And we ask why extremists hijack planes and fly them into our western towers, why suicide bombers blow themselves, and us, to kingdom come as we travel in our buses and on our metro systems.
Seven and a half years in the making, six and a half million words, a damning indictment of UK military action against Iraq
Apologies to the distraught relatives of 200 UK military killed in the operation and rightly so. But for every UK death you see a hundred or more Iraqis dead, many, most of them, civilians. And for every Iraqi casualty of this misguided intervention another terrorist sympathiser born.
We see the imperial power temporarily glow in the recall of its former glory and unquestioningly tie itself to the shoestrings of a world policeman intent on a “war on terror” but never asking the question “Why do these people hate us so much?”
Imperialism breeds resentment and hatred and produces a response which we call terror. Every bomb dropped leaves people remembering and many of them determined to seek revenge.
And remembrance can be long, so very long. You only have to look at the inscriptions our western war graves “From the rising of the sun to its setting we will remember them” to realise how long it will take before people forget and forgive.
And it is not as if the public did not try to call a halt before this disastrous war was unleashed. Recall the marches, worldwide, the millions of people who cried “halt” and who were ignored.
And what now? A heartfelt apology, to say the least, unconditional compensation in terms of rebuilding lost lives. But how long and how much will it take before a devastated people forgive?
When will we in the West learn to allow other people to select their own leaders and political systems and to sort out their own issues about “regime change”? For too long we have attempted to rule and exploit the world for our own purposes.
Above all, we need a determination “Never again” and written large the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding”
Tony – 7 July 2016