Tag Archives: War

Water . . . The Final War

Isn’t it perverse how climate change is causing droughts and water shortages, at the same time as it is also melting the ice caps and providing ‘new’ water that will raise sea levels? Professor James Lovelock’s book, Gaia, has gradually gained acceptance over the years in answering this by explaining that the Earth is a living organism.

Not unlike our own bodies, as a living organism, our Planet is getting hot and is seeking to cool down. After all this ‘new’ water will not refresh the land and enable crops to grow because of its saline content, to say nothing of its growing toxic waste content! If we are wiped out as a consequence of this planetary reaction, it’s not personal but simply the Planet looking after itself.

Wouldn’t it be a relief if governments and corporations saw the light and recognised the omnipotent power of our Planet over corporate and political power? (The recent horrific earthquake in Nepal has been likened to the equivalent of 20 huge atomic bombs and one of many Natural disasters now happening around the world!)

Their reaction, however, is one of ongoing irresponsible greed, exemplified by Goldman Sachs who described the growing water shortages as “the petroleum of the next century”. They, along with the other banks, hedge funds and even the Bush family in America, are stampeding to buy up water utilities across the Planet. Even the EU is in cahoots with the Troika, leveraging Greek debt in order to take over the country’s water resources and other public utilities, at a time when the people are on their knees.

They know that 70% of our Planet is covered in water but only 3% is fresh water and 66% of that is concealed in frozen glaciers or otherwise unavailable to us. Just stop for a moment and consider the thinking that is driving this callous activity and then hold it please, as you read on.

People will be dying from lack of life giving water, which is provided freely by our Planet, because they can’t afford it. So enters a new means of genocide of global proportions.

The banks have saturated us with ‘odious’ debt and now they seek to finish the job with ‘odious’ water. You can understand how a peaceful and loving Christ lost it just once in his short life, when he physically threw the moneylenders out of the Temple!

The people of California offer a precursor of what is to come, as scientists warn the region may be entering a ‘mega’ drought that could last for decades. Government has imposed a 25% cut in urban water use with severe penalties for anyone violating these restrictions.

What is less well known is that these same people have to stand by and watch Fracking companies taking vast quantities of their precious water for commercial exploitation, with no oversight. Once used this water must be discarded as it is contaminated by chemicals that continue to remain a secret and which are added during the extraction process.

Again, take a moment and consider the mind-set here, when the world already has a surfeit of oil that is reflected in low oil prices.

Debt and corporate abuse can be managed. We could renege on the odious debt that now plagues global Society and take our custom away from abusive corporations. However, water is a life sustaining resource and something we cannot do without. Banks and the wealthy, having got these utilities, will also want to ensure they are adequately protected and demand this from governments using their already considerable influence.

This is precisely how the Syrian war began against Assad. Youth reacted to the corrupt allocation of scarce water supplies and their arrest and torture started a revolution that resulted in terrifying loss of innocent lives by the regime. This was repeated in Yemen in 2011. Both uprisings were ignited by water and their ferocity reflected the underlying social discontent against constant abuse that had been growing in these regions for a long time.

As these confrontations over dwindling water supplies escalates globally, how long before ferocious confrontation turns to ferocious reaction. As with Syria, the ensuing warfare would also quickly descend into “gross violations of human rights on a massive scale” (Amnesty International).

As thirst spreads, it can only drive this precarious situation over the edge and escalate into ‘small’ nuclear deterrents, from ‘Assad like’ mind-sets who need to set an example (Greece and the Troika again!) and will gamble with turning this beautiful Planet into a lunar landscape to maintain control.

We need leadership now like we have never needed it before, to redress the current imbalances of power and heal our Planet. If we cannot find them, either the Planet will dispense with our services, or we will!

Who decides this one my friends?

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

The War on Our Young

youth photo

If there is one thing guarantees me a good work out in the gym, it’s a political slogan or soundbite and such was the case yesterday. I was just warming up, when there on the TV screen was Cameron being “very clear” in his usual opaque fashion and behind him the slogan ‘A Britain that Rewards Hard Work’. Blood pressure . . . Richter scale . . . Go figure!

Is it any wonder the electorate are disengaged from politics, when such emotive rubbish is promoted at them? These words have come into existence from a VERY expensive advertising agency, who have tested them and many others with panels of people to see which words stimulate the greatest feel good factor. The fact they bear no resemblance to the truth is irrelevant.

