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« on: December 19, 2004, 04:17:04 PM »

“The Battle of Fallujah”
is the latest Hollywood buzz.
The ‘plight’ of the Iraqis
tastefully underplayed,
while the valor of our boys
will lead the parade.
Arabs have only the faces we give them,
the words we feed into their mouths.
They are blotches of color on the palette,
merely the newest backdrop
for our persistent fantasies.
No weeping fathers cradling dead babies.
Just our steadfast love meeting their
inexplicable hate,
the uninterrupted narrative
of empire
which requires
sullen uncomprehending natives
and conquerors
who come with the bitter potions
we swear will make them well--
overwrought  homo-erotic rituals
of blood and tears,
the sacrifice to swelling strings-
this is how real men love,
we are led to believe;
keep those frantic mothers off the screen.

Meanwhile the estimate
that 100,000 will come home
too sickened by what they’ve done and seen
to live among us anymore.
The great whore’s bastard children
consigned eternally to war.
144,000 on a hillside
singing a new song
of mournful woe
to Babylon.
It turns out this City on a Hill
was devilish illusion all along,
Old Jerusalem cowers behind her metal wall
as Israel’s armies
humiliate and slaughter with impunity,
but that would be an unwatchable movie.

Outside a flattened Fallujah 300,000 wait
for optical scans and name tags
and assignments to workgangs,
freedom is a messy business
in the alien wilderness.

“The Battle of Fallujah” I am sure
will feature savage beheadings,
and not bombs descending
on weddings. And surely not the Gulag
we are now constructing.
It will be
all which we choose to remember.
The face of the aging but still handsome
action hero, his blue eyes squinting
in an unforgiving sun
is the image we’ll be left with
when all is said and done.
The rest instantaneously forgotten
so that we can continue on.
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