by Heathcote Williams
The Parisian atrocities were born in Libya
Where Cameron, Sarkozy, and Obama
Murdered twelve thousand Libyans between sips
Of Downing Street and Oval Office coffee.
The mastermind of the Paris massacres
Was Abdelhamid Abaaoud
A member of Katibat al-Battar al-Libi –
As ISIS’s Libyan brigade is called.
He saw himself as fighting for Libya,
Along with his brother Younis.
Abaaoud was fighting for disaffected Libyans
Long before the formation of ISIS.
Why would he do so? To make common cause
With those who’d seen their country destroyed
By Cameron’s bombs and drones and assassinations
Ensuring that Libya was ruined and doomed.
Since 1990 Western wars have killed four million Muslims,
According to the Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Western governments however keep no accurate records.
Dead Muslims deserve only an inhuman invisibility.
The military industrial complex’s loose talk about ISIS
And of their “cutting off the rattlesnake’s head”
Risks neglecting the fact that its rattle can resonate
And continue rattling long after it’s dead.
It’s easy to demonize people as psychotic monsters
And to forget what goes around comes around,
As Cameron plans destroying Syria and killing innocents
To avenge Paris, for which he is partly to blame.
A Prime Minister who photoshops a poppy onto his official portrait
In order to enhance his patriotism
And who claims that 70,000 “moderate” Syrians wish for his bombs
Is a dangerous sham who’s prone to self-deception.
The now familiar black flag of the Islamic State
With its white letters ‘No God but God”
Is black because in early Islam the colour was for mourning
But it’s also for revenge for those wrongfully dead.
ISIS controls an area larger than Great Britain –
A hermit kingdom where people disappear.
It’s guided by the fourteen hundred year old prophecies
Of the “pious forefathers”, in a rule of fear –
Where millenarian visions of wars between good and evil
And apocalyptic revelations
Require the end of all unbelievers and of the crusaders,
Aided by messianic acts of self-immolation.
But the more bombs that are dropped the more the volume
Is turned up on ISIS’s threats and on its anger:
“We started with Paris and we shall finish with the false White House…
“We shall render the White House black with our fire.”
An unidentified young man with flowing beard and ISIS headdress
Announces this in a recent ISIS broadcast…
The West has attacked fourteen Muslim countries in thirty years
And now wonders why it’s stirred up a hornet’s nest.
“We have to have a war” said Groucho Marx in ‘Duck Soup’,
“I’ve already paid a month’s rent on the battlefield”.
And likewise politicians give war’s homicidal cauldron a stir,
If only from force of habit while innocent fates are sealed.
In resigning from the US armed forces, four drone operators
Released the following statement: “We came to the realization
“That the innocent civilians we were killing only fueled
“The feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism
“And groups like ISIS while also serving
“As a fundamental recruitment tool.”
In the week this statement was released Cameron
Orders a new fleet of drones as, classically, the fool
Persists in his folly, and as Prime Minister Cameron
Is part of the military-industrial-complex
Which needs war, and which lives off arms dealing,
And which curses peace with the deadliest hex.
The attempt to lay waste to fourteen Muslim countries
Triggers war’s boomerangs, and it clones
Suicide bombers and it compels their continuous retaliation
For thermobaric destruction by robot drones.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction:
Bomb craters, like petri dishes, created ISIS
As did the West’s torture chambers and its prisons –
Their pressure cookers for Islamic resistance.
In Camp Bucca in Southern Iraq the West detained
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who’d found ISIS.
He’d also anoint himself Caliph and it was his torture
In this Western jail that’s prompted the present crisis.
The world seems doomed to dance on the heads of snakes
In an unending cycle of violence
That has it peering with paranoia into the rear-view mirror
Instead of its reviving common sense.
Two imperialising powers with their redundant deities
Lock horns – their Bronze Age gods in competition –
Whilst both voraciously suck at the oil beneath desert sands
And both invite each other to eternal perdition.