Our kids are confronted by a world of disappearing jobs, student debt of frightening proportions and disappearing social support. They work hard at getting their degree, only to find the ‘reward’ for that hard work is huge indebtedness and no meaningful jobs with which to repay it. Added to which, they now live at home much longer and start families much later, in an insecure environment where they are changing jobs more frequently.

When I was starting out it was an easy decision. Office work at a good wage or an apprenticeship of 3 to 5 years at low pay but trained to a job that would catch up and often pass those office wages, once qualified. We invested in our young then.

In this environment I had no debt, got married within 5 years and bought a house for £5,000, which same house today will cost £300,000. The security of jobs was defined by the phrase ‘womb to tomb’ and so taking on the responsibility for a mortgage and family had that essential underlying reassurance.

Those were the ‘rewards’ for working hard and we did not have to work in today’s stressful environment. We took full lunch breaks and left work at 5 o’clock. We took our full holiday entitlement and certainly weren’t expected to think about, or continue working, after leaving the workplace.

There are no ‘rewards’ for working hard these days. Just a Neanderthal attitude that says “If you don’t like it go somewhere else!”, knowing full well that this is becoming more difficult, as technology takes jobs away from people and hands it to robots. I’m sorry Cameron, is this the ‘reward’ your distasteful slogan refers to? Do you expect the young to kill themselves just to keep a job that could disappear in 5 years’ time, as the robots get cleverer?

Even their education has been corrupted, as corporations seek to replace religions in providing their teachings about life. At least with religion there was a morality at work, biased though it was to each particular religion.

Immorality is now the order of the day, as text book content is edited to ensure the ‘facts’ do not conflict with corporate policy and strategy. We are no longer training them to go out into the world to make their unique contribution but turn them into ‘consumers’, towing the corporate line if they are lucky enough to find work!

We campaign, rightly so, for the relief of so many vulnerable people suffering disability and disadvantage, whilst corporate backed government is now creating a whole Society that is hugely underprivileged, disadvantaged and vulnerable.

Our young are the lifeblood of innovation and competition. Look at their contribution to the development of the internet. The moral depravity of Society has now sunk so low that, in the words of anthropologist Alain Bertho “Youth is no longer considered the world’s future but a threat to its present.”

The corporate world is fully aware of this and hence, with political connivance, the war on our young takes the shape of global monopolies, deliberately created to stifle education, innovation and competition.

What they don’t want is a bunch of young Richard Branson’s coming along and unsettling the comfy status quo. After all, look what he did to the cosy British Airways monopoly of Atlantic air routes. Big corporations are too inflexible to fight innovation and they know it and so their answer is to suppress.

Perhaps there is a glimmer in the growing number of disastrous financial reports now appearing from these monoliths, as their conniving and false accounting breeds its repercussions. What is becoming evident is that ‘Too Big to Fail’ is sounding their death knell and that the young will, eventually, have their day.

As an aside, I Know I should be grateful to all political parties for their positive contribution to my current fitness regime . . . But I just can’t work up the enthusiasm!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

The Natives Are Rising!

rebellion photo

I am an eternal optimist who believes in the omnipotent forces that hold Life in balance. I refer to forces we cannot see or touch but have been at work since the dawning of time.

Our beautiful Planet, which we are abusing unrelentingly, is now so far out of balance through climate warming that its melting ice caps will, if necessary, flood all land masses to cool things down. If we are wiped out in the process it is not personal but simply a result of the Planets need to rebalance itself!

For humanity, balance is achieved through the omnipotent forces of Trust and Integrity, the lynchpins that hold human fallibility in check, as we go about fulfilling our most basic of needs to create, support and nurture a home, family and each other.

We are now, like our Planet, in a state of growing global imbalance, as these disciplines are ignored in pursuit of the narrow financial beliefs of the few. They have taken us out of balance by making ‘profit and debt’ the single dominating forces in our lives, achieved by deliberately weakening the democratic process we have designed to hold Life in balance.

Interestingly what the 1% are blind to, as again they seek to create a New World Order, is that throughout our history no single belief system has ever achieved the domination of our species they crave. The 99% hold the consensus, as the birthplace of all dissention against narrow beliefs and the source of all new leadership and new beliefs . . . this has always has been the case and it always will be.

