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Monday, 13 July 2009

Afghanistan

Six years ago, it all seemed so clear. I was against the Iraq invasion, and so were many (most?) American, Canadian, British, Irish, and Australian poets, from what I could tell. Anthologies, poems, events, and marches, ensued. The invasion happened anyway. The revolution was e-booked. Now, Western forces are dying daily, in relatively high numbers, and the public is beginning to ask questions. I'm a member of that public, not above it, and am asking the questions too. I tend to adore Barack Obama - he is so effortlessly stylish, apparently decent, and, within reason, left-leaning for an American leader - but he has made this campaign in Afghanistan his own. Curiously, there's been little poetic response to this war against the Taliban in the "Af-Pak" region, either from the soldiers on the ground, or the people back home who are sending them there, or underwriting their deaths with their support. What do the poets think about this? Does that matter? What is to be done? I am currently - and no doubt unwisely - on the fence about this, unable to yet make up my mind. For Eyewear, that may be a sign of maturation.
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