Apr 24, 2012

Anzac Day and why we need to question ‘myths’ of war

So once again we slog up the hill, shouldering the usual baggage for the Anzac wars.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


“Good morning, good morning,” the editor said
When we met him last week to work out the line
Now the bits he commissioned read as half-dead
And we’re cursing his pages for wasting our time
“He’s passionately interested in national identity,” said Harry to Fred
As they called to the bar for another cheap red.
But he did for them both with his Anzac op-ed

— with apologies to Siegfried Sassoon

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

40 thoughts on “Anzac Day and why we need to question ‘myths’ of war

  1. anpl

    It is “Johnnys and Mehmets”, not “Johnnys and Mohammads”.

  2. Holden Back

    and I’d bet it was “a tub-thumping piece”, Jim Marett wrote, not peace.

  3. paddy

    That last para says it better than most.

  4. Boerwar

    I hadn’t heard about the massacres of Arabs by Australian troops and would appreciate a link.

    There may have been a link to massacres of Indigenous people in Australia so I would assume that they were carried out by the small majority of ANZACs who were actually bushies and who would have known about that sort of thing.

    Most of the Australian contribution to ANZAC were city kids.

    I believe the the last Indigenous massacre (Conistan, in 1927) did have a Gallipoli veteran at the heart of it, but am uncertain about that.

  5. Son of foro

    Interesting song I heard recently on Melbourne radio about Anzac Day: http://andrecamilleri.bandcamp.com/track/anzac-day-again

  6. shepherdmarilyn

    Boar, Paul Maley wrote a book about it. Track it down because the massacre was horrendous.

    Even worse though when Maley wrote the book he wrote only about the effect on jews, didn’t interview a single arab descendent of those
    Bedouin’s Äustralian solkiers massacred in 1919.

    After the war ended.

    He also describes in pitiless detail how Australia slaughtered people to get from a – b and the great horse ride itself was a massacre.

    It’s always been a hoax that these soldiers were defending Australia, they were defending Britain.

  7. David Allen

    Counterpoint, on Radio National, recently did a three part series on ‘ANZAC Myths’. You’ll be able to listen to it on line – it started about 4 weeks ago.

  8. Harry Rogers

    I see the point you are trying to make which is made every ANZAC day and I dont disagree however:

    “British reaction to our rough-and-ready boys was really General Allenby’s disgust at an army that looked on the mass killing of Arabs with such insouciance — a habit that was unquestionably a transfer of white attitudes to Aborigines, to a new indigenous population.”

    Wow thats amazing sentiment. I guess you are talking about “the Surafend affair” of a guessed 40 people killed?

    As I understood it this was never clarified as committed by Australians.

    No matter just remember this is a theatre of war and don’t force the illusion that only Australians should feel guilty about murder and mayhem during a long conflict. Its the nature of war.

    Let he who is without sin…..

  9. elpez


  10. elpez

    no war, no Australian ethnos
    to be put beyond question by crtical minds

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details