The War on Terror is a misnomer, war is Terror, as all those who have been in one will tell you.
The Terror War contributes to Global Warming in many ways. Manufacture of armaments is major business in the US, UK, France and Israel not to mention Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Serbia and other lesser industrial polluters of the atmosphere. In addition to pollution from manufacture of armaments are pollutants released in the course of war world-wide both from destruction and reconstruction.
However, War involves more obvious risks to survival of humanity than its massive contributions to Global Warming. During the twentieth century War killed over 100 million people. With a world population estimated to reach 9 billion this century, less than 2% may seem insignificant, unless your loved ones were amongst those slaughtered. Few working class families in most arms manufacturing countries did not lose loved ones or care for loved ones traumatized by war.
However, war is capable of the destruction of humanity. Stock piles of nuclear weapons are massive, especially in the USA and Russia. The amounts far exceed those required for any limited war. It was claimed they were manufactured as a balance of power to prevent either side using them. Yes? Well, the strategy has worked hasn’t it? We daren’t use our nuclear capability in case you use yours. President Reagan was persuaded to build a nuclear shield over America. Fortunately there has been not been an opportunity to see if it works.
The War on Terror started in 2003 still goes on in 2017. THE TERROR WAR is an outrage on humanity supposedly started in response to a terrorist attack. Almost all terrorist attacks are the work of government agencies, orchestrated by the CIA in the case of the twin towers. The Coalition of the Willing are still in pursuit of whatever it is the Coalition of the Willing are in pursuit of. There were more terrorists in government agencies than in madrasas in 2003. The horrors perpetrated against Muslims since then may have altered that.
To date THE TERROR WAR has decimated towns throughout Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan and Northern Nigeria amongst others. The purpose is totally unclear to most folk whose tax dollars are paying for the war. The Terror War does not seek victory. It shuns any responsibility. It exists to protect pipe lines, the reason Afghanistan was the first attacked: the Uzbekistan to Pakistan pipeline crosses Afghanistan, where heroin production has multiplied vastly under Coalition domination.
Marine General Mad Dog Mattis, Defence Secretary is a scholar soldier, who believes passionately in the defence of democracy and has demonised all Muslims throughout the areas of conflict he has been engaged in. He is a rare phenomenon, worthy of respect for values he genuinely holds but like all successful soldiers he sees everything in terms of we are right, the enemy is wrong. You can’t go out and shoot people with a clear conscious otherwise. He did go out and shoot people. He fought alongside his Marines, understood them and shared their hopes and fears. He has all the characteristics of a great military leader and a library full of books about his greatest predecessors. A memorable quote of his: A country that armed Stalin to defeat Hitler can certainly work alongside enemies of Al Qaeda to defeat Al Qaeda. He is an exception that proves the rule. Most military leaders lead from the back.
Military leaders have to believe brutality, butchery and massive destruction are acceptable. World class military academies breed rare birds for whom war is acceptable. Marienburg, now Malbork in Poland, was the headquarters of the Teutonic Knights who defended Christendom from Islamic encroachment in the Middle Ages. They perfected arguments for Just War with all the glory associated with bravery, heroism, self-sacrifice and the rest. These ideas are the life blood of Military Academies that train military leaders in the arts of spilling anyone’s blood other than their own.
What is forgotten is that people are people, not soldiers, civilians, youngsters, blacks, gays, priests, pariahs, Chinese, terrorists, Christians or whatever. Each person is unique and to be respected, not demonised, hero worshipped, iconised, categorized in any way but another human being. High status people can’t cope with this because it puts Archbishops, Generals, Senators and their ilk on the same footing as all of us, which is where in the real world they are.
THE BIRDS OF MARIENBURG
It’s easy to be pacifist in times of peace
with a child’s trust or an old man’s fantasy
and no one pressing you into service.
But the call to arms to a young man
bursting with energy, swollen with pride
Is irresistible. All dangers, risk of early death,
put out of mind.
Only the dove of peace wears white feathers
palm leaves in its beak, its ungainly form
Ours is the eagle, a beak full of ripped flesh
talons dripping blood, lightening across
black skies, careless of who lives,
Soldiers are taught to kill,
taught to smash things up.
It’s their job in life to behave like slobs
to beat, butcher, brutalise, kill face death,
whilst immaculately uniformed
and wonderfully disciplined.
‘Course they get battled rattled.
They’re not robot cops.
Just young lads in a world gone mad.
Wars should be fought by Heads of State,
Prime Ministers, armament manufacturers
and their shareholders, Generals, Media moguls
and Archbishops. All the folk who set them off,
folk with more to lose than their lives.
There’d be no more war.
(The quotation in italics is Donald Rumsfeld verbatim)
From LIFE IN POETRY see colinkirkworks.com