Go Home Cheney  

Posted by Big Gav

Dick the Torturer is in town and is now messing up the traffic - just one more minor item to add to his immense list of crimes. The Sydney Morning Herald celebrated the little creep's arrival with a great review of his accomplishments, noting he is just a lame duck (hunter) - a mere "blast from the past".

Dick Cheney has arrived in Sydney, as popular as the traffic snarls he brings, as palatable as the gulag at Guantanamo he helped create. We are told he's here to show appreciation for Australia's support in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He is an odd choice as an emissary of goodwill.

Cheney is generally regarded in Washington DC as the most powerful vice-president in memory. It is a pity of historical proportions that he used that power to advance dismally unsuccessful and destructive policy.

In decisions on the great issues of our times, he has represented the narrowest definition of US interest and the most violently counterproductive prescription for achieving it. He is the uber-hawk of the Western world.

The Iraq war is the first exhibit, but it is not the most extreme. In August 2002, frustrated that talk of a diplomatic solution was threatening to intrude on his personal timetable for the invasion of Baghdad, Cheney decided to push US policy into a more aggressive phase.

George Bush had said that Saddam Hussein "desires" weapons of mass destruction. Cheney took it further. "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction; there is no doubt that he is massing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us," he said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was "as great a threat as can be imagined".

The speech was tantamount to a declaration of war and we know from Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack that Colin Powell, Bush's then secretary of state, was "astonished". Powell said Cheney seemed to be in a "fever" for war.

His martial ambition for his country sat uncomfortably on a man who had none for himself. With the US at war in Vietnam, the young Cheney, of drafting age, applied for four deferments to avoid service. "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service," he would say later. This is why he has been branded in the US as one of the Administration's so-called "chicken hawks".

And yet Cheney has the hide, during his visit to Sydney, to schedule an event at Victoria Barracks where he will pose with Aussie war veterans, hoping, one presumes, for valour by association.

The Bush Administration's policy of obtaining information "under duress" from detainees in US facilities abroad, a practice otherwise known as torture, is another Cheney accomplishment.

Powell's former chief of staff, the retired army colonel Larry Wilkerson, told CNN in November 2005, during a discussion of torture policy: "There's no question in my mind where the philosophical guidance and the flexibility in order to do so originated." In the office of the Vice-President of the United States.

Dick Cheney has arrived in Sydney, as popular as the traffic snarls he brings, as palatable as the gulag at Guantanamo he helped create. We are told he's here to show appreciation for Australia's support in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He is an odd choice as an emissary of goodwill.

Cheney is generally regarded in Washington DC as the most powerful vice-president in memory. It is a pity of historical proportions that he used that power to advance dismally unsuccessful and destructive policy.

In decisions on the great issues of our times, he has represented the narrowest definition of US interest and the most violently counterproductive prescription for achieving it. He is the uber-hawk of the Western world.

The Iraq war is the first exhibit, but it is not the most extreme. In August 2002, frustrated that talk of a diplomatic solution was threatening to intrude on his personal timetable for the invasion of Baghdad, Cheney decided to push US policy into a more aggressive phase.

George Bush had said that Saddam Hussein "desires" weapons of mass destruction. Cheney took it further. "There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction; there is no doubt that he is massing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us," he said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was "as great a threat as can be imagined".

The speech was tantamount to a declaration of war and we know from Bob Woodward's book Plan of Attack that Colin Powell, Bush's then secretary of state, was "astonished". Powell said Cheney seemed to be in a "fever" for war.

His martial ambition for his country sat uncomfortably on a man who had none for himself. With the US at war in Vietnam, the young Cheney, of drafting age, applied for four deferments to avoid service. "I had other priorities in the '60s than military service," he would say later. This is why he has been branded in the US as one of the Administration's so-called "chicken hawks".

And yet Cheney has the hide, during his visit to Sydney, to schedule an event at Victoria Barracks where he will pose with Aussie war veterans, hoping, one presumes, for valour by association.

The Bush Administration's policy of obtaining information "under duress" from detainees in US facilities abroad, a practice otherwise known as torture, is another Cheney accomplishment.

Powell's former chief of staff, the retired army colonel Larry Wilkerson, told CNN in November 2005, during a discussion of torture policy: "There's no question in my mind where the philosophical guidance and the flexibility in order to do so originated." In the office of the Vice-President of the United States.

