Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Wass'ah Riots

I've spent a considerable amount of time recently researching the so called 'Battle of the Wazza'. It's a fairly marginal and neglected segment of 'Anzac history', which involved a series of riots in Cairo during the war. The perpetrators of the riots were mostly Australian and New Zealand soldiers who were undergoing training in camps very close to the city of Cairo. The people on the receiving end of the violence were the prostitutes and pimps in the Wass'ah district of Cairo. The phrase 'Battle of the Wazza' is misleading in three ways:

Friday, 27 February 2015

Anzac rhetoric and the Iraq war

I recently posted a comment on facebook expressing my outrage and disgust at Hekia Parata's comments in support of the move to send NZ troops to Iraq. Like many other people in New Zealand I'm angry at the Key government for maneuvering us into this misguided war. My emotional response was further inflamed by these words quoted in a recent (26/02) Herald article :

Education Minister Hekia Parata said in a fiery speech she was raised on the history of war heroes and turning out for Anzac Day and the point of having a defence force was to carry out such deployments. She said the country could not evoke the emotion of turning up to Anzac Days but then turn away when the practical reality of what that meant presented itself.

The article continues with sickening details from Parata's speech. She links Anzac “values” with the content of the New Zealand school curriculum, and argues that we should send troops to be true to that legacy of courage, responsibility and wisdom.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Curator's Reply

The short history of this blog has so far been a fairly lonely one. I have received a few positive comments from like minded friends and people who share my perspective on New Zealand's role in WW1. While these are appreciated, I had hoped to receive some critical comments too. Many of the opinions expressed in this blog are clearly opposed to the more mainstream views of Anzac day seen in Newspapers, TV and various magazines. I provided a link to my blog at the official government “WW100” site, and various other internet sites which related to this topic. The results were a handful of views, but no comments on any of my posts.