Thursday, 12 August 2021

Thursday

 I almost called today's post 'Futility' because that is the mood I am in today but then I reasoned that we just must not let ourselves get like this, so I changed it to the day of the week.

But looking at the News this morning (yes although our transmitter is down 'indefinitely' I can watch BBC programmes on iplayer) there was nothing at all to be the slightest bit cheerful about.

It is perhaps apt that I happen to have just made a second reading of A Farewell to Arms and Ernest Hemingway's take on the first World War which is my choice for our september Book Group.   Whatever impression Hemingway gives about his macho attitude to war, the overriding impression  I get from reading the book is the sheer futility of it all - the death, the dest ruction, the thousands killed or suffering by the side of the road waiting to die, and for what - often half a mile of territory gained or lost.

Then I watch Breakfast and the pictures of the Taliban in Afghanistan.   And I think of the twenty years or whatever that 'we' spent there and then we suddenly all pull out and leave them to their fate.   I heard a Taliban leader speaking yesterday - quite a reasonable man if that is what you believe in - saying that the Taliban will take over the country as quickly as possible and everyone will live under strict Islamic law.   People will die along the way because that is what happens in war - so the quicker it is over and Islamic rule is established then the sooner things will return to normal.

And the futility of it all hit me.   Was there a reason why we went there?   I don't know much about the reason so maybe someone can enlighten me.   I don't know the rights and wrongs of it all.   All I know is that I see the women and children hungry, in Kabul to which they have fled, the children frightened, the women desperate for themselves and for their children and I am pretty certain they just want it all over too.   Maybe I am wrong - there was hardly a man to be seen - maybe the men are away fighting on one side or the other.   But isn't it always the women and children who suffer?

Then the next News item is about children being killed in the bombing in the Yemen.   Imagine one's family being bombed and killed and again - for what?   Please tell me someone.

Following this the wildfires  and according to my taxi driver some of them started deliberately in the Olive Groves because olives are no longer a really good cash crop and more money could be made if permission was granted for houses for holiday homes to be built on the land.   Is this true and if so what dreadful devastation of peoples' homes as the fires get out of control.

We complain about things here but goodness me how lucky we are to live in a stable country with an elected Government.    Everyone ought to be thinking about ways in which we can try to improve things in our own small ways rather than just complain about them all the time.

There - I have got it off my chest and I feel better for offloading it all.   Not that it will do any good.


31 comments:

thelma said...

On the same track this morning Pat. We will make little difference sadly. Funnily enough what I would like to see is more honest facts on the subject from the newspapers. Headlines are ceasing to scare us, we have seen it all before but that is a dangerous trap to fall into.

Rachel Phillips said...

And then you read my post and felt better.

Rachel Phillips said...

The US went to war with Afghanistan to get rid of Al Qaeda and the Taliban after 9/11 although those reasons were not the right in response to 9/11 but that is another story.

Heather said...

I think about all our young servicemen who served in Afghanistan and were killed or had lifechanging injuries. Many were lost in Northern Ireland too and still there is unrest in both countries. What was it all for? There must be a better way to resolve differences. Enjoy your book and I hope you feel better for getting things off your chest.

sillygirl said...

We were getting to feeling really down so only a brief look at the news now and only fun series to watch. Becoming morose over things we can't have any effect on is not a good way to live. We are cultivating a more-positive bubble. Just my thoughts.

DUTA said...

Reason?! No reason. Take a look at the american presidents. Being unable to solve problems at home, they've sent troops to: Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Irak, etc...Obama with his Arab Spring Campaign has filled Europe with arab refugees and huge problems (the europeans keep quiet about it). Parents in their great naivety, send their sons to the front believing it is a fight for America.

Susan said...

I agree entirely with you. We should each try to make our world better and thank our lucky stars for what we have; including: Our homes, gardens, families, friends, neighbors, pets...

Derek Faulkner said...

All the time we have religion we will have wars. The Channel is going to be even busier now.

Brenda said...

