Archive for war

Wednesday’s Curzon showing of John Pilger’s film The Coming War with China

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2016 by kathydasilva

 

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I have been writing or working on, the next novel in a list of ‘ideas’ as they had started out, tonight. It is my first ‘supernatural’ or possibly ‘sci fi’ one in subject, but, the aim was indeed, more H.G. Wells in origins. A picture of one possible future. I have in the past had dreams some quite surreal in content, and certainly, I am going to have to find a way to interweave, the content of this, in the current book. It was in the endeavour to do this, that I suddenly became mindful too, of the possible reality that lay ahead if the politicians are unable to get their heads round the conflict zones, particularly the grave and unholy wars of the Middle East. Humans only maintain personal dignity and dignified living if they respect eachother’s rights, of passage, through this life. Our enjoyment through the progress of history has been to create, civilized society, where amongst the work and toil we also manage to enjoy, something of a leisure time, and this most truly is represented in the form of holidays for family and with friends. I shudder to think of what my impressions of the Med will be if I should manage to get back to an annual vacation somewhere like in Greece and or Italy or Spain. For how should I be able to forget the many lives lost, in the effort to be free from war, in the waters that lay lapping the edge of the shores there? The ‘miscreants’ at the top seem ‘hell bent’ for spoiling it for all of us currently. How did that happen? How did 9/11 arrive on our shores. How can 900 firemen develop cancers and some have died of those cancers, and remarkably, not much of a protest was allowed to be shown on a television network of national breadth.

I am penning or typing this article, having remembered something, from a holiday in Lake Como with my then alive and just retired mother. It would have been in the late eighties, and my mother and I had innocently wandered into the grounds of one of the villas, a historic one, with much ornamentation to its interior. The person who was an employee, who normally would have given tourists a guided talk, with helpful hints at famous historical characters who had stayed or dwelt there, this person had told us that much of the building had been prebooked for a conference on nuclear power. There were some rooms therefore not open for viewing. The Villa Como, that we were showed had some rooms, where in the time of Napoleon, and his love, Josephine, where they had stayed with adjoining rooms. A romantic era, and with what had caught most people’s attention,  the guide, had helped us enjoy, our afternoon. We had proceeded further along the lakeside, buildings to find other more open houses, and in one, remarkably a machine rather like a CT scanner, was being shown, only this machine, measured in an accurate manner levels of radiation in a body from top, to toe, head to feet. When I viewed John Pilger’s film the other week, which was broadcast by independent television, he had showed a rather older version of  a scanner which measured where and in what part the radiation had filtered to in the human body, ‘the guinea pig’, who had volunteered from the Marshall Islanders, who after all were fairly poor and open to economically enhancing experiments on themselves. The Islanders, non of whom live much beyond the age of forty on average today because of the pollution of nuclear bombs, which have been tested there. What is more frightening, is that the political leaders of our time think this is the only way forward to maintain that fragile thing called PEACE. The horrid tragedy of Fukashima, is enough I would have thought to put people off nuclear energy altogether. So why do we allow our leaders to do this? This is the even more bewildering thing, apart from that somewhere in the eighties, a group of women did protest the placement of cruise missiles on a site of common ground near to their villages, as clearly it made the site a possible ‘first strike zone’. The women won their point and the missiles were removed. We possess only one missile of this size, on a submarine further north, between the border of England and Scotland.

It now  seems along time since the subject of nuclear war or power has come into the text of regular articles and news items

030606-N-0000X-005 Washington, D.C. (Jun. 6, 2003) -- Artist concept of the SSGN conversion program. Four Ohio-class strategic missile submarines USS Ohio (SSBN 726), USS Michigan (SSBN 727) USS Florida (SSBN 728), and USS Georgia (SSBN 729) have been selected for transformation into a new platform, designated SSGN or Tactical Trident. The SSGNs will have the capability to support and launch up to 154 Tomahawk missiles, a significant increase in capacity as compared to other platforms. The 22 missile tubes will also provide the capability to carry other payloads, such as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and special forces equipment. This new platform will also have the capability to carry and support more than 66 Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) and insert them clandestinely into potential conflict areas. U.S. Navy graphic. (RELEASED)

with a detrimental warning of the possibilities of war, using them. I am now more convinced since viewing John Pilger’s film, that the rotten way that politicians, who many have supported the making of these more refined weapons, and some who have invested their own money in the making of them, have also devised the way to keep the perpetuation of their making in with the nation’s plans of defense. For as long as we the human race run away from our creator, we will fear war and arguments with other nations. It is all so material in the end. But, sad too, the money to make war, could have been spent on space travel and or cures for disease in humans and animals.