Where the war dismayed the peoples of the world, including many pro-American ones, the torture policy disgusted them. This Vice-President has betrayed the high idealism that the US, at its best, has long offered the world.

"How can America go around the world preaching democracy and human rights with a straight face while you have the Vice-President in Washington defending torture?" asks Jim Steinberg, the dean of international relations at the University of Texas and a former deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration.

So it may come as no surprise that Cheney, who vanishes to "an undisclosed location" in times of danger and whose only notable act of personal derring-do was to shoot his friend during a hunting expedition, is not terribly popular in today's America. A Harris poll this month put his approval rating at 29 per cent, his all-time low in the Harris series, making him several points more unpopular than the President.

John Howard will embrace the Vice-President today and tomorrow, but could he really want to be seen in close company with this man at this moment as Kevin Rudd brings his Iraq policy under fresh scrutiny? Even old Republican friends of Cheney have disavowed him for his fevered embrace of the neo-conservative agenda of imposing democracy at the point of a gun.

The national security adviser to two Republican presidents, Brent Scowcroft, one of the wise old men of US foreign policy, told The New Yorker magazine: "I consider Cheney a good friend. I've known him for 30 years. But Dick Cheney I don't know any more."

Still, despite the political liability that Cheney has become, Howard can use the opportunity to reassert his title as the custodian of the US alliance, always a positive in the eyes of Australian voters.

Cheney may be in Australia to say thanks, but he is also here because he has a lot less to do in Washington these days. The Democratic Party's victory in the congressional elections brought a clear end to the power of the neocon agenda in US politics. The firing of Donald Rumsfeld, one of Cheney's greatest allies in the Administration, was the clearest public indication that the neocon era was over.

And look what has happened since. Last week the North Koreans agreed to suspend their nuclear weapons program. It was a deal the former Bush neocon John Bolton said that the US State Department had wanted to do six years earlier.

Why hadn't it? In part because Cheney vetoed it. Cheney has always believed that the US should never make any up-front concessions in any negotiation. Speaking of Cheney and Rumsfeld, the former US deputy secretary of state Richard Armitage had said: "Their idea of diplomacy is to say, 'Look f---er, you do what we want."'

But the marginalisation of the neocon project has meant that Cheney's influence has been reduced, as The Washington Post pointed out this week. And so the deal was allowed to be done.

The US has moved into the post-neocon phase, and the fact that Cheney is here for the first time in six years, to say "thanks", is a sign that he doesn't have more important things to do in DC in his reduced status. And, however unloved he may be here, Americans are in no great rush to welcome him home again.

Walter Russell Mead, the Henry Kissinger fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, yesterday made this generous offer: "We are willing to let you have him for as long as you like."

Cheney also showed up, as he does from time to time, in the tinfoil halls of RI.
When Oppenheimer said "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds," I wonder whether he could have imagined how right and how wrong he was, and that he was speaking for more than himself and his bomb, because no force in the world today - and arguably any day - is a more efficient instrument of Will to Death than the United States of America.

The Jackass War

Pat Dollard might agree, and say "Fuck yeah." The former Hollywood agent is now lionized by Fox and Republican revanchists for his midlife makeover to "War on Terror" propagandist. His time self-embedded in Iraq has become Young Americans, the trailer of which plays like Jackass goes to War, and includes footage of a Marine raising a severed Iraqi head to the camera to a thrashing soundtrack of "If you don't like it you can suck my dick!"

Dollard is profiled in the March Vanity Fair - the longest profile in the magazine's history - and when asked about the footage he laughs: "The true savagery in this war is being committed by the American left on the minds of the young men and women serving over there by repeatedly telling them that their cause is lost. My goal is to de-sensitize young people to violence." He calls liberals "nihilistic."

Tony Snow describes Dollard as a "true believer," while a 17-year old high school student writes that "the clips I've seen of Young Americans are an inspiration and its time someone tells the truth. Thanks for putting your life on the line for the better of the country."

But there's much more to Dollard. He's also a ...

... And as awful as it is, Dollard is right. As right as Pasolini was when he had one of Salo's torturers say "We Fascists are the only true anarchists. Once we've become masters of the state, true anarchy is that of power." Transgressive brutality is a path of transformation, at least to a sociopath, and fascism is an ideology of sociopaths. Dollard is embraced by America's fascist elite because behind their paper house of flittering justifications for catastrophe, he's the exultant "Fuck Yeah!" the architects of mayhem still don't dare exclaim in public.

