Wednesday, October 26, 2005


AP photo

Eulogy for 2000 Neighborhood Kids

and 30,000 Iraqi citizens,
and more –

I have been trying to remember the name
of one of my son’s teenage friends,
one of the polite ones,
earnest, a fast smile, fast tracked
to the Navy
after he lived through Austin High.

I have been trying to remember the name
of the soldier’s mother in DC last summer,
white hair, short cut like a boy,
magenta streaks –

She told us about the back door draft,
how her son joined the Navy
and was transferred to Baghdad.
His letters were terrifying.
Julian Bond had just finished speaking.

The 2000th mother’s son, father’s daughter
has now been killed in Iraq –
little league games, Barbie dolls and
yellow miniature dump trucks,
video games and math books
chewed on by the dog –
or howling neglect,
chocolate chip and pecan cookies baking
on a Saturday night.

I don’t know what it means to be
a good parent, if I can’t make
the world more hospitable
to human beings.

The collective neighborhood aches today.
The neighborhood aches.

©copyright, 2005, Susan Bright

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.

Here is the the Department of Defense Press Release for the 2000th casualty in Iraq.

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sgt. George T. Alexander, Jr., 34, of Clanton, Ala., died at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 22, of injuries sustained in Samarra, Iraq, on Oct. 17, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Alexander was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

For further information related to this release, contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

I don't know if Sgt. Alexander has a wife, or children.

I suspect he does.

He probably has a mother and a father who are still living.

And he probably has a brother or a sister or two.

And he probably has some good friends,

who will all miss him


This War is is not about nice round numbers with zeros .

It is not about remaking the Middle East.

It is not about fighting the terrorist there,

so we don't have to fight them here.

And no matter how many times I have said it,

it is not even about oil.

It is about blood.

And we grieve.

And today will very likely be the day for another milestone.

This will likely be the end of the grand jury investigation,

and the beginning of indictments and trials,

for those who trafficked in the outing of Valerie Plame.

Congressman Jerry Nadler and 39 others have even called for Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation to be expanded to examine whether the White House--President, Vice-President, and members of the WH's Iraq War Group--conspired to deliberately deceive Congress into authorizing the war.

"We are no longer just talking about a Republican culture of corruption and cronyism," Nadler says. "We now have reason to believe that high crimes may have been committed at the highest level, wrongdoing that may have led us to war and imperiled our national security."


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Blogger Charlie Loving said...

Sherrif W said, that these deaths are sacrifices. He got that right, they are sacrifices, but to what end?.

"Sacrifice is essential..." says W.
"(MY) war will require more sacrifice..." he adds.
"More resolve..." he says.
"The best way to honor our troops is through more sacrifice..." he goes on.
"We will win the war." he continues.

Well is the human sacrifice worth any of this? What are we going to win; the hate the USA lottery or the dumbest American policy ever award?

Even Reagan saw the light when in Lebannont our Marine barracks was blown to smithereens. Enough was enough, Amercian lives are not worth being wasted on a place that has been warring internally since Abraham.

Clinton got his taste in Somalia and opted out.

It could even be that HW knew that the tar was getting sticky during the Gulf War and declared it done and over in 100 hours.

But good old W, listened to 'Darth Vader' Cheney, Wolfowitz and 'Adolpf' Rumsfeldt. "Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice, for oil and Halliburton while we sit here in our safe bunkers inside the beltway. "Onward Christian Soldiers marching off to die."

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These words bring tears

7:44 AM  
Blogger Step Back said...

According to a recent NOVA episode on PBS, the Inca people of South America had ritual "sacrifices" at the peak of their empire. Young kids were asked to make the "ultimate sacrifice" in order to appease the mountain gods.

Now a days, young Americans are asked to make the "ultimate sacrifice" in order to appease the Peak Oil deities.

Link to PBS:

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good point lem.

1:30 AM  

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