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WMD are back in the news again, like a synthpop band (War-mongering Manoeuvres in the Dark?) from the Cold War days reforming for a comeback tour and a new album for the twenty-first century. Under the spotlight this week is a song that takes a lot of the language of the current Gulf War and reclaims it in the language of love. Like swords into ploughshares – killing words into loving words.
You’re a weapon of mass seduction, please let me inspect you tonight.
In May 2003 I had just moved into a new house in Co. Clare. Late into the night I was unwinding outdoors at a little festive Bealtaine fire after the exertions of the move, all alone with my guitar. Gulf War II was two months old at that stage. Before and after the invasion we had been bombarded with a constant stream of euphemisms describing the war in palatable terms. This love song sprang forth to reclaim all those phrases that had been misappropriated by the warmongers.
- Collateral damage inconvenient, unavoidable, but people will insist to live in a warzone
- Embedded get a closer view of the killing by joining forces with the perpetrators
- Endgame it’s hard to stop killing once your start, especially when you don’t have a plan
- Friendly fire killing some of your own
- Hearts and minds vain belief that the friends and family of those you are killing will understand the good work you are doing
- Human shield all those schools, hospitals and houses that have to be blasted out of the way to get to the important killing
- Scorched the Earth bears witness to the blanket bombing
- Shock and awe indiscriminate killing by waging war on land and from the air
- Softening up defences killing to make more killing easier
- Weapons of Mass Destruction Literary device (fiction) for the justification of illegitimate war