Gathering Political Unease


I love Blogging, always have, and hopefully will continue to do so, and I talk about a lot of stuff, mostly personally based, and make up stories because that is my pleasure, but very recently as events have unfolded in Gaza and Ukraine, I have asked myself if trilling on about sandwiches or the extraordinary behaviour of some bank clerk is a proper use of my imagination.

Because I am who I am, I tend to research topics with an almost unhealthy thoroughness, and try and get behind the key characters involved. We remember don’t we, in a sense, what the movement was like towards the beginning of the First World War, and how the character of those in positions of power was regarded as significant. How the Kaiser strutted and British King, largely powerless within his own country, raised his eyebrows at the uncouth behaviour of his cousin. How the Russian Czar fell under the influence of possibly malignant individuals and the Austrian Emperor struggled to retain his threatened Empire,  but the causes of that war run much deeper  as we know.

There was a growling of political and social tectonic plates as powerful forces for change affected the landscape, and these figures in power had an influence, certainly, but there was a larger story of which they were not so aware, lost as they were in the vanities of their own situation.

Today as leaders of countries intimately involved in the troubled world I see around me, posture and make guarded speeches about what other parties and countries should be doing, while largely retaining a distance of approach so as to “not raise the international temperature” I nod sadly as the sound of those tectonic plates growls ever louder.

“Love is the answer, and you know that for sure” John Lennon sang in the sixties, but it is a lesson which we forget or continue to ignore, as hundreds of deaths in Gaza demonstrate. At the same time firing large numbers of rockets into Israel without effect , Thank God, does nothing but undermine the Palestinian case which would be made more powerful if some Ghandi like figure appeared to emphasise the humanitarian tragedy we see in the middle east.

The fight in Ukraine may be depicted as caused by the wounded pride of Putin, whose nose was put out by the drift of that country towards Europe, considered by him  as the last straw, and further evidence of the European Union and the United States interfering in the Russian sphere of influence. but also has deeper causes found in the changing social and political landscape of his own and the surrounding countries.

In both cases it is the families grieving lost loved ones and the sense of personal and private loss and bewilderment in the face of such events,  which distress me most. Long after these current events fade from the news to be replaced by a gripping story about the personal conduct of someone in power,  families will continue mourning, and live with the loss of people without national power but who were central to their own precious lives. Unless their grief gives us pause for thought, new and more horrific events may dwarf the horrors from which I am recoiling.

All in all, the ‘key’ figures may or may not have an influence on events and, for various reasons rooted in national and strategic interests, numbers of them have been surprisingly silent on both issues, but in terms of religions and national identities there is a level of conflict, endurance and hatred in the world today which would have shocked John Lennon if he were still alive.

I will not write of this again, but I told myself, I cannot have a pen and a Blog and say nothing  and still respect myself. Normal service will be resumed in my next post.

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About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, faith, Life, Middle East, Peter Wells, Ukraine and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

51 Responses to Gathering Political Unease

  1. Caroline says:

    This should be published on the front page of all newspapers worldwide. You have hit the nail squarely on the head. Thank you for a brilliant post. Long may you continue to write. xx

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  2. Jen says:

    If I knew what to say, I would be blogging about it, too. But I don’t. So I don’t. Except for the poetry. Because in the poetry I get to write something like I want to say. The poetry allows room for the despair to show up as language.

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  3. Jane says:

    There is a need to have this kind of voice spoken so I hope you continue. The trend is not good and we need to vocalize our need for love and healing NOW! Good for you.

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  4. rod says:

    It is difficult to study history and entertain optimistic thoughts: the evidence is against it.

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  5. Jane Thorne says:

    This post is eloquent and thank you for it. We are all connected, so the grief is felt worldwide. Love is the answer, it is how it manifests to power that is the key. Thanks Peter. x

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  6. Well said, Peter. And well done for following your gut instinct on writing about this – I think it’s crucial we all share our concerns and perspectives, and create dialogue rather than staying silent. And you’re right, having a blog is a power platform – and you use it well.

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  7. P.s. I have cried many tears over the flight – as you say, it is a grief for each of those families that has lost a loved one, made more real for me because I am involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS and we lost some heroes of THAT struggle on the flight; also because one of our Dutch supporters is with us at the moment, making the reality of the sense of loss the Dutch nation – and individual families – are feeling more solid. There is the small picture of a human heart, and the big picture of world politics – neither more important than the other, just pieces of the same puzzle.

