And then came the guns

I have a degree in International Relations and Arabic and an interpreter’s diploma in that same language and a large number of friends who are experts in the geopolitics of the region. It’s doubtful there is a region in the world that has as many ‘experts’ or think tanks or initiatives to solve its issues.

And you know what? It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.

Understanding people’s problems is not the main thing that stops the Middle East from being violent. It’s the fact that the region is  afloat on a sea of weaponry. If military options did not exist to the extent they do for the main players out there, there would be an incentive to sort out problems peacefully. However, this is not the case.

As Eddie Izzard says, ‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. But the guns help.’

You want to stop the violence? Remove the hardware.

And then came the guns

And there was beauty and peace

And children going to school

And they felt so cool and hip to be alive

To watch the world thrive

But then came the guns

And these times are no more

And there were girls and boys

In cars and other shiny toys

Making noise and just being young

And it seemed like any song could be sung

But then came the guns

And that youth is no more

And there were fields that thrived

Fruit and grain and quiet lives

Lived making the land give forth its crop

And it seemed the harvest would never stop

But then came the guns

And this plenty is no more

And there was government, not perfect

But at least well meant

And universities issuing degrees, to men and women

Who could do as they pleased

But then came the guns

And this culture is no more

And the name of that land was manifold

Filled with diamonds, oil, silver gold

Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Iran,

Places where great civilisations once began

But then came the guns

And these lands are no more

So, before we reform,

Before we make new laws,

Before we build new towns, open new stores

Before anything else, before we begin

Let’s put down the guns

Or nobody wins.

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