||Issue No. 132||19 April 2002|
Interview: Generation Next
Legal: We’re All Terrorists Now
Unions: Holding the Baby
International: Taking It To The Streets
History: Off the Wall
Economics: Financing International Development
Satire: Queen Mum's Life Tragically Cut Short
Review: Return of The People’s Parliament
Poetry: Silent Night
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Where's the Silver Tail?
Week in Review
Stretching the Truth
By Jim Marr
As the Libs and some of their media apologists try to rewrite history by arguing a wide mandate from their "asylum seekers election" attention shifts back to where it belongs, this time via news that Peter Reith's office told Government photographers not to take or circulate "humanising" pictures of asylum seekers, during the campaign.
It is also claimed, before a Senate Inquiry, that Government-distributed photos, claiming to show children being thrown into the ocean, were deleted from the email files of officials.
With Dubai Pete's reputation in tatters, his former boss, the PM, stills tries it on although, to be fair, on a less grand scale. This week's twist from Howard is his widely publicised, but unsubstantiated, claim that unemployment would fall if sections of the workforce were denied the right to contest unfair dismissals.
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A week pretending to be an honest broker in the Middle East breaks down when Ariel Sharon calls the US bluff.
Colin Powell, having wandered the globe on his way to the hot spot, tootles back home, having adopted the Israeli line that Yasser Arafat is to blame for the invasion of Palestinian territories.
Powell departs with the West Bank still under military occupation and the central issues of Jewish settlements, and military support for them, having hardly been raised.
It's his boss George Bush, though, free-wheeling in front of the field for this year's Joseph Goebells Award. It will be hard for anyone to match Bush's description of Sharon, with Israeli tanks still pounding Palestinian settlements, as "a man of peace".
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Australian Governments of varying hues are entitled to be embarrassed as former rebel leader Xanana Gusmao wins a resounding presidential election victory in East Timor.
Remember the deafening silence from successive Governments as Gusmao and his comrades fought to throw off Indonesian domination?
Independence leaders, though, have no beef with ordinary Australians. They have been lavish in their praise for sections of the labour movement and it wouldn't come as a great surprise if the new president was moved to return the favour when the CFMEU comes under fire from the politically-motivated Cole Royal Commission.
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Another mob hoist by their own propoganda are the operatives from Osama bin's Al Queda network.
The group, who traditionally promote their work by video on satellite channel Al Jazeera, are caught on film planning to bomb Strasbourg's Notre Dame Cathedral. The home-made video, now in the possession of German police, reveals that far from training freedom fighters Al Queda harbours religious fanatics of the most dangerous kind.
Their Arabic commentary says of Notre Dame "this cathedral is God's enemy".
"Here we see the enemies of God as they stroll about," it says of French civilians, in the vicinity. "You will go to hell, God willing."
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Historical leaps can span many decades or, in countries like Venezuela, a few days.
In the space of 72 hours President Hugo Chavez, the latest thorn in the side of US foreign policy, moves from finding himself deposed and arrested to being restored to office by popular demand.
Chavez's military-chosen replacement, the head of the country's largest Chamber of Commerce, barely gets his feet under the desk before the elected president, whose power base lies in the barrios of the cities and peasant communities, is back in office.
One US commentator sums up the original coup thus: "How do we know the CIA was behind the coup that overthrow Hugo Chavez?
"Same way that we know the sun will rise tomorrow," he answered. "That's what it has always done and there is no reason to think tomorrow will be any different."
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More information leaks to the public from behind the barbed wire at Woomera. This time it's child protection workers reporting children suffering suicidal thoughts, depression and disturbed behaviour.
South Australian Justice Minister Stephanie Key is moved to describe the situation as "intolerable".
Still, Ruddock and Howard defend their position, arguing Australia is meeting its international commitments.
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