12 July 2009

Eighteen

Above see the faces of James, Joseph and William. They all died in Helmand on Friday and they were all eighteen years old. Of warfare, have we learnt nothing?

On the television a casually dressed President Obama honoured the ultimate sacrifice paid by these boys in soldiers' uniforms. He re-emphasised the connection between Afghanistan and potential terrorist atrocities in London or New York. Yet - did it never occur to him or any other western leaders that simply by being in the region waging war or on the Taliban - they are very probably adding fuel to the forces of evil that have struck in Manhattan, London, Bombay and elsewhere. Battling with the Taliban probably makes terrorist atrocities more likely - not less.
This isn't about equipment, helicopter support, tough political language, bullets or how we armour our vehicles because those are certainly not the tools of peace. Peace is about love, it's about seeds and handshakes, education and understanding, giving and friendship, investment and support. What would John Lennon say of this conflict if he were alive today?

When I was eighteen I was off to see the world - not with a rifle but with a bag full of hope, a guitar and a book of English grammar. They sometimes say that in our hearts we have an age where we feel we belong - our real age - not the one that is marked by birthdays. My age has always been eighteen, the same as James, Joseph and William. Surely, the best monument we could build in their memory is an end to the pointlessness that is the mission in Afghanistan. Before more eighteen year olds die there, let's shout out - BRING OUR BROTHERS HOME!

6 comments:

  1. I'm with you 100% on this...but with the relatively small number of readers...will it make any difference? Politicians don't read and certainly don't take any notice of us humble bloggers.
    You are right however, we must all take a stand at some time.
    I was never in favour of sending troops out there anyway. We should keep our noses out of other peoples business. Actually, I would prefer Britain to pull up it's 'drawbridge' and cleanse itself from the 'enemy' within.
    What a waste of life.

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  2. Totally agree with both of you.

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  3. I agree too, though I don't expect the Government to listen to any of us any time soon, sadly.

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  4. I can hardly bare to look at those photos. Just kids.

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  5. KIPPERS Oceans are made of droplets of water. If more of us protest in our own small ways the momentum will surely grow. Bring our brothers home!
    JENNYTA I am so sorry that your son is to go out there. Obviously it's some comfort to understand that 99% of military personnel return safe - at least physically unscathed.
    DAPHNE Better to speak out and say something - even if it's just through a blog - than to say nothing it all.
    JJ I know what you mean. It is so heart-rending. Boys with their whole lives in front of them.

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  6. you vote labour YP - it was you that sent those lads there in the first place, their deaths are on your hands. Still perhaps you'll find weapons of mass destruction or osama bin laden or a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or what ever your justification is for the afghan stint of your dear beloved labour party's ten year international killing spree

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.