Thursday, August 11, 2005

Politics, straight-up and not on the Rocks...

I don't like political music. I don't want to hear people singing about social injustices or whatever their pet political subject might be. I found it quite disingenuous for Green Day to sing about not wanting to be an American Idiot when it was all those American Idiots that made them wealthy and famous. Sure, they have a their right to sing about whatever they want to, and I have a right not to like it. So now the Rolling Stones are releasing a new album that has a politically critical song and there's a big to-do about it. It's mostly just buzz to promote their tour and album release. Like they say, even bad publicity is good. But I heard on the radio some of Mick Jagger's quotes about how they really didn't need to do an album and tour, that they could have just 'called it in.' He said they don't need to money to support their families and whatever and that is was just for fun. The dj who was talking about this said something that I wish I could remember exactly because I totally agreed with it. She said something about if they didn't need the money then why was it necessary to charge $400 for tickets to see them. Good point! I'm not paying hundreds of dollars to see ANYONE, especially not some dried up old fucker singing about how bad my country is. Sorry, Mick, but I think you and your Rolling Stones have tumbled into a big pile of shit and now you're stuck in it. I won't be lending you a hand, or a dollar, to help you out of it either. You should have stayed with singing about sex and drugs and love and longing. That's the stuff of Rock 'n' Roll.

click here for Yahoo news article about this

another article

35 comments:

DHammett said...

Rae Ann -

I'm kind of like music the way you seem to be about movies. You said the dialog's not as important as the imagery, set design, etc. The first impact a piece of music has on me is very general. How does it sound? Are the sounds pleasing to my ear. I tend to like lots of harmonies. And, usually, fairly high energy. Most of the time I don't understand the lyrics, at least at first. To me, Green Day is very aesthetically pleasing. Their message, however, drives me up a wall!

My political/social opinions are very difficult to change at this juncture of my life. But, I'm aware of the impact of some lyrics on my children. I don't want them listening to anti-American, pro-pre-marital sex, pro-drug, etc. lyrics. Can't really predict what impact the lyrics might have on them, but I don't plan to take chances with that...to the extent that I'll either change the station or initiate a discussion if there's something offensive or, in my opinion, potentially destructive to them on the radio.

I don't have a problem with people expressing themselves...first amendment and all that. We've been doing that in music for 50 or 60 years, what with Dylan, the rest of the protest music of the 60s, and even the beginnings of that devil music, rock and roll, in the 50s. But, I can exercise my right not to listen to it, not to have my children listen to it, to not support the musicians financially, and to speak out against it to anybody who will listen to my opinions.

I appreciated the public reaction to the Dixie Chicks and their anti-war or anti-American statements a few years ago. Maybe Mick will have stirred up a hornet's nest of his own. I can only hope.

Rae Ann said...

dammit hammett, you just reminded me that I need to post the first interview question for the assistant position. I thought of it the other day. You sort of already answered part of it just then. I'm like that with music too, hear the melodies and harmonies and music before the lyrics. It was especially true when I was a kid. I never listened to the words much then or misheard them to fit my own (child) ideas. But now I have a greater appreciation for the lyrics of some songs, thus the Lyrics blog. In my house music is talked about, just like tv and movies are, so I can explain why I do or don't like a song's, show's or movie's message. Generally, I dislike political music no matter who does it. As soon as I hear political lyrics I change the station or track. To quote Mammy from Gone With the Wind, " It ain't fittin'... it ain't fittin'. It jes' ain't fittin'... It ain't fittin'.

DHammett said...

What fun. Can't wait for the application to roll out. Any chance of getting an answer key? *snickers conspiratorially*

Kat said...

When you want to make a point, you really make it!

I would never pay that much money to see someone sing. Radio is free!

mr_g said...

This made me think of something, and I'm not referring to you Rae Ann. But all too often people like to brand anyone who is critical of our goverment or policies as being "UnAmerican". Sorry, but there's nothing more American than being able to stand up and criticize the president, congress and any other government figure or institution we please...labeling this as UnAmerican is about as unAMerican as you can get.

