LETTERS News Weekly
, October 27, 2012
Frank Mount’s memoirs
Now, having read Frank Mount’s Wrestling with Asia: A Memoir, I would like to congratulate Patrick Morgan on his perceptive review of the book (News Weekly, September 1, 2012) and Mount for having filled a very important gap in the B.A. Santa-maria story.
Mount documents one of B.A. (“Bob”) Santamaria’s key areas of work, defence and foreign affairs, which embraced the Pacific Institute, Peace with Freedom and the Defend Australia Committee.
Another area which remains to be covered is Bob’s work in defence of the natural family. This work today is continued by the Australian Family Association, which for years was led by his brother Dr Joe Santamaria.
Mount mentions his contact with officials of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). I was stationed at its Bangkok headquarters in 1969 and 1970 and can attest to the valuable work of the organisation in the area of counter-insurgency involving SEATO members — Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Thailand, the Philippines and the United States — as well as Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In 1970, I made Bob welcome in Bangkok on his way to Saigon, and Geoffrey Fairbairn and Peter Samuel on their way to Britain. After the 1970 SEATO Ministerial Meeting in Manila, I visited Saigon and met Ted Serong and Phung Nhat Minh after the Tet offensive.
Mount is right on the money in claiming that the communist victory in Indo-China was due more to the collapse of political will in Washington, where the Johnson and Nixon administrations were steadily undermined by a relentless media campaign, than to the military ability of the North Vietnamese. The Vietcong never recovered from the defeat they suffered during the Tet offensive.
Mount and his network of contacts were pivotal in preventing the earlier communist take over of South Vietnam and Thailand. This gave Southeast Asia 10 valuable years during which it built up political resistance to communism. It allowed nationalistic forces in Indonesia to overwhelm the country’s Communist Party, the PKI. All this greatly enhanced Australia’s strategic position.
On a more critical note, I would have thought that Mount’s assessment of Bob’s economic views could have acknowledged the latter’s prescient warnings about today’s global financial crisis, which eventuated in 2007 and which is still affecting the United States and Europe.
Likewise, the NCC should not be dismissed as a spent force. It has played major roles in defeating repeated attempts to legalise euthanasia; passing John Howard’s Marriage Amendment Act 2004; and so far having successfully defended traditional marriage in Australia.
John R. Barich,
Parents want say in sex education
I agree with Tempe Harvey’s warning that the “sexuality” education curriculum, to be finalised next year for Prep to Year 12 school students, will expose children to explicit sexual material, and confuse them with left-wing-inspired “sexual health” and gender discussions (see “The radical agenda of the national sex-ed curriculum”, News Weekly, October 13, 2012).
Parents are being led down a perilous path already taken by Canada. Initially, Canadian parents were allowed to withdraw their children from school sex education, but now they may be prosecuted for doing so.
The pilot sexuality program being conducted at a Geelong school satisfies only sex ed academics; it ignores the clear misgivings and objections by parents, children and many teachers.
Reporting in May 2012 on groundwork for the study of year 5 and 6 students, Ms Deb Ollis and her fellow researchers found that 38.5 per cent of parents surveyed said that “parents should be solely responsible for teaching sexuality education”. Further, a “significant number” of the students objected to being taught about “getting pleasure by touching yourself”, and 40 per cent of teachers were uncomfortable about teaching this too.
Despite these findings, the Deakin University academics recommended expanding the program to all primary year levels rather than just the planned focus on grades 5 and 6.
Far from helping children, contraception-based sexuality programs have been shown to encourage permissive behaviour, and to increase rates of teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.
Power to stop the dangerous sexuality curriculum rests entirely with our state and federal politicians. Voters must campaign hard against MPs who support it.
(Mrs) F. Fraser,