St Elmo’s Fire

The situation in Afghanistan has upset lots of us, including me. I had intended to hold my tongue on this subject, but I can’t. Please forgive me.

I’m upset that we have failed to recognise that we have a duty to Afghan people. I don’t just blame the US administration. I include the UK here, I include every country which was part-responsible. Joe Biden’s reverse (he voted for military action way back at the start of all this) was nothing short of convenient for every other country, because I think they all recognised the mire they’d gotten into.

But I recognise that many, many good people opposed this folly from the start, for the very reason that has come to pass, people who were ignored by their leaders. I am one of them. We knew a war was not the solution.

The plane creeps forward, inch by inch
Illicit cargo clinging on
Their promise slowly taxis out
St Elmo’s Fire
Euphoric dream
Destroyed by morning’s blur
Inevitable motion
Like time, unstoppable.

Can talk about their doctrine
Where emptiness pervades
Just bankrupt hollow vows
Of roast beef and McDonalds.
Of apple pie and soccer
Roll up and buy the dream
Deliver though the nightmare
As we pull the rug from under.

We know your noble history
We have our history too
Of empire and Wild West
So do not be surprised
Our skills undiplomatic
the big stick and the gun
The self-appointed policemen
A thug a better word.

We’ll soon enough lose interest
We’ll bully someone else
We’ll finish our destruction
And leave you to repair
A lesson to be learned, you think?
That’s really not our style
We’d sooner come destroy you,
And make you start again.

Plane’s grasping payload, weakens grip
Those flailing hands begin to slip
The engines scream, the bird ascends
For silent safety of wisps of clouds
The hand from its fissure

Torn loose by a gust
Adrift he is cut
A final refuge for this soul.

Once the decision had been made to invade, the one thing we owed to the Afghans was to leave them with a better tomorrow. Tomorrow was yesterday.

Leopards don’t change their spots and many people will now face a struggle under the Taliban. But I refuse to single out women. Yes, women will suffer. Everybody will suffer. Afghanistan has an estimated population of 34 million people and I’m not about to sweep half of these people under the carpet from the very start. A sentiment that places women over men is every bit as unacceptable as one which place men over women.

As if to offer confirmation of the Taliban’s intent, on the news just a few hours ago, there were reports of summary executions of those who had collaborated with the West. This is the dream we mis-sold them.

Who Won the Week (20 June 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

I didn’t start looking for a story to share until this morning, but fortunately this one jumped straight out at me. I’m going to go all the way over to Arizona for today’s story, though, so maybe some of you heard it already?


Who Won the Week (16 May 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

I’ll warn you, this is quite a long post, but maybe you’d like to ponder the rights and wrongs of this situation?

Last Tuesday, an inquest into an event called the Ballymurphy Massacre, which occurred during The Troubles of Northern Ireland, found that none of the victims had done anything which would have justified their shooting.

It doesn’t sound much, does it? Innocent? But these victims, who were all civilians, were hitherto dismissed as Irish Republican Army (IRA) gunmen. So to their families, it was a big deal, to have their names cleared.

Continue reading “Who Won the Week (16 May 2021)”

New Beginning

It seems dumb, especially in this day and age, that people are differentiated by melanin, but as recently as May 10, 1994, South Africa drove the final nail into the coffin of the apartheid era by, for the first time, holding elections in which the majority of its population was permitted to vote.

The man elected was Nelson Mandela.


A big shoutout to Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani readers. These countries gained independence from the UK on 15th August 1947.


It seems a bit weird to be saying “congratulations” to anybody in the aftermath of Beiruit, but I have several real-life Jamaican friends, so this one is high on my radar. I’d like to wish any Jamaican readers a somewhat muted Happy Independence Day.

Jamaica gained independent from the UK on 6 August 1962.

I am not at all a flag-waver, and it seems fundamental to me that we should all be allowed to choose our destiny, so far as possible, and not have it determined for us.

Reblog: this, I can do.

This is bang on, you guys.

By Any Means Necessary

I decided to write this not just because it fits today’s Fandango’s One Word Challenge of begrudge, but also because it is something I have been thinking. I deliberately try to keep my FOWC as brief as possible, but this one is a bit longer. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible but I usderstand if you want to skip.

I’ve been reading several posts lately, they’re all prompted by the recent events in the US. Not just here, but in the general media. The tone of them is basically, this situation is unacceptable and I want it to improve.

That’s fine, as far as it goes, but for my money, it doesn’t go far enough.

If it were me, I would go more along the lines, I want to be treated with equal rights, and by the way, if you don’t want to give me equal rights, then I will take them anyway.

In other words, This can happen the easy way or the hard way, but either way, it’s gonna happen. Give me equal rights. If not, I’ll take them. No dicking around.

I think we should be grateful that the last few generations of Civil Rights activists have been so nice about it, I’m not sure that future generations will be.

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