[Reader-list] Letter from Tony

Dr. Alok Rai alokrai at hss.iitd.ernet.in
Fri Oct 19 18:21:50 IST 2001

Here's something for the List:

A message from Tony

A L Kennedy
Tuesday October 16, 2001
The Guardian

Kabul Drop Zone, Leaflet No 17
Hello to our Afghan friends. Or "Shalom", as you put
it. Oh, no, that's the other lot, isn't? Mind you -
one's as awkward as the other, when you think about

No, no. Only joking - British sense of humour, it's
the envy of the free, crusading world. And it's just
one of the many gifts we're dying (no pun intended) to
give you. All of us over here remember very clearly
how our sense of humour got us through the blitz. Our
relatives may have been atomised by high explosives
from above, but did we grumble? - not a bit of it. We
sang songs, robbed sleeping strangers in the
underground and jolly well got on with it. And you can
do the same.

Yes indeed, even though we're killing you and your
fellow non-combatants in difficult-to-confirm numbers,
it's for your own good. It will be character-forming
in the long run. We've never really been as happy as
we were when Mr Hitler was maiming our mothers and
pulverising our infants with searing shrapnel. And
now, even the smallest sporting occasion is an excuse
for us to roll out the flags and banners, the old
songs and the wartime slogans.

Soon you'll doing the same, believe us. We know you
currently tend to use your football pitches for mass
executions, but eventually we know you'll see the
error of your ways. I mean, don't get me wrong, the
president of the United States is rarely happier than
when he's offing a bad egg or two but, please, do it
the Christian way - by lethal injection. We'll sell
you all the necessary equipment at very reasonable

Which brings me to our central aim - selling you
necessary equipment. For goodness sake, you can't even
shelter in an underground because we haven't built you
one. How are we supposed to destroy your
infrastructure when you've shown no interest in
acquiring more than a few yards of road and half an
airport? No taking out exorbitant loans, no exchanging
backhanders with lobbyists and no handing over your
independence to multinationals and the IMF. I mean,
what's wrong with you people - don't you want to be

Once we've dropped the first few thousand 15,000lb
bombs, believe me, your country's going to be a lot
less mountainous and awkward than it was - ideal for a
major development of motorway and rail networks. We
can help you with that.

The people of Britain would be delighted to send you
over executives, specialists, in fact, the whole damn
staff of a wonderful organisation called Railtrack
which will provide you with literally stunning railway
lines and signalling in no time. And we guarantee that
its services will kill far fewer innocent civilians
than we ever will.

Look, I know the last time we asked you to stand
shoulder to shoulder with us, we just sent over a few
SAS men to research their novels and then rather
dropped you in it with the Russians and the raging
poverty and extremism and so forth, but things will be
different this time. We will not walk away. No. We're
going to stay - even though, frankly, a great deal of
your countryside is going to be a tad radioactive with
all the depleted uranium we'll have blasted into it.

Nevertheless, we will happily build you, for example,
pricey hospitals to accept the deformed children of
the wealthy new class of capitalist robber barons
we'll create. Everyone else's children can choose to
sell a kidney in exchange for treatment, or simply
enjoy the benefits of random genetic mutation - that's
the free market for you.

Meanwhile, you'll be offered a rich variety of
satisfying new jobs - the kind of employment you
goatherds and opium farmers have only dreamed of.
You'll be able to stitch trainers, jeans, or even
cheap, Gucci replicas. Or we'll help you get those
clever, foreign fingers of yours busy assembling parts
for mobile phones, personal organisers and other
humanitarian devices. Some of you may earn up to £1 a
month! I know it's difficult to believe, but this is
the wonderland that our missiles and token food drops
are bringing you.

And remember, no glumness and resentment and no
thinking you'll slip off and become an economic
refugee just because your village is covered in body
parts and broken flour bags and your belongings have
gone up in smoke. That's no reason to leave. Between
you and me, turning up in Dover as a refugee, just
because we made you one, wouldn't be wise. We do have
Muslims here, almost all of them Good Muslims, but we
don't particularly want any more - all that
inter-racial understanding and international social
responsibility, it's not really British.

So, Ally-Akbar, as Cherie and I often say, and

Best wishes,

Tony Blair,

US ambassador to the world

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