Monday, 6 June 2011

not just a crash then...

About a week after the crash  it was revealed PA103 was downed by an IED.
Somehow I remember being not that surprised at the news.
Dismayed, confused and fizzing with anger, yet there was no-one to direct this against.
Eventually it would fade from me.
For a while at least. 

Terrorists and their atrocities had always been lurking about,
sometimes glimpsed on the TV news:
In Northern Ireland or down south in England the IRA fought their war with Britain.

Further afield in curious and ancient places, 
seemingly endless battles raged on.
A continual and cyclical carnage
A circus of claim & counterclaim. 
Legitimately criminal despots leading their armies on their march into history's bloodiest pages;
The Appendix entitled - Everyone Loses.

Invasions bigger, deadlier on every continent 
and in every continent the dread word - genocide. 
 All about resources and newsworthy briefly
then back to our lives. 
Our government will protect us. 

There were sides to be on, your team to choose,
but where I lived most of us were only troubled about 
the Hibs n the Hertz.
I mostly worried about the local football hooligan firm the CCS. 

During the 1980s the UK govt cozied up to the USA big time.
Something about there being no alternative was a key theme of Thatcher's time in charge.
I remember the bombing of the German discotheque, which killed US soldiers,
and the retaliatory strike launched on Libya, by the USA, from British bases.
We talked about stuff like this in school.
In Economics class mostly.
We were asked to raise our hands if we thought the revenge attack was right.
Out of 20 or so, only one girl put her hand up.
Her opinion was, of course we should strike back at our enemies.
My opinion was, how do we know it was Libya? 

On December 21, 1988, Scotland went into shock.
Every goddam one of us. 

By the time New Year had come round it was realised 
that it had been the biggest terrorist ever attack in Britain
and the biggest one ever aimed at American citizens.
 People from the following countries also died:
 Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, India ,Ireland, Israel, Italy,
 Jamaica, Japan, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
 Trinidad and Tobago,United Kingdom.
None of us knew who was responsible but there was much talk of  'stringing the bastards up' 
(Woe betide the wretch that ends up in a Scottish prison for murder, never mind for a stunt like PA103 ) 

I reckon there would have been a queue about 5 million Scots ready to 'have a go'
politely waiting their turn for a minute in a room with the bombers. 
The perpetrators were scum, motherfuckers, deserving of no mercy.
I don't think I'd ever seen, or seen since, every Scottish person so angry.
We all felt it at some point.
Eventually this feeling would also fade.
We did want justice.

Of course, no-one could be sure that anyone would ever be pinned for the crime.
Many thought it would be impossible to solve the Whodunnit. 

Theories abounded.
I wasn't at all clued-in as to which splinter group this was,
or whatever faction the other might be,
but a narrative began to form about a revenge attack by Iran,
organised somehow by a Palestinian group operating out of Syria.
To be honest, I'd have been hard-pushed to identify the borders of these places on a map.
I knew my way about Europe, even though half of it was seemingly out of bounds
thanks to the Cold War. 

So, I was having trouble making sense of a lot of the info bouncing around.
I realised how very little I actually knew about the 'bigger picture'

That point was rammed home, in November 1991, when the press announced that charges were to brought against
2 Libyans.

What the....?

For many people in my circle that clearly meant the case was going to be watertight.
  " Forensic science and a' these experts. 
These two Libyan guys wouldnae be 'up before the beak'
if they hudnae been involved."

I know people who think along these lines, 
People I've met who confess to knowing nothing of the case talk of 
The Lockerbie Bomber.
" He was convicted. It must have been proved."
 I guess I'm writing this blog for them.

It's a high ideal, this innocent until proven guilty.
However, many ordinary people genuinely do believe
that to be in the dock in the first place
the accused most certainly must have been up to no good.
Many ordinary people just want revenge and are not interested in 
the further consequences of it's pointless cycle. 


There are many resources and opinions available on the internet
Wiki-pedia's a good place to learn the ropes and to delve into some of the curiousness of it all.
There's also the excellent, and possibly unsurpassable, blog
The Lockerbie Divide 
which I would recommend for newbies and for those,
 such as me,
who have forgotten bits or never learned of them first time round.

For all the dishonest and despicable characters that populate the events of the last 20+ years
there are also people of outstanding dignity, courage and inspiration. 

Everyone deserves for the truth to be told.
In this day and age we can all handle it. 


As for the title of the blog?
Well, I'm lucky to now be living very close to a mile long bay in the Channel Islands.
It's good for contemplation, to sort out thoughts.
I realised quite quickly when I decided to blog about what I believe to be a 
miscarriage of justice that there was a whole heap of history to go through,
not just in terms of the trial, conviction, appeals and release,
but of my own little existence in this world.

 Feel free to ask questions, to suggest corrections, to voice opinions.
These are some of the real luxuries in life. 

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