Sunday, 1 September 2013

Key facts and the passing of a great.

18:04:00 Posted by Shaun Brookes , , , , , , 1 comment
So the devil is in the detail, isn't it.
We have been born as an age of analysts, critical thinkers, quantum philosophers and forensic detectives. A vast age of improvement, always learning from what has been before us. In such a time, you'd think we would relish the little details more.
This week, we mark the passing of Seamus Heaney- the poet most famous for 'Digging'- taught across the land to teenagers clutching for an understanding.
"Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; snug as a gun."
Those are the opening lines to Heaney's legacy- from his own poem that both teaches us to relish the lessons of our ancestors whilst voicing our quest to at least follow up their footsteps.
With that in mind, we should cast our thoughts to World War I. Remember how the assasination of a little known Archduke Indie Band led to carnage as old allegiances stood their ground? From that 'great' and bloody war came Wilfred Owen's "shrill, demented choirs or wailing shells" (Anthem for Doomed Youth, 1917). The lessons had to be learned.
Move forwards a generation- and in a post war age the former bad guys aren't allowed any weapons. Or navy. Or most things, in fact. They got them, with mainstream car manufacturers of today even producing tanks in the process.
In the second world war that followed, millions of people perished at the hands of a tyrant with no qualms about chemical weapons. Never mind mustard gas. Never mind international outrage. How he got them and why appeasement ever allowed things to get that far was a lesson that had to be learned. No amount of theorising can bring those people back and the world was supposed to have grown.
Why then, in such an age of 'terror' and 'vigilance' are we still allowing this to happen. Is there a different value on a Jewish life to a Kurdish life; a Palestinian life; a Syrian life?
Of course, war is not something that should ever be rushed into and after recent brushes with weapons intelligence, it is as important as ever to have the key facts straight before charging in. What is unacceptable, however, is the politicising and deliberating over immediate intervention. Currently, a man with a recent record of using chemical weapons against his own people is accused of again doing just that.
Inspectors will have no further certainty in three weeks when the report comes than they already have, though. There will be no way of proving who launched these attacks- hidden by a legion of winks and signals by a cowardly puppet master, the hard evidence cleared on the wind- but in a room full of bodies with gunshot wounds, you'd arrest the man with the gun, wouldn't you?
There must be an intervention because enough is enough. There needs to be no other reason in my eyes- everybody knows the rules and so any violation towards defenceless men, women and children must be reprehended by humanity itself.
If it does come to war- and I sincerely hope that in a world again allied-up and hankering at a change it doesn't come to that- it must be remembered what exactly the purpose is. We all have belief systems- whether based on Gods, morality or ancient rules long since considered compulsory- but whatever spurs those on, it comes down to simply whether you can have any force for good or not.
I'm not much of a fighter. I'm not much of a killer either, being a vegan, but since I read 'Digging', I write.
It is important in an age of mis-information that as a society we record the facts- the key details from the ground in whatever walk of life. From the diaries of Anne Frank through to Heaney's sectarian detail we learn that history does not have to be written only by the winners and we all have a part to play in recording the nitty gritty, the key issues that affect us.
As I said, I'm not much of a fighter but "between my finger and my thumb the squat pen rests. I'll dig with it".

Thanks for reading,


Colin Davies said...

The big issue was why us?

The time frame coming another country and an unvoted leader want us to jump feet first.

Like you say, details. There is one question that has been bugging me every since this hideous act happened. Why would you launch chemical weapons when people are in your country investigating the possible use of chemical weapons?

And this question doesn't seem to have come up.

I have no idea what is going on. But is action is going to happen, we don't have to be part of it from the very start.