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Are Australians militaristic fascists now, too?

Catherine Deveny, that wonderful godless Australian comedian, was kicked of out of a hotel tonight — but not for being a god-hating militant atheist. She was ejected for being a pacifist who has been criticizing our eternal state of war.

The Grand cancelled my booking after pro war trolls objected to my anti war stance. The Grand cancelled my booking on the ground I damaged their brand. Tellingly The Grand was very happy to take a booking from Today Tonight trolls to harass me, other customers and Mildura residents. Today Tonight exists solely to make dumb and hateful people dumber and more hateful. You choose. Every time you spend a dollar you vote on how you would like the world to be.

I just asked them on their facebook page ‘If a comedian with anti war opinions damages your brand, what is your brand and what do you stand for?"

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quality-Hotel-Mildura-Grand/245077038846605

She may have left that comment on their site earlier, but it’s gone now.

What really pissed off a lot of people is that she dared to criticize ANZAC Day, that sacred commemoration of the perpetrators and victims of war.

As you might expect, many of the furious patriots defending their national honor from an uppity woman responded with rape threats. I don’t think they know what honor means.

Comments

  1. says

    Anzac Day has never sat that comfortably with me either.

    I have no issue with it being a day on which you celebrate and commemorate the lives of those who were lost in conflict, or of those who came back scarred.

    I *do* have an issue with the jingoistic wankers who use it as a day to celebrate the reasons for the wars that killed those people, or as an excuse for racist, nationalist fuckhattery.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be more of the latter and less of the former of late. And it seems to be some kind of outrage to say so.

    This just gives more ammunition to the generalism: People are assholes.

  2. Lofty says

    Mildura is a very conservative town in an irrigation area on the River Murray. Think Deep South and you won’t be far wrong. Drugs feature frequently in the news in much of this region. Popular sports include power boats and tractor pulls.

  3. says

    ANZAC Day is significant for Australians and New Zealanders, but I suspect for many people it’s for the wrong reasons (or in some cases of the people making criticisms, there’s a mixture of good and bad reasoning). The hate spewed at Catherine is 90% of the wrong stuff – xenophobic, misogynist, the jingoistic patriotism of ‘my country, right or wrong’. And while The Grand in Mildura has established itself as having a very good culinary reputation – I look forward to never setting foot in there while they are so obsessed with not tarnishing their ‘brand’.

  4. Koshka says

    ANZAC day is officially taught as the day some young Australians (and sometimes they mention Kiwis) sacrificed their lives overseas to keep us free.

    What tosh.

    The media never mention that we were in fact helping to invade a foreign country. Nor do they mention British, Indian and French soldiers died alongside the Anzacs. And they certainly don’t mention Turks dying actually defending there country.

    And if you dare bring this up in public you risk physical violence.

  5. anteprepro says

    As you might expect, many of the furious patriots defending their national honor from an uppity woman responded with rape threats. I don’t think they know what honor means.

    It seems common that those who most love to talk about honor are the ones who display the least amount of it.

  6. mildlymagnificent says

    And they certainly don’t mention Turks dying actually defending there country.

    For me, it’s the other way around. Anzac Day seems to be the only time we do pay any attention at all to the death and suffering of “the other side”. Though that may be more due to the truly great gesture emanating from that “other side” in the first place – Ataturk.

    “ … There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

  7. anteprepro says

    I *do* have an issue with the jingoistic wankers who use it as a day to celebrate the reasons for the wars that killed those people, or as an excuse for racist, nationalist fuckhattery.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be more of the latter and less of the former of late. And it seems to be some kind of outrage to say so.

    ANZAC day is officially taught as the day some young Australians (and sometimes they mention Kiwis) sacrificed their lives overseas to keep us free.

    What tosh.

    The media never mention that we were in fact helping to invade a foreign country. Nor do they mention British, Indian and French soldiers died alongside the Anzacs. And they certainly don’t mention Turks dying actually defending there country.

    And if you dare bring this up in public you risk physical violence.

    Holy shit, I knew they were similar, but it’s like Australia and the U.S. were separated at birth.

  8. sebg says

    I thought I’d add my two cents here. I wrote a message directly to Catherine Deveny on ANZAC day saying that her opinions were lazy and simply contrarian to seem more clever than she really is. I was blocked immediately from writing to her, while the only thing she was happy to do was to retweet knuckleheads who were threatening her. In no way would I ever condone any of the stupid messages she was sent that were threats in any capacity at all.

    But it was telling that she didn’t want to retweet anyone who brought up a perfectly reasonable and measured response to her about her comments. She would simply reply with a sloganistic jibe undermining the other persons intelligence, if that.

    I was lucky enough to march on ANZAC day with my local brassband, and do you know how many drunk bogans I saw cheering on in the crowd, shouting racist comments and glorifying war? None. All I saw were families of all ages there to support our servicemen who had served in the past. Not to say ‘War is great and you’re great for being there’, but simply a ‘thank you for serving’.

    Why judge a day by its worst adherents? Couldn’t we do that with any situation? What about the atheists who make us sound like fools sometimes? Imagine if we were all judged because of their conduct? Would that be fair at all? Just because other people express something we believe in stupidly, or not in a way we ever would, does not mean we are the same as them?

    As for the Hotel banning her, they have every right to do that, just as we would support an organisation or business that banned somebody with ridiculous religious views. It isn’t a principle if it is only applied when convenient.

  9. anuran says

    Hey, be glad you Australians and NZers only have one Worship the Military Day. In the States we have Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and September 11th. Even the Portland Rose Festival, which originally had pacifist roots, now has Navy ships and Bow Down to the War Machine events.

  10. Koshka says

    mildlymagnificent,

    For me, it’s the other way around. Anzac Day seems to be the only time we do pay any attention at all to the death and suffering of “the other side”.

    My 7 year daughter was learning about Anzac Day. At home I asked her what nationality the people who died at Gallipoli were. She got Australian straight away. Then she managed New Zealand. Then she was completely stuck. She has an excellent memory and is very attentive at school. They have never mentioned anyone else dying at Gallipoli. She has been in school 4 years now and has never actually been taught anything useful about Anzac day.

    I also never heard any reference on TV about any deaths of people other than Australians and Kiwis. I dont watch alot and there was probably some but I didnt see it.

    I certainly dont watch Today Tonight. Maybe they had something on explaining the suffering that the Turks went through because we invaded them.

  11. echidna says

    Hey, be glad you Australians and NZers only have one Worship the Military Day.

    Ah, no, we have two. Anzac Day and Remembrance Day (11/11).

    You could even say three: Australia Day, the commemoration of the arrival of the First Fleet, was not exactly a good one for Indigenous Australians.

  12. beardymcviking says

    I actually don’t have a huge problem with ANZAC day, but then I don’t watch the mainstream coverage, and have never been to the dawn service. My friends are more likely to quote Ataturk on that day than any of the jingoistic crap that comes from today’s politicians.

    I think it’s important to remember the tragedy and the pointlessness of it all. I usually go out and have a kebab.

  13. Koshka says

    anuran,

    We also do November 11 which is more about the futility of war.

    And we have Australia day – another day when we celebrate invading a country and killing and displacing it’s inhabitants. Not that they teach that at school either. It is a great day for drunken fuckwits with southern cross tattoos to beat up on ethnic looking people.

    We are not the twin of USA as anteprepro suggested – more the little brother.

  14. anteprepro says

    I wrote a message directly to Catherine Deveny on ANZAC day saying that her opinions were lazy and simply contrarian to seem more clever than she really is…But it was telling that she didn’t want to retweet anyone who brought up a perfectly reasonable and measured response to her about her comments . She would simply reply with a sloganistic jibe undermining the other persons intelligence , if that.

    I could be reading it wrong, you may have just simply summarized yourself poorly, but…it sounds like you lack a little self-awareness if this description is accurate.

    Why judge a day by its worst adherents? Couldn’t we do that with any situation? What about the atheists who make us sound like fools sometimes? Imagine if we were all judged because of their conduct? Would that be fair at all?

    You seem to be combining two different issues together. “Make us sound like fools” is being inarticulate in making arguments. It is unfair to judge atheists based on that because it is basically straw manning. But “conduct” and specifically thinking in terms of the behavior mentioned here: We are currently trying to clean house in the atheoskeptospehere exactly because of that kind of poor conduct. When we people are actively trying to exclude people for those kinds of inappropriate, it is indeed unfair to judge them for the conduct of people they are actively criticizing and trying to dissociate from. When that it isn’t happening, however, it is perfectly fair game to judge by those displaying poor conduct or whatever.

    As for the Hotel banning her, they have every right to do that, just as we would support an organisation or business that banned somebody with ridiculous religious views.

    ….what?

  15. sebg says

    I don’t see what was vague about my views on the hotel banning? They have the right to exclude someone they believe may be damaging their reputation, as we believe any other organisation or body would have the right to ban somebody who they believe were damaging their reputation, such as somebody with disrespectful/tasteless/obscene religious views.

    And if you’re going to criticise someone for being inarticulate, you should really proof-read your comment because I genuinely didn’t understand what it was you were trying to say. If you could re-explain yourself more clearly I’ll be able to understand you and then see if you were making a valid point.

