The Weekend Australian - Review - - Viewpoints -

JACKIE Hart­nell’s poignant story of a mother’s love, hope and grief fol­low­ing Vic­to­ria’s Black Satur­day fires ( This Life, March 7-8) I read while sit­ting un­der shaded olive trees on my vine­yard in the south­west of West­ern Aus­tralia. I cried. She and her fam­ily must know I grieve for her loss. Jan McDon­ald Mary­brook, West­ern Aus­tralia WHEN Christo­pher Allen states that ‘‘ mak­ing col­lages and stick­ing bits to­gether is use­less once your age is no longer counted in sin­gle dig­its’’ (‘‘ Teen spirit’’, Fe­bru­ary 28-March 1), he seems to have for­got­ten some art his­tory. Pi­casso, Kurt Sch­wit­ters, Joseph Cor­nell and Robert Rauschen­berg ( to name just a few) made col­lages and as­sem­blages to re­mark­able and sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect. Cyn­thia Breusch Pul­len­vale, Queens­land ALAN Gold, in his re­view of books by Martin Indyk and Jimmy Carter (‘‘ Des­per­ate diplo­macy’’, Fe­bru­ary 21-22), ex­presses opin­ions from a bi­ased view­point. Al­though as pres­i­dent, Carter failed to solve the prob­lem of pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity for the state of Is­rael to­gether with pro­vid­ing jus­tice and a state for the Pales­tinian peo­ple, no one else has man­aged to do so since, ei­ther. At least Carter recog­nised that a last­ing, peace­ful so­lu­tion is un­likely to be reached un­til the Is­raeli pol­icy of ex­pan­sion into Pales­tinian ter­ri­tory ceases and re­al­is­tic bor­ders are es­tab­lished. Lau­rence Mead­ows Tal­lai, Queens­land FOR­MER CIA op­er­a­tive Ed­ward Baer’s book The Devil We Know (‘‘ In­side knowl­edge’’, Fe­bru­ary 14-15), in­ad­ver­tently ( and at last) re­veals the prob­a­ble rea­son the US in­vaded Iraq. I be­lieve the Amer­i­cans sim­ply didn’t want an­other Iran ( as per­ceived and de­monised by the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, and prob­a­bly anti-Is­rael) in the Mid­dle East. There had been many at­tempts on Sad­dam Hus­sein’s life, and Baer, too, was com­mis­sioned by his mas­ters to un­der­take this. The US, I think, sim­ply de­cided to in­vade the coun­try and set up a regime that they could con­trol, rather than risk what might emerge to fill a vacuum if Hus­sein were sud­denly dis­posed of. The weapons of mass de­struc­tion is­sue was an ex­cuse which, in­creas­ingly, no one be­lieved. Con­trol of the oil sup­ply is re­ally a side is­sue; af­ter all, the Iraqis have to sell it to some­one, and the US is a huge oil con­sumer. Baer pro­poses all sorts of ter­ri­to­rial sops to keep Iran on side: 1938 any­body? But se­ri­ously, there is now some re­gret even for the pass­ing of the shah’s regime, and Per­sian ex­u­ber­ance, love of the good life, and fash­ion sense are prob­a­bly more po­tent guar­an­tees of a re­turn from ex­trem­ism than any highly con­tro­ver­sial and in­flam­ma­tory ter­ri­to­rial con­ces­sions. Neil Gilchrist Pere­gian Beach, Queens­land

re­view@ theaus­tralian. com. au

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