If it is over thirty years ago now that an advanced scanner for detection of nuclear radiation in the human body was shown on the shores of Lago di Como, just where is that technology now?  And in whose hands? Will our parks be the beautiful places for our children to inherit in the future?

I feel unhappy, and very sad, that in The Coming War with China, we are left with the knowledge that a build up of military units is already in place in the far western Pacific Isles, and in one such location 40,000 military personnel, live regularly. And no mention of the radioactive plume affecting the Pacific waters, and fish, and the fact that so much of the Pacific is apparently dead already. Do we really want more deadly radiation?

God bless the people who speak of peace.

The Coming War with China a review of last night..John Pilger Documentary

Posted in Current affairs, health, politics, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2016 by kathydasilva

Last night I did a thing, unusual to me, and that was putting off going to my poetry unplugged in Farringdon at the Betsie Trotter Pub, usually MC’d by Niall Sullivan, of Poetry Society Café. I for some reason had spent too long, getting ready, and something made me look at the net, and I found John Pilger’s Documentary, The Coming War in China, was programmed for ITV, at 10.40pm. The content of the documentary was a current look at the military machine and planning of the nation of America, the country we have long become use to calling the United States.

I felt recently, that the USA must have been looking at the growing EU economy with a sense of competitive, and possibly invasive perspective, and this kind of proved, that America is on the grow where influence and business, is concerned, it is behaving, as perhaps Britain did during colonial times, trying to influence markets exploiting old friendships and touting for business with offers of investments which would tie effectively nations to their word over complimentary tax deals and savings. I saw this as America on the ‘build’. However, there is a limit I think with which nations would greet or accept the dominance of such a culture, on its own market planning and image. We are independent nations in the EU in terms of our cultures, but, for Europeans, the EU guaranteed some fair trading, which Brexit might not. I do not think in reality that we needed America actually trying to inroad the EU as it was trying to propose new trade deals and tie up businesses over here with the TPP deal which has gone sour and Trump promises to dispose of on taking up his presidency.

The John Pilger documentary, was truly factual, and amazingly shocking in content his expertise from many years as a journalist and activist for peace, glowing throughout. I was very happy that the people of the Marshall Islands finally might get some more help and possibly justice for all the wrong that they have been dealt. But, the most blindingly obvious exposure, of a crime, came with the detailed analysis of radiation poisoning going on with all the nuclear test program of the USA on the islands, and its inhabitants. A conscious effort to prove, the power, and also damage and perhaps to try to control damage to localities in their research, the Americans chose to experiment with a total disregard to natives human rights, as if the natives were of no importance on this earth at all. It showed the efforts of Greenpeace activists at the time helping local inhabitants try to survive the test bombing of the area, evacuating them to nearby but, further away islands in the Pacific. It seems as if America is getting ready for war, and overwhelmingly it shows them planning and scrutinizing China as a potential enemy to combat with. Wherever America placed its military, there seems an effort to dominate and use other countries, in this effort including Japan, Taiwan, and Australia. One of the interviewees, had told that, America used bases owned by Australia, but, put their own USA troops inside, so it looked like they had not maneuvered, into place at all. Or that it kept the knowledge of their presence more secret from the population of that country. One aspect of the documentary also included the massive increase of the creation of nuclear fueled/powered weaponry, and manufacture and sales of, this, had kept or had been keeping the American economy alive during the ‘reign’ of the Obama presidential period. And is it surprising now to have seen America selling arms to the Saudis, during this time as weapons sales bring in millions of dollars. Each of the test bombs on the Marshall Islands cost the USA over something like one hundred million dollars per shot. Fascism can come like a Trojan horse, loaded inside, with something very destructive internally. I have wondered too at the incredible extent of trials with wheat and crops of the company Monsanto, who have devised, new patented seeds as a result of their research and for what purpose?  One of the experimental elements of the bomb tests in the Marshall Islands was to test the effects of radiation on animals and products creams etc., that would help protect skin that was exposed. Just how far this research has gone, will be hopefully the focus for any follow up documentary that John Pilger might manage to pull out of his very wonderful bag of knowledge and journalism.

The Coming War with China ended with  a slide show  of John Pilger photographic stills, an ever flowing fountain of talent to the visual art of documentary photojournalism.

BFI are showing The Coming War with China by John Pilger,I believe  from the 8th December 2016 and in Picture Houses around the town in London.

