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Prison Transfer--war

Prison Transfer--war image
Parent Issue
Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
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Agenda Publications
OCR Text

My generation will remember in an instant the photo 100 children piled in a ditch naked and bloody. An Asian forest made bare from defoliants, no leaves oniy bodies. The caption read MY LAI MASSACRE My generation will remember Lt. Calley and nis defense "I was carrying out my superiors' orders." And it's true, he was, carrying out orders. This same generation never healed from the consequences of that unjust war. No reparations were paid, no relations restored, no bilateral discussions held. Once the enemy always the enemy, particularly if the enemy wins. Monuments went up to pay homage to the dead. (And even that was too late) Marble to substitute for international law, rhetoric in place of resources and respect. Apocalyptic movies were made at great cost, and with great profit, text books were written, history reworked to fit the current time. But the questions remain Who won? Why were we there? Was this genocide? Doesn't agent orange kill more than trees? The generĂ¡is learned too. Better than we. Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, Iraq. Iraq. The Vietnamese people are suffering still, as they will, until someone takes responsibility. Yesterday while in transit in a prison van in chains and shackles, I thought of war. Beside me a woman sat, a woman born ten years after me in 1965 in Saigon. A Vietnamese woman named Lynn was a prisoner too. Her handcuffed wrists immobilized by the Black Box (used only in special cases). Wrists framed with bright purple scars from slashing. By whom I could only guess. And as I looked at this woman from Vietnam born in Saigon but raised on McDonalds I knew she was sick, I knew she was dying. A victim of war. This Vietnamese woman born in Saigon to an american father who abandoned her now suffers from AIDS dementia. AIDS dementia which caused her to attack a white man and kill him with his own gun. This once delicate young woman with AIDS, demented, in chains, en route to her death, in a prison van. A victim of war. Which war? I do not know Wasn't Lt. Calley only following orders? And doesn't agent orange kill more than trees? Susan Rosenberg is a political prisoner who has been imprisoned since 1984, serving an unprecedented 58 years for possession (not use) of explosives andfalse ID. Two years of this was served in the "High Security UnĂ¼," an experimental basement sensory deprivation prison in Lexington, Kentucky. This poem, written in July 1991 at Marianna Federal Prison,won the American poetryprizeawarded by PEN, the international writers' human rights group. Write to Susan at: Susan Rosenberg, #03684-016, PMB 7007, Shawnee Unit, Marianna, FL 32446.


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