War is peace

First published in Green Left Weekly under the title “Hearts and minds”, 28/8/2004 p22

In Iraq the Americans are winning the hearts and minds – again.
A week ago they batonned a man senseless
he refused to remove a poster from his car:
the poster was a picture of Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al Sadr.
Were the Americans protecting free speech?
Were they demonstrating their version of religious tolerance?
Unfortunately the man, Salem Hassan, died from the beating,
I suppose the Americans would call his death collateral damage.
I say to the Americans “Keep digging: the hole must lead somewhere.”