Saturday, 17 August 2013

Wars and Boundaries

Have you noticed that now there is this dreadful trouble in Egypt then Syria has completely disappeared from news bulletins?   It seems that only while it is deemed 'newsworthy' is it worth putting the so-called top names (Frank Gardner, Jeremy Bowen etc) there.   Once the fighting becomes entrenched then everything moves on to a new field of  conflict.

And on the same subject - do we really need to impinge so much on peoples' distress that we can see close-ups of bodies being carried up the stairs, people with life-threatening injuries, row upon row on wrapped dead bodies with grieving relatives by their sides?  All this is usually preceded by us being told by the news reader that the following scenes 'you may find distressing'.   You bet we do - but not half as distressing as the people involved.

Humanity will never learn will it.   Surely we all agree that there is one God (assuming we believe in God), so may we not worship him in the way we see fit?

And while I am on the subject of wars - there is this terrible territorial thing.   Why are we all so territorial?   When man first began to evolve in Africa and then migrated Northwards and then settled in various places or moved on, was there immediately this thing about 'this is my spot so don't you dare to come into it'!

I know we can't all go and live in affluent countries, even if we can raise the money to get there.   But I find the dreadful racialist ideas, the fighting over boundaries and the like appalling.  WH Auden said it all with his lines, "He was talking of you and me my dear" in his poem about fascism. **

When I think about it we are even territorial individually aren't we?  We surround our properties with fences and we get mortally offended if anyone interferes with these.  Robert Frost touched on it when he said 'good fences make good neighbours' - yes, if the fence breaks down we can easily fall out about where it should be.
And, come to think of it, animals are also territorial aren't they?   Dogs protect their territory to the death - as do many other animals.

** Refugee Blues by W H Auden,


Dave King said...

There is the ring of truth - yes, and sadness - in all you write. As for the media, they seem to pluck one story out of the bag to dwell upon endlessly. Then, quite suddenly it is dropped and another takes its place.

Dominic Rivron said...

Egypt, Syria... and then the unrest we never hear about. What springs to mind particularly is the war in Africa that has been caused by the rush to mine the rare metals we use in mobiles and laptops.

Clausewitz said "war is the continuation of politics by other means". I think when religion is a factor in conflict (as it was in the Irish troubles) there are generally deeper, underlying economic factors at work. People from different religions and sects live happily side by side until something comes along to divide them, such as a shortage of resources.

I'm an optimist. I don't think it's about humanity "never learning". I think violence, terrible though it is, has historically been part of humanity's learning curve. Some of the cleverest, most humane people have been driven to it.

I think we now have the resources, the structures and the ideas to, in the future, make war a lot rarer than it has been through much of human history.

Heather said...

You have voiced the thoughts that I have so often had myself Pat. I think we are a pretty stupid species if, after so many centuries, we go on making the same mistakes and have not found a better way of settling our differences than by killing each other.

MorningAJ said...

Sadly, I think physical boundaries are hard wired into our brains. What bothers me is the idea of fighting over religion - which is a man-made construct in itself. I don't think I dare comment any further because I get quite wound up about this topic.

Tom Stephenson said...

It hasn't disappeared from the bulletins I hear, Weave. As with all these 'Arab Spring' events, they all seem to end in drawn-out disputes which cost hundreds of lives - if the ever end. Saddam Hussein kept the lid on Iraq, Attaturk kept the lid on Turkey, Assad kept the lid on Syria, Tito kept the lid on Yugoslavia, and the Egyptian army kept the lid on Egypt - until they had their first election in 30 years.

One of the Turkish leaders came up with a good one when he said, "Democracy is like a bus - you get on it until you reach your destination, then you get off it."

Mary said...

There has always been war, my guess is there always will be. I feel helpless about it no matter where in the world it's happening daily. It undermines so much of our thought process, of what we do, plan to do, and brings concerns of what lies in store for our grandchildren.

Fences, walls, barriers etc. Always being built, erected, laid, sometimes a great idea - on the farm for the animals certainly! We have one around 2/3 of our property - built by the neighbors not us!

Meanwhile, the loveliness of your header photo is making this Saturday morning much better - outside my widow another dreary day as much of our Summer has been this year - so England's countryside, as always, thrills my eyes and inspires my soul. Also makes me homesick!

Hugs - Mary

Cloudia said...

A worthy meditation. Thanks


Terry and Linda said...

I feel so sorry for those horrid is never the ones who really cause it that suffer, but common people far removed.


Pondside said...

We all need to join this sort of conversation. I fear the day when we will all be so inured to the clips and images of suffering and death that we click through the channels, casually looking for something else to look at.

ChrisJ said...

I’d really love to make a worthwhile comment on this topic, but sadly I think some may be offended. Yes, it would be religious in nature, though harmless towards others, yet it seems to upset those who claim to be tolerant. We evangelicals often feel that there are many who are tolerant of everyone except evangelicals.

Gwil W said...

The much decorated US Major General Smedley-Butler Retd. said "War is a racket" and he should know. He has published a 12-page paper on the internet to prove what he says. I recommend it to everyone who wants to know why we have wars. Better still, you can print it off for free.

Crafty Green Poet said...

territoriality is necessary to some extent, it allows animals to have an area which is theirs for finding food etc. But in humans it has become something so ugly and dangerous.

There are so many conflicts in the world that the media can't keep up with everything, but then important things become too easily lost. And I totally agree with you about the media intrusion into people's lives

Cro Magnon said...

When will we ever learn; never I suppose!