George Bush is not the architect of his wars, but rather another cowboy advocate, and like Dollard he can still delight in them even as he fulfills his job on the team by lying them into being. A couple of weeks ago Washington Life Magazine's Soroush Shehabi, a grandson of a Pahlavi-era minister of Iran, used a presidential reception to warn, Bush, as though he didn't already know, that "one US bomb on Iran and the regime will remain in power for another 20 or 30 years and 70 million Iranians will become radicalized." Bush answered, "I know," to which Soroush responded, "But does Vice President Cheney know?" Bush walked away, chuckling.

Of course, everyone wants to know what Cheney knows, and that's Cheney's delight. For one example some may find ridiculous, but which exists as an example nonetheless, when asked on April 11, 2001 about whether he'd ever been briefed on UFOs Cheney replied "Well, if I had been briefed on it, I'm sure it was probably classified and I couldn't talk about it." He then added, "I have not come across the subject since I've been back in government, on like since January 20th." In other words, he would only say that he hadn't met on the subject in 10 weeks, and any more must remain classified. He could have said much less, but he made instead a near-tacit admission and so strung along "Disclosure" junkies that he may be one of the keepers of the keys. Whether he is or not is a matter of speculation, but why he might like to subtly foster that impression ought to be self-evident.

The "Time of Jacob's Trouble"

One other thing: Dick Cheney also presents a problem for the broad, alternative consensus that America has been warring in Israel's service. There is a kind of truth there, but one which only accounts for the appearance of things rather than their depths, and can't account at all for Cheney's intent. As Joseph Cannon recently wrote, "Does anyone really think that Cheney gives a damn about Zionism or Jews or the return of Jesus or Islamofascism or any of the other religious motivations one hears about?" Radicalizing seventy million Iranians and baiting the entire Muslim world towards acts of retaliation doesn't seem like a sensible strategy for Israeli security, just as we have no problem admitting it isn't one to make America safe, either. So perhaps we should stop thinking that that's really what's going on here.

A couple of years ago I suggested that neoconservatives are the "Lone Gunmen of Iraq. They're the patsies who'll eventually take the fall for its failure, which will actually mean success to the real players who've allowed them the liberty to play their hand." Similarly and in turn, Israel will be sacrificed for the choices of its own patsy-elite who, as I wrote, are not themselves innocent, but neither should perfect blame be laid at their feet. The Dispensationalists' playbook - which is still in play for general consumption, even if few in power actually believe its prophetic narrative - calls for "the Time of Jacob's Trouble," which is the utter ruin of Israel. ...

Moving back to more mainstream analysis, Noam Chomsky has an interesting (and long) interview in "Foreign Policy In Focus", which also mentions Cheney, along with those topics which rarely get mentioned - the Asian Energy Grid and the idea that US strategy in Iran is oriented around splitting off Khuzestan (and thus the oil and gas, which is all that really matters). One beef I have with Chomsky's analysis is that losing control of the middle east won't make the US a second rate power - as long as its moved away from oil as a primary energy source before it happens. Admittedly it loses a lot of control over Europe, Japan and China, but it would still remain first amongst equals for the foreseeable future (that famous "multi-polar world people talk about from time to time).
Noam Chomsky is a noted linguist, author, and foreign policy expert. On February 9, Michael Shank interviewed him on the latest developments in U.S. policy toward Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Venezuela. Along the way, Chomsky also commented on climate change, the World Social Forum, and why international relations are run like the mafia.

Shank: With similar nuclear developments in North Korea and Iran, why has the United States pursued direct diplomacy with North Korea but refuses to do so with Iran?

Chomsky: To say that the United States has pursued diplomacy with North Korea is a little bit misleading. It did under the Clinton administration, though neither side completely lived up to their obligations. Clinton didn’t do what was promised, nor did North Korea, but they were making progress. So when Bush came into the presidency, North Korea had enough uranium or plutonium for maybe one or two bombs, but then very limited missile capacity. During the Bush years it’s exploded. The reason is, he immediately canceled the diplomacy and he’s pretty much blocked it ever since. ...

