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Editorial
Last Updated: 07/12/2006
Bastille Day
Simon Stander

 

 

As we come up to Bastille Day on the 14 July, I wonder if the world now is any less violent than it seemed to be on the day that the masses appear to say no more oppression, no more poverty.

 

This week seems to have been more violent than most. The Paris mob seemingly had at least a clear objective in freeing their countrymen of oppression and cruelty, even though, according to some commentators, there were only a handful of prisoners in the Bastille guarded by a few superannuated soldiers with little motivation to defend the state from its would be destroyers.

Israel is calling up its reserves in the face of crisis in the Lebanon, and the capture and death of its soldiers there. The prime minister of Israel regards the incident as an act of war; matters can only get worse as fighting takes place between two cultures that believe that in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth principle. In such cultures everyone becomes blind as Gandhi said. Meanwhile in Gandhi’s homeland of India bombs have gone off in Mumbai killing and injuring scores of people. As there were seven blasts in all, this cannot be seen as an isolated incident. There will be more. While the deadliest group in the region, the Lashkar-e-Taiba, have denied the bombings and have condemned them, some fingers have already pointed in their direction.

Afghanistan is now facing its “bloodiest year” since 2001 according to the BBC. A suicide bomber drove a taxi into a convoy of US-led troops in the Yaqubay district of Khost province killing himself and a child, and wounding several others including US soldiers. The UK is sending more troops to Afghanistan, so, what with one thing and another, we can expect worse to come.

There is no let up in Iraq. Reports have been coming through that in Baghdad sectarian violence is the number one source of deadly violence rather than attacks on the coalition (occupying) forces. While Iraqis are fleeing the city, the US continues to consolidate and fortify its fourteen so-called forward bases in Iraq. They are there to stay it would seem no matter how much the violence might escalate.

Uganda might have been the source of good news but no such luck as the rebels are declining to talk peace. Matters in North Korea are uncertain but not hopeless. In Korea, no-one quite knows what to do about the spate of rocket firing with China, Japan and South Korea all as uncertain as the USA. So far lots of rocket fuel has gone off but so far, at least, no bombs. Can that really be the good news?

 

 

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