March 23rd 2002

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The US steel decision

Ansett's collapse highlights failure of deregulation

Government's currency gamble goes bad

Straws in the Wind: All you need is love / What's in a name?

NSW Anglican Bishops support stem cell research ... but not at the cost of human life

Media: Courageously un-PC / Sudden 'enthusiasm' for Crean

Captive market (letter)

Misdirected (letter)

US steel (letter)

Show trials (letter)

Adult stem cells: the better option

Comment: Enron's collapse - the net widens

ASIA: How should the West respond to the terrorist threat?

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Misdirected (letter)

by Raymond Watson

News Weekly, March 23, 2002


I find it difficult to understand the point of Bob Browning's regular diatribes against the USA, particularly at a time when anti-Americanism is being utilised by terrorists and their leftist apologists around the world to justify the likes of the September 11 outrages.

On matters of international trade, globalisation and threats to our national sovereignty, we will of course have differences with the US, but we ought to take care with whom we ally ourselves in this, lest we end up in the ranks of S-11 or become unwitting supporters of Osama bin Laden.

It's a bit far-fetched, isn't it, to link the electoral victories of George Bush and John Howard with the "right-wing populism" Mr Browning believes is sweeping the world? ("Terrorism, refugees and the populist resurgence" NW, February 9).

And talking of matters of sovereignty, it's pretty tasteless to demean John Howard's stance on the illegal immigrant issue as "an electoral tactic" designed to "draw votes from Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party", rather than a principled decision in defence of Australia's sovereignty, taken in a stressful and highly emotionally-charged atmosphere.

Labelling it as a "tactic" suggested that Howard instigated the whole scenario. I can read this sort of stuff in Green Left Weekly or International Socialist.

While I can still read sentiments such as "The action of the US to hunt down and destroy the Taliban regime and hunt down its leaders, particularly Mullah Omar and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, are amply vindicated", in leading articles like Peter Westmore's "Al-Qaeda network must be destroyed" (NW, January 26) all is not lost.

For Browning, this important victory against terrorism is a worrying example of American "hubris". For me, it is a decisive blow against an enemy of not only the USA, but the entire "infidel" West.

Raymond Watson,
North Melbourne, Vic

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