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20 April 1979. Thought for the Week: "The Soviet Union intends to absorb the whole of Southern Africa including its great mineral wealth; to dominate the Cape sea route, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, and to bring N.A.T.O. to its knees without firing a shot. That is why Southern Africa is so important to the Soviet Union. Moscow is prepared to take great risks in Africa because detente is dead in that continent."
General Sir Walter Walker, K. C. B., C.B.E., D.S.0. in his Preface to The Bear at the Back Door (1978)
MR. JEREMY LEE, NATIONAL SECRETARY OF THE INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY, REPORTS FROM NORTHERN VICTORIA
It was a singular privilege to be one of the guest speakers at the Annual dinner of the Murray Electors' Association. Over 100 people attended the function, which was ably chaired by Tom Fielder, the Association President, who, with the dedicated support of his wife Peg, and a small team of volunteer actionists, has made the Electors' Association into the most potent political organisation in this part of the world.
Having endured the "slings and arrows of outrageous
fortune" in his first lonely efforts to build a dynamic association
of voters to replace the widespread apathy and cynicism generally found
in so many Australian electorates, Tom must have felt proud and gratified
last night. The dinner was notable for a hard-hitting address by Victoria's
National Party leader, Peter Ross-Edwards. One of the few politicians
with the initiative and courage to go to Rhodesia to see for himself,
Mr. Ross Edwards gave a graphic account of the real situation in Rhodesia,
and observed that the ingenuity, enterprise and friendship he found
everywhere - amongst black and white - impressed on him the close similarity
to Australian communities.
It was like a breath of fresh air to hear an Australian political leader speak in so forthright a manner. Answering questions at the end of his address, Mr. Ross Edwards assured his audience he would continue to speak out on Rhodesia, and was not the type of politician who tailored his views to his audience. "If you think I am the sort of politician who will say one thing to a dinner such as this, and another to my parliamentary colleagues, you don't know me," he said.
Mr. Ross Edwards is one of a growing number now speaking with increasing force on the Rhodesian situation. Former State Chairman of the National Party in New South Wales, and member of the Upper House, Mr. Adrian Solomons has also spoken out strongly on Rhodesia. His Federal colleague, and one time Chairman of committees, Phil Lucock, who did his R.A.A.F. training in Rhodesia during the war, has also been outspoken. Further - and surprisingly - two Labor Politicians in Canberra have also spoken out. One was Senator Wheeldon, who tore the Fraser Government to ribbons for its selective policy of opposition to Rhodesia and South Africa, while ignoring the brutalities in such regimes as Uganda and Ethiopia. He went further in commending the efforts of Ian Smith, Bishop Muzorewa, and Ndabaningi Sithole to reach peaceful agreement.
Referring to the tragic airline disaster in Rhodesia,
Senator Wheeldon said in the Senate: "It was an outrage that somebody
should shoot down an airliner full of people and then boast of it, even
making some sort of joke of it to the effect that, 'we thought General
Walls (Rhodesia's military commander) would be in it - so he is at fault
for not catching the plane'. Certainly if Smith did it he would be condemned
and justifiably so.
Senator Wheeldon was even more scathing about Foreign Minister Peacock: "The foreign policy statement offers us nothing but the platitudes and bromides that we ought to work for a bit of peace here, we ought to work for a bit of peace there, and we should not overdo it. We ought not to push too hard, and not upset the Chinese, not upset the Russians and not upset anybody and in the end it will all pan out as long as we keep a pleasant smile on our faces...." Senator Wheeldon was equally scathing about the United Nations.
On the same day, another A.L.P. member, Dick Klugman, made a similar speech in the House of Representatives. Included in his remarks was the following: "...Unless the pressures in the so-called Third World change dramatically I predict that many countries will start to concentrate on us when South Africa and Israel have been eliminated. ... I used to believe that wars were caused only by the failures of capitalism. This is obviously not now true ... with Soviet troops occupying nearly all of Eastern Europe, and with Cuban mercenaries fighting in much of Africa, Communist countries have a hide to talk about interference in other countries ... It should be the aim of this country to try to encourage other democratic countries to act together...
There is something quite nauseating and ugly
about the silence of Liberal Country Party men who know about Rhodesia,
when even A.L.P. politicians are now speaking out against the Soviets
and the Chinese. What are we to make of Ralph Hunt, who spoke out so
forcefully on Rhodesia before he became a Minister? Or John Macleay,
whose silence is now deafening? Or, worst of all, our present Minister
for Defence Jim Killen, who once said that he would put his parliamentary
career on the line on the Rhodesian issue?
FROM BRITISH "ON TARGET"
March 19th, 1979. "Vigilia" Reports on The Shah
of Iran's Downfall
Madagascar: "The press won't tell you, but the U.S. weekly "Review of the News" (Jan. 17th 1979) reported that Madagascar, reluctant to be on the side of a West that lacks the will even to save itself, has permitted Red Air Force bases to be set up." (end of "British On Target" items).
BRIEF COMMENTSWe notice that some reports appearing from the American political scene in the Australian press are to the effect that a "Draft Teddy Kennedy" movement is gathering momentum. We reported in a recent issue of On Target that Teddy Kennedy is now "inside the Insiders". Apparently the Eastern Establishment (U.S.A.) considers that Kennedy is now "ripe" for the top American political plum, having, hopefully, lived down the Chappaquiddick incident. This has been like a festering sore on Teddy Kennedy's political career since it happened on July 18th, 1968. His political enemies (and there are many) will undoubtedly raise the Chappaquiddick ghost again and again, as the American Presidential election (Dec. 1980) draws near. Chappaquiddick means cover up, ruthless use of position, power, influence, and wealth, to prevent the truth from becoming common knowledge. The truth of the matter is that a young girl, Mary Jo Kopechne, was drowned in Senator Kennedy's car, when it ran off a bridge into deep water on an island on the Massachusetts coast. The events leading up to the tragedy, and the events after the tragedy were the subject of a book - "Teddy Bare" by Zad Rust. It puts Watergate in the shade. According to recent public opinion polls, Teddy Kennedy is far ahead of Jimmy Carter in public acceptance: Kennedy is playing the usual (and expected) game of appearing cute about it all - even to the extent of denying his intention to " run " against Jimmy Carter of his own Democratic Party. But they always do this: it doesn't pay to lock oneself into a fixed position too early in politics.
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