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Criticism of institutions

From: Bryn Dolan 
Date: 1/7/2002
Time: 8:19:34 AM
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While I agree that it's not the purpose of this forum to attack the AWM, RSL, or whichever organisation forum contributors may have had problems with, it's inevitable that there will be views held on these, and human nature to want to air them, if for no other reason than just to see if such problems are isolated cases or widespread occurrences. If they were interested enough, someone from any body that's criticised could easily respond on the forum, and since it doesn't seem to be too difficult to claim to speak for the membership or staff of some of these institutions, I'm surprised that that never seems to have happened. The fact that nobody ever seems to do this means -- what? That they're not interested in or concerned about what people 'out there' think? They're not interested enough, or computer-savvy enough to either know of, or be checking discussion boards such as these? That the criticism is justified and they don't want to admit it? That the criticism is not justified, but they don't feel they have to explain why? They have no answer? I don't know why, but it doesn't have to be a one-way street. Again though, this forum isn't intended for such things, but it does attract a number of people with experience in military history, and many with pretty strong beliefs.

Sometimes we can feel as though we're the only ones having a hard time, and it's actually encouraging - to me at least - that there are other people facing similar obstacles who aren't afraid to speak out against the stranger actions / policies of some of our 'sacred cows' as one person put it.. I like the fact that, on an ALHA forum, some people are able to criticise the ALHA. That's free speech in action, and no matter what problems some may have with the Association, it's to the ALHA's credit that they tolerate that on their board.

In the course of my research I've had problems with some organisations, or I have issues with some of their policies, and I find it very interesting to read if similar things have happened to others. The forum can't be held responsible for the views of its contributors (which is just as well sometimes), and it sure does make for colourful reading!

If such discussions were to be banned, I guess the forum would settle back into its original, specific purpose, but it would lose a lot of its flavour, which would be a shame.


B Dolan bdolan@anzacs.org

Last changed: January 07, 2002