Go on retreat

Lard’s World Peace Tip for 25th June 2014 is “Go on retreat”. I felt the need to comment:

I saw this strip this morning and wanted to say something about those young men advancing to Iraq with a desire to be freedom fighters or mercenaries. It felt so negative and unhopeful that I didn’t post it. But my melancholia won’t go away.

It reminds me of the pain and anguish generated by the Spanish Civil War. To all those young men aspiring to go to Iraq to be heroes, I wish I could make them read George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia before they go. It describes how the volunteers in a civil war are just grist to the mill, cannon fodder, pawns to the writhing mist-like politics of power struggles between factions run by self-serving, inhumane, sociopaths that called themselves ‘leaders’. Leaders that lead from behind, sending brave, hopeful, naïve young men to happily receive hot lead in their belies, limbs and faces.

Spain fought a civil war (fully utilising volunteers from abroad) and now has a monarchy again. It served only to let Hitler prove his Blitzkrieg philosophy worked and his air force improve their dive-bombing techniques

England fought a civil war, the most bloody war in its history, and it has been erased from the statue books and the monarchy put back on the throne. It seems Ireland will never forgive nor forget the consequences.

The USA had a civil war and afterwards was still the United States. What was the point of that?

Iraq will emerge from this civil war angry, embittered, poorer. And the young men heading off there from places like the UK thinking they are off for a happy time in the sun, those who survive will either be dead, physically damaged beyond repair, mercenaries or mentally scarred for life.

In a civil war, a war in one’s own homeland, fought by volunteers from overseas and fuelled by foreign governments, there is nowhere to retreat to. The Iraqis have no home, nowhere where you can close the door, turn off the lights and feel safe.

After all these thousands of years of conflict, can there never be peace for Mesopotamia?

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