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Poetry Page 6

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Fallujah

Trucks and tanks are burning on the road out of Fallujah
The marines are telling everyone to leave town or be killed;
Those who reach the US checkpoints are sent back to their houses;
You'll be pleased, Supreme Commander, that your orders are fulfilled.

"We're not an imperial power........we're a liberating power." - George W Bush, 13 April 2004.

One hospital destroyed by the US Air Force bombers,
The other out of reach behind the rifles of marines,
In a garage without light or heat and without anaesthetic,
The dying, burned and limbless learn what liberation means.

"We will continue taking the greatest care to prevent harm to innocent civilians." - George W Bush, 13 April 2004.

A woman giving birth; we tried our best but could not reach her;
The marines fired on the ambulance and we could not remain.
The radiator gone and two tyres punctured, we retreated;
Next day we took a pick up truck and went back once again.

"25 million Iraqis have as much right to live in freedom as we do." - George W Bush, 13 April 2004.

They let us take the women and the old men and the children;
The men of fighting age, said the marine, would have to stay;
Words we've heard before, in other times and other places,
And like all those other massacres, we'll grieve some other day.

"Look, nobody likes to see dead people on their television screens." - George W Bush, 13 April 2004.

The father lying lifeless, where the bullet blew his heart out,
Unarmed, shot in the back, his sons and daughters standing by;
The old woman still bleeding, and the white flag she's still holding;

Ask the man inside the White House; he knows all the reasons why.

"None of these acts is the work of a religion. All are the work of a fanatical political ideology. The servants of this ideology seek tyranny in the middle east and beyond." - George W Bush, 13 April 2004.

"It didn't take me long to put us on a war footing. And we've been at war ever since." - George W Bush, 13 April 2004.

"One year after the liberation of Iraq, the revenues of the oil stream is pretty darn significant." - George W Bush, 13 April 2004.

Les Barker, 14 April 2004

To read the report that moved Les to write this poem, follow this link to Jo's blog and see the entry for 12th April 2004.

You can find out more about Les Barker by visiting his web site www.mrsackroyd.com

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