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Lest we remember

By David Chibo - posted Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Lest we remember that in 1854 the Eureka Stockade rebellion, led by Peter Lalor, saw the Ballarat gold miners - the first to be known colloquially as the diggers - courageously revolt against draconian laws and an undemocratic imperial controlled government. After the rebellion was violently put down by the British army the establishment decided to accede to some of the insurgents’ requested reforms in order to prevent further independence movements and maintain control of their distant colony.

The event became romanticised as the birth of democracy in Australia conveniently leaving out the fact that supreme executive power and ultimate veto rights were and continue to be retained by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth (colony) of Australia who is the representative in Australia of the British Empire.

Lest we remember that at the zenith of The Age of Empires in 1914 the European Imperial powers controlled up to 85 per cent of the earth’s surface. However unlike Alexander the Great, who had wept when there was no world left to conquer, the Europeans instead turned on each other in a bloody war of attrition that came to be known as World (Imperial) War I.


Although Australia had recently declared its supposed independence it acted as a loyal British colony and the Australian government rebranded Australian colonial soldiers with the colloquial term of digger and used them to maintain the British Empire. The Australian colony did not question “Why?” and did whatever the British Empire asked of them while their soldiers died. The British Generals led them into some of the bloodiest battles throughout the war using brave Australian soldiers as cannon fodder. The invasion of the Ottoman Empire’s heartland and subsequent ignominious defeat at Gallipoli was one prime example in which Australian troops were essentially sacrificed in order to show how subservient Australia was to British Imperial demands.

When the war ended in 1918, four of the major imperial powers - the German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires - had been militarily and politically defeated with the victorious Imperial Allies taking over most of their former colonies.

Lest we remember that defeated Germany was determined to seek revenge and after renaming itself the Third Reich (Empire) it began World (Imperial) War II by invading Poland. It allied itself to the Italian (Roman) Empire and Imperial Japan against the Imperial Allies who included France, UK along with their subservient colonies, such as Australia.

In 1940 Australia sent its defence forces to help the British to maintain their North African colonies eventually getting bogged down at Tobruk. Meanwhile Imperial Japan began the war in the Pacific in 1941 and after attacking the US at Pearl Harbour they conducted military operations against US, British Commonwealth, and Dutch possessions in the Pacific and South-East Asia.

When Darwin was bombed and Australia was threatened with invasion Australia finally realised that, far from helping them, the British had essentially abandoned all of their Eastern colonies to the Imperial Japanese army. This was the final straw and Australia withdrew its forces from North Africa and for the first time put its interest ahead of the interests of the British Empire by allying itself to the US Empire to guarantee Australia’s security.

The Japanese attack on Australia was to be preceded by the conquest of Papua New Guinea where, along the Kokoda Track, the overstretched invading Japanese army was finally stopped. Tactically the Australians may have fought bravely but the US’s strategic victory in the battle of the Coral Sea had cut off Japanese supplies and was the main reason for averting a sea-borne invasion of Port Moresby and subsequently Australia.


Meanwhile in Europe the US had waited for the Imperial powers to exhaust themselves in years of fighting before intervening and capturing Berlin in 1945. When the war ended in a victory for the Allies the Soviet Union and the US subsequently emerged as the world's superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War.

Lest we remember that Australia’s involvement in the Korean War and Vietnam War were essentially at the beck and call of our new US Imperial ally.

Lest we remember that Australia’s recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been in order to assist the US Economic Empire to remain the world’s sole military superpower and banker through the control of the world’s oil and hence capital flows, symbolised by US dollar hegemony. As reward for its participation in securing US military bases in the heart of Middle Eastern energy reserves and controlling the oil pipeline linked to Central Asia, Australia was granted the Australia US Free Trade Agreement.

Lest we remember that every Australian Remembrance Day, on November 11, the Australian Government and compliant media perpetuate the ultimate myth that Australia is an independent freedom loving democracy helping to export the very same values to others.

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Also published at ABC's Unleashed on November 11, 2009.

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About the Author

David Chibo is an Australian-born Iraqi from the Assyrian-Christian community. He spent six months prior to the Iraq invasion working in northern Iraq with local aid groups delivering humanitarian relief as well as providing technical training to the local population. He is also a Melbourne-based freelance journalist for the online Assyrian magazine Zinda and a frequent writer on Orientalism. He is currently working on a thesis - due to be published in an archaeological athletics journal called Nikephorus - titled Gilgamesh Games (See that seeks to trace back the origins of the ancient Greek Olympic Games back to their precursors in ancient Iraq.

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