Chocolate

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I was once accused of having a very decadent breakfast, whilst snacking on a small bar of chocolate one morning, on a reception desk of a London leisure pool where I was working. It was seven o’clock in the morning, I was there to open up the pool to the early bird swimmers, and this usually meant skipping breakfast in order to get there on time! I was reflecting on this description of the chocolate bar as being  decadent, (excessive indulgence in pleasure or luxury) and the real meaning of that word with regard to an age of the so called ‘plenty’. We the land of the plenty, are seen as one of the first ports of call to people, travelers, refugees, students, who might settle here.  The reasoning being we are usually seen as tolerant of people’s right to choose their religion, partnerships, singularity,  sexuality, and live in relative freedom.  A democratic society with equality to opportunity. Until now!?! Mercy May! What would happen to our society after this latest blow to our world or worlds? With leadership as apparently unable to convene meetings which would result in the dissembling of violence on the planet, should we not be raising our voices of protest.

I’ve managed to find ‘Hoorah!’ My little motif, above, which is for the back of my published books via Amazon’s Create Space company in America. My own unique logo, with a name that I constructed quite a few years ago, with an intention to progress outlets for my creative energies. Bloomsbury Publishing. Well an independent form of publishing. It is not without many hours of work that anything is done it is true.

I have Italo Calvino’s wonderful The Literature Machine, at hand and was browsing it this morning, opening onto the pages about Levels of Reality in Literature. Its an essay talking I think about how the main characters contain the authors influence on their words and thoughts, but also that if a reference is made within the story to other sources of inspiration from literature for example classical references to philosophy, that this might also be two voices within the one text, or two separate influences merging within the story. I was wondering how the story I made within Driftwood, would in fact carry a sort of message for the future. I have hoped it shows my own hope for reasoning and goodness to flow once again in our society.  The first chapter was called River Walk for a symbolic reason. The ancient Greeks, use to make stories about spirits that inhabited their rivers for reasons of drama and in explanation of disasters for example. If indeed our global waters are experiencing such drama, then perhaps our good human reasoning and faith in a good God might prevail, where darkness seems to have entered. On a more objective level, civilization, civilized society is dependent on good behavior all round, and good reasoning. I rather wonder at how philosophy manages to bring down the urge to rage to a habitable level of reason, that models of thought help us to be self critical and examining. One of the most outrageous things happening in our present political climate is the emergence of the mercenary.  Way back, Leon Gollub, made an exhibition of paintings on un-stretched canvas at the ICA in London, just of that, pictures of militarized individuals who war the fatigues of army color, brandished machine guns and were seen to take hostages, and bind them to chairs, images of torture. The hostages were almost always blindfolded.

My own sense of ‘horror’ out of the news we now see on our screens, has been, the disruptive influence of terror like drama in European locations, Holland and France in particular. The unseen hand that plans all of this seemingly remaining anonymous to the general population.

I was beginning to feel that there seemed no way forward for artists and expressionists of film and fine art disciplines, to hopefully feel fulfilled if a kind of wild censorship came into place.  The need to be brave, and brave up, seemingly ever present currently.  I would have made Driftwood longer, but, for the fact that I had stopped wanting to write any further parts to its drama.  I ended up finishing it succinctly in order to get the information it contained ‘out there’.

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I would love any comments about the times we live in, and the possibilities of writing.  Whether my Michel, lives up to expectations with the cartoons he is shown to be creating. I was also leaning on a bit of Kitaj, with the imagery as Kitaj, quite rightly used the image of the whore,  showing Europe as this image, during the second world war, under the Nazis.  And this also brings me back to the cover, and should I do this or that, satire, comic drawings, or  a version of Kitaj’s pastel drawings from the  war period?.. thoughts?…

The Deluge….

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , on May 31, 2016 by kathydasilva

 

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Biblical the amount of rain that fell this morning! Two wet cats, and stuck indoors as the plaster cast isn’t waterproof..ever thankful that honesty in the end might be the reigning principle. I’ve seen too much of the ‘stuff’ that clogs the system. There are 62,000  residents in Fallujah trapped in a war zone. So yes a prayer would not go amiss to free them from ISIS. So yes it’s a ray of sunshine to see the Iraqi flag being carried by it’s troops when they finally make some headway in protecting their own land. Well I hope we see them free on the next round of news. Seeing a docu about Homs, where people who ran businesses had returned to start again was amazing.  I hope that referendum day produces the ‘stay in’ option.  Though I can understand our farmers wanting the right to produce what the land can produce because everything is controlled by Europe what they produce is also  controlled by Europe or what they are able to sell. No one likes operating without a profit. I feel a bit on the fence but leaning toward the togetherness principle of being in. Being isolated could be horrid.

