Tuesday, 21 February 2012


a friend sends me a link to a short clip on youtube
it is an image that disgusts and haunts me
it almost makes me gag
i so wish that i hadn't seen it
and i am so glad that i did
it drives home the cost of war and violence
in a way that a thousand bland bbc propaganda reports never could
it kept me awake last night
and it will probably keep me awake for many nights to come
it makes me want to hug my family and friends so tight
but makes me realise how ultimately powerless i am to protect them
words alone cannot do justice to the stomach-churning horror of this image
never in a million years
but to post a link would feel to me like voyeurism
it may put you off ever visiting this blog again
so if you want to see it
do a search on youtube
the film clip was taken in syria
i am guessing at some point during the current conflict
possibly in homs
possibly just yesterday
a young man stares hopelessly at the camera
while out of shot voices scream and shout in arabic all around him
his dark sorrowful eyes bore into my soul like a drill
pleading for help
for some kind of human response in the face of his plight
he is perhaps a teenager
maybe even as young as twelve
it is hard to tell
for where his mouth and throat should be
there is a great gaping bloody dark crater
chunks of bright pink plasticated flesh surround the gaping wound
it is a terrifying scene from a horror movie
but this is real
this pitiable creature staring at the camera is someone's brother
some mother's son
he is right now on the other side of the mediterranean sea
nursing this unimaginably terrible wound
which he will carry for the rest of his life
that is if he lives
for it is hard to comprehend how someone so maimed could go on living
i want to scream in impotent rage
i want to do something to help this poor wretch
to heal his wounds
to make his life bearable
i want to take some responsibility for what is happening
in syria
in iraq
in afghanistan
in every fucked-up still-colonial country
that we civilized europeans have enslaved over the years
what one observer journalist (talking about violence in algeria)
once called 'europe's gas bill'
to stop all this
we need love and rage
we need it badly
and we need it right now

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