No News is Good News

by Peter Wild

There's a story on the news about Kurds from a mountain village in Northern Iraq who are fleeing their homes after four days of intermittent shelling by Iranian forces. The story cuts to a shakey-cam, with security officials swarming like bees about the former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif as he lands in Islamabad; someone in the studio says it's thought he'll be deported to Saudi Arabia where he'll stand trial on corruption charges. Elsewhere in the world, the news guy says, police in Israel have uncovered a group of neo-Nazis, comprised of illegal Russian immigrants aged between 18 and 21, responsible for painting swastikas on the walls of synagogues. I tune out as a young woman explains how, subsequent to the deaths of 30 people following the explosion of a van packed with dynamite in the coastguard barrack of Dellys, east of Algiers, and the deaths of a further 22 people when a man detonated a bomb in a crowd of people waiting to meet President Abdelazaziz Bouteflika in Batna, there are growing fears that jihadi militants affiliated to Al-Qaida are opening a new frontline in the Maghreb. My head starts to pound as positive steps taken by the Hezbollah-led opposition and the incumbent Western-supported Lebanese Government of Fuad Siniora are undermined in the wake of an announcement concerning the replacement for President Emile Lahoud, with anti-Syrian Christian leaders accusing Hezbollah of playing a very dangerous game. There is a good reason why I rarely watch anything other than SpongeBob SquarePants.

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Peter Wild, author of Silence is Golden, is the editor of The Flash & Perverted by Language: Fiction inspired by The Fall. You can read more here.