It’s dreadful. It’s wrong. Even viewed tactically, it’s always counter-productive. But without getting into the area of sympathising or excusing, can one understand or behave as if it is unexpected? I watched some film recently of soldiers coming home from Iraq – saw the big, tough soldier moved to tears of sheer relief at getting to the end of what was obviously a nightmare experience to see his family again. The strain of fighting a war – or is it peacemaking – which they can’t really hope to win, where they don’t know who is friend and who is enemy … more of the intangibles and irreconcilables. Politicians carry their share of responsibility for putting people in such a position. And more about dealing with intangibles and irreconcilables another day.