Friday, 18 July 2014

I have just picked up the newspapers

from the front lawn. They always arrive late on Fridays but I am thankful that neither of them carry news of the latest air disaster - the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. That happened too late to reach the print media.
I am thankful because the Senior Cat does not need to read that sort of news over breakfast. At 92 he has reached the point where he does not watch the television news. He finds it too distressing. He remembers WWII, Korea and Vietnam all too clearly.
Nothing has changed. People are still fighting one another.
I watch the international news service. It is a part of my job. I need to know what people here are being told about what is happening elsewhere. What is actually happening and what we are told about via the media are often very different. Much of what is actually happening in a disaster would be too distressing to show.
I know that even I am shielded from the worst of it. I do not have to try and cope with conditions on the ground. I do not have to bear the smells and sights and noises and the constant possibility of death in a conflict zone. I don't know how "war correspondents" do it or how aid workers manage to work under such conditions.
I also know that, at some point, the Whirlwind will want to know, "Why did they do it?"
And I will try to answer her but I know that it will not really be an answer. How do you explain the lust for power and possessions to a child verging on adolescence - especially a lust for power and possessions given a veneer of religious and cultural differences? How do you explain that someone who was elected to lead simply used the position to amass a fortune and live a life of luxury?
All I can really tell her is that nothing has changed in thousands of years. Everyone will blame each other.
Perhaps we should start by blaming ourselves.

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