August 14th 2004

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Foreign Minister launches Paul Gray's new book on Islam

EDITORIAL: Australia and the Timor Gap Treaty

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Latham loses lustre as poll looms


RURAL POLICY: Facing up to the farm income crisis

UNITED STATES: Transsexual case and marriage law

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Pakistan and the Islamic N-bomb

POPULATION: 'Gender equality' partly to blame for fertility decline, says UN official

DOCUMENTARY: 'My Foetus' prompts abortion re-think

OPINION: US law professor blasts US court on gay marriage

OPINION: Distributism and capitalism

STRAWS IN THE WIND : Part-timers: pros and cons / Family Law changes / Timor's Labor pain

Latham, Iraq and free trade deal (letter)

Fishermen protest in marginal seats (letter)

Ethanol stand challenged (letter)

BOOKS: The Red Millionaire: Willi Münzenberg, by Sean McMeekin

BOOKS: GETTING ON TRACK: A Business Plan for Australia

BOOKS: Just War Against Terror, by Jean Bethke Elshtain

BOOKS: The Mystery of Olga Chekhova, by Anthony Beevor

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Latham, Iraq and free trade deal (letter)

by Robert Bom

News Weekly, August 14, 2004

Australians have much to fear from Mark Latham and his erratic behaviour. His anti-American rhetoric and his policy to pull the Australian troops out of Iraq before Christmas are disastrous. The troops pull-out will be a massive blow to the Alliance and the United Nations who are in Iraq to further the cause of democracy in that country. The move will advance the cause of terrorism.

That said, the existing trade balance between the US and Australia is already heavily in favour of the Americans. There is concern in Australia about the free trade deal over intellectual property rights, changes in cultural content on television, quarantine and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Agriculture has been left out in the cold. The Americans get 99 to 100 per cent access for their agricultural products to the Australian market (News Weekly, July 31). But Australian agricultural exports to the US are subject to restrictions or left out of the agreement, as is the case with sugar. The agreement is a dud.

Mark, do a deal. Promise to leave the troops in Iraq, but get the Senate to vote down the US Free Trade Agreement and ask for re-negotiations to achieve a more honourable and balanced outcome. It may just save your and our bacon without upsetting the apple cart too much.

Robert Bom,
Rockhampton, Qld

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