Bertolt Brecht: ‘I Came Among Men in a Time of Uprising’

Bertolt Brecht
Bertolt Brecht

An excerpt from Bertolt Brecht’s “To Posterity” (1939). Thanks to Mennonite Vietnam war draft resister Duane Shank for reminding me of this poem:





I came to the cities in a time of disorder
When hunger ruled.
I came among men in a time of uprising
And I revolted with them.
So the time passed away
Which on earth was given me.

I ate my food between massacres.
The shadow of murder lay upon my sleep.
And when I loved, I loved with indifference.
I looked upon nature with impatience.
So the time passed away
Which on earth was given me.

In my time streets led to the quicksand.
Speech betrayed me to the slaughterer.
There was little I could do. But without me
The rulers would have been more secure. This was my hope.
So the time passed away
Which on earth was given me. … –Bertolt Brecht

Things You Forgot To Be Thankful For: ‘U.S. Rules Out a New Drone War in Iraq’

6912-No-DronesForeign Policy’s The Cable provided insight today into backroom negotiations between the Iraqi government and the Obama administration about allowing American drones to bomb “al-Qaeda affiliated militants” in Iraq. So bad on so many levels. Apparently, the Obama administration finally gave a definitive “no.”

Here’s a snippet from The Cable:

For weeks, Iraqi officials have been publicly floating the idea of using American drones to hit the increasingly lethal al-Qaeda-affiliated militants on their soil. But the ordinarily drone-friendly Obama administration is apparently in no mood to open up a new front in global campaign of unmanned attacks. An administration official tells The Cable that American drone strikes in Iraq are now off the table.

Though neither Iraqi nor U.S. officials will say who called off the drones, it’s no secret who began discussing them in the first place. In an August 17 trip to Washington, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters that Baghdad is seeking U.S. advisers, air surveillance or drone strikes to combat al-Qaeda’s grip on the country. “We cannot fight these increasing terrorist” threats alone, he said. Speaking of drone strikes specifically, he said as long as they were used to “target al-Qaeda and their bases,” without “collateral damage,” Iraqis would welcome them.

Also read Sojourners‘ excellent coverage on why people of faith are against the new drone arms race: What’s Wrong With Drones? by Duane Shank