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Fears in solitude

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The Israeli courts have cleared the soldier who shot James Miller of any wrongdoing. They should read Leviticus 24.22. Meanwhile back here the election has featured a lot of argument about immigration and tax, but relatively little about civil liberties and the war in Iraq, which has surely been the biggest issue of the last parliament. Following on from Coleridge’s notebook, these lines from Fears in Solitude, written 200 years ago, show that nothing is new:

Secure from actual warfare, we have loved
To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war!
…No speculation on contingency,
However dim and vague, too vague and dim
To yield a justifying cause ; and forth,
(Stuffed out with big preamble, holy names,
And adjurations of the God in Heaven,)
We send our mandates for the certain death
Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls,
And women, that would groan to see a child
Pull off an insect’s wing, all read of war,
The best amusement for our morning meal!