War heroes and Boys’ Own adventures

David Stephens writes in Independent Australia about how the mateship of service life and the poignancy of service deaths obscures the pointlessness of ‘sacrifice’ when there is no connection to the national interest. Hero worship of the military also gets in the way of good policy. Meanwhile, governments benefit from citizens not thinking too deeply about war.

Related: Gerster on soldiers’ heroic images as created by Australian war correspondents; Broadbent on CEW Bean and other journalists as boosters of Australian soldiers. Campbell on journalists and airbrushing.

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