Max wrote about Syria...and I thought of the Vietnam War...for the first time we saw the war or the conflict as it happened with helicopters and napalm and skinny Vietcong men with pistols held to their heads and we sang protest songs and we held vigils and men came back with missing limbs and their minds broken beyond repair and we wept for the innocent and railed against the injustices meted out to the Vets and welcomed with open arms the Vietnamese who braved pirate infested seas to escape...
We watched The Deerhunter and chained ourselves to railings and we were arrested and let go again 'cos it was too much trouble to take us to court...
I listened to the halting story of a young Doctor while eating delicious tiny dumplings cooked on a single ring gas stove as she told the story of her escape from Vietnam and being caught by Somali pirates in the South China seas and raped again and again before being thrown overboard to be hauled onto the tiny boat her friends and family were on...they ended up in an old deserted RAF camp on the outskirts of a small Norfolk town...crammed into a small house, they were eternally grateful to be alive and to have been taken in by strangers.
Will we be about to do that all over again with Syrian refugees...will we house them and find them bedding and clothes and treat their wounds and listen as they tell tales of chemical attacks and purges.
I have a feeling we won't....I think our empathy is all worn out...I have a feeling that they will have to struggle on regardless with their dead babies and the real thought of American and English soldiers armed to the teeth on their homeland....
We've learned fuck all from the past...we still rattle the sabres and interfere and our young men come home bruised and battered in mind and body and we wonder what we'll do if the war comes to us and we make vague plans and decide that could be construed as running away and what is the harm in that...
There are times when I simply don't understand anymore...