The present assault on democracy follows the same pattern that happened in Rome and has been repeated by all the other ‘man-made’ power structures right up to the present day. Power creates abuse, which creates distrust, which leads to collapse that is brought about by the revolt of the people as, for example, our history with France and Russia remind us.

Our present rulers know this and so, as their greed becomes all-consuming and they try desperately to hold on to the status quo by suppressing the people with greater and greater levels of violence and aggression. Their blindness does not recognise that by such extreme actions they are again creating a tipping point. This is particularly so today as the internet breaks down all of the traditional barriers they have used to keep us separated and subdued.

When Society is pushed out of balance the unrest begins and the greater the imbalance the greater the unrest. That we are now experiencing this unrest from a united young and disenfranchised globally is a first in our history, taking us into uncharted waters.

This imbalance has accelerated since the 2007 financial collapse and the subsequent money printing by banks and governments, which has bypassed the people it was originally promised to. Instead it has gone to the few, at miniscule interest, for them to invest in their own companies and other ventures, providing vast paper profits and ensuring the gap between the rich and the poor grows ever wider.

Such is the scale of this greed driven abuse that we now have the classic signs of another financial disaster that will make 2007 pale into insignificance. Whilst share prices are escalating, profits continue to diminish, providing no foundation upon which to support these record stock market prices, other than the money printing!

Conclusive proof of the reality of the situation comes with the news that at the recent Davos Economic Forum it was revealed that the rich are now beginning to panic at how the people will react when the next collapse occurs. They know it is coming and like the Nazi hierarchy at the end of World War II, are now heavily investing in remote properties in New Zealand and South America. Even Sotheby’s Reality in New Zealand confirmed the situation and the paranoia and fears for personal safety that is driving the purchase of these remote properties.

In his annual report Lord Jacob Rothschild, no less, has warned his investors that the focus must now be on preservation of shareholder capital, rather than short term gains, “as the geopolitical situation across the planet begins to resemble World War II”. The ‘geopolitical situation’ to which he refers is the growing fear by the rich of vast social upheaval and rioting following the next ‘2007’!

We live in Capitalism and its power seems inescapable. However the same was said about the ‘divine right of Kings’ and that was resisted and changed by human beings, driven by the immutable universal forces of balance.

We are in unprecedented times, where the outmoded order of kings is being replaced by the democracy of the Global Village, something we will either painfully grow into or perish in the process. Would we have it any other way?!

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Welcome to The Abyss

September 11th 2001 was the day that will stay with everyone. It will also stay with Jo Moore, a special government advisor, who had to resign after sending an email suggesting it would be a “good day to bury bad news”!

Yesterday a frightening piece of news signalling Armageddon may have arrived, was successfully buried by a carefully directed media frenzy over the HSBC tax evasion ‘scandal’. I put scandal in quotes as I really can’t see what all the fuss is about. HSBC are only doing their odious job by maximising the efficient management of clients’ money.

Whilst our attention was being diverted by this non news, media mogul mates of President Obama quietly announced that he is seeking a ‘war resolution’ against Islamic State, with limited use of US force against militants operating in Syria and Iraq for three years . . . Welcome to the Abyss . . . which this morning’s media paid scant attention to.

It is now blatantly obvious that the Pentagon runs American foreign policy and that they are totally out of control. They have learned nothing from the 60’s, when the futility of the Vietnam war was recognised after 23 years of vicious conflict, in which reports suggest up to 3 million Vietnamese service members and civilians lost their lives?

25 years later, after the dust settled from the collapse of the twin towers in 2001, George W Bush declared a ‘War on Terror’, starting in Afghanistan and followed by Iraq 2 years later. Whilst enormous resources have been applied to these campaigns the end result has been unmitigated disaster.

Instead of the promised subjugation of the enemy and conversion of these Muslim countries to ‘democratic’ capitalism the complete reverse has happened. The effect of putting foreign troops on home territory has antagonised and enraged the civilian population, as unarmed civilians are systematically murdered through the cowardly practice of drone warfare.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to work out how you would feel if an Iraqi army invaded your country on the pretext of coming to help and then slaughtered friends, family and fellow countrymen from the protection of unmanned aircraft you are unable to fight back against.