I am a bit rattled by being ‘off sick’… at the moment.  But, hopefully a few books read will not be a bad thing. Ian Jack’s writes for the Guardian news paper, the journalist I mentioned in the last blog piece. I think the times have changed since the incident on the rock of Gibraltar. Mo Mowlem for one and devolution in the North of Ireland.  What can keep the peace. Tony Blair in one of his speeches that seem to be something that have been thought about after the fact of war and its consequences, speaks about Middle Eastern regimes not fitting in with the modern world. I just am not sure about how anyone can think of rapidly changing another person’s culture over night. I thought all these progressions happened ‘in good time’. And so with all the upset with all the terrible shock of war, what will be left of Syria and Iraq this time? Will more ground troops make much of a difference if after withdrawing the same problem might rear it’s ugliness again?

I hope and it’s an on going kind of hope, that we get back to peace talks. There’s no mention of these horrid wars in any soap dramas on television, or any show of impact of refugee crisis. It’s like two different worlds, when you watch TV,  unless it’s CSI or NCIS, where ‘enemies’ are defined as ‘terrorists’ from foreign lands. It’s as if the regular programmes are especially designed to  distract, and or let ‘us’ escape mentally from terrible bombings of cities. I cannot think of taking a holiday in the Med at this current time without thought about the thousands that have drowned trying to escape their troubles. There was a plethora of charity appeals all connected with the troubles: Action Aid: text 70025 to give £3;  Oxfam supplying water in camps: 70061; UNICEF: supplying food: 70030 £3 gives food parcels in the war zones refuge camps. I just hope above all that the youngsters get the hope of fresh starts with safe foster parents.

Send the angels is my prayer.

 

Love, Peace….

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2016 by kathydasilva

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I found myself counting calendar dates this week and last. I am the type who is very active physically. Only as you know due to a collision with a moving vehicle in Ilford, I am in plaster for a broken ankle! Not my choice to be so disabled suddenly but fate and accident happen. I ever more think too that in a day and age where leadership is seriously lacking with regard to foreign policy, that charities are the only hope for the orphans left behind in Iraq and Syria for example.  If a jolt became a serious sense of duty.  I am understanding medicine better for the experience. On Facebook the other day someone had posted an appeal given by a young boy no more than ten or eleven years old if that. The little boy was addressing America and American decisions over the previous occupation/invasion of the country of Iraq. His point being that obnoxiously ISIS had come into their country and were now making use of the vulnerable to increase their number. His plea was simply how can they survive. The orphans have no one to protect them against ISIS.  It took the face of a child to bring some reality to it all. We after all have only a vague idea about what is happening locally for them. The evidence of violence is measured by the hoards fleeing their countries.  Reportage of news.  I was reading the Granta book of Reportage, only to be faced with hidden dilemmas. I think the world a scary place if one faction covers up for possible misdemeanor. There is fairness in love and war so the saying goes?!? And then bleating I found myself saying ‘when?’ When is it ever fair to the innocent? I learned about  Gibraltar  through the eyes of a journalist Ian Jack who was a reporter, back when an attempted bombing of the said British outpost, occurred in the eighties, three IRA suspects were shot dead in the street apparently unarmed. Dilemma, Rupert Murdoch owned papers even then.  Lots of information became confused and exaggerated.  In the end the inquest, revealed everything that was going on at a time when Margaret Thatcher was still Prime Minister.  It is incredible how the three in the story got as far as they did but were under close ‘surveillance’ all the way  through their journey in Spain and finally to the Rock itself. No bomb went off.  I just worry now, particularly with the amount of bombing of Syria, as to when will all the remaining trouble will subside? Love, peace.  I feel a bit tortured to be truthful. Just when I could be doing more helpful work, I cannot due to incapacity. I realize a few things about British politics.  Anesthesia stays in the body for weeks after the operation I find myself actually napping. I hope to get on with some writing art and reviews.

