19 July 2006


A Summer Idyll

While the sun beams down benevolently on my very small, rather neglected and overgrown, garden I've been spending an idyllic time watching the Bees and the Butterflies on the Buddleia.

So far I've observed five different varieties of butterfly: small white, small tortoiseshell, red admiral, peacock and comma. I don't think I'd seen a comma before, though apparently they are common in the midlands. When closed up it looks just like a dead leaf. All things are bright and beautiful in Darwin's domain.

Meanwhile in the civised world of men of faith we find nature red in tooth and claw. The centre of God's world, according to the Mappa Mundi, has erupted in its worst exchanges of violence for some time.

Massimo Pigliucci offers a trite solution: the US should threaten to withdraw its financial support from Israel. But didn't this little spat of trouble all begin just when the US (and Europe) withdrew their financial support from the newly democratically elected Hamas in Palestine?

OK, so they wouldn't, overnight, change their stance and recognise the right of existence of Israel, but wouldn't a little support for their good social programme have helped to put them in a better frame of mind?

The domino theory of international politics comes to mind. Which will be the next domino to fall? Syria, then Iran? Back to the garden for a bit of peace I think.

While you were writing in the tranquility of the wee small hours you might have had a thought for the people of the Gaza strip who had been kept awake in terror by the sonic booms of Israels war planes for several weeks before the capture of one Israeli soldier. Israel is itself holding thousands of Palestinians. Don't you think they and the lebanese have a right to exist? Just look at the balance of forces and the facts of the occupation and invasions before you speak of 'right to exist'.

But the picture is wider than this, and Israel isn't the real culprit. A Jordanian commentator on the Today program revealed all on Tuesday morning. This war is part of the preparation for the forthcoming US/Anglo war on Iran. He pointed out that Hizbollah and Hamas needed disabling to pre-empt their coming to the aid of Iran when the onslaught against its nuclear installations begins.

Are you really as naiive about all this as you make out? Do you really speak as the voice of the Leicester Secular Society? Don't you see that while we pay for these wars through our taxes the oil interests rake in unprecedented profits as their prices rise?
I dont speak as "the voice of Leicester Secular Society". There are plenty of members who share your cynical interpretation of middle-east politics. We're free-thinkers.

Of course I think the Palestinians and Lebanese also have the 'right to exist'. I was, after all, deploring the treatment of Hamas. I just wish sense would break out on all sides. Is that 'naive'?

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