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Lest we forget.

"I think Aubrey Herbert's charge against him [British General Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli] is the most serious of all namely the wickedness of always leaving thousands of our wounded to perish in front of the lines after these attacks have failed instead of arranging for an armistice for their burial. The Turks have always proved themselves perfectly willing to have armistices and have actually asked for one at Helles which was refused by our General Staff.

Surely every other consideration should be sacrificed to trying to save the unfortunate wounded who must otherwise perish miserably between the lines. But the Generals are never there to see these things. They live comfortably at Imbros and have their dinners and their baths and apparently it never interferes with their night's rest the knowledge that hundreds of their fellow men are lying mutilated and unattended only a few yards away from our front lines crying for water suffering the agonies of the damned and knowing that their fate is a long low lingering death from suppurating wounds or from thirst and starvation. Their fate is awful to contemplate. Men are butchered to make a G.C.B. or a K.C.M.G. These cursed letters after their names are apparently all our leaders think about. It is appalling that the destinies of Empires should be entrusted to such small and petty and inhuman minds."
- Excerpt from the diary of Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, War Correspondent at Gallipoli (24 July 1915)

To me this passage sums up the true meaning of ANZAC Day, remembering the pointless sacrifice of lives and potential at the hands of second-rate leaders who saw nothing in this nation beyond what they could exploit to their own advantage.
It is right and proper that we should remember all those who died in war, but we do them no justice by perpetuating myths about this nation coming of age through the strategic blunder of Gallipoli, or the concept of mateship being forged on the battlefield, whatever that is suppose to mean.

The Gallipoli campaign, and the subsequent slaughter of Australian soldiers at Fromelles, Bullecourt, Messines, Ypres, the Somme and Amiens, taught us that those who invoke us to fight wars on their behalf never have our interests at heart.

It's a lesson that has been drowned out by the self serving drivel of weak politicians, mercenary journalists, soulless advertising executives, and the army of bigots who enable them. Until Australians have the courage and confidence to stand up and say to these people "fuck you and your false patriotism" it's a lesson we will never truly learn.

While today's second-rate leaders preach to us about our duty to honour those who fell at Gallipoli, our presumptuous prime minister commits more soldiers to Iraq to fight and die in yet another war for someone else's king and someone else's country.

Lest we forget.

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