About Patria, Pageants and Poppies By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
17 November 2009

“Britain’s last surviving World War I veteran shunned Remembrance Day commemorations Wednesday because he was against the glorification of war” — ‘Britain’s last WWI veteran shuns Remembrance Day’

After eight years and tens of thousands of Afghan casualties, the occupiers are settling down to a war of unknown duration. And contrary to Brown’s earlier declarations that ‘al-Qu’eda’ was operating out of Afghanistan, Brown, all-dressed up for the Lord Mayor’s banquet told the assorted ‘dignitaries’,

“Mr Brown has acknowledged that al-Qaeda is not operating in Afghanistan but cautioned that it continued to recruit and train.

“Al-Qaeda rely on a permissive environment in the tribal areas of Pakistan and – if they can re-establish one – in Afghanistan,” Mr Brown warned.

“He said there were “several hundred” foreign fighters still based in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan, attending training camps to learn bomb-making and weapons skills.”” — ‘Brown plans Afghan handover talks’, BBC News Website, 17 December, 2009

But the real thrust of Brown’s attempt to resuscitate the British Empire is revealed by the following.

“At every point in our history where we have looked outwards, we have become stronger.

“And now, more than ever, there is no future in what was once called ‘splendid isolation’.”

And just in case we don’t get the message, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent James Robbins is more than willing to do the Empire’s dirty work telling us,

“But the prime minister also made clear that he regards Britain’s military presence as vital to protect ordinary people at home from plots hatched in Pakistan by al-Qaeda extremists, who would spread back into Afghanistan if allowed the opportunity to do so.”

And very conveniently, the self-same Mr Robbins adds this final para,

“The prime minister said the security services in Britain were reporting to him that there was now an opportunity to inflict significant and long-lasting damage on al-Qaeda.”

Well, that’s that isn’t it? Slaughtering Afghans is about protecting the ‘homeland’ from “plots” devised by those dastardly ‘al-Qu’eda’ who by his own admission are not even in Afghanistan! But these are desperate times for the Empire as opposition to Brown’s barbarian occupation grows even within his own ranks. These gangsters are so incompetent that they make stuff up as they go along!

Not so the ‘loyal opposition’ with both Tory and Lib-Dem continuing to support the UK’s colonial war of conquest.

Of course the song and dance about ‘our boys over there’ is nothing new especially when from the UK’s perspective, the entire enterprise is going pear-shaped in the public’s mind. I’m also sure that there is a direct correlation between the number of poppies on display and the increasing desperation of our barbarian political elite as they seek to patriotize the illegal and murderous invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

Yes, it is disgusting that working class British boys and girls are sacrificing their lives for the Empire. On the other hand they belong to a professional army, paid to kill and be killed, so as regrettable as it is that some are dying (in minute numbers compared to the slaughter they have rained down on Iraq and continue to do so in Afghanistan), they knew the deal when they signed up. I mean come on, look at all these MoD adverts extolling the virtues of shooting people in far-off places, like this MoD promo advertizing the excitement of being a sniper.

Army Jobs Sniper
Watch the ad…
[note must register to log in to watch]

It’s interesting conundrum for the political elite whose ‘peace-keeping’ enterprises always end in horrific bloodshed. Luckily there’s five hundred year’s worth of imperial wars to draw on when it comes to pushing the Patria button. It’s a button that G. Brown has been pushing a lot recently, defending the white cliffs against the heathen hordes, blah-blah, and the media have been only too happy push out the patria to the populace. Yet in spite of the poppy onslaught on the public,

“Only 12 percent of Europeans claim to trust the media, compared to 15 percent of North Americans, 29 percent of Pacific Asians and 48 percent of Africans, the BBC has found.” — ‘Does Biased News Have a ‘Time Bomb’ Effect?’

And the percentage of those who favour a complete pullout of Afghanistan immediately, is steadily rising with around 75% saying we should get out (sometime soon? who knows with these surveys?). Something else is going on here, some kind of synergy is at work, beset as we are by endless wars, economic collapse and climate catastrophe and all at once. Perhaps it’s a step too far?

Clearly the poppy ain’t working the way it should, not even the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has made much difference, if anything it has had the opposite effect. The promise of a world freed from the grip of the ‘Evil Empire’, a world of peace and plenty blah-blah, is nowhere to be seen. Instead, we have gone backwards at an increasing rate of knots, towards the world of ‘(helicopter) gunboat diplomacy’. A world where mind-numbing violence and threats of violence dominate the foreign and domestic policies of the so-called civilized world.

This is a world my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents would be quite familiar with, a world where might is right and the Anglo-Saxon ‘race’ ruled supreme.

The point is, Capitalism needs an enemy, real or invented and the demise of communism deprived them of a handy hook onto which they could hang the planet. All the ‘war on terror’ has done is terrorize everybody and drag us deeper and deeper into the quagmire of the ‘new world order’.

Many of us may distrust our respective governments, they lie to us, steal from the public purse, spy on us, lock us up for thinking, start wars in our name but the idea that they are insane enough to launch a global conflagration is perhaps a step too far for most of us to swallow. Yet twice in the past century, the capitalists and their servants have started world wars in which hundreds of millions have been slaughtered and with a posse of psychopathic fingers on the trigger right now, it looks like we may be in for the next one.

But surely they can’t be that mad what with the world awash with nuclear weapons? Yet from the former Yugoslavia to Somalia the Anglo-Saxon Empire is busy turning the planet into a graveyard, polluting the air, water and earth as it goes. Mad you say? Just look at what the ‘masters of the universe’ say concerning their objectives and the lengths they will go to preserve their rule.

US Space Command
Dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US national interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into warfighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict.


‘National interests and investment’ says it all for this is what it’s really all about. The US Space Command’s ‘Vision 20-20’ document goes on to say that,

“Just as land dominance, sea control, and air superiority have become critical elements of current military strategy, space superiority is emerging as an essential element of battlefield success and future warfare.The challenge extends to space.”

It’s this context that makes the UK government’s role in this sordid and murderous enterprise so really depraved and criminal. A government that has become nothing more than a hitman for the Empire and a pretty incompetent one at that. Oh how the mighty have fallen!


Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires or just a graveyard with a pipeline running through it? by William Bowles

Dahr Jamail on Fort Hood, Iraq and Afghanistan, and soldiers’ resistance

2nd Cup of Tea Peace Vigil, our 2nd mile of love

Military use of Drones, how it will change our world by Bruce Gagnon

Elizabeth Gould & Paul Fitzgerald: The ‘real’ history of Afghanistan

Noam Chomsky: Afghanistan – it’s one of the most immoral acts in history!

One thought on “About Patria, Pageants and Poppies By William Bowles

  1. Pingback: Why U.S. occupation cannot transform Afghanistan or Iraq By Sara Flounders « Dandelion Salad

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