prime lending crisis / Was Hitler's defeat inevitable?

AFGHANISTAN: Confronting terrorists and the drug trade

WOMEN UNDER ISLAM: Silence of the "sisterhood"

EDUCATION: The threat to our literary heritage

OPINION: Who is the real Kevin Rudd?

Global warming? Stop and think! (letter)

Flaws in our voting system (letter)

Who is running the country? (letter)

Barack Obama on foreign despots (letter)

Alternative to capitalism and communism? (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Juvenile crime in Britain / Feminist magazine's anti-Israel bias

GOD AND CAESAR: Selected Essays on Religion, Politics, and Society by Cardinal George Pell

BOOKS: CULTURAL AMNESIA: Notes in the Margin of My Time, by Clive James

THE TORCH AND THE SWORD: A History of the Army Cadet Movement in Australia, by Craig A. Stockings

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Barack Obama on foreign despots (letter)

by Frank Bellet

News Weekly, February 2, 2008

I follow American politics fairly closely, via satellite TV and with direct e-mail services from some of America's best-known commentators, such as Dick Morris, and I'm moved to question the tone of some of the headlines, following the Iowa primary, when we read about Barak Obama, as if he's almost the President-elect.

So far Obama has offered only motherhood statements about "change", but has neither been specific, nor been grilled on what specifically he means by the term.

Even Afro-American Democrat-supporting commentator on Fox News, Juan Williams, has questioned Obama's naivety.

Said Williams: "When Obama was questioned on what he would do, regarding the terror threats throughout the world, he replied, of all things, that he would travel to speak personally with all the despots threatening America."

Back in the 1930s, Britain's Prime Minister Neville "Peace in Our Time" Chamberlain tried this, with limited success!

Williams went on to say, "Obama stated he would sort out the current problems in Pakistan by sending in a military force to root out the terrorists." Incredible.

It will be a much different situation when the caravan moves into the bigger states and, if he is nominated as the Democrat's choice for the presidential campaign, he will be grilled solidly on foreign affairs and taxation, unlike the Rudd-like run he's experiencing at the moment.

Frank Bellet,
Petrie, Qld

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