War… what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Which was the original title of Tolstoy’s most famous book. Instead he settled on War and Peace, and we will never know if the original title would have created more success for this underrated Russian But war, is it all bad? Can men in indie-kid clothes, shooting at other men who are forced into battle by their CIA-backed tyrants, really be wrong? Is oppressing inferior races who don't believe in allergies and refuse to wear jeans necessarily a bad thing? Yes. But pushing that to one side, ever since our childhoods, when we crashed a plastic truck over our little sister’s head to steal a Wham bar, we humans have realised the joy of battle. It is just one small step from the crib to the SAS after all. My father decided I would be a soldier at the age of three, since he had spent all the family savings on MDMA and heard the army was a sweet deal.
Living with the British soldiers in Iraq, I learnt the true price of war. I was shocked to see men cower in fear each night, popping speed cubes, biting their nails through bulletproof gloves, cringing as the Colonel screamed for one more yard, one more push, one more dead body, that would lead to the end of this horrific, tear-stained, slightly racist war. One soldier, who shall remain anonymous as he was an unreliable source and not, strictly speaking, in the army, told me, ‘I can’t take this, the Americans have killed my family, I have no food or water, why is this happening?’
‘Shit,‘ I said, ‘I didn’t mean to interview you.’ Now it is 2011 and the war is winding down. No one wants it, and no one wants to hear about it. Except me, because I bloody well care. Over 25 million Iraqis have been killed since the start of the war in 2003 and only 7 allied soldiers are dead in return. These are not my words, but the words of the Sunni Mullah; Al Bingo. I visited Al (left) in his teapot type house to give an insight into the views of the united Iraqi people, innocents who wish only to be left alone to study their illustrious Persian history, live off the oil fields, and marinate their Feta salads. ‘Mr Al Bingo,’ I said, ‘What do you have to say to the American president?’
‘Stay off our land,’ Al Bingo said, ‘You are not welcome. Pass the Tropicana please.’
‘What do you think of President Obama?’
‘I like him, he is a good man. But he always wants credit for shit he’s supposed to do.’’
‘You seem very knowledgeable about western culture. Do you have HBO, have you seen The Wire?’
‘I have not,’ Al Bingo said wistfully. ‘Not yet. But I mean to.’ I shook my head in disappointment, knowing
full well he may never find the time.
‘How can we end this wretched war?’ I inquired, noticing he was loading his AK.
‘Complete withdrawal of allied troops and US oil companies from Iraq and Syria, and a commitment from
the United States of America to rebuild all Iraq’s infrastructures by 2020.’
‘That seems bloody unlikely,’ I said. Then I spat on his foot.
So war, as you can see, is more complicated than it seems at first glance. Who are the good guys?
Who are the bad guys? It’s not easy to know. But what we can say, whatever side of the world we live on,
whatever side of this planet the sun shines out of, the one truth we can all hold on to: The Wire is