Sunday, April 27, 2008

ANZAC day reflections from abroad

As many of you who know me I am not a big fan of the ANZAC day tradition in Australia. I have always belived that it valorises mass murder in the service of empires or nationslist nation states.

I had almost forgotton it was ANZAC day until I logged into the SMH and read the article titled 'Everyone is just so proud'

Well, having travled throughout Vietnam for 3 weeks and seen the damage caused by our troops all I can say as an Australian citizen I am anything but proud of our counties role in the Vietnam war which devistated this country and its people for 10 years.

Here are just 2 examples.

Denuded mountains on the Hai Van Pass
image by sridgway

The photo above is of the mountain range between Hue and Danang on the Hai Van Pass, notice how there is little jungle coverage, well this is because agent orange contining toxic dioxins was sprayed over the thick jungle by American and Australian soldiers, reeking enormous ecological damage and untold harm to the local population.

Old Shells @ the My Son Ruins
image by sridgway

The photo above is of the Ancient 4th-10 century, world heritage listed My Son relics @ Hoian. Many of these were destroyed by American and Australian bombs during the war.

The people of Vietnam continue to live with the lgacy of our attempted occupaton and people walk down Sydney street with puffed up chests proud.

Reflecting on the Iraq war and our involvement again with american troops it demonstrated just how the ANZAC tradtion serves to justify our invovement in immoral and illegal foriegn occupations rather that act as a catalist to prevent it ever happening again.

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