HH is being rested

While it’s not like me to liken this blog to the preparedness or otherwise of, say, an AFL footballer heading into finals season, nonetheless I’ve decided to give Hegemony Heights a rest for a while.

I have some busy months coming up, to the point that if I’m posting here it’ll mean I’m neglecting far more important things (probably including my children).

I keep thinking of Hegemony Heights as being a bit like Malcolm Turnbull: lovely to look at with something to say – and contribute, dammit – underneath all that other stuff, but not quite being able to ‘cut through’ the way he wanted. So I’m going to give HH a relevance check, a thematic review, and let it take a long hard look at itself. Perhaps Malcolm can do the same!

I’m well aware that a blog suffers from infrequent and inconsistent posts, and it’s for this very reason that it’s easier to completely stop at this stage. But when I come back, you’ll know about it!

Thanks to all those who have read along from time to time, and even come back occasionally.

JB

ps – okay, I’ll probably update Brownie/Blondie Talk and Bumper Edition every now and then because I can’t help myself, and they’re easy to do. Righto, then.

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A (live export) picture paints a thousand words

From ABC online news, 9 June 2011:

This government has really let me down.

And, nice work ABC, intentional or not *ahem*.

In praise of Ethan McCord

* Update 9 May *
Note to self: don’t publish blog posts late at night while still processing confronting information just consumed in front of large screen. It may give incorrect impression on ticker, resolve etc, and things will be different in the morning. Same goes for sending emails to careless tradesmen, irresponsible colleagues etc. Yes, the feelings will be the same (you will not turn into an automaton) but your response may be more appropriately communicated. Carry on.
= = = = =

I’m beginning to  think I don’t have the stomach, the ticker, the resolve to continue studying International Relations. I’ve just watched John Pilger’s documentary The War You Don’t See, and I wish I hadn’t seen part of it; the children, dead and dismembered, strewn across the rubble of destruction wreaked by distant, emotionally removed soldiers – the good guys of our Western narrative.

Remember the Wikileaks footage of the US Apache helicopter shooting at the group of civilians, including the Reuters cameraman (and, now I discover, two children)? This footage is discussed in the documentary, and this post is as a result of that footage.

In particular, I want to congratulate Ethan McCord.

He was one of the first US foot soldiers to arrive on the scene after the shooting, and I won’t go into detail here on what he saw, or what he did, other than he acted humanely – more humanely than his superiors wanted him to.

He has since left the army, and has spoken in various public arenas about the experience on the day of the shooting. Here he is addressing the United National Peace Conference in New York in July 2010.  The full 17-minute Wikileaks video of the Apache footage, shown to this crowd just before McCord made these remarks, can be found here – but a warning, it’s confronting, and you’ll have to sign in.

This link on The China Rose site has an interview which brings us more up to date with McCord’s activities. Here is the apology letter he refers to in this interview, which I think is magnificent.

So congratulations to Ethan McCord for not letting his military training get in the way of being a compassionate human being, first and foremost. I know the purists will argue, “he should have done his job, he could have let his team down, that’s what he signed up for, that’s what he’s paid for,” etc. But I don’t think too many purists are ever put in his position.

And this post – having taken an hour or so to write – has now re-inspired me, again, to keep watching and reading and learning about the geopolitical horrors occurring around the world. But what can I do with this knowledge?

Watching a doco like Pilger’s makes you feel so helpless, so completely impotent (such a good word to use in this world of men at war); that, as one person in li’l ol’ Western Australia, what difference can I make? And yet McCord is just one man; a man who, at one stage, was part of what Assange and others call the military-industrial complex and yet he has made a big difference in his individual way.

I’m just going to check the boys are asleep now.

In WWI, civilians accounted for 10% of deaths.
In WWII, civilian deaths had risen to 50% of all casualties.
During the Vietnam War, 70% of deaths were civilians.
Poor Iraq.  Nearly 90% of the deaths have been civilian men, woman and children – one million people. And that’s just Iraq.

Haiku for international relations (thanks Edwin)

War! What is it good
for? Absolutely nothing!
Say it again! War!

Huh! Yeah, yeah, what is
it good for? Absolutely
Nothing. Hear me now!