To heap insult upon injury, when the Pentagon had finished knocking the stuffing out of the country’s infrastructure, it was then subjected to a second ‘invasion’ to help rebuild everything the army had destroyed. Only what was rebuilt was of inferior quality and unfit for purpose, as contractors reaped vast profits from the rebuilding contracts.

There is little doubt that these blunders fuelled a change in terrorism that had previously been supported by the West to destabilise unwanted power in the region. ISIS is the end product and its rapid and violent growth against the West speaks volumes about current resentment. What the Pentagon seems incapable of understanding is that they are not fighting an army but an ideology that is vehemently opposed to western values.

The greater the force fighting ideology the greater the resistance. Do the generals really believe they can subdue these people and even annihilate them? The reality is that any belief can never be eradicated by force, it will simply spring up somewhere else, as is now happening with alarming rapidity across the globe.

In the UK an ‘off duty’ solder returning to base was attacked and viciously killed in broad daylight in front of traumatised civilians. In France the Charlie Hebdo massacre left a country stunned. Only a few days ago Australian police arrested two men, seizing a homemade ‘ISIS’ flag along with a machete and hunting knife, whose intended gory application takes little imagination.

This is the future that now awaits us with this latest Pentagon initiative, where we will become frightened to walk out in public with our families, uncertain as to whether we will be attacked, or worse, that our children might witness such atrocities.

And what will be the impact upon youngsters growing up in this environment? Antagonism towards ‘foreigners’ will escalate and the curse we have lived with as a species for too long now will be reinforced as we continue to be divided and conquered.

Never was the wisdom of Einstein more relevant than now: “The thinking that creates the problem is quite incapable of solving it”. Obama’s message of yesterday is taking us to the edge of the abyss and the only way back is to find new visionary and committed leaders, as Greece has now done in an attempt to step back from her own abyss.

Only then might we create a narrow bridge over which we can tentatively embark upon new understandings instead of antagonism, to meet those in our growing Global Village who are equally entitled to live on this beautiful Planet. These are challenging times my friends.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Terrorism . . . Are We Being Played?

The plethora of reporting on ‘Terrorism’ raises questions in my mind as to precisely what is going on as we argue the fine line between a broad perspective and conspiracy theory. I find myself being pushed into the camp that postulates a cogent plan by our rulers to keep our attention diverted, whilst our countries are ransacked and our freedoms decimated by the clever application of surveillance, debt and restricted money supply.

First we had Al Qaeda, a virtually unknown group who rocketed to infamy and caused Bush’s “Bring it on” declaration of global war after 9/11. This was followed immediately by the (illegal) Iraq war and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which, given the resources available, seemed to take an inordinate amount of time in finding him.

Why was he immediately executed, rather than humiliated by a show trial and execution, with all the kudos this would offer? Having supposedly disposed of him, we are now told that no official evidence of his demise is available.

In contrast with Saddam Hussein, we were privy to every part of his capture, including his total humiliation by a public mouth search! His show trial covered the globe and finally we went into the death house to witness his execution. All pretty gripping stuff and guaranteed to hold our attention, with such ‘villains’ as Hussein and Bin Laden heading up the cast.

So having got our attention we now have a new and even more sensational story with the advent of ISIS. They are ruthless, well co-ordinated, well versed in social media and how to manipulate by sensation and scare. They are also well-resourced and successful to the point that young men flood to their camps to join in that success against an enemy that seems intent upon keeping its own young men unemployed and suppressed by debt.

The problem with the sensational, when so widely broadcast, is that it has to become more and more dramatic to maintain such a vast audience. This has led from ground attack and butchery of civilians to brutal beheadings. Their leadership have now ramped up the sensational by placing an Iranian pilot in a metal cage and brutally burned him to death. This latest atrocity begs the question: “What next?!”

To add to information overload we were told by journalist Didier Francois, a captive who was subsequently released, that his captors “hammered” hostages with their political, not religious ideology. This revelation now casts huge doubt over the news stories we have been fed about religious zealots. Not only that but it begins to replicate the equally unpleasant ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, where terrorism was also used to gain political power.

Which again begs a question: “Where is Tony Blair in all of this?”, having been in government during the Northern Ireland peace process and witnessed the giving of power to the political wing of the IRA. Now, ‘Special Envoy to the Middle East’, he seems eminently qualified and experienced to apply his skills here, but is nowhere to be found . . . Hmmm!

