Reporter on a dusty road
Embedded with the troops;
When she heard a shell explode
It meant ambush, the Jihad swoops
In to take her hostage when
Troops outnumbered once again.
She wasn't hurt--badly shaken,
She stays in the APC;
Minutes later she was taken
From it but she wasn't free;
They took Angie far from there
Before survivors called in air.
Driven in an ambulance,
To a place an hour away;
Angie didn't have a chance
To do but anything but pray--
Beneath a blanket, frightened mouse,
She's hustled blind into a house.
Next she saw the uniform
Of Iraqi Security Police--
Thought she's rescued as they storm
Inside to take her and release
Her back so she could get the hell
Out of Iraq before it fell.
Hands tied, gag, and burqa-clad,
She's shoved into an SUV;
One of four and each one had
Insignias of Security
Painted on their front doors to
Get past checkpoints they went through.
Blindfold, gag, and burqa-clad,
Led into a house unbound;
The room to which they took her had
A mattress, lamp--surprised, she found
They'd brought her laptop in as well--
When captured they had smashed her cell.
He walked in, his English good
As hers, and said, You're dying for
Abeer, her life and virginhood.
Since you write about this war,
Write me something, later, when
The power gets turned on again.
We're going to let you live a day--
All depending what you write.
If we don't care for what you say,
We'll record the act that night
Of your beheading. You've an hour
To write when they turn on the power.
Could she have, she asked the man
Talking through her shakes and fear,
An English version of the Koran?
He smiled and joked, Might take a year.
But I'll try, but by tonight
You write something to recite.
That afternoon, power came on,
Laptop open on the floor,
She wrote an hour, power's gone.
That night he came in through her door.
So now read what you wrote for us--
Maybe something to discuss.
A minute, though, before you read--
We have equipment to record it.
I'll be honest, Iraqis' need
To know the US can't afford it--
Spiritually, morally, common sense--
To know your war's not for defense.
To work the fields she had to pass
Through a checkpoint. Soldiers there
Would make comments about her ass,
"Hey baby", thumbs up in the air.
Told her parents. Then soldiers came
To search her house--but for her name.
The second time the soldiers came,
Private First Class Stephen Green,
Stroked her cheek, she felt the shame--
She felt the fear, she's just fourteen.
She was scared, and rightly so--
No husband was this G.I. Joe.
She's just a girl. Her father, he
Asked his cousin, few doors down,
If he could put her up to be
Safe if they, again, came 'round.
The day before Abeer was hid,
Four troops returned--and God forbid.
Father, standing outside, taken
Inside. Abeer's sister, mother,
Were in the house with her, were shaken
By the leers of three--the other
Stayed outside. And he stood guard--
No neighbors dared come near their yard.
The soldiers long had plotted sex,
Consumed by hatred, fear and rage.
They weren't jarhead leathernecks,
But Army, just past voting age--
Thinking no one's going to tell:
Or believe what passed in hell.
They pushed her family to a room.
Abeer's pushed down to the floor.
One held her arms, her devil groom
Turned Abeer into a whore.
She heard six shots, before the next
Took his turn at her for sex.
Steven Greene, who killed her kin
Came in the room to take his turn;
He raped her then, his deadly sin
He thought that he could simply burn.
He took an AK47
Sending Abeer up to heaven.
Gang raped, three rounds through her head,
Dosed in kerosene as well,
Mother, father, sister, dead;
They lit them up, choked on the smell--
Back at camp they're satisfied
For having fucked Iraqi's pride.
As a woman you'd be cursed,
For the language that you use--
But you've described the very worst.
O.K. Write about your views
On Fallujah's bitter sorrow,
Tell me what you know tomorrow.
The occupation, 2004,
Blackwater Bridge, security died.
Blackwater men, security corp,
Shot and dragged through streets and fried
In gas and kerosene then hung
From the bridge, filmed as they swung.
This event was on the news,
America had to act.
Civilians there were going to lose,
But insurgents gained, in fact,
Fighting occupiers who
Were doing what they're told to do.
Below they met white phosphorous:
No martyrs in the air;
Fire rains from cumulus
Clouds of smoke and jets don't care--
Serving the homeland's richest when
Their bombs leave nothing but: amen.
