Saturday, October 20, 2007

Vote Genghis For Better Public Services!

Reading this post at Jamie K's place about the likely consequences of a Hillary Clinton presidency, an ominous thought occurred.

I've run a couple of quick Google searches, and I can't find a single major contender for the presidency or the office of the Prime Minister in the last five years who's had anything good to say about peace.

Oh, don't get me wrong - they've all got plenty to say about peace in the Middle East, by which they generally mean war. One and all eulogise peace of mind, which is of course to be gained through more war.

But of peace in the abstract, as an inherently good thing in itself, I can't find a squeak.

I don't mean peace as in Peace, Man, let's all hold hands and sing "We Are The World". I mean peace as the desired state of humanity, as the reason why our Granddads faced the machine guns and won.

Peace as an ideal that should be aspired to, not as some Hippy acid-trip to be mocked by desk-bound, arse-scratching armchair warriors.

I'm afraid that the reason that we don't hear such things from politicians is that the word itself is electoral poison, and any candidates giving such a speech would find their campaign plummeting towards the earth, riddled with rhetorical bullet holes.

I think it's debatable whether a candidate would choose to deliver a speech in praise of peace over a tribute to the "misguided" torturers of Abu Ghraib.

In America and the UK, all four major parties are pro-war in the broad sense - if the cry goes up that Wherethefuckistan needs to be blasted with hi-tech whizzbang until it's civilised to our liking, voters had better look elsewhere for dissenting voices.

I worry that, over the last thirty years or so, we've accepted war as our natural state, rather than as a temporary exception. I'm concerned that we've trained a generation of journalists, political activists and citizens to see the world as a perpetual threat that must be constantly bombed into submission.

Who knows, perhaps I'm wrong - maybe Obama or Cameron has a few nice words for the concept.

For now, stray visitors from blogs run by shitheads can shout booga-booga-booga! about the Iranians in comments. It seems to be what the internet is for, after all.

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