I have not watched the news in years…I don’t have cable…just Hulu with no ads and You tube…I am not hiding under a bushel, but if I can’t change it, I just don’t concern myself…as to those readers complaining about our presidents…whew…what a job they have…read the blogs and the whining Americans do…it is frustrating…love your blog…you are amazing…

CharlotteP said...

Dear Pat, Don't listen to the news! The mainstream media uses the way that our brains work to enhance their viewing figures...and it doesn't make us feel better. This short video is worth a look to see how they do it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQoodyEkzCc&t=48s
If the book club book is depressing you...don't read that, either. tell your book club friends that you don't think it is good for your mental health to absorb all that negativity. Chances are, you won't be the only person feeling like that! Find a book that lifts your spirits!
You have a lovely home, a beautiful garden, a kind son and the weather is OK! There are lots of friends out here reading and commenting on your blog, we all care about you...strive to be happy! You deserve it!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Warfare seems to be such a way of life in Afghanistan that it's difficult to imagine that it will ever change. I count myself very fortunate in being born in a place and time where I have never experienced war. Probably the armed forces are breathing a sigh of relief too; I'd have made a very poor soldier.

Debby said...

Quite honestly I just can't bear to watch the news right now. All those years in Afghanistan simply prolonged the misery of the people. Ps life for women under Taliban rule is to have no voice. No power.

Carruthers said...

Thinking of the futility of things in terms of today and the first world war, not only was there a war on then (and a particularly savage, meaningless and futile war at that) but there was also a pandemic. Interesting, because I'm just reading Virginia Woolf's diaries (I'm currently in 1919.I'm also reading a biography of VW which is currently dealing with the late 30s). I get the impression that the worst time for general feelings of futility back then, though, was probably the period in the late 30s when it was becoming obvious that it wasn't all over, and that another war with Germany was inevitable. People must have started wondering if any kind of future was possible.

As for Afghanistan, it all goes way back, right back to the Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839–42; 1878–80; 1919). It was all about preventing the spread of Russian influence. Russia and the West seem to take it in turns to get beaten there. True, it was becoming a haven for terrorists but that's hardly surprising when Russia and the West have been taking it in turns to militarise the country for over a century. You don't hear the B-word used very often but the truth is, like the Russians before them, Britain and the US have been beaten. It's one long story of futile, unnecessary human misery and waste of resources stretching back over 160 years. If there's a moral to the story, it's that when when politicians say we have no choice but to go to war, you don't have to believe them.

Is Britain a stable country? There are constant rumblings about it splitting up. On political issues the country is usually pretty well split down the middle. As for complaining, I think there are a lot of things to complain about. Thousands have died in the pandemic who need not have died. The government has treated the pandemic as a business opportunity and many conservative politicians have been strongly opposed to imposing restrictions at all. Now we're faced with a huge backlog of healthcare to get through made much much worse by the fact that, thanks to the government's austerity programme, the NHS had 100,000 staff vacancies even before the pandemic began. Ordinary people suffer and die because of the policies Cameron, May and 'good old Boris'. I don't think enough people complain enough.

Annual leave, maternity leave, decent wages, votes for women, etc... all came about because people complained. If we left it to those who think complaining is 'not done' then people would still be working all hours god sends and sending little boys up chimneys.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Well I got my worries off my chest with a long post today - seems you have done the same Carruthers - thanks for that. I did ask for it when I spoke to you eaarlier.


Thanks everyone. Tomorrow is another day as they say. I shall hopefully wake in a better frame of mind to face the world tomorrow.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Carruthers - even if Scotland dcided to break away at least they have the freedom to choose - stable in that sense we may not be but one thing is for sure - we have a democratically elected government which we may or may not agree with - but a majority vote put it into power and we are not afraid to say what we think about it. And that is something we should never forget. And this from someone who tries never to be political on my blog. I didn't intend my post to be political - maybe it came across as such but I just intended to say how down I felt when I saw the plight of women and children throughout thr world.

The Feminine Energy said...

I don't have one single answer for you except to repeat a quote I read a very VERY long time ago. It said: "There will always be suffering. But we must not suffer over the suffering." ~Alan Watts Also, here's another quote I love: "I am a lover of what is... not because I'm a spiritual person... but because it hurts when I argue with reality." ~Byron Katie Peace~ Andrea xoxoxo

Joanne Noragon said...