  16. Muz says

    ANZAC day was a fairly quiet remembrance day for a while there, so long as there were any actual ANZACS left alive. As soon they had all but died out, the Howard govt decided to promote the shit out of it as a sort of defacto national(ist) day and get the numbers right up. The result was a lot of flag waving and occasional drunken violence (at Gallipoli itself, no less).
    It seems to have toned itself down a bit in years since. It has become a bit of a thing to go to a service and what not lately, but it’s not too bad.
    Despite us pulling our weight in internet idiots, as ever, we haven’t had the same sort of nonsense as they had in England with media people and the public being hauled over the coals for not wearing a paper poppy for remembrance day. (although I wager as soon as the conservatives get in that’ll all change pretty drastically)

  17. anteprepro says

    They have the right to exclude someone they believe may be damaging their reputation, as we believe any other organisation or body would have the right to ban somebody who they believe were damaging their reputation, such as somebody with disrespectful/tasteless/obscene religious views.

    You said “ridiculous” religious views. With your current formulation, I might be able to sort of agree (e.g. incredibly homophobic views), but I am not really part of your “we” that thinks that hotels should be able to ban people on the basis of religion. Maybe that’s just me, though.

  18. mildlymagnificent says

    They have never mentioned anyone else dying at Gallipoli. She has been in school 4 years now and has never actually been taught anything useful about Anzac day.

    Well, she is only 7. I’d be more concerned if she were 17 and had done a couple of years of Australian history. “War is hell” is a topic to be approached carefully, if at all, in junior primary.

  19. anteprepro says

    And if you’re going to criticise someone for being inarticulate, you should really proof-read your comment because I genuinely didn’t understand what it was you were trying to say.

    Let me try: My first comment was that you seem vaguely hypocritical. Your criticism of her (that she isn’t clever, is contrarian) does not sound reasonable, and is mostly just an insult to her intelligence, which is something you mocked her for doing.

    Where you got confused in the second comment was indeed my mistake: “Being inarticulate” was a trait of the supposed foolish atheist who make us look bad, not you. I was explaining how the atheists who make us look bad by making bad arguments should not be considered standard for those looking at atheists’ arguments. Because that is basically straw manning. But I also stated how atheists who behave badly should be looked at differently. They can be used to criticize other atheists if we atheists aren’t actively criticizes those bad behaving atheists. We expect the same of the religious: To police their own. To make it clear that the worst examples of religions behaving badly are criticized and eventually stopped. When atheists behave badly and no disapproval is heard, it is fair game to criticize atheists for that bad behavior, just as it is fair game to criticize Catholics for their ongoing inability to disapprove of their church’s child rape coverups, among other things.

  20. Rob says

    Jasonbrown @1 – couldn’t agree more.

    I have been disturbed at the tenor of some (not all) of the speeches I have heard at recent ANZAC services. Far too much patriotism and honour/glory bullshit.

    We were there for the wrong reasons. The campaign was a complete fuckup from the get go and the loss of life on both side was horrific. The long term effect on New Zealand culturally and economically was profound.

    I now stage my own private remembrance every couple of years by re-reading Voices from Gallipoli.

    Maybe ANZAC day is taught differently in Australia and New Zealand. As far as I can tell, in NZ there is generally, pretty good teaching of the context and the loss of life on the Turkish side. Near Wellington there is a memorial to the Turkish dead, established as a quid pro quo for the Turks allowing an official NZ memorial.

    I have to say the Turks have been pretty gracious about the whole thing really.

  21. Koshka says

    I was lucky enough to march on ANZAC day with my local brassband, and do you know how many drunk bogans I saw cheering on in the crowd, shouting racist comments and glorifying war? None.

    How nice for you that you have never had anyone threaten you with violence for expressing an opinion. Please tell us again how horrible it was for Deveny to ignore your reasonable and measured self.

  22. consciousness razor says

    In the States we have Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and September 11th.

    Also a bunch of minor ones, usually state holidays, like Armed Forces Day/Week, Patriot Day, and whatever. There’s Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, various Confederate days and Robert E. Lee days and all sorts of shit…

    So, okay: there’s generally not a lot of militarism or jingoism on Groundhog Day. We do have that.

  23. sebg says

    @Koshka:

    How do you know I’ve never been threatened with violence for expressing an opinion? I was one of the co-organisers for Youth Against World Youth Day when the Pope visited Australia. I received a number of death threats, of which I had to inform the police, so I don’t know where you got your baseless argument from.

    As for your second sentence, I don’t know what point you are trying to make. I qualified my previous thoughts with the argument that she should not have received any threats of violence what so ever, but to simply only focus on those as being exclusively the opposition to her views was dishonest.

  24. Koshka says

    mildlymagnificent,

    Well, she is only 7. I’d be more concerned if she were 17 and had done a couple of years of Australian history. “War is hell” is a topic to be approached carefully, if at all, in junior primary.

    At seventeen I had never been taught that Turkish people had suffered as they had. Anzac day was held up as an ideal that Australian men are tough and brave who were only beaten by the wily Johnny Turk and let down by upper class British Generals. I was also indirectly taught to treat Anzac day as being beyond criticism. I am concerned that she will simply get fed the same propaganda as I did.
    People die all the time – even if you are 7. To not talk about it is simply treating children like idiots. Anzac Day is on the agenda at school (rightly so in my opinion) so they may as well give a balanced view of what happened.

  25. spandrel says

    I’m glad my country (Canada) only has one Remembrance day, and that it’s solemn as a funeral. The poetry of it is WWI era. We remember that our soldiers died bravely and honour them for that, but no one pretends there was anything worth dying for at Ypres or the Somme.

  26. sebg says

    @anteprepro

    First of all, thank you for arguing in a spirit of good faith.

    I think its fair to say that my first comment was vaguely hypocritical, however I also wrote a number of different messages to her with more solid arguments, but I thought it would be rather gauche on my part to write every message I wrote to her.

    As to the second part where you address atheists who argue badly not to be considered the standard, I wholeheartedly agree. Straw manning is an easy way to distort a movement or a collectives views based on the worst elements/followers etc.

    However, the case I was making was against Catherine Deveney, not religion, in that, she was also straw-manning supporters of ANZAC by only showing the tweets of buffoons and moral cretins who thought threatening her in some capacity was a smart move. I am a supporter of ANZAC day, and I don’t appreciate being compared to people like them at all, as they are in fact the minority. Not everybody who supports ANZAC day is a drunk idiot racist.

    In terms of the religious policing their own, I agree. As they should also be called out by anyone else who sees something immoral/inappropriate happening.

    I also wanted to add that I did not say any hotel should be able to ban anybody on the basis of religion. I did qualify that with “disrespectful/tasteless/obscene religious views”, and if you would like me to qualify that more, I am talking about people with overtly extreme religious opinions, people who call for violence and hatred etc., I believe it is the remit of any organisation to ban somebody based on that.

  27. consciousness razor says

    I was one of the co-organisers for Youth Against World Youth Day when the Pope visited Australia.

    Nice.

    So what exactly was your “perfectly reasonable and measured response” to her, which you want us to accept as perfectly reasonable and measured?

  28. says

    Ah, this is really too bad! Now I’ll never experience the haute cuisine they serve at the Grand Hotel in Mildura. But I won’t be spending my money in a place that cancels bookings based on things people opine about in public.

    This whole ANZAC thing is completely insufferable. It’s all dumb unthinking nationalism and patriotism. What did young Australians have to do fighting under some English general on a beach in Turkey? What exactly were they defending? And why do they have to rub it in 100 years later by going there every year and having a celebration? These are not questions you want to be asking in public here.

    It’s a bit like the WWII allies meeting every year in Crete or Casablanca to celebrate victory in some minor squibble with the Germans.

    And in the evening, after the march and 15 cans of Bourbon and coke, those fine patriots beat up their wifes(or each other) or become depressed, and attend hospital. Not a good day to be working, I can tell you that too.

  29. Koshka says

    sebg,
    I apologise for saying you have never been threatened with violence. I made this comment without proper thought.

    The point I am trying to make is that you are comparing Deveny responding to death threats with Deveny not responding to you. Your complaint appears miniscule in comparison.

  30. mildlymagnificent says

    At seventeen I had never been taught that Turkish people had suffered as they had.

    Being a baby boomer with a veteran father (who never, ever mentioned his wartime experiences) and a regular Army officer grandfather who’d been to both wars, neither had I. But it wasn’t all that hard to get more familiar with the horrible facts as an adult. It was my generation, really, who were the ones to openly criticise the veterans (if they weren’t our dads, they were our neighbours or bosses) going out and getting blind drunk (and playing two up and all the rest) on Anzac Day. I’d hope that people who are more familiar with the concept and the effects of PTSD as they should be nowadays would have a bit more balanced view.

    No empathy or sympathy for the revolting purveyors of that sickly mix of sentimentalism and jingoism who’ve never faced any danger on a battlefield though.

  31. consciousness razor says

    However, the case I was making was against Catherine Deveney, not religion, in that, she was also straw-manning supporters of ANZAC by only showing the tweets of buffoons and moral cretins who thought threatening her in some capacity was a smart move. I am a supporter of ANZAC day, and I don’t appreciate being compared to people like them at all, as they are in fact the minority. Not everybody who supports ANZAC day is a drunk idiot racist.

    Okay. Did she claim they all are? If not, are you sure you aren’t straw-manning her?

    And if it is so notorious for having lots of racists and whatever celebrating it, why not distance yourself from them by refusing to take part in it? You can’t celebrate whatever-it-is-you’re-celebrating some other way?

