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The Chilcott Report (a shortened version)

by Mickey 

Posted: 12 July 2017
Word Count: 164


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When Hans Blix simply couldn’t find
the threat claimed by the CIA,
George ‘Dubya’ Bush thought ‘never mind
I’ll bomb the bastards anyway.
 
My destiny I must fulfil,
for Resolutions I can’t wait.
Saddam Hussein I’m gonna kill
and neutralise his sovereign state.
 
I know a puppy who will back
a lawless war upon Iraq.
Vainglorious and, quite frankly, dim,
I’ll only have to flatter him
 
and let him think that he can be
a Sundance to my Cassidy.
And, though I know the threat is phoney
that won’t bother Teflon Tony.
 
This imbecile’s so keen to please
I’ll tell him “Lie to your MPs
and over me I’ll let you fawn
while walking on the White House lawn.
 
The British public will protest
but you know that it’s for the best,
and with doe-eyes on BBC
you can exude 'sincerity'.
 
Say it wouldn’t take an hour
for there to be a missile shower.
That’s the stuff the public likes
to justify pre-emptive strikes”.






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Comments by other Members



Cliff Hanger at 09:02 on 13 July 2017  Report this post
Hi Mike,

Just by way of a quick comment after an initial reading. I like the bite in this one but there are some anomalies. I don't think you can claim that Tony Blair is in any way dim. Deluded maybe. Concurring with GWB about their destiny and sharing a messianic fervour, but not dim.  I think it diminishes the piece to state that. So a bit more complexity in the argument would really help it. For example, I'm not sure it's as simple to say they ignored the lack of weapons. They'd sold Iraq a lot of weapons so knew what he had in his arsenal (I know this to be true because when I worked at the UN in the 1980s Sadam was everyone's buddy and they courted him and propped him up. It was only after he invaded Kuwait that he sealed his fate). I don't think this is a poem that examines the nuances of geopolitics but it shouldn't be over simplistic either. The '(a shortened version)' in the title made me laugh so it grabs you there and sets up your pov. There are some really good images like Sundance and Cassidy.

Like I say, this is just a quick go over. I think it's really worth working on this one so please don't move on too quickly unless you're 100% happy with it the way it is. I had a few more thoughts about Disco Dan (eew) but he disappeared from view smartish.

Jane

James Graham at 20:38 on 14 July 2017  Report this post
Jane is correct about Blair not being dim, and you would have to take that out of the poem. This is still good stuff, though. A poem like this can’t take on the complexities of geopolitics, but it can – and does – make telling points. The first verse, to take just one example:
When Hans Blix simply couldn’t find
the threat claimed by the CIA,
George ‘Dubya’ Bush thought ‘never mind
I’ll bomb the bastards anyway.

Dubya’s thought is probably quite close to the mark. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was his first thought, and he not only thought it but said it, in private at least. GWB was somewhat dim, and relied on much smarter guys like Cheney and Colin Powell to handle the propaganda.

You do need a new idea for the third verse, to replace this bit:
                 quite frankly, dim,
I’ll only have to flatter him
 
and let him think

How to describe Blair instead of ‘dim’?  Crafty, shrewd, artful, foxy? Go-getting, power-hungry, on the make? Self-seeking, self-serving? Defenders of Blair would hotly deny these, but he has been criticised along these lines.

GWB could still ‘flatter’ Tony, but he wouldn’t have to ‘let him think’ anything; he would think it for himself. ‘He’s sure to think’? Also get rid of ‘imbecile’ in verse 5.

Something to think about – move the second verse to the end. It really packs a punch and would make a strong finale. It would read as if Dubya has thought through the situation – as far as he can, given his limitations – and is now psyching himself up for action. One change I’d suggest: ‘and occupy his sovereign state’. They didn’t exactly neutralise Iraq, more like colonised it.

Now Mike, hear my plea. Don’t remove this poem tomorrow. Let’s have a revision! smiley Just click ‘Owner edit’ and post your revision above the original.

Jane’s right here too, by the way:
They'd sold Iraq a lot of weapons…in the 1980s Saddam was everyone's buddy and they courted him and propped him up

He was later punished because he was seen to be a threat to Western control of the region’s oil resources. Another point that isn’t always made is that – thanks not so much to Saddam personally as to his Ba’ath party – in the 70s and 80s Iraq was acknowledged to be close to the ‘top of the second division’, i.e. one of the most successful Third World countries in providing health services, social housing, schools, a minimum wage etc. Bush senior’s 1991 attack, sanctions, and the Bush-Blair invasion put paid to most of that.

James.


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