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Let’s remember those politicians who’ve sent our children to die unnecessarily and those who opposed wars

24/08/2014

This is my reply to the ANZAC Centenary Planning Meeting: Uncovering the truth of past Australian historical myths and exploring how they influence our national life today and bringing all this into the public realm.

It’s time that we revise how we celebrate ANZAC, if at all.

Lets begin
In November 2011 the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes tribunal purportedly exercised universal jurisdiction to try in absentia former US President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, convicting both for crimes against peace because of what the tribunal concluded was the unlawful invasion of Iraq.

In May 2012 after hearing testimony for a week from victims of torture at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes tribunal unanimously convicted in absentia former President Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Deputy Assistant Attorneys General John Yoo and Jay Bybee, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and former counsellors David Addington and William Haynes II of conspiracy to commit war crimes, specifically torture. The tribunal referred their findings to the chief prosecutor at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

In November 2013, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes tribunal convicted State of Israel guilty of genocide of the Palestinian people and convicted former Israeli general Amos Yaron for crimes against humanity and genocide for his involvement in the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

These men’s character, convicted by the tribunal, are described by H.L. Mencken as,

… intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

And by Tolstoy as,

The apex of the cone is seized by those who are more cunning, audacious, and unscrupulous than the rest, or by someone who happens to be the heir of those who were audacious and unscrupulous.

There are politicians who were bought by corporations or didn’t have the guts to stand up and say

This is a bad war. This is a bad idea. I’m not convinced.

There are too many spineless politicians. And, too many of our children are dead because of them. Unfortunately too many people keep voting for them. Let’s remember the people who contributed to the unnecessary deaths of our soldiers.

Yes, we should remember the members of the military who have died. But let’s start asking why did they die. We have to start saying there are wrongheaded and cowardly politicians who just go along with the throng. There are corporations which spend millions buying the votes of politicians. There are religious leaders who lead their flocks to vote for corporate-bought politicians. Let’s remember and shame those who unnecessarily lead our children to shedding their blood at home and abroad.

Let’s also remember the politicians who lost elections because they stood up for peace, who stood up against foolish and illegal wars. And let’s remember the millions who went out on the streets to march against the Iraq war and those who stand on street corners once a week or once a month, opposing war. Thanks Quakers, and Veterans Against War, and countless others. Let’s celebrate courage. But not only the courage of soldiers who died waging war.

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