Anzac Day 2018: Australia stages a “gender-inclusive” glorification of war


Anzac Day 2018: Australia stages a “gender-inclusive” glorification of war

Richard Phillips

2 May 2018

Anzac Day marches in Australia on April 25 were led by hundreds of female soldiers—past and present—as part of the government’s annual glorification of nationalism and militarism. Female participants in the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were given pride of place.

Anzac Day venerates the April 25, 1915 landing of Australian, New Zealand, French and British troops at Gallipoli Cove in Turkey during World War I. The nine-month battle ended in a disastrous defeat. But annual Anzac ceremonies, under the banner of “remembering the fallen,” are used to promote the military, as well as to condition the population, and young people in particular, for future “sacrifices” for the nation.

In line with this year’s “gender-inclusive” Anzac Day spin, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) news site featured Major Sally Heidenreich, a former army intelligence officer.

Heidenreich served in Iraq and then Afghanistan, where she led the “Fusion and Targeting Cell”—a Special Operations Task Group squad that organised the assassination of alleged insurgents fighting against the US-led occupation of their country.

Her job was “incredibly rewarding,” she told the ABC. “We would either dispatch ground troops to target them if possible or, if the terrain in question was too remote or inhospitable, my team and I would target them ourselves, using specialised military assets.”

Heidenreich, who is married to a retired Special Air Services Regiment officer, is now a well-connected lawyer and a member of South Australia’s Veterans Advisory Council.

During the 1960s and 1970s, it was common wisdom among students, young workers, and leading…

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