Who are your Friends? Who are your Enemies?
Tough question, but do I know the answer? No, but I believe that I can give a few pointers, leaving the rest up to you.
We [or the world] as been going through some trying times. What with the Arab spring, starting with the Tunisia, then Egypt with the election of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its rise and fall?
The popular rising up of the people in Libya, and the Murder of its leader, with the help of NATO funded by taxpayers who had little say in the matter. Now the country as gone from a stable and fairly well off country, with a legal system that functioned and a decent health and social care system. Not perfect, run by a Dictator, yes, but Dictators don’t live forever. Now there is a mishmash of radical Islamists, imposing on the population their version of Islam, not to mention the fact the country is split into three main areas and smaller tribal areas all fighting for control. All of them, with no exceptions not allowing any form of dissent [Dictatorship yet again]
The civil war in Syria and the attempt to oust its elected leadership. The fact that there was not a Libya mark two was due to the fact a] Public pressure on the UK government forced Parliament to vote on the use of our armed forces. Resulting in a NO vote and following of our lead by the US and other NATO countries. Yes NATO have mounted limited strikes in Syria [but saw no need to get the peoples support?] Turkey used the Syrian conflict to attack it’s own Kurdish population, not to mention Kurds who live in Syria and Iraq. [for some reason ignored the Kurds living in Iran] and have made some territorial gains. And b] The Russians came to the assistance of Syria and strengthened the government, not to mention Iran, with it’s proxy fighters on the ground. [Much to Israel’s annoyance]
Iraq after it’s second invasion by NATO, appears to be settling down to some form of Iraq control and have with the Kurdish, Iranian, not to mention NATO airpower have pushed ISIL or DAESH out of Iraq, into Syria. Who in turn have pushed most of them out of Syria, but where? It has been rumoured that some have gone to Libya, some back to Europe, some to the southern areas of Russia that as a large Muslim population.
We have a new? Conflict in Yemen between two rival groups one backed by the Saudis and one given some limited, support from Iran. As per usual it is the ordinary people who are suffering, but with little or no say in this matter. The west look away, but we are at least our governments are honest, they might wring their hands and say how terrible is this fresh humanitarian crisis, lets send a strongly worded letter to the Saudis etc, have a whip round for some humanitarian aid. BUT, lets not upset our trade with Saudi and the other Gulf States. Most other Islamic countries also appear not to want to be involved. Would it be the gravy train that these countries leaders enjoy?
Back to my original question; who are your Friends? Who are your Enemies? It brings back a story that I read many years ago, which I shall repeat again, just as history is apt to do. In telling this story I am not having a go at young men, and women who get involved in these sorts of struggles. Young people are idealistic, in-experienced and older people may make use of these facts. The young generation in the 1930’s went to Spain, some to support Franco and some to support the International Brigade. One side Fascists, who tell the ordinary people, what to do, and the other side Communists, who tell the ordinary people what to do.
After the Spanish conflict many young people returned to their homes disillusioned, probably like the young people who have returned from today’s conflict areas. Anyway back to my story.
The young Swallow that refused to fly south for the winter.
There was a young Swallow, who after enjoying the summer in northern climes, with his brothers and cousins decided that he liked where he was and that he would stay.
As the summer turned to autumn and the days grew shorter the older Swallows started to say it is nearly time think about starting to fly south for the winter.
So all the uncles and aunts started to tell the youngsters who had been born this summer that they must prepare to fly south, to warmer climes as the northern climes turned very cold and there would be very little food.
So the day to fly south came and all the swallows, both old and young gathered into flocks, in preparation for the long migration south for the winter.
The young Swallow, said “NO! I like it here, and have made lots of friends, it’s still warm and there is plenty of food. So I am staying here, you all go, you’re just set in your ways.”
As the autumn turned to winter, the nights became colder and longer, food became scarcer. The young Swallow thought to himself. I think I shall fly south; I may catch up with another group of Swallows and join them on their migration.
So off he goes, after many days he sees no other Swallows. He as become tired, hungry and weak. With very little strength to carry on, he plummets to the ground.
Lying on the ground, weak and cold, thinking I shall never see my family again, a cow passes by and craps all over the little Swallow. The crap warms the Swallow a bit and he starts to think I may be all right after all. After a bit of a rest and I shall continue my migration. So he starts to sing to himself.
The farmyard cat hears the singing and comes to investigate. Finds the Swallow in the pile of cow crap. Pulls the Swallow out of the crap, and eats him.
The moral of this story is three-fold;
1] Older people are not always right, but they have seen more of life then you. Do go on about how things were in the past, and yes they have more past then future.
2] The person who craps all over you, is not necessarily your enemy.
3] The person who pulls you out of the crap, is not necessarily your friend.
The hardest thing is to know good teaching from bad and who is your friend and who is your enemy? I am still learning.