Saturday, December 17, 2005

Australia Asks if Racism Was Behind Riots on a Beach - a view from New York

The New York Times reports:

"Although increasing numbers of Asians have been allowed in, the country of 20 million is still roughly 92 percent Caucasian. Critics of Mr. Howard, leader of the center-right Liberal Party, say he has fueled the country's ethnic tensions. He has refused to issue an official apology to the country's Aborigines for the manner in which they were treated for generations.

Four years ago, during a tough re-election battle, he raised fears that the country was being swamped by hordes of boat people from the Middle East, calling out the military to repel the ostensible invaders. Presumably to dehumanize them and dampen public sympathy, he accused one group of asylum seekers of throwing their children overboard.

More recently, he has campaigned for tough antiterrorism laws by creating fears of another terrorist attack by Islamic radicals."

Oh yes, our allies get the picture...

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