Saturday, May 3, 2003

The War Song of George W. Bush

With inspiration from and apologies to T. S. Eliot.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the bombs' smoke is spread out against the sky
Like their victims etherised on makeshift tables;
Let us go through cratered, shrapnel-littered streets,
The muttering retreats
Of Arab troops in unrelenting hells
And toppled maniacs in buried cells:
Streets that follow like my tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lure you, deaf to worldwide opposition . . .
Oh do not ask, 'What was it?'
That made us go install our puppet!

From the flight deck sorties come and go
Dropping on targets far below.

The terror fog that clouds the thoughts of fearful brains
The terror threat that haunts the dreams of fearful brains
Licked its tongue into the dark days of McCarthy,
Lingered with the fools that ask for chains,
Let fall upon its back the soot of burned up freedoms,
Slipped by the Congress, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it faced a soft and token fight,
Curled tight about our rights, with most asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the terror threat that permeates our lives
Clouding the thoughts inside our fearful brains;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a war to meet the terrors that we meet;
There will be time to murder, recreate,
And time to loot the works and change the lands
That shift and pose a problem for our state;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for some UN indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Of those repackaging our history.

From the flight deck sorties come and go
Dropping on targets far below.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, 'Do I dare?' and, 'Do I care?'
Time to give back and replace with prayer,
The civil liberties that once were there -
(They will say: 'How their rights are growing thin!')
The anchor's gloat, and chiseled jaw, and never ending grin,
His necktie patriotic, and emblazoned with a spangled pin -
(They will say: 'But how his bites and clips are thin!')
Do I go
Before the UN first?
In a conflict there is time
For decisions and revisions which a conflict will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all
Have known the high life, beer blasts, pretzel swoon,
I was granted my first term by silver spoon;
I know the voice votes dying with a dying call
Beneath the gavel of the Senate room.
Global power I assume?

And I have known the ayes already, known them all -
The ayes that boost you in the formulaic phase
And when I am formulaic, prowling on a whim,
When I have whims and Congress at my call,
That's how I can begin
Defiscalizing dividends for all my wealthy friends.
Global leader I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all -
Arms that are nuclear or not, but chers
(But in the night fight, downed on targets fair!)
Is it military dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that fly along a laser, to resurrect a Shah.
Global power I assume?
And how should I begin?

Shall I say, I was blessed with trust, lacked Ivy feats,
But watched the smoke that rises from the rooms
Of business men in cuffed sleeves fixing me the Rangers? . . .

I would have lost, but for the hanging chads
Scuttled in haste and shame by tarnished courts.

In the briefing room, with evidence, Powell pleads urgently!
Spinning humdingers,
Rumsfeld . . . Franks …and troops malinger,
(Cheney's seen no more, for his security).
Shall I, after Iraq's been purged of vices
Have support to thwart the next fake crisis?
But though I have prepped the masses, kept afraid,
Though I have let Korea (grown slightly bold) restart their bomb reactor,
They are not Muslim - and hence no great matter
I have seen the image of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the French and Russians block the vote, and snicker
And in short, I was enraged.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the Ba'ath, the Taliban, to see
Among the battle plans and paranoid security,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the interests into the will
To roll out at last some comprehensive health plan,
To say: 'I am Roosevelt, come with the Deal,
Come back to help you all, I shall help you all -
If one, settling a lawsuit on appeal,
Should say: "It is now what is fair for all.
It is now fair, for all.'

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while
After the anthrax, and the Twin Towers, and the panicked streets,
After Kyoto, after the scandals, after the stocks that tanked and made us poor -
And this, and so much more? -
It must be possible for justice to be seen!
But as if the major networks told the truth in programs on the screen;
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a lawsuit or sentencing a shill,
And citing the Constitution, should say:
"It is now fair for all.
It is now what is fair, for all."

No! I am not Abe Lincoln, nor was meant to be;
Am reborn in the Lord, one that will do
To swell an ego, start a war or two,
Despise the French; no doubt, the dainty fools,
Presidential, glad to stage a ruse;
Politic, reckless, and iniquitous;
Fond of death sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous -
Almost, at times, a fool.

I grow bold . . . I grow bold . . .
I shall wear down Congress till my tax cut's sold.

Shall I part with old allies? Do I dare the peace to breach?
I shall send troops preemptively, cruise missiles where they'll reach.
I have heard Al Qaeda talking, each to each.

They'll die in caves or else hang separately.

I have seen bin Laden's terror in my dreams
Bombing the White House, bringing small pox back
When the wind aids the bio-chem attack.

We have tinkered with the world economy
And nations propped with World Bank loans and yet
The ingrates cannot service all their debt.