The Logic of War


A group of Bush Sr’s US-armed
fundamentalist freedom fighters
compared to our own founding fathers
have become Bush Jr’s evildoers
who need to be smoked from their caves–
and the National Review philosophers
say postmodern theory has wrecked
      the planet with relativism?

How come if we stop shopping
      the terrorists win?
But if we create a million starving refugees
      through bombing
            the terrorists haven’t won?

Because the World Trade Center was attacked
any Bush-initiated response is considered beyond reproach.
Locked in the language of war, it’s impossible
      to find another way out.

We are fighting to preserve freedom
a cause so important almost no dissent
      can be televised

Where’s the discussion in mainstream press whether
investigations, intelligence, freezing assets, police action arrests
plus a more democratic egalitarian foreign policy
      would have been more appropriate
            and effective in the long term
                  than war?

Although a person’s terrorist links may be as-yet unproven
      he or she may be denied a civilian trial
given a military tribunal exclusively for terrorists
at the sole discretion of one who stole highest office
      with the help of five civilian judges.

A 15,000-pound bomb is called a daisy cutter

Every day ticker tape moves across bottom
      of CNN’s screen
updating the latest estimate of WTC missing
      presumed dead
            now hovering around 3,000.
Each day NY Times features an obit page
      with individualized moving stories
            of victims of 9/11’s inexcusable horror.
Through tragedy described on personal level
      we are learning the preciousness
            of Each Human Life.

Bin Laden on videotape gloats heinously
      over high American civilian death counts
            he calls blessed terror
Every day we are learning which human lives
      are precious to whom.

A New Hampshire professor has completed a study
      estimating over 3,700 Afghan civilian deaths
            from U.S. bombs.
Not a single mainstream NY paper or TV station
      covers this study or derives
            their own tally.
Each week I see one or two articles on the web
      about starving freezing refugees
            forced to flee the bombing
300,000 shivering in Maslakh, 100 dying each night,
      230 buried in Dehdadi, mostly kids
            judging from small size of burial plots.

The Pentagon says it is pointless to attempt verify
      Afghan civilian deaths
Every day we are learning that the value
      of human life is relative
            to how many steps removed one feels
                  from the dead one’s relatives.

On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly says Afghans
      are responsible for crimes
            of their government.
Does anyone remember Vietnam?
      Blessed terror of the Nicaraguan Contras?
            Angola’s Unita? Latin American death squads?

Thankfully, no other country’s military
      blamed me or my friends for those.

Didn’t the U.S. Cold War government help create
      the cave tunnel training camps
            for which Afghans are being bombed?
One of these centuries leaders on all sides will learn
      to leave the gods and people out of it.

Our newest ally Pakistan supports terrorists
that have stormed India’s parliamentary gates.
The U.S. sensibly urges India to show restraint.

Those who remained in cities & survived–celebrate.
In a refugee camp, a mob has beaten Robert Fisk,
only major Western journalist in country
      writing against massive bombing
because he looked Western & didn’t speak their language
      & his driver looked like George Bush.

I protested the war as a risky gamble with millions
      of innocent Afghan lives
but am quite happy to watch the fascist Taliban flee,
      music being played,
& women walking Kabul’s streets w/o burkas.

What idiot wouldn’t realize terror attacks
would be a gift to the American Right
as well as mass murder untold sentient beings?

If the terrorists attacked mainly because
      they don’t like our individual freedoms–
then by supporting the president
      in all his foreign & domestic policies
don’t we let the terrorists win?

For now, we are teaching the terrorists a clear lesson
that you don’t solve your gripes with bombs
unless you’re the world’s sole superpower.

October 2001 - December 2001