War for Dummies

Easy instructions for readers of all ages! Recommended by experts in the weapons trade! Non-fiction by I. R. Soul!


Bombing campaigns are important. Withdrawing your fighter jets from the Middle East, as Canada plans to do with its six CF-18s, is a big, big mistake. There’s absolutely no truth to the rumour that the best way to lose control of your country’s fiscal autonomy is to buy in; contracts signed with the Military Industrial Complex come with reasonable payment terms. You can trust us, we’ve been honouring our commitment to upgrade our product lines for nearly 100 years.


There’s no point in confusing the little people, keep the stories simple! They have been well trained in loss and revenge so be sure to hammer home any losses on our side. Ignore casualties on the other side, it’s best to pretend there aren’t any. Encourage simplistic thinking, the only two protagonists allowed are Us and Them. There’s a fringe movement of lunatics suggesting the equation ought to be We = Us + Them but that is dangerously naïve.

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**In honour of the release of Omar Khadr, a 15-year-old translator-turned-soldier who was held for over a decade in the gulag otherwise known as Gitmo, and in honour of the documentary about his experience being aired on CBC Thursday, May 28, 2015**


in the spring
when the air was sprayed red
at the Hotel Misty on the shoreline
on the edge of Guantanamo Bay

raccoons were calling themselves family
inspired by neon lights while
the Stumps played Muskrat Love
and Daisy spun in her polka dot skirt
her lips plump as mushrooms
and heart without purchase
at the Hotel Misty on the shoreline
on the edge of Guantanamo Bay
when raccoons were calling themselves
family inspired by Japanese lanterns
and the clock struck twelve darkness
descended no mere absence
of light while Daisy spun slowly
in her polka dot skirt, Major General
her partner The Stumps playing
the final refrain of Muskrat
Love at the Hotel
Misty on the shoreline
on the edge
of Guantanamo Bay

when the air was sprayed
it’s not what anyone wanted
the military calling us family
and the guns lying
next to the camera

Dear Mrs. ISIS

February Op-ed column for the Bridge River Lillooet News

International Women’s Day is coming on March 8th and I just wanted to write and let you know that you’re in my thoughts. I rarely see you on the news and when I do, you’re hidden, a black ghost on the move. Of course I have no idea what your life is truly like, but I know it can’t be easy being married to an extremist. During the Arab Spring, I saw your sisters on the news almost daily. It felt good to see their faces, see them out in the streets protesting alongside husbands, children and neighbours. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran, cell phones sent out images, we heard all the people calling for their rights. There were brutal crackdowns, people were gassed, jailed and killed, but still the protests kept going. We held our hopeful breaths: change seemed imminent, the dictators would topple. The Middle East was rising up.

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