On the Anzac myth
Michael Kane writes: Re. “Rundle: the Right really do not want to open the Anzac can of worms” (yesterday). In the post-WWI settlement British and French had achieved much of what their secret imperial treaties had sought. They had destroyed the Ottoman Empire, they could carve up the area into client states (with the disastrous consequences we now experience in the 21st century) and they had control of the oil. Of course it hadn’t all being plain sailing. The imperial campaign in Gallipoli had been a disaster, the Ottomans showed a surprising willingness to die on most fronts and the other great empire, Tsarist Russia, was now under Marxist scum, so it didn’t get Constantinople which was of course the whole point of Gallipoli.
Since then, as Guy Rundle observes in his article, the European rewrite of the last hundred years, indeed the last thousand years, has been continuous and nefarious. The six hundred years of the Ottoman suzerainty is dismissed as a sort of backward lot of brown guys running a lot of other brown guys using a pathetic excuse for a religion. The previous eight hundred years in the region are not talked about at all through fear that some of us in the West might realise the full flower of Moorish/ Islamic civilisation: think medicine, astronomy, literature and so on compared to the appalling backwardness of most of Europe.
However it is just possible that the very hype about Gallipoli and more broadly the Great War might mean that more Australians come to understand of what the war was really about and the history of the lands that we constantly send soldiers to kill people, as in this week. What really concerns me is that some in Australia, not the least the Murdoch press, are hell bent into turning Gallipoli into the equivalent of the battle of Kosovo in 1389 which some Serbians fight continuously on battle field or football field to the present day. When Australians start using the word “homeland” we will then know we are up the creek. Though over half a millennium apart, both Kosovo and Gallipoli both of course involved the Ottomans! I thank Crikey for keeping this debate live and in perspective.
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Kirill Reztsov writes: What did Guy Rundle mean when he talked about Australian “attacks on the Islamic State”? Last time I checked it was IS doing the attacking, killing raping and or enslaving Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, Shia, Palestinians, women, gays etc. Does Crikey want to clarify?
On Australia’s mental health services
Elizabeth Truman writes: Re. “Revealed: suppressed government report slams mental health services“. Supply-driven servicing inevitably leads to over-servicing as medical professionals (the good ones and the quacks) strive to maximise their incomes. Those large medical centres are the worst offenders — the resident practitioners refer patients to each other on the least pretext.