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War Peace and Politics Collection


Mike O’Sullivan

Copyright © 2018 by Mike O’Sullivan

This book is a work of fiction and, except in the case of historical fact, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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War Peace and Politics Collection


  1. In Praise of Cool Heads

  2. Iraq Excuse Me - May 2003

  3. Cold Warning

  4. God's Own on Crusade - October 2004

  5. Trouble Was... the Blair Years

  6. Talks – Belfast 1996

  7. The Outcast - Thoughts Found in Downing Street

  8. Bosnia 1995

  9. Bullets

  10. The Power of Suggestion

  11. The Word

  12. It Never Happened

  13. Bombing

  14. Egypt - 2013

1 In Praise of Cool Heads - 2001

Twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York

symbol of America’s global influence

the most powerful nation the world has known

held together tightly through the sheer diversity of national backgrounds

original, some would say, made-up to produce the best team

to produce the best team player

but which lately has been drawing itself in

in spite of being the birth place of ‘globalisation’

now Fortress America

-destroyed- in a few hours

of chaotic television viewing

by determination of blind faith and desperate minds

with seemingly no way out,

leaving even less choice to the 5,000 they killed

on a Tuesday in September two thousand and one,

which in consequence left speechless political leaders

absent for long hours

while news reporters reached for the grizzly section of their dictionaries

before their leaders reluctantly emerged

praying for the dead and shrieking revenge

for the ‘civilised world’

thus abandoning the normal rule of law

people’s rights, those still alive

their privacy

their feelings

and substituting instead of moral obligation and leadership tags

more energies towards committing even worse atrocities

in Afghanistan

an already beleaguered country, desperately poor and mostly hungry

ravished by years of continuous war

and not looking forward now one week after the twins died

and the world sank to its knees

but looking back to how they kept out

the Russians and British amongst others

by guile and bravery

and needing more guile than bravery now

as the world watches, trapped in a tragic embrace

of death.

the Sunday papers try to make sense of the aftermath

of destruction of the twin towers in Manhattan, New York

following over one week of War and Revenge rhetoric

from Washington and London aided by suspicion

in the unerring propaganda machine of Government

behind television coverage

and the possibility growing in strength from isolated beginnings

in the wake of ‘You are for us or against us’

of an air of caution less the ‘allies,’ the US and the UK

blow the world away

and it could just happen

the build up of the War machine

taking on the usual pattern

jets taking off from mountain air bases and aircraft carriers

ships steaming out of harbour with flags waving

SAS and airborne divisions in training pictures falling out of the sky

tears of wives and children waving goodbye

flags and bands everywhere.

But no sign of the business community and therefore the link

‘Capitalists’ as they used to be called

but by switching channels

there appears a transparency

Wall Street spokespeople decrying the falling of the Dow Jones

airline stock, insurance stock as well as general mayhem

and now Afghanistan is being blamed for the stock market falls

life itself in some quarters

and these quarters are not slow to push supporters in front of television cameras

to frighten the global economy watchers

even if all the implications are not clear

as the pounds of War words begin to tip the scales of reasoning

and less we fail to take the message in

we are told how we are to be affected

pensions to tumble, taxes to go up, travel to be restricted

official snooping to be increased, privacy to go

all to be tied to War and Revenge

as inseparable as any chain of life

or death

arm chair generals and church leaders

politicians, stock holders, artisans

slogans flash across the screen

and the thinking becomes inseparable and inevitable

of life or death.

muffled sounds for caution interrupt the coverage

but still nowhere has a voice been heard to question the credentials of leadership

in this hour of truth, church visits and the various Gods people are calling down

Pillars of leadership, Pillars of Salt

and a President who pushed and punched the boundaries of democracy

to get elected

no different in fact from the nations’ leaders at which vengeful fingers are being pointed.

in the background backers of such democratic moves

enthusiasts of Son of Star Wars

a way of thinking much more dangerous than the destruction of the twin towers

ringing the globe with death

terror on a massive scale.

Will we be trying to analyse next Sunday the second aftermath?

the attack on Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Palestine, Pakistan, Egypt

Spain, Ireland, Turkey,

and then the retaliation aftermath scenarios, the backlash

the cleansing by others of our souls of mass destruction

our way of life or death

the pressures of living through it

over breakfast

down at the pub

how far we are from the nearest nuclear reactor, chemical factory or other targets

such as large cities?

we have seen the horror

the terrible horror

the scream of death through the pleadings of the living.

But will we ever see our way through the rhetoric to ask the right questions

such as

why did the twin towers have to die?

why did they do it?

and if we are anywhere near the conclusion that perhaps we are all part of the blame

wouldn’t it be better that we find out now

rather than later

or do we bury our heads in Afghanistan

as others before us?

2 Iraq Excuse Me - May 2003

If I can stop you for a moment Sir

to ask you what that gun is for

as you ride a heavily armoured vehicle

towards Baghdad

the town full of people

who for months have been waiting for you

to kill them,

if I can ask what is in your mind

and whether this is the same as is in your President’s mind

or his right sided men and women

his people

and whether what you have in mind to do

will do anyone any good

and whether you have considered the chances of your being

able to live with what you do

especially if it comes to your turn or your family’s turn

to face men with guns coming towards them

and the questions they might ask

before any action is taken

or is it too late for that?

3 Cold Warning

One word to encompass generations

drag consciousness from depths of mind

where angels and demons lurk

later to be developed by media

into community spirit sermons

on cowardice and heroism

church pulpit sermons surrounded by flags and uniforms

motives left in the shallowness of the holy water font

of grand designs

on truth

sods of battle see and hear inflicted on them

their memories

their comrades

as ceremonies of aftermath growing in glory

of fact and fiction

disposed of conflict realities

clothed in new history

presented nightly

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