Had a trawl around Blogland last night. It never ceases to amaze me how the most banal of blogs attract scores of fawning comments, yet anything remotely intelligent, intellectual or thought provoking attracts hardly a single one. I suppose that’s why programmes like Big Brother and all these so-called reality shows have such a following. Should I dumb down and start giving agony uncle advice and talking about star signs?
Not sure if you, like me, have a problem with this Chilcot enquiry into the Iraq war. I don’t remember any public enquiry after WWII when Britain wantonly declared war against Germany for no good reason other than Germany invading Poland. Was that legal? It’s not as if we were directly threatened. I don’t recall protests on VE Day and calls to bring Chamberlain or Churchill to book for sending millions to their deaths.
I was under the impression that if you won a war it didn’t matter a jot as to whether it was legal or not – it’s called ‘might is right’. All this hand-wringing and navel gazing seems a tad self-indulgent to me and exhibits a predilection toward bowing to the most vocal minority – like those 12 people who complain constantly to the BBC and manage to get shows taken off-air.
When it comes to war, legality and morality are totally disconnected. No war can be morally justified and legal justification is a fudge at best and nothing more than an agreement on definition. War happens and is sometimes necessary, regardless of the morality or legality.
If was wasn’t surrounded by all these codes of conduct and war became total war involving the entire nation, then governments would perhaps be less willing to declare war in the first place, as the consequences would to be too hideous to contemplate. As it is the electorate is insulated from actually doing anything, which makes it very easy to send people to their possible deaths in some Godforsaken corner of the world. It only causes problems when those against whom you wage this war bring the fight to your country through the auspices of terrorism, which is sometimes the only tool left to them. That’s when all the soul searching and scapegoating starts.
It seems that the hoi polloi are allowed to change their collective mind but governments are still to be held to account for decisions made years ago – decisions the great unwashed mostly supported at the time and which the politicians were voted in to make by proxy on behalf of the electorate. The buck stops with the electorate. However, you can’t hang an entire electorate and so you have to find a scapegoat in the form of a politician.
What I find acutely disturbing is the protests by parents of soldiers who died. Soldiers fight wars and by dint of that they occasionally run a small risk of getting killed. You don’t sign up because you simply want to see the world and have an easy time sunning yourself in Nicaragua or skiing in Norway – if you want that you join the Merchant Navy, like I did. Their protests smack more of a desire for revenge following the death of a child – a quite natural feeling on the part of a parent but one which was not given vent to in the aftermath of other wars we declared in the past. It wasn’t considered British and you bore your loss with stoicism.
Never mind about the Iraqis and Afghans, it’s about time Britain had another war with the traditional enemy it is genetically predisposed to fight – the FRENCH.
My good friend Richard over at Falling Through An Endless Summer Sky made an amusing comment on my post of yesterday and I’m going to plagiarise it (I did tell him I would). You know you’re getting old when popes start to look younger.
Hay was on a course during the week to do with adverse drug reactions. She and her fellow delegates were presented with a case study of a 23 year old woman who kept fainting for no obvious reason. The task was to diagnose the problem and find the root cause. I laughed my socks off when Hay told me that it turned out to be liquorice abuse.