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this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war - and today to everyone who is voting to alleviate that suffering

we love and support our troops, just as we love and support the Iraqi people - without exception, or precondition, or judgment

we have no sympathy for the devil

many images and a couple of poems below the fold


Relatives react by the coffin of five year old Zainab Adil outside Baghdad's Yarmouk hospital Tuesday Nov. 7, 2006. Zainab and her seven-year old brother were killed in Baghdad's Karkh district when their family was attacked by unknown gunmen.
(AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed )

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Rose Gentle, whose son Private Gordon Gentle was killed while serving in Basra in Iraq stands outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Families of British troops killed in Iraq went to court to protest the government's refusal to hold an independent probe into its decision to invade.
(AFP/Leon Neal)

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A U.S. military doctor attends to a wounded Iraqi soldier inside a U.S. military hospital at the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad October 30, 2006.
REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani (IRAQ)

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Iraq War veteran and Democratic Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth gets a hug from a supporter in Elmhurst, Illinois, November 6, 2006. Duckworth was co-piloting a Black Hawk helicopter north of Baghdad on November 12, 2004, when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the cockpit of her aircraft and exploded. Ten days later, when she woke up at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital in Maryland, she learned that the explosion would cost her both of her legs and had shattered her right arm.
REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)

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Missouri Senate candidate Democrat Claire McCaskill (R) hugs a supporter after a rally in Kansas City November 6, 2006, on her last day of campaigning against incumbent Senator Jim Talent (R-MO).
REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES)

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Actor Michael J. Fox listens during a rally Monday, Nov. 6, 2006 in Tempe, Ariz. for Democratic congressional candidate Harry Mitchell and Senate candidate Jim Pederson.
(AP Photo/Matt York)

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Jon Tester, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, is seen at the Great Falls Labor Temple in Great Falls, Mont., Monday, Nov. 6, 2006. Tester is in a very close race with incumbent Republican Sen. Conrad Burns.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

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Ned Lamont, right, who is challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman for the Democratic senatorial nomination in Connecticut, and Michael Schiavo, left, the husband of the late Terry Schiavo, smile at the start of a news conference in Hartford, Conn., Friday, July 28, 2006. Schiavo spoke on Lamont's behalf at the news conference.
(AP Photo/Bob Child)

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Democratic candidate Jim Webb (L) listens as former US president Bill Clinton rallies the crowd during an election rally in Alexandria, Virginia. Americans are going to the polls in congressional elections which has turned into a referendum on the war in Iraq, with Democrats hoping to tap voter disillusion to seize back Congress from President George W. Bush's Republicans.
(AFP/Paul J. Richards)

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Vice President Dick Cheney delivers remarks at the September 11th memorial at the Pentagon in Washington September 11, 2006. Cheney, campaigning for Republicans four days before congressional elections, said on Friday victories for Democratic critics of the Iraq war would tell militants that 'their strategy is working.'
(Jim Young/Reuters)

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A supporter of Sheldon Whitehouse, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Rhode Island, holds up a sign mocking U.S. President George W. Bush, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at a campaign rally in Warwick, Rhode Island November 6, 2006. Whitehouse is running to unseat Republican Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) in elections to be held November 7.
REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES)

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Life During Wartime
Talking Heads

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway
a place where nobody knows

The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver
hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, couple of visas
don't even know my real name

High on a hillside, trucks are loading
everything's ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime
I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C. B. G. B.
I ain't got time for that now

Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
somebody might see you up there

I got some groceries, some peanut butter
to last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers
ain't got no headphones
ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time?
Can't write a letter, can't send a postcard
I can't write nothing at all

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
this ain't no fooling around
I'd love you hold you, I'd like to kiss you
I ain't got no time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock
we blended in with the crowd
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
I know that ain't allowed

We dress like students, we dress like housewives
or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle so many times now
don't know what I look like!

You make me shiver, I feel so tender
we make a pretty good team
Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving
you ought to get you some sleep

Get you instructions, follow directions
then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day
whatever you think is best

Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won't help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace
the burning keeps me alive

Try to stay healthy, physical fitness
don't want to catch no disease
Try to be careful, don't take no chances
you better watch what you say

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In an extensive list of dubious achievements, among the more notable ones we can credit to the Bush administration is the degree to which it has marginalized and diminished the importance of the Iraq war in our national life. Polls showing increasing public unhappiness with our Iraq policy do not alter the point: at present, there is no sufficiently powerful public movement to alter our course. For the overwhelming number of Americans, the war still only concerns "them" -- those Americans actually caught up in it. And many of us (including many hawks, to their shame) minimize their suffering even further by noting that they volunteered, after all -- disregarding the stop-loss orders and other devices by which soldiers' tours are extended beyond endurance, and as if their having volunteered somehow makes their pain less noteworthy. That's a particular calculus that has never made sense to me; perhaps someone will explain it to me satisfactorily someday.

From the essay, "The Mythic Reality of War: Denying the Pain, and the Death," by Arthur Silber at Once Upon a Time...

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a personal note: As I reviewed and assembled the photos of the various candidates and political figures, I was struck by the irony of including images of primarily upper middle class (and better) single-minded strivers in the same diary as a post-punk song depicting a desperate revolutionary struggle.

I know Bill Clinton was too busy putting together his shoebox full of index cards with the names of people he would later call on to help him in his quest to pay much attention to the likes of Patti Smith, Talking Heads, or The Clash.

Then again, maybe John Tester or Claire McCaskill actually did slam dance in crowded mosh pits not long ago, or at least bothered their parents by playing that music in their rooms too damned loud.

I guess we all have to grow up sometime. I'm just not ready, myself.

As for the kind of psychic distancing from the realities of war, and of this particular war of invasion and occupation, that Arthur Silber speaks about - I admit to more than a small feeling of shame and hypocrisy at times when I troll for a photo or poem or song lyric. My own life in wartime is not so hard.

I guess that we each do whatever we can do, and then reach down a little further to do some more. Today, that means voting and encouraging/helping others to vote because, quite frankly, what's the alternative?

One final lyric to turn to through the day and into the long night ahead:

When The Night Feels My Song
performed by Bedouin Soundclash

I'm on the rocky road
Heading down off the mountain slope
And as my steps echo echo,
louder than before

Another day is done,
say goodbye to the setting sun
See what i found,
Turn back to the ground
Just like before

And Hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey beautiful day, hey beautiful day
Hey hey hey hey
Hey beautiful day, hey beautiful day
When the night feels my song
I'll be home, I'll be home

Into the undergrowth,
Twist and turn on a lonely road
In the twilight
the day turns to night
And I'm alone

And when the light has left
I'm not sure of my every step
Follow the wind that pushes me west
Back to my bed

And Hey hey hey hey hey hey
Hey beautiful day, hey beautiful day
Hey hey hey hey
Hey beautiful day, hey beautiful day
When the night feels my song
I'll be home, I'll be home

When the night feels my song
I'll be home, I'll be home
When the night feels my song
I'll be home, I'll be home

- - -

Originally posted to RubDMC on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 07:31 AM PST.

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