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Disturbing

There is nothing more disturbing than to see young Australians parrot the myths surrounding World War One that have been promoted over the past century, "The History Sleuths" (Sunday Age 30/3). It broke my heart to read one of the Goondiwindi students involved in the project thought "we are really lucky that they went over and fought for us at an age that is only three or four years older than us".

From a population of just five million, over 300,000 young Australians volunteered to fight in The Great War. Of those who volunteered, 62,000 died on the European killing fields and another 60,000 died of war related injuries within ten years of returning home. World War One was a dirty little trade war fought by workers at either end of a bayonet. Over 120,000 young Australian men died needlessly in the most grotesque manner for the glory of God, King and Country not for freedom, democracy or our defence.

If it wasn't for the courage and tenacity of Australians in the peace movement, the women's movement, significant sections of the trade union movement, the Catholic Church and the Industrial Workers of the World who fought tooth and nail to defeat conscription referendums in December 1916 and October 1917, it's no exaggeration to say another 100,000 Australians would have been sacrificed on Mammon's alter.

It does young Australians in 2014 no favour to recycle myths that are designed to satisfy the short term political objectives of forces within Australian society who use nationalism and militarism to promote their economic interests.

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