The Blood Speckled Banner

By Gus Bode

a href=””bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span

The Blood Speckled Banner

Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light


Those we killed without remorse, can you hear them screaming?

The broad stripes and bright stars, that blind us to their plight,

O’er the ramparts we watched, were so banefully streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night, that Texaco soon will be there.

Oh, say does that blood-speckled banner yet wave,

O’er the land of hate, and democracy’s grave.


As everyone is already aware, on Thursday, US troops entered Iraq. We are told by President Bush that these young men and women fight to defend freedom, democracy, and most of all, peace. To do this, they will be required to kill, maim, and most of all, wage war. Blood will run in the streets of Iraq, much as it has for the last decade at the hands of the US, and there will not be enough flags of red, white and blue on this earth to

sop it all up. The blood of Iraq will be on the hands of these young men and women – whether they choose it or not. Some people did have a choice, however, although they would be loathe to pick up a gun themselves.

The US soldiers in Iraq will be killing and dying for various reasons. Some signed up out of a sense of duty, some enlisted for the college money. The leaders of the United States on the other hand, are in this war for one reason alone:conquest. This war is certainly about oil, but it is about much more. It is about making the world safe for McDonalds and Nike. It is about opening markets, and eliminating threats to profit. It is about maintaining superpower status:dominating in militarism, dominating in wealth, and dominating in culture. This war is the beginning of an attempt

to create a Pax Americana, a world that is safe for Americans, if only

because Americans control the world at the point of a cruise missile.

The Bush administration has realized that containment is not enough. With the Pandora’s Box of nuclear proliferation, and the vulnerability of American cities, the Bush regime has realized that old foreign policies are not adequate for today. So they have assaulted American rights at home, and have begun to fulfill their plan abroad – today, Iraq, tomorrow, the “Axis of Evil”. The plan has been laid out for all to see. It is in the speeches, it is in the legislation. It is in the especially earnest way some Americans are saying, “My country right or wrong”.

While Bush is busy sealing our borders, our windows, and our fate, he has failed to take a look around. America is the home of the free, the land of the brave. Why would anyone want to attack us? To be blunt, it is because we are none of those things, at home, or especially abroad. We barricade our cities with riot police to protect the country from protesters. We barricade our minds to protect us from criticism from the rest of the world. We barricade our ports to protect us from terrorists. And we barricade the Middle East to protect us from, well, the Middle East.

What do these people see that we do not? They see a country that controls the vast majority of the world’s wealth. They see a country that seeks to crush their cultures and beliefs, and replace them with fast food and the belief in the almighty dollar. They see a country that, when opposition to these policies rears its head, uses the mightiest army on the planet to smother opponents. Americans see their country as the bastion of freedom, but that freedom comes at the expense of the rest of the world.

At some point however, we must realize we are not what we claim to be. We do not represent ourselves to the rest of the world as purveyors of freedom; rather we are purveyors of death and suffering. No matter which weapon we choose, be they trade sanctions or precision guided missiles, we seem to be able to do nothing but kill. We are Americans:we grow fat, while the world starves; we spend billions on war, while the world needs billions for

medicine; we clutch ever increasing portions of the world’s wealth, and wonder why others hate us. The flag may mean one thing to Americans, but for the rest of the world, it is simply soaked in blood.