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The Forum > Article Comments > Paul Keating's ambivalence about Australia's war story > Comments

Paul Keating's ambivalence about Australia's war story : Comments

By David Stephens, published 29/11/2013

While Keating's speech in 1993 was appropriate to the occasion the interment of only the second Australian soldier from the Great War to return home the 2013 speech is in some ways of a different stamp.

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...And of course the even more stark reality, that of the total power and influence of propaganda, and the double-speak of the all-powerful political class.
Posted by diver dan, Friday, 29 November 2013 8:48:55 AM
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All "official" histories (not just in Australia) are of course written by the winning sides. The sides that won the particular battle(s) in humankinds never-ending march of folly.
They are a combination of on the ground factual events, lies about the origins and consequences of those events, fantasies and jingoism.
Furthermore Western civilization as a whole was founded on religious lies, poltitical exploitation, and manipulative propaganda of all kinds.

Yes it is about time there was some honest history both here in Australia, and all over the world too.
In the case of Australia in recent times there has been enormous public resources committed into telling the "official" version of the Anzac myth/legend. A project that was put in place by the lying rodent and done largely via the Department of Veteran's Affairs.
What has financing and promoting "official" jingoistic versions of Australian military history (largely for schools) got to do with assisting with the very real and well earned/deserved needs of ex-servicemen and women?
Meanwhile in the context of "official" USA history I quite like this truth-telling site http://www.historyisaweapon.com
Howard Zinn of course served in the air-force during WWII, unlike all of the war-drum-thumping chicken hawks that gave us the never ending Orwellian "war on terror" as an already pre-planned response to Sept 11.
Posted by Daffy Duck, Friday, 29 November 2013 10:35:43 AM
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i agree with cheating keating

war is cccc-rap..ego based murder
good excuse..to rape pillage loot and plunder

one govt killing
the other govts youth problems

bankers FINANCED..EVERY WAR*
think about it..all that murder..to destroy
thats not productive..but it is capitalist..corporations/making profit for other shareholding corporations[no cooperation survive any war

ditto spying..thats about stealing patent
stealing factories..position/position..imposition

war booty=proceeds of crime
that has no statute limitations

teason..under times of war..is things
like bankers..bankrupting..the govt bank..top steal the mint the fed and the govt banks

[then loot their pensions
loot their..public services..corrupt govt..etc..

then bailouts/bail-ins..more wars
yep paul is spot on..[the latest time]

so was john lennon

think..who your fighting for..what f/u king..nor god
the land/cuntry..cant be taken..no where..[justice as well]

war is hell.
Posted by one under god, Friday, 29 November 2013 12:30:46 PM
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Interesting article, but:

I'm concerned about its concentration on What did WWI mean? and how the article seems totally-intellectually disconnected from the many Australian families wrecked by the deaths of their soldier fathers-sons-brothers or the wreckage following the return of the many more mentally and physically maimed.

In this way 100,000s of people around Australia suffered from the war. Such people might not give a stuff about symbolism, meaning or war memorials.

Who knows? The thoughts of these 100,000s never got reported and died in history.

Just official lines by ex-PMs and other ex-politicians - like Brendan Nelson - remain.

May the extravaganza of meaning industry bignote - next year, and big one 2015, out to 2018.

How about remembering the 10,000 Australian who died in the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919? or is that not officially funded history?
http://www.health.gov.au/internet/panflu/publishing.nsf/Content/history-1
Posted by plantagenet, Friday, 29 November 2013 1:01:49 PM
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Further to http://www.health.gov.au/internet/panflu/publishing.nsf/Content/history-1#1918 why isn't the following remembered with memorials and national days?:

"The Spanish flu swept across the world in three waves between 1918 and 1919

...More people died during the pandemic than were killed in the First World War."

Where does that leave politicians, official memories and purse-strings?
Posted by plantagenet, Friday, 29 November 2013 1:35:21 PM
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'What the Anzac legend did do, by the bravery and sacrifice of our troops, was reinforce our own cultural notions of independence, mateship and ingenuity.'

So did the WWI anti-war/anti-conscription movement, whose bravery and sacrifice prevented tens of thousands more Australian deaths on the killing fields of Europe, yet were hounded, persecuted, deported, jailed and by some accounts tortured for their efforts.

So did the labour movement, whose bravery and sacrifice brought us some of the most progressive and advanced working and social-welfare conditions in the world at that time, and were also hounded, persecuted, deported, jailed and by some accounts tortured for their efforts.

But the former has been officially disappeared from our history and the latter doesn't even have its own national day to commemorate itself and almost all of its achievements are now in their death throes.

But our military past relentlessly renews itself with ever-increasing taxpayer budgets devoted to ever-increasing, mawkish propandanda-fests devoted to its own self-glorification.

The main reason we don't learn from history is because we don't tell the truth about it.
Posted by Killarney, Friday, 29 November 2013 6:16:47 PM
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