Kipling on Blowback, or the Law of Unintended Consequences

No surprise at the latest bombings (more people were killed in Egypt and Iraq than in London). Colin Powell told Bush, "If you break it, you bought it", but no one seems to understand what that means until the bombs start coming home. I love London, and I love the Tube, and resent her being put in the crossfire.

If there is any reason to smile, it's that when we heard there was a failed attack at Shepherd's Bush, we were quick to exclaim "Holland Park! Holland Park!" (Friends of "Absolutely Fabulous" will know that Edina, who lives on the border of Shepherd's Bush, always protests that she REALLY lives in the MUCH more fashionable Holland Park.)

If piracy and slavery were suppressed by taking away their refuges, (South China Sea and the Sudan still exceptions), why did we think we would contain terrorism by giving them a vast new playground?

If there is a reason to frown, it is our obtuse insistence that we can fuck around, and fuck around, and fuck around with a hornet's nest and never get stung ourselves. Pardon me for feeling disgust at the sancimony of official mourning from Bush and Blair (Bush, by the way, was back to
  • yukking it up
  • the next day-- while sitting next to Blair). With all the tons of ordinance left laying around (some of it brought by Donald Rumsfeld himself), why are we shocked! --shocked!-- that it was used to blow up blue eyed babies instead of brown eyed ones?

    "Why do Americans think it is heroic and honorable for our troops to massacre Iraqis with bombs, missiles, gunships, tanks, and heavy machine guns, but cowardly and barbaric when our victims fight back in the only way they can?
    .... The war is breeding terrorism and cannot be won.... As long as Bush continues to operate with Mao's belief that power comes out of the barrel of a gun, terrorism will prosper and people will die for no reason except their refusal to hold corrupt leaders accountable."
    -- Paul Craig Roberts at
  • Counterpunch

  • America, the Naive. I pray you and yours stay safe.

    AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

    -- Rudyard Kipling

    No comments: