Medley of masquerade clips to classical waltz music
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Friday, 26 May 2017
Now you're down on the ground screaming medic
The only thing that comes is the post-traumatic stresses
Shields, body armours and vests
Don't properly work, that's why you're in a locker full of hurt
The enemy within and all the fires from your friends
The best medicine is to probably just let her win
I wish that I could stop 'cause it hurts so much
And I’m the only one that's trying to keep us together
When all of the signs say that I should forget her
I wish you weren’t the best, the best I ever had
I wish that the good outweighed the bad
Cause it’ll never be over, until you tell me it's over
Don’t look like they’re ever going away
They ain't never gonna change
Don’t look like they’re ever going away
They ain't never gonna change
I’ve never felt so alive, yeah
That's because you're at war with love."
The following post was written by Acerules, age 15 and she supplied the song and picture.
On Monday night thousands of excited fans crowded round at Manchester Arena, none would foresee such a attack, especially not the lady of the hour Ariana Grande. The teens, children and parents began filing out after the concert, when a suicide bomber using an improvised explosive devise, detonated himself in the foyer of the venue.
Many concertgoers reported they heard one or two loud bangs at the end of the show as the light came back on. 23 people including the bomber, were killed , including the youngest an eight year old girl. This is said to be the worst attack since four suicide bombers killed 52 people on London's transport system in July 2005.
The victims have everyone's support with even the Queen visiting those in hospital.
As for how I feel, anything I say is superficial as I wasn't there. I didn't hear the screams, I didn't see my family and friend bleeding and crying. I can't imagine what the parents, children and friends of the victims are feeling and I'm not going to patronise them by implying I understand what they're going through. I'm not saying I don't feel empathy and compassion towards those who are victims of the attack, i'm just not going to downplay it and compare it to other attacks. It was a horrible, barbaric thing to happen to anyone. They all left behind people that will never forget them. These people just need your support. The just need to know that when they get back up you'll be there to catch them if they fall.
I wasn't there, I'm not qualified to do much more than state facts, but I hope those who were there know our hearts and thoughts go out to them.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for
Turn out the light
Don't try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right."
- The execution of Anne Boleyn - 1st place
- The artful dodger - 2nd place
- The snow queen - honourable mention
- The war bride - honourable mention
- Juliet : the balcony scene - 3rd place
Monday, 22 May 2017
At the end of the war there were unsavoury validated reports of Iraqi soldiers being buried alive by bulldozers as they remained in their trenches, and the bombing of thousands of soldiers as they withdrew from Kuwait City (albeit official surrender had not been verified at that time) on what became known as the Highway of Death. The U.S. had also called for uprisings in the Shia south and Kurdish north and then just left them to Saddam’s revenge.
Iraq never fully recovered from the devastation as they were then crushed for 12 years under U.N. sanctions. Ambassador Madeleine Albright admitted this contributed to the deaths of half a million Iraqi children.
To give that some perspective, that's more than the combined death toll of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
But never mind because she said it was WORTH IT.
I'M NOT SURE THEY WOULD ENTIRELY AGREE.
MOVING TO THIS CENTURY & THOSE PESKY INVISIBLE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?
David Kelly was employed by the British M.O.D and a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq. He was due to appear before the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee to expose there were no weapons of mass destruction but decided to kill himself two days beforehand by cutting an artery?.......
Unperturbed by having no actual proof of these WMDs, the U.S. and Britain invaded IRAQ just in case they did and were thinking about sharing them with their new best enemies Al Qaeda.
Hundreds of thousands of people were killed and it pretty much destroyed Iraq. Afterwards it unleashed a civil war and GAVE RISE TO THE TERROR GROUP The Islamic State in Iraq, which later merged with terrorists in Syria to become ISIS.
ISIS! NOTHING TO DO WITH US THOUGH?
Think it's time for a death tally here........
Iraqi Deaths somewhere between 1 and 2 MILLION (difficult to get any accurate figures) Occupying Forces below 5,000.
Another legacy left behind when the troops left Iraq is that birth defects soared due to the use of DEPLETED URANIUM in our weapons.
THATS PRETTY DAMNED SHAMEFUL.
It's also a good time to ask a thus far avoided question. How do these people feel?
These are a random selection of widespread comments from the general public:-
“All the Western world wants out of the Middle East is oil, and nothing the West says about democracy and freedom is genuine. If it were, the West wouldn't have supported regimes that oppressed us, like Qaddafi in Libya, and Mubarak in Egypt. They are hypocrites. We cannot trust them at all.”
“They” do not have an interest in helping us build factories, roads and schools. All “they” care about is taking “our” natural resources at any cost before leaving the country".
"America held out hope to all, came to Iraq, promised it liberation and prosperity, and ended up destroying the country."
IF THATS THE GENERAL PUBLICS VIEW, IT DOESN'T TAKE MUCH IMAGINATION TO RAMP THAT UP TO A MORE RADICAL REACTION AND A TERRORIST IS SPAWNED.
