Friday, 22 August 2014

What You Need for a War

At least two nations, both of whom would like
to be significantly bigger than
the other; that way, both of them will spend
a lot of time and money building up
their fighting capabilities, which means
that when their diplomatic efforts fail
the fight which follows won’t be some one-sided
affair which will all be over by tea-time –
   for where would be the fun in that? we ask.

These two bellicose nations need a cause
to win the public’s hearts and minds; to capture
imaginations of both old and young;
to stir the patriotic fever till
it bubbles, boils and bursts; as jingoistic
expressions make their way on to the front of
newspapers, filled with pages rich with lies
about the foe. They could use words of caution –
   but where would be the fun in that? we ask.

And finally, the other side must start it,
for when two nations go to war, it’s always
the other side who must be blamed. With all
their brutish, hawkish, Empire-building madness
it was inevitable  that they’d start
a war with us: the side who did no wrong,
whose Empire is a charming, tranquil one.
We could promote a peaceable solution –
   but where would we find glory then? we ask.

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