Declaring War

“The Constitution grants Congress the sole power to declare war…. Congress approved its last formal declaration of war during World War II. Since that time it has agreed to resolutions authorizing the use of military force and continues to shape U.S. military policy through appropriations and oversight.”1

Since 1942
our government has decided that
“war”
no longer need be declared.
War is bad.
We are not at war.
We merely “authorize the use of military force.”

And, oh, what force we have authorized!
We, the strongest military on earth,
with nearly 800 bases in over 70 countries2
who spend more on our military than the next 9 nations combined.3

How many millions of
bombs have been dropped
lands leveled
lives tortured, trammeled, taken
in our non-wars?

We are at war.
We have always been at war,
even if we don’t declare it as war
or if we declare it as war on an abstraction.

We are at war.
Not against terrorism
because war is terrorism
and our empire was built on terrorism
and terrorism begets terrorism.

We are at war
with nations,
with humans,
with life itself.

This is not a new war.
It is an escalation of an old war.
And I do not rest assured
by Congress’
oversight.

When you live
in the most powerful country on the planet
whose government designs death with impunity,
it is your duty to speak up for those who
do not live.

It is our duty
to call it what it is
and
declare war.

References

  1. https://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/history/h_multi_sections_and_teasers/WarDeclarationsbyCongress.htm
  2. http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21704817-presence-american-troops-foreign-soil-growing-more-controversial-go-home
  3. https://www.sipri.org/research/armament-and-disarmament/arms-transfers-and-military-spending/military-expenditure

Arts to Oppose NATO

Hi friends! Sorry that I haven’t been writing more frequently. I definitely have a lot to say, especially after attending the amazing People’s Summit at Occupy Chicago this weekend. But my ability to focus and compose my thoughts into words is still lacking. For now, I will let you know about an event I am honored to be performing at this Friday, International Voices for Humanity & the Planet: An Evening of Arts to Oppose NATO. I will be reading my poem “Hear No Evil” in three languages! There will be many other amazing artists there, so if you are in the Chicago area, please come by! And spread the word!