The Calm

It is a good thing in general that North Korea is making overtures, despite their history of lying and reneging on promises. The American Right will attribute this to Trump’s hard stance and threats and perfect unpredictability, which is hard even for a tyrant to deal with.

But actually without ever seeing any documents or hearing any meetings, which we will never see or hear, this is because China has aspirations and she is tidying up a problem that is now hindering her advances. If there is a peace it enormously helps China, whereas if there were to be a peace in Syria it helps her not a whit so she is standing on the sidelines letting thousands die.

We live in a world of ethical relativity and it is killing our political evolution.

A Failure to Understand

There is an ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality abroad in governments. They talk about the lessons of history before and after bombing Muslims but they fail to make the connection between what Muslims are doing today and what Europe was doing five hundred years ago.

In those days Counts needed nothing more than a request from the Pope to threaten anyone the Pope wanted threatened. Monarchs had to show due respect to the church and hate anyone the church hated. Armies roamed Europe laying waste villages and besieging towns on a continuous basis. How did they get out of it? How did they get from there to where we are today?

They didn’t stop being hypocrites and they didn’t stop making weapons. They made more terrifying ones and in WW2 got to the stage where entire countries could be laid waste and the whole Continent was effected by one war. We stopped because we got sick of what we were doing.

Islam is nowhere near sick of the sight of blood.

Learn To Love The Bomb

The level of hypocrisy around the Syrian conflict is equaled only by that of the First World War, which Upton Sinclair laid bare revealing the international arms trade, the agreements between generals not to bomb each others arms factories with this ‘new’ weapon the aeroplane and the callous use of other people’s lives for the cause of nationalism.

Eight years children have been dying and there is no difference to them whether they were murdered by a rocket, a bullet or a gas. No one rushed to their aid and, just as the marsh Arabs sided with George Bush in the first Iraq War and were then abandoned to Hussein’s retribution, so the rebels fighting a  man everyone wanted gone have been sent a few weapons and left to their own devices.

Putin took advantage as demagogues always do. People died in their thousands but they are not voters so…who cares? As Louis MacNiece put it so brilliantly about us all:

‘Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.’ (Bagpipe Music 1938)

Modern Politics

I don’t know why anyone would want to watch Game of Thrones when real life is throwing up such jewels of intrigue and barbarity. In Myanmar they have ploughed up the villages the Muslims’ lived in and are building army bases upon them. Humans have been breaking down the homesteads of the enemy from mythical Troy to actual Carthage right through to American Indian towns.

Putin is widely seen as having ordered a nerve agent attack on the last remaining members of a family of a spy – I will kill you and all your family is an ancient invective used by such luminaries of behaviour as Genghis Khan and every regal anti-semite Europe has ever crowned.

And the UK sells fighters to Saudi Arabia which will be used to slaughter Yeminies. The hypocrisy of the permanent members of the Security Council. Other’s lives are not even footballs, they simply do not count in the game.

And nothing on TV matches the horror of Syria, the nationalism of India, the fraudulence of the White House. You just don’t ever need to make it up.

Forget Syria

Millions of people who have been anti-west for decades. A country Russia sees as the easiest way to get a warm water port not only in the Mediterranean but close enough to get ships through Suez and into the Red Sea in days. A place where the Kurds and Turks who hate each other can happily fight, where age-old tribal enmities can reach their endless bloodbath with Assad and the Baath Party.

Here USA troops scored a first…they beat a Russian cadre of ‘mercenaries’ in a fight. So Hollywood have a new film for 2019. Satellites can watch to see how well planes fare in getting rid of entrenched combatants in civilian areas. Drones are all over the places whether US, Russian or Israeli watching and looking. Israel takes in wounded but also hits back when rockets land in her territory.

And Chamberlainesque the United Nations and Europe look, wave bits of paper and call for cease fires to save people no one cares about. Absolutely no-one.

So Many Lies

A new proxy war between Russia and America in Syria, the first major one we know about since Afghanistan – and that one turned out brilliantly for the Americans. Another mass shooting in a school which proves, obviously, that teenagers should not have easy access to guns as they get frustrated and angry way too easily. And Johnson, who learned to speak in front of boys at Eton, where majority opinion is always Conservative, telling everyone how to save his political career for another fifteen years until he can retire and tell the news programmes of the world how he steered the UK brilliantly in to the 1950s.

Elon sends a car into space, a man who really needs publicity? A space already filled with junk. I hope he brings it and some of that, back. Or is he trying to get to a geodesic on Mars where the billionaires will hang out in 80 years time when the Earth is uninhabitable if you want to sun yourself in the Pacific and whore in the Mediterranean.

Somewhere in all this, a blog carries the words of a poet. Shänne Sands, a rare voice of truth.


There was a board game in the 70s, it might have been called Empire but as I never played, that might be another game. I read a journalist talking about the experience of playing this game, he said it was unsettling.

The premise of the game is that you are building a society which expands and the cards are there to put blocks in your path, force you to rethink, go around, try something else or simply have to bide your time. Much the same as we see real empires working.

What the journalist found unsettling was the power to degrade these blocks that he was given. He wrote that to achieve his aim, to get to his destination, the seduction of just wiping out a group of people who were standing in his way, became very strong.

I look at Turkey invading Syria, along with, it seems, everyone else, and I think how banal countries are that they can limit the thinking of a human being to within  borders in much the same way as we limit our thinking to society as we were born into it, and this planet as we have found it.

And we still kill anything in our way.

Humans and Dogs

My dog, a rough collie, has been for many years of her life perfectly happy and very sanguine. In the past two years, for reasons unfathomable, she suddenly will go for another dog with serious intent. Why she chooses the dogs she chooses is hard to define but it has to do with access to me, enclosed spaces and certain times of the day.

I think human beings are much the same. A friend’s daughter befriended in Truro, the county capital, a Syrian refugee family and the people in her road have belittled her, abused her, even attacked her to the point the police have been called for the threats made. It seems strangely easy to make people into attack dogs as if just below the surface the desire to attack is always there.

I have bought a muzzle for my dog for peace of mind and to be used at those times I have learned she is most likely to become a problem. would we had the same for people.

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