In a White House in DC
(a Bush had been there before),
brash Dubya’s Republicans
made plans for a war —
a war on Saddam, started long years before:
"We should have finished the job —
so to Baghdad once more!"
Dubya had vowed to give Saddam a push.
He was not afraid to fight,
he was elected president, and besides,
the belligerent man from Yale
answered only to himself.
"Forget the separation of powers,
I’m calling the shots in 48 hours."
The Pope and the Bishops had warned Mr Bush,
"War’s not simply a ‘choice.’ War’s an evil, it’s death, it’s not what is good;
when the fighting is done, and you think that you’ve won,
what feelings toward America,
will be felt by the littlest boys and girls
all throughout the Arabic world?"
"Others must explain themselves," said Mr Bush, "not me."
(That is the essence of Republican diplomacy).
So Dubya gave Saddam choices three:
"Do what I say, leave your country, or die — why won’t you listen? Tell the world why!
Give up your sovereignty, just do as I say,
and DO IT RIGHT NOW, or else bombs away!"
But Saddam Hussein simply would not be budged,
despite the Bush family’s personal grudge.
And so the war started (please don’t mention the oil),
to the joy of the powerful, the corrupt, and the mad.
The neo-conservatives cheered — they were glad!
"Just imagine the spoils when we conquer Iraq!
We’ll silence our opponents, we’ll live lives of ease.
With a war on, who cares about pleas,
from Jeffersonian cranks?
No libertarians we know have a division of tanks!"
Now that war has begun,
how will it all end?
With peace on Earth,
and goodwill toward men?
Or with Americans hated, in faraway lands,
and more innocents dead at terrorist hands?
George W. promises to give us safety;
but notice, dear reader, there is no guarantee.
Instead of a war, Dubya just might have heeded,
old George Washington, who recommended,
not foreign intervention and war, but peace and free trade.
"Peace and commerce with all, an alliance with none,"
So said old George in his Farewell Address.
This, once, was called "principled neutrality,"
But it’s gone by the wayside, fallen into disfavor,
for it’s WAR that appeals to our Maximum Leader,
and the men in his party who think only of cheering.
Mr. Dieteman [send him mail] is an attorney in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a PhD candidate in philosophy at The Catholic University of America.
© 2003 David Dieteman