Over the last couple of days, and to keep them quiet while I endured the Cricket, I put the hiking tent up in the back garden. Needless to say, Jayne was very keen to sleep in it, so last night, Jayne and I slept out (Bethen was not that keen).
It's been a few years since I was last under canvas (in fact I think it was canvas in those days!), but I seemed to get back into it OK. Took a while to drop off, Jayne was out like a light, and of course we were awake pretty early due to sunlight and the fact that I had pitched the tent close to the bird table and the early morning avian squabble was pretty loud.
All in all, it was great and Jayne enjoyed it. We were up and about drinking tea at 6:30 am.
A couple of items on Iraq in The Guardian caught my eye. One was by George Monbiot who argues that Iraq should throw away Bush's self-serving timetable, and take the time to get it right. He particularly feels that the model to democracy should be those followed by Nicaragua and South Africa where the Constitutions were developed by thousands across the nation discussing openly in town and village halls - not a small, unrepresentative group cobbled together by an increasingly desperate US Administration to try and come up with something. The article is How to stop a civil war and is well worth a read.
The other article is by Adam Curtis who feels that the West and America in particular created the nightmare vision that is "al-Qaida" after 9/11 as a large, co-ordinated, powerful network, unlike any previous terrorist danger and capable of overwhelming our society and our democracy. He goes on to say that ".. our energies were going into fighting a phantom enemy. We were looking for a network that doesn't exist when we should have been dealing with an idea that does." He concludes that further "anti-terrorist" action is likely to lead to more marginalised young men taking up the struggle. His article, Creating Islamist phantoms raises some key questions in the West's "War on Terror."