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March 31, 2003



By Bill Costley (billcostley@newsguy.com)

It has only to do with the respect with which we regard one another, the dignity of men, our love of culture. It has to do with: Are we good painters, good sculptors, great poets? I mean all the things we really venerate in our country and are patriotic about. It has nothing to do directly with defending our country except to make it worth defending.

-- Robert Wilson, physicist (1969) during hearings on whether to fund Fermilab (www.fnal.gov/)

from: The Rumsfeldi@d I

Sole Source: CBS News: "Plans For Iraq Attack Began On 9/11"

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2002. CBS News has learned that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq -- even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks. That's according to notes taken by aides who were with Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on Sept. 11 -- notes that show exactly where the road toward war with Iraq began, reports CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin.

RUMSFELD: "Go massive: Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
{in 3 contemporary-epical newstanzas}
At 9:53 a.m., 15 min. after the hijacked plane hit the Pentagon,
Rumsfeld was outside helping with the injured when the NSA
intercepted a call from 1 Osama bin Laden op to another; he'd
"heard good news"& another target was to come; another airliner
was zeroing in on Washington. It soon crashed in Pennsylvania.
At 12:05 p.m. the CIA director told Rumsfeld about the conversation.
Rumsfeld felt it was "vague," & "might not mean something" & there was
"no good basis for hanging hat." (for holding it against bin Laden); CIA
reported 3 of the hijackers were al Qaeda ops. "One guy is assoc. of
Cole bomber" (The USS Cole's bombing, also the work of bin Laden).
Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. At 2:40 p.m.,
Rumsfeld wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H."
[Saddam Hussein] "at same time. Not only UBL" [Usama bin Laden.]
One year later: still no evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks.
No matter to Rumsfeld. "Go massive: Sweep it all up. Things related and not."
Sole source: US to punish German 'treachery'
Peter Beaumont, David Rose, and Paul Beaver
Sunday February 16, 2003
The Observer
{Drylypoetic Narrative for 5 Voices}
The US wants to punish Germany's
leading opposition to a war against Iraq
& will withdraw all its troops and bases
& end military & industrial co-operation
between both countries that could
soon cost Germany billions of euros.
On Rumsfeld's orders, Pentagon officials
& military chiefs discussed the plan de-
signed 'to harm' the German economy,
to make an example of it in return
for Chancellor Schrö der's 'treachery'.
Its example will force other countries
dependent on US trade to think twice
about ever standing up to the US again.
During weeks of increasingly angry ex-
changes between Rumsfeld & Germany,
Rumsfeld taunted Germany & France
for being an irrelevant part of 'old Europe'.
Rumsfeld decided to go further, unilaterally
imposing Pentagon sanctions on Germany,
already in the throes of economic problems.
1st US diplomatic source:
'We are doing this for one reason only:
to harm the German economy. Our troops
contribute many millions of dollars. Why
should we support a country that has
treated Nato & the protection we provided
for decades with such incredible contempt?'
2nd US diplomatic source:
'The aim is to hit German trade & commerce.
It's not just about taking out the troops &
equipment; it's about cancelling commercial
contracts & defence-related arrangements.'
The plan & language of officials close to Rumsfeld
horrified the US State Department by its bullying
other countries, exacerbating anti-Americanism &
alienating other European countries that might
support a UN resolution authorising a war.
German industry earns billions of euros annually
supporting the US Army's 42,000 troops & 785 tanks
(almost three times as many as the British Army.)
German industry heavily supports the US. Defence
companies losing out will be missile-maker Diehl,
EADS Deutschland, armaments maker Rheinmetall
& military vehicle maker Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.
Rumsfeld & his staff didn't hide their fury at
Schröder's 'treachery and ineptitude' when
Schröder leaked to reporters a Franco-German
plan for avoiding war, increasing the number of
UN weapons inspectors w/out informing the US.
3rd US diplomatic source:
'After this, Germany is finished as a serious power.
This is simply not the way to conduct diplomacy
...at this moment of international crisis.'
4th US diplomatic source:
"Rumsfeld's furious at Germany.
He's a bruiser & it looks as tho


from: The Rumsfeldi@d II

“Shock & Awe are Air Force bullshit”
(anonymous U.S. general)

Early in the phase of Shock & Awe,
millions were almost enthralled by

this superannuated fighter pilot’s
apostrophe of aerial-war doctrine:  

shock & awe, his supernal vision of
lighting the hollows of burning minds,

enthralling millions, inflaming their fate.
Far below, eyes blinked, envisioning

an illuminated end to everything.

