Come along for the ride!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

"War - what is it good for?"

"Absolutely nothing, say it again!"

Edwin Starr sang it in 1970 and Bruce Springsteen reminded everyone of the lyrics again in 1985.

Growing up in the 70's and 80's, I got used to watching the very same war in Lebanon on the news as is happening there all over again, although I now have a more vested interest being married to a Lebanese woman. Apart from the obvious hope that my wife's family all come through the current situation unscathed, I hope our children won't grow up watching the same things as I did; it would be more than just news to them - they will see their mother's birthplace being systematically flattened with no hope of going there to see her family or indeed her family home which saw her through the civil war as a little girl and still stands today, albeit badly bullet ridden.

Perhaps the news was more sanitised for us in previous decades but I don't remember seeing the same images coming out of the middle east as I'm seeing now. Maybe it was my age and seeing death didn't hold the same impact as it does for me now.

Maybe it's the fact that I'm now a parent and with that in mind, last night's news made for some very grim viewing. Get rid of terror and fear throughout the world, absolutely, but let's avoid the totally unnecessary killing of innocent men, women and children at all costs.

The French sculptor Armand Pierre Fernandez created a 5000 tonne sculpture which stands outside the Ministry of Defence in Beirut and is entitled Hope for Peace. Built in 1995, the 30m-high sculpture comprises smashed tanks and artillery pieces drowned in concrete, representing the horrors of a war that had been going on for 15 years.

He died in October of last year, just missing the restart of trouble in Lebanon this July.

He died thinking that peace really had endured where he had placed his sculpture.

How ironic.


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