Category Archives: Iraq

71. How the West Was Won – Iraq implodes

Early morning, November ’04
Shot rings out in the Fallujah sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love ?
Adapted from ‘Pride’ (‘The Unforgettable Fire’, Island Records – October 1984)
With apologies to U2 and the Rest of the World.


No, I didn’t run today.

Today’s workout: 4 x shame, 3 x guilt, 2 x despair, depression intervals.
Multiple repetitions.

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55. A redemption in Manchester

great-manchester-run-2004-and-imperial-war-museum-north-salford.jpgToday is gonna be the day
That they’re gonna throw it back to you
By now you should’ve somehow
Realized what you gotta do
Oasis – October 1995

Play: Wonderwall — Oasis

Some day you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supercity in the sky
Oasis – October 1995

How can you make up for a lifetime of neglect ? Certainly neglect is what it had amounted to. Malign intent there hadn’t been, but the effect was the same either way. That was a thought to occupy me, as I joined the motorway at 5 am on Sunday morning, with a very long drive ahead and far too little sleep behind me. But I had to make amends, and this was the only way to do it.

Because for forty years and more, and I’m ashamed to admit it now, I’d just never been to Manchester.
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17. It’s puzzling – a letter on Iraq, to Tony Blair

iraq-war-protests-paris-and-london.jpgDear Tony
The peoples of the world are more or less united, and at the very least divided. With the exceptions of the US, UK and Spanish leaders, a world majority feels that there is not yet a case for war.

Millions protest in the streets, cabinet ministers resign in the face of their electorate’s overwhelming view that although there is a real case to answer, the case is not proven.

Everyone agrees that whilst there is a threat, actually there is no new threat here since 1991, and, crucially, that there is no link whatsoever demonstrated between Iraq and 9/11.
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15. Sorrowful hills – the Space Shuttle Disaster and war clouds in Iraq

Dear Jonas
space-shuttle-disaster-and-iraq-war-clouds.jpgIt was amazing to read Ed’s account of thunder over the Texas plain on a blue Saturday morning.

Aspirations, beauty and death – these are thought-provoking counterpoints at a critical time in destiny.

It is truly my privilege to see such drama unfold through different eyes half a world away. To witness, and perhaps not to pass a view.

It’s just that as I run through a serene English winter’s afternoon, I wonder how will our two countries grieve the first seven victims of the forthcoming conflict ? And the next seven thousand, or seven hundred thousand ?
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