Friday, 30 April 2010
Friday, 26 March 2010
Why did Blair go to war?
Why did Bush go to war?
Why has war become the operating principle of the modern state again, after the revulsion at the slaughter of the Great War - the war to end all wars - and the exhaustion after what may have been the only just war of the 20th century – World War Two ?
Because it is hugely profitable to the warmongers - it enhances political reputations and increase the status of politicians and it enriches all sorts of companies and individuals. War is the route to incalculable wealth for some.
And wars are again like the old imperial wars of 19th century Britain - they can be fought away from home, with the native soil and commercial infrastructure virtually untouched. All the people have to bear is their impoverishment, and some must bear the deaths of their children, their fathers, their mothers, their brothers and sisters, their loved ones.
(The horror and profound shock of 9/11 for Americans was that this unspoken principle had been violated, and war had come to the heart of America. Even the long trauma of Vietnam had never touched American soil, despite the magnitude of the slaughter on foreign fields.)
The whole apparatus of modern PR and communications is now used to gain the public’s tacit acceptance of war - their dead loved ones are hailed as heroes, the acceptably injured are paraded for the cameras and the gruesomely maimed and disfigured are hidden away.
And the old men can turn out in their berets and medals for the sad, sad passage of the young dead through the streets, finding a false analogy with the just war they once fought, so long, long ago.
The BBC and the commercial television channels are shamefully complicit in this process, with only the occasional brave documentary revealing the true horror.
The priests, prelates and ministers of religion celebrate the lives and mourn the deaths in their ancient liturgies, yet all too rarely condemn unequivocally this ultimate crime against humanity. Some, in an obscene perversion of beliefs and creeds, actively advocate the crusade or the jihad. Religion and war continue to be the inseparable twins they have been throughout history, carried on the endless river of blood and drawing sustenance from it.
Maggie started the lethal process for Britain with the Falklands war, reaping huge political benefit, and her acolyte and admirer, Blair, catapulted himself on to the world stage through wars, and continues to profit obscenely from the poisoned fruits of the Four Horsemen.
Geoff Hoon and his ilk only scavenge the substantial crumbs from the feast of death – the real criminals are untouchable. In the last few days, some of them advocated turning Iran “into a sheet of glass” through nuclear strikes.
Scotland doesn’t have to be a part of this, and we will very shortly have our chance to demonstrate this at a general election, and later in a referendum. Vote for life – for humanity.