We spent twenty years "teaching" the Afghans how to live by the rule of law and how to resist the Tailban. Obviously in vain.

lynney62 said...

Hello Weave...I am an elder like you...77 yrs. old and worked for 42 years as a RN...was a widow for 40 of those years, raising my daughter. First off, I agree with you about how depressing the daily news is and I decided 2 mo. ago to stop watching any of it on TV. I keep up perusing online. Secondly, I believe Afghanistan is a country with a forever history and culture of tribalism that can never be changed. Many outsiders have tried for over 100 yrs. but have never succeeded. I am a born and raised American and I wish our government would bring all of our people there back home. I was sad today to see that won't happen.........so many young lives lost, maimed..and for what??? The Taliban are a terror organization....rarely can peace be negotiated with terrorists. Thirdly, just so happy you are reading Farewell To Arms...I love that book, and have watched the classic movie with Helen Hayes and Gary Cooper several times...such a great classic!! Just one last comment: I agree with what Joanne Noragon said in her comment. America gave so much for 20 yrs. to try to bring the Afghans to fight for their freedoms. It is their country...now it is their job, alone, to fight for it, if they want freedom from terror.

Cro Magnon said...

What I cannot understand is where all these armed Taliban fighters suddenly came from. I'd thought that the whole idea of our being there was to rid the country of such people. As soon as we quit, swarms of them are everywhere.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you lynney2 - thank you for your comment - and an interesting .too. I tried to find a post and a blog page for you but there doesn't seem to be one. If you have one do let me have it so that I can talk to you now and again.

Thanks everyone. Back to normal this morning - you all do me such a lot of good at keeping my spirits up.

Librarian said...

You are so right, Pat, in saying that we are so lucky. Whenever I tend to get annoyed or frustrated about something in my day-to-day life, at work or otherwise, I remind myself of how much I have in my life that is really, really good. There are so many things to be grateful for, last but not least my much-improved eyesight which still seems quite the miracle to me. Add to that a well-stocked fridge, bursting wardrobe, nice clean house and peaceful neighbourhood, friends and family - what more could I wish for?

Anonymous said...

From what I've read Cro, many of the Afghan soldiers are switching over to the Taliban in fear of their lives, feeling that all have deserted them, including their own government. Surrender, torture and death being imminent, it became the only alternative, to get in first and defect, hence the increase in numbers. Thank you for your blog Pat. It is always interesting and you are a wonder how you keep on top of things and keep yourself busy and meet life's challenges...Pam, Aust.

Debby said...

Pam the Taliban is executing the Afghan soldiers. On the spot. Publically as a warning.

Debby said...

They were never eradicated Cro. They were waiting. They were re infiltrating the Afghan government. The president of the country felt it was the only way to unite the country. For their part, the butcher of Kabul and others of his ilk promised to work with the government for the sake of the people. It did not work before. Of course it was destined to fail again

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks everyone.

Moira said...

Hi I agree with lots of your followers limit the amounts of news you read and watch and if you are feeling down read feel good books. When COVID struck I was very depressed at first as my life had been turned upside down we have had six cruises cancelled and cannot travel as we are in a red country South Africa, even though we are double vaccinated, are British residents and have a house there. I decided to read trashy novels with happy endings, and after the initial hard lock down my husband and I go walking every morning for one to two hours . We took control of our weight and have lost over 10kgs. I can’t change the world but I can change my attitude, I play bowls go out for lunch at restaurants were I can sit outside I am also tipping the car guards and subsidising the Gardner in the complex where I live. We were in South Africa when the virus struck and we decided to stay, which has turned out to be the right decision for us., as our doctors have continued to work as normal and we have lovely weather. We cannot change the world but we can help some people around us.

Sparka said...

Hi there “Weaver”” read your post every day from NZ, and thoroughly it. Keep up the good work, I am enjoying your summer as we work our way through winter, cows are calving now so hopefully spring is not too far away. Take care.

Tom Stephenson said...

I've only just read this post Weave. I know how you feel. I feel the same when I listen to the news.

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