On the train last night a young man said he was pleased the UK would be bombing Iraq. When I asked why he said "because otherwise they will be bombing us."
Where he got that idea from I do not know, but it reflects the feelings being stirred up by the TV media, and those feelings are powerful.
The UK Parliament vote to bomb Iraq was depressing. Crude political words about 'homeland security', threats to our shores, threats to our people, have whipped many into a panic. The persuasion to bomb was clumsy. There are alternatives.
Since when did bombing ever solve a problem? Previous haphazard attempts to bomb people into submission have always failed. Hitler thought he could try that on us, and it only hardened our resolve. We have done it in Iraq twice before, and failed miserably, worse than that our blatant disregard for civilian life created the conditions for those fascist psychopaths handed the veil of statehood by our own media who insist on calling them the Islamic State (in its varying forms). Have the British Government recognised IS as a state?
'We' tried bombing Afghanistan, and the effect was a terrible toll on civilians and the advent of drone warfare - that illegal form of summary execution where no trial is necessary, insufficient checks are made on the target and entire families are wiped out. No one counted the dead in Afghanistan, but it is estimated that the death toll in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the decade long war was at between 20,000 and 50,000. These are people. These are men, women and children, not collateral damage.
'We' bombed Libya on the pretence that it was to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, but continued fighting amongst rival militias, armed with weapons kindly supplied by ourselves and our equally kind Allies, have place this country on the cruel path to becoming a rogue state.
Sad to say that if we had not been fuelled with Tony Blair's lies about WMD and bombed Iraq in the first place, the situation with these nasty insurgents would not have arisen in the first place.
Bombing is indiscriminate, innocents suffer the most, and bombing creates problems as fast as it seeks to solve them. This we know.
One can be forgiven for concluding that a state of perpetual warfare (with anybody) is desirable in order to keep the profitable wheels of the over-subsidised arms industry in motion.
If the British Government has suddenly found some money to spend on overseas ventures, it is infinitely more desirable to spend the money on protecting humanitarian corridors, protecting those who are trying to rebuild infrastructure, and protecting the civilians in Iraq whose lives we have systematically crushed in three terrible wars in 16 years. Bombing will not make us friends. Providing safety and security will. Sadly we have yet to try the more constructive approach.
I am very proud that our own MP, Caroline Lucas, voted with a clear head and calm resolve against the further bombing in Iraq. Like so many others in ordinary life, Caroline has seen through the game of perpetual despair, and would stop it.