The bloody legacy of World War I

Michael Kane writes: Re. “Rundle: Advance of militants in Iraq means the end of the West as we know it” (Thursday). Once again Guy Rundle is spot on about the Great War and the modern “Middle East”.  As part of the British imperial forces Australians sacrificed themselves at Gallipoli in the interests of tsarist Russia and, more importantly, the war aims of Great Britain and France. The fervent desire of the British and French to carve up  the Ottoman empire between them and gain the oil was realised the post-Versailles settlement. Now, nearly  a century on, the result of the Sykes-Picot  treaty and the Balfour declaration is a number of failed “Arab” states, a beleaguered Israel, an explosive Iran and a revivalist Turkey.

The fact that more recently the shoddy imperialism of the Soviet Union (Russia) and the United States has contributed to fault lines extending from north Africa to Pakistan and set the Muslim world ablaze should not blind us to the history of 1914-18 and its aftermath. Our kids and grandkids need to know this as we commemorate the centenary of that bloody conflict that solved so little and did so much harm.

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Ken Lambert writes: We should send that most culpable of warriors, Colin Powell, back in to sort out Iraq — after all, he knew the consequences better than his simpleton boss “Dubya”. The famous Powell doctrines distilled into one phrase: “You break it, you own it.”

Dubya is still working on understanding that apt phrase.

Powell could cut a sort of Macarthur figure, firstly as military governor of Iraq supported by 500,000 good ole boys in uniform to assert ownership of a broken country. Then he could spend his retirement trying to unbreak it.

Tony and Cherie Blair could take over foreign affairs, and John Howard could try teaching the Iraqis cricket — surely the best way to civilise and harmonise the religious zealotry and tribal animosities.

Not so unprecedented 

Joe Roach writes: Re. “The astonishing rise of Tim Carmody, Newman’s favourite judge” (Friday). Your introduction to the story on the elevation of Tim Carmody states:

“Carmody’ s rise is unprecedented in modern times in any jurisdiction in Australia.”

This is not correct.

Guy Green was a magistrate in Tasmania 1971 to 1973, and was then elevated to Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. As Sir Guy Green he served as Chief Justice until 1995, and was subsequently state governor and then for a brief period Administrator of the Commonwealth.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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