That was April, and would involve
The Air Force and Marines;
The vigilantes expressed resolve;
Tried to win by any means--
Metallica even had a part,
PSYOPS blasted cacophonous art.
After bombs, it's troops they fought.
Most insurgents had left town;
Local insurgents who were caught
Died as martyrs--who stayed around.
City of mosques, they're coming down,
No cover there, insurgents found.
That was the battle Americans lost;
But they were coming back;
Next November Marines first tossed
More phosphorous laden flack:
Phantom Fury reigned supreme,
City of Mosques a distant dream.
Many thousands gave their lives;
Half the homes there were destroyed;
Everybody now left strives
To survive while unemployed.
Fallujah now is relatively calm--
White phosphorous had been the bomb.
Commander Shahra gave her a look:
I'm not surprised you understood
Fallujah. Few days and the book
Will come--except the scriptures could
Get you killed--Solomon Rushdie
Is not someone you want to be.
At Abu Ghraib, next day she wrote,
Humiliation was the rule
Interrogators would promote
Sick ideas, condoning cruel
Denigration. Guards would show
What cameras let the whole world know.
What they did, they took as fun--
They had all gone through the same
In boot camp--drill sergeants run
The same denigrating game--
Hey, great fun, no one will die--
American as apple pie.
You don't know the worst of it,
You have barely scratched
The surface. Those submersed in it
Know the stories they dispatched
Showed only that the torture's tame.
But the truth's nowhere the same.
Though shallow I don't think you're bad.
Your heart is right, another night
You're going to live, though I'd be glad
To let you die. Why don't you write
On something you know best about--
Great Satan and his most devout.
Corporate heads are who decide
What everybody gets;
Peace or war and their free ride--
Politicians kept as pets
To con the people to support
The liberties the heads abort.
People fooled with smoke and mirrors--
Jailed, spied upon, repressed;
Or diverted, raising cheers
For the teams they think are best--
If not sports that's on TV,
It's news purporting we are free.
The corporations own the news--
They want to tame the Internet;
Making progress downing views--
But haven't gotten that far yet;
The Web's Pandora's open box--
And wily as the desert fox.
You're going to see another day,
Koran's the subject for tomorrow;
Again, be careful what you say,
Your death won't bring me any sorrow.
But Satan's spawn, perhaps can be,
God willing, someone who can see.
Here it is, it came tonight,
Read it, tell us what you think;
Koran is what provides the light
That leads us to the well to drink
The water that will slake the thirst
Of Muslims who become well-versed.
She's surprise. She was impressed
He even found it--took some work
To find and bring it to his nest.
He gave it to her, again the smirk.
Who was Shahra? How big a role
Was his, in battles for control?
Hundred fourteen surahs of truth,
Poetic guidance for mankind:
Wisdom of Moses, Noah and youth
Of David and Jesus. Koran refined
God's word, prophets now been cast
As messengers, Muhammad last.
Only one God, one God alone,
No mother to a son of God--
God sits alone upon His throne
Your fate's determined by a nod
From Him, if willing, it's in His hand--
The Garden: obey and understand.
A good beginning, another day,
Though any day could be your last.
So far we like what you say,
The truth is rare and evil's vast--
Goodnight, my angel, Malik, I'd guess--
Angel from Hell in women's dress.
Second coming to fight Dajjal--
Jesus may have come today.
Some among you hear his call--
False prophets standing in the way;
As Satan's taken to the sky--
Martyrs below stand up and die.
False prophets populate the earth;
Said the same. Dajjal's birth
And rise is leading not to heaven
But back to hell, and Jesus still
Defeats Dajjal, all with God's will.
Corporations need no peace,
They do better with a war;
Oppression felt will never cease
With corporations wanting more.
Battle of Badr? Now Iraq--
And peace will follow martyrs back.
That's enough, tomorrow you give
Me more on Badr--and make it fit;
You're too good to die, you'll live
To see if we can benefit
From recordings we make of
Satan's educated dove.
Mecca: Abraham's place of peace
Who built the Kaaba, holy shrine.
