April 8th 2017

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Euthanasia: shutting up by shouting down

EUTHANASIA British actress tells it like it is

CANBERRA OBSERVED Move on 18C a return to a classic Liberal position

EDITORIAL Kowtowing to China is a serious mistake

ENERGY Hazelwood is vital to Australia's power supply

FOREIGN AFFAIRS UK sets out on the bumpy road to Brexit

QUEENSLAND Women have a victory over the abortion industry

BEHIND THE NEWS Ataturk and modern Turkey out of the shadow

WEST AUSTRALIAN ELECTION Unions and Emily's Listers reap WA Labor's harvest

LITERATURE The Napoleon of Notting Hill: Chesterton for today

HUMOUR Excerpts from the revised and updated edition of Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods

MUSIC Program notes: Jazz's two-tiered appeal

CINEMA The Boss Baby: Tots that mean business

BOOK REVIEW End to history nowhere in sight

BOOK REVIEW That sinking feeling



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News Weekly, April 8, 2017

Dame Joan: a defence

I was most amused to read in “What’s the score?” (News Weekly, March 11, 2017) of Dame Joan Sutherland, national musical treasure, known as La Stupenda throughout her 30-year international operatic career, and regarded by many as the voice of the century, being referred to by Dr David James as “good but the same as the score”!

One thing is for sure: when she sang Handel’s Let the bright Seraphim at Covent Garden in 1958 and ended the aria on a high D (not nearly the top of her range), a note that shook the opera world, she was most definitely not “singing to the score”.

As for Maria Callas, may I suggest that her added “off-score” colouring and variations in pitch were the least of her vocal qualities. What was particularly special about Callas was her ability to sing from the heart, and her drive to give a generous dramatic performance rooted in real and complex human characters.

Patrick Doyle,
Templestowe, Vic.


Abortion as foreign aid

It is right for us to examine what our billions of foreign-aid money finishes up doing. Take, for instance, the additional $9.3 million Foreign Minister Julie Bishop handed to the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Former PM Kevin Rudd restarted Australian donations to the IPPF, as did Obama in the United States. President Donald Trump cut them off again. The business of Planned Parenthood and similar organisations is abortion.

The money finishes up aborting mainly black and brown babies around the world, with African countries being heavily intimidated into compliance. How? It is simple. If governments do not agree to help abort babies, they get no foreign aid.

Those of us involved in helping women to save their babies get regular reminders of international skullduggery in promoting population control.

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld.

Regarding George W.

Jeffry Babb (“Win the war, lose the peace”, News Weekly, February 25, 2017) claims: “George W. Bush will go down as one of the worst presidents ever”.

Was he worse than Herbert Hoover (a president whose economic policies worsened the Great Depression), or Barack Obama (a president who supported abortion and redefining marriage)?

He criticises George W. Bush for the Second Gulf War, but does not mention that the war would not have been necessary if George Bush snr had fully defeated Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War.

Mr Babb claims George W. Bush’s mission was the progenitor of the Arab Spring. However, the Arab Spring actually began in 2010 during Obama’s presidency, and could have fizzled out but for the implicit support of Obama and then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

According to Mr Babb, George W. Bush was a “no-hoper” who “traded on his father’s name”. It is true he was not a brilliant orator (like Obama) or always diplomatic (like his father). He did not appear to have been born with those natural gifts. However, when he became president, he rose to the challenge. He ended up being more politically successful than his father, serving as president for two terms, and not just one.

He stood up for pro-life and family values (unlike Obama) even at the cost of being subjected to great personal ridicule. He saved the lives of countless Iraqis by ending the reign of the dictatorial Saddam Hussein, as well as the lives of potential suicide bombing victims (as Saddam had promised cash rewards for the families of suicide bombers).

To find out more about what one of the “worst presidents ever” looks like, Mr Babb should make more of a study of Barack Obama, particularly his mishandling of the Arab Spring (with ongoing negative consequences in Syria, Iraq and Libya), his failure to reform the U.S. banking system after the global financial crisis, and persistent attacks against the family and basic human rights.

Suryan Chandrasegaran
Albury, NSW

More George W.

I do not see how the facts of George W. Bush’s life can be reasonably disputed. At the age of 40, with the aid of his wife, he gave up liquor and made a new life for himself. What is in dispute is the role of the United States, Britain and Australia in the Second Iraq War.

The first Iraq War was waged by a multinational coalition assembled by President George H.W. Bush. The elder Bush was vastly more experienced in governance and diplomacy than his son. H.W. Bush waged a Clausewitzian campaign, that is, a limited war to achieve limited political aims. As Clausewitz wrote: “War is the extension of politics by other means.” The coalition partners’ intention was to give Saddam Hussein a bloody nose and put him on notice.

Contrary to popular belief, the globe is not lawless. International affairs are governed by the principles of international law that were propounded at the Peace of Westphalia (1648), which ended the 30 Year War in Europe. The treaty established the state system as the basis of international relations. Among other things, the Peace of Westphalia established the principle that a state must have a casus belli to justify going to war against another state.

In the First Iraq War, Iraq’s unprovoked invasion of Kuwait was a clear casus belli. There was no clear casus belli in the Second Iraq War. The justification for the invasion of Iraq was to destroy Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Following the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s forces, a thorough search was made for the WMDs – none were found.

As I wrote, George W. Bush can be commended for the manner in which he handled 9/11, the property collapse and Hurricane Katrina, events that would have tested even the greatest of presidents.

President Gerald Ford, commenting on just how hard it is for a mere mortal to live up to the standards expected of a president, said: “I’m a Ford, not a Lincoln.”

Jeffry Babb,
Essendon, Vic.

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm