Thursday, July 20, 2006

War being waged by democracies

St George's port area, Beirut, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I saw the first TV pictures from Lebanon yesterday (the weather has been too good for spending any time in front of the TV). I was disgusted, more digusted than I expected at seeing the war images with smoke coming out of blown up buildings and people being taken to hospital after yet another brutal and cowardly bomb attack from a distance.

Yet, the strange thing about these pictures was that they looked like they were coming from a backward place, a place used to war, chaos all around... and yet just a year ago we were walking around these streets seeing people like you and me around. Normal regular people with normal regular lives, eating and drinking with friends, bringing up the children, working, shopping, studying, visiting the family and so on.. just normal things. And it is 500,000 of these people who have had to flee their homes in the face of the daily onslaught from across the border. They have no more deserved to be living in a war zone than either you or me.

And, yet, this war is being prosecuted by a so-called democracy, Israel, fully backed by the world's most powerful democracy, the U.S. (and using weapons of mass destruction supplied to Israel by the U.S., paid for with money given to Israel by the U.S.) and seemingly supported by other (European) democracies. How can a brutal disporportionate war against people much weaker than yourself be the outcome of a democratic system? It defies belief.

Further, the taped conversation between Bush and Blair showed just how poor tghese two leaders are. It was cringe-making to see how Blair was sucking up to Bush. Bush on the other hand reminded me very much of the top management of the company I worked for for 10 years - Metron Technology, after the American had taken over from the previous English and German management, notably after 11th September. These Americans, worst of whom was Dennis Riccio (pronounced Rickio, by this self-proclaimed Italian-American who had no idea that it would be pronounced Richio in Italian), would only work with THEIR people, American people, many of whom knew nothing about the issues at hand. It was more important that they used THEIR people and use an American approach to any problem. Facts, experience, loyalty and empathy had nothing to with it... as long any proposed solution fitted their simple view of the world. In this case, Bush is thinking Israel? - right, anyone else? - wrong, the future?, who cares? not my problem.....

We are losing Blair anyway before the next election, or so he has pomised us, but he took us into a war against Iraq which very few people ever supported in the UK. The war failed miserably and terribly and yet he and his party still got voted in for a third go to screw things up (a pity there was no effective opposition). Surely, another failure of democracy.


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