The Conquest of Iraq by Gary Beck

The last shot fired,

the guns are silent,

the wounded carried to safety,

the dead stored in body bags

ripening for the return home.


Only chaos remains

unresolved by war

of an arrogant intruder

proclaiming lofty ideals

not practiced at home,

on a hostile regime

not a direct threat

expanded to a menace,

an imminent danger.


Asserting might makes right

we toppled a totalitarian regime

leaving a disrupted country

leaderless, lawless,

a state of total anarchy,

looters  pillaging with impunity,

feudists settling old scores,

sectarian violence

across a divided land

consumed by hatred

preferring murder

to tolerance,


And the pretext for invasion,

weapons of mass destruction

never discovered.

Yet no apologies,


prompt withdrawal

of an occupying army

that crushed native levies

like colonizers of old,

who at least established order.


The prodigious cost

in blood and treasure

devastated the loser,

but bankrupted the winner

and the people at home

who did or did not support

the extravagant adventure

of excellent warriors,

incapable state builders,

paid for the inept aftermath

of military success

with loss of homes, jobs.


Burdened with national debt

our children can’t repay,

the weakened remnants

of an industrial economy

now unindustrious,

replaced by hi-tech for few,

service jobs for many,

abusers of the system

escaping unpunished,

despite betrayal

of the American dream.

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