Lest we forget

Gideon Polya, “Lest we forget – Australia IGNORES genocide & betrayal ”, MWC News, 25 April 2006.

Lest we forget – Australia IGNORES genocide & betrayal

25 APRIL in Australia and New Zealand is ANZAC Day – it is Australia’s most solemn annual commemoration of its 0.1 million war dead from over the last century. At dawn on 25 April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) stormed ashore at Gallipoli, Turkey, as part of the Anglo-French Dardanelles Campaign to capture Istanbul. 24 APRIL is Armenian Genocide Day, commemorating the start of the Armenian Genocide the day before the Allied landings in 1915.

The Anzac Tradition is one of “mateship” in adversity, courage and loyalty. ANZAC Day commences with Dawn Services of Returned Soldiers, their relatives and other citizens at Cenotaphs in every city and town around the country. This is followed by marches of Returned Soldiers through the cities on the morning of ANZAC Day and thence by reunions and other events.

The key message of Anzac Day in Australia is “Lest we forget” those who died for Australia in past conflicts. Many Returned Soldiers also use this occasion to tell Australians of the horror and futility of war. ANZAC Day has been particularly poignant this year because several days ago Australia suffered its first military casualty of the Iraq War, a young soldier who tragically shot himself accidentally while cleaning his weapon.

The moving Ode from “For the Fallen” by the English poet Laurence Binyon has been used in commemoration services in Australia since 1921 (see: here ):

“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 Ode is read at ANZAC Day services and also read out before the start of commemorative sporting events, notably the annual ANZAC Day clash between the great Melbourne “Australian Rules” football teams Collingwood (the black and white striped “Magpies”) and Essendon ( the red and black “Bombers”). The critical mantra uttered at the conclusion of such ceremonies is “Lest we forget”.

Unfortunately Australia in other respects has an astonishing culture of determined “forgetting” and “looking the other way” when it comes to anything remotely pejorative to the national image. The Mainstream Media and politicians have an appalling record of sustained “lying by omission” and “Lest we forget” is deliberately FORGOTTEN in relation to many important life-and-death matters as briefly outlined below.

In the century following the British invasion in 1788 the indigenous population dropped from about 1 million to 0.1 million through violence, dispossession and disease (a similar devastation followed in the Pacific Islands and New Zealand); the last massacres of Aborigines occurred in the 1920s; and most of the 20th century saw a genocidal policy involving removal of tens of thousands of aboriginal children from their mothers (the Stolen Generations). The present Prime Minister of Australia steadfastly refuses to say “sorry” and there is a resurgent body of right-wing White Ausrtalian DENIAL of the aboriginal genocide (see MWC News ).

24 April 1915, the day BEFORE the ANZAC landing, marked the beginning of the Armenian Genocide that was precipitated by Turkish xenophobia, the Anglo-French push in the Dardanelles and Russian advances in the East. 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a genocide that is still DENIED by Turkey today. It is effectively an offence to admit the Armenian Genocide in Turkey – whereas to DENY the Armenian Genocide is illegal in Belgium. Mention of the Armenian Genocide is scrupulously AVOIDED on ANZAC Day and few Australians know about it – this perhaps explaining why in 2006 the descendants of World War 1 Turkish soldiers were invited to participate in ANZAC Day marches in Australia (it is unthinkable that such an honour would be accorded to descendants of members of the Nazi German SS or Wehrmacht). The Armenian Genocide is IGNORED.

Australians had a long pre-war record of participation in British wars in Africa (South Africa and the Sudan) and Asia (China) as well as in World War 1 and World War 2. Post-war, Australia was involved in all UK and/or US Asian wars including Korea, the Malaya Emergency, Confrontation with Indonesia, the Indo-China War, the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War. Australian casualties have totalled about 0.1 million from these 19th, 20th and 21st century wars – however largely civilian casualties from the post-1950 Asian Wars have totalled 18 million (so far), a reality utterly IGNORED by lying, racist Australian Mainstream Media (see MWC News ).

The elevated avoidable mortality of indigenous Australians continues, with Aboriginal male and female life expectancies being about 20 years less than for White Australians. The annual death rate of Australian aborigines is 2.2% (2.4% in the Northern Territory) and the annual avoidable death rate 1.7% - as compared to the annual death rate for SHEEP on Australian sheep farms of about 2.5%. White Australia is still treating its aboriginal people like animals – and in practice IGNORING the continuing disaster (see MWC New ).

Just as the invasion of Australia over 2 centuries ago was about “acquiring resources” and “protecting newly acquired resources” (in India), the Anglo-American invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan are also about resources (oil). The post-invasion excess mortality (avoidable mortality) is now about 0.5 million (Occupied Iraq) and 1.8 million (Occupied Afghanistan); the post-invasion under-5 infant mortality totals 0.4 million (Occupied Iraq) and 1.4 million (Occupied Afghanistan) (see MWC News). The post-1990 avoidable mortality and under-5 infant mortality in Iraq now total 2.2 million and 1.6 million, respectively, due to Coalition-imposed Sanctions, war and occupation (see MWC News ). These horrendous figures are UTTERLY IGNORED by Australian Mainstream Media.

Post-invasion avoidable deaths due to the Coalition now total 2.7 million, comprising 0.5 million (Occupied Iraq), 1.8 million (Occupied Afghanistan) and 0.4 million (post-2001 opioid drug-related deaths due to Coalition restoration of the Taliban-destroyed Afghan opium industry) and the cost to the US is estimated at US$1-2 trillion (see: here). The economic cost to Australia is perhaps about US$1 billion but the human cost has been about 1,200 post-2001 Australian opioid drug-related deaths due to Coalition restoration of the Afghan opium industry –UNREPORTED, of course, by Mainstream Media.

FINALLY, while the “ANZAC Spirit” is about loyalty and “mateship”, Australia has BETRAYED its Coalition Allies by funding the Iraqi insurgency in what has been described as the “wheat for weapons” corrupt kickback scam of the Australian Wheat Board. IN SHORT, the Australian Wheat Board (a company with complete monopoly over Australian wheat sales) paid about US$225 MILLION in kickbacks (bribes) to Saddam Hussein, diverting this huge amount of money from the UN Oil-for-Food Program – and all while the Australian Government and Australian officials “looked the other way”. According to Opposition Leader Kim Beazley (a great and loyal friend of America): "I'm embarrassed as an Australian by what has happened here. We have funded the Iraqi insurgency. And that has so far killed or maimed two divisions worth of American soldiers and countless thousands of Iraqis”.

This Australian BETRAYAL of American, British, Australian and indeed other Coalition soldiers HAS been reported (e.g. see: here and here ). However what has NOT been reported by Mainstream Media has been the HUMAN COST to IRAQIS of this corrupt diversion, specifically 21,000 Iraqi infant lives as reported by Senator Rachel Siewert (Hansard, Senate, Wednesday 1 March 2006, pp30-31; see here , here and MWC News ).

Lest we forget.

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.