AS I SEE IT…. “The Forgotten!!”

Ernest Hemingway wrote..
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”11109504_10202784240646800_1687920510832940099_n

Despite what some in the RSL (RSA in New Zealand) along with many others might have you believe,  Australia and  New Zealand were not born at Gallipoli” nor did they‘come of age’ there!!   Unfortunately it was politicians, not historians,  who made this ANZAC myth what it is today – nothing more than a fantasied  idealist retrospect  of what was a bloody catastrophe !!

New Zealand and Australian troops formed an alliance. In 1914, the ANZAC’S were born. ANZAC is the acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and in December 1914 the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force stationed in Egypt were placed under the command of Lieutenant General William Birdwood. Initially the term Australasian Corps was suggested, but Australians and New Zealanders were reluctant to lose their separate identities completely. No one knows who came up with the term ANZAC. It’s likely that Sergeant K.M. Little, a clerk at Birdwood’s headquarters, thought of it for use on a rubber stamp: ‘ANZAC’ was convenient shorthand. Later the corps used it as their telegraph code word. The ANZAC’S first saw action at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. The small cove where the Australian and New Zealand troops landed was quickly dubbed Anzac Cove. Soon the word was being used to describe all Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Eventually, it came to mean any Australian or New Zealand soldier. These forces at Gallipoli were indeed ‘fighting for our freedom ‘and their lives. Alongside this, is received wisdom such as how an Englishman and a donkey somehow embodied the ANZAC spirit and that the Aussies and Kiwis could have succeeded if it wasn’t for British amateurism and tea making.  The merits or accuracy of these legends can be debated endlessly. (According to Mat Hardy Lecturer in Middle East studies at Deakin University.)
However one of the clichés that always irks me is the assertion that at Gallipoli our forces were fighting against Turkey or ‘the Turks’ This is completely incorrect!
Just to further provide some factual evidence, you should know this…
The Republic of Turkey was not declared until 1922 and was only formally recognised in 1923. Prior to that, the place we now call Turkey was the heart of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915 it was Ottoman, not Turkish soldiers that were shooting at the ‘diggers’ (as they later became known) when they hit the beaches in the darkness.
Some will try and get around this hair splitting premise, by saying that the Ottoman Empire is synonymous with Turkish ethnicity. This is also false. Even rolled back from its medieval hey-day, the Ottoman Empire of 1915 still covered a wide patch of turf and this included huge numbers of Arabs, Armenians, Greeks and various Caucasians.
In fact without the assistance of nearly 300,000 Arabs in the ranks, the Ottoman forces would have never been able to bat on for as long as they did in the First World War.  A general policy of making troops serve away from their native lands meant that plenty of the Ottoman troops in the Gallipoli campaign were not ‘Johnny Turk’ at all, but men from the Levant, Iraq and all the far-flung corners of the dying empire.
On the first day of the landings, roughly two thirds of the troops doggedly defending the heights were Arabs, mainly from Syria. They and their like served throughout the war, usually unwillingly. For the Arabs, there was no great love of their Ottoman masters. Many of these conscripts were little more than slave coffles of untrained cannon fodder. Just as Australia has a great deal of national identity invested in Gallipoli, so do the Arabs place a lot of stock in their role fighting against the Ottomans. The Arab Revolt and their use as a guerrilla force against the over-extended supply lines of the Ottomans makes for a good film. This was the point where the noble desert warriors rose up to be a nation again and were to be rewarded with self-determination at the conclusion of the war.
Naturally it didn’t quite pan out that way. The numbers actively involved in the revolt were a fraction of those serving on the other side and the rebels were often from regions where the Ottomans had very little control anyway. Not that it did most of them much good. After the war, the British and French did as they pleased. The Cairo Conference of 1921 saw Churchill and his ‘Forty Thieves’ parcel out the rewards to some favourites and make up some borders, stamping a political geography on the whole Middle East that still persists today. Only two Arabs were invited. Favourites like Faisal and Abdullah were given puppet kingdoms, setting the scene for decades of squabbling and the eventual rise of nationalists like Saddam Hussein and Hafez al-Assad a generation later.
So whatever you think about the idea that Australia was ‘forged’ at Gallipoli, the fact remains that many other nations were, much more literally, born from the ashes of the campaign to solve the Eastern question  Including Turkey.
(Many thanks to my researcher..Hanay Qulacq..)
Now, here are some facts and figures you may like to ponder…The Battle of Gallipoli took place on a small peninsula on two, later three, different battlefields, not far from each other. On one of these fields merely Anzac soldiers (from Australia and New Zealand) fought – and died. In the other two places British and French troops took the Turkish blow. The casualty figures give a good understanding of who suffered:
Australia: 18.500 wounded and missing – 7,594 killed.
New Zealand : 5,150 wounded and missing – 2,431 killed.
British Empire (excl. Anzac) : 198,000 wounded and missing – 22,000 killed.
France : 23,000 wounded and missing – 27,000 killed.
Ottoman Empire (Turkey) : 109,042 wounded and missing – 57,084 killed.
Furthermore 1.700 Indians died in Gallipoli, plus an unknown number of Germans, Newfoundlanders and Senegalese.
( These figures are educated guesses, but still approximate and controversial. They are taken from various sources, i.c. official Turkish, Dr Geoffrey Partington, Bernd Langensiepen, Robert Rhodes James, Spencer Tucker and Geoffrey Moorhouse. )
The British, French, Ottoman Empire and the Indians, along with Somalis are “THE FORGOTTEN” Yes we remember our ANZAC’S and rightly so. Sons, Fathers & Grandfathers pledged their allegiance before their King, just as every nation did with their own Sovereign.

