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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Clans and Clerics[Today's News Poem, Feb 4, 2010]

Clans and Clerics, Feb 4, 2010
By Khakjaan Wessington

"… I still will tell you that I believe the situation in Afghanistan is serious. I do not say now that I think it's deteriorating. I said that last summer and I believe that that was correct. I feel differently now... This is all in the minds of the participants. And I mean, the Afghan people are the most important, but the insurgents are another one. You're just convincing people..."

-General Stanley McChrystal, Commander of Coalition Forces in Afghanistan

America was lost in increments
We measure using friendships made and lost.
For every clique's a pending coup.
The business-types—who love in dollars, cents—
Feign pals until the checks are signed and crossed.
No wonder when the revolution's due

It wins: who writes the history of calls,
Of contracts signed? Of relatives, of chums
We made at school or work or in the street?
With gun on back, a young jihadi crawls
Through snow to kill—you think he cares of bums
Like you? We learn to win with each defeat.

In snow he thinks of what his father wants
Who wants whatever's best for everyone
He knows; but first comes flesh before the rest.
And if he lives it won't be you—his aunt's
Consideration makes him drop the gun—
Who stops the fighting, beats their army's best:

Instead it's work, the need to pay his way.
The world's old hippies ought to get the need
To distance self from indiscretions youth
Demands. What once was black and white is gray
Like hair, with age. With kids we need to feed,
We learn that love dispenses with the truth

As once we saw: and thus the revolution's made
A coup, like here, to keep their families all paid.

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