The Game of Chance and War on an Industrial Scale

MARCH 27 2012 YELLOW HOUSE DIARY. I am writing from Kabul , having finished shooting Love City (doc) ,our new drama ‘Simorgh’ and creating the Yellow House . Yesterday I got 8 of our Yellow House group to come up from Jalalabad and meet the Australian Ambassador and his staff. I was very proud of the YH group as they arrived in flash new western style suits with collars and ties and shiny shoes. The meeting went well but during it we were interrupted a couple of times by the sad news that a consultant for Ausaid and his team had been targeted by a suicide bomber and were struggling for their lives with very serious injuries. It made me realize how lucky we had been to be in one piece and not tragically injured or killed. The Ambassador revealed that it costs one million dollars per year for one Australian Soldier in Afghanistan . Boy ! What could we do at the Yellow House with the budget of one soldier ! The maximum grant we can get for our project is just $10,000 as our Government has reduced this kind of aid to almost zero . The Industrial Revolution in England and Europe made ‘big war’ inevitable – millions of rural and manual workers were without jobs so needed to be used for canon fodder before they turned to revolution. Here in Afghanistan modern war industry equipment is killing very poor rural people who have never seen TV or experienced electricity. The industry of war is all consuming and makes no apologies for its cost. It was sad to put my colourful artists back in their car to travel to Jalalabad while knowing their expectations of my rich home country , Australia , assisting them with ongoing funding was only a dream – and they will be lucky if, after I have helped them fill out dozens of application forms,to get anything more than a token amount. I watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie to switch off after our meeting . In it the evil genius Moriati is buying bandages and canons and tanks and munitions factories and trying to start a world war. Holmes foils his 1892 attempt but Moriati says to Holmes ‘ war on an industrial scale is inevitable ‘ . Then I think of another movie , ‘Company Men’ which is about the end of industry in the US . The vast ship yard which was once producing frigates and luxury liners is now dormant – like Detroit – the once busy factories are ghost buildings with broken windows , rust and metal scavengers.The only people making money are those shuffle it in banks and on the stock exchange. This makes me ask “If Industry on a large scale is over in the US and most of Europe , how long will their foreign wars continue on an Industrial Scale ? ” It would be great to see war decline the way other industries have . While Industry is booming in asia there are now millions of unemployed in what were once industrial giants, especially in the US. It is worrying to guess what kind of war machine will consume them ? Human nature has always used war to prune what is no longer productive in the profit garden. Just as the anarchists were featured in the late 1890’s disruptions in the Sherlock Holmes movie – Occupy Wall Street and similar anti corruption movements are gathering at the doors of the powerful. After Holmes I watched Hoover – Clint Eastwood’s new movie. This seemed an appropriate double bill .Sherlock would have been impressed with Edgar’s ability to organise forensic science and develop it to what it is now. They were both cross dressers and may have had a gay old time in the lab with some test tubes and formaldehyde . A very overweight Ugandan UN consultant just came in to where I am eating breakfast and typing. He is a good double for Idi Amin and is on crutches. I asked him what had happened to him and he had “slipped in the toilet because the cleaners had left the tiles wet’. He started lamenting all the latest news of ISAF military casualties . I said ” what do you expect when you have all those thousands and thousands of soldiers crowed together for a year or more without women and the general denial by the US military that men have sexual needs. Of course , this will find an outlet in aggression and acts of madness.” Then I remembered what the Ambassador said about just one soldier costing a million dollars to be kept on duty in Afghanistan for one year.It seems Moriati has descendants in the war industry in 2012 and the game is still the same. George G Kabul. Continue reading