Anzac Day 2023

Anzac Day Reflections have been regularly held at Richardson’s Lookout – Marrickville Peace Park since 2014.

These events, organised by Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign and the Marrickville Peace Group, have offered participants the opportunity to ask some hard questions, such as how our nation became involved in wars abroad, what purposes were actually being served, and what mistakes were made in prolonging hostilities, especially in relation to WW1.

This local tradition was broken in April 2020 due to COVID-19 and the restrictions imposed on public events to combat the spread of the virus.

Unfortunately, despite the popularity of the event, no Anzac Day Reflection was held this year due to Marrickville Peace Group’s resources being wholely devoted to organising the highly successful ‘War or Peace?’ forum in the Marrickville Town Hall just a few weeks prior to Anzac Day.

Nevertheless, many of the themes discussed at the ‘War or Peace?’ forum were similar to those highlighted at Anzac Day Reflections.

For example, current foreign and defence policies, rather than increasing Australia’s security, are actively undermining it.  Both the former Morrison government and the current Albanese government, have tied Australia ever more closely to the US administration’s foreign policy objectives and its massively funded military establishment.1

The AUKUS security pact, as well as the purchase of nuclear powered submarines through this pact, are directly linked to the US strategy of encircling China.2

Australia’s current subordination to US interests is replicating Australia’s subservience to British interests prior to and during WW1.3

As in the past, Australia’s current security is being compromised. The US policy of arming ‘sentinel states’ like Australia in the Indo-Pacific region as part of its China encirclement strategy, may well lead to conflict and ultimately war with China. Such an eventuality would be catastrophic for Australia and the world.4

Coinciding with this year’s Anzac Day commemorations, journalist Paul Daley warned about politicians glossing over war’s evils to justify further military adventurism. Use of such demeaning terms as ‘the fallen’ when speaking of the war dead belies the horror of combat. To quote the Vietnam veteran Jim Robertson, ‘the fallen’ were “drowned, burned, shot, gassed and eviscerated to lie face down in mud or sand or at the bottom of the ocean”.5

Paul Daley concludes his article by encouraging people to “ignore politicians and sports-casters and their hyperbole. Don’t get lost in their words when considering war’s evil. And especially beware politicians invoking Anzac to justify further adventurism, military purchases and strategic decisions like Aukus.”6

Notes

1. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPRI), the US spends more on defence than the next 10 countries combined.
2. MPG’s post ‘AUKUS and the encirclement of China’, Feb 26, 2023.
3. Douglas Newton’s ‘Like Mary’s lamb in Imperial Wars-how history rhymes’, Pearls & Irritations, Nov 22, 2022.
4. Michael T. Klare, ‘Welcome to the New Cold War’The Nation, January 14, 2022 and MPG’s post ‘Webinar – Resisting AUKUS and War on China – Video & Transcript’, Feb 17, 2022.
5. Paul Daley, ‘This Anzac Day, beware politicians glossing over war’s evils to justify further military adventurism’, The Guardian, Apr 25, 2023.
6. Ibid.

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