Personally, I love the idea that music can be, and has been used as, a conduit to bring about change...especially political change. For many, that's what they relate to. Many people who paid little or no attention in school may "get it" when a song makes something click for them. You and dhammett are both right in that people have a right to listen to what they want and you have a right not to listen to it! I wish more people would exercise their right to change the dial and monitor what their own kids listen to so the government will get out of the business of protecting us from ourselves. I also wish the folks who continually label anyone who is Anti-Bush, Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay Rights or liberal on any issue as Anti-American would recognize their hypocracy and behave with some integrity! Being American doesn't mean you follow the party line at all costs...it means you question it at all costs!

Rae Ann said...

kat, exactly!

mr g, you are absolutely right about that and I recognize that a lot of people do relate to political music. I guess I question the sincerity of some bands when they go in that direction. But yeah, I'm all for questioning authority, trends, party lines, everything. I was just saying that in my listening world politics and rock don't mix, just like how some people don't like their liquor on the rocks because it waters it down. But I love the diversity that's available to those who seek it.

dammit hammett, you know the answer to that! lol

DHammett said...

I'm not sure I agree that one should question "the party line at all costs." There are lines that are appropriate to question and others, simply, that are not. As an example, I would refer to the Iraq situation. Whether one likes that we are there or not, the fact is that we are. Consequently, we should do all we can to support the effort, so as to complete the job and get out as quickly as possible. The more quickly we are gone, the fewer American lives are lost.

My problem with the critics is that some of it is so shrill, it gives encouragement to those we are fighting. We should be doing all we can to break the enemies spirit, not building it up. That's what Kerry did at the senate hearings during Viet Nam. And look how that turned out. (No, it wasn't all Kerry's fault!) But when the cost of questioning the party line is American lives, then that cost is too high.

This is not a liberal or conservative issue. This is all about bringing our troops home as safely and quickly as possible. To do anything else is un-American. There are plenty of other party lines Americans can question.

eatmisery said...

I hope most people base their political opinions on how THEY feel and not how a celebrity feels.

If that's the case, I may need to move out of the country.

Does anyone really, truly care what singers' or actors' political opinions are? Really?

Rae Ann said...

The other day I was looking through some reproductions of the patriotic signs and stuff that were used during WW2. Some of them really made me think, "now, why don't we still promote this idea?" I'll have to find the one I'm thinking of and post it. I think if we were to face that situation today instead of in the 1940s the outcome would be much different and not in a good way. Can you imagine people now dealing with the rationing that they had back then? In general our population is too selfish. But this is going away from the music thing...

Rae Ann said...

eatmisery, that's what I mean too, some 14 year old kid listening to Green Day thinking that he's an American Idiot living on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams. I say look at Niger and the rest of the world. If an American lives on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams it's most likely because he wasted all of his opportunities. I'm not saying that there isn't real suffering in America, just that there is a lot more opportunity here too.

I wish all these rich and famous people would put their money where their mouths are.

Rae Ann said...

I meant to add that the 14 year old kid was wearing his $100 shoes and $50 droopy drawers and all that.

DHammett said...

Rae Ann said: dammit hammett, you know the answer to that!

Great! I was hoping you'd agree. Now we'll just have to figure out how you can get it to me. :-P

Chris said...

I've said this more than once, but there needs to be a mandatory retirement age for rock stars. The Rolling Stones are a living example of why.

And I would (respectfully) disagree with dhammet with regards to supporting the war. I think one can support the troops and oppose the war. I support the troops, and want each and every one of them to come home right now, yet I am vehemently opposed to the war itself.

If everyone in this country showed unwavering support for what is clearly a misguided and failed venture, it would encourage those in power to stay there, not hasten an exit strategy. And such abundance of support would also embolden our leaders for the next foriegn misadventure, rather than give them pause.

This is, of course, my opinion. I'm just offering it, and not looking to change anyone else's.

DHammett said...

How does one support the troops & not the war? Donating items they can use during their deployment, maybe. Otherwise, how? Meeting them at the airport when they come home and telling them, thanks for what you did, but it was all wrong. You shouldn't have been there. Bet that would make them feel appreciated.

