Friday, 3 May 2019

World War Three

Hello Everyone,

Lady M hopes you enjoyed her holiday post last week. She was rather alarmed, like the rest of the world, when she watched the Pope's Easter message and learned of the horrific suicide bombings in Sri Lanka. Clearly, Easter Sunday was selected for maximum effect. The location? Who knows? Maybe, they just put a pin on the world map. During the last years these attackers have taken over the world. Is Lady M the only person who believes we are in World War Three... a war which the whole world is fighting against terrorism? Two years ago in 2017 she was writing the introduction to her little booklet, "Life is..." while watching the Ariana Grande tribute concert. This week she would like to share that introduction with you.

"It is June 4th, 2017. I am writing this introduction while listening to the melodic tones of Take That singing ‘Manchester we are strong’. They are performing at the tribute concert, One Love Manchester. Yes, I’m a woman so I can multitask! Thirteen days ago a suicide bomber detonated a homemade bomb at the Manchester Arena as people were leaving the Ariana Grande concert. Twenty-two innocent people, including many children and teenagers, were killed and more than a hundred injured. The attacker was Salman Abedi, born in Manchester, with parents of Libyan origin. Ariana’s reaction was to return to Manchester for this tribute concert.

Terrorism is the scourge of the twenty-first century and with the advent of social media the world was aware of the Manchester attack within minutes. Foreign leaders all made their customary speeches to ‘stand with Manchester’. The world unites on these horrific occasions and this was the worst in the UK since the London bombings on July 7th , 2005 when four Islamist extremists detonated three bombs on the London Underground and a fourth one on a bus. This attack resulted in fifty-six deaths (including the attackers) and over seven hundred injured people.

This was the second attack in the UK in two months. On March 22nd, Khalid Masood drove a car into people on Westminster Bridge. He ran out of the vehicle into New Palace Yard and stabbed an unarmed police officer before he was shot by a police officer. The incident resulted in six deaths and forty-nine injured people. Then, the rest of the globe supported London.

This morning, I, on auto-pilot, switched on the television to see a ‘BBC breaking news’ on the screen.  Another terrorist attack at 10.08 yesterday evening on London Bridge. The third attack on British soil within three months. A white van had been driven into crowds crossing the bridge. Three males emerged, carrying knives, and moved toward restaurants stabbing as many people as they could saying, ‘This is for Allah’. At 10.16 pm their reign of terror was over. After eight minutes of freedom the police arrived and shot the three attackers. During those few minutes they succeeded in causing eight deaths and forty-plus injured people, some critical.

Have these ISIS people, who claim to be of the Islamic faith, ever read the Koran? Each Surah begins by stating that Allah is compassionate and merciful. Allah does not condone merciless killings. How often have we heard Muslims claim that these terrorists do not belong to their religion? Islam is a religion of peace.

At the moment I can see Robbie Williams singing ‘Angels’ and a crowd of fifty thousand people smiling and singing along with him. This is defiance. Some of the audience were present on that fateful night but are not prepared to surrender to terrorism. President Trump has called terrorists ‘losers’. I compare them to the classroom bullies who are basically cowards and can never be allowed to win. As Friedrich Nietzsche stated, ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger’. This audience are strong and united.

At present the UK seems to be the terrorists’ main target. At this sad time I am sure the people of France feel the emotion with us as they remember their attacks through 2015- 2016 in Paris, Nice and Normandy. Who could ever forget the slogan ‘Je suis Charlie’ after the attack on January 7th, 2015 at the Charlie Hebdo magazine office when twelve people were killed? Germany and Belgium, our other close European neighbours, have suffered from ISIS attacks in Berlin, Wuerzburg, Ansbach and Brussels. Iraq, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Canada, Australia and America…yes, it is a global problem. Tunisia… a prominent and memorable attack by a lone assassin on western tourists at a hotel in Port El Kantaoui in June, 2015. This shooting was at one of the most unlikely places… a beach where people were relaxing and enjoying a holiday. It resulted in thirty-eight deaths and thirty-nine injured people. The assassin was killed by the police.

I am sure Americans shiver with horror at each new attack as they remember their horrendous attackson The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in New York, and The Pentagon on September 11th, 2001. Three planes were successfully hijacked and hit their targets. A fourth plane did not reach its destination, thought to be Washington, as the passengers attempted to overpower the hijackers and the plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. This was the work of another extremist Islamic group, al-Qaeda. Total fatalities were 2,996 and over six thousand injured people.

