Pray for Syria.

Its been a while so I thought I’d blog.

I’ve been playing Borderlands 2 like a rabid dog. Its good, entertaining, addictive, but if anything its a tad too long. I’ve gotten to the same stage in the game as I got to before with a different character and I’m losing the will to continue. This time I’m playing as an assassin character. To be honest he plays pretty similarly to my last character who was a commando type. Perhaps this is due to my play style more than anything else, but he is slightly more the ninja so that’s good. The villain of the game is so spectacularly cartoonish in his wickedness, but one part of him would be more interesting if he was more realistic. He is convinced he is the hero of the story. How many people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot must have been utterly convinced they were the heroes of their world?

It reminds me that while the world does a nutty over a chemical weapons attack in Syria (as if the hundred thousand killed by conventional weapons were perfectly acceptable???) the US used White Phosphorous incendiary munitions in Iraq, in breach of international conventions, and nobody batted an eye, though the scale of that attack is dwarfed by the chemical attack in Syria. But the international law on white phosphorous is actually quite complicated… perhaps even intentionally obscure and open to interpretation, but its effects are real enough. Why is it that free world’s attitude to the middle east is always so spectacularly myopic? The wider world has allowed this situation to develop in the first place then we act shocked when the Assad regime finally does something we consider taboo. If we had gotten involved in Afghanistan when the Taliban began their rule of terror, when they started executing people in football stadiums, maybe 9/11 would never have happened?

It also reminds me of the summary execution of Col Gaddafi which had some liberals knickers in a twist. The convoy he’d been in at the time of his capture had just been attacked with 500lb bombs by western jets. So arbitrary death from above is perfectly fine, but when the Libyans catch up and kill the one person they wanted dead above all its a crime? Whereas we’d put them in a comfortable cell in the Hague for them to write their memoirs about how they were the hero of their own little horrible world? What’s wrong with this picture? Perhaps it is our ethics which are distorted?

I’m sure Muslims get more accurate news reports of the horrors of what is going on in Syria than we do. I totally disagree with the censorship of news programs especially after the watershed, it was the horror of Vietnam finally sinking into public perception that led to the US withdrawal from that country, ironically when they were on a verge of military victory. The Tet offensive had been crushed and had vastly weakened the Vietcong and the North’s ability to continue fighting. But it is important that we see the horror of what is happening so that we are not so slow to react in the future. Firing a few cruise missiles at Syrian weapons depots is nothing but a face saving exercise for the White House now, its too late to pick sides in a sectarian conflict, especially with the rebel forces riddled with jihadists. Anyway we need to pray for Syria, the Pope has called for a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for the people of Syria this Saturday, it is perhaps the best we can do at this stage.

In less depressing news I’m looking forward to half one on Friday morning, the American football season starts again. The Denver Broncos vs the Baltimore Ravens. The Broncos have Patent Manning as their quarterback, possibly the greatest quarterback of all time (quarterback is usually the guy who throws passes) and the Ravens are last year’s Superbowl champions. Should be a good game. Every play of a good NFL game has the potential to completely change the game which makes it exciting to watch, especially once you penetrate the labyrinthine rule set. It makes me laugh that Americans think cricket is complicated when it is simplicity itself in comparison to some of the rules that govern their fovourite game for ‘jocks’ (by which they mean a dunderheaded sports fan rather than a Scot.) All just to make a game of rugby where you are allowed one forward pass…

If I were a betting man I’d put money on Denver, its their home turf and it isn’t called Mile High for nothing. Denver is roughly a mile above sea level and the altitude gives them a slight fitness advantage, especially at home, though nowadays the fitness staff have bottles of oxygen on the side of the pitch during most games so when the players come off the pitch, they can get their breath back, especially handy at Denver. Also the Ravens knocked Denver out of the playoffs last year so this game gives the Broncos chance for a bit of sporting vengeance that I’m sure they won’t want to pass up.

So anyway, remember to pray and fast for Syria this Saturday. Also as a personal prayer request I still haven’t heard back about my ESA decision appeal…

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