Were the troops in Iraq to come home right now, without finishing what we started, then those who have died will have died in vain. Had we not pulled out of Iraq the first time we went in there (after Saddam invaded Kuwait), perhaps we would not be here now. But we did pull out and, now, here we are.

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it (to borrow a phrase). Have we not learned that lesson? Furthermore, to try to undermine the war effort encourages those we are fighting. Remember, this is a war on terrorism. We are not fighting Iraqis. We are fighting Islamic extremists. The same extremists who flew planes into the World Trade Center. The same terrorists who set off bombs to kill innocent civilians in London a few short weeks ago.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of terrorism is: "The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons." We are in the process of establishing a free society in a part of the world where they have not experienced it before. And there are terrorists who are trying to stop that from happening. They are bombing their own citizens, usually innocents, to try to intimidate the Iraqi population. The Iraqis need to know that we will stand beside them to help them stand on their own. And terrorists need to know that we will stand against them, in Iraq or anywhere else, without wavering.

Rae Ann said...

dammit hammett, any suggestions?

chris, I'm wavering in my opinions about Iraq. Part of the problem is that the media is so slanted one way or the other that we don't get any 'straight' news. I've supported our war there, but I'm beginning to wonder if it is truly possible to establish a 'free' society there. Some things are so deeply imbedded in their culture that I question if they can really make the changes they need to. I wish we could find out what the Iraqi people really want.

DHammett said...

Rae Ann -

When you asked for suggestions, I know you were talking about the application for employment, not getting news about the war in Iraq. However, if I might, let me suggest the following blog. It's written by a guy who is embedded with the troops and who has no apparent axe to grind. He's not afraid to write about both the good and the bad over there.

http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/

Another link you may want to try is one that is a site with links to literally hundreds of military blogs. These are written by military, ex-military, moms, wives, etc. They come from all perspectives, not all pro-military. I think these will help give you a better feel for what we're doing and even what the Iraqis want.

http://www.ringsurf.com/netring?ring=MiliBlogs;id=2;action=list

I hope you find these helpful. If you follow enough links, or just find the right ones, you'll find blogs actually written by Iraqis, too. It's amazing what a wealth of knowledge is at our fingertips now.

Regarding the application, I guess I'll just take my chances. :-)

mr_g said...

dhammett, I dont agree that this is truly a war on terrorism. Terrorism is the buzz word and the justification we use for being there. And yes, it is a major reason for why our troops are deployed in the middle east. However, we elect to fight where we have financial interest. If we truly cared about fighting terrorism, about world democracy, human rights or ousting tyrannical dictators, our troops would never have had a rest in the last 40 years. We'd have been all over Europe, Africa, Asia and South and Central America...in more of a visible presence.

We're in Iraq because it's strategic. There's oil. That's the same reason we put the Shah in power in the 50's and it's the same reason we're in the mid east today. Terrorism is a convenient excuse for our latest forray. This truly saddens me because there IS a terrorism problem in the world. We, however, care more about lining pockets of Halliburton, our "Saudi Friends" and big Oil companies here than we do about actually stopping terrorism. Hell, if you think about it, terrorism has been good for the oil companies! They're getting very rich right now and we poor suckers who have become dependent on our cars for our livlihoods are paying through the nose.

THIS is one reason why when we, as AMericans, feel our leaders are heading down a bad path, we have an obligation to question their motives and actions, and even protest if our concerns go unanswered. Blind support of a questionable cause is not healthy. To justify it by saying it saves American lives that many believe shouldn't be there in the first place is a circular argument that's going nowhere. Support the troops by looking out for them, giving them supplies they need and not tying those supplies into give aways for the administration's corporate supporters. Support the troops by managing the war effort. Pull out if the fight looks futile and it seems that lives are being expended for nothing. To simply say we started it and we have to finish it is not always a healthy perspective and can cost a lot more lives than people protesting our being over there. Support our troops by:

a- not sending them overseas with the primary purpose of lining cronies' pockets
b- bringing them home when it's apparent we've lost sight of why we're there.

