Pawprint in the margins of history

So I asked the question this morning of Lebanon – same as I did as we watched the submerging of New Orleans.  ‘What do you think is happening to all the pet cats?’  For pets are part of what makes people feel at home.  And to be evacuated without ….   Robert Fisk in this morning’s Independent crisply calls the evacuation of British and other nationals ‘Munich not Dunkirk’.

All my life, I have listened to people saying that they must ‘root out the terrorists from our midst’.  It is always nonsense at best and political laziness at worst.  In one sense, terrorists should be ignored – for they have chosen to step outside the norms of political dialogue and humane behaviour.  The fact that they choose to use violence should not give them any more weight than anybody else.  But their existence should also be taken seriously because they do not come from Mars.  They arise because there is an unresolved cause which they are able to exploit and there is a civilian population which may not agree with their methods but sympathises with their aims.  The civilian population, of course, needs to be protected and the processes of civilised society need to be safeguarded.  But this surrogate punishment of the civilian population of Lebanon, the destruction of its fragile democracy is appalling.  And the apparent lack of political leadership in bringing the suffering to an end is dreadful.  Munich not Dunkirk.  I agree.


  1. Just heard a sermon from someone who’s family was evacuated from Beirut when he was 12, in previous hostilities. His most devastating memory was indeed the sudden handing over of the Siamese cats to a family who were staying behind.

    Couldn’t help noticing that his various war-zone experiences had enabled him to preach pretty powerfully on “putting that which you value the most in the Lord’s hands”, but still hoping that the Lord need not ask quite so much of the rest of us.

  2. Oh you will notice that I didnt really say much about the latter part of your blog. I do cats pretty well, but not politics.

  3. Glad to know that I’m not the only one who wonders about “what happened to the pet cats etc”. I recently saw the film “Lake House” and although love conquered all yet again, no mention was made as to what happened to Jake the dog that featured in both the main characters lives albeit 2 years apart. You have to see it to understand what I’m going on about. So while everyone was wiping away a tear and saying ahhhhh, I remarked loudly to my friend “what about the dog?” 🙁

    Anyway, I’m sure that cats will cope very well whatever their environment in such situations. Our spoiled pets on the otherhand would probably not fare quite so well due to years of domestication. Poppy should thank her lucky stars that she lives in a country where the worst that can happen is an England football supporter walking down the street wearing a football top.

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