A War Memorial Is Being Expanded. Some Say It Whitewashes History.

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tags: museums, Iraq, memorials, Australia, World War 1, World War 2

CANBERRA, Australia — In a small section of the Australian War Memorial, past softly lit halls displaying World War I and II battlefield dioramas, is an exhibit dedicated to the Iraq War. 

In the display cases are gas masks and uniforms, modern updates of those worn a century earlier when troops fought at Gallipoli and the Western Front. The accompanying text tells visitors that the “U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was motivated by concerns that the Iraqi regime continued to hold weapons of mass destruction.” 

The description goes on to chronicle Australia’s role in the 2003 invasion, which included committing special forces, carrying out naval and air operations, and training Iraqi troops. But it does not mention that the United States, Britain and Australia greatly exaggerated that threat, and no such weapons were found.

Now that partial account of the war in Iraq, as well as Australia’s participation in the war in Afghanistan, is about to get a significant boost: The memorial — composed of cenotaphs, a research center and a museum — has received 498 million Australian dollars (around $350 million) in government funding to build new sections commemorating the country’s more recent foreign conflicts.

Read entire article at NY Times

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