Sunday 8 September 2013

From The Abyss

Seems that the famous Reading Gaol is to be closed, which cannot but turn one's thoughts to Oscar Wilde.  With Mr Q's post also in mind and gas in the air, my apologies to Mr W:

I never saw a man who looked 
With such a wistful eye 
Out of the ‘spital tent of blue 
And upwards to the sky 
At every glinting plane that went 
With trails of silver by 

The vilest deeds like poison weeds 
Bloom well in Syrian air 
And Sarin gas strikes man and child 
And innocent woman there. 
All men oppose the Sarin gas 
All men pretend to care 

I know not if Assad’s the worst 
That could these folk befall; 
All that we know who watch from far 
Is, if the West stood tall 
And acted as its words require 
Assad would surely fall 

And this I know, that every hour 
The West stands idly by 
And wrings its hands, and stays its power, 
And waits for “Certainty” 
Then tyrants all will nod and wink 
And innocents will die 

And they of the swollen purple throats 
And the burning lungs and eyes 
Wait for the bolts of Shock and Awe 
That come down from the skies 
When statesmen stir themselves to show 
Their sayings are not lies 

In Westminster in London town 
There is a House of shame 
And in it lies the honour that 
Could once boast of the name. 
A fratricide’s base stratagem 
Has doused the flickering flame 

“All men oppose the Sarin gas!” 
By all let this be heard 
Some do it with their fingers crossed 
Some with a sophist’s word 
The coward with appeasing vote 
The brave man with a sword! 



DJK said...

"The coward with appeasing vote
The brave man with a sword! "

Hate to say it, but there's nothing brave about launching cruise missiles from 100 miles away or dealing out death and destruction in Waziristan from a USAF base in Nevada.

Nick Drew said...

the courage (if any) lies in being willing to accept the consequences of the action, to see the matter through

(notably absent after the adventures of the last decade)

DJK said...

Or then again, maybe the courageous course is to recognize that sometimes it's better to do nothing. This can be hard to accept for people conditioned to believing that every problem has a solution. The Syrian civil war is one of those situations where the simplistic good/evil narrative really isn't helpful.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. (but Wromantic)

DJK said...

I think what I find offensive is the implication that those many of us who are against the proposed bombing of Syria are appeasing cowards, as opposed to those brave heroes that are urging the cruise missiles to be launched.

electro-kevin said...

A brilliant piece of writing.

Alas we have come to see the futility of interfering with bad regimes only to replace them with worse ones - or with anarchy and tribal warring more brutal, destructive and terrifying than anything that went before.

Blair stretched faith in the judgment and honesty of British leaders beyond snapping point.

The quote Jeremy Clarkson who thinks that Assad ought to face trial instead:

"If Assad loses he will suffer at the hands of cannibalistic rebels. If he wins then he should be arrested and tried for war crimes. Bombing weddings, empty offices and baby milk factories and killing cleaning ladies and production workers solves nothing."

Anonymous said...

"the courage (if any) lies in being willing to accept the consequences of the action, to see the matter through"

But the consequences are being borne, in the main, by other people.

How's Libya doing? Oil flowing freely?

Budgie said...

Or, as the King of Id said: "In my war many of you will die; it is a sacrifice I am prepared to make."

Weekend Yachtsman said...

If only it were so simple.