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    • I really appreciate your comment Laurel. The callous indifference with which the armed people at the site of the crash dealt with the bodies of loved ones, and the grief and the horror that such indifference is possible in ‘modern’ Europe is beyond comprehension of most of us. It says a great deal about ‘Civilisation’,

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  8. Outstanding bit of writing….
    Intelligent, thoughtful, and reflective…
    Well-said, my friend…
    As always, you rock 🙂

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  9. Peter you have put into words what I seem ubable to do, but feel it nevertheless. I feel somewhat cowardly at the moment because everyrhing is affecting me so badly, in that I feel powerless, that I just am unable to watch the news. All I can do is spread my own love in my own corner. I remember in the early 80s going on CND marches etc and I was petrified back then at the state of the world. Now I sit here and write poems and hopefully share a litle lovein the blogging world. What else can we do?

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  10. Ina says:

    You have done a good job with this posting. What can we bloggers do but say what we feel, in poems or otherwise. It has been difficult for the people in the Ukraine for a long time without the world really caring too much, maybe now we know more, something will be done but I don’t think it will be easy to help the people get rid of those so called separatists, who are actually Russians infiltrating in their land. And Gaza, it has been horrible for so many decades and nothing seems to work, it is depressing.

    This is what our minister of foreign affairs said to the UN safety council about what happend with the bodies of MH17 and I agree:

    Mr. President,

    We are here to discuss a tragedy: the downing of a commercial airliner and the death of 298 innocent people. Men, women and a staggering number of children lost their lives, on their way to their holiday destinations, their homes, loved ones, their jobs or international obligations. Since Thursday I’ve been thinking how horrible the final moments of their lives must have been, when they knew the plane was going down. Did they lock hands with their loved ones, did they hold their children close to their hearts, did they look each other in the eyes, one final time, in a wordless goodbye? We will never know.

    The demise of almost 200 of my compatriots has left a hole in the heart of the Dutch nation, has caused grief, anger and despair. Grief for the loss of loved ones, anger for the outrage of the downing of a civilian airplane and despair after witnessing the excruciatingly slow process of securing the crash site and recovering the remains of the victims.

    It is fitting that this august Council should take position on this matter and I welcome the adoption of today’s resolution of the UNSC, which was tabled by Australia and which the Netherlands co-sponsored. I thank the countries which expressed support for it. I particularly want to thank Julie Bishop. Julie, we are in this together.

    Mr President,

    For the Netherlands, one priority clearly stands out above all others: bring the victims’ remains home. It is a matter of human decency that remains should be treated with respect and that recovering victim’s remains should be done without any delay.

    The last couple of days we have received very disturbing reports of bodies being moved about and looted for their possessions. Just imagine for one minute, first to lose your husband and then to have to fear that some thug might steal his wedding ring from his remains. Just imagine that this could be your spouse. To my dying day I will not understand that it took so much time for the rescue workers to be allowed to do their difficult jobs and that human remains should be used in a despicable political game. I hope the world will not have to witness this again, any time in the future.

    Images of children’s toys being tossed around, luggage being opened or passports being shown, are turning our grief and mourning into anger. We demand unimpeded access to the terrain. We demand respectful treatment of the crash site. We demand dignity for the victims and the multitudes who mourn their loss.

    I call on the international community, on the Security Council, on anyone with influence on the situation on the ground: allow us to bring the victims’ remains home to their loved ones without any further delay. They deserve to be home.

    As we are currently taking the lead in the forensic examination of the human remains, I pledge that the Netherlands will do its utmost to make sure that all remains will be identified and returned home, where ever that home may be.

    We will work intensively with all countries and international organizations involved to make this happen.

    Mr. President,

    I also welcome the setting up of a proper investigation into the cause of the tragedy of MH17, as envisaged in today’s resolution. The Netherlands has agreed to assume a leading role in such an investigation, in close cooperation with the relevant countries, the United Nations and ICAO. I am fully aware of the great responsibility we now take upon ourselves and I give you my personal commitment that we will discharge this responsibility to the best of our abilities.
    Once the investigation ascertains who was responsible for the downing of the flight MH17, accountability and justice must be pursued and delivered. We owe that to the victims, to justice, to humanity. I call on all relevant countries to provide full cooperation.

    My country will not rest until all facts are known and justice is served.

    I thank you, Mr. President.

    Sorry for the long comment but it is a serious matter. Friday I saw a woman in the supermarket suddenly crying when she got a text message, so many people are in mourning in so many countries. Awfull.

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  11. Al says:

    As a pragmatist, I have a slightly different take on blogging vis a vis the world on fire. I don’t blog in spite of it, I blog because of it. Blogging, as it is with many other hobbies, serves to take us away from the daily horrors and political machinations that clutter and overshadow the abundance of love that subsists in everything around us. God, or whatever higher power exists for you and others, decided man should have free will. Included in that is the power to hate and hurt and destroy. Man has exhibited his bent toward these choices since time began. I don’t take these events lightly….I feel sadness and despair as everyone else at the sight of these offenses, but I do accept that they are always with us. What I am determined to do is live my life with grace and hope, as does the overwhelming majority of the citizenry of the world. As John Lennon might sing “spreading love and humor” is counter to this insanity and can be done in many ways, blogging being one of them. You are certainly doing your part….keep it up, my friend.

