Stating ‘I dislike ANZAC Day’ does not win me many friends.
I do not attend dawn services and I take little notice of public happenings on that day. It’s a day that I prefer to keep to myself. It saddens me and confuses me. It also makes me angry.
Yes, I know we must be thankful for the sacrifices made by our armed forces, especially in the ‘World Wars’. We must remember the slaughter of the innocent young men sent to a hopelessly inevitable and horrible death on the shores of Gallipoli.
Australia lost many young men and women in the Second World War and what did that achieve? Australia’s involvement in that war ended not by actions of the poor young men ‘going off to war’ to die but by USA obliterating Japanese cities and the inhabitants in one of the most ghastly operations of all times - that still resonates today.
On ANZAC Day people place wreaths, shed tears, read meaningful poems, sing hymns and make stirring speeches. It is a sombre yet celebratory day.
Meanwhile, Australia will spend $200 million between now and 2028 as part of a plan to become the 10th largest arms exporter in the world.
Our country whose people were weeping two days ago in memory of dead soldiers, has recently signed a $410 million deal to supply Remote Weapons Systems* to ‘an overseas customer’.
Two months ago, Australia announced a plan to increase defence sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stating that “the Middle East is a ‘priority market’ for defence exports.” !!
Wars are no longer fought man against man, gun fire against gun fire, from muddy trenches, but by missiles operated from afar; missiles that wipe out towns, whole villages and the people therein. The resultant wreckage of homes and the bloodied bodies of men, woman and children seem now to be almost acceptable.
Lest we forget, indeed.
*RWS are a collection of sensors, cameras and lasers set around a small cannon, heavy machine gun, missile launchers or a combination of all three.