Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Iraq War Ends

We went to war with Iraq a wounded nation. Some say we were compelled by lofty motives; to put down a dictator whose brutal repression of his people cried out for their liberation, and whose weapons of mass destruction threatened the region, if not the world. But in our heart we knew what drove us into that vast desert. In our hearts we seethed with anger, with hate, and yes, with fear, and we went to seek vengeance. And in the blasting heat of those desert sands we took their blood, and spilled our own. And in the end, they danced in Fallujah, as we cased our flags.

As of the end of November of this year, 4486 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq, 316 troops of other nations have been killed. Over half of those killed were under 25 years old. Over 32,200 have been wounded, about 20% of which are serious brain or spinal injuries. There is no official count of soldiers suffering PTSD. Roughly 55,000 Iraqi insurgents have been killed. A secret U.S. government estimate puts the Iraqi civilian death toll at over 100,000, although some estimates are 6 times that amount.

Her name is Samira
She is five
She sees the silver bird flying through a clear blue sky

It glints in the sun and catches her eye
The bird makes a long slow arc
She loves the shape of the curve it makes

Like the curve of her arm shielding her eyes
Her thoughts go to her very own tree
And the soft shapes of its lovely limbs
And she thinks of the sound

Of the leaves at night
How they take her off to sleep

Excerpts of a poem by, “Kaneix,” 2003

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