On the Night of War

I wrote this poem on the night the Iraq war began, ten years ago.

On the night of war…
March 19, 2003

A light rain has fallen
A trio of snails marches up the main path towards my front door
Upon the thinnest of thin sheets of wet
Like the one who came into my garage a week ago
To say “hi neighbor, what is all this stuff in your garage?”
A week ago, before I turned thirty, before we entered this latest war
I was unaware there was such an abundance of large snails
Before this night which is a second day
Rising after collapsing from exhaustion of the stress, agony, exhilaration, guilt
Of being alive and flourishing at this strange time

© 2003 Amar Chaudhary

New Podcast: "Mission Accomplished (again)"

Some of you may have seen my parody of Bush's May 1, 2003 “Mission Accomplished” theatrics, and a few of you may have even gotten the joke.

In any case, I posted a version to YTMND complete with remixed clips from the speech. Tonight's podcast is an extended version of that speech remix. As always, click on the podcast icon to the right, or the “Podcast” item in the right-side menu, to subscribe.


Cats after the war

This photo from the Haifa-based Israeli Cat-Lovers Society is an interesting juxtaposition of cats and the recent war:

In Lebanon, BETA continues its work in the suburbs of Beirut:

We stayed with them and we will never leave them. They are those who cannot speak, those who cannot comprehend what is happening around them, those who never had anything to do with this war, and those who were left behind.

While this forum and others have referenced efforts to rescue and care for pets on both sides of the conflict, the following AP article suggests that there is little or no cooperation between groups on either side:

More, the Israeli animal rescuer, said her group [Ahava] had contacted BETA to offer assistance in evacuating animals, “but they are not interested in being in touch with us.''…She said Ahava has proposed meeting fleeing Lebanese in boats in international waters to collect their pets. “Believe me, dogs and cats in Lebanon don't see themselves as political animals. They just want to leave.''

El-Massih said BETA was never contacted by the Israeli animal rights group, although it did receive a sympathy e-mail from a former member of Ahava who now lives in the United States.

If true, this is another sad development in the erosion of civil society amid the tribalism that dominates the Middle East and elsewhere…