I never seem to have an idea what to buy the man who has everything but a journalist in Iraq appears to have found the perfect present; shoes! Perhaps he skimped a bit on the wrapping but there was no shortage of gusto in his presentation. Overall though, I have to say that quality Iraqi footwear, when presented with the right intent, is probably the present most deserved by the current American President.
If I was going to give a gift this Christmas period I think it would be to children. What parent or grandparent would not love to give children gifts? I am not so keen on adults, most of them behave badly, are dishonest and cause trouble in one form or another wherever they go. Admittedly I am one myself but then we all have to be responsible for our own actions…. don’t we? Children are filled with the joy of life and if you doubt that then put a group of two year old Iraqi’s, Americans, Palestinians and Israelis in a room together with a load of toys, leave them for an hour or so and then come back and see what you have got.
On your return do you think that they would have built a wall with the teddies and be busy throwing lego bricks at each other from either side? You see what I mean, it is the adults which are the problem and they are the problem on all sides. I sometimes wonder what would happen if everyone over the age of four died from a virus in a single day. Obviously kind hearted nannies would be exempt from the effects of the bug, but what type of world would a population of under fours make? Simplistic I know but I like simple ideas.
Simple ideas like this: Step forward now any parent or grandparent who thinks it is right to kill children. Come on, let’s see your face, step forward you loathsome creatures. I want you to stand up and tell me that it is justifiable on any level that our foreign policy allows the murder of children. Sod the adults, we can kill millions of them but at least let me see the faces of those who say it is acceptable to slaughter children. Stand forth and I will be grabbing some quality Iraqi footwear to give you this Christmas.
“It was 7.30 on a hot July morning when the plane came swooping low over the remote ravine. Below, a bridal party was making its way to the groom’s village in an area called Kamala, in the eastern province of Nangarhar, to prepare for the celebrations later that day.
The first bomb hit a large group of children who had run on ahead of the main procession. It killed most of them instantly.”
The Guardian, Tuesday 16 December 2008
Perhaps I am over sensitive, after all this is war and obviously it is easy to mistake a group of children in a wedding party for armed and dangerous men. You know what it is like, you are busy flying your F16 and you see a group of people walking along a mountainside track, you launch rockets and bombs at them, simple isn’t it. Hey it turns out they are innocent, a wedding procession, whoops, sorry, but in a conflict situation, you know, mistakes happen, innocent people die but we mean well. This is a war against terror after all.
When the methods … take the form of ruthless bombing of unfortified localities with the resultant slaughter of civilian populations, and in particular of women and children, public opinion in the United States regards such methods as barbarous … Such acts are in violation of the most elementary principles of those standards of humane conduct which have been developed as an essential part of modern civilization.
U.S. Department of State on June 3 1938, reacting against German and Japanese terror bombings in Spain and China
Look, let’s be clear, this isn’t the first time we have killed children, there are lots of precedents now, certainly in Afghanistan and Iraq. We appear to have established that our foreign policy, don’t forget we are in there too, does target children. The fact that we claim it is an accident doesn’t help those children at all. The fact that it is an accident surely means we should learn something to prevent it happening again but….. as I have said, this is a long line of precedent and we have slaughtered many children.
“We were walking, I was holding my grandson’s hand, then there was a loud noise and everything went white. When I opened my eyes, everybody was screaming. I was lying metres from where I had been, I was still holding my grandson’s hand but the rest of him was gone…”
The first time I actually sat back and thought “Look this cannot go on” was when an Israeli jet bombed and killed fourteen children swimming in a waterhole in Lebannon during the recent concerted destruction of the Lebanon. I can’t quote the source now (I am afraid I didn’t keep it) and am not sure if it was eleven or fourteen children who died but do remember that not one survived. The question I had to ask was how in the name of all that is holy did a pilot mistake children swimming in a waterhole for a threat to his state of the art weapon of destruction? What do these pilots say when they get home to their families?
Wife: “Hard day Honey?”
Pilot: “You can say that again.”
Wife: “Still you are keeping us safe from a world of evil and terror.”
Pilot: “Sure am, there will be fewer terrorists in the world when Pilot Junior gets his wings.”
Wife: “That’s good, why don’t you go and tuck the kids in and say their prayers with them.”
As I have said, let’s not start an argument about the rights and wrongs of war on terror or war in general, we just end up shouting at each other. Let’s try and and talk about something we should all be able to agree on.
KILLING CHILDREN IS A WAR CRIME PLAIN AND SIMPLE
STAND FORWARD ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE
If the Nuremberg laws were applied today, then every Post-War American president would have to be hanged.
Iraqi shoes for Christmas seems to be a let off then eh?
Surely we have it within our capacity as intelligent human beings to create a world better than the one envisioned by the outgoing American president. Surely our children deserve better of us than that we allow and sanction their murder.
Have a peaceful Christmas and let’s hope for a better New Year.