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Gambling with Human Chips


No matter whether the war ends easy or in horror

One thing is certain:  It was launched with lies

by a president looking drugged into the TV cameras


"Should Saddam choose confrontation," Bush noted,

"the American people can know that every measure

has been taken to avoid war," plainly lying


about who it is choosing the military option and

who has been narrowly intent on war despite a rainbow

of alternatives offered from every corner of Earth


Bush says "the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal

some of the most lethal weapons ever devised," forgetting

those thousands of US nukes & our own biochem weapons


Although Bush has pulled the U.S. out of the International

Criminal Court, he is now announcing which Iraqis

when captured will face war crimes trials


No U.S. reporter asks the question of how many Iraqis

can be killed before Bush is eligible for a seat

in the defendant's chair for initiating this illegal war


Because Bush cannot explain his policies, William Bennett

appears on every cable news station reciting the triumphs

of America in Europe West and East


Bennett  claims democracy, not imperialism, has always been

the result of American militarism, but he leaves out El Salvador,

Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile, Angola's UNITA


Vietnam's 3.6 million dead, decades of  South African apartheid

unknown millions dying middle passage slave ships

early American blankets mixed w/ smallpox & holy wars


Every nation has its progressive and regressive traditions

The question now is how will bombs affect 5 million in Baghdad

& will the dead applaud the U.S. as liberty's troops


If the Iraqi death toll exceeds the WTC, will the war still be

considered moral victory? How many Iraqi civilians

does the Bush gang think add up to one American life


Even if the war is short and the death toll low, even if

concerns of millions marching across Earth were overblown

will it have been right to have taken such a gamble



NYC, 3/03



[Originally published in NHS 2004, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs04/Eliot_Katz.html.]