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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Real Americans – The Annotated Version

I published this poem here on my blog a few days ago.  Afterwards a few people commented to me that they thought I had exaggerated the situation. Perhaps I did.  Perhaps I did push a few statements made by American leaders into the realm of hyperbole, but it didn’t take much of a push.

Here, then, is an annotated version of the poem – showing in the endnotes where I culled the various lines.


Real Americans – Annotated

All real Americans love the sting of battle[i]
and dream of glory in the big leagues;
they swell with pride to see
      our banner in the breeze
and turgid at the thought
     of going out to fight
                                       again.

All real Americans will not only shoot their enemies,
but will bomb them back to the Stone Age, [ii]
rip out their living goddamned guts.[iii]
Americans will not tolerate a loser
nor worship a god they can beat up.[iv]

No real American is ever war-weary.[v]
No real American ever digs in;
they press forward until the last round is fired
     and the last drop of gas is expended.

American heroes do not wait for inspectors or,
      god forbid!  negotiators or diplomats.
Real American heroes will never seek a permission slip
to defend the security of our country.[vi]
American heroes do not wait for congress to authorize action
they launch the missiles before the ardor cools.[vii]

All real Americans are glorious bastards,
eager for the acrid smoke
     and scorching flames of this war,
                the next war,
                     any war
that will allow us to demonstrate our natural superiority.



[i] General George S. Patton – 3rd Army speech – May 31st 1944 - http://old.nationalreview.com/weekend/history/history-patton111001.shtml

[ii] General Curtis LeMay during the Vietnam War http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_LeMay, later borrowed and reiterated during the Bush administration as a threat to Pakistan - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/sep/22/pakistan.usa

[vi] President George W. Bush – State of the Union Address 2004 - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/transcripts/bushtext_012004.html

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