AND THEN THERE ARE ALL THE ORPHANS - (THIS WILL MESS YOU UP BUT ITS A VERY IMPORTANT PERSPECTIVE)
These youth will grow into young men and they may well have issues over what happened to them.
AND THEN THERE'S THE QUESTION OF WHY WE TAKE THE SIDES WE DO?
WHY DOES THE U.S. HATE IRAN?
(This was written by Jeff Faux a renowned economic American Author)
The only answer that makes sense is that it reflects the subordination of US policy in the Middle East to the interests of
- the despotic dynasties that rule Saudi Arabia and the gulf sheikdoms;
- the Israeli government, especially under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu;
- the American politicians, pundits, lobbyists, and national-security bureaucrats whose careers and bank accounts are enhanced by both.
- It is in the interests of all three to divert attention from the catastrophic consequences of our intervention in the region.
WHAT DO I THINK?
This really is just a snapshot of over 100 years of 'interventions' from the West.
It only scratches the surface but for a long time now I've asked these recurring questions:-
Why do we keep sticking our noses in? Has any of it actually helped? Will it ever help? And the cost!? (Apparently Trillions)
Nothing seems to improve, in fact it seems to get worse.
Are we containing a problem or just making it even worse?
I don't think any occupation or intervention in someone else's territory is likely to leave the people living there without scars and grudges. Keep doing it and those grudges will unquestionably gather conviction.
I don't condone terrorism or indeed any violence AT ALL, but that is not the same as saying I don't understand how years of foreigners occupying their lands after carving it up without regard for the citizens, then destroying their homes and the devastation of witnessing the wholesale killings of their loved ones and also imposing sanctions that crucify them afterwards, would not eventually breed hardened feelings of absolute hatred in some.
AND FINALLY AND VERY IMPORTANTLY when you add to that their very strict religious indoctrination that is largely at odds with our own lifestyles and beliefs, you definitely have a recipe for some seeking hideous and glorifying forms of revenge.
There have been 85 'conflicts' in the Middle East since the demise of the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago. The West have NOT been involved in the vast majority but unhappily the statistics reveal they have been involved in the deaths of as many as all the other conflicts put together, and through sanctions even more.
The BIG question of course is what our motives really are?
Is it humanitarian, oil and resources, combating terrorism, or just control and dominance?
I think it started off as control and dominance, that quickly became the oil and resources and the humanitarianism aspect was invented to give us a reason to protect the other two at any price. The terrorism is just an end product we're stuck with.
Swallowing the mantra from George W Bush’s of "They hate us for our freedoms”, is absolute garbage and much more to do with the fact that we are FOREIGN INVADERS supporting whichever regime seems to be advantageous to US thus giving them an unfair advantage. THE OPPOSING SIDE WILL NEVER FAIL TO BE ENRAGED BY THAT.
The end result is that THE WEST have given the fanatics fantastic leverage to glorify their causes even more and not surprisingly spawned a rising tide in Terrorism against us.
HAVE OUR INTERVENTIONS WORKED AND LEFT THE COUNTRIES BETTER OFF?
LIBYA:- Got rid of Colonel Gaddafi. They're now in the midst of a brutal civil war with no end in sight.
IRAN:- Iran and Iraq had an 8 year war and it was common knowledge The U.S. provided arms. Nearly 40 years later we've only just brokered a rather tenuous deal with Iran by lifting crippling sanctions in exchange for them restricting their nuclear programme. We've yet to see how that works out because Iranian hardliners aren't happy about the deal.
IRAQ:- Got rid of Saddam Hussein with his Invisible Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Now Mosul their 2nd largest city is under siege by ISIS and 1 million people have been displaced and thousands killed.
Now SYRIA:- The U.S. just started to get involved with air strikes.........Russia like the other guys...........?!
Of the regimes and leaders that have been toppled, it looks like they've only been replaced by splinter groups that have made things even more unstable.
ISIS HAS FORMED AND ARE NOW A MAJOR PROBLEM.
To simplify things, I see the Middle East as a bit like Hydra, the multi headed monster. Trying to slay it is useless because it just grows even more heads. Leave it be and it might stop growing new heads like ISIS, or at least contain itself. Even if it doesn't, at least we won't be caught up in the blame game anymore, and maybe, just maybe, the rising tide of 'terrorism' against us would start to decline?
Of course I know this won't happen because we're in too deep to pull out, but scratching our heads and just demonising them as evil lunatics fighting a cause that we are wholly unaccountable for is something I now question and view rather differently. There are always two sides to a story (and this is a VERY complex one) I'd just never thought about the other side.
MAYBE IF 'TERRORISM' WAS RENAMED 'REVENGEISM' WE'D REASSESS HOW WE LOOK AT IT?