One of the things they're fighting for is our right to free speech, to protest that which we feel is unjust. They day we lose that right, they're fighting for nothing.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

RaeAnn I have loved the Rolling Stones ever since I have owned a radio. In 1977, was within an hour of partying w/them backstage, but due to a car wreck changed that plan. Have always loved them.

As far as this newest rant, BUZZ somewhat I agree with but also I think that the new lyrics are directed straight to our President and Others. They are not Americans, even though Keith lives in Connecticut also btw disagrees w/Mick.
I feel the NFL should reconsider..but look at their pretended ignorance previously on Superbowl, commercial w/desperate housewife and now this...as if they did not know beforehand. Americredit is a huge sponsor and they are very Republican wondering NOW what the next move will be.
Obviously with 500 emails opposing this in 30 minutes yesterday on a morning show..apparently if other polls are done...the majority of Americans will oppose to this contract as well.

In my opinion since our (USA) Football, (that I am a HUGE FAN OF)a contract should go to an American Band without controversy. Sorry I did not read the prior comments in this section, but my feelings would have been the same anyway...hope I'm not being redundant. (smiling)

Chris said...

I think mr_g made the point I wanted to make better than I could have.

And I think, at some point, we need to agree to disagree when it comes to these sorts of topics. I've had my share of arguments about Iraq and the administration in general, and I have never changed anyone's mind, nor had my mind changed. At some point, things just keep escalating and everyone on both sides begin to sound shrill.

Fortunately, that doesn't seem likely to happen here. :)

mr_g said...

By the way Rae Ann, sorry for turning your comments section into a personal rant, but sometimes I get carried away. Thanks for letting us all vent!

madman said...

DAMN--I'm gone four short days and you have done pissed-off the Stones. I'm a product of the 60's so I like the idea of music and politics--BUT--the point you made about the ticket prices is classic. Fucking greedy rock stars charging the same prices as Barbara Striesand--who do the fuck to they think they are--The Beatles? I missed your rants!

DHammett said...

I'll have to disagree with Mr. G's asssertion that this is not a war on terrorism. How many suicide bombings will it take to convince us? How many attacks is the US/ In Great Britain? In Bali? In the Phillipines? How may reporters or contractors need to be beheaded? We can have all the oil we need simply by drilling in Alaska. This isn't about oil.

And how could anyone say that surrendering to the terrorists would be better than standing up to them? The thing is, while most Americans are growing tired of this war, we do not want to surrender. That's a question the polls are not asking. "Do you want to surrender to the terrorists?" If the polls were phrased that way, you'd see a much different picture than the anti-war crowd wants you to believe.

i just don't get these people who have so little faith in the power of Americans to achieve what they set out to do. We can be successful in Iraq. I have no doubt of it. If they think the goal of a free and democratic country in the heart of the middle east would be a bad thing, that's different. But who could say such a thing? And if they were to admit that success in Iraq would be a good thing, then get on board and help make it happen.

mr_g said...

hammett, look at history. We don't give a rats ass about democracy in the mideast. If we did, we'd have never overthrown a democratically elected government in Iran in the 1950's to put the Shah in power. We care about oil and profit...as we should! But at what cost?

Further, I said nothing about surrender. There's nobody to surrender to and nothing I'd give away to some enemy we're fighting. You surrender when there's a clear enemy. You pull out when there's no clear objective, or when it's clear the objective is a lie to cover up another agenda. The truth is, success for us in the Middle East isn't about democracy...which by the way is something AMerica isn't and never will be...it's about control of oil and access to the region's resources. Hell, if they at least admitted why they were really there I might even throw a little support Bush's way, but I'm sick of people dying just to make Halliburton Saudi Bastards and oil companies rich. Perhaps you own stock in Halliburton; I don't.

Rae Ann - You will never have a free society there as long as the religious extremism has the hold it does. The "war" should first be fought with education...making citizens there feel they are missing something. Let them see what they lose out on...right now they don't know, don't understand and therefore fear us as evil. The war shouldn't focus only on Terror, but rather on ignorance.