    For example, I think it’s historically significant that Columbus managed to accidentally stumble onto the Americas. It would be something that, if I were in a wildly different universe, I would think is an appropriate thing to celebrate. It’s made a huge impact culturally. But even without vocal racists and warmongers making a huge deal out of the holiday (they don’t, since they have many others to pick from), celebrating it is still inextricably tied up with whitewashing the centuries of genocide and racism that were the result. So I do something else that day. Why wouldn’t I?

  32. Koshka says

    sebg # 27

    I also wanted to add that I did not say any hotel should be able to ban anybody on the basis of religion. I did qualify that with “disrespectful/tasteless/obscene religious views”, and if you would like me to qualify that more, I am talking about people with overtly extreme religious opinions, people who call for violence and hatred etc., I believe it is the remit of any organisation to ban somebody based on that.

    You now appear to equating Deveny, due to her opinions on Anzac Day with people who call for violence and hatred.

  33. sebg says

    @Consciousness Razor:

    Have a look at her Twitter feed and see for yourself.

    Now, why should I have to distance myself from ANZAC day because of an inappropriate minority (and it is a minority)? Do you jump ship from something you support because there are some bad apples on your side? What kind of principle is this?

  34. sebg says

    @Koshka:

    No I’m not. I was saying that an organisation has the right to ban somebody from their organisation, SUCH AS, people with intolerant/inappropriate views, which the hotel thought Catherine Deveny has, OR somebody who WE would think had inappropriate views, SUCH AS people who espouse hateful religious bigotry.

  35. sebg says

    The only analogous part to that is that the organisation deems something inappropriate and damaging to the reputation, NOT that each inappropriate subject is the same.

  36. dravid says

    Demographic Bell Curves people, there are people on either end of the curve that don’t represent the majority. Australians are a fairly liberal society and not prone to Jingoism and we have a certain cringe when we see “God, Guns and America, land of the free home of the brave” rhetoric. We don’t have a violent history such as the Civil Wars that still resonates through the American culture. Anzac Day at its core “celebrates” a defeat, Galipoli was a terrible mistake by Great Britain and it was Winston Churchill who was its main instigator. Give the majority of Australians respect and recognize that they understand that Celebrating a defeat is not glorifying war but honoring the young men who died for their country, rightly or wrongly. We recognize the futility of the Vietnam war however we can still respect the soldiers who served and honor the 500 who died there. Just a word to JasonBrown, I think you’ve gone to the dark side from Skeptic to Cynic. Bell Curves mate, Bell Curves.

  37. says

    Now, why should I have to distance myself from ANZAC day because of an inappropriate minority (and it is a minority)?

    You should distance yourself from ANZAC day because there are no winners in wars, and because this day is being instrumentalised to further unthinking patriotism.

    and if you would like me to qualify that more, I am talking about people with overtly extreme religious opinions, people who call for violence and hatred etc., I believe it is the remit of any organisation to ban somebody based on that.

    So you’re saying that Deveny’s opinions on ANZAC day represent a “call for violence and hatred” or an “overtly extreme” position?

  38. Koshka says

    sebg,
    Are you familiar with the Gelato Guy who told people who were visiting Skepticon they were not welcome at his business because he was a Christian.

    Presumably he thought they had inappropriate views. Presumably he thought that atheists were offensive. Do you support his right to ban people from his shop because of this?

  39. consciousness razor says

    Have a look at her Twitter feed and see for yourself.

    To get this information about what your response was, I’m presumably looking for one of yours, maybe with your name “sebg”, which you said she didn’t put in her feed?? Nope, not finding it.

    You can’t just copy or link this stuff yourself? Why am I supposed to care enough to dig through a load of twitter-garbage, if you don’t care enough to summarize your point in a few words?

    Now, why should I have to distance myself from ANZAC day because of an inappropriate minority (and it is a minority)?

    What, exactly, are you celebrating with ANZAC day?

    Do you jump ship from something you support because there are some bad apples on your side? What kind of principle is this?

    People are social animals. That’s not so much a principle as a fact. When I see others tossing shit around, rather than joining in, I generally want to get out of the shit-tossing fight. But I can’t just pretend that I’m all by myself and or that there’s no shit being tossed.

    So if I’m not in the mood for that, then yes, I “jump ship.” There’s usually no real ocean of death or isolation or meaninglessness if I do that, by not celebrating a holiday for example, so it’s not really a big deal.

  40. Koshka says

    dravid #37,

    Australians are a fairly liberal society and not prone to Jingoism

    Yet a woman still managed to get here booking cancelled because she dared to have an opinion.

    I also like how you trot out the usual British and American bashing when confronted with something unpleasant.
    We dont have a violent history? Tell that to the aboriginal people.

  41. markrichardson says

    I am slightly conflicted on this.
    I do worry that ANZAC day can be used to glorify war – but not everyone who remembers that day *is* glorifying war. Some are just honoring the memory of the dead.
    Deveny said that people celebrating ANZAC day were celebrating that we went to to war to “Kill rape and invade”. That’s a deliberately provocative way to put things – and its not actually what people are commemorating.

    My brother who is …on the conservative side of things – posted a lot of outraged “stupid ugly bitch” comments about Deveny on Facebook – and I bit my tongue and said nothing.
    Going to war involves killing and invading and inevitably some rape (if you send 100,000 men to war what are the chances that none of them are rapists? Especially when the chaos of war gives them opportunity and “cover”)
    The first world war was also a particularly pointless one – there was no great and noble cause being fought for – it was simply to decide whether (white, christian, capitalist) Britain or (white, christian, capitalist) Germany was to be the Worlds One Great power. Of course after the War neither was.
    It irks me that apparently Australia is defined by its willingness to send our young men to fight and die in Britain’s or USA’s wars .
    We take our greatest pride in being willing to die in the current superpowers latest war.
    That defines our “National Spirit” – apparently.
    And like Catherine Deveney I find that pathetic and sad.

    I just wish she had found a way of saying that without alienating *everyone* that attends an ANZAC march – because not everyone attending thinks War is the best idea ever.

    Someday I am going to try and say all this to my brother – but not when he is in full rage mode – and not on Facebook. Facebook should be for cute pictures of the kids and pets.

  42. DLC says

    (with apologies for the unintentional embedding. )

    Remembering those who died on both sides is important, as is remembering that all war is horror.

  43. Koshka says

    markrichardson,

    Deveny said that people celebrating ANZAC day were celebrating that we went to to war to “Kill rape and invade”. That’s a deliberately provocative way to put things – and its not actually what people are commemorating.

    It may not be what people are commemorating but it is what happened. Part of the plan was certainly to kill and invade. Maybe rape was not on the list but it certainly happened.

    My brother who is …on the conservative side of things – posted a lot of outraged “stupid ugly bitch” comments about Deveny on Facebook – and I bit my tongue and said nothing.

    I know it is difficult to say something, but by saying nothing you are reinforcing his views and actions.

  44. says

    Reply to Koshka, above : many of the soldiers defending Turkey during WWI were not ethnic Turks at all, but people from throughout the Ottoman Empire including Arabs, Greeks, Kurds and Armenians (yes! :-o !) drafted to defend an empire to which they had no specific loyalty and which would soon fall through the agency not only of the other empires which attacked Turkey in WWI, but more effectively due to the disloyal actions of their own compatriots fighting for independence.

    In its death throes in the 1920s the Ottoman Empire went on to perpetrate active genocide in the form of mass murder and mass deportation against some of these ethnic minorities which had fought for it. For generations afterwards the Republic of Turkey continued the genocidal oppression of surviving minorities in the truncated Turkish territory.

    While the ANZAC tradition leaves little to be proud of on the part of Aussies and New Zealanders giving their all for a bizarre and pointless adventure of the British Empire (yes yes, for the sake of accuracy, with assistance from the French Empire), that’s no reason to elevate the Turks to some position of honour. *All* the big players of the first world war were motivated more by imperialism and jingoism than by the imperative to defend their own domestic families or livelihoods.

    If only we could say that this was the last war of its kind, and WWII was the war to end wars. They weren’t.

  45. says

    My personal education about ANZAC Day as a kid was that it was to remember young lads who’d been sent to a slaughterhouse with no idea of what to expect (during WWI, boys as young as 14 would actually lie about their age to recruiters so they could join up, so exciting was the prospect of defending Empire) and were then cut down in their thousands. The Gallipoli landing of 25 April 1915 was a botched beach assault (masterminded by future British PM W. Churchill as the spearhead of an invasion; its comprehensive failure haunted him for the rest of his career and fuelled his later commitment to defeating the Axis) which was then followed by a months-long stalemate in which the Turks suffered as badly as the Imperial forces.

    Regardless of the reasons for the offensive or for the war itself, I see ANZAC Day as a day of reflection, gratitude and sorrow. Not sorrow just for the poor bastards of 1915, but for everyone who’s sent into harm’s way by their nation, necessarily or not.

    I like to think that most Australians view the day that way – as a day to mark the loss of countless young servicemen & women in all the wars we’ve been involved in since 1914-18. With a military history in my own family spanning WWI to Vietnam, we all view it as a commemoration of the sacrifice of young life in combat, regardless of the reasons those lives were placed in harm’s way. None of us are there to wear the Southern Cross and boast about how much arse we kick; we’re there to be thankful we haven’t had to do it or, in some cases, fondly remember lost mates. Some of us might use the day to act like nationalist fuckwits and shame us all, but those people most likely aren’t anywhere near a member of the military. And if they come near me they get told to shut the fuck up in no uncertain terms.

    PZ, I’d not let this colour your view of Aussies. Yep, we’re certainly as prone to nationalist idiocy as our colonial cousins and our history of indigenous abuse, dispossession and genocide is similarly utterly shameful, but when it comes to worshipping the military like comic heroes we’ve got a long way to go.

