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Friday, 22 April 2016

Australia’s Foreign Wars: Anzac Day Memories, The Sullen Child of History


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“Periodic vigilance will protect us against new generations of lords and masters who exploit national myths to lure us into enterprises born in timidity and corrosive mateship.” -Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, May 6, 2015
Old countries have baggage so heavy it drags, stifles and even drowns.   Incapable of getting it off, history becomes the assault of the present for those who wish to grope for the future.  Young countries like Australia (youth here is only from the perspective of the invasive settlers), struggle to create a baggage to be bound to.
Comically, then, a state like Australia yearns to have a blood soaked, folly-driven set of variables that make it a state, when in actual fact, it might do something different.  This might, in part, explain the foolish insistence on the part of its vassal politicians to crave the breast of maternal empire, terrified that being weaned off it might lead to yellow-coloured extinction.
 
The Anzac tradition is one of those desperate calls to cling on. It is an attempt to create a baggage of patriotic necessity, stubbornly masculine and oblivious.  (Excuses are always needed for creating piles of corpses.)  It is an attempt to catch up with other nations with centuries of assumed legacies and concocted contributions, be they flags brought down by divine inspiration, or the sign of the Chi-Rho, as Constantine was meant to have witnessed before the Battle of Milvian Ridge in 312.  But little Australia (only in terms of population) must behave like the sullen child of history, hoping to be acknowledged in great patriotic traditions.
A glance at the historical incidents of the morning of April 25, 1915, and one sees an opportunistic force invading Gallipoli at the behest of Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty.  As A. P. Rowe noted when Vice-Chancellor of Adelaide University during the 1950s, “If you care to look at the newspapers of the time you will find that life in Australia had not been much affected by war” (Australian Quarterly, Mar 1957).
Churchill had been boasting about his military imagination and intuition.  “I have it in me to be a successful soldier,” he claimed with self-evident conviction.  “I can visualise great movements and combinations.”  Not quite what would transpire in the Dardanelles.
Even before the slaughter on that day began, Churchill was already aware that a good lot of bloodletting would be in store in his effort to put down the sick man of Europe.  His combinations and movements would come with carnage.
“The price to be paid in taking Gallipoli would no doubt be heavy, but there would be no more war with Turkey.  A good army of 50,000 and sea-power – that is the end of the Turkish menace.”
Within a month of the landing by French, British and Australian and New Zealand forces (collectively known as Anzac), the Allies found themselves 45,000 men short.  The campaign would last for nine months and see over a hundred thousand deaths, and casualty lists on both sides peaking at a quarter of a million.
Historical baggage is useful political ballast, the bird seed for demagogic intent. It feeds the apologetics of war, providing the alibi for the next righteous military action. Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, was a warring wet dreamer, a dull clerk who wished to be great. His desperation to attach Australian interests to the carriage of Washington’s folly should be a matter of criminal consequence.
Other features always find their message in the Anzac Spirit, sprung forth from Gallipoli.  An industry of commemoration soon crept up, barely as the bodies were buried.  The Veteran Affairs Department knows its sacred cow, and polices the “branding” of Anzac with an accountant’s dedication.
Australian servicemen and women, fighting in distant theatres without knowledge, awareness or understanding – this is the Gallipoli heritage, the inverted idea that being on foreign soil for pre-emptive gain is somehow a good idea.  Australian resources have been deployed in what was then Malaya during the Emergency, on the Korean peninsula, secretly in Indonesia, Afghanistan, Iraq, with other theatres.  All needing the oddly crafted Anzac image which, let’s face it, was forged in the heat of invading a sovereign state.
Re-deployed again after September 2001, the invasion theme was embroidered with tortured notions of liberty and freedom.  This was always pure nonsense.  Australia’s involvement in such countries is as fatuous as the next western state. Its politicians, however, remain desperate to justify their complicity, their desperation in being in the stream of history.
The final point of all of this manufacture lies in the strange symbiotic relationship between Turkish contributions and Australian worship.  On Turkish soil, distant from Australia, the country’s youth, the veterans, the relatives, will engage in a ceremony of acknowledgement to the slaughtered, those lives expended in an obscene chess move on the part of the Royal Admiralty. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his successors should receive posthumous Australian awards for having permitted the annual pilgrimage by tourist collectives of vowel-killing Australians.
The perverse logic of the Dardanelles engagement remains as an annual reminder, one that Churchill himself alluded to when reminded about the calamity on the election trail.  “Don’t imagine I am running away from the Dardanelles. I glory in it.”
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: bkampmark@gmail.com