(28 MAR 03  ~2PM, Wellesley MA )



GULF WAR 2 - DAY 1: 0 -> 1

On the morning after the war had officially begun

many poets awoke, ready to do their daily dozens:


some clicked-on coffee-makers, tilting rockers from 0->1,

some popped in2a Starbuck's for their day's 1st-latte',

some peeled their bright yellow banana B4 slicing it,


some prayed on their creaky knees, some stood praying,

some picked up the daily paper that had already arrived

& read the headline that said: W@R (& damn little else)


some clicked-on their home computers, from 0->1, &

some started typing on their keyboards & are typing still;


some warned 'chickenhawks' that "That ship has sailed."

some delighted in the war-action they'd been waiting for,

saying "Let's make Iraq the 51st American State!" &


some automatically clicked-on their TVs, their minds

brightening from 0->1 as they saw [{{W@R}}] bloom;

some held their breath & wrote about it in words.


(20-21 MAR 03 Wellesley MA)



GULF WAR 2 : DAY 2:  "None of them said."

On the night of the day after the war officially began
5 women gathered to speak from different traditions:
Muslim, Christian, ex-R.C, Jewish, Wampanoag.
What they didn't say about the war spoke volumes:
None of them said it was necessary, none said
it would free the Iraqi people into democracy.
None said that it would free the whole Middle-East
to become democratic. None of them said it would
silence a world of millions who loudly opposed it.
None of them said they were glad it had now begun.
None of them said their tradition favored its method.
One of them said "some of us have taken the task
Of going back to those times to know them" about
the religiously inspired genocide of her tribe. Her
archaelogical & spiritual time-travel re-experiences
her people's suffering under religious fanatics. She
is her clan's healer, returning to the scene of crimes.
[They met at Brandeis University in Waltham MA]
(22 MAR 03 06:53 Wellesley MA)


GULF WAR 2: DAY 3 : "@ an ATM"

On the 3rd day of the official war, around noon
I stood alone in the queue @ an ATM, until a

woman spoke behind me. "I hate that!" She said
pointing to a newspaper-box on the sidewalk:

the Page One banner-headline of Saturday's
"Bombs Bursting In Air" (over Baghdad)

"I hate that," she repeated, "It's too triumphant."
I agree, I said; I once wrote for that same paper

when it was called The MIDDLESEX NEWS.
You have to realize that headline's written by

someone other than whoever wrote the story;
sometimes the headline misrepresents the story.

"Thank you; it helps to know that" she said, glad
to know that media objects are not all of a piece,

nor all papers all they shout in a box in wartime.

(22 MAR 03 12:13 Wellesley MA)

GULF WAR 2 : DAY 6:  "Nobody's smiling"

"He who's still laughing hasn't yet heard the bad news" (B. Brecht)

On the 6th day of the current war,  nobody's smiling
on the suburban trolley or subway under the city,
except 20ish-women chatting about their PR jobs.

Nobody's willing to make direct eye-contact, neither
morning's nor noontime’s commuters, reading
today's Boston METRO's frontpage headline:

Casualties mount for U.S. as Iraq fighters try to get
coalition forces to fight the war their way

Today's understated NYT top-editorial says less:

Diminished Expectations in Iraq.

as unsociable silence & pained pensiveness pervade
a chilly warTuesday in a gloomy provincial city.

{23 MAR 03; Newton, Boston, Cambridge, Wellesley MA}


Gulf War 2: Day 8: “A lanky blond boy”

A lanky blond boy harangues us as we vigil:
“Don’t you realize this hurts America’s image?

You’re hurting America’s image in the world!
The only thing we can do is…finish this war!

Don’t you realize that?” I break silence:
No, I don’t. I’m all for ending it right now…

driving him hysterical: “We can’t do that!
Have you no respect for those who’ve died?”

(The administration’s current total is ~50.)
No, I don’t; they should never have died.

Storming off in disgust, he shouts at us:
“You’re all fightened little cowards, you

have pitiful little lives, you’re despicable.”
I answer: if you lived thru the Vietnam War

you’d know exactly why I said what I did.
I tell Alba: thinking like that, he’ll sign up.

No, he won’t, she says, besides, his parents
will stop him. (We’re in upscale suburbia.) 

(28-9 MAR 03, Wellesley MA)


Gulf War 2: Day 12: Arabic contradictions

Good Morning America co-anchor Diane Sawyer
(Wellesley College, Reagan White House) intro's

Iraqis who'd once fled to Jordan, going back to
fight for Iraq, bearded adult men, not just boys,

their Jordanian refugee camps, completely empty,
dancing together & singing patriotic Iraqi songs,

visibly happy to go back. Asked if they might die,
they all say: "It is my country; I must fight for it."

They're going back for contradictory reasons:
They've secretly been solicited to come back,

They're hoping Saddam Hussein will be gone,
They don't fear becoming martyrs for Islam,

doing what we can't quite believe, because we
apparently can't think in Arabic contradictions:

We still haven't grasped how 0 can actually be
a whole number, or how a martyr can still = 1

(31 MAR 03 3:19p.m., Wellesley MA)

Gulf War 2: Day 15 : "Absofreakinlutely!"

