Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Look in the Mirror as a Nation (12.31.07)

NY Times Editorial... excerpts .... in blank verse:

too many moments
we cannot recognize
our country

impossible to see the founding principles

the contempt
for the Constitution,
the rule of law
and human decency

this horror
this sorrowful sense of estrangement

there is no excuse

President Bush and his advisers
out of panic and ideology
swept aside
trampled on the constitutional pillars
fed the world’s anger and alienation
have not made any of us safer

sexually humiliate
torment and murder prisoners

huddled in secret
to circumvent
Geneva Conventions
American and international law

lawyers twisted other laws
to turn intelligence agents
into torturers
abdicate their professional oaths
prepare prisoners for abuse
monitor the torment

imperial fantasies

men, swept up
no hope of real justice
kangaroo court
ever more barbaric acts
that “experts” could watch
in the hope that Americans would never know

its inhumanity
no respect for life or law
tortured into making false confessions

without any apology or hope of redress
shocking abuses

look in the mirror as a nation

Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address... excerpts ... in blank verse:
declare the causes
self-evident truths

the Right of the People
to alter or to abolish
a long train of abuses

it is their right, it is their duty,
to throw off
absolute Tyranny
He has refused
He has endeavoured to prevent
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice

solemnly publish and declare
Cruelty & Perfidy
whose character
marked every act which may define a Tyrant

It is for us
to be dedicated
to the unfinished work
dedicated to the great task remaining before us
increased devotion to that cause
that we here highly resolve
that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom
and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.


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