It seems to me that Terrorism ticks so many boxes in supporting the covert escalation of global power. It diverts our attention from the gradual financialisation of this world and our subsequent enslavement by debt. It creates the needed enemy that is violently threatening our peace and security. It provides a righteous war able to feed us a diet of sensational barbarism, which spreads fear and justifies a global web of surveillance to further subjugate our every move.

What, I ask myself, would have been the result of no media coverage? Would this latest terrorist group have really brought the world to its knees, by robbing us of our freedom so quickly and efficiently, if we knew nothing about them . . . or are we being played? (As an aside, the Norwegian government responded to the murder of 69 of its people, mainly youngsters, with more democracy, more openness and greater political participation!)

If we are being played and apply this to our forthcoming elections, is it any wonder the same corporately governed political parties are re-elected to continue the enslavement of Society?

Or have the very beginnings of the fight back now begun in places like Greece and Portugal? Judging by the people, the will to change is evident because they have had enough . . . and also have nothing to lose!

With renewed belief in itself, through a greater understanding of what is going on in our growing ‘Global Village’, I believe Society will somehow find the wherewithal to end the traditional tyranny that has plagued it for so long.

Overwhelming? . . . Certainly! Possible? . . . What have we got to lose?

 

Until the next time

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

War + Christmas = Football!

100 years ago the first Christmas of the First World War offered a huge window on how united we are as a species and the effort necessary to keep us apart.

The trenches in that battlefield were close enough together that the soldiers on both sides could talk to each other. A respect developed that allowed each side to collect their dead and wounded without threat.

Such was the rapport that on Christmas Day the war was ‘unofficially’ put aside, as men climbed out of their trenches and came together to talk and exchange gifts with the ‘enemy’, as well as playing football with them along a number of stretches of the battlefield.

The ‘official’ reaction was horror, encapsulated by a young Charles de Gaulle who spoke with disgust about this “fraternisation and the lamentable desire of French infantrymen to leave the enemy in peace”. Another wrote of the “unfortunate consequences when men become familiar with their neighbours opposite“. Adolf Hitler, a young corporal then, spoke with disgust on the subject . . .  An omen for the future!

Brutal reprisals were made on officers and men to subdue any future fraternisation. For me this defines the historic mind-set of ‘Divide & Conquer’ and a perfect example of how the 1% have manipulated and turned the 99% against each other for millennia to protect their hold on power.

During this worst of all wars, the abuse and arrogance of the former showing no concern for the cost of human life or misery. The latter enduring horrific loss of life because of continuously futile charges against machine guns and artillery. (The first day on the Somme saw 57,000 British casualties alone!)

What is it that drives this insane commitment to certain death by so many, with countless stories of the youth lying about their age so they could join up and (unknowingly) feed the slaughter?

The answer, of course, is in the word unknowingly! The propaganda machine has always been brutally efficient, showing then such images as enemy soldiers laughing as they spitted babies on their bayonets and the equally manipulative call to arms with, Your Country Needs You.

How could any young impressionable individual ignore these carefully prepared and placed messages, nor the taunts from others with minds already manipulated? And so they found themselves in water logged trenches, where disease and death go hand in glove, whilst recoiling from daily artillery bombardments that traumatised many for the remainder of their lives, if they actually survived!

I would argue that the true nature of people cannot be suppressed indefinitely, as this Christmas time 100 years ago demonstrated, with friend & foe burying their differences. This lack of aggressive agenda is a defining quality of the 99%, when left to their own devices and despised and feared by the 1%. They know that if they let up for a second with their constant manipulation and propaganda the people will rise up and overthrow them, to live a more peaceable life in a more peaceful world.

As long as that power and those who wield it, is enshrouded in veils of mystery the charade continues. However, we are moving inexorably into a new era, where the internet is tearing down those veils. Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, through their individual courage and integrity, have shown how manipulation and propaganda operates today.

The lines are being as vividly drawn now, by the 1% towards the 99%, as they were with the trenches in that odious war. But once again we are seeing people climbing out of their trenches, uniting and supporting each other in peaceful protest across the globe. And again it is being met by increasingly violent police action and surveillance that attempts to continue the suppression.

Like the First World War, this conflict won’t be over quickly, as the internet is an indomitable force for change. The 99% are discovering that threatening differences they have been constantly fed about each other are no more than the characteristics we all share, simply with a different language and colour of skin.