  46. consciousness razor says

    I just wish she had found a way of saying that without alienating *everyone* that attends an ANZAC march – because not everyone attending thinks War is the best idea ever.

    Why do you wish that?

    I’m fine with alienating people who think that war is acceptable, not even the best but something worth celebrating — because it’s “honorable” or “courageous” or “just” or whatever your nonsensical reason for glorifying war is.

    Feel alienated, for all I care. I sure as fuck do.

    Is there a non-alienating way to state your opposition to war by implicating it (correctly) with killing, raping, invading, etc.? What exactly would that look like? “I’m sorry, everyone, please don’t mind me. I know you don’t really like to talk about this either. And of course, I take your point since like we all agree, sometimes we do need to allow a little killing and raping and invading, to get what we want, unfortunate as that is…. And all you brave soldiers know just what I mean, am I right? Nonethless, perhaps if we could just do it a little less, and maybe not ignore that it happens, or not forget that it’s sorta-bad when we mark it as a great victory on our calendars, if that’s possible…” Give me a fucking break.

  47. Koshka says

    Jonathan Maddox
    I was not referring to ‘big players’ when I used the word Turks. I was referring to individual Turks. Your point about the other people from the Ottoman Empire who also died pointlessly makes me even feel shitier about the whole thing.

  48. mildlymagnificent says

    that’s no reason to elevate the Turks to some position of honour. *All* the big players of the first world war were motivated more by imperialism and jingoism than by the imperative to defend their own domestic families or livelihoods.

    Even shittier, of course, is the fact that it was entirely down to Churchill’s idiocy, as First Lord of Admiralty, that the Turks were fighting Britain at all. He’d commandeered two Turkish ships that were being built in British dockyards. Unfortunately, they weren’t being built just for the government, the damned things were financed by public subscription – so with one stroke of his oblivious pen, he managed to turn hundreds of thousands of individual Turks into furious haters of all things British. No wonder they went with the enemy of my enemy is my friend when the chips were down. If the ships had been built and delivered as ordered, ordinary Turkish citizens might well have regarded the Brits as their BFF and their government might have had a harder time deciding to fight on the opposite side. If Churchill had honoured the contract the Turkish government might have stayed neutral or even lined up to fight _alongside_ these helpful good guys. There might never have been a Gallipoli at all.

  49. markrichardson says

    #49 “Why do you wish that?”
    For exactly the same reason I want to find common ground with reasonable theists against lunatic fundamentalists.

    If you are making enemies out of potential allies then its not the most rational of courses. Unless conflict is your goal.

    “Is there a non-alienating way to state your opposition to war ”
    Yes, I certainly think so.
    I am against War but I feel sorry for the hapless 19 and 20 year olds who died pointlessly in terrible pain and fear in foreign places.
    That doesn’t seem too difficult an idea to express.

    Its an either – or fallacy to imply you either have to be “pro-war” or “anti remembering and honoring the dead.”
    You can be BOTH anti war and pro – remembering and honoring the dead.

    So some of the people Deveny offended are “pro war” but some are simply “pro remembering granddad who died in some stinking ditch, aged 21 years”.
    I hope my brother is more the latter – but I fear he is some of the former as well.

    Do ya get it now?

  50. mildlymagnificent says

    I am against War but I feel sorry for the hapless 19 and 20 year olds who died pointlessly in terrible pain and fear in foreign places.

    And that’s where the “noble sacrifice” language gets in the way of understanding the real horrors of war. Lots of people died without even knowing what happened to them, lots of people died in acts of unalloyed courage and willing sacrifice, lots of people died in agonising pain, knowing that they were going to die, lots of people died whimpering in overwhelming fear, lots of people died crying for their mothers.

    And then there are the others. I’ve hated Jeff Kennett for a very long time, but I liked what he said about this topic. He said it’s all very well to talk about those who gave up their lives, but every single one of them gave up their youth. The notion is sort of implicit in “They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old” but it is important. Those “that are left” must grow old, but for many of them that process is strewn with nightmares and flashbacks – and an occasional day out on 25 April.

  51. brive1987 says

    To answer PZ “no”. One story does not make for an accurate generalisation.

    It is exactly because of the futility, horror and senselessness of war that we celebrate the characteristics that allowed our grandfathers to survive the horror demanded by our country.

    The ANZACs twice voted down conscription during the war – they were not the warmongers and our memory of them should not be so coloured. The 18 year olds killed in Turkey, France and Belgium on both sides should not be victim blamed. It’s fine and right to hate war but using a broad brush of criticism is problematic and doing so while others commemorate loss, pain and suffering probably needs calling out for the callous ignorance it is.

  52. unclefrogy says

    thanks DLC for the link to what I think is to my mind the best “War Song” ever and my favorite performance if no one would have posted it I would have.

    uncle frogy

  53. mildlymagnificent says

    The ANZACs twice voted down conscription during the war

    We should remember that young soldiers themselves couldn’t vote on this or any other issue – nor could they marry or sign any contract, including joining the army, without their parents consenting in writing. Conscription of 18 year olds was directed as much against parents of men under 21 years old who refused permission for their sons to sign up as it was against men refusing to do their “duty”.

  54. says

    As I grew up my attitude to war has changed a lot and part of that change has been ANZAC day. Learning about the senseless horrors , gross tragedies and unforgivable decisions changed me from glorifiying in my first years to sadness, pity and rage.

    ANZAC day, if I recall correctely commemorates a defeat, the withdrawal from Galipolli. To me this seems particularly apt.

    Rememberence daycommemorates the Victory of the British Empire RAH RAH RAH! It means little to me, but ANZAC day, the day we had to turn tail and run for our lives is seared into my soul confirming the horrors of conflict.

    “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” should be the national anthem as far as I am concerned,

    On a side note I have a version by the Pogues, it’s strangely beautiful, but I can’t listen to it too often it tears my heart.

  55. DLC says

    unclefrogy — no worries. I found that one 2 or 3 years ago. No nation should ever go joyously to war.

  56. timothya1956 says

    Anyone remember Alan Seymour’s “The One Day of the Year”?

    Worth reading if you want to understand the evolution of Anzac Day in Australia.

  57. thumper1990 says

    @sebg

    As for the Hotel banning her, they have every right to do that, just as we would support an organisation or business that banned somebody with ridiculous religious views. It isn’t a principle if it is only applied when convenient.

    Pacifism is not a ridiculous standpoint. Naively hopeful, perhaps, but I think admirable none the less.

    And I would never support a hotel refusing to serve someone for their religious views. Ever. The most I would support a hotel doing re. religion is placing sensible restrictions on what ceremonies can be practiced (for example, a ban on incense due to it being a fire hazard may upset some Buddhists or Hindus, but I would support it) and reserve the right to kick anyone out if they upset other customers regardless of their motivation (i.e. proselytising would not be tolerated, and “It says so in the Bible!” would not be a defense for bigotry). Refusing them service? Hell no, I’d hit a hotelier who did that with every discrimination law on the books.

  58. thumper1990 says

    @uriel1972

    Rememberence daycommemorates the Victory of the British Empire RAH RAH RAH!

    Not true. Remembrance Sunday (or Remembrance Day) is held on the anniversary of the end of World War one and commemorates the British and Commonwealth dead of that conflict and every conflict since.

    That said, given the attitude of some of the more simian of my countrymen, I can understand why you’d think that.

  59. says

    I do worry that a cult of military worship along with American-esque public religiosity is on the rise in Australia. Other Australians on this thread will remember the vitriolic backlash experienced by Yumi Stynes, a host on the Australian version of The View, when she made some “insufficiently respectful” comments implying that an Iraq War veteran was brainless.

  60. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    On ANZAC day the shops don’t open. The pubs open at 12.
    ANZAC day is a funeral. You pay your respects in the morning and then go to the wake – maybe swap some stories and have a laugh.

  61. Muz says

    mark richardson 42 sez
    “The first world war was also a particularly pointless one – there was no great and noble cause being fought for – it was simply to decide whether (white, christian, capitalist) Britain or (white, christian, capitalist) Germany was to be the Worlds One Great power. Of course after the War neither was.”

    Totally beside the point in all this, but I find that the more I read about it (which still isn’t much) WW1 makes the most sense in the context of the history of war. Including those after ’45. It’s WW2 that’s the anomaly and seems more comprehensible (although, it isn’t. really to understand it and why it happened you have to grasp why Hitler really wanted a rematch initially and how this threw everyone thanks to WW1 changing the game forever.)

  62. Ysanne says

    “War is hell” is a topic to be approached carefully, if at all, in junior primary.

    As opposed to, say, the ever-popular “war is a great activity that we send our brave young men abroad for, so they can earn honour and glory for our country”? The most important thing about war, especially in junior primary, is that it’s horrible and causes lots of people to die, particularly those that live where it takes place. Even if — or rather, especially because — this last point is easy to miss if war is something that happens abroad, and not something that fucks up your country and kills kids hiding from bombs in basements.
    As a European in Oz, I’m disgusted by the ANZAC worship that goes on every year. Yeah, pointless deaths: surprise, this is what happens when you travel halfway around the globe with the express intent of helping Britain in a war that is no business of yours. Also, “huge losses”? They’re not even on the scale of a rounding error when compared to what went on at the German-French front. And somehow the fact that human beings on the enemy’s side were killed get forgotten completely.
    Nope, that’s not the lesson to learn from wars.

