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Re: Another Story of Lost (?) Confidence in the AWM

Date: 12/7/2001
Time: 3:27:50 PM
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Unfortunately though, it's not just their loss. It's our loss too. The difference is that the loss apparently doesn't bother such mindless despots. Because you dare to critcise (or even question) a 'holy' body like the RSL, they refuse to honour the names of soldiers who served their country a hundred years ago. Imagine what those soldiers - men of action - would think of these snivelling pen-pushers if they were around now to see their names intentionally disregarded because of such schoolyard jealousies. Actually that's being unkind to school kids. Kindergarten children couldn't have dreamed up anything so utterly childish, and they certainly never would have sunk so low.

Petty bureaucrats with their personal little feifdoms to guard really are pathetic, but unfortunately there are also a lot of them. That such very small minds are at work in many institutions holding onto what little power they have, and knowing in their own hearts on what a weak base of knowledge and real skill that micron of power is hinged, will tolerate absolutely no questioning of their methods or own 'attitudes'. Such questions, after all, are likely to throw their many and considerable shortcomings into sharp relief, meaning people would be 'on to them' and see them for the petty, ignorant bullies they really are.

These days the RSL is, with a few brilliant exceptions, one of the LAST places to look to see the memories of our soldiers truly commemorated. Check most of the clubs in Australia, and nobody on the staff or management committee will have a clue which local men served in any war, except maybe for one they can personally remember. Oh sure, the oath is read out every night at nine, and Anzac Day ceremonies may be held there, but their real business is gambling, food and drinks. Not remembering. After all, there's no money in that.

Imagine if someone who worked in a bank used the argument that, because he works in a bank and you don't, he is automaticallly an expert on, for example, the Great Depression, say, or the depression of the 1890's. You, on the other hand, no matter how much or how long you've studied the subject, know absolutely nothing about these things because you DON'T work in a bank. That argument would of course be seen to be ludicrous, and would quickly be dismissed by anyone with half a brain.

However, this is precisely the way that some individuals in either the AWM, the RSL, or the armed forces think.

Everybody I know who's ever attempted to carry out any research into Australian military history could tell you that the RSL is (with, as I said before, a few exceptions), totally and completely worthless as a source of information. While everyone knows this, you point the fact out at your peril, precisely because they will use their 'sacred cow' status to turn the tables on you and make you appear to be the unreasonable one, the ignorant one, the one who, after all, is not 'RSL management' and thus could not possibly have any idea of military history. 'We are the RSL', is the bombast, and the implication is that, whatever pronouncement they might make concerning anything military must, by very virtue of the fact that they are the RSL, be right. Garbage. It's just the loud-mouth bank worker again claiming that he knows about the Great Depression solely because he works for a bank.

Luckily there are also some good ones out there who haven't lost touch with their original purpose..

Last changed: December 07, 2001