Rae Ann said...

chris, thank you for being such a great diplomat. You worded that perfectly, as always.

mr g, rant away! I don't mind at all as long as everyone stays civil and no one gets turned off from my blog.

dammit hammett, I hope that we do defeat the terrorists and that Iraq becomes stable for its own sake as much as for ours.

Rae Ann said...

suzie, I totally agree about the NFL. Great point!

madman, missed you too! Hope you have had a good trip.

dammit hammett, thanks for those links!

mr_g said...

I finally read the articles you linked. I gotta say, I love it! That truly is the beauty of free speech. Mick Jagger can criticize all he wants and people can buy or ignore his music all they want. I do love America! I just want to keep it free and equal for those who disagree with policy too!

DHammett said...

Mr G

You sound as if you think the US isn't doing anything to try to win the hearts of the Iraqis. Again, I refer you to the blogs I recommended. If you go with an open mind, you'll see that we spend more time trying to rebuild infrastructure, rebuild and stock schools (an enterprise I would think would be close to your heart), befriend children and the like than we do hunting down terrorists.

I never said that AMerica(what is that...AMerica?) is a democracy. It's a democratic republic. Thanks for the civics lesson. What I said is that we are trying to bring democracy (not a democracy) to the middle east. Look how the elections turned out. How many people faced the possibility of violent death at the hands of IED-bearing terrorists just to exercise their freedom of choice?

By their own admission, almost all of those responsible for the daily bombings in Iraq are members of AlQaeda in Iraq - terrorists. And if we pull out, what happens? We've surrendered. We've said OK, this isn't a battle we have the stomach to fight any more. You can take control. In other words, they win. Then, not only have we done a disservice to the Iraqis and devalued those (of all nations) who have lost their lives, but we're also sending the message that if terrorists take the fight to us, we'll eventually grow tired of it. I'm not about to sign up for 9/11, version 2.

No, I don't have stock in Halliburton. But to single out one contractor when there are thousands who are in Iraq trying to make things better is disingenuous. Sure they're probably making tons of money. But they are the ones whose capital (both economic and human) is at risk. If something bad happens, or the contracts aren't as profitable as a contractor hopes, what happens? It's the contractors'problem. They take the loss if a terrorist blows up an oil pipeline. They are the ones that face the wrongful death lawsuits if a terrorist kidnaps and beheads an employee. So if they profit, since it is their risk, why does it bother you? It's called capitalism. It's the AMerican way.

I don't think that we aren't entitled to speak out on anything we want. I just think we should be wiser when we do. Especially our politicians. When our country's leaders are vocally opposed to a war effort while we have men and women in theater, it is encouraging to those we are fightng against. And that is what extends the fighting.

Oh, and if I choose to call someone speaking out against the war unamerican (I think that was how this thread of comments got started), am I not entitled to free speech as well?

Rae Ann -

If I've said anything that has offended you, say so and I'll be on my way with my most sincere apologies.

Rae Ann said...

dammit hammett, no, you haven't offended me. I am glad that people are here exchanging ideas. That's the point of blogging. I don't want you to leave.

I don't want anyone to stop coming here and commenting unless they really want to stop coming.

mr_g said...

Hammett, here's my issue. If our mission is to spread democracy around the world...fine, let's do that, and let's do that in places where there is no strategic financial gain. After all, if it's a good thing, then everyone should benefit, not just countries with oil reserves. If we're truly trying to protect oppressed people around the world, fine. Then let's become the world police, enter soverign nations and overthrow their governments whenever there's someone in power who is as bad as Sadaam. Unfortunately, we only do that to protect financial interest. Otherwise, we'd have waged war with China and North Korea (among others) years ago!

I think here is where we will probably never see eye to eye. Spreading democracy is not our mission. It's a rallying-point of an excuse to maintain control of areas when we feel our strength and influence there is weakening.

I have no doubt our troops in Iraq are giving above and beyond to help the Iraqi people. But if this is about spreading democracy and freeing oppressed people, why haven't we mounted a world-wide campaign against oppression? Why aren't we drafting soldiers by the thousands to fight this noble cause? The answer is, spreading democracy is secondary to the military-industrial complex members watching out for each others' backs.

