Friday, 21 October 2011


It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
We blew the shit right up their own ass
And out their fucking ears.

With Gaddafi dead the opening lines of Harold Pinter's 1991 poem American Football – A reflection on the Gulf War sound in corporate boardrooms across the globe, echo in Western government cabinet rooms and roar through the corridors of NATO and the marketing departments of arms manufacturers worldwide.

Whether you're profiting from  jet bombers or hand guns, it's a good time to be an arms' manufacturer. Wars are raging across the globe. Violence is cool and appropriate. Whether it is 'our' violence delivered by machines acting at a distance, sometimes even without human direct operation as in drones in Afghanistan, or 'their' violence often delivered by small arms or bodies, close up and deadly, there's money to be made.

Under the current world order, war is the prelude to a reconstruction programme that feeds global trade and delivers profits to global, usually  Western based, corporations.  China is in on the act too, especially in Africa.

It works.
We blew the shit out of them.
They suffocated in their own shit.
Praise the Lord for all good things.

The jingoism in the London (51 degrees North, 0 degrees West) press following the killing of Gaddafi centres on revenge. The atrocity of the Lockerbie passenger jet bombing and the outrages perpetrated by the IRA using munitions supplied by the Gaddafi regime are cited.

We blew them into fucking shit.
They are eating it.
Praise the Lord for all good things.

The combination of Christian triumphalism and shit is apposite. Images of Gaddafi's body and the waste pipe in which he was found appear on websites, social media networks and newspapers across the globe.

We blew their balls into shards of dust, 
Into shards of fucking dust.
We did it.

Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

'Our' violence is good. 'Their' violence is bad. Even though 'we' sold them the weapons.

This is Pinteresque. The poems and the plays. The handgun and the jet.

The summary executions of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and now Gaddafi save 'us' from facing the complex relationships 'our' governments', secret service agencies, corporations and military enjoy with regimes and other political entities 'we' seek to profit from but not get close to. 

Demonisation and racism play a part in keeping 'us' mute in the face of hypocrisy, duplicity, self-serving cant and death-dealing on a global scale.

Keep us, in another memorable phrase from Pinter's poetry, 'playing cricket in the dark.'

Various Voices: Prose, Poetry, Politics 1948-1998; Harold Pinter; Faber; 1998

No comments:

Post a Comment