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

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006
    Casualties of war
    With "the gates of hell and madness" open in Lebanon I was reminded tonight of how far the shock-waves of each bomb reach. Thinking of course of the most-affected casualties of war: the familes and friends of the 300 people killed in a week of Israeli attacks. The 500,000 others displaced.

    But this is where the horror of this particular episode struck home: on the phone to my friend three miles away from here. A man closely tuned-in to the conflicts of the day and brilliantly self-educated in the parallel conflicts of history, he is also (and relatedly) a man teetering on the edge of deep alcoholism. He's had a bad week, he tells me. In other words he's hit the bottle again. The brutal war crimes of Israel have sent him back into the slough of despair, that and Blair's deceitful attempt to blame Iran and Syria for this latest Middle East crisis.

    In Lebanon and Gaza, military heavyweights destroy civilians and their homes. And in a Liverpool housing estate a man all-too cognizant of these events drinks himself into oblivion.