I have no problem with US companies making huge profits off of wars...when it's legitimate. When the agenda behind the war included a desire for the Vice-President's former company to profit HUGELY, it raises questions. When congress gives away freebies to this company as part of important spending bills, this is troublesome. And when you look at our history in that region, our history of meddling with a country's democracy in the name of what was best for the oil companies as opposed to the citizens of that country, it's downright scary!

With respect to speaking out against the war. I understand your point. However, when people, even elected officials, feel that the government's actions are improper or injust, they have a right to speak out. That was one of the prinicples upon which this country was founded.

Presidents aren't royalty. Their decisions and decrees aren't divinely inspired. I guess it gets me a little hot under the collar when someone tells me that expressing my opinion against something the administration is doing is un-American. To me, one of the most wonderful things about being American is my freedom to speak out and disagree with my government. It's a right we take so much for granted in this country, and it really gets me hot when people think it only applies to views that are harmoniosly in accord with the president.

This country was founded on protest. The opinion expressed may not always be popular, but if expressing it is un-American, then perhaps MY America is doesn't exist any more. And this saddens me to no end!

Oh, and AMerica...that's called a typo. I have very little time to do this and am typing rather quickly. Besides, this is just a friendly exchange of words...at least we're still allowed to do that here, right?

DHammett said...

Mr G -

I think it's becoming our function to spread democracy around the world. As I understand it, we're doing it to offer people an alternative to radical totalitarian dictatorships and to make it so there are no safe harbors for terrorists. It would be nice if we could solve all of the world's problems at once, but the reality is our resources are limited.

I still don't think it's all about oil. If it were, what are we doing in Afghanistan? And I don't know how we're going to go about it, but I would not be surprised to find out that China and North Korea are both on the radar screen, in one form or another. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

We're not drafting people by the thousands to wipe out oppression and to spread democracy because we've gone to an all-volunteer military. There's nobody fighting right now that has a legitimate reason to believe they should not be there. Even those in national guards...they knew what they might be getting before they signed on the dotted line. Sure the armed forces provides great educational and occupational opportunities, but everything comes with a cost.

Regarding Haliburton, as you noted, it's the VEEP's ex-company. Are there no other companies also enjoying government largesse in exchange for doing difficult work in a dangerous environment? I won't tell you oil has nothing to do with it. But, I truly believe it is soooo much more. Especially with the recent proven revelations that terrorists have been crossing the borders to fight in Iraq. And if anybody thinks that weapons were not smuggled across borders into Syria and other locales before or at the beginning of the war, I think they have their heads in the sand.

Yes, our country was founded on , among other things the principle of speaking out against a government's unjust or improper actions. And how did the British (whose subjects the colonists were at the time) regard the colonists? Yep, as traitors. Now 230 years have passed and most of that water is far under the bridge, but I think the British had justification at that time for feeling the way they did. And, like you, I'm entitled to express my opinion.

I didn't hear the Dixie Chicks saying, this war is wrong, but America is still the best place to live on the face of the earth. Nor do I hear that from the Hollywood elite. In fact, I'ms till waiting for a certain Baldwin brother to make good on his promise to leave the US in the event of a Bush election victory.

And I never said don't protest. What I said is that I think we need to be very careful about what and how we protest, counting the cost of our words. And the words in our mainstream press, and coming out of the entertainment industry, in my opinion, are costing American and Iraqi lives. Go ahead and protest...just understand the consequences.

Finally, I thought AMerican was a jab. Sometimes the typewritten word doesn't come across as we intend. We are still allowed a friendly exchange of words. No harm, no foul?

mr_g said...

Hammett - No harm no foul.

The following is a transcript of part of an interview with Herman Goering, Hitler's reichmarshall and #2 man. And yes, I verified it's authenticity.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

I guess this more or less sums up my view of this war. I DO get your points, however, I truly believe that we are not out to help the world here, but rather that is a good PR by-product of achieving our objective of securing oil access.

The other thing I'd suggest is a book by Jonathan Kwitney called "Endless Enemies". This book is well over 15 years old and may even be out of print...though I know used copies are available on Amazon. Kwitney was a writer for that left wing rag, "The Wall Street Journal" when he researched and wrote the book which gives a great history of US intervention and dis-information in the middle east. In fact, the book was initially published with pages and sections whited-out because the government wouldn't let certain information come to light...(the copy I had was chock full of empty spaces where government censors crossed things out). Anyhow, really great piece of work and very illuminating. I will check those blogs you list when I have a minute.

Also, I single out Halliburton because as the VP's former company and a company with people with close ties to the administration, it is a perfect example of how the political-military-industrial complex works...changing hats and looking out for each other. It is far from the only, just the most visible.

And I guess I still can't get on the support the war at all costs bandwagon. When you believe something is morally wrong, you have an obligation to speak out. I do agree that often times celebrities speak out of their asses rather than from a place of intelleigence. But this is America and the right to free speech applies to them to...even if they're not citizens. Try that in Saudi Arabia! ANd by the way...I've been saying LONG before 9/11 that Saudi Arabia is one of our biggest enemies in the world. They are a fundamentalist Muslim-governed nation who has no tolerance for anyone non-Muslim. They put up with America because we are strong, will protect our resources in the region and our leaders have developed ties with them...due in large part to people like Bush Sr. Even after it became clear that the bombers obviously had deep Saudi connections, they're still our "friends". If nothing else, it might make one wonder...

mr_g said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DHammett said...

Mr G -

I don't doubt the authenticity. I doubt the application. I have a hard time comparing Goering with Bush. I believe the president is serious about his faith, and this would not allow him to be disingenuous as your comment would suggest. I know there are nominal christians, but I think his actions (post-born-again, of course) suggest he is not one.

I would point out again that our armed forces are voluntary. Sure, there are probably a lot of them that never thought they would be sent to a war zone; that instead looked at armed services as career opportunities. But I would argue that they have not been dragged along like Goering's German farmers.

One thing that the anecdote reminded me of: Congress did declare war. OK, now that that's done, let's finish it and get out. That's all I'm saying.

I'm assuming you've read Endless Enemies. Does Kwitney say where the disinformation came from? Obviously,if it's more than 15 years old, it predates GW and Clinton. Was it Reagan's administration? Or George HW Bush's? Or Carters? I guess I don't doubt disinformation happened. I just don't think we can paint every administration with the same broad brush. And I agree with you about Saudi Arabia. Politics sometimes makes strange bedfellows.

In a nutshell, as pessimistic as I usually am, I just don't think I can ascribe Machiavellian motives to everything every administration does. I read Colin Powell's testimony about the weapons of mass destruction. I have no doubt he was sincere in his beliefs about them. I also have no doubt that, after years of trying to hide them and of frustrating the efforts of UN personnel to find them, Saddam Hussein either destroyed them just prior to the invasion or sent them across the border to Iraq-friendly countries like Syria. Remember, Clinton bombed an "aspirin factory" in the mistaken belief that WMD were stored there. Was that oil-related as well?

There was an interesting article in the NY Times yesterday about AP coverage of the war: that it's mostly about casualties and bad news rather than some of the progress being made. Here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/15/business/media/15apee.html?ei=5090&en=4a4f32424faa6ab5&ex=1281758400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=print

Of course, it was published in that well-known conservative bastion, the Times. *Winks with a knowing nod to the WSJ reference*

DHammett said...

mr g

If you're not completely fatigued by this thread by now, I'm attaching a link to a blog post from a soldier in Afghanistan who is wrestling with the question of why we're in Afghanistan in a unique way. The same reasoning can be applied to Iraq. Since I think the link is to his blog in general, the post is called "Something to Chew on" and it's dated 8/15/05.

http://bdelapla.blogspot.com/

mr_g said...

Hammett,
Not completely fatigued, but busy as hell this week. I'll get back and check it out when I have a minute.

And Rae Ann, thanks for our patience in letting this go on a bit!