The ANZAC tradition gone west

I have been following Mark Steyn’s writings since the days when his only book was about American musicals and his only columns were movie reviews in the English Spectator. From such a background who would have expected him to become the finest and clearest writer on foreign policy issues in the world, which from a Western point of view means he writes the most depressing analysis of what’s going on to found found anywhere. Today’s post, befitting Anzac Day, is All Quiescent on the Western Front which dwells on the downfall of Western civilisation led by – well not really “led by”, more like hastened by – the election of the most incompetent fool ever to lead a Western nation. Still, having said all those nice things about Mr. Steyn, I am merely going to repeat something he had picked up from someone else, in an article by John Hulsman with the title, It’s time to read the writing on the wall: Why the West no longer exists. This is the bit quoted by Steyn:

The greatest global political risk can’t be found in Kiev, eastern Ukraine or any of the other hotspots that get the media so excited. It lies in the perception of Western weakness among those countries that find themselves dissatisfied with the current global establishment. For them, the enfeebled state of the West, as laid bare in Ukraine, means the possibility of expansion…

As seen from Moscow, Beijing, Pyongyang, Damascus and Tehran, this is the inspiring, hopeful narrative of Western decline. These countries know they must be careful not to miscalculate, not to press too hard as the lessons of this calamity for the West slowly dawn. But in the medium term, it looks like Iran’s nuclear programme is safe, that Assad can soon pop the corks in Damascus, that for North Korea, torturing Seoul at the edges looks like a no brainer, and as for China, well, the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands await. With time, and after Putin’s groundbreaking efforts, the way history is moving couldn’t be clearer. The West simply doesn’t exist anymore.

Wars do matter. Defending yourself makes a difference. As we head out to ANZAC Cove, it’s worth recalling the fateful consequences of how a single battle in 1453 changed everything about the world ever since. In looking at the current American president, I am reminded of his predecessor who in 1984 pointed out that “history teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” Obama not only makes aggression appear cheap, he makes it look to others as if there are virtually no costs at all.

FURTHER THOUGHTS: The ANZAC tradition is, of course, still pretty good in Australia. But there is also plenty of this, picked up at Andrew Bolt:

Tasmania’s Governor has used his Anzac Day speech to urge Australia to spend less time paying homage to the Anzac legend and more time examining the causes of war and Australia’s involvement in conflicts.

Peter Underwood spoke about the cost of conflict while addressing the crowd at Hobart cenotaph.

“We should spend less time studying Simpson’s donkey and more time looking at why we were fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for so long,” he said.

Andrew thinks he should be sacked, and perhaps he should, but as I say, there’s plenty of that around. And when it comes to the American president, there’s this on a posting called, Obama’s Staggering Record of Failure:

It’s not simply that Mr. Obama has fallen short of what he promised; it’s that he has been, in so many respects, a failure. Choose your metrics. Better yet, choose Mr. Obama’s metrics: Job creation. Economic growth. Improving our health-care system. Reducing the debt. Reducing poverty. Reducing income inequality. Slowing the rise of the oceans. Healing the planet. Repairing the world. The Russian “reset.” Peace in the Middle East. Red lines in Syria. Renewed focus on Afghanistan. A new beginning with the Arab world. Better relations with our allies. Depolarizing our politics. Putting an end to the type of politics that “breeds division and conflict and cynicism.” Working with the other party. Transparency. No lobbyists working in his administration. His commitment to seek public financing in the general election. The list goes on and on.

And the list does indeed go on. That he is a profound failure on every parameter that matters is not in question. The only issue is whether it is high incompetence or deliberate.

And with the headline at Drudge today, we really do see where we are now at, UKRAINE OFFICIAL SAYS HE FEARS RUSSIAN INVASION:

Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister said Friday he fears an imminent Russian invasion.

“We have the information we are in danger,” Danylo Lubkivsky told reporters at the United Nations.

He spoke as an official in Ukraine confirmed that pro-Russian forces had detained a team of military observers with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The official said the team would be released after further investigation.