THIS SONG IS ABOUT THE IRISH TROUBLES THAT ARE NOW THANKFULLY OVER , BUT THE ANGUISH OF WAR I'M SURE IS PRETTY UNIVERSAL.
ITS CALLED RATHER APPROPRIATELY - ZOMBIE.
Sunday, 21 May 2017
GROWING A TERRORIST?
I can't recall 'TERROR' being on the news too much while I was growing up but there were always news reports of wars somewhere. Apart from 'the troubles' in Northern Ireland (our close neighbour), Egypt and Israel seemed to be mentioned a lot and somewhere called Palestine. Then there was this place that always seemed to be getting bombed a lot called Beirut. In fact when I was young if I went somewhere that looked run down or bleak I always used to say "Christ it looks like Beirut".
So in an effort to unravel the mystery of the never ending conflicts in the Middle East and the rise of Terrorism, I decided to do some digging. However, I added a caveat of focusing on OUR involvement in those conflicts.
BIT OF BACKGROUND.
Once upon a time about 600 years ago this happened....
HOW SUCCESSFUL WERE THEY?........ WOW!
WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?
SO WHEN DID 'WE' GET INVOLVED AND START P*$$\NG 'THEM' OFF?
Well it seems just after the 1st World War two diplomats from victorious Britain and France, Sir Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot, were tasked with dividing up the the fallen Ottoman Empire who'd made a bad bet and backed Germany in the war.
Their only concern was imperialistic advantage and they carved the region among themselves with no regard at all to the Arab people's ethnic birthrights.
They had also promised the Arabs independence but instead installed Kings and rulers of THEIR choosing so WE could have a say in how things were done and run.
I had no knowledge of this, but the Arabs most definitely do!
SO THAT'S A BIG EMPIRE - ANYBODY ELSE INTERESTED?
Well of course! Not long after, Italy, the U.S. Germany and Russia all wanted a piece of the pie and have been overthrowing and intervening in all sorts of political wrangles and governments in Libya, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Iran and Iraq ever since.
There are way too many to mention so I've just cherry picked a few to give a flavour of the complexities and the death toll.
In 1953 Britain and France together with the CIA staged a coup in IRAN replacing a DEMOCRACY with a MONARCHY. This was because the elected prime minister had sought to nationalise British-controlled Iranian oil. It was done to safeguard the WESTS OIL INTERESTS and Iran have never forgotten it.
Three years later they (Brits & French) combined forces with Israel to attack EGYPT when President Nasser decided to take control of the Suez Canal which had up until then been controlled by Britain, France and Israel. It was used for the free passage of trade and Nasser wanted to start charging for this to fund building the Aswan Dam because the loan agreed by the U.S. and Brits had been pulled because we didn't like Egypts political ties with Russia.
So we secretly colluded with each other and planned that Israel would head up an attack and then us Brits with the French would join in.
However, once it all kicked off, the Russians sided with Egypt which made the U.S. a bit twitchy and they told the Brits, French and Israelis to butt out or they'd intervene with oil sanctions and our access to International Monetary Funds.
Thus ended the Brits dominance and the U.S. took over as the main external power. The Brits did allegedly have one last 'Secret Service' shot at killing the rather popular President Nasser with poison, but it failed.
The Arab Nationalist Movement was formed opposing Western imperialism and Israel.
Moving on to the 1970s, Egypt switched sides from being friends with the Russians and cozied up with the US. It earned them $2.3 billion a year in military and economic aid.
In 1981 military hardman Mubarak began his 30 YEAR Presidency of Egypt and joined the US. in attacking IRAQ in the 1991 GULF WAR which earned them a 50% reduction in their foreign debt.
He also supported attacking Iran, along with King Abdullah II of Jordan and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who we're still best buds with too.
Seems to me that 'SIDES' are being established and this particular game is WAR. The opposing teams and all their fans and supporters will be very well aware of who's supporting who and the fact that one of them is an OUTSIDER with a lot of CLOUT, might seem a bit unfair.
Also, Mubarek was very unpopular during his 30 year Presidency, dodging several assassination attempts but finally stepped down in 2011 following mass waves of protests. Seems from our actions we liked him though?
Quick skip back to 1980. The U.S. supplied arms which tipped the balance in the war between IRAQ and IRAN. We may not have liked IRAQI Saddam Hussein, but we were even less keen on IRANS Ayatollah Khomeini. It was a brutal eight-year war but the arms, intelligence and chemical weapons we provided helped win Iraq the war.
IRAN once again not happy.
So about that GULF WAR?
In 1991 the U.S. landed with a vengeance in the GULF WAR to help out KUWAIT against IRAQ this time.
Famously, to mobilise American public support, the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador FALSELY testified before Congress that Iraqi troops were pulling the plugs on incubators in Iraqi hospitals.
The CIA even paid for her to have acting lessons!
She deserved an Oscar and if you want to see it here it is: