As the day job beckons, I’ll quickly give some links to stories at Democracy Now from this morning of March 20 — 10 year anniversary of the Iraq War shock and awe bombardment (after the “gulf war” and 13 years of brutal sanctions, it might be considered Iraq War III). A thorough timeline, a report on the legacy of depleted uranium weapons and gruesome birth defects among Iraqi babies, and journalist Dahr Jamail’s report on torture and Iraq as a devastated state. Years ago, Dahr was the only unembedded journalist reporting daily from Fallujah and I heard him speak at Sonoma State University.
Also worth it to note 62 Iraqis dead from car bombs yesterday morning. This is “liberated”?
a soul-searing cry from the heart commemorating the 10th anniversary of the HORRIFIC war on Iraq
The War Works Hard
How magnificent the war is!
Early in the morning,
it wakes up the sirens
and dispatches ambulances
to various places,
swings corpses through the air,
rolls stretchers to the wounded,
from the eyes of mothers,
digs into the earth
dislodging many things
from under the ruins . . .
Some are lifeless and glistening,
others are pale and still throbbing . . .
It produces the most questions
in the minds of children,
entertains the gods
by shooting fireworks and missiles
into the sky,
sows mines in the fields
and reaps punctures and blisters,
urges families to emigrate,
stands beside the clergymen
as they curse the devil
(poor devil, he remains
with one hand in the searing fire) . . .
The war continues working, day and night.
It inspires tyrants
to deliver long speeches,
awards medals to generals
and themes to poets.
It contributes to the industry
of artificial limbs,
provides food for flies,
adds pages to the history books,
achieves equality between killer and killed,
teaches lovers to write letters,
accustoms young women to waiting,
fills the newspapers
with articles and pictures,
builds new houses
for the orphans,
invigorates the coffin makers,
gives grave diggers
a pat on the back
and paints a smile on the leader’s face.
The war works with unparalleled diligence!
Yet no one gives it
a word of praise.
by Dunya Mikhail, Iraqi poet exiled in 1995, received UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing in 2005; translated from the Arabic by Elizabeth Winslow.