But there is some minimal sense of optimism about it. If you look back over the record—and North Korea is a horrible place nobody is arguing about that—on this issue they’ve been pretty rational. It’s been a kind of tit-for-tat history. If the United States is accommodating, the North Koreans become accommodating. If the United States is hostile, they become hostile. That’s reviewed pretty well by Leon Sigal, who’s one of the leading specialists on this, in a recent issue of Current History. But that’s been the general picture and we’re now at a place where there could be a settlement on North Korea.

That’s much less significant for the United States than Iran. The Iranian issue I don’t think has much to do with nuclear weapons frankly. Nobody is saying Iran should have nuclear weapons –nor should anybody else. But the point in the Middle East, as distinct from North Korea, is that this is center of the world’s energy resources. Originally the British and secondarily the French had dominated it, but after the Second World War, it’s been a U.S. preserve. That’s been an axiom of U.S. foreign policy, that it must control Middle East energy resources. It is not a matter of access as people often say. Once the oil is on the seas it goes anywhere. In fact if the United States used no Middle East oil, it’d have the same policies. If we went on solar energy tomorrow, it’d keep the same policies. Just look at the internal record, or the logic of it, the issue has always been control. Control is the source of strategic power.

Dick Cheney declared in Kazakhstan or somewhere that control over pipeline is a “tool of intimidation and blackmail.” When we have control over the pipelines it’s a tool of benevolence. If other countries have control over the sources of energy and the distribution of energy then it is a tool of intimidation and blackmail exactly as Cheney said. And that’s been understood as far back as George Kennan and the early post-war days when he pointed out that if the United States controls Middle East resources it’ll have veto power over its industrial rivals. He was speaking particularly of Japan but the point generalizes.

So Iran is a different situation. It’s part of the major energy system of the world.

Shank: So when the United States considers a potential invasion you think it’s under the premise of gaining control? That is what the United States will gain from attacking Iran?

Chomsky: There are several issues in the case of Iran. One is simply that it is independent and independence is not tolerated. Sometimes it’s called successful defiance in the internal record. Take Cuba. A very large majority of the U.S. population is in favor of establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba and has been for a long time with some fluctuations. And even part of the business world is in favor of it too. But the government won’t allow it. It’s attributed to the Florida vote but I don’t think that’s much of an explanation. I think it has to do with a feature of world affairs that is insufficiently appreciated. International affairs is very much run like the mafia. The godfather does not accept disobedience, even from a small storekeeper who doesn’t pay his protection money. You have to have obedience otherwise the idea can spread that you don’t have to listen to the orders and it can spread to important places.

If you look back at the record, what was the main reason for the U.S. attack on Vietnam? Independent development can be a virus that can infect others. That’s the way it’s been put, Kissinger in this case, referring to Allende in Chile. And with Cuba it’s explicit in the internal record. Arthur Schlesinger, presenting the report of the Latin American Study Group to incoming President Kennedy, wrote that the danger is the spread of the Castro idea of taking matters into your own hands, which has a lot of appeal to others in the same region that suffer from the same problems. Later internal documents charged Cuba with successful defiance of U.S. policies going back 150 years – to the Monroe Doctrine -- and that can’t be tolerated. So there’s kind of a state commitment to ensuring obedience.

Going back to Iran, it’s not only that it has substantial resources and that it’s part of the world’s major energy system but it also defied the United States. The United States, as we know, overthrew the parliamentary government, installed a brutal tyrant, was helping him develop nuclear power, in fact the very same programs that are now considered a threat were being sponsored by the U.S. government, by Cheney, Wolfowitz, Kissinger, and others, in the 1970s, as long as the Shah was in power. But then the Iranians overthrew him, and they kept U.S. hostages for several hundred days. And the United States immediately turned to supporting Saddam Hussein and his war against Iran as a way of punishing Iran. The United States is going to continue to punish Iran because of its defiance. So that’s a separate factor.

And again, the will of the U.S. population and even US business is considered mostly irrelevant. Seventy five percent of the population here favors improving relations with Iran, instead of threats. But this is disregarded. We don’t have polls from the business world, but it’s pretty clear that the energy corporations would be quite happy to be given authorization to go back into Iran instead of leaving all that to their rivals. But the state won’t allow it. And it is setting up confrontations right now, very explicitly. Part of the reason is strategic, geo-political, economic, but part of the reason is the mafia complex. They have to be punished for disobeying us. ...