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Articles by: Dr. Binoy Kampmark
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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Churchills Folly - Anzac Day Blood Sacrifice to Moloch - Platform for Future Wars



Isaiah 14:12 
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

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On Tuesday , New Zealand salutes our Gallipoli war dead who were butchered in their tens of thousands because of the incompetent British upper-class twits who led them.
As we know, the cream of our country's youth went off to join the other colonials of the British Empire to the killing fields in feudal Europe. I know it's unpatriotic and bad manners these days to mention, but many of these young volunteer soldiers were the same ones who, two years earlier, had saddled up their horses and rode into our cities to smash a general strike of workers.

‘Massey’s cossacks’
                                                             Massey's Cossack's

Our then-conservative Government gave thousands of these young horsemen carte blanche to ride into town using hand-made batons to club workers into submission and smash the strike. After they won, these young farmers proudly nicknamed themselves "Massey's Cossacks" after our Prime Minister at the time.
The Russian Tsar was also using his Cossack's to put down his people, and we obviously wanted to emulate that practice. No doubt some of our boys would have been disappointed they weren't allowed to use guns and swords on the people like their Russian counterparts.
A little over a decade earlier Britain used thousands of armed volunteer forces from our farming communities as prison camp guards in South Africa.
The Boers were fighting for independence. Our role was essentially restricted to burning down settlements, rounding up the women and children and locking them in concentration camps. The cunning plan was that if we wiped out all the towns and incarcerated the civilian population, the independence movement would collapse through lack of support. After many thousands of women and children died in these camps of starvation and disease, the resistance did, indeed, capitulate.
Today, we call these tactics ethnic cleansing and genocide but at the time it was seen as an enormously successful strategy. In fact, our local bourgeoisie were so proud of our role in suppressing the Boers they erected monuments in every New Zealand town. They are still there.
We don't want to be remembered for that sordid criminal affair on behalf of the British King and empire. But it makes it easier to understand why we went rushing off when the Great War was announced. So off our boys went to join the butchery in Europe. We were merged with the Aussies into the same Army corps as, I suppose, we all sounded the same to the English "toffs" who led us.
In those days, all colonial armies were led by white Englishmen. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) was on the same level as "coloured" troops, such as those from India. Enviably, we got the non-performing officers the British regiments didn't want.
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Relate
The real story of Gallipoli was the shock realisation by our soldiers that our masters treated us as cannon fodder. The bravery of our soldiers couldn't hide this fact. We were supposed to take a few weeks to put "Little Johnny Turk" to flight and take control of his country. Unfortunately, we underestimated the bravery and courage of their farm boys.
They had home advantage, of course. People fight harder when their country is being invaded. Most of our troops didn't even know where they were, let alone what they were fighting for. On top of that, the Turk officers were better than ours.
Even when one of the few senior New Zealand officers, Colonel Malone, did reach the Gallipoli summit, the British sent no reinforcements. Instead, they bombed our troops, killing Malone and most of his soldiers. To cover their incompetence, they blamed Malone. Even the most loyal Anglophile realised we were mugs but it took a few years to sink in. After all, once we were pulled off the mountain we went off to Europe to participate in the bloodbath there.
When we scratch our heads at today's fanatical suicide bombers, it isn't too far from what young men were doing fewer than 100 years ago. They knew they were going to die but went to their death in their millions, willingly.
It was either for the German Kaiser or the British King, depending on where you were born. God was apparently on both sides.
Anzac Day truly should be an occasion where we affirm there is no place for war and political violence in our world. But, deep down, we know it's all a sham.
We "honour" our war dead who voluntarily went to invade Gallipoli and kill Turkish peasants on behalf of our British masters. Do we honour the Turkish youth whom we slaughtered while they were defending their country? Do we honour the hundreds of Kiwis imprisoned who opposed the Great War? Of course not. We feel comfortable with historic illusion.
Of course, we want to honour the deaths of young, naive men sent to their doom by cynical world rulers a century ago.
But if we really wanted to honour them we would oppose our soldiers occupying parts of the Middle East on behalf of a new empire.
The only thing that's changed is that instead of being pawns of a British Empire and a half-witted King, we are now playthings for an American Empire and a dim-witted Republican President.
                

 










 









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