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09 December, 2003

Soft or Hard Lethality

There is something disconcerting about watching an aeroplane (jet fighter) stop in mid air, hover, then reverse. The plane should either go forward or it should fall out of the sky.

Even more disconcerting is to wander inside the sky souq that is the biennial Dubai Air Show, and read taglines such as "minimum collateral damage!" and the abovementioned lethality emblazoned alongside the very weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was not allowed to have, even if he had had them, which it seems he probably quite clearly hadn't.

The WMD in this case is some vile steel cylinder that cleverly sprays and detonates smaller bombs all around it, with the unexploded ones ending up as bonus free anti-personnel landmines. Doubtless the sheikhs will be snapping them up - if they're actually allowed to own them.



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