Shank: How can the U.S. government think an attack on Iran is feasible given troop availability, troop capacity, and public sentiment?

Chomsky: As far as I’m aware, the military in the United States thinks it’s crazy. And from whatever leaks we have from intelligence, the intelligence community thinks it’s outlandish, but not impossible. If you look at people who have really been involved in the Pentagon’s strategic planning for years, people like Sam Gardiner, they point out that there are things that possibly could be done.

I don’t think any of the outside commentators at least as far as I’m aware have taken very seriously the idea of bombing nuclear facilities. They say if there will be bombing it’ll be carpet bombing. So get the nuclear facilities but get the rest of the country too, with an exception. By accident of geography, the world’s major oil resources are in Shi’ite-dominated areas. Iran’s oil is concentrated right near the gulf, which happens to be an Arab area, not Persian. Khuzestan is Arab, has been loyal to Iran, fought with Iran not Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. This is a potential source of dissension. I would be amazed if there isn’t an attempt going on to stir up secessionist elements in Khuzestan. U.S. forces right across the border in Iraq, including the surge, are available potentially to “defend” an independent Khuzestan against Iran, which is the way it would be put, if they can carry it off.

Shank: Do you think that’s what the surge was for?

Chomsky: That’s one possibility. There was a release of a Pentagon war-gaming report, in December 2004, with Gardiner leading it. It was released and published in the Atlantic Monthly. They couldn’t come up with a proposal that didn’t lead to disaster, but one of the things they considered was maintaining troop presence in Iraq beyond what’s to be used in Iraq for troop replacement and so on, and use them for a potential land move in Iran -- presumably Khuzestan where the oil is. If you could carry that off, you could just bomb the rest of the country to dust.

Again, I would be amazed if there aren’t efforts to sponsor secessionist movements elsewhere, among the Azeri population for example. It’s a very complex ethnic mix in Iran; much of the population isn’t Persian. There are secessionist tendencies anyway and almost certainly, without knowing any of the facts, the United States is trying to stir them up, to break the country internally if possible. The strategy appears to be: try to break the country up internally, try to impel the leadership to be as harsh and brutal as possible.

That’s the immediate consequence of constant threats. Everyone knows that. That’s one of the reasons the reformists, Shirin Ebadi and Akbar Ganji and others, are bitterly complaining about the U.S. threats, that it’s undermining their efforts to reform and democratize Iran. But that’s presumably its purpose. Since it’s an obvious consequence you have to assume it’s the purpose. Just like in law, anticipated consequences are taken as the evidence for intention. And here’s it so obvious you can’t seriously doubt it.

So it could be that one strain of the policy is to stir up secessionist movements, particularly in the oil rich regions, the Arab regions near the Gulf, also the Azeri regions and others. Second is to try to get the leadership to be as brutal and harsh and repressive as possible, to stir up internal disorder and maybe resistance. And a third is to try to pressure other countries, and Europe is the most amenable, to join efforts to strangle Iran economically. Europe is kind of dragging its feet but they usually go along with the United States.

The efforts to intensify the harshness of the regime show up in many ways. For example, the West absolutely adores Ahmadinejad. Any wild statement that he comes out with immediately gets circulated in headlines and mistranslated. They love him. But anybody who knows anything about Iran, presumably the editorial offices, knows that he doesn’t have anything to do with foreign policy. Foreign policy is in the hands of his superior, the Supreme Leader Khamenei. But they don’t report his statements, particularly when his statements are pretty conciliatory. For example, they love when Ahmadinejad says that Israel shouldn’t exist, but they don’t like it when Khamenei right afterwards says that Iran supports the Arab League position on Israel-Palestine. As far as I’m aware, it never got reported. Actually you could find Khamenei’s more conciliatory positions in the Financial Times, but not here. And it’s repeated by Iranian diplomats but that’s no good. The Arab League proposal calls for normalization of relations with Israel if it accepts the international consensus of the two-state settlement which has been blocked by the United States and Israel for thirty years. And that’s not a good story, so it’s either not mentioned or it’s hidden somewhere.

It’s very hard to predict the Bush administration today because they’re deeply irrational. They were irrational to start with but now they’re desperate. They have created an unimaginable catastrophe in Iraq. This should’ve been one of the easiest military occupations in history and they succeeded in turning it into one of the worst military disasters in history. They can’t control it and it’s almost impossible for them to get out for reasons you can’t discuss in the United States because to discuss the reasons why they can’t get out would be to concede the reasons why they invaded.

