War he­roes didn’t die for virtue sig­nalling

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION OURS & YOURS - PIERS AKERMAN

THE whole­sale de­struc­tion of na­tional tra­di­tion will con­tinue this week with the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect virtue-sig­nalling an­ni­hi­la­tion of the An­zac rit­ual. Since its in­cep­tion in 1916, a year after the April 25 land­ings on Gal­lipoli, the An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tion has been ob­served to hon­our those who died and those whose com­rades also served but sur­vived — ini­tially in the Great War and now in sub­se­quent wars.

This year, ac­cord­ing to the pres­i­dent of the NSW RSL James Brown, the march will hon­our women and they will lead the march at the front of the pa­rades in Syd­ney, Mel­bourne and Perth.

“This is about say­ing women are veter­ans, too,” he told a break­fast tele­vi­sion pro­gram, a favoured plat­form for those hop­ing to ad­vance their chances of fu­ture po­lit­i­cal ca­reers. This is such a virtue-sig­nalling move it could only have been cooked up by Brown over a break­fast of kale and quinoa with Malcolm and Lucy Turn­bull, Brown’s par­ents-in­law, at their water­front man­sion. Putting women first will be, ac­cord­ing to the RSL, a show of sup­port for the thou- sands of women who weren’t de­ployed over­seas but still made huge con­tri­bu­tions to the de­fence force and mil­i­tary.

As did ev­ery man, woman and child who took their alu­minium pots and pans down to the lo­cal de­pot to be re­cy­cled into war matériel, or who ob­served the ra­tioning and didn’t opt for the black mar­ket in fuel and cloth­ing, who waited and worked in mu­ni­tions fac­to­ries and other es­sen­tial in­dus­tries, who worked the farms when the men weren’t there, and kept food on the ta­bles.

The RSL doesn’t men­tion how­ever the strikes by the Com­mu­nist-led unions which de­nied the men at the front their ra­tions and mu­ni­tions — those union­ists weren’t act­ing self­lessly. They were act­ing in the in­ter­ests of Com­mu­nist Rus­sia which had signed up to the no­to­ri­ous Molo­tov-Ribben­trop Pact.

The RSL is also a lit­tle shy when it comes to the amount of poker-ma­chine rev­enue raked in at its clubs which is ac­tu­ally di­rected to re­turned ser­vice men and women bat­tling post trau­matic dis­tress syn­drome (PTSD).

Virtue sig­nalling ap­par­ently stops where the bucks start.

Brown in­sisted to Sun­rise host Sa­man­tha Army­tage the move was “about say­ing that women are veter­ans too, veter­ans come in all shapes and sizes”. “It’s about be­ing fair and mak­ing sure that their ser­vice on be­half of this coun­try is recog­nised, so for one year, we’re putting them up­front to send that mes­sage loudly and clearly.” He’s tak­ing a leaf out of re­tired chief of army David Mor­ri­son’s book on in­tro­duc­ing po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness to mil­i­tary mat­ters — not that Mor­ri­son was so in­spi­ra­tional.

Still, in an oth­er­wise undis­tin­guished ca­reer, Mor­ri­son’s de­ci­sion to don high heels to demon­strate his em­brace of gen­der pol­i­tics did win him the Aus­tralian of the Year ti­tle in 2016, em­pha­sis­ing the nearto­tal ir­rel­e­vance of the award.

In any case, his ar­ro­gantly vir­tu­ous ap­proach to the mil­i­tary over­looked a re­al­ity which he as chief of army must have been aware of.

The pointy end of mod­ern land war­fare is pri­mar­ily in close-quar­ter com­bat — as we know from the role our troops have played in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not a place for women be­cause of the sheer phys­i­cal di­men­sion that it takes. If the govern­ment con­tin­ues to fol­low its po­lit­i­cally cor­rect path and de­mand that women serve in equal num­bers in for­ward de­ploy­ment it will have to bear the un­for­tu­nate con­se­quences we have seen re­sult from such an ir­ra­tional pol­icy in other forces.

We will see an un­ac­cept­able vol­ume of oc­cu­pa­tional in­juries, just as the US mil­i­tary has, where women have been de­ployed as com­bat en­gi­neers.

Any­one — out­side the Can­berra bub­ble — knows that on av­er­age women do not have the same phys­i­cal strength as men. It is an un­de­ni­able fact to all but the most ob­sessed fem­i­nists and the virtue-sig­nalling corps. When phys­i­cally bro­ken women are sign­ing up for com­pen­sa­tion for the in­juries they re­ceived at­tempt­ing to carry the same loads as the men they worked along­side, some­one might just get smart enough to re­alise the er­ror that has been com­mit­ted. The mil­i­tary can’t be blamed for this though, it’s just en­thu­si­as­ti­cally im­ple­ment­ing govern­ment pol­icy.

This Wed­nes­day as the Ode is solemnly re­cited and the bu­gler sounds the Last Post, as on other An­zac Days, my mind will be on those le­gions who didn’t re­turn and on those who served and lost their mates.

Ninety-nine per cent of them men who took de­lib­er­ate, con­sid­ered ac­tion to ex­pose them­selves to near cer­tain death to pro­tect their fam­i­lies, this coun­try and our way of life. They were pa­tri­ots, the sort of peo­ple who are sneered at to­day and told not to flaunt the na­tional flag. Their heroic deaths and brav­ery are worth re­mem­ber­ing. We owe a prodi­gious debt to the World War II gen­er­a­tion, which is not to den­i­grate the feats of oth­ers in other the­atres of war, but those men and women are dy­ing out, the Korean and Viet­nam gen­er­a­tions are age­ing.

War fight­ing is over­whelm­ingly men’s busi­ness. To pre­tend that dik­tats from the PC war­riors can erase and re­write his­tory is purely a Marx­ist fan­tasy. Among the women who gave their lives was Wil­helmina Ray­mont, my mother’s clos­est cousin who died after three years of suf­fer­ing and tor­ture as a pris­oner-of-war of the Ja­panese in In­done­sia. Ray­mont was among mem­bers of the Aus­tralian Army Nurs­ing Ser­vice (AANS) cap­tured after the SS Vyner Brook was sunk while flee­ing Sin­ga­pore.

Of the 65 nurses aboard, 12 drowned in the Bangka Straits and 21 died after be­ing or­dered to en­ter the sea at Radji Beach where they were ma­chine­gunned from be­hind by the Ja­panese. Ray­mont died aged 33 on Fe­bru­ary 8, 1945

Hav­ing walked the nar­row beach and crum­bling clifftops of Gal­lipoli, the col­lapsed trenches of the Western front where my fa­ther-in-law fought and vis­ited my un­cle’s grave on Crete and my fa­ther’s grave on Cyprus, thoughts are with those ev­ery­where who fought for the free­dom we should cher­ish but which so many scorn to­day.

Those we hon­our were not virtue sig­nalling and they didn’t give their lives for po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.