  63. chrislawson says

    Jesus, this thread is so full of self-righteous bullshit that I am for the first time wondering whether this really is the site for me.

    1. I do not in any way condone the threats against Deveny, nor do I support the Grand Hotel’s pathetic decision to ban her.

    2. Having said that, ANZAC Day has *never* been a pro-war celebration. It commemorates a lost battle and lost lives. Of course there are idiots out there who will try to swing it to indefensible purposes, but that happens to every damn celebration that has coattails to ride. US Independence Daycelebrates a war victory and is often manipulated by arch-conservatives. Would you insult celebrants of Martin Luther King Jr. Day because it was signed into law by Ronald Reagan?

    3. The ANZAC soldiers were not “perpetrators” in any real sense of the word. They signed up to defend their Empire against a very real threat to the democratic nations of Western Europe (although there were many complex forces at play, WW1 can be seen of as the last gasp of the old European imperialist efforts to crush nascent democratic nations — of the true democracies in Europe, every single one of them fought on the Allied side against the Centrals). The soldiers certainly didn’t decide to start the war, nor did they have much say over the way the war was fought, nor did they leave Gallipoli hating the Turks — the general consensus among ANZACs was that the soldiers on both sides were fodder for a stupid and disastrous misadventure. This is not to say that they were angels, they were ordinary people some of whom behaved like monsters. But the only great Australian war hero to come out of Gallipoli was Jack Simpson — a war deserter and stretcher-bearer who became famous not for acts of combat but for repeatedly rescuing wounded soldiers, often while still under fire, until he was killed by machine gun. Despite becoming a national hero, Simpson was a Tyneside Englishman hiding out in Australia after he had deserted the merchant navy and only re-enlisted under a pseudonym so he could get back to England — and he never received a posthumous medal because the army never saw his acts as worthy of commemoration. I think these stories are worth telling, and ANZAC Day is the time we tell them.

    4. Far from being about the glory of war, the Gallipoli experience is widely regarded as one of the key moments in the Australian and New Zealand cultural movement away from the old empire (after ANZAC soldiers were sent to fight against an enemy they had no quarrel with, based on a strategic blunder of monumental proportions, and implemented by officers of sometimes breath-taking incompetence and many with the attitude that ANZAC soldiers were completely worthless and expendable colonial scum). It was also one of the key moments that defined the end of the Ottoman Empire and the emergence of Turkey as a secular state. Again, these stories are worth telling. If you think Australian culture generally supports ANZAC Day as a celebration of war, look through Australian film and TV depictions of WW1 — they’re universally grim and despairing (with one glaring exception, a 1940 propaganda film called Forty Thousand Horsemen). Have any of you actually seen Gallipoli or Beneath Hill 60 or 1915? They’re fucking devastating.

    5. Koshka, I’m going to call bullshit on your comments. The Turkish experience has been part of the Australian history curriculum since I went through school decades ago right through to today. I fail to understand how any child can be taught about the fighting between the Turks and the ANZACs and not know that Turks died too. You can look up the Australian National Curriculum’s history pages and you will see that there is plenty of coverage of the Turkish side. Here are just a few items covered in the resources: “the May truce between the Anzacs and the Turks”…”the weapons and transport used by ANZACs and Ottomans”…”the links that were forged between Australia and Turkey during the Gallipoli campaign”…”the words of Kemal Ataturk are intercut with black-and-white archival footage of Ataturk in his uniform as a Turkish soldier and officer, as well as still photographs of Allied soldiers in a trench and of Turkish soldiers in trenches”…”archival black-and-white photographs of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) and Turkish soldiers in the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War”…”More recent scenes of Turkish people in Australia and of an Anzac Day parade”…”shows an officer announcing the beginning of a temporary truce to allow Australian and Turkish soldiers to gather up the bodies of those who have been killed or injured in ‘no man’s land’”…”This clip shows Kuranda Seyit, who emigrated from Turkey with his family in 1969, talking about growing up in Australia and his experiences at school. Seyit, the only Turk at his school, was subject to racist taunts and was acutely conscious of his difference.” So stop the crap about this not being taught in schools. This is the FORMAL AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM THAT ALL SCHOOLS, EVEN INDEPENDENT PRIVATE SCHOOLS, HAVE TO TEACH. If your daughter didn’t learn what she was supposed to, I think you should be having a word with her school about why they are failing to provide a proper eduction, and if that’s beneath you, then at least giving her some of that education yourself, instead of slamming the entire national ethos about ANZAC Day.

    I know a lot of you here clearly love getting on your über-pacifist high horses because it makes you feel so fucking superior, but if you want an Australian holiday that undeniably needs to be changed, it’s Australia Day (which by celebrating the landing of the First Fleet inevitably celebrates the start of the destruction of Aboriginal cultures), and the second holiday would be the Queen’s Birthday, which is not of interest to the vast majority of Australians (most of us are anti-monarchists) and isn’t even her actual birthday. Making out that the original ANZAC soldiers and those who today support ANZAC Day events are jingoistic warmongers is exactly the kind of malicious Othering that you complain bitterly about when it happens to people you like.

  64. mildlymagnificent says

    Also, “huge losses”? They’re not even on the scale of a rounding error when compared to what went on at the German-French front.

    And Australians were there as well. When people refer to “huge losses” they’re usually referring to the whole of WWI, which was really Australia’s version of the USA’s Vietnam – there was hardly a suburb, township, hamlet or village anywhere in the country that didn’t lose someone in WWI. The losses were tremendous. Our whole population was only 5 million at the time, and over 400,000 men enlisted which almost 40% of the male population of fighting age. Over 200,000 casualties of which 60,000 were killed. The losses were huge. Our casualty rate (65% of embarkations) was the highest of the first world war.

  65. mildlymagnificent says

    Though I don’t have Patsy Adam-Smith’s book handy so I’m not sure how those casualty figures were calculated. My grandfather was hospitalised 3 separate times for 3 separate wounds in WWI. Don’t know whether his wounds and all the others like him were counted per participant or per campaign or per hospital admission.

  66. brive1987 says

    Deveny has a history of calculated offence and consequently is hard to take seriously. I remember my dismay 2years ago when PZ and the blog defended her right to tweet she hoped an 11 girl “got laid”. Apparently it was all about freeze peach or something.

    Now the 18 yr old youths indoctrinated and sent to be butchered are racist mercenary rapists. Given PZs direct personal connection with the military I’m surprised this at least was not called out as an objectively grotesque characterisation bordering on victim blaming. In war everybody looses, it is a huge tragedy for all.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/deveny-learns-the-anzac-art-of-futile-attack-20100427-tpxz.html

  67. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Remembrance Sunday (or Remembrance Day) is held on the anniversary of the end of World War one and commemorates the British and Commonwealth dead of that conflict and every conflict since. – thumper1990

    I’ve refused to take any part (e.g. wearing a poppy, taking part in the minute’s silence) since 1982, when it was used to celebrate British victory – not to mourn the dead and maimed on both sides – in the War of Thatcher’s Face. I’m not a pacifist, but this type of event is always available for the jingoists to use when the latest, current, or forthcoming war is being justified.

  68. brive1987 says

    Re the “tweet” Of course Deveny had the right to tweet anything she wanted. Just as reasonable secularists had the right (obligation?) to express revulsion born from simple value ethics.

  69. timothya1956 says

    In 1915, the Australian government decided to join the British and French governments in an invasion of Turkey.

    No vote was taken to decide whether the Australian people agreed with this decision. The New Zealand government decided to join as well. Indian soldiers were sent to join the invasion, though they had no vote in the stance of their government on the matter at the time. French soldiers and sailors were sent as well, again without any vote on their part.

    The invasion was a debacle. It was inspired by Winston Churchill as a desperate alternative to the horrors of the war of attrition on the Western Front. Churchill appointed the incompetents who led the invasion. The result was appalling for both the invaders and the defenders.

    In the event, the Turkish soldiers repelled the invasion of their country.

    Nobody from the British, French, British Indian, Australian or New Zealand governments has ever been held to account for their decisions. This failure is part of the Anzac myth.

  70. says

    I want to add my 2 cents in regards to Australia Day. We have a pretty shitty past with how we treated Aboriginals, and we really still have a long way to go. But, I think Australia Day is a positive day on the whole. I really feel it’s a day for everyone who is Australian (or on their way to citizenship) to celebrate what is so great about living here. I mean we really have it great here. And for the people around me, Australia day is a day to celebrate all the positive things that have happened and will happen in this country.

    I think this whole, celebrating defeating the aboriginals and rightful land owners stuff is complete bullshit vitriol spewed by self righteous people. If you feel that the land was taken away from the indigenous people, why not give your property back to them?

  71. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    @ chrislawson

    While you may be questioning if this is the site for you, I am thinking that this is still the site for me as long as people like you are commenting here. Thank you.

    @ timothya1956

    Nobody from the British, French, British Indian, Australian or New Zealand governments has ever been held to account for their decisions. This failure is part of the Anzac myth.

    I am not sure what you are getting at with this – could you please clarify what the myth is here?

  72. thumper1990 says

    @Nick Gotts

    Yep, hence my comment about our more simian countrymen. The sort of EDL idiot who uses the event to piously stand to attention during the two minute silence before spending the rest of the day singing endeless renditions of “Two World Wars and One World Cup” and accusing anyone not wearing a poppy of being a Muslim. I wish they’d fuck off and allow people to simply pay their respect to the dead without injecting their jingoistic, xenophobic, Little-Englander version of “patriotism” into the mix.

