‘THE MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS’
(‘enemies’ who share a hatred of ‘mothers’)
[cartoon reproduction image displayed by permission of Michael Leunig]
One of Michael Leunig’s very famous cartoon images which are renown for their courageous critique of socio-political injustice(s) in Australia and throughout the world. Here Michael Leunig responds to one of the most appalling statements to come out of any war:
‘THE MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS’ (2003)
In 1991 the ‘Overall New Word of the Year’ was ‘won’ by the term: “Mother of All”. This came into the language at the time of the first Iraq war – alluding to Sadam Hussein’s statement on January 17th 1991, on Baghdad State Radio that the American attack of Iraq would result in the:
‘THE MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES’
In an apparently mutually agreed form of destructive and misogynist collaboration, the United States developed a weapon in 2003 with the acronym ‘MOAB’ (Massive Ordinance Air Blast’) that has become synonymous with the ‘Mother of All Bombs’ (MOAB) !!
This horrendous weapon: has remained ‘popular’ ‘as a top US Air Force general [in 2012] described [it as] the biggest conventional warhead – the 30,000-pound bunker buster bomb – “great” for a military strike on Iran. … It is said to be the most fearsome explosive weapon among a range of massive-blast ordinance developed by the Pentagon over the past decade.’
AND ‘NOW’ A CURRENT EXAMPLE OF THE USE OF THIS TERRIBLE WEAPONRY WITH ITS ONGOING HORRENDOUS AND TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE ‘FEMINISATION’ AS AN ‘MOAB’:
My poem, ‘Languaged Lies’, shares with Michael Leunig the same disgust at the implicit hatred and denigration of women contained in the appropriation of the word ‘mother’ for the cruellest of ideas and inventions- in all these contexts.
The mother holds– the mother loves– the mother soothes the tiniest cries
Glissando coos and ‘motherese’ enmesh- entrance -the child’s eyes
Then- the ‘Mother of all wars’ they said
??? !!! The ‘Mother’ of all wars !!! ???
Are wars replete with love and strength
Or just ‘lullabies’ of languaged LIES
‘Smart’ and ‘smarter’!! – ‘brilliant bombs’ – let’s: ‘fire and forget’
‘Pacify’ – ‘waste’ and ‘neutralize’
‘Degrade’ – exterminate – ‘ATTRITE’
‘Precisely’ – ‘surgically rectified’ …
The dead are smoked
The bones are ground
‘Redacted’ and ‘resolved’
And ‘collateral damaged’ we go on
With languaged lies our cage.
Della Foxglove 2014