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Saturday, September 24, 2011

The First of Many....

Our obsessions in this life, as mortals, are determined by those things which either make us feel most alive or which most threaten our sense of self; for some the obsession is how they are seen by others, for some the obsession is what they possess. Consider for a moment those obsessions of your own - don't they revolve around that which makes you feel most alive or most in jeopardy?

Yet occasionally though, one finds in this life those rare folk who are obsessed with the health, wealth, and prosperity of others. They're not as rare as we seem to think, yet only a handful ever make it to the world stage: a Mandela, a St Francis, a Norman Finkelstein, a Bobby Kennedy; these characters exist in every Latin American shanty town and every lush plateu of Asia, and every sprawling western city or windswept Slavic plain, yet we do not know their names and doubtless never will. Yet be comforted, dear reader, to know that vast numbers of people alive today are willing to lay down their lives for the future prosperity and happiness of persons they will never meet. What a glory mankind so often is!

In starting this blog I do not know that I am a perfect example of what a man supposedly is, nor do I claim absolute knowledge of that which makes for a perfect world (if such a thing could ever exist). Yet I have, by virtue of my own reason and by virtue of my remarkable set of experiences in life, come to some absolutely fundamental and unchanging beliefs about our existence as humans. The first of which is very simple: every human life is sacred, inviolable, and no man has a right to take it away other than under the circumstances of a 'Just War'. A 'Just War' is exceptionally rare, dear reader.

The second principle is perhaps more fundamental than the first, for it gives it a rationale: Each of us depends on 'the other' for his or her existence; we are bound by a common destiny and a shared fate, which is to live here together in peace or die here together in angst. To allow injury to another is to commit that injury unto yourself.

This brings me, good reader, to the final of my fundamental principles of human life: So long as outrageous injustice is collectively done unto 'the other', this world can never be at peace.

It all looks so basic doesn't it? I suppose that is the beauty of complex and profound matters; that they ultimately reside in very simple principles.

When we look at the state of the world today we note, in this 21st century since the death of Christ, one glaringly obvious fact: the "Age of Reason" has yet to come to pass! Our global village has failed to grasp the basic concept that if you inflict agony and corruption on your colonised subjects you will one day reap the whirlwind. I refer very specifically to the current invented division between the Islamic East and the Christian West, a species of propagandist mudslinging so devious and bloody that the very core of what is 'true' in this new war has been lost to the man on the street, the Average Joe going about his daily life.

My hero, Robert F. Kennedy, once asked who the politicians of the U.S were, that they should decide which village or town in Vietnam should be destroyed, he asked whether such aloof and belligerent men as "Bombs Away" LeMay were like the gods of the Old Testament; throwing dice at the fate of mens lives.

We see today a Middle-East which has finally shaken off two centuries of western interference and yet which has another thousand miles to walk until it achieves self-empowerment. We see a Palestine brought to its knees through sixty years of the most unspeakable murder and violence by a people who continue to occupy their land. We see an Iran still reeling from the chaos inflicted on it when the CIA and MI6 destroyed the first democratic government in the entire region - when the 1950s government of Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in a coup which put a young, inept, and foolish Shah in control of the first nation to be utterly exploited for its oil reserves.

In the latest round of games and nonsense we see a US government utterly out of step with world opinion, denying the majority verdict of its own people (the majority of US citizens are actually pro-Palestinian liberty according to the latest BBC poll). It is a US government which, through the cowardice of an Obama who promised so much, has landed the collective genius of western economics and politics in a sh*t storm so intense that the Chinese and Russians are laughing at the naivety and myopia of our politicians.

John Donne once wrote that "No man is an island, entire of itself....each man's death diminishes me, for I am a part of mankind". We know that wisdom in our deepest heart's core; we know that liberty and justice in the east will equate to peace in London, New York, Madrid and every other place ripped apart by terrorism. Yet we permit dull, paid-up, mealy-mouthed men in cheap suits to dictate a series of subversive wars and interventions which in the shortest of terms has secured cheaper oil, but in the longest of terms has left countless westerners dead and many millions more dead in the Arabic and Iranian zones.

We recall those few thousand western victims of terror yet turn a blind eye to the 100,000+ Palestinians massacred since the British were forced out of British Palestine by Israeli terrorists like the Irgun. We sing "My country tis of thee" or "Abide with me" at the going down of the military sun at the death of every corporal from Idaho and private from Glasgow, yet hide from the 900,000 Iranians and Iraqis killed by the Iran-Iraq War which was endlessly fed by American dollars and American arms to BOTH sides.

Not since Nasser lived has the Arabic world seen such a determined effort to end western interference in its life, and for those of us who have a basic understanding of the astounding contribution to art, science, philosophy and medicine that the Arabs have made it is a pleasing sight to see that they have in many regions achieved the beginnings of liberty without colossal bloodshed. Not only this, but unlike our own European history of liberation from Communism, the Arabs showed the world that freedom by sheer force of human dignity need not come at the price of tens of thousands of lives. Yet again, perhaps the West must learn from the East.

If you have come this far, I thank you for reading. My hope is to write on these and many other matters with a diligence I hope you will find rewarding, and at least with an integrity which I know is based on those simple principles of which I wrote.

I also hope to not be an incredible bore. I'm supposedly the possessor of a brilliant sense of humour, so we shall see if that ever rears its head, like some coiled snake leaping at a souk entertainer.

The world is still a beautiful place, and by your goodness you can redeem it with the smallest acts of kindness right through to the greatest acts of courage. After all, my friend, YOU are this world; YOU are mankind.

The good news in all this is so good it's hard to resist: you CAN change the world!

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