We are learning that we all laugh and cry at much the same things, we want our children to be healthy and successful and we want to enjoy our lives as freely and fully as possible. We are recognising the abuse that is stopping this from happening and that it is something worth fighting about.

The game of Football has now begun . . . and will continue, unabated, for many Christmas’s!

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It!

By J T Coombes

Remembrance Day: A Time to Remember . . . and Learn!

As I once again watched the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph, for the first time in six and a half decades a part of me felt a violent sense of anger that truly shocked me. As I sought answers to why this emotion had emerged with such force it became clear that, whilst the very act of remembering pays an essential tribute to the many, often young men and women who gave up their lives for our future . . . little has changed.

We have remembered but not learned!

As I look back over my own life, on many occasions I am reminded of the mistakes I have made and the pain and suffering I have caused to those I have loved, as well as to acquaintances and even complete strangers. I am sure I, like many, am not proud of these episodes. Whilst the guilt is sometimes difficult to deal with, I take reassurance and courage from the fact that I have learned from these lessons and consciously try hard not to repeat them again, often with success.

It is here that I recognise the source of the anger I experienced today. In the last two world wars some 70 million people have given their lives, either voluntarily or as victims of the aggression (Encyclopaedia of Death & Dying). That’s more people than the entire population of Britain in 2013! The entire population wiped out . . . for what? What have we learned? Or, more importantly what have our leaders learned?!

All I hear to that last question is a deafening silence, made more obscene by the words of the hymn always sung before the march past:

Oh God our help in ages past

Our hope for years to come”

It was only a few years ago that our brave men and women were sent to put their lives at risk, yet again, but this time for political reasons that we were subsequently told were backed up by misinformation designed to boost the careers of those in charge.

Not only has this elephantine loss of life taught nothing to those in charge but has demonstrated unequivocally that human life has been relegated to a tool of war which can provide hundreds of billions in profits to those who not only aid its enactment but also the rebuilding works carried out as a result of that death and destruction.

Remembrance Day, to me, should certainly be a time when we show great respect for those who have fallen and which we do superbly. It should also be a time of joy and relief that we have learned from their sacrifice by what we have achieved since they laid down their lives.

Sadly I cannot see any trace of effective and growing global bodies of governance and education that are uniting us as a species and relegating uncontrolled human aggression to a thing of the past. We know that in managing our fallibilities we grow as human beings. It is obvious however that our growth as a species is being held back by outdated thinking, driven by personal gain.

Perhaps Remembrance Day 2014 should be reflected upon, as we move into an election year, helping us to bring focus to the need for New VISIONARY Leaders capable of the changes so essential now to our future survival.

We deserve better and we should expect better, for the sake of those who thought they were fighting for a brighter future!

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power To The 99% . . . If They Want It!           By J T Coombes

Gaza needs a Mandela

Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)

South Africa The Good News / www.sagoodnews.co.za [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The thinking that created the problem is quite incapable of solving it. Albert Einstein

Compulsion is inherent within the human condition, often pushing us to extreme and destructive behaviour that is beyond comprehension. It is stimulated by many things, including the derivatives of harmless aspects of Nature. A poppy is a beautiful flower until turned into opium, grape and grain are nutritional foods until distilled into alcohol. Both then fuel the destructive compulsions of drug or alcohol addiction.

Aggression is also an inherent part of that human condition, and it too has a compulsive element of ‘tit for tat’ revenge when the anger becomes overwhelming. The growing depravity of the violence we are now experiencing in the Middle East is witness to this compulsion at work, something I believe could also have happened in South Africa in the 1990’s. Continue reading

Children and Airline Passengers . . . Where Next?!

By Ptdtch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There was a time not many decades ago when warfare was defined by the combatants wearing uniforms to identify who they were and also to separate them from the civilian population and other non-combatants. Within this arena there were also codes of practice on how the actual war was conducted, including an ‘etiquette’ for dealing with the wounded and captured prisoners.

We have moved a long way from these ‘Marquis of Queensbury rules’ as combatants no longer wear uniforms to identify themselves. Indeed we now see them in civilian clothing, actually merging with the civilian population and carrying out acts of warfare against those same civilians they hide amongst. It seems as though nothing is sacrosanct any more as rape is now used as a tool of warfare, instead of ‘collateral damage’, and children are targeted with growing regularity.

