[Anzac – the hiss of a spent lie was broadcast on PShift (4zzz fm 102.1 fridays at noon) on 25 april 2014]
Tunnelling through the night, the trains pass in a splendour of power, with a sound like thunder shaking the orchards, waking the young from a dream, scattering like glass the old men's sleep; laying a black trail over the still bloom of the orchards. The trains go north with guns. -- Judith Wright
What had to be done?
During an Anzac day (2014) broadcast from the War memorial in Canberra I heard a Victoria Cross medal winner say that ‘we did what had to be done‘.
Well this show is a challenge to that statement, specifically that Australia’s participation in the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were unnecessary, they were not what had to be done, they were its very opposite.
Towards Peace – a workers journey
That Anzac Day is a celebration disturbs me a great deal even though I still march with my battalion, the 2/15th 9th Division. I take part with deep feeling for all those who fell, yet still I know that this day marks what was in reality an invasion of Turkey. I am concerned that while such a day remains on our calendar it will continue to be used by people and organisations with vested interests in war.
I would mention the example of Norman Harvey, the biographer of the 1/9th Battalion, a Queensland battalion of world war I. Harvey states that:
‘The landing at Gallipoli although a small portion of the territory originally aimed at was seized, was a wonderful success, if we consider the results actually achieved’
Later in the book Harvey cites one of these wonderfully successful results. At Gallipoli the 9th Battalion had a 94 percent casualty rate due to death, wounds or sickness.
In even wider historical terms, Gallipoli represented a victory by an Islamic nation, Turkey, over a major western power, Britain. During my own experiences in the Middle East in the second world war, I saw the mishandling of western diplomatic relations with Arabs, the rotten fruit of which today poses the greatest threat to world peace. The recent US/Iraq conflict is an example of this.
The cold statistics of Australia’s involvement in world war I hold little comfort:
Served overseas 331,781
Died in action 59,342
The 50% casualty rate for Australia was attributed by many soldiers to British strategy in the deployment of colonials. As they went into action on the Western Front in 1917–18, Australian troops would baa–baa like sheep to demonstrate their feelings about the way they were used as cannon fodder.” — Reading from Towards Peace – a workers journey by phil o’brien and bernie dowling.
Broadcast of Towards an Independent and Peaceful Australia IPAN Conference in Canberra on Tuesday 22nd April 2014, part of the Canberra Peace Convergence.
sue wareham –> Iraq War US alliance and Nuclear weapons
dennis stephens from honest history —> Downsizing Anzac
neil young –> ohio
–> four strong winds
Crosby, Stills Nash –> The Cost of Freedom
judith wright –> The Trains
richard tipping –> Mangoes
“They say wars are fought for freedom and liberations for all people who call their country home. No black person that fought for this country got a fare (sic) go most of our men and women came back here after fighting a war to end another country’s dictatorship enslavement of the people and walked back in to what they fought against FUCK ANZAC DAY till we get recognition of Dundalli, Pemulwuy, Yagan, and Jandamarra the Gamilaraay 500, the 1972 aboriginal tent embassy and our other proud county men and women who put their life’s on the line for us to be hear today they OUR Hero’s freedom fighters Liberators warriors of our clans and nations. fighting a war that has been going on for well over 200 years”
As i walked down into the city after the radio show the street were now almost empty. The occasional old men with medals dripping from their lapels walked by. Children gaily walked to the bus with their mothers. The truck came to pick up the grandstand and the speaking equipment from the square. Only the flame remained with the wreaths lain on cold stone to remember the dead.
25 April, 2014
Thnx to Andy from PShift for the reports from the IPAN conference – not all of which could be broadcast today.
You can listen to the full program here –>Anzac – the hiss of a spent lie
Not broadcast was Michael McKinley on drones –>
All readings were from Towards Peace – a workers journey by phil o’brien and bernie dowling
Thnx to natasha from the 4ZZZ news room for her reading from Towards Peace – a workers journey.
The title is a reference to a dylan thomas poem I have longed to move away
I have longed to move away From the hissing of the spent lie And the old terror’s continual cry Growing more terrible as the day Goes over the hill and into the deep sea; I have longed to move away From the repetition of salutes, For there are ghosts in the air And ghostly echoes on paper, And the thunder of calls and notes -- Dylan Thomas I Have Longed to Move Away