Humanity has a lot to be proud of. It's produced what we would justly call wonders: the Pyramids, the sadly-eroded Colossus, the Great Wall. It's also given us Mozart, and Avicenna, and Aristotle and, rather dubiously, Philip Roth and Bob Hope. It has a lot to be ashamed of on a large and a small scale: petty cruelties conflated into colonialism, science exploited and abused to dehumanise other cultures.
We know that things don't change - not really; there is very little new under the sun. The young have to reinvent everything anew; otherwise life would be unbearable. One of the great problems with living in a trash culture is that we're exposed constantly to the feeble thoughts of actresses and singers as if they were original truths; and, of course, the vapid-minded drink from the dregs of this non-knowledge and use it to affirm their existences. Those of us who are impatient with such moronic witterings look more closely at life; we scrutinise its history, its meaning, its purpose, the etymology of the word 'life' itself, and try to work out a way in which we can exist authentically, acknowledging the other without being turned into the Other.
Our task is made all the more difficult by the floods of disinformation and doublespeak that pour like a poison stream from the mouths of our politicians and their ever-churning propaganda machines. It will be a wonder indeed if we will ever be able to look upon life and see truth in it again. And the one responsible, who is now lurking behind his cloak of new-found piety, is being paid millions every year to get away with spewing forth more doublespeak, perpetuating the lies that have led to the deaths of around two million people. That's more than the number murdered in Rwanda, under the Khmer Rouge, in the Korean War, during the Troubles in Northern Island, US casualties in Vietnam, the Twin Towers and under Idi Amin. The man? Tony Blair. The war? Iraq.
Iraq's no longer a country. Even before the UKUSA found a shoddy pretext to go to war, Rumsfeldt and other disaster merchants were batting around ideas for its reconstruction. Blair stood up in Parliament without compunction and, hand on heart, lied. He claimed that everything that was good and pure and just in the world was at stake. He played shamelessly on people's moral convictions. Knowing full well that there was no justification for the claim that Saddam Hussein, once the West's Golden Boy, had WMDs, he added one fiction to another, Ossa atop Pelion, and built a fraudulent case against the dictator. And, having chummed up with the States, chased the UN inspectors out to unleash Operation Firefox and then lying further, claiming that Saddam Hussein had chased those inspectors out, he systematically set out to obliterate Iraq.
There is nothing left there: it was blown to smithereens, razed to the ground, turned to dust. One of the most ancient civilisations on earth is now a stinking cesspit filled with terrified, bewildered citizens and angry fundamentalist aggressors for whom the idea of the best healthcare and education the Middle East had to offer is a distant memory. Hospitals, schools, mosques, museums: gone. The only ones living in any semblance of luxury are those on military bases or occupying the plush Western-style condos that sprang up overnight. The antiquities have been looted or destroyed. The roads are full of holes; electricity is sporadic; AIDS is drastically on the rise, food is scarce, children are homeless. In fact, half of those dead are children. But they're not children to the self-acclaimed Saviour of the Middle East: they're collateral damage. It's 'regrettable'. I think he may have offered his sympathy at some point. Too late: they're dead.
If a child goes missing in this country, it's 24/7 news. The search for little Madeleine McCann goes on. But how many children have gone missing in Iraq? And who cares? What is to happen to this lost generation, the survivors of a grossly unjust and unnecessary war?
Way back when, we marched against the war. We lost. But that does not mean we give up the fight now. We cannot let journalists claim that Blair believed there were WMDs. It's nonsense; a fabrication. And it implies that because a politician believes something, it must be right. That's a very subjective and dangerous fantasy to be playing with. We can't allow our media to report the war through such a distorted lens. Again, playing with the truth and using such highly subjective terms - Iran is 'hostile' and a 'troublemaker' but America is 'committed to democracy' - is very dangerous. Iran is a 'troublemaker', yet America, which has illegally invaded two nations, is 'democratic'? What a leap in logic! Such bias breeds hostility and contention. Years later, many more will die because of the errors of today, of now.
By all rights, Blair should be on trial for war crimes. He is a mass murderer; a class A charlatan with Messianic delusions and a moral compass that points straight to Ego. He is a despicable phoney, a liar and a thief: he has stolen an entire country's history, its future, its resources and its lives. He does not deserve to enjoy freedom; were he tried at Nuremberg he would have been hanged. Instead, he is wafting around and dispensing advice on 'peace'. And he goes unchallenged, save by us. The media may be in a straitjacket of doublespeak, but we are not. If there is to be any honesty, let it be in politics, let us be saying it, and let it be now.