David Morrison’s echoes…

Very few things that the Australian War Memorial claims on its website about Anzac Day are true…

These are the words of Dean Aszkielowicz, an academic at the Murdoch University, to his students.

And they’ve managed to secure him a front page write up in The Australian newspaper.

Just so you know, this is what is written on the Australian War Memorial’s webpage about Anzac Day:

Anzac Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day on which we remember all Australians who served and died in war and on operational service past and present.  The spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.

It’s hard to know what specific parts of this paragraph Mr Aszkielowicz could have a problem with, as it is true that the Anzacs landed on Gallipoli in 1915. It is also true that Anzac Day is when we remember all those who served and died in the various conflicts in which Australia has fought. And it is also true that the qualities of those who fought have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity.

Regardless, an academic claims they are all lies.

Dean Aszkielowicz also taught his students that Anzac Day is a cliché that will diminish in popularity, the Anzacs were killers, many of those who attend services in Gallipoli are drunk, Australia was invaded by the British and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru are prisoners.

It is kind of outrageous.

It is also an indication of the collapse of objectivity and the cultural vandalism that has captured much of academia, the media and the politics of our nation.

But it’s pretty pointless getting upset at an academic when the same message he pushes has been promoted by none other than the former Chief of Army and 2016 Australian of the Year: David Morrison.

Here are Morrison’s words on April 25, 2014:

On a day when we pay tribute to our soldiers who stormed ashore on a foreign beach, we must also remember that some Australians remember men from across the world coming here to take their land.

Remember, this was his address on the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli and they were made in his capacity as Chief of Army.

And two days earlier, Morrison was railing against the Anzac Day ‘myth’ in the Australian Financial Review. The article started with these words:

The Chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, says he believes a myth has been created about the Anzacs that makes it harder for the military to recruit women, gays and people from different ethnic backgrounds.

A month later, Morrison was quoted saying much the same in The Australian in an article that carried this paragraph:

He said undue emphasis on Anzac stories that were “overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon” risked alienating women and indigenous and ethnic Australians, who were currently under-represented in the army.

According to Morrison, Anzac Day is racist and should check its white, male privilege.

And this man was selected as Australian of the Year.

He then went on to argue that Australians should have an Anzac Day-like event for domestic violence victims each year too. And he also waged war on the profoundly offensive word ‘guys’.

So why should we be surprised that an academic rejects Anzac Day when a Chief of Army has done exactly the same thing?

Dean Aszkielowicz’s words should lead us to question the direction of our universities. But he’s only echoing David Morrison. And Morrison’s words should lead to much deeper questions about the culture, values and direction of the Australian Defence Force.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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9 Comments

  1. It is so easy to condemn those who signed the blank cheque to defend this Great Country, when you are safe behind the firing lines. Cowards come in all shapes and sizes, also at all ranks. The men I fought along side of had dirt under their finger nails, not a sign of pink on any finger. As for this academics ability to teach. Well one look at the abilities of to-days teachers gives one a sound view of the inept abilities to tell the truth, or the real story.

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  2. Bernard, that fella from WA is wrong about Anzac Day in several ways. But in others, he’s right. Yes, there have been problems with drunken backpackers at Gallipoli for dawn services in past years; how big a problem it was or still is, I don’t know. It also will diminish in popularity, if current trends continue. Once Australia Day is gone, and it is currently being bombarded more heavily than the Emden was in November 1914, Anzac Day will be next. Count on this. Our enemies will overturn this country and its values any way they can.

    I want to use this opportunity to point out something else. Forget about WW1 being this person or that person’s fault; capitalism, colonialism was to blame, blah blah blah. It was caused by a turning away from God. It was satanic. The trenches were described as ‘hell on earth’; Satan I am sure would enjoy this confluence of metaphorical meaning and actual.

    Solzhenitsyn: “The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them. Only a godless embitterment could have moved ostensibly Christian states to employ poison gas, a weapon so obviously beyond the limits of humanity.”

    He’s right. As a primary school teacher, I’m obliged to teach Anzac Day to children each year, and I do it sincerely. No WA academic stuff for me. I do it straight. But boy is it hard to explain why rich, prosperous, supposedly Christian countries would involve themselves in this horror.

    And when the war was over, what should pop up all over this country but obelisks. Obelisks are symbols of the Egyptian god Ra, a sun god. Building them is turning away from God by breaking the first commandment. These obelisks erected to memorialise those who sacrificed themselves for us are also attended annually by people in a solemn ritual in the dark, at which the eventual rising of the sun is observed and quietly celebrated. This ritual has a spiritual aspect to it. It may not under any circumstances be criticised.

    Take a look at Anzac Hill in Alice Springs. Unquestionably eerie, solemn and thought provoking. It’s also a monument to a foreign god on a high place. Read 1 Kings 11:5-10 as an example to see how God feels about these kinds of things.

    Now, the counter argument to this is that it’s an Australian custom, that one should not complain about it because to do so upsets people, and not honouring Anzac Day does not show proper respect to those who selflessly gave their lives for their country. Well, true. Maybe I should have kept my lip zipped. However, this is the exact same way people argued for SSM. It would have upset people not to have SSM, and wasn’t respectful to gays, therefore we should have it. And now we do.

    I don’t wish to dishonour those soldiers who fought in war and paid with their lives. I’d like to remember them, without Ra, or Satan. I think we ought to do so for the right reason and in the right way, in other words to remind us to put God first.

    Solzhenitsyn again: “It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever.”

    Dead right. Lest we forget indeed. I think a lot of people have, and not just that nitwit in WA. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori (‘it is sweet and fitting to die for your country’) is a lie, as WW1 veteran Wilfred Owen wrote. Luke 11:28 in contrast is truthful.

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    • Without offending you have spoke a truth. The Western is railing against itself. Only to bring in the dawn of a new type of religion. More offensive and dangerous than christianity

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  3. It seems the higher ups have 0 knowledge of history. The Ottoman Empire were no saints. Funny how no one says that in our Academia. Read up on what happened to the Christian population of Gallipoli shortly before the landings. That said, a great read article once again!

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  4. So Gallipoli was about “Industrialists and Imperialists or Fundamentalists”.
    I suppose our guys were fighting for the Imperialists, i.e. the British Empire.
    So… that the Empire could continue with its colonization of ….etc.
    This view is so myopic, for it cannot see back 50 years let alone 100.
    Everyone is expected to believe that the “holier than thou”s would never do a Gallipoli today, such a thing is beneath our morality.
    Well we wouldn’t do Gallipoli today, and that is for probably nearly 100 reasons, and some of those reasons might be moral, but we still go to war; God forbid!, and for the very same reasons.
    War is a action of last resort against a force that understands nothing else.
    That is the primary reason for Gallipoli and will always remain so.
    Lest we forget.

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    • But you forget that we are not allowed to study Western Civilisation and all we need is ‘ill-informed public participation, particularly Indigenous recognition and input’. I think you underestimate the ‘100 reasons’ as the new morality is so full of contrived ambiguity that no one knows what anything even means today and you cannot speak without the risk of ‘offending’ someone. God help us all as our society disintegrates before our eyes. You say ‘War is a action of last resort against a force that understands nothing else’ and it seems to me that this is where we are heading if we don’t all fall in line with the New World Order of things.

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  5. Shame, Anzac Day was never just about Anzac Cove. I can remember seeing soldiers who fought in the Bore War marching on Anzac Day, not only did they march but they marched at the beginning of the parade, before the soldiers that fought in WW1.The day has always been a day that the people can show all who served that they are grateful for their sacrifice. Oh and by the way Nurses were included and were all femails then.

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