Muhammad, suffering pagan priests,
Left his birthplace, drew the line
At Medina, growing stronger--
Mecca, for now, needs no longer.
From Damascus, caravan plans
To sell their goods in Mecca; stop
At Badr's wells in desert sands.
Muhammad thought good time to shop
For needed goods: he planned a raid,
Meccans got wind of threats to trade.
A Meccan army sprints to the wells
At Badr with superior force.
Muhammad's first, and history tells
The caravan took a different course
And got to Mecca safe and sound.
Meccans still wanted a fight, he found.
Meccans would flee Muhammad's charge--
Gabriel at the Muslim's side,
The Meccan army: twice as large--
But only 14 Muslims died;
Muhammad spared his prisoners' lives--
The Prophet in Medina thrives.
Six years later, he was back.
Muhammad, this time, conquered now.
Mecca the Muslims didn't sack.
The story goes, at Kaaba, how
Muhammad kissed the cornerstone--
Black Stone four tribes claimed to own.
Kaaba was a temple he
Helped rebuild in Mecca when
Abraham's cube was just debris
Muhammad helped build once again--
Cornerstone back from Adam's day,
Black Stone unites where Muslims pray.
Seal of prophets: the last to come,
A man who never learned to write--
Brought to people who'd succumb
To oppression, a will to fight--
Chased them from Arabia's Rome,
Mecca once again his home.
Angel, your interpretation
Of the hadiths has served you well;
Another night of revelation
Might bring you closer. Who can tell?
Angie, I've high hopes for you--
And Allah has been planning too.
Allah's messenger, Gabriel
Spoke to Muhammad 'til his death;
Right up to his burial
Muhammad recited his last breath,
Gabriel's message, who was Jibrail--
The spirit of Noah we all hail.
Remember and recite the words--
Surah's wisdom for the ages;
The angels' message, song of birds,
Jibrail's words, put down on pages
Of your Koran, it's God's advice
And word restored. Koran's precise.
Angie, now you are telling us
How we should serve? And you?
Could you be more ingenous
While you steep in Satan's brew
That darkens senses, clouds the mind,
And plans to bring down all mankind?
Angie, not as educated
As her sister, Scheherazade,
Whose every story fascinated
The Persian Shah, who'd never nod
Off at night, absorbed by her--
Her death her stories would defer.
The Shah's first wife had run roughshod
Across his heart--betrayed and lied--
From anger he'd forsaken God,
Killed her, then Caliph supplied
A virgin a day, deflowered that night,
And beheaded by morning light.
3000 virgins 'til there're no more
The Caliph would be the next to die.
His virgin daughter stepped to his door,
Caliph consented but with a sigh;
Scheherazade was confident
That she could turn his murderous bent.
Her sister came with her that night--
As planned, before she said goodbye,
Her sister begged that she recite
A story she'd be remembered by.
The story she told, there with the Shah
Entranced him, in fact, he's in awe.
Before she finished the story, her
Sister said she had to go.
She left, the Shah said he'd prefer
She finish it tomorrow night so
They slept together, her tender kiss
The Shah thought he would never miss.
She finished the story the following night
And asked him if he'd like one more.
The story she finished brought him delight,
Of course he would, she wouldn't bore
Him nor tell the story's end
That night. The Shah began to bend.
Angie's no Scheherazade,
Who'd read a thousand books;
Knowing rhymes and words of God--
Nor did it hurt she had good looks.
By never finishing her stories at night
Might have proved the Shah's not bright.
Commander Shahra was no fool,
And Angie could only do her best.
She sensed that she was just a tool
But every day alive, felt blessed.
She knew she'd end as martyr for
America and its unholy war.
From the first night, Angie cried;
Scheherazade, a thousand more.
Then the Shah made her his bride,
No more the man he'd been before.
Depending on what she might know,
Angie had endless nights to go.
When you write tomorrow, explain
The strengths of Islam, what they are:
Practice by which the Muslims gain
Heaven--else no one travels far.
The pillars of wisdom add up to five.
Describe what keeps the faith alive.
Pillars of Islam, five in all
Make one whole, prevent ones fall
Until one lets a pillar crumble--
Then the weakened Muslims stumble.
