LETTERS News Weekly
, July 7, 2012
Whatever happened to Christian charity?
I was extremely disappointed, to say the least, at the cover of the last issue of News Weekly (June 23, 2012), along with the accompanying “Canberra Observed” article, concerning so-called illegal immigration.
What we are talking about are refugees attempting to come by boat without visas. They are not technically illegal until they try for landfall in Australia.
I had no idea that the organisation established by Mr Bob Santamaria, with whom I had many discussions, had decided to join the Murdoch press crusade against the Gillard Government.
It beggars belief that the Australian public is being whipped into hysteria by boat arrivals, especially when the annual total has been less than that experienced at times by Italy over a single weekend. Whatever has happened to Christian charity and common humanity if we allow ourselves to be led by the press and vested political interests of dubious morality?
Those concerned about terrorist arrivals by this hazardous route had better read the latest Census statistics and the alarming level of legal Muslim migration to Australia.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no proven link between boat arrivals and threats to national security.
Dr Christopher J. Ward,
Thank you for the excellent article by Dr Lachlan Dunjey in defence of the right of Doctors for the Family to have their say in the marriage debate (News Weekly, June 9, 2012).
Just because people are opposed to same-sex marriage doesn’t make them homophobic. Even homosexual rights activist Rodney Croome had to concede that the Catholic Church’s teaching that homosexuality is disordered — a point made by Dr Dunjey — doesn’t make it homophobic.
Peter Tatchell, another homosexual activist, thinks that “Christians and those of other religions who believe that homosexual acts are sinful have every right to state their beliefs” (Catholic Herald, UK, January 21, 2011).
Finally, not all homosexuals support same-sex marriage. Prominent English historian David Starkey, a homosexual, is “implacably” opposed (The Observer, UK, April 22, 2012).
Australia’s perilous situation in 1942
I enjoy Joseph Poprzeczny’s articles in News Weekly, but am compelled to correct some of his statements about Australia’s role in World War II (“Labor’s defence cuts will take years to remedy”, News Weekly, June 9, 2012).
He questions Australia’s commitment of warships, if any, to the British Eastern Fleet when Japan’s Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo sortied into the Indian Ocean on March 26, 1942, with five carriers for the purpose of destroying the Eastern Fleet and driving the Royal Air Force from the Bay of Bengal.
The Japanese bombed Colombo (April 5) and Trincomalee (April 9), but Nagumo failed to locate either the Eastern Fleet or its anchorage on Addu Atoll in the Maldives several hundred kilometres south-west of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). So there was no fleet-to-fleet engagement as Mr Poprzeczny claims.
The British aircraft carrier Hermes and the heavy cruisers Dorsetshire and Cornwall were sunk by the Japanese while operating independently of the Eastern Fleet.
Since all of Australia’s naval resources were placed under British control in World War II, it seems unfair to question whether Australian warships were supporting the Eastern Fleet at this time. We had already lost the cruisers Sydney and Perth when Nagumo sortied into the Indian Ocean, and had only three modern cruisers left, HMA ships Australia, Canberra and Hobart.
Mr Poprzeczny claims that there is no justification whatsoever for Paul Keating’s suggestion that Britain betrayed Australia in 1942; but how would he describe Winston Churchill’s attitude to Australia’s defence at the Arcadia Conference held between Churchill and Roosevelt in Washington in late December 1941?
Churchill went to Washington to urge Roosevelt not to divert any of America’s vast resources to stopping the Japanese advance in the western Pacific. Churchill persuaded Roosevelt that the Allies should adhere to a “Germany first” war strategy and relegate the western Pacific, including Australia, British Malaya, the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies, to the status of a secondary war theatre where the Allies would adopt only a passive defensive posture.
The chief of the US Navy, Admiral Ernest King, agreed with the “Germany first” strategy, but argued successfully at the conference for the agreement to include the right of his navy to “safeguard vital interests”. Those vital interests were not specified. Without saying so, Admiral King intended to defend Australia and the British Solomons as essential bases for an American counter-offensive against Japan.
Convener, Battle for Australia Historical Society,
Glen Waverley, Vic.
Nuclear submarines for Australia?
Because the American submarine force is all nuclear, like the submarine force of the Royal Navy, it should not be impossible for the facilities of the proposed American submarine base for Western Australia to be shared with an Australian nuclear submarine force.
The idea of Australia buying a fleet of diesel submarines is unthinkable when China is equipping her navy with nuclear submarines.
I believe that it would be impossible to get Australian sailors to man diesel submarines in a war against nuclear submarines.
The cost of nuclear submarines is huge, but what is the price of liberty?
While it is not too late, the Australian people should remember the words of Australia’s wartime Prime Minister, John Curtin: “We dare not fail.”
Kevin O’Neill OAM,
(Sub Lieutenant SD RAN, Retired),