So many of the articles which appear on this blog are spelling out the horrors that are visited upon vulnerable communities by war and armed violence. This is bound to happen when political power insists on control, regardless of the human cost. The method has a long and sad history. But maybe we are now at a period when there is a greater awareness of what is happening, and why. Is there also a new questioning, sometimes even a sense of despair, as indicated by the number of suicides among US soldiers returning from Iraq nd Afghanistan. This number now exceeds that of soldiers killed in action. This is new.
Mass protests in London failed to stop the invasion of Iraq. The claims of the politicians on which this was based were proven to be lies, but those who made them suffered no penalty. When faith in national leaders is so shaken we may look for some new development before long. And as with the fall of the Berlin Wall, this could be sudden and arrive when least expected.
This personal comment is by way of introduction to the three articles which follow.