28 August, 2006

Not like ordering a pizza

I never stop being busy. The most recent being the launch of my book 'Picking mangoes that are still green' at the Queensland Poetry Festival, at the Judith Wright Centre on Saturday 26 August. http://www.queenslandpoetryfestival.com/

'Picking mangoes' is an artefact of George W Bush's fraudulent 'War on Terror' in which state terror has risen to new heights of obscenity and the most afflicted people are the world's poorest. War in Africa is the signal of further conflicts to come. The book is published by and available from Post Pressed Publishing http://www.postpressed.com.au/index.html

I would also like to express my appreciation for another artefact of the illegal War of Aggression and Plunder Against the People of Iraq: James Blunt - 'No Bravery'. Listen and watch, the passion must move you.

James blunt served as a soldier in Iraq with the British army and he hated every moment of it, not because of fear but for what he is describing in this lovely song of his from his 2005 released album "Back to bedlam"!

To listen to this song follow the link

This is my contribution to the body of work denouncing the war crimes that Israel and the USA have most recently committed against the people of Lebanon - and while we were all distracted with this horror, denounced by the UN, Secretary General, Kofi Annan http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/747774.html and by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/document.do?id=ENGMDE150702006, the IDF continued to commit atrocities in Gaza and the West Bank against Palestinians http://web.amnesty.org/pages/mde-150612006-eng

Not like ordering a pizza

If we are convinced
That war is normal
A routine activity
Something that
Must be done
Like the chore
Of cleaning the house

Cleaning up South Lebanon
Levelling villages
Evicting everyone
Who can drive
Or walk
Or breathe

Then war is something
To do when you see advantage
A natural response
When the mood takes you
Part of life
Something to plan for

Unless someone has
The temerity
To resist your advances
To hinder your work
Cause you to reconsider

I’ll have olives and anchovies
With mine
In say 30 minutes?

Willy Bach © 2006

10 August 2006 – Montessori School, Fig Tree Pocket, Brisbane – during Israel’s assault on Lebanon

[Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud] “Olmert has said Israel would welcome a robust international force in southern Lebanon. But Israel's main concern remains the presence of Hizballah fighters in the area, as Israeli Brigadier General Yossi Kupperwasser, a senior intelligence officer, told reporters in Tel Aviv on August 7. "Some people ask, 'How come the Israeli army has not crushed Hizballah within five minutes?' So, let me tell you something: Crushing Hizballah is not like ordering a pizza. It takes time," Kupperwasser said”.http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/08/937223ac-7aa3-4f02-87ee-18e4469ea1b2.html

12 August, 2006

Lets encourage the brave Refuseniks of Israel


Refusenik Shaul Mograbi Berger
Shaul Mograbi Berger aged 19, was imprisoned for the fourth time on 16 October 2005 for refusing to serve in the Israeli army. He was sentenced to 21 days in prison and will be released on 6 November 2005, by which time he will have spent a total of some 65 days in prison.

There are princpled and brave young men and women in Israel refusing to commit war crimes. We should encourage this tendency in many other countries too.

Military Refusal in Israel

From a report by Sarah Anne Minkin and Rela Mazali: “…activist groups New Profile and Yesh Gvul report that hundreds, if not thousands, of reserve troops are refusing to go to the war. More than a hundred have turned to the groups for help in refusing to serve. While 5 refusers are currently in jail, with more awaiting trial for their refusal, the vast majority of refusers will not face immediate trial or punishment.” Why not? Report Sarah Anne and Rela: “…the majority of refusers are being told by their commanders to go AWOL, with punitive measures delayed for a later, less-urgent time. Refusers also report that many other men get out of service by going abroad, getting a medical deferral or simply going AWOL.” (Soon to appear on www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org)

... and many more!

I did it my way

Picture of American soldier laughing at the charred remains of a VC soldier
who was burned to death by a Napalm Bomb.
I am reminded that not much has changed since the Vietnam War.
We are counting down the days that are left for the war criminal George W Bush to 'serve' as President of the USA.
We would respectfullly ask our American friends to choose more carefully next time. Please don't go for Hillary Clinton - she is for war! Choose peace. Choose to be good neighbours.

I did it my way

I’ve had a few…
Its 3 am
At Tommy’s Guest House
Nong Khai
Suddenly in the darkness
Sinatra is playing really loud
I try to ignore it
Tossing restless
On my rush mat in my sarong

Switch it off
Someone shouts
Shut the fuck up
Replies the strident
American voice

I did it My Way…
Now singing along
A little slurred
Switch it off
Or I will

I’ve been here
Longer than you’ve had hot dinners
You can get fucked
If I want to play
My music
I fucking will

I called him Joe
I don’t know
His real name
In his sixties I thought
Helicopter pilot’s
Baseball cap
Check shirt
Mekong whiskey
An endless supply
Of cheep
Uncomplicated girls
Money to live on
For the rest of his days

I did it My Way…
Reminds me of
Swaggering arrogance
Anything we do is OK
The world’s most lawless policeman
Weapons and poppy seed
Its all currency
War is a game
Live fast
Don’t count
The casualties

Very few
We were doing a job
We were paid
To do what we did
That was then
Wear your past
Or bury it

This incident took place on my last night at Nong Khai before moving to Sang Khom. I had seen the man I have called Joe and guessed that he was an old ‘hand’ who had stayed on. Perhaps he was one of the gung ho pilots of baby airforce. Somehow I had an aversion to engaging him in conversation. He was sometimes drunk and argumentative, anyway. The Sinatra incident was indicative and revealing. It took six years for this poem to surface.

Acknowledgement to P. Anka, J. Revaux, G. Thibault, C. Frankois who wrote the song.

My Way