  73. Koshka says

    Chrislawson,
    The Australian Ciriculum for History refers to Anzac day in grade 3. Please look at the Sample portfolio. Only references Australia. Next look in is at grade 9. So up until my daughter is 14 there is nothing in the Australian Ciriculum that mentions what happened at Gallipoli that involved anyone who wasn’t An Australian soldier.
    Also this Australian Ciriculum that you went through decades ago has only been adopted in Queensland since 2012. I was not taught this Ciriculum 30 years ago.
    I thank you for the suggestion that I give my daughter education myself. Unfortunately there will be many children who will not have the resources my daughter has, who by the time they reach grade 9 will have shut out of interest of school and they will be stuck with the belief that Anzac day is about how brave Australians are.

  74. says

    As I recall, the attempted landing at Gallipoli was a pyrrhic victory for the Ottomans and a bloody failure for the Allies. Why would Australia want to celebrate their greatest military loss?

    Or maybe that is why there is so much brouhaha patriotism around the day: it is a way to memoryhole the truth.

  75. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    ANZAC day is not a celebration. It is a day for mourning the loss of those that died in war.


    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
    We will remember them.

    The phrase Lest we forget is often added as a final line at the end of the ode and repeated in response by those listening, especially in Australia. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ode_of_Remembrance

  76. mildlymagnificent says

    But, I think Australia Day is a positive day on the whole

    Oh really? Even if we leave aside the question of indigenous Australians, non-New South Welshmen – certainly South Australians – always felt that it was yet another instance of Sydney claiming to speak for the whole of the continent.

    Anyway, that whole “If you feel that the land was taken away from the indigenous people, why not give your property back to them?” shit is beside the point. Why choose a day which really rubs people’s noses in the issue. We could easily shift it to the King‘s Birthday holiday – that’s why it’s not the date of the queen’s birthday – we merely continued the holiday on the date it had previously been celebrated for the earlier monarch’s birthday. An easy way to shove the remnants of monarchy aside and make the day one celebrating real emancipation.

  77. dravid says

    Koshka, Thank you. I just won $10 from one pocket to the other. I knew someone would bring up the Aboriginals and do so completely out of context. And since when was discussing Churchill’s monumental mistake Pommy bashing? It is just a fact of history. And yes, having a go at a minority of Americans on the right end of the Bell Curve, groups like the NRA who seem to be an absolute minority, I plead guilty. I am also guilty of going off topic because the story was about the hotel and the pacifist. Having been brought up in a country town I can understand why they dropped her. Either very few were going to see her because of her stance and therefore no commercial return for the pub or the locals would go to stir up problems and therefore not a good result for the pub either way. Even if I agreed with her I would have made the same decision had I been the manager.

  78. mildlymagnificent says

    “Why would Australia want to celebrate their greatest military loss?”

    It’s not a celebration. I’ve never once been to a dawn service though we used to go to the march regularly and we also took our kids a few times to wave at their grandfather. Now my daughter and one of her cousins make a point of going to the dawn service – he’s the one to inherit the two sets of medals. Our daughters have the miniatures.

    I heard a bloke talking the other day about going to dawn services nowadays. More and more people are going to them so it’s difficult to find parking near the memorial. So at 4.30 am in the pitch dark you park your car and start walking. And you can hear nothing except the footfalls of thousands of other people silently walking to the same place you’re going. Nobody talks or sings or whistles. They just walk.

  79. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Queen’s Birthday to complicate matters isn’t on her actual birthday and varies from state to state.

    I didn’t grow up here, but I know it was covered to some extent in year 10 since one of the first assignments I had when I arrived here was ‘What ANZAC day means to me.’ I had to do a little introduction indicating that I was new but what I imagined it meant was… and so on.

    Yes, there are idiots everywhere, but I don’t think they are the majority. War is not presented here as glorious, or noble.

  80. desertfroglet says

    Here’s a link to a Qld lower secondary school unit on the development of the Anzac legend (PDF): Anzac Cove to Anzac Day

    It is fairly wide-ranging, but is essentially about how WW1 was used to construct a national identity. Words that students are expected to understand include ‘nationalism’, ‘imperialism’ and ‘propaganda’. It sounds like a worthwhile introduction to thinking about that war in particular and wars in general. and also their cultural impact.

    As you can see, the document is dated 2002. I would have thought it difficult to teach lessons about any war without mentioning the allies and opposition, but perhaps the Qld educational system is different.

  81. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    Why choose a day which really rubs people’s noses in the issue. We could easily shift it to the King‘s Birthday holiday – that’s why it’s not the date of the queen’s birthday – we merely continued the holiday on the date it had previously been celebrated for the earlier monarch’s birthday. An easy way to shove the remnants of monarchy aside and make the day one celebrating real emancipation. – mildlymagnificent

    If only you’d get on with abolishing the monarchy, you could celebrate Republic Day! (Of course, the same is true for us Brits, but I think we’ll need you to set the example :-p.)

  82. mildlymagnificent says

    Abolish the monarchy? Good luck with that.

    Too much ‘if it ain’t broke why fix it’ combined with aghast horror at the thought of an Australian presidential election becoming anything remotely like the US version. The fact that most of Europe elects presidents regularly with little to no fuss seems not to be on Australians’ radar at all.

  83. David Marjanović says

    Though that may be more due to the truly great gesture emanating from that “other side” in the first place – Atat[ü]rk.

    …That’s an amazing piece of propaganda for Atatürk’s nationalism, a Turkish nationalism out of the ruins of the Ottoman empire. It’s an amazing break with the past. Rather than letting the war become a national trauma and having to say “look how the otherwise admired and imitated West attacked us”, he said “this was a war against the Ottoman Empire, it had nothing to do with being a Turk; the sultan lost it, not us; being a Turk is the greatest thing ever and has always been”.

    I’m deeply impressed.

    Breaks with the past, though, were Atatürk’s specialty. He introduced surnames (taking the liberty of inventing his own in the process) and the Latin alphabet, he had incredible amounts of Persian and Arabic words officially removed from Standard Turkish (so that hundred-year-old newspapers are doubly incomprehensible today) to the extent that once he had real trouble understanding a speech he was giving, and he abolished not just the office of sultan, but (two years later) even the office of caliph.

    You said “ridiculous” religious views. With your current formulation, I might be able to sort of agree (e.g. incredibly homophobic views), but I am not really part of your “we” that thinks that hotels should be able to ban people on the basis of religion. Maybe that’s just me, though.

    No, it’s not just you. Kicking people out of a hotel because of how they behave (breaking stuff, disturbing other guests, disturbing staff)? Fine. Kicking people out of a hotel because of what’s inside their skulls? Why would anyone do that?

    Near Wellington there is a memorial to the Turkish dead, established as a quid pro quo for the Turks allowing an official NZ memorial.

    That’s wonderful.

    Give the majority of Australians respect and recognize that they understand that Celebrating a defeat is not glorifying war but honoring the young men who died for their country, rightly or wrongly.

    “For their country”.

    What did it help Australia, or the British Empire or anyone, that they died there?

    Sadness I understand (indeed share), but where does honor come into this?

    You’re not making sense.

    yes yes, for the sake of accuracy, with assistance from the French Empire

    Worse. It was already the Third Republic.

    Totally beside the point in all this, but I find that the more I read about it (which still isn’t much) WW1 makes the most sense in the context of the history of war. Including those after ’45. It’s WW2 that’s the anomaly and seems more comprehensible (although, it isn’t. really to understand it and why it happened you have to grasp why Hitler really wanted a rematch initially and how this threw everyone thanks to WW1 changing the game forever.)

    …Sounds intriguing. Please explain.

  84. mikee says

    @Chris Lawson #70

    Thank you for clarifying the true purpose of ANZAC. As a New Zealander I have been to a number of ANZAC days and they are somber events, to commemorate all soldiers who have fallen in the defense of Australia and New Zealand, and with shared ceremonies in Turkey to commemorate all who died at Gallipoli.
    Soldiers on the ground were not responsible to the decisions to be where they are. Personally for me ANZAC day reflects the tragedy that we have lost so many good people in war.
    It is a somber reflective day for many, which I think is appropriate. If everyone considered the consequence of war then perhaps countries would be less gung ho in making war on other countries.

    And the comments about Deveny are disgusting and unjustifiable.

  85. mikee says

    “Are Australians militaristic fascists now, too?”

    PZ, that is a rather broad generalisation isn’t it? If the same comment was made about Americans would you, as an American, find it offensive? I’m sure there are many Australians/Americans who aren’t militaristic fascists.

  86. says

    Gallipoli (or Gelibolu) is worth visiting – very sobering and sad. There are huge memorials and cemeteries for the ANZACs there, as well as the Turks.

    Avoid ANZAC day itself unless you want to be in a massive crowd, some of whom are so young and ignorant they’ve been infected with the new right wing jingoism. The real ANZACs never liked that. But they’re all dead now, the last survivor died in 2002. Not that they were perfect, but the day was more about drunken sentimentality, often angry, but never militarism.

    And here’s another Aussie song you should listen to: http://youtu.be/ns82tHhJOr0
    (Great cover of the Redgum standard, about ANZACs in Vietnam.)

  87. says

    It’s not a straw-man argument when someone with that position can actually be pointed out. It might be nut picking – but then it’s time to police your nuts and make sure they’re appropriately shamed and isolated.

  88. anteprepro says

    It’s not a straw-man argument when someone with that position can actually be pointed out. It might be nut picking – but then it’s time to police your nuts and make sure they’re appropriately shamed and isolated.

    Ehhhh…it really depends. Depends on whether you are dealing with a specific person at the moment when you are dredging up these arguments and that person’s relations to the people who use the other arguments. Depends on exactly how fringe these arguments are. Exactly how much they differ from more mainstream versions. “Police your nuts” is a problematic concept when you are talking about ideas rather than behavior. We really shouldn’t be shaming and isolating people because they have half-baked novel arguments, or because they can’t quite properly phrase or pin down the nuances of popular arguments.

  89. Woo_Monster, Sniffer of Starfarts says

    If the same comment was made about Americans would you, as an American, find it offensive?

    Pretty sure PZ would accept that Americans are militaristic fascists.

  90. mildlymagnificent says

    Should have said. This particular song affects me. Lots of blokes I knew were called up. The biggest issue is really my mum. She hates it – and it’s a lesson to all of us to remember how we felt at certain ages and how we might change as we age. She was livid with fury when first my cousin, then one of my friends, volunteered for further duty in Vietnam after their initial compulsory introduction to war. They were putting their mothers through unnecessary worry and grief – especially the one who was an only child of a woman whose husband had died young from WW2 consequences. So why so angry about this song 10 years after that war ended.

    I think the thing that really gets her is the emphasis on PTSD symptoms in the song. For most of her married life my dad could wake the whole house with his moaning and groaning through the nightmares, Kokoda presumably but it might have been reliving his bout of polio contracted in Syria or a whole lot of oher stuff he never told anyone. He never talked about it. She never talked about it. Maybe she wishes he could have started talking about it long before we grew up and left home when he eventually began to tell her some stuff. Don’t know. But the song really stirs her up.

  91. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I struggle with ANZAC day. As an ex-pat it’s new to me, I have no youthful programing to guide my feelings about it. The service here is right outside my shop. I lock the door and attend because it seems a little too rude to not do so.

    I spend the time thinking on what it must have been like to a solider in that situation. I think on what it must be like to be a soldier at war in any time. It’s sobering and yet uplifting. For such thoughts always lead to a recognition of how good I have it. My generation never had to go to war, we are the lucky ones and a reminder of that is a good thing. Mind you, there’s very little in the service itself that points me there.

    In fact, I spent much of the time gritting my teeth over all the god crap. This year there we three prayers, one hymn and a town ‘pledge’ that we were suppose to partake of. The pledge was fine, it was all the typical mateship, perseverance and courage that ANZAC often gets cited as an example of. Never mind that those things are universal to humans in strife. But it also contained a pledge to god. Fuck that. I said out loud as I heard that part. “No, no we don’t..”

    The military representative this year did a really good job of his speech. He acknowledged the futility of Galipoli as a military endeavour. He acknowledged that in all the wars Aussies have participated in only WWII contained a direct threat to Australia. He directly mentioned that this ceremony was not about glorifying war.

    Anyway, it’s a strange thing and I work hard to pull positives out of it for myself.

  92. says

    I’m glad to see so many comments correctly pointing out that ANZAC Day is not a celebration of our military success, but a remembrance of lives squandered in all armed conflict. It’s almost irrelevant that Australia was on the “successful” side in the World Wars; what people remember on ANZAC Day is the failure that was the Gallipoli landing, the subsequent bloodbaths across Europe and the Middle East and the crying shame that fifty millions had to die while opposing European fascism and Japanese imperialism. In the case of Korea and Viet Nam, we don’t even have a “victory” to salve the sting of young people dying in terror far from their homes; just bittersweet memories of fallen mates and painful returns home.

    The day took on and still retains extra significance since our nation committed our forces to the misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once again, as with Gallipoli and Viet Nam, we’ve allowed our young people to be sent to fight nations that pose us no threat on the whim of an imperialist, militarist superpower.

    Someone further up summed it up thusly: ANZAC Day is a funeral, not a victory parade.

  93. Ichthyic says

    Australians are a fairly liberal society and not prone to Jingoism

    this is demonstrably false.

    Hell, Rupert Murdoch OWNS Australia, and he got that way exactly BY playing up jingoism and playing to the LCD.

    In my experience, I find Australians for the most part to be horrible at introspection.

    Which is why I decided to migrate to Hobbitton instead of Oz.

  94. Ichthyic says

    The day took on and still retains extra significance since our nation committed our forces to the misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once again, as with Gallipoli and Viet Nam, we’ve allowed our young people to be sent to fight nations that pose us no threat on the whim of an imperialist, militarist superpower.

    …and if ANZAC had the significance you import to it, Oz would not have sent more children to die for yet another imperialist effort at regional manipulation.

    It’s wishful thinking on your part to think that ANZAC has such a message or significance, regardless if you are right that it SHOULD.

  95. mildlymagnificent says

    It’s wishful thinking on your part to think that ANZAC has such a message or significance, regardless if you are right that it SHOULD.

    Oh, everybody understands the significance of the words spoken on Anzac Day. And the populace at large was pretty clear expressing its desire to stay out of the Iraq debacle. I’ve never seen so many people on Adelaide’s streets, not even pageant day.

    Everybody knows the words of those songs, but our leaders can’t dance to their music.

  96. tehconz says

    @Hankstar (106) My thoughts exactly. ANZAC day is about remembering the victims of war. It’s not about celebrating how great war is, or “bowing down before the War Machine”. Thousands of young men, many with little idea what they were doing and little choice in the matter, left their homeland to fight overseas never to return. We don’t have to decide if the wars were just, or successful, but the least we can do is remember the sacrifice made by the soldiers and their families.

  97. says

    Ichthyic:

    …and if ANZAC had the significance you import to it, Oz would not have sent more children to die for yet another imperialist effort at regional manipulation.

    It’s wishful thinking on your part to think that ANZAC has such a message or significance, regardless if you are right that it SHOULD.

    “Oz”, in this case, was the government of then-PM John Howard, staunch arch-conservative ally of GW Bush and Tony Blair and no political bedfellow of mine. You have made the mistake of conflating the actions of our government with the actions of us as a people. You might as well blame “America” (that is, the American people) for sending its kids to die in the desert – as opposed to blaming the American government, who sent them without public consultation and on a bedrock of pure, vicious fantasy.

    That fact is that “we”, that is, the Australian people, were not consulted about sending our young people to fight yet another war against a nation that hadn’t attacked us and posed us no threat, yet again at the behest of an imperialist superpower. “We” just had to sit back and fucking well take it, as did the American people. In fact, Australian opposition to committing our troops to George’s War On Terror was vehement and vocal, both on the streets and in the two Houses of Parliament (it was a part of the global outrage at the Bush admin’s decision to go to war) – and of course that opposition was ignored by PM Howard just as it was ignored by President Bush and PM Blair. Howard to this day is, just like Bush and Blair, unrepentant.

    The fact is that, by and large in Australia, ANZAC Day does indeed have the significance that I described – I don’t graft that significance onto it and it’s not, as you (frankly, quite patronisingly) declared, “wishful thinking”.

  98. says

    And yes – I’m aware we have our fair share of racist, jingoist idiots (aka yobbos, bogans, ferals, etc) in this country (what former British colony built on the bones of indigenous genocide and populated in its first hundred years by British criminals doesn’t?). I’m also aware that the phrase “dumb, drunk and racist” sums up a fair whack of the people who live here (mostly those who think Alan Jones and John Laws and Kyle Sandilands are well-informed and reasonable commentators), but judging an entire country and people by its worst facets is like judging the British by football hooligans or judging the US by the fucking Westboro Baptist Cult.

    I suggest if somebody wanted to actually experience how Australians view and experience ANZAC Day that they either do so in person, do some more investigation or take what Australians say about it (are saying about it, right here and now) at face value.

  99. Ichthyic says

    Erm, Ichthyic, it’s not like NZ refrained from joining in the recent wars.

    I’m aware of this, and also attribute the idea that ANZAC has significance in deterring nationalistic participation in foreign wars to be wishful thinking here as well.

    And the populace at large was pretty clear expressing its desire to stay out of the Iraq debacle. I’ve never seen so many people on Adelaide’s streets, not even pageant day.

    exactly.

    the war protests against entering Iraq in the States were as big as those for vietnam.

    did nothing.

    nothing.

    it’s wishful thinking to assume something like ANZAC day has any more significance than Memorial day does in the States.

    Yes, I’ve seen Galipoli. I’ve also seen while it brings a tear to the eye, it brings no lasting change.

    That fact is that “we”, that is, the Australian people, were not consulted about sending our young people to fight

    yes, you were. Some refused to realize it, others were simply encouraging of it.

    same as in the States.

  100. Ichthyic says

    but judging an entire country and people by its worst facets is like judging the British by football hooligans or judging the US by the fucking Westboro Baptist Cult.

    It’s more like judging the US by the fact they re-elected George W Bush.

  101. Ichthyic says

    You have made the mistake of conflating the actions of our government with the actions of us as a people.

    It’s not a mistake.

    You make the mistake that you think you are not responsible for the actions of your government. Last I checked, Australia was classified as a democracy.

    personally, I couldn’t take being responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths myself, which is why I left the country that was most responsible for this latest mess in the ME.

    getting back to this…

    Erm, Ichthyic, it’s not like NZ refrained from joining in the recent wars

    Australia later provided one of the four most substantial combat force contingents during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, under the operational codename Operation Falconer

    New Zealand’s contribution to Operation Falconer was what again?