I trade bulletin board posts with pro-war 'Orion'
I post: Informed doesn't quite equal empowered.
Anybody here doing something about all of this?

'Orion' counters: "Absofreakinlutely! Supporting
our troops. I was opposed to doing this unilaterally,
but 'that train has sailed', baby!"  'Orion' adds:

"I'll also take up a collection for you to stroll
through the post-war streets of Baghdad, strewing

rose petals and chanting 'visualize world peace'
if you would like, Bill. Just like MIT in the good
old days, but w/ cheaper drugs." pretending

MIT was just another Stoner U, back in 1967.

(03 APR 03  10:17 Wellesley MA) 


Gulf War 2: Day 16 :  Woman with 2 poodles

A small old woman in an Austrialian shepherder hat
with a black poodle on a leash in each hand, silently

watches me from the opposite street-corner, coming
straight across, off the walk & against the signals,

stopping to stand silently before me, reading my sign:

curling up in disgust. She walks past me, pulled by
both poodles; next, 4 girls come past me, asking to

read the sign. They all agree with it, so I say: “This
is something anybody should be able to get behind.

If you can’t, there’s not much humanity left in you.”
They agree; they say the woman with her poodles

passed them as they came towards me. They laugh.
“I’m not afraid of her poodles,” I say. They laugh.

(06 APR 03  1:11 Wellesley MA)


Gulf War 2: Day 17:  Opposing poets on Gulf War 2

Read these opposing poets' poems on the current Gulf war:
Ben Adamsky's "On the coming Liberation of Baghdad" --

"Soon you will be free of the men with guns who have built you up
with palaces of fear who have shredded human bodies and chipped

human souls in cheap wood chips and called it Saddam's Justice.
May you enjoy the fruits of liberty long enough to help you

habituate yourself  to its blessings." Anyone in their right mind
has similar aspirations for Iraq, realizing them is something else;

now read Robert M. Chute [83] (PhD, parasitology, Johns Hopkins)
ex-chair of the Bates College Biology Dept. "Sight Bite: April, 2003"

"An image flashed on evening TV: the Iraqi boy on his bicycle
catches a Frisbee tossed  from a passing troop carrier and I wonder

what the boy will remember of this war when he is as old as I am
remembering World War Two. The Frisbee was bright blue."

Chute trained in FL as a bomber navigator at the end of WW2,
but never saw combat. He marches with Veterans For Peace.

(06 APR 03  5:00, Wellesley MA)


Gulf War 2 : Day  18 : “Sunday morning…”

Sunday morning, a young Moroccan academic speaks to
an audience of fully attentive Episcopalians in a college town

about the measurably long history of his country, explaining:
Washington & Jefferson wrote to “our great and magnanimous

Friend, his Imperial majesty, the Emperor of Morocco” from
their new country “in the 15th year of our soverignty” seeking

continuation the “maganimous policies of your father.” In 1791
their new American republic badly needed recognition; that treaty

remains unbroken to this day. How much it really matters boils
down to current geopolitical strategy. Morocco still has no oil.

He exposes the cultural ignorance of  French colonialists,
citing a French newspaper photograph of a young bride

in traditional southern Moroccan dress, captioned as:
“A young Moroccan bride proudly showing her hand “

unaware that her gesture was “like a policeman’s hand
blocking an unwanted photograph” from being taken.

“By installing a new military regime in Iraq, you alter forces
elsewhere working towards democratization, causing confusion.

The lines joining every radical movement on earth get longer
& longer. I hope & pray this will not now happen in Iraq.”

(08 APR 03, 11:16  Wellesley MA)



Some of them will love you.
Some of them will not.
Some of them will thank you.
Some of them will not.

Are you really sure they all deserve mercy?

When you see them dancing in the street,
will you feel free enough to join them?
or will you decide you'd better not?

Are these some of the running thoughts
vexing your short-war-weary head?
You'd better have the answers.
You have no time to waste.
The peace is beginning.

(09 APR 03, 1:49pm, Wellesley MA)


GULF WAR 2 Day 33: Norman Meyer, pacifist

A little old man in a worn raincoat joins the vigil
Friday afternoon in the center of town, handing
me a card about Norman Meyer, Harvard '43
saying" "He was a total pacifist. He hated war."
A WW2 bomber pilot, Meyer wrote to his class:
"War is obsolete. Nations are obsolete." dying
soon after in 1983. His absolute refusal lives on;
someone my age walks up & reads my sign:
& agrees with it. "We don't need wars," he says.
"This was all just a set-up." We agree. We stand
in memory of Norman Meyer, Harvard '43,
Great Generation bomber-pilot gone pacifist.
(19 APR 03 10-:20, Wellesley MA)