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9/11 Masquerade – A Poem

Iraq Bernie Sanders Smedley Butler Tulsi Gabbard Tyson Manker

The White House said on October 29, 2003 that it had helped with the production of a "Mission Accomplished" banner as a backdrop for President George W. Bush's speech onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln to declare combat operations over in Iraq. This file photo shows Bush delivering a speech to crew aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, as the carrier steamed toward San Diego, California on May 1, 2003. REUTERS/Larry Downing/FILE ORG XMIT: WAS100D Published in NYT 11/03/03 Published Caption: President Bush and the banner that will not go away. No one seems to want to take credit for coming up with the idea for the banner. (Photo by Reuters) Published in NYT 09/09/04 Published Caption: MAY 1 -- President Bush, speaking to soldiers and fliers on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, declares that ''major combat operations in Iraq have ended.'' 16macmillan Library Tag 08162009 Books Library Tag 08162009 Books

Iraq Bernie Sanders Smedley Butler Tulsi Gabbard Tyson Manker

JACKSONVILLE, IL (3/20/2016) — Thirteen years ago, in 2003 the U.S. military launched an unprecedented military offensive against the nation of Iraq, which in many ways caused our current predicament by creating a power vacuum that enabled and emboldened Islamic jihadists to thrive.

Remarkably, those in media and high office now avoid discussing entirely how our government intentionally manipulated the American people into supporting an illegal war based on false evidence; What has been called the “most comprehensive, sophisticated, and misleading campaign of government propaganda in American history.”

As an infantry Marine who participated in that invasion 13 years ago, let me be very clear:

Iraq was NOT building nuclear weapons on rolling mobile WMD labs using aluminum tubes and enriched African yellowcake uranium. Trust me, we looked.

Not to mention, Iraq was NOT responsible for 9/11.  Saddam Hussein had literally NO connection to the terrorist attack.

Like so many wars before, the Iraq War was a Racket.

9/11 Masquerade comes from my deep respect for the many brave Americans who have served this nation, and from my frustration with warmongers and profiteers whose greed has cost our country so much.  On this thirteen-year anniversary of our Iraq invasion, with hope towards a more peaceful and prosperous future for all Americans, I share it with you.

9/11 Masquerade

We came from all around
Pledged allegiance with resound

And gave to Uncle Sam our rights away

A soldier corps
Built just for war
With ranks of those
Who yearned for more

Were drilled and taught to kill both night and day

We stood in line
Time after time
Were stripped of thoughts
Issued a mind

And told to hate and who to hate as well

As time went on
It wasn’t long
All childhood innocence
Was gone

We new recruits bought all that they could sell

Over the years
We trained as peers
We worked as one
And shed our fears

We moved around
And often found
People sharing
Common ground

Then came the day
A frightful one
The day the planes
Blocked out the sun

We knew it then
Fate would befall
On us to answer
Battle’s call

By then…

Patriotic pride had
Forged itself down deep inside

Within the breasts of we who stood to fight

Our nation we’d defend
If it took us to our end

Mattered not for why we joined meant doing right

Off to staging grounds we went
Determined not to die
Focused on the task at hand
Not once did we ask why

The cause for us to go to war
Was more than certain payback for
A cruel attack upon our land
A terrorist act that could not stand

But then again it could have been
The dreaded W M Ds
Yet all around they were not found
Despite the guarantees

Or was it freedom that we sought
For those who lived a life distraught
Surely order will return
After Saddam’s been caught

It must have also been to kill
Extremist rebels armed with will
What right have they to guard their land
We come in peace please understand

With shock and awe we forged ahead
Democracy we vowed to spread
Justice for all became our cry
Shown in bullets we let fly

Once the dust had finally cleared
Such shameful dirty truths appeared
Contradictions of a kind
That cannot leave a person’s mind

It wasn’t long before we saw
The story’s multitude of flaws
Iraq’s invasion was illegal and
We must withdraw

But wait! our leaders yelp
They say we need to give it time
The best thing we can do to help
Is prosecute war crimes


They grabbed their pens
And wrote new laws
Declaring theirs
A noble cause

They set to work and
Captured men
And tortured them
Time and again

“They have no rights,” we’d often hear
“Besides, these methods aren’t severe”

“We hope that soon they’re going to talk
If not, we’ll try electric shock”

They never stopped
For once to think
The world’s support
Would surely shrink

That through their actions
Their own deeds
They had planted
Terrorist seeds

Yet awful as war is for some
For others rapid profits come
To them it brings utter delight
When boys and girls go off to fight

When sacrifice is in the air
It’s not for them to share or care
They swoop in at the perfect time
With thoughts only to make a dime

Wartime profiteers
All gave the President three cheers
They knew they would not be condemned
‘Cause after all he’s one of them

By design the storyline
Was framed to then falsely assign
The blame away from those who cost
The treasure and the lives now lost

Resounding faith we had in those
Who told us where to find our foes
Yet when we looked we found instead
That all along we’d been misled

The dots were there for all to see
Indeed Mister Defense
But after I connect them
All the stories don’t make sense

On and on for months and years
They preyed upon citizens’ fears
Making all the people scared
With constant threat levels declared

Then they poured our money in
And miles away felt free from sin
Even lives were too outsourced
As long as profits were enforced

Now government can’t pay the rent
Because of all the money spent
Engaging in wars without end
A mis-prioritizing trend

We look to see what side they’re on
And find we’re nothing more than pawns
They use to make themselves well off
They take our money while they scoff

Make it known to understand
The blood that stains the desert sand
Of murdered daughters, sons, and friends
Ever marks The Decider’s hands

The only thing we have to fear
Is fear itself so let’s be clear

Attempts to veil the truth are made in vain

We see the things officials do
We know their words to be untrue

Nothing within our minds shall we constrain

What’s lost is gone
We can’t get back
We must pursue
A different track
Now’s the time
To take a stand
To rise above
To now demand

For those that fought and bled and died
And those who stayed at home and cried
For those who’ll never shed the scars
And those remaining trapped by bars

Your sacrifices haven’t gone
in vain We won’t allow this con

Here on out we simply must
Put faith in reason and not trust
Those on top who preach the most
It’s in themselves that they’re engrossed

The next time that they want to fight
Let’s come together and unite
Make peace and policy convene
Stand up against the war-machine

The power lies in all of us
To ask, question, dissent, discuss
And when our leaders go too far
We have to fuss and raise the bar

Since they’ve failed to lead upright
Let’s show the true meaning of might
And take back long-abused powers
Remind them that this land is ours


Tyson Manker is a former combat marine, attorney, college professor. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.