On thoughts of war and conflict...
On Wednesday night I was absolutely horrified at the UK government's decision to bomb Syria. A country that has been at the sharp end of human rights atrocities at the hands of its own government since 2011.
This civil war has complex roots, social, political and environmental factors are all part of the mix and the conflict has left a gaping hole where leadership and emergency support should be. It led me to wonder if this has created the perfect conditions for fascism to take hold? Is leadership and power, however oppressive, comforting to people who, no doubt feel abandoned by their own government and the international community too?
If this is the case and our ‘friendly bombs’ don’t just kill fundamentalists, but civilians too (which of course is highly likely), then what messages are we sending to the innocent civilians of Syria who are already living in fear and terror? Will they thank us for saving them from fundamentalists or will they view our attacks upon Daesh as attacks upon them, the people who are already most gravely affected.
Fortunately, or unfortunately since I was a child I have found the suffering of human’s to be unbearable. I blame some of this on my late father who used to take out his old cotton hankie and cry at images of war on the news, lamenting ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. (Thanks Dad.)
It's Saturday today and I feel the same sense of helplessness and uselessness that no doubt millions of other people across the world are feeling too. How will adding more bombs to the already burgeoning air strike campaign make any difference at all?
All I have are questions. One of which was, how many years has the UK been involved in conflict since I was born in 1977? I looked it up and as some wars run/ran concurrently it’s actually more years than I’ve been alive, 63 to be exact, including conflict in Norther Ireland and our ‘War on Terror'. The UK has been in some sort of conflict every year since I was born, there has not been a single year that the country has been at peace.
This reminded me of a quote from George Orwell, spoken through the mouth of Winston Smith: “It does not matter if the war is not real, for when it is victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous.”
|1977 to 1997||North Ireland|
|1980||Iranian Embassy Siege|
|1990 to 1991||Gulf War|
|1992 to 1996||Bosnian War|
|1998||Operation Desert Fox (Iraq)|
|2000||Sierra Leone Civil War|
|2001-2007||War on Terror|
|2001-2014||War in Afghanistan|
|2011||Libyan Civil War|
||Military Intervention against Daesh/IS|
|2015||Syrian Air Strikes|
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