We’re supposed to believe that oil had nothing to do with it, that if Iraq were exporting pickles or jelly and the center of world oil production were in the South Pacific that the United States would’ve liberated them anyway. It has nothing to do with the oil, what a crass idea. Anyone with their head screwed on knows that that can’t be true. Allowing an independent and sovereign Iraq could be a nightmare for the United States. It would mean that it would be Shi’ite-dominated, at least if it’s minimally democratic. It would continue to improve relations with Iran, just what the United States doesn’t want to see. And beyond that, right across the border in Saudi Arabia where most of Saudi oil is, there happens to be a large Shi’ite population, probably a majority.

Moves toward sovereignty in Iraq stimulate pressures first for human rights among the bitterly repressed Shi’ite population but also toward some degree of autonomy. You can imagine a kind of a loose Shi’ite alliance in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, controlling most of the world’s oil and independent of the United States. And much worse, although Europe can be intimidated by the United States, China can’t. It’s one of the reasons, the main reasons, why China is considered a threat. We’re back to the Mafia principle.

China has been there for 3,000 years, has contempt for the barbarians, is overcoming a century of domination, and simply moves on its own. It does not get intimidated when Uncle Sam shakes his fist. That’s scary. In particular, it’s dangerous in the case of the Middle East. China is the center of the Asian energy security grid, which includes the Central Asian states and Russia. India is also hovering around the edge, South Korea is involved, and Iran is an associate member of some kind. If the Middle East oil resources around the Gulf, which are the main ones in the world, if they link up to the Asian grid, the United States is really a second-rate power. A lot is at stake in not withdrawing from Iraq.

I’m sure that these issues are discussed in internal planning. It’s inconceivable that they can’t think of this. But it’s out of public discussion, it’s not in the media, it’s not in the journals, it’s not in the Baker-Hamilton report. And I think you can understand the reason. To bring up these issues would open the question why the United States and Britain invaded. And that question is taboo.

It’s a principle that anything our leaders do is for noble reasons. It may be mistaken, it may be ugly, but basically noble. And if you bring in normal moderate, conservative, strategic, economic objectives you threatening that principle. It’s remarkable the extent to which it’s held. So the original pretexts for the invasion were weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaida that nobody but maybe Wolfowitz or Cheney took seriously. The single question, as they kept reiterating in the leadership, was: will Saddam give up his programs of weapons of mass destruction? The single question was answered a couple of months later, the wrong way. And quickly the party line shifted. In November 2003, Bush announced his freedom agenda: our real goal is to bring democracy to Iraq, to transform the Middle East. That became the party line, instantly. ...

1 comments

i.m.small   says 3:39 AM

THE VEEP'S DEFERRAL(S)

Save such as can´t because interments
Or injuries insuperable,
They must return unto the hell
Of war without deferments,

Our soldiers fighting in Iraq,
Afghanistan, despite perhaps
Having been twice or thrice, while gaps
Threaten: civilicans squawk

Indignant when the talk alludes
To raising of a mandatory
Drafting, aware it is not glory
To serve. Wars are not feuds.

Still, that ought have been preconsidered
When making the intial choice
To send abroad our gals and boys.
The burden must be shouldered.

A country has to pay the price
In moral terms, and practical,
For consequences tactical
Occur which are not nice.

So now they threaten "World War III,"
The plutocrats in charge: well, that´s
All fine and good for plutocrats,
Not so for you and me.

Meanwhile the value of our native
Currency (called the dollar) sank
As to the bottom of the tank
With never means creative

So to retrieve it to the surface--
So war is known historically
As bad for the economy:
So citizens grow nervous.

The war is funded both by debt
To China and our children here,
While benefits might come not near
Each wounded future vet.

Therefore when the conscription call
Is broadcast, children have to do
Their sacrificial duty too
Nor let conniption fall;

However, while they risk their limbs,
Their lives, and we our precious loves,
Still it must be, as with kid gloves
Discussed with her or him:

Nor kindly mention as they gird
Themselves as cannon-fodder trainees
The irony of Veep Dick Cheney´s
Service five-times deferred.

(When asked to serve in Vietnam
Dick answered with annoyed aplomb:
"War might disturb my coiffured curl
And my career--I´ll take deferral!")

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