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Lest We Forget… The Truth

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Contributor:
Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor
Pic: Striatic

Yep, ANZAC day is rearing it's bullet wounded face again this year and yet again little kids will line the streets wearing their grandfather's medals with an unjustifiable air of pride and honour.

If only those little kids knew an unbiased truth about the Word War I 'heroes'. Well kiddies, you better strap yourselves in for a lesson in truth, the sort of truth you're not taught in school, or on TV.

The ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) were a bunch of kids, not much older than yourselves, who were sent off to fight in World War I in 1914/1915. Why? Well, that's the first main question considering neither nation had any reason to travel such a long way to fight a war that wasn't theirs. The ANZACs were kinda like that little kid in your neighbourhood who is really young and thinks he knows more than everyone else so he always plays challenges games against the older kids, loses, then runs off crying home to mummy. Mummy then tells him time and time again he's a hero, even though he lost.

Basically, the ANZACs went out to flex some muscle. Both New Zealand and Australia were young British Empire nations who had to stamp their mark upon the world because if they didn't do it then, then they'd be laughed at today more than they are now. It was a futile effort, the ANZACs headed to the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey to make a path for their allies, Britian, France and Russia fighting against Germany, the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary, to capture the Turkish capital, Istanbul (then Constantinople). 

The 2500 odd Kiwis and 8500 odd Aussies who died in World War I were volunteers, bogans and ferals who were sick of shooting sheep, rabbits and kangaroos. After a dash of research it became obvious that the Aussie troops were a tad more bogan than the Kiwis (couldn't find anything bad about them chaps). Professor Manning Clarke had a lot to say in his A History Of Australia about the young recruits in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows, who held sex orgies with 18 year old girls. The young soldiers, while in Egypt (their home before heading to Gallipoli), spent time burning the belongings of the locals, spent time rioting - in a country not their own, mind you - and spending a lot of time in local brothels. These are the very same diggers every blind patriot honours ever year! Hell, if I got honoured once a year for my exploits then I'd have a million people supporting me and my own lewd behaviour.

Gen Y knows full well that war doesn't pay. And to the people who claim “the diggers are the ones we must thank for your great lives today” and “they gave their lives for us” think again. Their landing at Gallipoli Cove was a logistical mistake made by the British warlords at the time, and who would have thought such a mistake would have such significance ninety odd years later. ANZAC day has gone on to hold meaning for those killed in World War II as well, and quite frankly, it has nowhere near an impact as the loss of the original fools who signed up for World War I. Think about this, how many docos have you seen recently that depict redneck Yank soldiers yabbering on about how much they think the war in Iraq was a good idea and how glad they are to serve their country? Hundreds! Sure, hyperbole isn't becoming, but we all know it's a lot. Take all of the technology we have today and zip it back in time to 1914ish and interview the Kiwi and Aussie redneck soldiers before they jump off the boat to shoot some 'Arabs' or 'Krauts' or whatever, and you'll get quotes like this: “Me Ma told me here to go shoot them Coons coz we gotsta save some Ruskis coz they is runnin outta polar bears to make them them vodkis” or you'll get “Yeeeh. I like shootin', that's why I'm 'ere, to shoot me some better game than them fackin' roos n shit… Hey! Corpral! Can I take a Kraut's head home with mi to stick on mi mantle for mi Ma? She'd luv that fackin' thing.” 

Oh, and the most important fact about the ANZAC tradition is that they lost. The invasion turned out to be a stalemate and thousands lost their lives. This has been the only time anyone ever has celebrated a loss. You don't see sporting teams celebrating a loss, you don't see Daniel Vettori come out and say “Yeah, mate, we lost that game against Pakistan good and proper, we weren't prepared at all, we had no game plan and our batting and bowling was extremely dull. But hey, we deserve a march in honour of our efforts.”

And you want to pay respect to the people? These old men, who, if they were driving in front of you, you would be on the horn yelling abuse at because they are driving too slow. It's only when they have medals strapped to their flimsy chests as they walk down the street once a year does anyone show any form of respect, which in my opinion, is too much. Here's an idea, get a horn for your belt so you can tell them to hurry up off the road while you stroll behind them as they march down the street this Saturday April 25.
 

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