Getting Things Straight -Maybe

A professional acquaintance and friend of long ago, Paul St Pierre, once said he didn’t start to get things straight in life until he turned 70. Paul died on July 27,2014, aged 90 but I remember his wisdom in these days of growing confusion in matters international, national, provincial and the cities, towns or villages in which we live.
For example I find it difficult to grasp the magnitude of the refugee problem. I read or watch on television as flimsy boats jammed with men, women and children from babes to youths, capsize. It is reality television. Stark, terrifying with the only reward for survivors a wretched, massive, tent-shack city set deep in forbidding, barren, wasteland. I read that navies from neighbouring countries rush to the scene of a sinking and pull hundreds from the water – while other hundreds die.
The “estimated” death toll – for nobody seems quite sure how many “passengers’’ were on board to start the voyage – is now in the thousands and, it is forecast, will grow worse.
I am left wondering why the Italian, Greek, Egyptian, British and other assorted nations with maritime power in the Mediterranean, can’t stop the shiploads before they start their suicidal runs across the ocean. Most nations have drones in their arsenal – drones that can seek out and destroy anything and everything from gun emplacements to individual suspected terrorists.
Is it beyond the skills of those nations to seek out the onshore assembly points of illegal refugees, flush out the ruthless, evil-minded, profiteering, organizers and eliminate the head of this evil? That, of course would involve intervention in other nation’s internal affairs and, the United States CIA and British SAS, would never, ever, dream of such actions, would they?
Don’t answer.
I have similar puzzlement over the ISIS military machine which like all modern armies runs on oil and ammunition? I understand the money ISIS needs comes from sales from oil wells and refineries it has captured? So why aren’t smart bombs which never miss their target – except for a little “acceptable” collateral damage to an innocent family now and then – being used to eliminate the refineries? And which nations are buying ISIS oil and for what cash or tanks?
On the weaponry front it would amaze me if the source of armament supply was not known. It does surprise – and bewilder me – that the sale of tanks, armoured cars, heavy artillery and shells to fire from big guns to small, can continue unhindered, unchallenged.
Maybe media – print and electronic – could fulfill what was once a proud responsibility and tell us where ISIS buys its weaponry and why, with all its assembled muscle, the so called great powers can’t stop the trade.
It couldn’t be, could it, that ISIS weaponry comes from suppliers in countries located in what we like to call”the free democracies?” No, no, unthinkable and that, as Sam Goldwyn once said is “a positive maybe.”
One more “can’t understand.” Next Monday will be June 6, another anniversary of D-Day, 1944. The day Allied armies started the rollback of what had been the mightiest army in the world from the beaches of Normandy across Europe to Berlin the shattered capital of Germany.
How come the Allied nations which defeated the well trained, well led, and for years well supplied German military machine, couldn’t do the same in two “wars” with Iraq’s much inferior force?
Just asking.


  1. Add to your ISIS war machine an seemingly endless supply of brand new Toyota pick up trucks on which they mount 50cal machine guns to wage war . Who is supplying them ?

  2. Excellent questions but perhaps we wouldn’t want to know the answers.

    I recall a story from my childhood, probably apocryphal, of a First World War English soldier snagged in some German barbed wire by his dog tag. Close to his tag was another one, identifying the manufacturer of the wire, his father.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s