The Militarisation of Viagra

A recent report indicates that among the thefts from the MoD this year, was £6,000 of Viagra, the anti-impotence treatment.  The MoD claimed it held those stocked as it was useful for air sickness, but who really believes that.  Most of the response has been of the “nudge, nudge, wink wink, perks of the job” variety, but seriously why did the MoD have a stockpile of Viagra?

Viagra is, as I’m sure you are aware, an anti-impotence drug.  A wondrous breakthrough to those men who suffered unbearably because they could not *ahem* perform *ahem* as expected.  Their lives were suddenly transformed allowing them to achieve their their full and rich potential and the development money well spent considering the profound improvement in quality of life.  Viagra, the miracle drug.

The MoD claims that it also has uses as an anti-aircraft sickness treatment, but surely there are other forms of aircraft sickness treatment that don’t involve having to deal with a hard on.  Admittedly, I have lady bits so I’m not the best qualified to comment, but it seems to me as rather a handicap in flying a plane.   What about a perk, like perhaps a stash of Scotch Whisky to distribute surreptitiously to keep up morale?  Very doubtful, the military prides itself on its clean cut image.  A stash of Scotch maybe -(bending the rules, mate, bending ‘em) but a registered pharmaceutical .  No, not their style.

So, why were the Ministry of Defense holding Viagra?  Occam’s Razor is the key here.  The obvious answer is that it is part of their equipment, that it is in fact being used as part of their armory.  The  first person I said this  to envisioned some militarised strain of Viagra that would cause grievous bodily harm, exploding the genitals of those who consumed it, but the reality is not quite so dramatic.  The militarisation of Viagra takes a much more insidious form than mere exploding genitals.

The first reference that I can find of Viagra being used in a war zone is in 2008, where it was revealed that the CIA were bribing Afghan warlords with Viagra in exchange for information on Taliban positions, while last month, another report emerged of UK use of Viagra in Afghanistan, where “large quantities” of Viagra were being distributed to the patriarchs of Afghanistan in exchange for their loyalty.   The use of Viagra in Afghanistan appears to have been used as a means of simultaneously shoring up the power of elderly patriarchs,  ensuring that the now un-cuckoldable would be grateful to the west for their continuing potency.

 Handing out Viagra in essence endorses marital and extra-marital rape because that is what is going to happen. Implementing a foreign policy that encourages forced sexual-gratification as a consequence cannot be wise. Indeed, the US can airlift in plane loads of Viagra to Afghanistan and the results will be little in terms of winning the war. But, the sexual torture they are encouraging will no doubt increase…

Misunderstanding the Enemy with Viagra

Rape as a weapon of war, first properly surfaced in Western conciousness following the Bosnian War.  The rape of Nanking and the “comfort women” of wartime Japan were well documented, but remote, while the experiences of women mass raped during the Second European war are only just starting to surface now.  A decade later, the sexualised violence of the Great War of Africa and its ongoing rumblings in the DRC have cemented rape as a weapon of war in the public conciousness.  In the DRC, the level of sexual violence is so high, that new words have had to be coined for it to fully describe the experiences that have been lived there.  There is now, for example, a word for “a woman who requires genital surgery having previously been operated upon“.  Mass rapes and sexual terrorism is common as well as the many assaults and murders, fracturing families and communities.  Like almost all wars in Africa, reading the papers will tell you all about the tribal conflicts, the old loyalties, and disjointed stories of horror, but look behind and the horror is worse.  The horror is intended; funded and supported by the West all to get its grubby little hands on the country’s resources.

In 2011, Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN claimed that Gadaffi was supplying Viagra to Libyan troops as part of a strategy to encourage mass rape.  To a world familiar with Bosnia and the DRC, the pattern of mass rape in a warzone was plausible enough, yet the story was complete bunkum.  The idea that a US pharmaceutical manufacturer would breach sanctions to provide a drug to Gaddaffi is simply laughable, however sexual terrorism did emerge in other places in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. In Egypt, female protestors faced severe sexual violence, including penetration by knife, and in Syria, the mass rapes are back including sustained and serious sexual torture.  What Rice’s tale does show, is that the US recognises both the disruptive power of sexual terrorism and Viagra as a potential facilitator of that terrorism.

The level of sexual violence in post-invasion Afghanistan is horrific, while women turned into conduits of men’s power and punishment.    In both Yemen and Iraq, both regions of substantial Western intervention, Viagra use also has become common, promoting the resurrection of flailing patriarchal control.  At present, Viagra use by the military has been used for defensive purposes – to buy loyalty within existing power structures, but with so much at stake, and morals thin on the ground, how long is it before it finds a few uses in more …robust operations.  No weaponised strain required.

A drug that was invented for mainly rich white middle-aged to elderly men, to keep their potency has been more successful than they could have dreamed, not only promoting their personal potency, but shoring up the potency of their demographic.  For it is mainly rich white middle-aged to elderly men who do well out of its wider successes and Black women who suffer its side effects.

 

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