Thursday, September 02, 2004

Tithe! Tithe!

Very down at the current situation in North Ossetia and then this article about Médecin Sans Frontière is humbling and terrible at the same time. I can't tell whether the author's sign-off about reading time is supposed to be Ironic, or an indication that he has become blasé about the whole thing. I probably should not try analysing it at all. It all makes me think of the letter which the sister of a soldier killed in Iraq wrote to Tony Blair. It is a simple text though I am sure anyone in the PM's presence while he reads it will see him trying to dismiss it as a simplistic analysis of the situation from a person affected by grief. I actually thought it was amazingly restrained. It says all the things that we have in our heads but that we are afraid to voice in case we are seen as people without an understanding of the wider situation. Well I am coming out. I think that Britain joined the war in Iraq to avoid upsetting the president and that he started it for image, dad and oil just like Andrew Motion says. We may be simplistic but the things we want in life are simple things, things that do not arrive on the back of an army truck or in the bomb bay of an aircraft. I could complicate matter with my old argument about military personnel having to accept the risks but in this case, the 64 dead British troops have died for nothing tangible I can see. We are making the world a more dangerous place because of it. Those in power seem to sidle into some black spectre of Commander that is always placed and always leads us. No matter whom we vote for, the boss is infected with this evil and patronising character. I want this to be a scream and a shout for the dead. On our beloved leader’s terms, we should be in Sudan now. 0/10 -probably could not do better. I am one step away from crying at how bad things are and from the despair of having to live here with our current regime - and that is what it feels like to me.

Maybe I should not read the news. I remember during the first Gulf war, when we didn't have continuous news feeds to our desks. I would get home and read the paper at the Kitchen table, listening to the news and despairing. I was expecting (probably irrationally) to be called up and at that time I did not have the situation in my head clear enough to object conscientiously like my great mate, Oliver Postgate. Not a chance now. (Still Irrational you see.) I wish I were as eloquent as Oliver. He seems to have said everything I wanted to in the linked article. My education has failed.

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