In response to an FT article by Matthew Engel on 4th August 2014, entitled We must hope political leaders learn lessons of first world war'
"Yet war has not gone away. Drone pilots can now sit comfortably in bunkers killing enemies like space invaders and then go home to bed, while men, women and children can set out on innocent journeys by bus, train or plane and be blown to pieces."
Thank you for saying this. The mainstream press, including this paper, has been full of the good guy/bad guy narrative for weeks. Some of the 'analysis' here has bordered on jingoism, much of the tabloid press has revelled in it. In the US, the cover of Newsweek shows a picture of Vladimir Putin wearing reflector shades with two mushroom clouds reflected, one in each lens. The headline says 'Inside the bullet-proof bubble of THE PARIAH - west's public enemy number 1'; another magazine has his face decorated as 'the Joker', as in the chilling portrayal by Heath Ledger.
You finish on a cautionary note, followed by a hopeful one:
'"It could happen again, set off in Gaza, Syria, Ukraine or somewhere that hardly makes the news bulletins. We can only hope that the political leaders were silently conscious of this and utterly determined to ensure it does not."
Again, thanks for being a sane voice. I disagree only with your optimism - I don't think that we can hope - I think we have to speak up, loudly and repeatedly. Politics attracts all sorts of people, some of whom love power itself, many of whom are bought and paid for by vested interests, and almost all of whom will put on the face that gets them re-elected. Politicians who are in danger of losing their power at upcoming elections are particularly dangerous, and particularly foolish - witness Mr Cameron being filmed in the arctic when being 'green' was seen to be attractive to the middle, now being filmed with the police, evicting illegal immigrants when he wants to win back the right. I don't trust these people to behave in a sane way. Maybe as individuals…maybe…some of them are not 'for sale'. Put them together and the collective has an IQ that wouldn't trouble my dog.
We have madmen at the wheel Mr Engel, we have a US VP, Joe Biden, who took 5 minutes after MH17 went down before declaring himself prosecutor, judge and jury. We have John Kerry, totally out of his depth, issuing statements that are off-the-wall and proven to be inaccurate five minutes later.
We have neocons in the background who have the Wolfowitz doctrine as their bible, and God knows what madmen are whispering in Mr Putin's ear.
Good article Mr Engel. Keep talking.