5.22.2021 – Ask, what can I do?

Ask, what can I do?
Can you postpone nightfall? That
is when the bombs fall.

Came across this phrase and it hit me hard.

Can you postpone nightfall?

It was in an essay written by a Palestinian now living in Australia.

She was writing about living with the recent turmoil in the Middle East through phone calls home.

When she closed call she asked, “What can I do?”

The response was “Can you postpone nightfall, that is when the bombs fall.”

Not taking sides here.

I have read a lot of history and a lot of history is military.

A lot of history is war.

War is ‘politics by other means’.

But that seems too simple.

In the grand scope of world history, what great invention, what great increase in knowledge and machines did not find an almost instant application in war.

At one time the greatest military weapon that separated the winners from losers was the stirrup.

A Knight with stirrups could keep his balance and use a sword effectively without falling off.

Few inventions have been so simple as the stirrup, but few have had so catalytic an influence on history, so says Wikipedia.

Gunpowder.

Telescopes.

Sailing Ships.

Motors.

The Wright Brothers first flew in 1903.

By World War 1, 1914, planes were part of the battlefield.

Still when the Hermann Goering’s Nazi Air Force bombed the city of Guernica as part of the Spanish Civil War in 1937 (it’s complicated) the world was shaken, but maybe, not surprised.

Without Picasso’s painting of Guernica, the world would have forgotten about this a long time ago.

A digression but maybe this is what art is all about as it doesn’t let us forget.

I recently finished a good read titled The Last Bookshop in London.

A fictionalized account of life in London during the blitz of World War 2.

What came across for me was the utter randomness with which the bombs fell.

We have been flying around dropping bombs on each other ever since the plane was invented.

Reading the articles about the Middle East again I am struck by the utter randomness of the destruction.

I can think of a lot of words that describe a world where this happens.

Civilized is not one of them.

I think of the saying that the number one proof of intelligent life in the universe is that no one has wanted to contact us.

The frustration builds.

The desire to do something, anything builds.

But what can you do?

Can you postpone nightfall?

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