When will our leaders actually admit that terrorism is not just a global phenomenon but our third world war? One hundred years ago The Great War, later to be termed World War 1, was coming to an end. It had been fought in various places in battles and by man against man; by soldiers on horseback or on foot using weapons of the era. Twenty years later in 1939 the world was at war again. It was a still a war with battles and fought by soldiers on battlefields, those men were fighting for freedom and a better future but it was a different type of war using new weapons of the time… aeroplanes and bombs. In addition to battlefields, it was a conflict fought from the air. Bombs could be dropped from above destroying buildings and causing maximum damage to both life and infrastructure. World War 2 was declared the war to end all wars but it does not seem to have worked. I believe there has only been a short period of time, (I read somewhere – fifteen minutes) when no country has been at war. There was Vietnam, Chinese Civil War, Arab-Israeli War, Indo-Pakistani War, Korea, The Falklands… to mention a few! All fought for a purpose, whether it be land, religion or freedom.

However, we are now in the twenty-first century and we have freedom, social media, technology and materialism in a way never known before. Maybe the pendulum has swung too far towards liberty and a tolerant society. As the last weeks have proved it is not safe to cross the road or go to a concert. Looking back to 2015, 2016, neither is it safe to go on holiday, travel on public transport, go shopping in the market, go out for a meal, sit on the beach or really do anything. We have become prisoners of war in a world where terrorists are the enemy. It is a different kind of war; a war where ‘attacks’ have replaced battles. Not a war where planes drop bombs from the skies or soldiers fight battles in fields. It is a war using twenty-first century knowledge and weapons. Knowledge of how to make simple bombs capable of great destruction is easily available on the Internet. Guns and knives are equally easy to purchase. Our enemies are Islamist extremists who believe that martyrdom is the will of Allah or maybe their heroes are the kamikaze pilots of World War 2. They are just using different methods to find their divine wind route back to Allah.

In these sad times we may ask what life is about. It is easy to be miserable and afraid. It is easy to change our routine but we need to be strong and continue with our plans. If we do that our enemies will not win. I, like most people on the planet, have become a great fan of social media and in particular, Facebook. During the last six months I have been posting daily. Firstly, it was Words of Wisdom and then I moved on to Life is…  Some of my thoughts were philosophical, others humorous. Sometimes I added photographs and emojis or I dedicated certain sayings to individual people. On a couple of occasions I even added a short story telling the inspiration behind the quotation, for example…Life is about turning left instead of right and having an adventure!

I noticed that I was getting a lot of those like clicks and friends seemed to be enjoying my humble daily offering. I had an idea… put all of my posts into a short book and publish them. I have placed one of the Words of Wisdom after every five or six Life is… quotations; some Life quotes have illustrations, either photographs from my albums or downloads from the Net under creative commons licence. All the acknowledgements may be found at the end of the booklet after information on my books.

I hope that those of you who have downloaded this will delve into it on the dark days and find that it puts the smile back on your face.

How would I describe it? Humorous, philosophical, satirical, stimulating, inspirational, illuminating, intriguing, thought-provoking, fresh, invigorating and delightful.


Post Script

Since writing this the world has experienced more disasters both of terrorism and nature. More lives have been lost. There have been raging forest fires in Portugal, a fire which was like a ‘towering inferno’ at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, London and an attack on Muslims leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, London after evening worship. London is certainly getting its share of misfortune this year. The question, ‘Why?’ is usually paramount but it is without an answer.

It is hard to be positive or see anything good when these sad situations occur but light always comes after the darkness and hope from despair. What I see is an outpouring of human kindness and love. Even, at the mosque, the Iman protected the assassin from being attacked before the police could arrest him. After fires those who survive have nothing left. All their possessions have gone in the blink of an eye. However, while the flames were still in charge and the smoke pothered out of Grenfell Tower people were arriving with donations of food, clothing, toys, essentials and luxuries to help the unfortunate ones start again. Things take time and time is supposedly a great healer. Although I am not sure about that.

What is a certainty is that there will be more atrocities and natural disasters. All we can do is stay strong and look after each other.

Marilyn L. Rice, June 20th, 2017"
Whether  you agree or disagree with Lady M be happy and safe wherever you are and whatever you are doing this week.
Lady M xxx

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