So which camp are you in? It will never happen, or it doesn’t matter? Because if it does happen it will matter a very great deal. And just to add to the mix, there is this, With Ukraine in turmoil, Hagel can’t get Russian counterpart to take his calls.

This entry was posted in Cultural Issues, History, International. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to The ANZAC tradition gone west

  1. Rabz

    As nation states decline, tribes will arise in their absence.

  2. Grigory M

    Steve – if you are so bothered about the USA and Obama then perhaps you should return there and try to effect change from within. Your post IMO has nothing to do with the ANZAC tradition – I doubt that you even understand what that is.

  3. David

    GM I also had some difficulty in relating what is written by Mr Kates to the traditions of the Armed Forces of Australia. A tradition established in conflicts over 100 plus years and not just at ANZAC Cove.

    What Barry O’Barmy has to do with our traditions other than make the acquisition of 70 plus front line fighters appear a wise move as we sure as hell can’t rely on “Red Line” Barry to assist us in time of necessity.

  4. For those who aren’t making the links:

    1) Anzac Cove is in Turkey, the country at the heart of the Ottoman Empire with which the key battle was fought in 1453 in Constantinople. The Muslims won, and centuries of Christian civilisation collapsed. It is considered by some historians to be the real end of the Roman Empire (I don’t buy this, based on the ‘grandfather’s axe’ principle, but others do.)

    In terms of huge historical shifts versus Islam, me, I like 1529 and Vienna better, or 1571 and Lepanto. But to each his own.

    2) Steve Kates’ last post but one was this: http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/04/24/why-is-none-of-this-on-the-front-page/, which bruits the same worrying set of global tinderboxes.

  5. Grigory M

    For those who aren’t making the links:

    Huh?

  6. siltstone

    well and clearly put, Philippa M

  7. Grigory M

    well and clearly put, Philippa M

    Yes, yes – Philippa does put her word together nicely and with a degree of clarity. But – 1453 Constantinople, 1529 Vienna, and 1571 Lepanto, have not even the vaguest connection with the WWI battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula or the ANZAC tradition the emanated from it. Likewise for Steve’s offhanded, and as far as I am concerned, inappropriate attempt to associate that tradition with his view of Obama and the current actions/inactions of the USA on the world stage.

  8. C.L.

    Your post IMO has nothing to do with the ANZAC tradition – I doubt that you even understand what that is.

    Well, I don’t understand what it is either.

    Except to say that the ANZACS hated the regular professional army and its ceremonies.

    Which is strange because every mechanic in the ADF waltzed around today in full dress uniform, God only knows why.

  9. But – 1453 Constantinople, 1529 Vienna, and 1571 Lepanto, have not even the vaguest connection with the WWI battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula or the ANZAC tradition the emanated from it. Likewise for Steve’s offhanded, and as far as I am concerned, inappropriate attempt to associate that tradition with his view of Obama and the current actions/inactions of the USA on the world stage.

    Funny old business. I could see at once what Kates was getting at. The themes are ‘East v West’ and ‘War’, both of which are quite closely linked to the Anzac business in Gallipoli.

    Kates has been indicating that more war may well be on the horizon before we know it, and in places we don’t expect, which is also timely, given that we’re trying to think about war today, and why it’s a Bad Thing.

  10. C.L.

    Underwood is an oafish, rude idiot.

    But he’s right to question at least the Afghanistan deployment.

    It has achieved absolutely nothing.

    If the West wants to go to war in Afghanistan again, they should unleash the whole nine yards.

    Which is to say, they should ban and extirpate with extreme violence and prejudice every single vestige of primitive Islam in that country.

    I can think of nothing less ANZAC than to wallow in a goosebump halloween every year while everybody is too scared to ask some really hard questions about how we use our fighting men to bolster an alliance (which was what the Afghanistan Was was really about) rather than effect – ruthlessly – a Japan-like transformation of a culture for all time, for the betterment of the world. Therein lies the problem: the West no longer does ruthless for a righteous cause. It no longer accepts there is a right and a wrong in the first place.

