The British military’s recruiting squadron
The Bray War Show has gleefully announced that the British air force Red Arrows will strut their stuff over the skies of Bray, and probably Dublin, this July.
The organisers of this war show forgot to mention that only last month, on 19 March, a Red Arrows jet crashed, killing one of the plane’s occupants. What sort of carnage could we expect if such an incident occurred over densely populated Bray?
The history of the Red Arrows and the history of war shows have been littered with terrible mishaps. Let’s face it: the Bray War Show is an accident waiting to happen.
But there is also another dangerous element to this war show. The British Ministry of Defence does not pay for the RAF’s aerobatic team out of the kindness of its dark heart. There is an ulterior motive. A glance at the Red Arrows’ web site reveals the real aim behind these displays: “to carry out defence diplomacy overseas”—in other words, propaganda—and “to aid recruitment into the Armed Forces.”
So, by sending its Red Arrows to Bray the intention is to recruit gullible young Irish men and women to sign up to the British armed forces and put their lives at risk by going to occupy foreign lands, to oppress and kill the “natives” on behalf of the British empire.
Of course, for the would-be recruit a visit to the Bray War Show is meant to be an exhilarating experience as these machines of death scream overhead. There’ll be no bombs dropped or heavy gunfire, just red, white and blue smoke. These war displays are a means to sanitise and therefore glorify war.
However, in the war zones of the Middle East the sound of these warplanes generates terror, not titillation, for the people below.
They are weapons of mass destruction: they indiscriminately kill, maim, and terrorise. To have these on show as a form of light entertainment not only glorifies war but also presents the Irish people as supporters of the horrendous acts of violence carried out by these warplanes.
That is why we must urge the organisers to remove this weaponry from the event, and for Wicklow County Council to stop subsidising this obscenity. With a little imagination the air show could continue with the same level of success as before but without these unwelcome weapons of mass destruction.
The question that must be asked is, Should planes that kill other people’s children be fun for ours?