Yesterday the USA dropped the largest ever non-nuclear weapon ever used, the GBU-43/B. They dropped this massive piece of ordnance in a cave system in Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan. The stated intent was to deny a system of caves and tunnels to ISIS fighters. A truer intention is Donald Trump flexing his muscles for the Russians and the Chinese to show he is a serious military threat. But that too is secondary, because his primary audience is the American people. I’m sure the people of the USA feel a little bit safer today knowing that several miles of caves in Afghanistan have been destroyed. (That last sentence is called sarcasm)
Today I have three images for you, all stolen from the Guardian photos of the day. Image 1 is of US troops marching in step at a NATO rally in Poland. Hey Mr Putin, look at those gung ho young American boys, marching in neat lines. We have big bombs too. Boo Yah!
The second photograph is from further east, in the city of Mosul, Iraq. The smart uniforms and the neat lines of troops give way to the true face of war. A man pushing his daughter through a blasted landscape in a wheelchair. It is pathetic. As you sit down to your Easter Sunday dinner spare a thought for what awaits this family on their table. What did he do to deserve this fate?
The final image is of a pretty girl taking a selfie in a field of flowers. It could almost be in Holland, with the bright blossoms in neat lines, except for the fact that the girl in question has a machine gun on her back. Nir Yitzhak is a kibbutz on the border of Israel with the Gaza strip. If ever there was an image of the absurdity of war this is it. Page down to a war poem by Yeats!
On being asked for a War Poem : By William Butler Yeats
I think it better that in times like these
A poet’s mouth be silent, for in truth
We have no gift to set a statesman right;
He has had enough of meddling who can please
A young girl in the indolence of her youth,
Or an old man upon a winter’s night.