  11. Fisky

    1) Anzac Cove is in Turkey, the country at the heart of the Ottoman Empire with which the key battle was fought in 1453 in Constantinople. The Muslims won, and centuries of Christian civilisation collapsed. It is considered by some historians to be the real end of the Roman Empire (I don’t buy this, based on the ‘grandfather’s axe’ principle, but others do.)

    The Christians got Spain back and conquered the New World soon after. The Muslims got…Greece. Pffft.

  12. Thank you Fisky. That’s kind of how I see it too.

    I think perhaps some people see ‘Anzac’ as relating chiefly to biscuits, the RSL and a public holiday.

    However, I prefer to think that it has wider applicability as a symbol.

  13. Splatacrobat

    But he’s right to question at least the Afghanistan deployment.

    No he is not. Afghanistan was a political decision. He is the Queen’s representative. The Queen would not make such a comment and neither should he.

  14. Markus

    Then there was 1683.
    Before that, 732
    Ugly blokes killing other ugly blokes.
    Just looking at these two battles, where would we be had the other side won?
    May be Obama should fund peace studies at a uni instead of wasting money on defence.
    The Tassie governor will spend half his salary to fund world peace,
    then somebody might vote for him and then take note of his opinions of ANZAC day
    commemorations. Actually, the Gov needs an English lesson. Had he not confused Commemoration with Celebration, he may just have been a little less befuddled.
    But there’s PC leadership for you

  15. duncanm

    But he’s right to question at least the Afghanistan deployment.

    Not today, he’s not.

  16. Oh come on

    From such a background who would have expected him to become the finest and clearest writer on foreign policy issues in the world

    This is going more than a bit overboard!

  17. Stateless, free and happy

    A couple of cars collided down my street today. I am sure that Obama is to blame.

  18. Stateless, free and happy

    Philippa wrote: “1) Anzac Cove is in Turkey, the country at the heart of the Ottoman Empire with which the key battle was fought in 1453 in Constantinople. The Muslims won, and centuries of Christian civilisation collapsed. It is considered by some historians to be the real end of the Roman Empire ”

    Perhaps if the crusaders hadn’t ransacked and weakened Constantinople and the Byzantines, the Muslims might not have won. Divided we fall.

  19. Ant

    I hope you’ve all read Steyn’s brilliant piece. Except for Grigory, who doesn’t handle effusiveness very well, do you, mate?

    As for Obama, any attempt to draw attention to his immature, irresponsible, reckless, ignorant and stupid behaviour on the international stage or the domestic stage or any other stage going is worthwhile.

    History will judge this miscreant fool very harshly.

    Keep at it, Steve Kate’s.

  20. Grigory M

    Ant – mate – it’s been a while. And you’re still fulminating – plus ça change, hey? Well, contrary to your inference, I have no problem at all with Steyn’s article, or Steve’s use of it in support of his well-known dislike of Obama – I actually share his views in that regard. What I have taken issue with is what I feel is an inappropriate linking of those views with the ANZAC tradition that derives from the WWI Gallipoli campaign. But – given your obvious lack of comprehension skills – I guess you missed that. Ah well – never mind, Ant. Keep trying – and don’t be a stranger.

  21. Ian

    Just posted this in the open forum but it really should’ve gone here …

    This’ll sure put Vlad back in his box:

    The world stands #UnitedforUkraine. Let’s hope that the #Kremlin & @mfa_russia will live by the promise of hashtag

    Yep, that really is the US State Dept spokeswoman, not some primary school kid.

  22. Combine_Dave

    Except to say that the ANZACS hated the regular professional army and its ceremonies.

    My grandfather never marched on ANZAC day. I know this is likely inaccurate now, but they characterised the soldiers that did march on ANZAC day as the ones that stayed home, didn’t fight and then marched happily accepting the glory on that day of rememberance.

    They seemed pretty angry about it. Obama didn’t feature heavily in their memories of WW2.

  23. tomix

    Dunno if the cost of aggression appears cheap. Didn’t the State Dept. spend $5 b. fomenting a coup
    against the elected government in Ukraine? Who funds the shitmen in Syria? It can’t be Putin.

