Thursday, 22 August 2013

Syria....what next??

The nations of the West stand aloof & speak appeasement like platitudes on the human haemorrhage that is Syria. France, the UK, Turkey and the United States openly condemn the killing by all the barbaric means known to mankind of the civilian population of that country. The United Nations stands by whispering protests towards the butcher of Damascus-President Assad.Yet that is all that is being done. In the 2 & half years that the bloodshed has been going on for God alone knows how many have died. There have been countless ceasefires all broken by the 'ruling Government of Syria. Standing by supporting President Assad are Russia & China-no doubt making a killing financially in selling weapons to the regime.

Today we hear yet more howls of protest & condemnation from the West following the use of poison gas on his own people. The word is that he has killed at least 1000 men, women & children. This hasn't been confirmed though because Assad refuses to allow the UN access into the area to verify the accounts and claims made by the Syrian opposition.
So nothing is done.No 'no fly zones', no troops on the ground, no active aid to the wounded, nothing as far as can be seen to bring solace to the poor people of Syria.
I'm minded of Kuwait some years ago. And of Iraq when in both examples the West led an invasion to 'liberate' those nations. The latter (Iraq) was undertaken I believe without a UN mandate.
So why not go in in some form or other & support the beleaguered population Syria in some form or other??

Simple.....Syria has no oil. Plain as the nose on your face. If Syria had oil reserves then the US, UK & France would have intervened long ago. But.... they aint...all because Syria has no oil to sell the West.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Roman Catholic education & child abuse A personal experience.

I see that the evil spectre of child abuse has arisen once again in a Roman Catholic school.
This time there is evidence that there was physical, sexual and psychological abuse carried out by male teachers on male male pupils at the Scottish Fort Augustus school during the 1950's & 1960's. The abusers were members of a Order of Benedictine monks.
I've been reflecting on this abuse & looking back on my educational experiences as a pupil of the Roman Catholic educational system.

In my formative years as a pupil in a Roman Catholic primary school, I both witnessed & was on the receiving end of physical and mental abuse.
I recall very clearly being literally force fed my school lunch by a nun- a member of the order of Sisters of Mercy, of being hit around the head by the same nun during a practice (of all things!) for my first Holy Communion.On both these occasions I was 6-7 years of age. I recall feeling fear (literally) if, & when this nun stood behind you as it came to signify that a slap around the head was coming.

One especially fearfully and troubling example of abuse I witness by this nun was when she actually tied a 6 year old boy to his chair (after first placing the chair on a table) because he wouldn't sit still.
I don't recall any incidents of sexual abuse, but the incident I witnessed where I believe, the thin edge of the wedge of abuse perpetrated by this nun.

I unfortunately suffered & witnessed examples of physical, mental & psychological abuse as a teenager within the Roman Catholic educational system. I was 15 years of age at a Roman Catholic secondary school when I was systematically physically and emotionally abused by a teacher. The 'man' I'm thinking of wasn't a member of any religious order, but seemed to take some delight in grabbing me  by throat, shaking me and threatening to "pumble me". This was frequently carried out in the presence of my class mates. I, & others, were frequently humiliated verbally by this teacher, told we were "stupid, a waste of time and energy, that we would never come to anything"  Often we were physically punished for the smallest demeanour.
I would love to meet these abusers today-especially the male teacher of my teen years. I would not resort to physical violence towards him, rather I would psychologically humiliate him as he did me.

Having said all this I believe that it was almost expected that pupils in the Roman Catholic schools during the 1950's & 60's were to be the victims of abuse. At best the behaviour/abuse was carried out in the belief that it would "break & mould the child" or at worst it was carried out to satisfy some innate perverse desire of the abuser. Either way it was unacceptable.

But I don't know hat to do about it.