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Friday, August 25, 2017

Afghanistan Is Not Always a “Graveyard of Empires,” but We Need to Be Realistic About Our Goals There

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"Australia Day is not the day the Australian nation came into being. (That would not occur until 1901.) Rather, it marks the arrival of the “First Fleet” of British settlers, around half of whom were prisoners, into Sydney Cove in 1788. Despite the the presence of an estimated 750,000 Aborigines, whose ancestors had lived in Australia for tens of thousands of years, the oldest continuous civilization in the world, Captain Arthur Phillip and his 1,530 companions considered Australia terra nullius, “nobody’s land,” and raised a flag, declaring possession of the land in the name of Britain’s King George III. What followed was centuries of massacres, wars, starvation, disease, kidnapping, rape, enslavement, wage theft, and internment; a near genocide of the Aboriginal people. At its lowest point, the indigenous population would be wiped out to close to one-tenth its original size. (Today there are close to 700,000 Indigenous people in Australia.) To many indigenous Australians, Australia Day is known as “Invasion Day.”

Afghanistan Is Not Always a “Graveyard of Empires,” but We Need to Be Realistic About Our Goals There: ""

 


"Australia Day is not the day the Australian nation came into being. (That would not occur until 1901.) Rather, it marks the arrival of the “First Fleet” of British settlers, around half of whom were prisoners, into Sydney Cove in 1788. Despite the the presence of an estimated 750,000 Aborigines, whose ancestors had lived in Australia for tens of thousands of years, the oldest continuous civilization in the world, Captain Arthur Phillip and his 1,530 companions considered Australia terra nullius, “nobody’s land,” and raised a flag, declaring possession of the land in the name of Britain’s King George III. What followed was centuries of massacres, wars, starvation, disease, kidnapping, rape, enslavement, wage theft, and internment; a near genocide of the Aboriginal people. At its lowest point, the indigenous population would be wiped out to close to one-tenth its original size. (Today there are close to 700,000 Indigenous people in Australia.) To many indigenous Australians, Australia Day is known as “Invasion Day.”

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