A ‘Soul’___ution…

Posted in Current affairs, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2015 by kathydasilva

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It dawned on me last night whilst attempting to sleep, that if the world was to restore faith and power to the beleaguered United Nations organization, then the following might apply. This made absolute sense to me, and was I believe the result of correct wisdom and knowledge. If we are to put the world to rights, in particular with the horrendous acts of violence against for example the Iraqi people, who have been beset by the terrorist group ISIS, then the only right solution is to withdraw, the accused ‘imperialist nations’, (USA, Britain, etc. ) and only send in to defend the democratic Iraq, the ‘blue’ hatted United Nations troops of the nations who did not take part in the previous conflict in Iraq. This will stop erroneous accusations occurring over the reason for the presence of the United States army. The countries who will not be able to fight or send troops could support in a material way financially or with munitions but should not be present in the land. Until further enquiries and official examinations of the last conflict are debated sufficiently, then those countries should not attempt a second ‘invasion’ of any sort. This way all the conflicts of interest can be satisfied sufficiently to restore faith in the efforts to be equal around the United Nations table. Any comments welcome.

London’s ever changing population

Posted in Current affairs, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by kathydasilva

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I have lived in London on and off for about twenty years or so. I graduated under the tutelage of  Middlesex University, as it is now. But, then, what had been an independant art school, Hornsey School of Art, became part of the new trend of polytechnics. They I think were  a derivative of the technical college scheme. I think it just means many sites, under one roof, as Middlesex Polytechnic, had about five or six in all. I came to London to look at colleges at the tender age of nineteen. Even then, the sense of many influences of cultures far and near, were ever present in the restaurants, local cafes, and clothes sold at market stalls, on a Saturday and Sunday weekend.  My taste for different foods, and foods with more exotic and exagerated flavourings, became the norm for my own sense of appetite, and satisfaction. My first flat mate cooked a mean chilli con carne, and served it with brown rice. I had not had brown rice before then.  And then too, this influence led me to experiment with food of my own. The wonderful moment when a young person emerges, independant of parents, to explore what the world contains.

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Camden market, sprawls over two sides of a canal, with river boats, and new apartment blocks with  balconies. There too, you will find a variety of food stuffs, paella freshly cooked in a large pan, and curries, served hot for those days when drissle is all that comes down from a grey city sky.  A few years ago, I had become aware,  of the effect of living in this kind of ‘Bohemia’, that my character and personality had become stamped with the indulgence in book reading, and collecting of many years of life. Smoky atmospheres, music flowing lightly from wireless radios. My sister had visited, and I had persuaded her to have a sepia tattoo. They do wash off! But, in any case, she was intrigued, and I had often seen these decorations on the hands of Asians who attended wedding celebrations.

IMG_6160I have never had a problem with the very mixed race of people that occupy, this city. The religions vary hugely. Most of the new foreigners are more than glad to be in a democracy which offers choice of who you are and what you become. It is a relative freedom. People talk of becoming Westernized. But, most of the young inevitably are going to pick up on the joys of music and partying through their school years, and beyond. How we all do change, little by little into the adults of the future.

I live now further away from the central zone of London’s heart. I live in an area predominantly Asian, but with some black Caribean influences. And now because of war there is a kind of digging in effect for these British Asian people, feel under suspicion. The racial tensions created by events of the last decade, seem to become a perpetual source of anxiety.  Now too the muslim immigrants from war zones, filling up the available accomodation in London’s east end, are changing the demographics of the city. And the recent news of a stabbing, in the less sizable town of Colchester, of a young female student in a full-length abaya and hijab,  suggesting that the motive was religious or racial or both. The situation in the neighbourhoods of Redbridge, is marked, by the local Tesco, somehow trying to be all things to all people, selling Kosha food, and, Halal meat in its fridgedaires, all marked and sign posted.

A walk through any part of Islington, might show some of what is now new, but the sluggish flow, of people and traffic even in the mid-day period. Are we a little Egypt, or an island of Moroccan and Persian, cafe owners. You could be forgiven for thinking that, in a certain place that the world had become occupied by a men only population. Or is this their culture, the women stay at home whilst the men, go out to smoke over samovars, smoking through pipes, taking it easy, the lazy day of a summer afternoon. I felt the only female standing. I walked as if in a strange dream down a road leading to Finsbury Park train station. There seemed to be hundreds of men of a swarthy complexion, some with turbans of a variety of naturally dyed materials. Some with just enough curiosity to look up at the strange woman looking rather pale, the English woman passing through as if in a completely different land.  I can only conclude, that the war against terror, has displaced many peoples, and again that many people are displaced by war, and civil war which may have nothing to do with us. We the British, we the raj of yester year. I love Indian curry. I am partial to Moroccan cous cous salad. I will eat falafal in pitta bread. I will read Albert Camus. My friends are who they are, whatever the race, whatever their religion, Hindu, muslim, catholic, atheist well some. Agnostics. Buddhists.  London the hotch potch, gridlocked, polluted, smoke. The big smoke. (to be cont’d)