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July 27, 2016

War just ain't what it used to be

By Philip Kraske

After a long easy run, now war is coming home to us.


I peer around careful as I troll for a snack,
Thinking afresh of a "Big Mac Attack,"
And pondering the virtues of takeout Chinese,
Lest bilious teenager has a trigger to squeeze.
Or call in a pizza and a movie from Flicks,
And lock all the doors and safe get my kicks.

Back in the day, this wasn't nearly so hard.
We made war abroad and at home lay in lard.
Our enemies were folks who traveled uneasy,
Koreans and V-Cong whose English was queasy,
Panamanians and Grenadians of stoic good sense,
Who watched us storm beaches and chuck presidents.

Or we'd send the spooks and muck up their nations,
Bribe their leaders and get 'em hooked on big rations
Of economic aid in the form of huge loans,
That none could repay without selling their bones.
Well, it was progress, it was slick crime that pays,
And makes us now sigh for those good ol' days.

'Cause now we've picked fights among touchy hot folks:
The land of bazaars where Mohammed all stokes.
Our foes now move, they have flashy i-Phones,
Frequent-flier cards and big Facebook jones,
Indignant and righteous jihad web pages:
Goth music, blood vids and bearded web-sages,

All they need is a kid on his luck down,
With rifle or truck and willing to drown,
To give us a taste of Aleppo's black strife,
If just one mad youth with a well-sharpened knife,
Against whom we match but thick-vested teams,
Who can shoot a bad perp but not prevent schemes.

It's not quite a war and it's more than a pain,
So now you think twice 'bout seeing a ballgame,
And mull o'er the point of these blind-angry guys:
"We can decide who'll fall and who'll rise.
About Caliphate West we don't give a pop,
We just want you out and to run our own shop."

It's a point with some merit and quite deeply felt,
But try making it heard in the Washington Belt.
The fact that realities are beyond understanding
Has never stopped generals or pols from grandstanding,
For which I expect will go on these attacks,
Till ISIS wins big and democracy cracks.

Authors Website:

Authors Bio:

"A Legacy of Chains and Other Stories" is Philip Kraske's lastest book. It can be found at his website: