Although it’s not entirely clear what the ‘sweet’ refers to one could rightly attribute it to the ‘sweet’ revenge that many Americans felt justified the countries attack on these regions for the advances made by Saddam Hussein and the terrorist attacks made on the World Trade Center. The ‘right’ portion of the title refers to the belief that American attacks are justified on the grounds of moral reasons – weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, stopping the Taliban in Afghanistan. In these regards, the poem functions to bring the reader’s attention not to these abstract justifications, but to the bitter realities of armed conflict.
At the beginning of the poem the soldiers are marching along. While Owen’s poem placed them in sludge – seemingly a reference to muddy ground – this rewrite alters the soldiers’ location to the desert. As they continue marching they continue marching while the ‘haunting flares’ are set off in the background. Owen’s poem notes that ‘men marched asleep; many had lost their boots’. In this version, boots is changed to ‘minds’ to emphasize that while the military establishment can now ensure soldiers’ boots remain intact, they still cannot ensure that their minds and sanity remain in touch with reality. This is a reference to the nature of combat and to the current cultural concern with post-traumatic stress disorder, as noted in the film the Hurt Locker and many media accounts of soldiers returning home and having difficulty adjusting to civilian life.
The final line of the first stanza changes Owen reference to ‘five-nines’ a type of military bomb used in World War I to ‘mortar’ as this is keeping with the contemporary Middle East conflict. Similarly in the first line of the second stanza the Owen’s reference to gas is altered to ‘IEDs’ that is an improvised explosive device. These are roadside bombs that are utilized by the