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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Monday, August 19, 2002
    Lakenheath perspectives
    Greenbelt's always got its eye on the bigger picture; it's not an event in a capsule, insulated against the wicked world outside. It's always played out against the backdrop of events with which its participants have been engaged, and will return, committedly at the end of the festival. At my first GB we grappled with the news of the IRA's Lord Mountbatten murder. I can recall ones where various wars (Falklands, Gulf 'war', Kosovo) dominated.
    This year at the festival we will doubtless help each other discuss and deal with issues around child abduction, paedophilia etc, the media's top agenda just now. Without in any way wanting to sideline those questions, I hope we'll also put them in wider perspective. I hope when we meditate on RAF Lakenheath, where Holly and Jessica's bodies were discovered, we'll remember it's the US Air Force's primary and most important tactical bombing base in Europe, home to 5,000 military personnel tooled up for destruction.
    Over recent years one of Lakenheath's prime activies has been bombing the people of Iraq. The Lakenheath Action Group reported last year that "F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets and crews from the USAF 494th Fighter Wing from Lakenheath continue their three monthly rotational operations to enforce the unlawful 'No-fly zones' in Iraq." This is everyday stuff in that slice of Suffolk. See yesterday's blog for perspective on that.