War of the Worlds (Think ii – 4 of 7)

Orson Welles played with the American public on radio in 1938 and made them believe an alien invasion from outer space (as inspired by the fictitious ‘War of the Worlds’) was actually taking place. There was mass panic and hysteria. Now we in Britain1 laugh our heads off, exclaiming: “How stupid were these Americans!”

Ha ha ha…


Nowadays they tell the gullible public across the mainstream media and across the great, wide earth about the ‘fact’ of a perpetual global terrorist threat (since 2001) that is still currently – imminently – at this very second – taking place… This is the new ‘War of the Worlds’ conceived by government officials with brains from outer space.

And yet, there is mass panic and hysteria. Even we in Britain (run around screaming, strangling neighbours, lynching mobs, jumping off tall buildings) just like our fellow Americans had done and were doing again – even as we quietly, politely, wait in orderly lines at bus stops; giving a gentle nod, a half-wink, tolerating a ‘top of the morning to ya’ to the ‘other’ coming down the street.

What is this secret dread? Politically correct, we tread. Afraid to even talk…

Should we be so worried not to offend when the governments stake the world at the feet of plutocracy, the god of the dead.

To hell with fear! Say what you must say!

Tell them how you’ve been masterfully played! How in years to come, our sons will be laughing at our stupidity.

Assuming, that is, that they’ve not been sold already in blood (for material gains) to the narrative they’ve been writing about a World War III.

In the meantime, our heads chopped won’t stop the real aliens from laughing.

Ha ha ha…


No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth2 century that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of ‘space’3. No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinised as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few may have even considered the possibility of ‘life on other planets’4. And yet across the gulf of ‘space’, minds immeasurably “superior” to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes. And slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us.”

Vocal recording by Sir Richard Burton.

Adapted script by Jeff Wayne’s for his ‘War of the Worlds’ musical album (1978).

Based on the opening chapter, ‘Eve of War’ in the book ‘War of the Worlds’ by H. G. Wells (1898).


Arif uz Zaman

April 2013


For the poem ‘Your Wonderful World‘, please click here.

For the poem ‘The Malhamah Al Kubra‘ (The Coming of the Great War)…


1Ironically, the listening public in Britain were similarly affected to a minor panic, earlier, in the 1926 broadcast by Ronald Knox on BBC Radio about a riot taking over London.

2And through to the end of the Twentieth Century when Samuel Huntingdon proposed his ‘Clash of Civilisations’ thesis (1992)

3 Actually meaning: ‘Modernity’

4 Actually meaning: ‘Evil in our own midst’


Filed under Arif uz Zaman: Poetry, Poetry, War in Errorism

4 responses to “War of the Worlds (Think ii – 4 of 7)

  1. An interesting comparison and not without merit. Unlike the fictional martian invasion, the bogus war on terrorism is self-fulfilling and perpetuating. It could be sustained indefinitely.

    War is Peace.
    Freedom is Slavery
    Ignorance is Strength

    Turns out Orwell was quite an optimistic chap.


    • Thank you Richard for your pertinent comments, as always. You’re right. I think they should make Orwell essential reading in all primary schools across the globe and call all homework related to it, ‘Spot the Difference’ and ‘Connect the Dots’.


  2. maryamchahine

    This is an absolutely great comparison! Welles had the public fooled good. Now it is no longer actors fooling us, but our government.

    Yes, Americans have been roped in by fear ever since 2001. After the Boston bombings, police and swat teams were breaking into people’s homes. Previously such action would have been illegal until something was signed a year or two ago making it legal. Then when the bombs went off in Boston more laws were passed to invade our privacy. Fear does a great many things, including trampling upon and changing the very foundation of America which is its Constitution.


    • Your summary is spot on, Maryam 🙂

      We truly live in “Interesting times”. Judging by the privacy laws passed through, I’m sure even more serious laws will be revoked…


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