July 21st 2007

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The fifth battle domain - cyberspace

EDITORIAL: Democracy triumphs in East Timor

NATIONAL SECURITY: Terrorist risk is fast approaching critical

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Security nightmare for Australian authorities

HOUSING: Home ownership: the unattainable dream?

NATIONAL CENSUS: Making sense of the Census

MEDICAL SCIENCE: Cloning - dead as the Dodo?

VICTORIA: Medical suicide campaign gets underway

STRAWS IN THE WIND: The gangs of Melbourne / Global yawning / Still looking for Dreyfus / Victimhood / A ship without a rudder

TAIWAN: Divisive politics alienate Taiwanese

OPINION: Left-wing bid to discredit our Anzac tradition

POPULAR CULTURE: Video games overtaking movies and music

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Why do we dress children like miniature adults?

Science and the academic left (letter)

The Net and I (letter)

Swedish film defended (letter)

Terrorist doctor-killers? (letter)

CINEMA: Triumphing against all the odds - Amazing Grace


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Left-wing bid to discredit our Anzac tradition

by Mark Braham

News Weekly, July 21, 2007
Left-wing attacks on Australia's Anzac tradition are part of a broader propaganda offensive to discredit the sort of Western national spirit needed to resist the Islamist war against the West and all it stands for, writes Mark Braham.

As if Professor David Flint's Twilight of the Elites (2003) and Malice in Media Land (2005) were not enough to capture the first decade of the 21st century, a recent editorial in The Australian ("Reality bites the psychotic Left", June 11, 2007) slams the nail of dishonest journalism on its muddled and lopsided head.

The editorial also reminds us of the dictionary definition of the word psychosis: "marked by distorted perceptions of reality".

An example - typical and by no means unique - of the left's muddle and misunderstanding of reality is a recent article by Sydney University historian Dr Mark McKenna, attacking the so-called "Anzac myth".

National values

He says: "The Anzac spirit is not uniquely Australian. It is universal. At its best, it is not a national but a human quality. It is found in Palestine and Iraq, in Darfur and East Timor, in Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. If it lives, it lives far from the flag-waving and breast-beating nationalism of recent times, far from the celebration of our national values and the birth of the Australian nation." (The Australian Literary Review, June 6, 2007).

The Anzac spirit, like the Dunkirk spirit, is a meaningful and cherished national memory; it did not die with the men and women who gave their lives in defence of democracy and freedom. Indeed, had it not been for those national spirits, I should certainly not be able to pen these thoughts, assuming I would have survived the Holocaust.

Which is not to deny that, by contrast, this human spirit at its best was conspicuously absent in those individuals who were fighting to erase democracy and murder millions who, for racial, religious, political or physical reasons, did not fit into their design for mankind's future.

That having been said, however, many Germans risked their lives to hide Jews during World War II. Also, Jewish children were hidden in convents in occupied Poland. In today's world, a number of Arab and Muslim writers are telling the truth about Israel's 60-year search for peace and friendship with the Arab world, and risking their lives in the process.

To equate the national spirit of the democracies in two world wars - that is, the will of the people to make the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of freedom and human rights - with the human spirit, is a fraud of moral equivalency at its most poisonous.

The most practised and, for many years, the most successful practitioner of this craft, the Holocaust-denier David Irving, in his best-selling "histories" of Hitler and Churchill at war, has successfully fooled a generation of leftist readers.

It took a famous case in the British High Court in 2000 for internationally-renowned historians from the UK and the US to expose Irving's "histories" for what they were. While they seemed plausible to non-historians like this writer (who for some years was impressed), they were in fact brilliantly and cunningly filled with citations from little-known original documents in German, "translated" by Irving (a German scholar), but with significant omissions which altered their sense.

Once exposed by genuine historians before a High Court judge, the subsequent verdict exposed Irving as the literary fraud of the century.

Much of this kind of work has been going on in academic and literary circles for years in pursuit of a leftist philosophy that, in the post-Holocaust years, found a surrogate for anti-Semitism in Israel, the Jewish state.

Following the German pattern of the 1930s, this sort of desensitisation process originates in the universities. (Anti-Semitism did not play an important role in the elections that helped bring Hitler to power. Had the German public known where they were being led, they would have got rid of the Nazis and resorted, even to revolution).


This desensitisation has begun with a vengeance in the UK; it is raising its head in Australia. There is a proposed boycott of Israeli academics by the British University and College Union, matched by a boycott of Israeli journalists by the UK journalists' union. Anti-Semitic acts are increasing, and Jewish students nowadays seek universities where the influence of jihadist Muslims will not make their lives intolerable.

At the same time, in both the UK and Australia, so-called "independent" Jewish voices are forming associations which pronounce totally unacceptable Israeli "peace" offers to the Palestinians and Arabs.

Such Jews are prominent in secular fields, but are otherwise unknown in communal affairs - indeed, are often unknown as Jews. They are of course more concerned about their own personal security and positions than Israel's security.

The reality is that the nuclear threat from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as he prepares to unleash a second Holocaust, is real. In the leftist enthusiasm to use Iraq as an election-winning issue, the facts of modern history have to be erased, Irving-style.

Iraq's Saddam Hussein was a cruel, ambitious tyrant who invaded Kuwait and had no scruples whatsoever about mass murder of his Arab brethren. The 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War proved that neither state has any compunction about mass killing in their perceived "religious" war against "infidels" - that is, Jews and Christians, primarily, or against their own brethren.

Propaganda offensive

A recent propaganda offensive has been waged, with the purpose of accusing the US-led Coalition of the Willing of irresponsibly going to war against Iraq in 2003, and of allegedly misleading the public about the presence in that country of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

However, it is forgotten that a very real Iraqi WMD, the Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor, was destroyed by Israel in 1981.

The then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin knew what he was doing, and the West should have breathed a sigh of relief. However, the Left believed then - and continue to believe - that a Middle East with Israel removed would mean world peace.

Saddam, foiled by Begin's initiative, then began to use his ill-gotten wealth to fund the families of Palestinian suicide-bombers.

Saddam's former enemy, Iran, has since brought to power Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a leader with the same cast of mind and ambition as Saddam. Moreover, he possesses ample oil, money and expertise with which to pose a new nuclear threat to the region.

Following the sanctified Arab tradition, "My enemy's enemy is my friend", there is little doubt that Saddam and Ahmadinejad, in the absence of Israeli or Western deterrence, would, by this time, have sent Muslim nuclear bombs, or rockets, into Israel.

Now it may be that this likely scenario would, in the minds of many leftists, solve a lot of problems. This kind of thinking is not only wicked; it is entirely wrong.


If Israel ceased to exist, it would not bring peace: it would simply be, to the jihadists - who are growing in numbers and strength daily - an important stage in their war against the West. The West would simply lose its most valuable ally in a war currently centred on the Middle East, but increasingly shifting into Western countries.

The Left persists in its attempt to destroy Australia's so-called "Anzac myth" - and, in fact, any Western national spirit to resist the Islamist war against the West and all it stands for.

It was indeed generous of The Australian, in its editorial, to describe such writing, so reminiscent of the appeasers of the 1930s, as the product of minds "marked by distorted perceptions of reality".

-The author Mark Braham was a British Army officer during World War II, after which he migrated to Australia. An Orthodox Jew, he is author of Stronger than Fiction: Jews and Christians Are Natural Allies (London: Minerva Press, 1999).

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