  102. says

    dimwit @ 80,

    But, I think Australia Day is a positive day on the whole. I really feel it’s a day for everyone who is Australian (or on their way to citizenship) to celebrate what is so great about living here. I mean we really have it great here. And for the people around me, Australia day is a day to celebrate all the positive things that have happened and will happen in this country.

    Like what? Frozen internet speeds after September? No modern rail network because it’s all too hard? State-sanctioned religious indoctrination of public primary school children? A pervasive and toxic blokey macho culture? A mental health system in disarray? A huge alcohol- and drug-fuelled violence and road death problem? Kids dying in Afghanistan to this day because Howard got along so well with Bush 10 years ago?

    I’ll take what you’re popping, to be able to see things as rose-tinted as you.

  103. says

    Ichthyic:

    It’s more like judging the US by the fact they re-elected George W Bush.

    While that was an incredibly stupid thing to do, it’s always harder to elect a challenger during wartime that an incumbent – no matter how dangerously fucking stupid the incumbent may be and no matter the reasons for that war’s beginning. And frankly, John Kerry was dead in the water long before he got swift-boated. But this is beside the point.

    I said: That fact is that “we”, that is, the Australian people, were not consulted about sending our young people to fight

    yes, you were. Some refused to realize it, others were simply encouraging of it.

    same as in the States.

    Ichthyic, this is rank bullshit of the highest fucking order and lowest fucking quality.

    “We”, being the people, were simply informed that our government had committed our people to the illegal invasion of another country – same as in the States. We were categorically not given the chance to vote on it or in any other way change the government’s decision. All we could do was shout in the fucking streets that we didn’t want our people to go and kill people who hadn’t harmed or even threatened us (or were even capable of doing so). However, while some among us were encouraging our government to enter the fray I consider those people idiots and part of a minority.

    the war protests against entering Iraq in the States were as big as those for vietnam.

    did nothing.

    nothing.

    So, you wanna blame us all for not shouting loud enough – or for our elected leaders ignoring us and going ahead anyway? What else should we have done? Picketed our military bases? Blockaded our navy? Are you seriously suggesting we didn’t try hard enough to stop this madness? Fuck that noise.

    Besides, the key difference here is this: the protests against Viet Nam, while having an obvious effect on morale and public support for the war, didn’t reach their height until the war was well and truly in full swing. By contrast, the protests against invading Iraq reached their zenith before a shot had been fired or a boat even launched. The governments of the US and its allies knew full well they were entering a conflict that had precious little public support; even at that early stage many people were asking serious questions about the shaky WMD intelligence and animations presented by Colin Powell at the UN (among other things). That brings us to another contrast: the Pentagon Papers which revealed the US invaded Viet Nam on a shaky pretext weren’t revealed until years after the war; the revelations about the US lies about Iraq’s WMD were made public almost as soon as boots hit the ground.

    Now, as to your assertion that we were in fact consulted about invading Iraq: point to me any sort of binding vote or referendum or petition where we were specifically asked by our government “Should we the government send our people to support George Bush’s war?” Do the same for the US. Given public sentiment at that time, it’s almost a certainty that the Australian people would have voted against invading Iraq – thanks to debacles like Gallipoli and Viet Nam, I’m confident that had we been asked we would have said “hell no” to another imperial crusade against a non-threatening nation.

    The fact is that the US unilaterally invaded Iraq – unilaterally not just in the sense that it acted against the wishes of most of the other countries on Earth (and against international law), but also in the sense that it acted against the very clearly expressed wishes of both its own citizens and those of the world at large. The countries that joined Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing” similarly did so against their citizens’ loud and clear wishes.

  104. Ichthyic says

    Ichthyic, this is rank bullshit of the highest fucking order and lowest fucking quality.

    so, you don’t live in a democracy then?

    So, you wanna blame us all for not shouting loud enough

    I’m saying shouting does less than nothing.

    The fact is that the US unilaterally invaded Iraq

    made the initial decision to, but not unilaterally invaded, as you well know.

    but also in the sense that it acted against the very clearly expressed wishes of both its own citizens and those of the world at large

    did it?

    again… W was reelected. what, exactly, do you think that means?

    W, and many members of his eventual team, even expressed clear indications BEFORE he was elected they wanted to invade Iraq. This was not unknown at the time.

    you seem to be under the false impression that your impotent rage against governments that don’t do what you want somehow excuses you in a democracy for being responsible for that government’s actions.

    it does not.

    I still feel responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in the ME, myself.

    Not having succeeded in changing the US from the ground up, I at least chose to no longer support it in any way, with my taxes, my work, or my participation in it at all.

    what have you done to try and deal with the responsibility YOU bear for your own government’s participation in this latest military escapade?

    protests are not meaningless, but they are ineffective in and of themselves. Voting is not meaningless, but it is ineffective in and of itself.

    Will you participate in your government directly to effect change, or will you chastise those like myself who simply point out the truth? That we ARE all responsible for this mess, and screaming your rage to the heavens about it is a cop out.

    Are you seriously suggesting we didn’t try hard enough to stop this madness?

    YES. I am. We failed. There is ONLY one way to change this, and that is to participate in government ourselves. Those who do not want the mantle of responsibility are most likely to have need to take it up.

    We failed. It’s as simple as that.

  105. says

    You make the mistake that you think you are not responsible for the actions of your government. Last I checked, Australia was classified as a democracy.

    personally, I couldn’t take being responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths myself, which is why I left the country that was most responsible for this latest mess in the ME.

    I didn’t vote for the government that sent our people to Iraq. I voted against the bastards before they got in and I protested the way and voted against them until they were replaced. In that sense I know I’m not responsible for the massacre.

    But as I wasn’t able to just leave the country on principle I did what I could, like millions of others, to let the Howard government know I didn’t support a decision that they’d clearly already made and weren’t going to change. Again, do make a suggestion regarding what the fuck else we could have done.

    But anyway, lucky you for having the means/opportunity to switch country on a matter of principle. Unfortunately not all of us had that luxury, so we did and still do try to improve things where we are. Just do us all a favour and check your fucking privilege.

    I’m just about done on this topic as it’s leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

  106. says

    Ichthyic, fuck off with your chastising, your righteousness and your hauteur. I’ve had more reasonable conversations with Iraq war supporters and creationists.

    There is ONLY one way to change this, and that is to participate in government ourselves.

    Or, failing that, fuck off to New Zealand.

    As we say over here: good onya.

    SLOW CLAP.

  107. says

    Or, failing that, fuck off to New Zealand.

    Sorry, that should have read:

    Use your privilege to fuck off to New Zealand and proceed to fucking lecture and denigrate and condescend to everyone else who didn’t effectively effect change on the government from within because they didn’t try hard enough or something – as if everyone has equal means or opportunity or even fucking aptitude to do so.

    Fuck, Ichthyic, why didn’t you stick around and “try harder”? Answer that before you presume to grade others’ efforts (or ask for a fucking c.v.).

    I’m done now. Someone else get stuck in, if you can be arsed.

  108. chrislawson says

    Thanks for the various messages of support.

    Baroncarson @80: The problem isn’t that we have an Australia Day, it’s that we celebrate it on the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, which means from an Aboriginal perspective, the first European invaders. This is especially stupid on a day that is supposed to bring Australians together. The logical choice would be to put it on Federation Day, when our own independent Parliament first opened — but that’s January 1, so it’d be a rather minor footnote attached to a much older and more universal celebration. Personally I think Australia Day should be set to an arbitrary date chosen because it’s a time of year when people could really do with a long weekend.

  109. chrislawson says

    Oh, and jasonbrown@1: I’d like to let you know in case you thought otherwise that I have absolutely no problem with your comment. There’s nothing wrong with being personally discomforted by ANZAC Day, nothing wrong with not attending any services/commemorations, and I share completely with your disgust at the yobbos who turn it into an excuse to get drunk and make racist/nationalistic jokes.

  110. thumper1990 says

    @Ichthyic

    You make the mistake that you think you are not responsible for the actions of your government. Last I checked, Australia was classified as a democracy.

    Ichthyic, this is a profoundly stupid argument. You think every person in a country is responsible for the actions of that countrys Democratically elected leader? In a Democracy a representative is elected, and once they are elected you have no control over them. The people who voted for Tony Blair here in the UK can not be held responsible for the fact he followed the US into Iraq with all the enthusiasm of a two year old chasing a pigeon. Ditto for Australian, Kiwi and American voters with their respective warmongers in whatever period you care to mention. You are being ridiculous.

  111. Rob says

    Hankster @121, 122. I too feel that Ichthyic has got their argument wrong in this case, but can we leave New Zealand out of this? Otherwise you’re just as guilty of lumping and generalizing as Ichthyic.

    Cheers.

  112. Amblebury says

    I’d like to thank and congratulate chrislawson, mildlymagnificent, mikee and others on their skill in presenting the meaning and significance of Anzac Day as it is for many, myself included.
    -

    I went to the dawn parade in the smallish NZ city in which I’m resident. There was nothing remotely jingoistic about it. I happen to be associated this year with a political party, and part of my role within it was to gather stories from members of the significance of Anzac Day for them. One message came through Every. Single.Time. The pain and damage inflicted over generations by returned service personnel not being allowed to talk about their experiences.
    -

    This is why we commemorate Anzac Day. So those silenced voices get to be heard. That the suffering and futility and horror of war, militarism and fascism is revealed.
    -

    If you suggest that that cease because it occasionally gets hijacked by thoughtless fools, then you let the bastards win.