Civilisation in the Sewage
Few have not been touched by the scenes at Kabul Airport, decent people from an ancient, admirably artistic and refined culture calf deep in an open sewer scrabbling in desperation, then cruelly massacred. Caught between three sets of extremists, a clash of civilisations. Fleeing one set of values, hoping for refuge in a set alien to their own. For twenty years we have imposed our views and ways upon a culture at peace until we interfered, first as communists, then as abject materialists. Each time, we installed corrupt rulers, unprincipled lawmakers and bent enforcers. Local Afghans quickly came to despise them. And we wonder why things have crumbled.
Why, oh why do we Brits follow the US’s poorly thought out invasions? They don’t care for us… without even asking or warning us, in 1983 they invaded Granada, a place closely tied to Britain. They have done such things many times, yet we assume we have a special relationship, yes - being exploited by their power hungry government and their ravenous world-dominating companies.
But we aren’t the only ones with dirty hands. Whilst Iran, Turkey and The West have, through compassion, tried to accommodate refugees (Pakistan already has too many), the ridiculously rich and parsley populated Arab States have once again been silent (The Emirates will allow refugees to pass quickly through to other lands). They were silent when the desperate fled Syria, yet they vehemently defend Islam as a caring religion, but supply and help the Taliban.
Suspicion has fuelled the Afghan situation. That’s the trouble with humanity, we find it hard to trust. This is natural in isolated clans, but we have evolved. We can analyse, seek solutions, see the other’s perspective, compromise and use empathy to find the best resolution. The fault is our belief systems, which are still clan-orientated. When we confront opposing views, we are so entrenched in ours that we are unable to take the little mental steps which help us rise from our minute morass.
Active MRI scans have shown that when people are given proof that their core beliefs are wrong, their brains react as if they suddenly faced a hungry tiger. Understanding and accepting this dramatic effect on our beings is the way forwards. To avoid the predicted fight or flee reaction, we need to examine our world views, to dissect those held by others, to find common ground and construct mutually acceptable systems. Not to do so, to be intractable, is to wallow in the sewage which conflicting values create.
This is yet one more wake-up call for humanity. We must change, think beyond our destructive ways, work out how to save those we’ve exploited, those we disagree with and find a way to live together and solve the real problem. Yes, do forgive me, for I’m afraid this is the elephant in the room - Climate Change.