The Guardian November 12, 2003


Hate and intolerance live on in The Australian

Greg Sheridan the Foreign Editor of Murdoch's Australian 
must be among the most right-wing, warmongering, anti-
communist and contemptible journalists on the Australian scene. 
He is always good for a diatribe against anything progressive  
a suitable clone for Rupert Murdoch's similar extreme right-wing 

He excelled himself in The Australian (6/11/03). Each day 
SBS broadcasts TV programs from a number of countries to serve 
the migrant communities in Australia. Among them is a program in 
Vietnamese. The Vietnamese program is provided by Vietnam's VTV4. 
Sheridan claims it broadcasts Communist Party propaganda which he 
regards as "outrageous". The program was recently made the object 
of a demonstration by some in the Vietnamese community.

Sheridan quotes the managing director of SBS as saying that the 
campaign against the provision of the Vietnamese TV program by 
some Vietnamese migrants to Australia is "deeply troubling" and 
is an "organised campaign against freedom of speech and freedom 
of expression". This, to Sheridan is "contemptible" and declares 
that "SBS is a disgrace".

So, here is the mind-set of the George Bush's of this world  
"if you are not with us you are against us".

Sheridan trots out the usual anti-communist hysteria, even 
claiming that Ho Chi Minh was responsible for the deaths of 
millions although he does not attempt to put a figure on these 

Needless to say, Sheridan has absolutely nothing to say about the 
millions who were killed during the struggles by the Vietnamese 
to end French colonialism and then to defeat the invasion by the 
United States, Australia and a number of other countries. We are 
told that 500 Australians died "trying to secure freedom for 
South Vietnam". What rubbish!

The South Vietnamese Government at the time was a military 
dictatorship and the US invasion had nothing to do with "freedom 
and democracy" but a lot to do with the decades-long anti-
communist campaign of successive US leaderships, the seizure of 
the rich resources of Vietnam and to secure the south as a 
forward base to be used against the Chinese socialist revolution 
led by the Communist Party of China. This latter campaign is 
still going on today.

Something like four million people were killed defending their 
country's independence and unity. They were killed in battle, in 
the carpet bombing by US planes and in such incidents as the My 
Lai massacre. They are still dying today from the consequences of 
the spraying of Agent Orange over large areas of Vietnam  a war 
crime if ever there was one.

The reality is that all sides suffer in war. That is an 
undeniable truth. But Sheridan has learnt nothing and continues 
to spit out his venomous propaganda. He and his newspaper were 
all for the invasion of Iraq, propagating any and every lie 
pedalled by Bush, Blair and Howard.

They are today, continuing to back the US, British and Australian 
occupation. Once again we are being told that it is all about 
"freedom and democracy" rather than the strategic position 
occupied by Iraq in the Middle East and that it possesses huge 
oil resources that are already in the process of being gobbled up 
by US oil corporations.

Sheridan claims that SBS is staffed by "cultural left types" 
which will come as a surprise to many viewers, but as already 
remarked the neo-fascists regard everyone to the left of their 
own extreme right-wing position as some sort of crypto-communist.

The crime of SBS in Sheridan's eyes is that it has a better 
informed and more tolerant view of the world today than does 
Sheridan who maintains an attitude of hate to all things 
progressive and revolutionary. He yearns for the opportunity to 
fashion the world to his own extreme conservative ideas and force 
everyone else into that straitjacket.

Sheridan tries to whip up sentiment by complaining that tax-
payers are funding SBS and hence financing communist propaganda. 
Of course, if tax-payers' money were used to finance views 
similar to those of Sheridan that would be most acceptable.

Another of today's realities is that many Vietnamese have in 
recent years returned to their former homeland, some permanently 
and some on family visits. They find that life is steadily 
improving and that the ravages of foreign imposed wars and 
occupation are being overcome.
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