"If the Americans come, they will just draw an arbitrary line through a temporary problem and make it permanent." -- former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States and France

Boobie Counter Insurgency
(from Fernando Po, U.S.A., America's post-literate retreat to Plato's Cave)

If offered help you'd best refuse
For if you should relent
They'll draw an arbitrary line
Through problems transient
And complicate them all so as
To make them permanent

They’d like to spend a “night,” they say
To get inside the door
But after years you’ll find them fast
Asleep upon your floor
In no apparent haste to end
Their stay that you abhor

Like suitors of Penelope
They make themselves at home
In yours – till you will marry them
Or read to them a tome
That ends when brave Ulysses comes
From back across the foam

They start with talking of a “race”
But just as a pretense
Once underway, the “journey” talk
Begins to change the sense:
“Accomplished” missions leading to
No perfect in their tense

A hanging concentrates the mind;
No hangings, the reverse
When no one hangs for screwing up
Results become perverse
Rewards buy more incompetence
And gild the golden purse

Incompetents attract their ilk
They know no other kind
And so they concentrate like sludge
A residue refined
To gum up all the moving parts
And leave them in a bind

The Law of Parkinson explains
Bureaucracy’s demands
Just make more room to make more work
For still more willing hands
There’s room enough for everyone
When all the yeast expands

The Peter Principle sets in
And all float to the top
The good get out; the bad stay on:
Promotion will not stop
It doesn’t matter what they do,
Or how they fail and flop

“You fuck up then you move up” goes
The slogan of the day
Republican philosophy
For how to make some hay
Insurgencies have payrolls that
Would tempt a Kenneth Lay

To “counter” the insurgency
You first put on your crown
And then “elect” your puppets till
You start to spiral down
To end up with the worst of all:
George Bush and Michael Brown

Great nations, so the saying goes,
Cannot fight little wars
It just makes them look little
Like the whores that staff the bars:
Those widowed native women folk
Whose men died for our cars

We had to have the oil, it seems,
To make our gas and fuel
No matter that the price has soared
While Halliburton gruel
Fed to the troops to keep them fit
Has made them mean and cruel

But when a bloated, idle firm
Has little real to do
It either lays employees off
Or makes a pooch to screw
Then buys up some screwdriver stock
With options for a few

And then consultants come to call
To market mantras cool:
Some jaundiced, jaded, jargon jive
To mesmerize the fool
Which Dick and Don have taught to George
To make of him a tool

The trophy chief executive
Requires the use of sound
A propaganda catapult,
Some noise he needs to pound
He doesn’t have to know “above”
From “under” or “around”

Deciding to decide he picks
Decision as his guide
He chooses choices chosen for
The options that they hide
He puts them “on the table” then
Onto the floor they slide

He turns both tides and corners and
He chews gum as he walks
Then chokes and stumbles, yanked by strings,
As his bad puppet balks
Refusing to “eliminate”
The “enemy” he stalks

Technology will save the day
Or so we have been told
Our vastly overpriced machine
Will keep away the cold
Although “insurgents” wreck it with
“Improvisation” bold

The war to have more war again
Has made war without end:
Careers for all the supple ones
Whose rubber ethics bend
Until their “honor” turns to rust:
A blood-stain’s reddish blend

But why not send some campaign staff?
Those smarmy puerile jerks
Who masturbate to thoughts of “war”
With all its rank and perks
Who find “good bidness” where it “is”
And who cares if it works?

They’ll camp inside the castle walls
Some hamburgers to munch
And never go outside the wire
To brave the deadly crunch
While talking tough about Tehran
Where they’d be someone’s lunch

The days and weeks and months go by
With more excuses still
For why the costs keep rising while
The “enemy” we kill
But, What the hell? It’s free-lunch war!
The kids will pay the bill

Republicans can talk a fight
Until the buildings fall
They then attack the innocent
And squawk a shrieking squall
Producing only years of talk
To cover for it all

So “Hell is on the way,” alright,
Dick Cheney’s vow fulfilled
They fell asleep on watch and got
Three thousand of us killed
Then ran off half a world away
To have some oil wells drilled

In only six more months of this
The numbers will accrue
To show we’ve lost three thousand more
With no apparent clue
Explaining why we’ve spent more time
Than fighting World War Two

We used to have great enemies
But now we’ve only small
We shot a cannon at a wasp
Collapsing hive and hall
And now upon our bee-stung ass
The insects swarm and crawl

We’ve bought another cannon, though,
Because it makes more bang
And generates huge profits for
The ones who hire the gang
Who, when the sand gets in the gears,
Ignore the clunk and clang

The blowback, though, comes round in time;
No one has yet escaped.
Vietnamized; Iraqified;
Corrupted by the raped,
The “victors” thus are vanquished by
The monkeys that they aped.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright 2006