Why – Again?

As it’s the weekend I had been planning to post some music videos to entertain you, but somehow that just doesn’t feel right any more.

I had an early night last night, and my last awareness of the news was what was then being described as a shooting in a Paris restaurant. In fact, the news channels were spending much more time on the earlier story of the possible killing of Jihadi John. I find it very hard to wake up to this morning’s news of the full unfolding story. In January I wrote this after the murders at the office of the French satirical paper, Charlie Hebdo. I couldn’t have imagined writing a companion piece so soon after, if ever. I was having a chat with a Twitter friend when the news first started breaking and I remarked to her that it could be the start of something bigger. I wish I had been wrong.

As I said in my January post, outrages like this are perpetrated by fanatics who believe that they are doing this in the name of their religion, and this is nothing new. The statistics I quoted then were that there have been wars with a religious element to them for all but around 440 of the past 2,000 years, and that the last year without such a conflict was 1080. Sadly, nearly 1,000 years of history shows no sign of our learning from the insanity created by our forebears, which continues to be perpetrated today. Religion is not supposed to be about hatred! Murdering people can never be a justifiable means of promoting a belief, or a cause. I am utterly at a loss to comprehend how anyone can believe otherwise. But still it continues, and however long I live I can’t see that changing. What a terrible waste of human life, and of the world in which we live.

Our descendants deserve better. I hope that they somehow get the chance for this. I know it’s naïve to hope that the world can one day be free of conflicts, whether or not they have a religious element to them. But that doesn’t stop me hoping for that. We hear a lot about how we are destroying our planet’s environment, and the legacy we are leaving for future generations. But if we all kill each other in the meantime that won’t be an issue in the end, will it? What a ludicrous, totally incredible situation!

My heartfelt condolences to all who have been affected by last night’s events in Paris. I’m not a religious person, but today I pray.

War! What Is It Good For?

A brief post today, following on from yesterday’s piece on Remembrance Sunday. Allowing for the academics who debate the veracity and timing of statements attributed to him, Sun Tzu is nevertheless acknowledged as a great military strategist. But even he knew the underlying truth:

image

It’s a pity more people in positions of power don’t take note of this, as it is just as true today as it ever was.

(I lifted the picture from the internet. Give or take 2,300 years I think they have his dates spot on!)