On one/fifteen/oh three
worldwide demonstrations were dismissed
by the Bush Administration
as "focus groups", assisted
by U.S. corporate-owned media "reporting",
the objectives of The Regime,
since objectivity is purported to meet with reprisal
which threatens the survival of journalistic careers.
Beheadings and kidnappings serve to deter
reporters and worldwide aid organizations
enabling private "military" corporations
like Bechtel and Halliburton
to bear "the White Man's burden"
by continuing to aid the occupation,
subjugation and devastation
of Iraq with a free hand
at dismantling the country's infrastructure
and siphoning off all the profit they can
by using foreign workers when
Iraqi unemployment stands
at seventy per cent. Reminiscent
of vampire corporations using job exportation
to bring Americans to groveling subsistence.
Engineers and doctors drive their cars
as taxis to feed their families.
The costs of war include massacres
and slaughter, bullet-riddled
mosques with blood-stained carpets,
children dead, mass graves of innocents,
the inextinguishable burning
of white phosphorous.
Shattered hospitals, families living in the streets,
dead and rotted bodies being eaten
by cats and dogs for two weeks
while the military denied relief teams
access to Fallujah's streets.
The underestimated death toll,
bodies tossed in the Euphrates,
Abu Ghraib. Mass execution solutions,
neighborhoods bombed into rubble,
entire families incinerated in houses
where they huddled. Whole towns blown
completely out of this world. And
this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Basic services and distribution systems
are nowhere near repaired,
so people die from hunger, water borne
disease and inadequate healthcare.
And as soldiers are attacked
over 100 times in twenty-four hours,
there are many more deaths as a result
of fright-triggered random gunfire.
The military killing of so many civilians
stems from the fact that soldiers are trying
to maintain an untenable position
fighting a guerilla war
while the administration ignores
that insurgents enjoy massive support
from infuriated people who remember
loving someone who's died,
so there's no wonder there's
anger that shoots from their eyes
at U.S. military patrols
as they go rumbling by
or that there's dancing and cheering
and revenge churning
as GIs die screaming
and writhing and burning
military vehicle funeral pyres
as if the pain could be ameliorated
by cleansing with fire.
These attacks can come from anywhere,
at any time and be launched by anyone.
Didn't we do this in Viet Nam?
Is this a re-run?!
And we have four supersized,
permanent ! military bases there.
Where the hell did they come from?!
Too much of this war is conducted in secrecy.
This is all too deja familiar to me.
Iraqi oil reserves were supposed
to support both the war and reconstruction,
but Iraq's oil's been removed from world markets
helping to drive oil prices upward.
Iraq is importing ALL of its gas and has
miles-long fill-up lines. Isn't that funny?
Just who benefits from attacks on Iraq's
oil infrastructure? Follow the money.
(And remember that 28-page omission
in the report of the 9/11 commission?)
Now we're damned if we do and damned if we don't.
Whether we stay with the Iraqis or leave them alone.
More troops will speed up
the spiral of engagement.
Withdrawal could leave them with civil war
on top the present devastation.
Most of the people in every other
country on the face of the earth
oppose America's agenda in Iraq,
but for what it's worth,
most Americans don't know many Muslims,
but may hate them with such ferocity
that they can't get too worked up
about a few Polaroid picture atrocities.
Vi Ransel lives in New York, and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Poems by Vi Ransel