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When using force to secure the peace,
and encouraging more shopping to save the economy,
and children and teens play video games that reward
for every person decapitated and limb severed,
When old women and babies are pepper-sprayed
        and rubber bullets disperse a peaceful protest-

Why is America surprised that a lone sniper
haunts the highways,
schoolyards, and gas stations
of our nation's capital?

When the President's press secretary
nay, blatantly
calls for the assassination
of a nation's sovereign leader-

And we lock men in cement-floored cages
isolating them from their homes and families
on an island and call them detainees
so they have no rights and can be held indefinitely-

When we won't let our nation's legitimate press
tell us the truth, show us the horror
that is the Afghan war,
But we will let a Hollywood director
make a "war reality show"
with Pentagon assistance-

Why is America stunned
at the wanton slaughter
perpetrated by a lone sniper
who kills in the dailiness
of pumping gas, mowing lawns and going to school?

When our president divides the world
into arbitrary camps of
good and evil,

When our foreign policy
plunges us into the madness of preemptive war,
When there's always enough money for bombs,
but never enough for the children,
and doublespeak phrases like
'regime change' become the norm-

Ask yourself-

Instead of only one lone sniper,
Will there be thousands more?

Ann Bracken

Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on October 14, 2002.
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