‘Australian War Memorial: from keeper of the flame to hider of shame?‘ Michael West Media, 16 September 2020
Conceived during World War I amidst the mustard gas, the dead soldiers, and rotting horses on the wet battlefields of Pozières, France, the Australian War Memorial was to be the keeper of the flame, a reverential, reflective space where we could remember and honour fallen Australians.
But it has now morphed into a war advertisement, a loud celebration of successful belligerence. How did we get to a situation where we cannot let people make up their own mind about the concept of war but have decided they need help via the big dollar donations from the manufacturers of war machines?
Notes the corruption associated with War Memorial donors, BAE Systems and Boeing, the dishonest spin contained in the (Boeing-sponsored) Afghanistan exhibition at the Memorial, the links with Lockheed Martin, former Director Nelson’s unpaid gig for Thales (before going to work for Boeing), and the forthcoming Brereton report on war crimes in Afghanistan.
Now the arms sellers, the new money changers, are in the Temple and the old war glorification agenda is resurgent. The Australian War Memorial is mutating from the keeper of the flame to the hider of the shame.
Also in Pearls and Irritations under the title ‘Sipping champagne with the arms dealers’. There is lots more on this subject matter on the Honest History website; use our Search engine with terms like ‘gunrunners’, ‘arms’, and ‘donors’.
William De Maria’s next book, Australia’s War of Shame: Afghanistan 2001-2013, is due out in 2021, the 20th anniversary of the occupation of Afghanistan.