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Pictures of Iraq

By       Message Vi Ransel     Permalink
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Pictures of Iraq


On one/fifteen/oh three
worldwide demonstrations were dismissed
by the Bush Administration
as "focus groups", assisted
by US corporate media "reporting",
mindlessly supporting
the objectives of The Regime,
since objectivity is purported
to meet with reprisal
which threatens the survival
of journalistic careers.

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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 as
Iraqi unemployment stands
at seventy per cent
reminiscent
of vampire corporations
using job exportation
to bring Americans workers
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 to 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 service and distribution systems
are nowhere near repaired,
so people die from hunger, water borne
diseases and inadequate health care.
And as soldiers are attacked
over 100 times in 24 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 US military patrols
as they go rumbling by
or that there's dancing
and cheering
and revenge churning
as G.I.s die screaming
and writhing and burning
in insurgent-created
military vehicle
funeral pyres
as if the pain
could be ameliorated
by cleansing with fire.

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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.
I'm stunned!
Where the Hell did they come from?!
Too much of this war
is conducted in secrecy.
This is all too
deja familiar for me.

Iraqi oil reserves were supposed
to support both the war
and reconstruction, but
Iraq's oil's been removed
from world markets
driving the price of oil
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 may enable 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 any Muslims
but may hate them
with such a ferocity
they can't get too worked up
about a few
Polaroid picture atrocities.


- Vi Ransel
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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

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