Stuck Between Iraq and a Hard Place

In 1991, George Bush Senior launched the Iraq War prequel. Basically, Iraq was sucker punched by the U.S. to help us get over our “Vietnam Syndrome” of feeling bad about pushing our weight around through massive state violence. I believe the war’s military codename was, “Approval Ratings are Down – It’s About Time We Had Another War” (ARADIATWHAW). Just like his son’s latter Iraq War, this one had an air of inevitability about it. The U.S. administration was going to invade Iraq and they weren’t going to let public opinion or international law stand in their way.

Here are two raps I wrote during the buildup to the invasion. The first, Stuck Between iraq and a Hard Place, was featured on Maximum Rock’n’Roll radio and on The Gulf Crisis TV Project, an anti-war video compilation by Deep Dish TV that aired internationally. When you read these poems, think back to the year 1991. The Berlin Wall had just come down and Apartheid had crumbled in South Africa. The Cold War had ended, and the the military industrial complex was scrambling to find reasons to keep making and selling weapons of mass destruction and avoid a “peace dividend.” After the Reagan administration had been exposed for illegally selling weapons to Iran to finance the Contra terrorists in Central America, former CIA boss turned President George Bush Sr. had invaded Panama and arrested its leader, who, like Saddam Hussein, had been an ally of the U.S. Alaska was still reeling from the 10.6 million gallons of crude oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez, and the PGA golf tour had just announced that they would stop playing at clubs that excluded Blacks.

Sometimes when we think about strategic politics, we can lose sight of the people who suffer unimaginable loss from war. While we all hope that Iraq stabilizes and ends up with security and peace for its people, the final outcome can never retroactively justify the evil of war. While the world is dotted with memorials to soldiers, we rarely see memorials to civilian victims of wars or to those who put themselves on the line to stop the killing. These pieces are dedicated to the victims of war and to the peace makers.

Stuck Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Are you stuck between Iraq and a hard place?

It’s too late for Kuwait –

Time to stop drilling for oil

And start killing for oil!

So we can keep spilling the oil.

Iran away from domestic problems

To feast on the Middle East

Now we can put the environment into retirement

Blame economic woes on Middle Eastern foes!

Our weapans of destruction

Are safe from imminent reduction

Let’s keep the country out of focus

With aviation hocus-pocus

From our nation’s aircraft carriers

Jets faster than sound barriers

Buzzing o’er the ocean

In patriotic devotion

Poised to kill and die

It’s oil that lets them fly!

It’s boring in Managua

We’re done destroying Nicaragua

The Contras are passé

Though they knew how to play

Just too many ambiguities –

Like Ollie North’s gratuities

And Panama’s no fun

We grab the General and run

(We put Noriega in a Winnabega to keep Las Vega safe from that Traita)

Eastern Europe’s finally free

Free as MTV

So’s South Africa for sure

Free as the PGA golf tour

The media paints a scene

of a tyrant so obscene

But the oil companies think it’s keen

As they raise the price of gasoline

So with crystal clear vision

We turn on television

And see scenes we like to see

Of free dumb and demockery

The flag flies high

As Arabs die

And that’s how it should be

After all, they’re on our property.


Here Comes the Emir


No one’s sane!

But have no fear

Here comes the Emir

He’s one chic sheik

Doesn’t turn the other cheek

Stands up for his sovereign border

As imposed by foreign order

‘Twas imposition in the Brit tradition!

Took a simple mandate

To create Kuwait

A free democratic state

(That is, if states are free

When ruled by decree)

Thus the English subjegated

All the Arabs that they hated

But that’s too complicated

And far, far too outdated

To be belatedly related

By Western news incorporated!

Besides, it’s just a detail

And what does it retail?

What matters to the West

Is the liquid they love best.

‘Tis the oil

For which the Arabs toil

In the arid soil

That makes a Royce royal.

And we’d still be getting rich

If not for one tiny glitch

It seems some Arabs just aren’t happy

With Uncle Sam as their pappy

They just don’t seem content

With Bush as their President

So we’ll have to kill them all

How else can the West stand tall?

They must learn it isn’t nice

To make us raise our gas pump price.

And if our gas isn’t cheap,

Their lives are.

They know they sow

What we reap

To drive a car.

If you came here for poems, click this daisy for a post you might enjoy:


One Response to Stuck Between Iraq and a Hard Place

  1. cyndi says:

    really good, and true, and sad


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