Thursday 23 July 2015

In my lifetime there have been 265 wars .......... Cameron wants to make it 266

According to the Wikipedia List of Wars by Date there have been 265 wars since I was born in 1950. Yes I am 65 and with my pensioner status comes the time to reflect on those years before I deteriorate to such a point that the fear of incontinence of mind or body start to dominate every waking moment. Thankfully I still have some control of the muscle between my ears even if, Billy Connolly's advice the over 60's, "never pass by a toilet" grows in wisdom with each passing year. I am sorry to be so flippant but I am obviously trying to shy away from the enormity of that number of wars, 4 new ones every year with some of them lasting for decades. I look at our smug faced politicians and wonder how they sleep at night. Come to that, how can I sleep easy; could I have done more to stop the carnage?

Cameron countdown to bombing
Photo credit: David Jones/PA Wire
......... but what has brought on these thoughts of war? It was this article in The Daily Star - Lebanon, a piece about David Cameron wanting to bomb Syria as a way of boosting his image. Remember the bombing Syria debate in 2013, here is a reminder, an article in the Guardian from August of that year. Labour won the argument that day, convincing enough Tories to rebel against Cameron so the people of Syria have at least been spared british bombing throughout the last two years. I was proud of Ed that day. He gave us a glimpse of the statesman that we hoped he would become but the election was lost and it seems that the people of Syria will have to pay the price. What August 2013 revealed was that there was no tangible objective for the bombing, no compelling reason why dropping bombs on Syria would in any way help the situation.

That debate will, as we are informed in the Lebanon Daily Star, be resumed this September but we can expect a number of softening up news items in the meantime to undermine those disinclined to accept Cameron's arguments. The article in the Daily Star brought to mind these famous words of Robert Burns from his poem "To A Louse":

O wad some Power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us! 
It wad frae mony a blunder free us, 
An' foolish notion: 
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us, 

An' ev'n devotion!

As I sit here, at my desk writing the final words for this post I am listening to Lost in a Lost World - by the Moody Blues, from the album Seventh Sojourn released in 1972.

I was 22 when this album was released. My generation had such hopes for the future; science would defeat disease and hunger; reason would triumph over war; education would create equality of opportunity; the welfare state would ensure a decent standard of living for all; the world would become a better place with the first, second and third worlds becoming one ........... the world being populated by humans in harmony with their planet.

How prescient was Lost in a Lost World. John Lennon said it with irony in "Imagine" but the Moody Blues just said it. We should have listened more closely.

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