Antiwar Poseurs Not Well Received

With our troops in combat, many Americans have little patience for antiwar posturing. In Denver, fans booed and walked out when lead singer Eddie Vedder impaled a President Bush mask on a microphone stand. Apparently he hasn’t been following what happened to the Dixie Chicks. Vedder was careful, by the way, to say that he “supports the troops.”
In Palm Beach, Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias spoke at a fundraiser for the Children’s World Blood Bank. He used the occasion to deliver an antiwar tirade, leading 150 people to walk out, some singing an impromptu chorus of “God Bless America.” Arias took offense: ”I expected to find more tolerance and respect for freedom of speech in the democracy of Jefferson and Lincoln. If people in Palm Beach only want one point of view, they can continue watching American TV networks.” I guess Arias never heard about Lincoln’s jailing the Copperheads.
And in England, Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has written another poem! You may remember the ridicule with which his last effort, “Causa Belli,” was greeted in the blogosphere. Here is the poem, titled “Regime Change” (how original), which appeared in yesterday’s Guardian.
In the poem, Death surveys Iraq and says of various places, “They’re mine now, and I’ve turned them inside out.” “Regime Change” displays some of the same elegance of language that characterized “Causa Belli”:
“Take Tigris and Euphrates; once they ran
through childhood-coloured slats of sand and sun.
Not any more they don’t; I’ve filled them up
with countless different kinds of human crap.”
But Motion’s biggest problem is that he seems ignorant of the state of affairs in Saddam’s Iraq. His prewar Iraq includes “Eden,” a “palace sprouting flowers which sweetened empires in their peaceful hours,” and “star-tipped minarets, the marble courts and halls, the mirage-heat.” No mention of torture chambers. In the poem, the war makes Iraq “a by-word for despair.” Actually, that’s what Iraq has been for a long time, and what the war is about to change. Motion, by the way, is also careful to say that he “supports the troops.”
The antiwar poseurs had better get busy; at the rate things are going, there soon won’t be a war to protest against.


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