Plans for the next chapter are being prepared; taking shape, as a set of ideas and past experiences pave the way forward. Madeira beckons once more.
Madeira, a floating garden in the middle of the Atlantic.
A small pocket of tranquility in a very chaotic world
It seems a lifetime ago since I posted Homeward Bound. All of twelve months! I was so looking forward to returning to London that I had conveniently forgotten how difficult life here can be at times. By difficult I mean busy, fast-paced, expensive, and in my case, capped with a 60-plus hours working week
I work to live, not the other way round.
In my entry New Beginning In Old Surroundings of May 17, 2010, I wrote "a positive mind-set is all that's required to overcome life's obstacles". A year down the line I find myself doubting the accuracy of that statement. Is that really all it takes?
Funchal is the trendy and peaceful capital of Madeira
Back to Madeira it is then, for some more of what I had before. The laid-back life-style, the music, the weather, the peace of mind, the food and drink, the road-trips, the swimming, the feeling of having bundles of energy and the feeling of well-being...of being alive!
And on a different note...
...what a difference 10 years make!
In 1980, Saddam Hussein, late leader of Iraq, was the darling of the West and could do no wrong. Iraq had gone to war against the Ayatollah-State of Iran and the West couldn't do enough to help Saddam. Weapons, (later used against the West) financial aid and military advice flowed from the West to Baghdad.
Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam 1983
No way to treat an old friend, I say.
Had Saddam Hussein changed over the decade? No, of course he hadn't. The West's priorities had changed and oil supplies had become of paramount importance.
Hypocrisy at its ugliest from the leaders of the supposedly free world.
What a difference 22 years makes!
Back in 1979 the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in support of the under-pressure Marxist regime of Kabul. An all out war ensued between the Russians and rebel Afghan forces and the West promptly jumped in to help the freedom fighters of Afghanistan. Weapons (later used against the West) financial aid and military advice flowed into Afghanistan.
Those freedom fighters were the Mujahideen and the Taliban. Yes, the same Taliban that some years later sheltered Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda mob. The same Taliban that are now killing their own people with daily acts of terrorism. The very same Taliban that are now murdering countless soldiers of the US led coalition.
Is that a case of the Taliban 'biting the hand that feeds them'?
No. Not in my opinion. The Taliban should never have been helped by the West anyway. Why should the West support a movement as archaic and prejudiced, anti-women and anti-democracy as the Taliban? Never mind the fact that the Soviet Union were seen as a bigger threat back then, rather them than the Taliban, anytime. The struggle between Democracy and Communism got in the way of common-sense. And not for the first time.
Hypocrisy and opportunism...again...from the so-called free-world.