Thursday, August 24, 2006

For Service.

One of these arrived certified mail the other day.

The Australian Defence Medal.

A great many ex-servicemen (and women) will receive this medal 'for service'.

I, and I think most like me appreciate the gesture from the country that this represents. Just as a sincere 'Thank You' counts for a lot if you help someone out (and you don't lend a helping hand in expectation of reward, but because you believe it's the right thing to do), this was unexpected, but is greatly appreciated. (It's a recently introduced medal, and wasn't around when I was in the RAAF, 'way back when').

So, Thank You Australia.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Long Tan, and our Vietnam Vets remembered.

This Friday, August 18th, will be the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. On that day, a regiment of NVA and VC attacked a company of Aussies - D Company, 6th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment. They lost.

Information on Long Tan is available here, here, here, and here.

This has come to be, not just the anniversary of a battle, but a time to remember Australia's Vietnam Veterans, who did what their country and it's political leadership asked of them. In my view, they didn't lose. Vietnam was a place where the fight was taken to the communist adversary, where they were met, slowed, and where Australian servicemen served and fought in the best traditions of their forefathers.

History shows us that the ideological system they fought - on our behalf - folded a mere 14 years after that conflict ended, in 1989. So NO, they didn't fight in vain, nor did they lose.

So to our Vietnam Vets, I say; " Thank You for your service" and "Good On You Diggers".

Update: An editorial in The Australian 13Aug06;

"...It has been more than 30 years since the fall of Saigon. Although this newspaper opposed the war in hindsight, the history of Vietnam under communist rule seems to vindicate the effort. Ho Chi Minh's Stalinist regime was monstrous, even as it was lionised in the West. Vietnam still struggles under political and economic repression. But by stemming the totalitarian tide that was sweeping southeast Asia at the time, Australian and US troops may have saved countless millions."

a post on Kev Gillet's blog;

"...I never thought I’d live to see the day. In todays Australian [Aug 13 2006] the Vietnamese have admitted Australia won the Battle of Long Tan. With several hundred Vietnamese versus 18 Australians dead; with the fact neither the North Vietnamese Army nor the local Viet Cong never ever engaged Australians in major battles after that day and with their plan to annhilate the Australian Task Force by attacking the base with a 2,500 man regiment stopped dead by 108 Aussie infantrymen from Delta Coy, 6RAR; one wonders why anyone could ever think differently...."

"...The two Australians greeted their Vietnamese counterparts with warm handshakes in the plantation, near the memorial cross to the 18 Australians who died in the battle. After some small talk, the crucial question was posed to the Vietcong commanders: who won the battle of Long Tan? Nguyen Minh Ninh, former vice-commander of Vietcong D445 Battalion, thought carefully before answering - and then dropped a bombshell that exploded 40 years of official history. “You won … tactically and militarily, you won,” he said..."

and a post on MilBlogs via John of Argghhh!

This is important people. The Vietnamese (ex) adverary, AND the mainstream media say you not only won that battle, but that the war itself was worth it! About time. Bravo Zulu guys.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Multiculturalism. Questioned.

Multiculturalism is government policy in Australia and Canada. At it's root, it argues the relativist case that all cultures are equally legitimate and acceptable.
I will question that with examples. If that is the case, was the case, if we were to go back to WW2, would the proponents of multiculturalism accept Nazi Germany's culture of 1933-39 as acceptable (with it's authoritarianism, and the nascent holocaust in evidence)?.

Moreover, bearing in mind that immigration is the seedbed of multiculturalism, why do people emmigrate?
In a large percentage of cases, it is to gain more economic prosperity, in many cases, to gain freedoms not available in the old country. In both examples, there is the implicit recognition that one country and culture can deliver sought after advantages that another cannot. Ipso facto all cultures are not equally desirable. And the 'vote' is measured by the relative inflow/outflow one society from another. The USA, Canada, UK, Australia, western Europe have nett inflows of immigrants. But few desire to emmigrate to Myanmar, or North Korea, or Iran, for example.

Societies and cultures can also be valued given their contibutions in the world of Science, Engineering, Literature, Philosophy. In this book on Nobel Prize winners (as good an indicator as I know in terms of such contributions), it's noted; "...over forty- percent of the science winners came from the United States. And that after this came Britain around fourteen, Germany ten , and France five percent...". Interestingly also; "...though they constitute less than two tenths of one percent of the world's population Jews have ... thirty percent of the prizes...".

As I posted here, one incredibly brave lady, Dr. Wafa Sultan, pointed out some home truths to an Islamic cleric on a televised debate;

"...he calls the Christians "those who incur Allah's wrath." Who told you that they are "People of the Book"? They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking...".

Thre are many examples of neighbouring countries (or even split countries under different political philosophies - such as Nth vs Sth Korea, East vs West Germany) like Sth Africa vs Zimbabwe, Myanmar vs India, Israel vs her neighbours, of one culure thriving and the adjacent stagnating. the differences are beyond mere geology, climate or history. The determinate must at least include culture.

So all cultures are not equally valid, and a forced policy of multiculturalism is a structure built on a foundation of sand and untruths.

Truth, the first casualty of war.

In the War on Terror in Lebanon currently, one thing I find very strange in the coverage is this;

Hezbollah (and Hamas from Gaza) can fire rockets that target Israeli civilians in particular, and that seems to be OK by much of the world's media. They can use suicide bombers whose aim is to cause the maximum amount of civilian casualties possible. The world's media bends over backwards to 'understand' their motivation.

Yet when Israel fights back, targeting Hezbollah, but inadvertently also hitting Lebanese civilians (because Hezbollah shelters amongst those civilians), that is far from OK by them. Dual standards clearly apply.

In the war the Israelis are waging against Hezbollah, and terror, I fear Truth has become the first casualty of that war. The bias shown by much of the main stream media is mindboggling.

It seems Reuters has been caught out supplying doctored images from Lebanon (hat tip LGF and L & R).

Questions have been raised as to how the Qana tragedy seem to have been stage managed for maximum media impact. (It could be noted that very little similarly heart-rending coverage is given to the Israeli civilian victims of this war.

Truth is a casualty of this war. Perhaps we should remember who the original aggressors actually were?

Bottom line is that Israel has the right to defend herself, and should have the right for her citizens to be free of rocket attacks, suicide bombers and other acts of terror, just as any other nation should and does take for granted.