One: One God, Muhammad was
God's last messenger because
God set religion straight, and now
The others Muslims disavow.
Two: Is salah, ritual prayer,
Five times a day and pointing where
Muhammad kissed the holy stone;
Pray together or pray alone
Reciting verses from the book--
Recite the words Muhammad took
From Gabriel and memorized,
Not a word since been revised.
Three: Is giving to the poor
The times that you've been given more--
Seldom seen back home by us,
The rich among us hijacked that bus.
Four: To fast through Ramadan,
Late September, start at dawn--
Always be kind and always give
Your quarrels a rest and simply live.
From dawn to dusk observe the fast;
Atone for sins done in the past;
Be grateful and be close to Him
For God's the sea in which you swim.
Five: The Hajj--before you die,
Journey to Mecca, circle and try,
To touch the stone Muhammad set
At Kaaba, close as you can get.
And the sixth? There's more than five--
Without it Muslims can't survive?
She was up to Shahra's tricks.
She knew of pillar number six.
You must be thinking of Jihad,
Parts of which I don't agree;
That pillar I find rather odd
If meaning war. But it can be
Struggle for virtue, justice or more
And not be solely sword of war.
Commander Shahra turned stone cold
As though she slapped him in the face;
The only woman he knew as bold
Had been his wife who kept her place.
Angie, I bid you, now, goodnight.
He left--she wicked the oil light.
Tomorrow, she thought, that she might die,
Hardly slept, she realized
She'd gone too far, and had a cry--
That afternoon she was surprised
To be alive to write once more
At her laptop on the floor.
The USA and CIA
Supported the Mujahedeen,
And Muslim radicals in the day
The communists were all so keen
To spread their godless government--
Countries added an increment.
Soviets left Afghanistan,
The US came in, and made a mess--
Islam devised another plan,
Suits, beat, planning for success.
The muhajeen, equipped and trained
By the US triumphed and reigned.
My, oh my. We're clever, aren't we?
Clever by half, I'd say.
One day Muslims will be free
Of Great Satan's power-play.
So what if we accepted aid?
It's turned against their last Crusade.
Abeer Hamza's not left my mind,
Retribution's going to come;
But I'm trying hard to find
The goodness in your Godless drum
You beat to rally passion for
Ending this unholy war.
Let us think on this a while,
I'll see you for another night;
I suspect you're full of guile
Camouflaged beneath contrite
Confessions. I don't know what's worse--
Transparent cunning or your verse.
The land of Satan, built with money,
Loaned with interest, held by greed
And lies about the milk and honey--
The rich support their Godless creed
Of corporations: all sins as well
That's going to send them straight to hell.
I believe with all my heart,
Islam sees a heartless world;
The soul of soulless times and part
Of resistance lying curled
To strike injustice so's to straighten
Out the acts brought on by Satan.
But I cannot believe in God.
Yet enemies of my own will be
Allies in my own jihad
Against a common enemy
In their comfort in their ties
For the corporate enterprise.
Who are you here in Iraq--
Atheist and communist?
And serious? Seemingly you lack
Common sense to dare insist
We might share a common ground
With the Godless path you've found.
Atheists, Koran says to kill
Under any circumstance.
Islamic verse says it's God's will,
When Godless thwart Islam's advance.
I had hope for you, and prayed
You wouldn't suffer Islam's blade.
Once again he said good night,
The camera left, they locked the door;
Again, not angry, again, polite,
But cold. Not knowing what's in store
For her tomorrow, she barely slept,
When power came on next day she wept.
She read surahs. She wrote more--
Maybe make him see the light
On this evening, as before,
A camera watching her recite
What she'd written in the hour
Her laptop had plugged into power.
Shahra, with the cameraman
Who again came through her door,
Said he'd found in the Koran
A verse he hadn't read before.
Non-believers, God deems good,
Can be forgiven, and Shahra would.
They'll never get to heaven but
They're rewarded on this earth;
So I'm going to tell you what
You have to do before you're worth
Rewarding you with life today:
Be one with God in what you say.
