Thursday 21st August
When I am away we do still watch the news, but here in placid, never changing rural France it all seems such a long way away. The sun shines, the Boulangeries are full of lovely bread and cakes, the markets overflowing with rich produce and bombs and deaths seem to be beamed from another planet entirely. But back home somehow the reality hits home harder, this is real, this is happening in our fragile world and being in London seems to bring it all back home sharply.
There are wars everywhere, Gaza, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, South Sudan which go unreported because of atrocities elsewhere hogging the headlines. Iraq is ongoing and although the latest news/propaganda is reporting that IS is slowly retreating one wonders if this is a strategic withdrawal or if they are really being pegged back by US airstrikes. What makes it all so poignant is the overarching fact that the ill-fated invasion ten years ago has created the problem. Can George Bush and Tony Blair really sleep easy in their remarkably comfortable beds at night knowing what a bloody mess they have created?
The riots in Missouri over the shooting by police of an unarmed black teenager have just got a whole lot worse as they have shot another last night. Everyone calls for calm without beginning to understand the fury and despair of whole sections of society left behind and now apparently picked off at random by trigger-happy cops.
And this morning we are confronted by the brutality of IS beheading an American reporter and posting the video on-line. Everyone is appalled at the savagery, the lack of any humanity, the pointless killing and yet fail to recognize that in their eyes we have been pursuing a crusade against Muslim nations for nearly two decades now. And each time we retaliate, each time Israel pours shells into Gaza, each time we pin-point bomb another convoy, each time we ignore the plight of the homeless refugees we simply add to the anger and the sense of injustice. And worst of all I see no end to it all. No end in sight at all.