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  12. Scarlet says:

    Thank you for this post. You probably have voiced what many Bloggers feel. I for one feel at odds with myself for posting my silly tales, yet impotent in the face of World events…. so, like Journeyintopoetry says, I will continue to try and spread amusement through the Blogging community hopefully to effect a group hug.
    Sx

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  13. ksbeth says:

    and this is why i admire you and your writing. very well written –

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  14. I’m grateful that we have writers like you who can write both passionately and intelligently on current events and the recent tragedies. I tend to ignore the news because it can be so depressing and I don’t understand the mindset of the ‘powers that be’. It’s scary and callous and inhumane.
    Thank you for caring so much and for sharing a perspective that makes a whole lotta sense xx

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  15. Julie says:

    Um, what Al said.

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  16. As an American, daily assaulted with the vehemence that has invaded our country’s politics and culture I say hear, hear. We have become a spawning grown for hatred and violence and no longer enjoy a higher moral ground. No, we cannot lift the world by forever ruminating on the sad and horrifying state of affairs. However, becoming aware of what we fight will grant us strength and knowledge to deliver, in whatever way we can, sight of a better way, perhaps a sense of hope. A purpose in humanizing our daily lives a Peter does with such flair.

    From deep in the history of an oft quoted sentiment, John Stuart Mill in an inaugural address at the University of St. Andrews.

    “Let not any one pacify his conscience by the delusion that he can do no harm if he takes no part, and forms no opinion. Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

    Even if it is writing a cheery blog, giving a smile, indicating that, no, it is not acceptable to hate and disparage a fellow being — give what you have to lighten the world.

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  17. It is the personal losses suffered that affect most of us but never, it seems, the people in power, for all their posturing and platitudes. There is much I could say but you say much of it and so well, Peter. I feel those tectonic plates shifting too. We never learn from history. And human beings seem destined to fail when greed for power is their raison d’être. I dread the future.

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  18. gotham girl says:

    So well said. The world needs more of your writing. I so agree with Caroline in her comments…”This should be published on the front page of all newspapers worldwide.” Exactly…you have hit the nail squarely on the head.

    Like

  19. backonmyown says:

    Thank you, Ducks, for this thoughtful and thought-provoking essay.

    Like

  20. “***Love is the answer** YESSSSS.
    If that is true, why don’t we LOVE one another, Peter?
    You. Rock. The. Words. xx

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  21. Excellently put, Peter, and I wholeheartedly agree with your points. I’m not going to get started as I may never stop, but thanks for voicing the thoughts of the many.

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    • I do understand. I could feel the brake pads wearing out as I got near the end of the post. Just watching those Ukrainian Separatist troops walking through the air crash site like seagulls, looting the bodies without a single sign of compassion or humanity was truly horrifying

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  22. The weird thing is that most of these conflicts stem from fossil fuels and the power they hold over our section of the planet. Throw in the abuse of women and children by men in all its guises and no amount of football or royal birthdays can distract us now.

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  23. Thanks for this post, Peter. I posted my usual fairly frivolous bit of poetry this morning and had a comment from a Dutch blogger friend thanking me for taking his mind of the tragedy. Brought my mind back to it. Thanks too for not going overboard about Palestine. It’s horrific what’s going on there, but it’s too complicated and emotional a history to join in with the Death to the Jews outbursts that we are getting here. The Russian (ie Putin) involvement in the destruction of the aircraft is simply officialised thuggery.

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  24. Reblogged this on Jane Dougherty Writes and commented:
    What Peter says. What I think too.

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  25. Ali Isaac says:

    You have said this so well! Well done for speaking out. Now if only those leaders could communicate with each other half as eloquently, we might be in with a chance of settling at least some of the world’s woes. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening. Mankind has always been a war-like creature.

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  26. davidprosser says:

    Well said Peter !

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  27. I can’t begin to know the complexities of why all these conflicts around the world began or continue not can I comprehend the emotional, physical, and economic costs to those directly and indirectly involved. I find that the lyric “All we need is love” is both sincerely true and devastatingly naive. People and the systems (societies) they create are mind-bogglingly complicated. To simplify a solution to one thing is tempting, but unrealistic. One thing I know for sure, to end the blood letting, people’s motives must shift. They can, but will they ever?

