The war that never ends

“What is the fundamental question one must ask of the world? I would think and posit many things, but the answer was always the same: Why is the child crying?”      —Alice Walker (Possessing the Secret of Joy)   His name was Ahmed Younis Khader Abu Daqqa.  He was Palestinian; he was Gazan; he was human.  He was the first of 30 children killed by Israeli attacks on Gaza in the space of just 11 days last month.  He – like all the others – stood no chance: a 13 year-old boy with weapons no more deadly than the football he was playing with, shot in the stomach.  Such ‘surgical precision,’ such care! It’s only a month after these events that I feel able to write about them with any sort of cogency.  Even now, I only have questions: Who are the terrorists here?  Which is the ‘rogue nation’?  Where …

Manufacturing injustice

As Apple’s website displayed a poignant tribute to the man who made technology beautiful, very few of us spared a thought for those who made his dreams a reality: people like Wang Ling, Li Rongying and Lu Xin.  They are just three of 23 workers at Foxconn, Apple’s Chinese manufacturer, who have committed suicide since 2010.  Systemic abuse of workers’ employment and, dare I say it, human rights have been obfuscated by the lure of the dancing pixels – and you and I are part of the reason why. While we wait for higher resolution, the workers seem to be planning a revolution. Only last week, between three and four thousand underpaid and underappreciated Foxconn workers staged a walkout at the Zhengzhou plant.  A few weeks earlier, a protest at the Taiyuan factory descended into the mother of all broils, leaving 40 people in need of medical treatment. This hasn’t …

The Divine Ultimatum

Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength.  Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?                                                                                                      — John Milton Areopagitica Submit, or die.  That’s effectively the message being dished out to the West by the tens of thousands protesting against Innocence of Muslims, the crude film trailer that depicts the ‘prophet’ Mohammed.  This message is not facetious, nor is it half-hearted.  It forms what can only …