World War I, cane toads top list of Australian blunders
AUSTRALIA: Australia's naivety in World War I and a self-inflicted
plague of toads top the list of worst stuff-ups in the country's
history, a new book proclaimed Thursday.
The forced removal of Aboriginal children by the government and
church missions during the "stolen generation" of the 1930s to the 1970s
also featured among Australia's worst errors of judgment and historical
tragedies as detailed in "The Great Mistakes of Australian History".
The book's editor, University of Queensland history lecturer Martin
Crotty, said the blunders were picked to teach Australians to avoid
future mistakes, Australian Associated Press reported.
Alongside the unintended explosion in cane toads after their
introduction to combat beetles in cane crops, the book includes the
farming of unfertile land with unreliable rainfall as a major disaster.
However, Crotty said the naive militarism displayed during World War
I, which cost Australia 60,000 lives and wounded 150,000 men, was the
country's greatest gaffe.
"World War I just cost us so much in so many ways," he said. "It
resulted in incredible suffering among the soldiers and it just about
tore Australian society apart."
Crotty said the book showed the importance of recognising the bad, as
well as the good.
"It is as well to remember that we can completely stuff things up,
it's a good lesson in humility."
Sydney, Friday, AFP