“[I]n times of crisis it’s interesting that people don’t turn to the novel or say, ‘We should all go out to a movie,’ or ‘Ballet would help us.’ It’s always poetry. What we want to hear is a human voice speaking directly in our ear.”

Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003) speaking to the New York Times, as quoted in The Dead Beat by Marilyn Johnson

this diary is dedicated to all who suffer because of war and other disasters

we honor courage in all its forms

cross-posted at DailyKos, Booman Tribune, European Tribune,  My Left Wing, and TexasKos.

image and poem below the fold

An Iraqi boy leaves a hospital after his wounds were bandaged following an explosion in front of a Baghdad courthouse. At least 28 people were killed across Iraq amid continued political horsetrading over the formation of the next government with Shiites and Sunnis bickering over key government posts.
(AFP/Sabah Arar)

from Credible Information, 1999 – 2003
by Mark Pawlak

For Gary Trudeau

February 26, 2002
The Office of Strategic Influence was established after September 11th
to counter fears that the United States was losing public support
overseas for its war on terrorism, particularly in Islamic nations.
Its object was to use the foreign news media and the Internet
to tell the American side of the story. Plans for the office included
ways to “coerce” foreign journalists and opinion makers
and to “punish” those who convey the wrong message.
“A lot of the world does not like America,”
one senior official had said, “and it’s going to take
years to change their hearts and minds.”

– – –
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