  24. Blogstrop

    … the West no longer does ruthless for a righteous cause. It no longer accepts there is a right and a wrong in the first place.

    PC and post-modernism have destroyed the body-politic’s defence mechanisms. If we don’t recalibrate, we’re all stuffed.

  25. manalive

    Maybe Putin imagines himself as a new czar (‘caesar’) as Madeleine Albright has suggested, the inheritor of the Eastern Empire and Moscow the ‘Third Rome’.

  26. Blogstrop

    I can think of nothing less ANZAC than to wallow in a goosebump halloween every year …

    I find that hard to take, given that the day originated with Sir John Monash and his band of surviving servicemen.

  27. Alfonso

    “that did march on ANZAC day as the ones that stayed home,”

    Rubbish. ANZAC day is as close as can get to Australia’s national day, Australia day certainly isn’t. Nothing has had the impact of WW1 on our small population, every tiny town has a war memorial with so many KIA names I wonder how there were any males left at times. The problem today is its tabloidisation and the turning of dignified respect into an opening ceremony.

    Rifles with bayonets stuck in the ground with a sort of colour guard at the FOOTBALL ? FFS.
    Kath and Kim must have their entertainment hyped to extend their attention spans at all times.

  28. Peter

    One of the reasons why ANZAC was so culturally important in 1915 is that it was regarded as the first time that Australia – as an independent nation – contributed in what was regarded at the time as a struggle against oppressive and dictatorial regimes on a world stage.

    Those who cannot understand that the war between those cultures that value a greater level of freedom and the dignity of the individual has been going on for centuries, lack historical perspective. Or maybe they are simply trapped in the modern fallacy of cultural equivalence.

    As for questioning things like our involvement in Afghanistan….. What kind of cave does one have to be hiding in to imagine that this requires a special effort on ANZAC day? That it is not done constantly, 365 dats of the year in a plethora of forums. When we are gathered to celebrate the courage, commitment sacrifice of our soldiers, it is the height of rudeness and arrogance to argue that these volunteers were all dupes, that they were to naive to know that they were not heroes, merely victims.

    Maybe that is the issue with the nay-sayers. Not being able to point at any heroic actions of their own, they must pull down those who have done great things. I had the privilege of knowing two gentlemen of such strong convictions that, having gone through the hell of WW1, they also took part in WW2. Don’t tell me that they were naive. What they did know, was that there was something in the world that would not be stopped by those who stayed at home, wringing their hands and arguing over whether the enemy was simply “misunderstood”.

  29. entropy

    I can’t “quite so” that enough.

  30. Markus

    Dear Professor
    In this age of moral relativism, living as we do with a lazy assumption that somehow the rights we enjoy are conferred by benevolent leaders, leaves mute the individual voice of protest.
    The fact of the matter is that concepts like ‘morality’ and ‘ethics’ are not inherent to human nature. Every single freedom now enjoyed by a citizen was gained by implacable opposition to oppression, paid for in blood and incalculable sorrow.
    The ascendancy of the peacenicks, politically correct but blissfully ignorant of the history that allows the very volume of their indignation, explains the decline of our world.
    Pity the generation that suffers the national curriculum.
    (For the record, I have taught at primary, secondary and yes, tertiary level)

  31. sabrina

    “history teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”

    Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Howard, Downer are the ones who surely thought the price of aggresion would be cheap. They are all enjoying comfortable retirement at taxpayers expenses while many their young countrymen have lost lives or living without a quality they enjoy now. Gone are the days when kings themselves would go to war themselves and send their own children to participate in the war. These days they send others while their own ones participate in election campaigns for their mates. Some are also known to dodge drafting with some excuses.
    I for once agree with Grigory’s post last night, and an in addtion that Steve Kates discusses economics issues very well.

  32. Ant

    Effusiveness – check.

    Fulminating – check.

    Stuff only Grigory can comprehend – check.

    Anything else?