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    • I understand what you are saying. Quoting John Lennon was not a strategic suggestion, as such, but more how the mood of the current generation seems much harder and more divided internationally than it did then. Again, this may be a sentimental view of the past, but I got the sense that at that time they were drifting towards the concept of a world village, and now we are back to a world divided and increasingly at war with itself. In particular, the pictures of the Russian or whatever soldiers they are, walking among the dead and wreckage as if they were seagulls, looting at will, was as far from human conduct I have seen from people who are not recognised criminals

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      • I didn’t mean to imply that “love” was your solution, just that many people think that simple solutions to complex problems are possible. And you’re right about this ever divided world. We focus on our differences, not our common struggles…

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  28. jenanita01 says:

    Reblogged this on AnitaJayDawes and commented:
    I know what you mean, but with the best will in the world there is nothing we can really do about any of it. We can hope and pray that a miracle will occur, that people will come to their senses and see what harm they are doing…

    Like

    • I am very aware that anything I say or feel on the matter will have no influence at all. The post is a departure from my normal style and concerns, as you may see if you read any other entries. What I am expressing, as a personal standpoint was, I could not just ignore the sight of armed men walking through a tragedy, smoking and looting with a callousness which confounds any sense of compassion or empathy and trill on about sandwiches as if the world was still all about fashion, interior design and new ways to groom your poodle

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  29. rogerdcolby says:

    Wow. You know, I remarked to my wife last night the idea that if the Norwegian plane had been shot down in 1914 or in 1932 or even in 1964, we’d be having world war 3 right now. The problem is that over 45% of Europe’s imports come from Russia, not to mention their oil power. When are we going to stop relying on mad nations for our goods?

    Like

    • I agree. Germany has been remarkably silent on the issue. When you note the respect and dignity afforded the dead on their arrival in Holland with their treatment when scattered over the crash site you really do wonder about some aspects of civilisation and the way hatred and conflict affects it.

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  30. Pingback: Gathering Political Unease | Those Witty Brits

  31. Jay E. says:

    Thank you for saying something. Others would not do so. Well done, indeed!

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  32. jmmcdowell says:

    Well said, Peter. And many others have already left comments that are better than any thoughts I could set down.

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  33. r e douville says:

    It at once breaks my heart and infuriates me. We have the capacity to get along, yet… too many are interested in blaming one another than bother to listen to each other and work it out. The potential exists to solve, providing all those at odds with another put their mind to it.

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  34. andreazug says:

    You, Peter, have seen something I have been watching, and am becoming more concerned about with each passing day. We see in the world the same circumstances that led to WWI and I am praying that bloated egos and indifference doesn’t lead us down that path again. It is important for citizens around the world to be vigilant.
    It weighs heavy on the heart of this war weary American.

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  35. ohyesjolos says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Peter. This reconfirms my reasons why I follow your blog. 🙂

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  36. Should you not write of this again? You write so well; I ask you not to limit yourself. An ocean is made of trillions of drops, and a movement of social understanding is made of billions of voices. Let your voice ring in the heavy air, lest it should grow hoarse.

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  37. Like you, I feel equally challenged by the horrific events happening around the world. How do we ever justify the death of innocent people? How do we ever explain the “rationale” for shooting down commercial airlines? Ironically, I studied politics in college but my position is strictly from my heart. I can’t, will never condone the killing of children, women and innocent bystanders. As a blogger, I feel the weight and pain of those who have lost loved ones and, like you, I mourn their losses.

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  38. andreazug says:

    Love may well be the answer, Peter. But, isn’t there always a but? The entire world has gone brain dead. There is no safe haven anywhere, although millions seem to believe America will be their saving grace. When leaders of great nations take leave of their senses and allow their agenda to take precedence over the safety and security of their citizens…it becomes almost Biblical. One man wishes to regain the strength once held by his predecessors and become a world power, while another wishes to destroy capitalism and bring the giant to her knees. Still others who are brutish murderers by nature, send waves of destruction across vast areas of the Middle East.
    When what was once wrong suddenly becomes right and what was once right is suddenly wrong, a curtain to darkness and horror has been drawn back. When I mentioned these almost unbelievable circumstances as being Biblical-it is.
    Generations past have felt they were living in End Times but the Bible didn’t back up their belief as it does now. People scoff at the Bible and the thought that there is a Creator rather than some star burst that created the magnificent world we live in. That instead of being created in God’s image we somehow evolved from monkeys or crawled out of the vast ocean and sprouted legs. I am astounded at science’ immense need to be right and man’s immense desire to believe that science.
    Hope springs eternal and I will continue to hope and pray for sense to return to the world at large. Even as I read Revelations and see the predictions coming to fruition, I will forever hold onto the hope that, like past generations, we will be pulled from the brink. Madness is loose in the world, of that you can be sure.

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