I is for If I could speak my mind to these people I would say…

I finished

First all to politicians, who persist in ordering  air forces to bomb the hell out of innocent people,  thinking it will make for a better world,  or to rid the world of terrorism…no  you just continue the cycle of hatred, you create more terrorists, we are going nowhere with this. You can’t blow up an ideology,  you would be better off trying to re-educate those who follow it, and give them less reason to follow it. You bomb them, they bomb innocent people back ( as seen with Brussels).

To all Religious extremists,  listen what if the God you believe in is in reality nothing like the one you have blind faith in? How do we know the God the Christians believe in, the God the Muslims believe in…etc etc is totally different to the God they imagine?  What if there is no God?  If there is a God, would this being really humans to go around killing one another in its name?  Do you really think killing innocent people, including women and children  is a way to get to heaven? It is a way of creating Hell on earth, but no way does it endorse any Godly superior being.  If you put on a suicide belt and blow yourself up, you have stopped thinking , you have lost your sense of reasoning, you have been duped into killing people, you are dead in your head long before you blow yourself up, creating carnage around.

To Donald Trump, for God’s sake man,  give this pursuit of power up, before  you make an even bigger fool of yourself and drag the world into oblivion.  Mocking a disabled reporter,  threatening to punch a protester,  running a scam university, filing for corporate bankruptcy four times, in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009, hardly makes for a credible presidential candidate…does it? Where is this all going?

To Kim Jongun,  what are you trying to prove ? Threatening blast the US off the face of the earth while your people starve. Do  you want to go down in history as the mad dictator who brought about  oblivion.  I didn’t bring a son into this world for some oversized crazed dictator to destroy it…hopefully!

Who would you like to speak your mind to???

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.


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Guns and other killing machines!

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It all started off with bashing people over the head with a rock, followed by using a club, throwing spears, bows and arrows, crossbows, pistols, canons, explosives, right up to a 50 megaton nuclear bomb. Over the course of history Man has tried to find more and more effective methods to kill one another.
I was struck by a quote by Jesse Hughes, the front man of Eagles of Death Metal who said “I know people will disagree with me but it just seems that God created men and women and that night guns made it equal, and I hate it that it is that way. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them”.

I am sure this man has been traumatized by what happened in Paris, who wouldn’t be. If you are a musician, starting a concert, there is no way in a million years you can imagine maniacs arriving firing guns randomly causing a massacre. You have to admire the group for the way three months after this shocking event, they went back to Paris to finish the concert that was so dramatically shortened. However Jesse Hughes’ thinking can perhaps be brought into question. It is true that the concert goers were at the mercy of the psychopathic killers who burst in with powerful weaponry and had no means of defending themselves.

However imagine if you went to concerts knowing that most of the concert goers were armed with rifles, pistols or whatever…That standing next to you there could be an extremist, a trigger happy crazy guy hungry, for violence, a totally unhinged person, all of whom have freely been given the right to buy firearms in order to “protect themselves”. Put guns into the hands of everybody and people will be dying in far larger numbers and on a regular basis. Having said this it is obvious that measures should be implemented that ensure that what happened at the Bataclan is never repeated.

Everybody walking around in bullet proof vests would be a preferable solution rather than permit everybody walking around with guns. Sadly we have to face the fact that in Europe any major city can be attacked at any moment. We are reliant on the security services to intercept, decode, messages and derail any threats. What can be done in large concert spaces? Train security guards to use guns…have a police marksmen at any major event. There will need to be a system in place to protect people at important events.

Meanwhile the world in general seems to be a far less safer place, not that it has ever been a really safe place in my life time. We have rogue state North Korea, trying to show off to the world that it can do whatever the hell it likes. Testing an H bomb (theoretically) recently, firing a rocket, the only country that could make this errant country step into line is China, but they seem loathed to do so. Strong words might be uttered against their actions, but the threat remains constant, that their deluded “leader” Kim Jong-un, might go too far and try to pull off some crazy stunt that would tip the world into an Armageddon state.

Kim Jong-un is just one menace, but what is going on in Syria, also does not bode well for the continuation of the human race. We have arrived at a particularly dangerous moment in history. The possible illegal ground invasion of Syria by Turkey and Saudi Arabia could ignite a conflict engulfing the great powers that could spin out of control.

Added to this we have ISIS, or whatever name these morons  are labeled with, an organization, with evil on a par with the Nazis, an organization with warped ideology and a propensity to kill and destroy. They hate the West and wish to re-impose a world more akin to Middle Ages, with barbarity that has ceased to exist in the West.

