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Wednesday, April 01, 2015


by Howard Winn

Reading John Bolton's dangerously casual argument for yet another war in the Middle East . . . you’d never know that war with Iran poses any risks at all. Given Bolton’s record on Iraq, this recklessness is not surprising. More surprising is that the Times let him get away with it. I understand that the Times, as a left-leaning op-ed page, needs ideological diversity. But when it comes to war and peace, diversity isn’t the highest value. Honesty is. —Peter Beinert, The Atlantic, March 27, 2015

Go to war,
they cry,
even the old
discredited ones
who screwed up
drop the bombs,
send the drones,
kill, kill. kill.
No one notices,
I am afraid,
that most such
hawks have never
served nor heard
the crack of those
guns they love
like adolescent
suitors in middle
school who yearn
for glory and girls
whose love affair
is with the self,
for whom the thought
of war is a kind
of masturbation.
They do not actually
follow their own
war cries, but hide
in speeches and lead
from behind in what
is only a war dance
to the death of others.
How brave and martial
is the tin soldier.

Howard Winn's poetry and fiction has been published recently in Dalhousie Review, Galway Review, Taj Mahal Review, Descant (Canada), Antigonish Review, Southern Humanities Review, Chaffin Review, Evansville Review, and Blueline. He has a B. A. from Vassar College and an M. A. from the Stanford University Writing Program.