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The Skies Are Weeping for Rachel Corrie on the Tenth Anniversary of Her Murder

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Ten years ago today, mere days before we began our $2 trillion criminal war of aggression against the Iraqi people, American college senior, Rachel Corrie, was murdered near Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.

I’ve never before written that the courageous young woman was murdered.   However, having considered the testimony given during the civil trial against the Israel Defense Forces regarding her death, which concluded last August, her demise was indeed murder, to wit: an unlawful killing of a human being, with malice.

My thoughts in 2003, in reaction to what I then thought was a terrible accident, with elements of negligence both by the Israeli Defense Forces and the International Solidarity Movement, led to the creation of my antiwar, anti-Zionist cantata, The Skies Are Weeping.  I’ve posted the youtube I created of The Skies Are Weeping here before, but today is a truly fitting day to take the liberty to do this again.  Late last year, a couple of organizations inquired about performing it live today.  I declined the offers, as I would want to be there, and my work and performing schedule this month ruled it out.

Today, in Olympia, Washington, Rachel Corrie’s home town, there will be many 10th anniversary commemorations.  Among the musical elements will be a performance by my friend, David Rovics.  Here are the lyrics to his song, The Death of Rachel Corrie:

When she sat down in the dirt
In front of your machine
A lovely woman dressed in red
You in military green
If you had met her in Jerusalem
You might have asked her on a date
But here you were in Gaza
Rolling towards the gate

As your foot went to the floor
Did you recall her eyes
Did her gaze remind you
That you’ve become what you despise
As you rolled on towards this woman
And ignored all the shouts to stop
Did you feel a shred of doubt
As you watched her body drop

And as your Caterpillar tracks
Upon her body pressed
With twenty tons of deadly force
Crushed the bones within her chest
Could you feel the contours of her face
As you took her life away
Did you serve your country well
On that cool spring day

And when you went back across the Green Line
Back to the open shore
Did you think that this was just another day
In a dirty war
And when you looked out on the water
Did you feel an empty void
Or was it just one more life you’ve taken
One more home destroyed


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Philip Munger

Philip Munger

musician, composer, educator, environmental and community planning activist