  33. Ellen of Tasmania

    CL – I had my rant on the Open Forum yesterday, after listening to Underwood. There is a time and place for everything, and that was neither the time nor the place. If you get a chance to listen to him, then I’m sure you’d understand.

    He’s been getting worse each year. Yesterday was a disgrace.

  34. Shelley

    such strong convictions that, having gone through the hell of WW1, they also took part in WW2

    Agreed. In my family six sons went to WW2, and their Father (my Great Grandfather) who had fought in WW1 so wanted to ‘have another crack for freedom’ that he enlisted in WW2 as a driver at age 45. (This probably belongs in the other thread I acknowledge).

  35. johno

    Tasmania has just had a change of government. Under our political system, it is usually practice for an incoming government to install their ‘own man’ as Governor.

    Hopefully, Hodgman will make this a more urgent priority. Monday would be good.

  36. will

    Which is to say, they should ban and extirpate with extreme violence and prejudice every single vestige of primitive Islam in that country.

    wouldn’t leave much left

    I can think of nothing less ANZAC than to wallow in a goosebump halloween every year while everybody is too scared to ask some really hard questions about how we use our fighting men to bolster an alliance (which was what the Afghanistan Was was really about) rather than effect – ruthlessly – a Japan-like transformation of a culture for all time, for the betterment of the world. Therein lies the problem: the West no longer does ruthless for a righteous cause. It no longer accepts there is a right and a wrong in the first place.

    How do you do a “Japan like” transformation? I think the Japs were very willing to modernise. They engaged the British Navy in the early 1900′s to help them wage WWII.

  37. Boambee John

    “such strong convictions that, having gone through the hell of WW1, they also took part in WW2″

    Walter Ernest Brown received a VC while serving in the infantry during WW I. During WW II, he enlisted in the artillery, having reduced his age from its actual 53 to a claimed 38. He ended up in Singapore. When word came on 15 February 1942 that there was to be a surrender, while his mates set about destroying gunsights and burying breech blocks, he collected hand grenades in a haversack. When he had enough, he farewelled his mates with the words “No surrender for me”, and was last seen heading towards the Japanese lines. His body was never found.

  38. rickw

    I think the relevance to ANZAC day couldn’t be clearer:

    What are your values?
    Are you willing to fight for them?

    The West nolonger really believes in anything. From there, any fighting is likely to be misdirected at best.

    They engaged the British Navy in the early 1900′s to help them wage WWII.

    They did that and more, on a visit to Tarawa I had a look at a couple of the remaining gun turrets, fitted with 6″ and 8″ guns. The guns were made by Vickers, Armstrong and Withworth etc. Field guns made towards the end of WWI, purchased by the Japanese at some point in time after that and “repurposed”.

  39. Grigory M

    Ant – what’s this? Bullet points (well, sort of). Keep trying, old fella. You’ll get there, eventually. ;)

  40. viva

    such strong convictions that, having gone through the hell of WW1, they also took part in WW2

    My grandfather fought and died in the British army in WWI leaving behind a wife and 11 kids. Some of my rellies thought his main motivation for enlisting at the age of 43 was to get out of the house!

    I visited his grave in the war cemetery in Cologne a few years ago. It was a beautiful environment immaculately kept. He is buried in a place of honour. She brought up 11 kids on her own in the East End – her heroism unacknowledged.

  41. Squirrel

    James Brown’s comments on the ANZAC tradition on Lateline last night are pertinent – if today’s ADF was somewhat better funded, and if we were more diligent and sincere about acknowledging its achievements, and in caring for those injured and damaged in its service, more Australian families might be happy to see their sons and daughters head overseas in the service of the nation.

  42. Grigory M

    C.L. – what is a “goosebump Halloween”?

  43. Stephen Williams

    OBAMA is not an incompetent fool. He is a con artist, a flim flam man who has wormed his way into a job that gives him money, power and prestige. In another life he would have been faking a university degree to get practice as a doctor or lawyer. He is a monorail salesman.

  44. Peter

    Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Howard, Downer are the ones who surely thought the price of aggresion would be cheap.