Hell the sinners all deny--
The sky is red and torn apart;
Bombs are dropping from the sky
Shards of steel rip the heart;
Brocade and carpets left to threads--
Favors of God are torn to shreds
Favors of God, sinners let die--
The corn, the dates, sweet smelling plants;
Sinners, one day, God will deny
The Garden. Gracious, merciful grants
Peace on earth, while sinners pay
For their sins on judgment day.
This, the hell of which they lie,
Denying favors given them;
Witnesses see millions die;
Unwilling to think God would condemn
Them for how they crush Iraq,
And don't see Jesus coming back.
Pomegranates and sweet dates fly,
Blown asunder beneath His gaze;
Merciful, gracious, He asks not why--
In the balance He calmly weighs
Justice He will soon mete out--
In that, Islam will never doubt.
Trees and springs which we rely,
Sinners destroy God's treasures--
This the hell the sinners supply
By seeking selfish pleasures--
The only reward for good is good;
Common sense that's misunderstood.
I know the surah you must have read--
This, your finest recitation.
It's called Ar-Rahman, and it's said
Muhammad had called its creation
The crown jewel of the Koran--
Adornment everyone should don.
Those verses are your best so far;
Inspired by Jibrail's prose.
I'm still not sure of who you are;
The challenge tonight to which you rose
Shows there's plenty good in you--
Tomorrow we'll see what you can do.
Abeer Hamza's not left my mind,
Retribution's going to come;
But I think I'm going to find
A place for you, I'm finding some
Reasons to give you back your life,
Short of making you my wife.
On day 13, that afternoon
Just as power was restored,
Shahra came, said, you'll write soon,
But come with me, you won't be bored--
Led her to a darkened room,
A TV screen lit up the gloom.
Sitting on a folding chair,
The cameraman would not look up.
He had his eyes fixed over where
The TV was, a coffee cup
Was in his hand, he took some sips,
And wiped the wetness from lips.
Shahra led her to sit down
On a chair behind the man;
He didn't move to turn around.
Just as she sat, the news began,
Al-Jazeera, she could tell--
Satellite dish picked it up well.
Shahra sitting close beside her,
Said, It's Arabic, I'll translate.
We're going to see the way we were.
He smiled--a joke about her fate.
You've been on the news a lot,
But watch what Al-Jazeera's got.
And there she was, caught on Night One:
About Abeer, her rape and death.
The world now watched what she had done,
Angie, herself now held her breath.
She had spoken clear and loud,
Watching now, she's almost proud.
Fallujah and the phosphorus bombs.
Then Abu Ghraib, where soldiers stun
The world displaying their slightest qualms
By acting like it's so much fun
Humiliating the prisoners there.
Angie sat frozen in her chair.
Shahra translated, There's more to come,
Proud smile as he looked at her;
Angie now feeling scared and dumb--
When he said, "the way we were"
She didn't understand the joke.
Now she watched the words she spoke.
Paranoia now begins,
Patriots think they've been betrayed.
Knowing how the newscast spins
The stories, Angie's now afraid.
When she spoke, no way had she
Seemed frightened of the enemy.
But she's afraid that what she said
Will all be seen as treason;
The press will say she lost her head,
But they won't give a reason.
Report she's brainwashed, say it's sad,
A spin put on what's looking bad.
The US knows the truth, of course,
But say her words are scripted lies;
Shahra won't let her off the horse
That she'll be riding 'til it dies.
Al-Jazeera has plenty more
Of her descriptions of the war.
Should she make another one?
Beheaded if she doesn't?
Either way, looks like she's done
Reporting like she wasn't
Taking sides. Her words took wing.
When they return the truth will sing.
Yes, she'd write another day.
She felt used, but felt, in fact,
She'd freedom now as what to say--
No pleasing editors who extract
The words to make her line conform
And deny the coming storm.
Whispering death without a sign
Confirmed their constant sense of dread;
Smart bomb didn't even whine,
A flash, a bang, and Angie's dead.
Next day headlines bragged that we
Beheaded the insurgency.
Angel Rivers, newscasters say,
Is missing still--her parents cope.
Troops are searching everyday,
The President sends her kinfolk hope.
Angie, Malik, Angel of Hell,
Guardian of where the sinners dwell.