The method of attack has gone far beyond throwing a rock at an adversary’s head, countries/politicians, the military have to consider the fact that they will send the human race over the abyss. Our only hope is that we end this perpetual cycle of hatred.

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The Horrors of War

The Horrors of War 22

We can only imagine what it is like to be part of a war. I am luckily to have spent most of my life untouched by war. It is true that when I was in my late teens there was the Falklands War. My brother in law was sent off, as part of the “task force”. It was very surreal, Britain fighting Argentina, over some islands most people in Britain had never heard of. Thankfully my brother in law came back, despite sustaining an injury, to his eyes. He was no longer able to be a helicopter pilot due to his impaired eyesight, but at least he came back alive and was able to be a parent to his three young children. My father was a prisoner of war for almost the entire duration of the second world war. How much he was scarred from the this experience it is hard to calculate, he was reticent to speak about this, it was a part of his life he wanted set apart, conceal. The psychological collateral of war is enormous. The things soldiers and civilians drawn into a conflict see undoubtedly leave their mark and are imprinted on the minds of those who witness unimaginable horror before their eyes.

I was brought up on a diet of war films, that were essentially propaganda. The hero always survived or if not died heroically, but was killed in a wholesome way, a clean shot in the chest. They were war films without the gruesome reality of war, showing soldiers going about their duty, as they should. There must have been a few films that were realistic. It was a time when a boy wanted a toy gun, pretended to a soldier, without being aware of the true impact of war on he lives of those involved.

When “Searching for Private Ryan” came along, war films took a new direction. It is the start of the film for me that is the most meaningful, the rest of the film does not have its intensity. The film has been criticized for all its mistakes, inaccuracies and contradictions, put to one side all of this and the first half an hour of the film has a great pertinence.
Seeing the limbs of friends and comrades being blown off, bullets whizzing past you, the noise, men screaming in agony, men drowning, all this unimaginable carnage going on all around you, is as close as we can get to trying to understand what it is like…to a certain extent at least. Those who had been through the experience, World War II veterans, were of the opinion that the film was the most realistic depiction of combat they had ever seen. Some found it too realistic , veterans of D-Day and Vietnam left theaters rather than finish watching the opening scene depicting the Normandy invasion. The film even meant that visits to posttraumatic stress disorder counselors rose in number after the film’s release, and many counselors advised “‘more psychologically vulnerable'” veterans to avoid watching it.

Funnily enough the last in the series of “Blackadder” in which Rowan Atkinson stars as a captain in the horrific first world war, underlies the stupidity of war. Idiotic aristocratic generals sending young men in their prime to certain deaths, as it was sure they would be  massacred by machine gun fire. The sentiment in Blackadder influenced a passage in one of my stories called “Blind Shot”.

It is a story about a man who is blinded during a war. It is a story about paranoia. Without the man’s use of his eyes, his imagination begins to get hold. The man who is married has an affair while recovering in hospital with one of the nurses. The nurse reads him letters, supposedly sent by his wife, telling him she is going to have a baby, but the father is another man. The man is not only traumatized by the war but also is afraid of going back to his wife. Here is an excerpt in which an aristocratic General talks to the main character

It was supposed to be the war to end all wars, but it proved to be
just another in a long list of bloody transactions by power-hungry
politicians, money-grubbing industrialists, and incompetent generals,
which led to pointless casualties. He’d barely arrived in the trenches
before being ordered by his commanding officer, a man more versed in
killing stags on a Scottish heath than military tactics, to send his
company of minimally trained adolescents to their deaths. He’d fared
luckier than most, or so he was told. The medics found him face down
in the mud, barely breathing, and dragged him back to friendly lines.
They’d patched up his flesh wounds and applied the usual
psychological salve to his fractured mind. The only thing they couldn’t
fix was his eyes. The gas had left him blind.
His unit, due to be issued gas masks, had been rushed to the front
without them in a moment of desperation. The general, drawing first
from a cigar wedged between his fat fingers and then from a flask of
brandy, had shared with his captain a few words of encouragement
before issuing a preposterous order: “They won’t need gas masks. The
young lads are fit and healthy. If they have their wits about them, they
should be able to dodge bullets or whatever is thrown in their
direction,” adding in a more menacing tone, “and if they don’t follow
their orders and do their duty, you’ll all be court-martialed and shot.
Better to die an unsung hero than live a coward!” he chortled,
dismissing the captain.

As Edwin Starr said..

War, huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, oh hoh, oh
War huh yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, say it again y’all
War, huh good God
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing, listen to me

Oh, war, I despise
‘Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go off to fight and lose their lives

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