    Sabrina seems to be wilfully ignoring the fact that this conflict was not initiated by the West. It was our opponents who stated quite clearly and categorically that they wold keep on attacking until we either surrendered , or engaged in a war that they felt quite certain that they would win.

    …… And it is this irrational, self-loathing, self-accusation amongst so many westerners that convinced them that they could win.

  45. Vasily

    1453 Constantinople…ha{s} not even the vaguest connection with the WWI battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula
    But Grigory, Churchill’s objective was to take Constantinople was it not?
    If Constantinople had not fallen to the Turks in 1453, then as Steve says the world would be different -the Ottoman empire would not exist as it later did – and Australian troops would not have had to land at Gallipoli. Not the vaguest connection?

    With Ukraine in turmoil, Hagel can’t get Russian counterpart to take his calls. How do you say? ROTFLMAO! Well Steve, Defense Secretary Hagel has only US State Dept and CIA, who fomented the Maidan revolution, to blame for poor relations with his Russian counterpart. Why would Shoigu take his calls? Russia has a right to deploy troops to what is now a very destabilized area which borders our country and would be crazy not to you must admit that (unless you want to say we can not ensure our own security?) . The time to talk was before Ukraine erupted, to gauge what Russian reaction would be. Maidan was clearly a bridge too far, a gross miscalculation which, you are correct, has exposed US foreign policy under worst president ever Obama as a lot of hot air and moral posturing. Meanwhile we can send Ukraine’s gas bill to Brussels who at least will pay us, so thank you for that.

  46. stackja

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players.
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_the_world%27s_a_stage

    Turkey
    Palestine
    France
    North Africa
    New Guinea
    Borneo
    Korea
    Malaya
    Vietnam
    Afghanistan

  47. Vasily

    Maidan was clearly a bridge too far, a gross miscalculation
    After writing this I thought: Like Gallipoli, yes? Your brave and tenacious soldiers at Gallipoli are worthy of honor but has Australia learned the lesson to not sacrifice your soldiers to the gross miscalculations of your imperial masters allies? ;0)
    After all, it is “Australian Defence Force”, not “Australian Expeditionary Force” right?

  48. Walter Plinge

    The problem today is its tabloidisation and the turning of dignified respect into an opening ceremony.

    Exactly the thought I had looking at the photos of various dawn services around the country. Some appeared to be a somewhat tacky son-et-lumière. Not having been there I can’t say but perhaps others can comment.

  49. Ant

    Effusiveness – check.

    Fulminating – check.

    Stuff only Grigory can comprehend – check.

    Bullet points – check.

    Anything else?

  50. jupes

    Therein lies the problem: the West no longer does ruthless for a righteous cause.

    Correct. The West is so stupid that it thinks the way it fights is more important than winning.

  51. jupes

    Peter at 7.43 am,

    Best comment about Anzac Day on this blog. Thanks for that.

  52. Alfonso

    ‘not “Australian Expeditionary Force” right?’

    Depends……can be ‘Expeditionary’ clearing Hitler out of Nth Africa, the Japs out of Papua New Guinea or Indonesian thugs out of East Timor etc.

  53. Grigory M

    Anything else?

    Nah, Ant – all done. Wouldn’t want to overtax that tiny old brain of yours. See ya soon.

  54. stackja

    jupes
    #1280917, posted on April 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    Peter at 7.43 am,
    Best comment about Anzac Day on this blog. Thanks for that.</bloc

    kquote>
    Agree!

    [Propaganda] German leaflet drop on 9th Division at Tobruk

    If the invincible German Army was bothering to print leaflets calling on the Australians at Tobruk to surrender then they must be feeling the effects of the ongoing siege.

    Other leaflets were dropped on the 9th Division positions at El Alamein in 1942. These were specifically printed with the 9th Division in mind. I find it interesting that at Tobruk there were Australians, English, Indian and Polish troops and at Alamein the Germans and Italians were opposed by Australians, English, Indian, New Zealanders, South African and other Commonwealth troops but they only ever printed propaganda aimed at demoralising the Australian 9th Division. This was a sign of the high regard held for them by Rommel.

    http://9thdivvy.blogspot.com.au/2008/07/propaganda-german-leaflet-drop-on-9th.html

  55. Ant

    Only your pomposity can be described as overtaxing.

