Don't burn the flag. Wash it!
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HUNKERED DOWN IN MESOPOTAMIA
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Quick guide: Violence in Iraq
It is hard to calculate reliable figures for the dead and wounded because of the chaotic state of Iraq's institutions.
An estimate by US scientists in October 2006 suggested that about 655,000 civilians had been killed since the 2003 US-led invasion.
Western human rights campaigners give much lower figures - between 42,000 and 47,000 civilians - but point out many deaths probably go unreported.
About 3,000 coalition troops - more than 2,800 of them Americans - have died in Iraq in the same period.
Top Iraqi Police Officers Arrested in Mass Abduction.
Many killed in US raid on Ramadi.
A Reuters reporter saw the bodies of several men in a street, some being put in coffins by relatives, and a number of body parts. One small structure was burnt-out.
Residents, who declined to be named, said US tanks had fired into and that those who died were not fighting.
They criticised the US forces and the Shia-led Iraqi government. Several said men who had gathered to play a traditional street game had been attacked.
Iraq: What Iran and Syria want
Talking tough from a weak position- *Blair & **Bush
The so-called opening to Iran and Syria is going to be a difficult enterprise.
A close reading of the *British Prime Minister Tony Blair's speech on Monday evening shows that the conditions for engagement would amount to a wholesale change of direction by Iran and its President Ahmadinejad in particular.
As for President Bush, he was even more forthright.
"We expect the Syrians to be, one, out of Lebanon so that the Lebanese democracy can exist; two, not harbouring extremists that create - that empower these radicals to stop the advance of democracies; three, to help this young democracy in Iraq succeed. And the Syrian president knows my position."
"If the Iranians want to have a dialogue with us, we have shown them a way forward, and that is for them to verify - verifiably suspend their enrichment activities."
There doesn't appear to be much diplomatic room there for engagement over Iraq or anything else. The message is: you have to change, not us. It is an offer Iran and Syria might refuse.
~HUNKERED DOWN IN MESOPOTAMIA~
Why do we stay?
Why do we stay hunkered down in
With moonlight staining our guns in vaporous blaze
While screams and blasts slice open the palm trees
Lining the fertile land along the banks of the rivers
Within the arid deserts and cloudless summers?
Why do we skulk the oily nights like lewd bandits
Beating pathways along the Euphrates and Tigris?
It’s said that empire has penetrated the crimson flesh
As talons through eagle’s prey
And slippery fluid spews high this kingdom’s grief.
Why do we carry on as marauding itinerants
Satiated upon the already dying quarry
Leaving blood-etched outlines flanked by
The great Zagros range and Syrian desert
Binding the war-fouled Cradle of Civilization?
Why do we linger there in the darkness?
Our hunting has floated up empty and dead
Blurred numbers of sought after rotting
Bludgeoned seeds, wisps, pieces, flesh, bone
Graying stories of a limbless, lifeless heroism
That shakes out pity inside our homes.
Can't we see that we're now
Copyright © 2006 mrp / thepoetryman
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
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