15th anniversary of US invasion of Iraq

Poster from Sinn Fein shop in Dublin from Rafiq Kathwari

This is a poem Rafiq Kathwari wrote in 2003 in response to the US invasion of Iraq. Today is the 15th anniversary of that monstrous event.


Only Muslim in the workshop
I went on a bit about
Shock & Awe
Weapons of mass destruction
Axis of evil
Mobile chemical labs
Slam dunks
Smoking guns
Mushroom clouds
Regime change
& Mission Accomplished.

Civilization’s Cradle,
I said, is broken.
I am a witness
I must howl.
In every well in Baghdad
A rafiq is weeping
While long black coats
(With gas masks)
Huddle at the Wailing Wall
As if prayers could halt
Smart bombs.

“Rhetoric, not lyric,”
My peers echoed Yeats
“Argue with yourself not others.”
An adjunct admonished,
“A warhead soaring
From the earth’s womb
Was over the top. Navy Seals
Stockpiling kneepads was sick.
Not ars poetica.”

(Photo is poster Rafiq bought at Sinn Fein shop in Dublin)