Please Tell Me

Please tell me….

What does it look like to win?

Ideology can’t be defeated on the battlefield,

No matter how you try you can’t kill it.

You can kill its adherents,

Destroying the body, but their hate lives on.

Containment is decried as weak,

Nothing short of all out war satisfies the hawks,

Annihilation of everyone and everything their only answer.

So then, please tell me…

What does the enemy look like?


Dark skinned?

Light skinned?






Sounds like the faces of the innocent and the guilty.

Can you please tell me…

How will you know your foe?

They will not come at you waving a flag.

They will not march upon your positions in perfect high-step.

They will not be clothed in matching uniforms,

Blaring their trumpets and saluting.

So tell me again…

Who is the enemy?

The farmer?

The shopkeeper?

The mechanic?

The soldier?

The school teacher?

The Imam?

The mother?

The father?

The child?

Would you have us kill every living thing just to make your point?

You rhetoric says that you would!

Someone please tell me…

What does it look like to win?


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~


13 thoughts on “Please Tell Me

  1. Very true. I believe dropping bombs is just going to create “martyrs” which will make an ideology of hate that much stronger. Have no idea what the answer is – how to stop their violence – but I don’t think bombing is the key. Great poem, Dom —

    • Thanks Jen, killing, especially the mass killing that we are talking about does create martyrs and then creates Jihadists of their wives and children and their wives and children and so on and so on. We are about to create a whole new generation of terrorists. I hope that there really is a coalition of Arab states that are willing to put their young into the fight and not rely on our young men and women to do it for them. That would be an absolute tragedy. I guess we are about to see how bad things can really get.

      • You’re very right. Fit’s gonna hit the shan.

        Boots and bombings make the war hawks happy – but we’re creating decades of disaster.

        And my kiddo is 13 and I look at him and look at the news and worry. Moms can’t help it. So perhaps I can appreciate a bit of the grief and despair of the Jihadists’ wives – even though the Jihadist methods are despicable and unforgivable.

        As to this coalition of Arab states … yeah…. right.

      • And I wouldn’t just include the Jihadists wives and children, there is always…always collateral damage and that also breeds hate. After you and I are gone, this will still be going on. They may have new faces, but it will be the same old story. Very scary indeed. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you children and mine didn’t have to worry about this?

      • It would be a miracle if our kids didn’t have to worry about this. And it’s frustrating too — to think that Iraq One was happening during my senior year in high school – and here we are twenty years later – making the situation worse every year.

        If Cheney and McCain would keep their big mouths shut that would be a huge step in the right direction. #@$#!$!

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