Published October 18, 2013
Unless they stop the flow of oil
by Terrence Halloran

On market days they walk to town,
along the desert track.
As we watch them we ask ourselves
why we went to Iraq.
Some Arabs hijacked four big planes
that passengers were on.
They hit the World Trade Center first,
and then the Pentagon.
Afghanistan was first to feel
the wrath of our recoil.
Then war on terror took us to
Iraq where there is oil.
The mass destruction weapons that
we went there to undo,
Were gone, perhaps to Syria,
we did not find a clue.
We hunted down Saddam Hussein,
we found him in a hole.
Three years we kept and fed Saddam,
though this was not our goal.
Iraqi justice slowly moved
through evidence and whim.
At last they did what we desired,
they executed him.
We built five major bases there,
from Turkey to Kuwait.
We fortified a large green zone,
with guns at every gate.
We built a U.S. Embassy,
the biggest anywhere.
Five thousand bureaucrats worked there,
protected by our care.
The people waved as we went by,
we eyed them nervously.
Some hoped that on the road ahead
we'd hit an IED.
Each day the snipers aimed at us,
from roof-tops where they spied.
Most of the time we did not know
just who was on our side.
Iraqis killed a lot of us,
but we killed ten times more.
We stayed the course, we would not leave,
we had to win the war.
We went to fight the terrorists,
we could not let them roam,
For if we chose to cut and run,
they'd follow us back home.
We left Iraq, now chaos rules
across the desert sand.
Iraqis kill each other and
despoil each other's land.
We thought that they would welcome us,
to get rid of Hussein.
Unless they stop the flow of oil,
we won't go there again.