Ever get the feeling that the Iraq war (2003-), the great war for regime change and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East (let's cut the crap about oil), has largely receded from living memory?
That the impact of digital amnesia and neoliberal policies on peoples' lives has been so great that the 21st century's equivalent of World War I now seems almost as remote as that war?
That one of the reasons people are so gulled by the official 'rebels vs the dictator' line on Syria is because they've forgotten what the Iraq war was really all about?
Now I haven't read British writer Will Self's latest novel but I cannot fault his response to the following interview question:
The Iraq war also features heavily in Phone. Why was it important to you to include?
"I cannot think of a serious literary novelist in this country who's tackled the Iraq war at all. And I think it is the biggest stain on our national character of the past 20 years. And I think that collective amnesia about it and refusal to engage with it is playing out in political decisions that are being made now." (Will Self: 'The novel is absolutely doomed', Alex Clark, theguardian.com, 18/3/18)
But it's worse than that: never forget that "the biggest stain on [Britain's] national character" of the past 100 years is the Palestine problem and that not one "serious [British] literary novelist," except the now forgotten Ethel Mannin (1900-1984)*, has tackled that particular stain.
[The Road to Beersheba (1963); The Night & its Homing (1966)]