Pointless senseless loss of beautiful lives…For what? In my opinion one of the biggest British balls-ups in history. Our Grandfathers, Fathers, & sons served their country without question…Today we honour these men, but…while we do on this 101st anniversary..Let us also honour “The Forgotten” They too, were Sons, Fathers and Grandfathers.
We all know of someone who fought in that horrendous war at Gallipoli.. We are after all both small Nations. Today this ugly war continues as our troops are now deployed to the Middle East.  Let us remember all who have served and are still serving our countries, as we take a moment  to reflect..
As Hemingway said..
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”

AS I SEE IT… “Just a little smack!!”

lawKhaled Hosseini once said….. “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime… “

This started me thinking. You see, I’m getting sick and tired of opening the paper, turning on the television news and watching or reading the same thing  over and over again..  Another drug pusher… burglar… thug…  drunk driver…  abusive partner… just to name a few… walking free! These pieces of excrement laugh in the face of justice! Just recently I watched in astonishment as the perpetrators of a serious domestic violence assault walked free from the court.. Not once, but on numerous occasions, I’ve witnessed the Judge just give the offender a “slap on the wrist” I don’t know about you, but I find this  is an insult to our judicial system!.  Magistrates are making a laughing stock of our laws and these offenders know it! …  Mind you, this is nothing new…. it’s been going on for a long while… Theirs is a unique club that we are not privy to…

So, where does the blame lay? Is it with the Magistrate or the Solicitor defending the offender?   As I write this column, once again I am disgusted at a headline in the paper that shows a woman believed to be Queensland’s drunkest driver, having set a new record for DUI of 0.48,  walking ‘Scott Free’ from the court! Let’s look at this case a little more in depth… The Magistrate handed down a sentence of 2 months in prison. This was  appealed by the woman’s’ counsel, citing the fact that she would have served her sentence before an appeal could be heard… Even the Police prosecutor suggested she be sentenced to a term of probation, rather than imprisonment.  Well, I’m sorry, I don’t  agree! quite frankly, I don’t really care about the extenuating circumstances! Even the Magistrate said and I quote…. “There needs to be an element of public deterrence because to endanger everyone’s lives on the road is absolutely appalling, absolutely outrageous,” – (end quote…) Yes, she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and even the medical authorities have indicated such a level of alcohol in the system could easily have lead to her death.

Well pardon me???  what about all the innocent people in her path?? Children, mums, grandparents, people with disabilities, the list goes on! I can only hope and pray that this is a ‘wake up call’ Sadly I am not sure it will be. This is not an exaggerated example or for that matter isolated.. It is an every day occurrence.  One we are becoming far too familiar with.. Just cast your minds back the the beginning of the year and the Coward punch on the young 18 year old, who sadly had his life support disconnected… This started a flood of vicious cowardly punches.. Not all, thankfully ended in tragic loss of life, but once again the sentences handed down to these thugs was laughable.. I could go on and on, they all read the same and have a common thread! Sure, there are others that have been given a ‘second chance’ and they have embraced it.. Their night out fueled with drugs and alcohol has cost them dearly and they have sat and thought about their mistake. Most have never re-offended. Others who have been involved in the selling of class A drugs and because of their high profiles again, have been given a ‘slap on the wrist’ and told ‘don’t do it again’ These people have been in a position of having the means to afford the best of the best when it comes to defending their charges… Tell me money doesn’t talk…. It sure does!! Once again, do any of these people, Magistrates, lawyers, the offenders really care about the damage they have done and are doing to the victims??… Personally and in my opinion I do not think so!

Hey.. I’m not perfect either!! In my younger  days, I got away with ‘blue murder,’ drinking, driving drunk, experimenting with substances.. (yes!! I’m sure most of us can relate) we didn’t have a care in the world. (My mother, God bless her soul, would often say I was chemically enhanced!!)  I never meant any harm by my actions.. The only person I hurt was me…. Or so I thought!! Sadly that was not true! I hurt those around me, those that loved me and cared about me..  It’s no different today. Unfortunately we just have to look at the news and see this carnage reoccurring…

Judges need to return to sensible sentencing… Someone needs to grow a pair!! Remember, “It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime…

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