Saturday, 8 August 2015

Anzac Day and the Politics of Forgetting

This is the full text of a speech I gave recently for the International Socialist Organisation in Wellington and Dunedin. For a shorter version of the speech, go to the ISO website:

This year New Zealand and Australia commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign. One hundred years ago thousands of Allied troops invaded what was then the Ottoman Empire on April 25th 1915. The ensuing eight month battle was a grim and bloody affair fought within a tiny section of the Mediterranean coastline. Casualties were heavy on both sides, with the number of Turkish / Arab deaths being by far the highest. It was the first major battle the newly christened 'Anzac' soldiers had been involved in, and the large number of deaths had a profound impact upon the people of New Zealand and Australia. The following years of battle took an even heavier toll, but this first shock assumed a sort of mythic status, and now the date of April 25th is the focus of WW1 commemoration in New Zealand and Australia.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Links Update - war profiteering, a potential peace initiative, Archibald Baxter Memorial Trust

A few months ago I received an email from Stuart Moriarty - Patten, with a link to his article about War profiteering in the Gisborne Herald. I should have put up a link then, but never actually did. I noticed that the same article got reprinted in the 'No Glory' website here: 

World Military Expenditure

I’ve been studying the SIPRI military expenditure database quite closely, trying to get my head around the statistics to do with world totals. The first challenge is the sheer size of the data: billions and trillions of $US. According to the latest SIPRI factsheet (April, 2015), world military expenditure in 2014 was $1776 billion. If you look at the raw spreadsheet data, you get a more exact figure of

$1776.15478538343 (billion)

That’s this number: $1776154785383.43