  56. jupes

    I agree with Bolta that Underwood must be sacked for his stupid comment. Why do we allow lefties to hi-jack Anzac Day?

    I disagree with Bolta that this is somehow a good thing:

    Among the marchers I saw in Melbourne were female officers leading platoons … I saw soldiers of every kind, including a Sikh in the Australian uniform and a bearded Orthodox Jew.

    These policies do precisely nothing to enhance combat capability. To quote Steyn again – “Political correctness shrinks your brain”.

  57. andrew bolt

    I didn’t say it was a good thing. I just said Underwood was wrong, on that evidence.

  58. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Exactly the thought I had looking at the photos of various dawn services around the country. Some appeared to be a somewhat tacky son-et-lumière. Not having been there I can’t say but perhaps others can comment.

    I don’t bloody care what they do Walter. I turn up, I listen, I sing the hymns and try not to choke up, I tear up at the last post, and I observe the minute’s silence. Then I sing the national anthem, clap for the band and singers, and quietly go home.

    At the Martin Place service, the Maori choir’s singing of the ‘Song of Sorrow’ was sublime. It is the song that the Maori troops sang when burying their dead mates in North Africa in 1942. Had tears running down my cheeks.

    And how can one not become emotional singing Kipling’s ‘Recessional’?

    Let them do as they please, Walter. They could have the ‘Oxford St Swingers’ do a scantily-clad version of ‘Swanning About’ in g-strings and Sven’s rhinestone chaps for all I care. So long as they keep the hymns, and all listen to the Ode and the Last Post, and observe the minute’s silence, I don’t mind.

  59. Demosthenes

    Therein lies the problem: the West no longer does ruthless for a righteous cause.

    Muscular liberalism is difficult when your casus belli is rooted in principles that also hobble military effectiveness.

  60. stackja

    FDR for all his faults let GCM and his generals fight the war.
    Truman stopped Mac from killing Reds for some strange reason.
    Reds in the White House?
    LBJ did not let his generals kill enough Reds.
    The left/MSM helped the Reds.

  61. Luke

    The West is done. We let the cancerous left destroy it and now all we can do is watch on. Personally I think it will mae great entertainment watching leftist elites desperately try to move their money around (and political positioning) before the hard men of the East come collecting it. You know, all those billionare/millionare socialists who call for higher taxes at about the some rate at which they move more of their own money off-shore to tax havens.

    What’s the bet that as the oncoming wars start to send thousands of genuine Jewish refugees our way, the left will suddenly become all about boarder security and controlling who comes here.

  62. Alfonso

    ‘The West is done.’
    Correct, protect your intergenerational wealth before the State thinks anyone is going to notice.

  63. Big Jim

    Blogstrop: “PC and post-modernism have destroyed the body-politic’s defence mechanisms. If we don’t recalibrate, we’re all stuffed.”

    Go on, take another half red pill and add ‘multiculturalism’ to the list. You’re almost there.

    From the remake of Braveheart (c2130): “We Good-gov’nance community gonna pop a cap in in yo Bad-gov’nance mofos’ ass.”

  64. Big Jim

    Um 2030, I meant. I wish 2130.

  65. wreckage

    have not even the vaguest connection with the WWI battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula

    Of course not! No connection at all.

    Anyways, we SHOULD examine the causes of war. Almost universally wars are “provoked” by the appearance of weakness.

  66. The Consigliere

    Ok I see that not even ANZAC day is safe from being used as a crude bludgeoning tool in your ignorant attacks. I was going to ask you to try an show a bit of respect but your previous gutter posts tells me that would be a futile request.

    The US overextended itself over the past decade. Economically and militarily they are having to draw back. It is natural for the competition to take advantage of this. Whenever the US is in a draw down phase this happens regardless of who the incumbent is. Shame that you understand the importance of Constantinople but not the more relevant recent history.

Comments are closed.