From British daily The Morning Star:
Age of the barbarians
(Sunday 29 June 2008)
ONE hundred and two names are newly carved upon the Armed Forces Memorial.
One hundred and two British deaths.
One hundred and two young lives lost in 2007.
They are the latest grim additions to the price which our lawbreaking former prime minister was willing to pay in others’ blood, bitter testimony to the vanity of politicians and our slavish loyalty to the savage economic system.
As these 102 newly carved names are weathered by the years’ march, their childhood, youthful hopes and dreams will be forgotten by all but their close family.
In time, their sacrifice will be recalled only through photographs, remembered only in the form of distant memories of a conflict in which their life’s potential was stopped dead in its tracks.
But this fate is not theirs alone.
Already, twenty-six names more await the stonemason’s chisel, all but two meeting their deaths in the dusty plains of Afghanistan.
And, for each British death that is marked with misplaced pomp and circumstance, hundreds more British soldiers must face the indignity of life after war, broken and forgotten shadows of a conflict which few people at home understand or even care to think about.
And, for each British family mourning its own loss, seeking solace for the untimely death of their beloved, thousands of their human brothers and sisters weep in Afghanistan and Iraq – or plot their revenge.
For many in Britain, the ongoing wars in foreign lands are treated with the detachment afforded by distance, aided and abetted by a media world confidently asserting the validity of the West’s civilising mission.
People living in these damned countries do not have such luxury. The nameless victims, collateral damage of the West’s overwhelming firepower, cannot turn the other cheek.
But what a fine lesson in “advanced” civilisation they are receiving.
It’s a lesson taught with bullets and missiles, a blood-strewn syllabus that points to one certain conclusion – that the self-anointed civilisers are, in fact, barbarians who understand only the language of violence.
And so more names are carved on the memorial to the fallen. And more footsoldiers of resistance are born amid the aftermath of battle.
That we, as nations, have yet to understand the inevitable bankruptcy of imperial invasion speaks volumes for our immaturity.
That lesson will, tragically and inevitably, have to be learnt.
As the death toll rises and the cost spirals ever upwards, the day when it is draws closer and a vibrant peace movement will have a key role as teacher.
In the meantime, the rising blood price to which our former prime minister so callously committed stands as testament to this barbarous age. It is an era which history will rightly condemn.
PIPELINE POLITICS Wars About Oil, Not Democracy Compiled By Janet M Eaton: here.
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