, ,

Normal venue just a different day and time.

I’ve just read the most upsetting of accounts relating to the conflict in Syria and Wednesdays assault in al-Qubair where 78 people were slaughtered. This comes very shortly after a similarly gruesome massacre in Houla where 108 men, women and children were killed. For me it’s not the numbers that stand out but rather the nature of these deaths in terms of the inhumane, barbaric and brutal way that these assaults were carried out. There’s a particular focus on the killing of women and children which to my mind is heinous beyond belief. This is compounded by the mechanism of dispatch with guns and knifes at close quarter.

History tells us that sectarian killings, whilst creating seeming initial gains for the perpetrators goes on to haunt the oppressed and oppressor for generations to come. That’s what seems to be happening here as those that are killed belong for the most part to individual extended families. With a modicum of intelligence it’s not difficult to see that over time the survivors will become the oppressors as power migrates. Hate begets hate and to cause pain in turn will cause the initial perpetrator pain in turn. The law of cause and effect will become a future guide.

Wars inevitably end in dialogue as the combatants spiral to a point where their resources, resolve and enthusiasm for carnage becomes deplete. A wise man once said “jaw jaw not war war”. Sooner or later in this generation or a future one a price will be extracted. The brave at that time will ground themselves in the present and dispense with the prejudices of the age and compromise for peace.

For now this highlights the utter despair that some have to endure in life and makes me more aware of the wonderful family around me, the love that my wife and I show to each other and to our children. But then we have had the good fortune to be born in a geographic area that encourages diversity of thought and a degree at least of social compassion.

Britain isn’t such a bad place and if you feel it is then at least be mindful that we have something more positive to build upon. Social order is however very fragile and we have a history ourselves that hasn’t been free of tyranny, bloodshed and disorder. Hold tightly onto the positives in life and build on the gains in social justice here in Britain that we sometimes mock and that has the potential to secure a level of acceptable freedom for future generations.

What’s needed now is the building of a few well founded stepping stones leading to a resolution and not more stumbling blocks leading to a moral abyss for generations to come.

“The worse of two is one, who, when abused, retaliates. One who does not retaliate, wins the battle hard to win.”