Unmanned ‘drones’ carry out bombing raids that remove their operators from any risk, and cause further mayhem to an already traumatised civilian population. Terrorism is the perfect description of modern conflict as it seeks to aggravate our greatest fears with acts of barbarism in our day to day lives we struggle to comprehend.

From certain aspects I see a correlation between the excesses of Capitalism and the excesses of religious fundamentalism, taking us more and more out of balance as a species, as one belief system seeks to dominate the other. Both are becoming increasingly abusive in their desire for global power, with scant regard for the chaos and misery they inflict upon the majority in their futile quest for domination.

There was a time when traditional religious belief was the line over which Society did not tread, providing a moral value that contained the actions of aggressive power struggles. Sadly our religious institutions have lost sway over Societies values having sowed the seeds of their own destruction by not evolving as our species has evolved, and abusing their own powers in the process.

So where does this leave us now, in a world that has had its traditional moral values erased by the onward advance of Capitalism and its shallow lust for profit over all else, countered by the traditional values of religious fundamentalism?

Certainly governments should be Societies protector but they too have succumbed to the shallow values previously mentioned. Global institutions like the United Nations have shown time and time again that they are impotent in controlling abusive nations and countries, as they too succumb to the interests of powerful governments working hand in glove with giant corporations.

If children and airline passengers are no longer safe from senseless power plays it can only be a short step to nuclear war. Already we hear of unstable organisations and countries desperately seeking this capability as the ultimate weapon with which to achieve their quest for power. If there is no longer a set of global values with which to curb these desperate acts it might not be long before they achieve their obscene goals.

Oh . . . and the reward for this achievement? A Planet that resembles a lunar landscape, unlivable because of nuclear fallout and bereft of people to rule because the violence continued beyond children and airline passengers.

Until the next time.

Gaza . . . Why 5 Hours?!

 

doves

As I looked at the screens I, like millions of others, struggled to understand the latest horror to come out of this troubled land and the resultant 5 hour ceasefire. But almost immediately afterwards I thought “Why 5 hours?” What is the mind-set of the people responsible that they come up with such a figure? What was the Instruction that came from the command post?

Oh Fuck!!! Some more kids got killed. Better have a 5 hour ceasefire . . . that should sort it”

5 Hours. That’s 1 hour 15 minutes of ceasefire for each child’s life. Is that the going rate? I really don’t know but it makes the financial costs of warfare pale into insignificance. And why 5 hours? Why not 1 hour 34 minutes, or 15 hours 10 minutes, or the more traditional 24/48/72 hours? Is it just that after such a long period of conflict, senses are now so dulled as to remove all morality from human thought?

In no way do I feel qualified to comment on the history and religious politics of this running sore of conflict on our beautiful Planet. What I do know however, is that if you look down from Space you cannot see any natural barriers of race, colour, creed or gender that separate us. These have come from the religious and political beliefs of our species, used as a tool to ‘divide and conquer’ the majority for millennia. In the beginning it was brute force that took the power but now, in a modern democracy, we elect these people to continue the divisions that divert our attention from turning on them.

Isn’t it perverse that we elect them to indoctrinate us in beliefs that keep them in power at the cost of ours, and our children’s lives? Left to their own devices people get on well together, learning from each other’s different means of living this thing called Life. Maybe the time is fast approaching when we ‘unelect’ these trouble makers and watch world peace grow across this increasingly joined up Planet.

As I finish this piece I am not ashamed to admit for the first time in 8 years of writing there are teardrops on my keyboard. I believe the toughest challenge Life can throw at us is the death of children. There is not only the agony of the grief and loss but a sense of guilt that we have unnaturally outlived our own children. My heart goes out to those and the many other parents paying the price of senseless power plays.

It also goes out to those who actually witnessed this barbaric atrocity. For a moment they were watching kids laughing and playing the timeless game of hide and seek, something we have all enjoyed at one stage or another in our lives. Then a mighty explosion and suddenly nothing. I hope and pray they find the wherewithal to deal with the mind numbing trauma they have experienced, both now and in the years that stretch out before them, because it will surely always haunt them.

One last thought on the 5 hours. Perhaps it was just a favourite number that now demands another child’s life to square everything!

Until the next time