Iraq War Not Good Fodder For Anzac Day

Anzac Day is nearly upon us”again. The RSL, ever reliable for a whinge-bite at this time of year, doesn’t like balloons hogging the limelight, never thinking that the ‘freedoms’ they interminably refer to as the goal of all that fighting we ought to be (and are) so grateful for, might include the freedom to go flying in a balloon whenever you feel like it. Back in your box boys.

That being said, the dawn service might lose a bit of its essential gravitas should a giant silk Shrek land in its midst, though that, the freedom to have US cultural icons emblazoned over every conceivable”corner of the visual landscape, seems to be another goal of all that fighting we ought to be (and are) so grateful for. Perhaps a giant white silk dove would” be better? Hope there’s no tewawists on board.

Speaking of terrorists, does one not think that, since”World War”II,”it’s getting a little harder each war to raise much enthusiasm for memorialising war? Vietnam was a fair dinkum war, no doubt, but unpopular, no? Korea? What was that about again”?And who are we fighting these days? Terrorists supposedly, most of whom are holed up in ungovernable regions of Pakistan or in a flat somewhere near you, and yet our forces are in Iraq? This War on Terror is a baffling business to be sure. If you can call it a war, the way the Australians are fighting it? Round about the time of the Vietnam War, the Australian military seemed to”work out”how to fight in other people’s wars without actually killing many people, nor getting killed much themselves. Correct me if I’m wrong, but”is the number of Australians”killed in anger”in Iraq and Afghanistan hovering around the figure zero”?

I can get a little bit worked up”about the tragedies and”hardships”faced by ordinary fellas in extraordinary times, Gallipoli and the like, when wars followed the ancient tradition, ie. the army with”any men left after”senseless slaughter winning the day.”When”Australians participated in those wars,”it was really bad shit and it was pretty shit for the people who stayed at home too. But in a few decades’ time, how much”tear-jerking power will the Iraq War have?

‘Did you fight in the Iraq War Grandpa?’

‘Yes I did Billy’

‘What did you do in the war Grandpa?’

‘I built a nice school, Billy, and we made a cricket ground and taught all the local kids how to play cricket.’

‘That’s nice Grandpa.’

No, it is the”people of Iraq who will still remember”the invasion and occupation of their country several decades or centuries”hence, should the occupation have even ended by then. It’s as difficult to forget such things, when they happen to you, as it is easy to ignore them when they happen to others. As we do.

But will the Iraq War make it into the pantheon of Australia’s war legend? And if so, perhaps other wars ought to be included? In response to the suggestion that there ought to be a memorial to the Aboriginal ‘wars’, the resistance, such as it was (and it was), to European colonisation,”one Neanderthal”observed that the ‘fact’ that ‘we never had armed conflict with our native population'”negates the argument. While Neanderthal has clearly been tapping the fermented”guava juice (recommended reading Neanderthal ol’ chum), I’m going to go with him/her on this one and up the ante by saying that, unless a few diggers start dropping some time soon, the Iraq War doesn’t make the grade either.

There’s also the fact that, until the ascension of George Bush”to the throne as King of the World, the unprovoked invasion of a sovereign country was a war crime, but we don’t need to go there…

2 Responses to “Iraq War Not Good Fodder For Anzac Day”

  1. Wow, Loadedog after the fact, fails to reach the philosophical depth of Bart Simpson:

    “There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy”

    But as you note we’ve become rather good at fighting wars at a distance without losing lives (one KIA in Afghanistan you missed caused by Howard being too cheap to send helicopters).

    This is a matter for praise not scorn.

  2. Scorn? Have I laid the irony on too thick?