Monday, February 12, 2007

WPost Disses the Dixie Chicks

By Robert Parry
February 12, 2007

The smug Washington Post smirked its way through an article about the Dixie Chicks winning five Grammy Awards for the group’s heroic album “Taking the Long Way” and the defiant song “Not Ready to Make Nice.”

The Post, which has editorially supported George W. Bush’s Iraq War and joined in smear campaigns against war critics like Joseph Wilson, treated the Dixie Chicks with the usual disdain.

Read on.


Anonymous said...

Natalie Maines did the unforgiveable in the conservative C&W music industry -- she didn't mince her words and say, "Oh, I feel real bad that it looks like the president may not be giving peace a chance."

No, she said she was ASHAMED! Shame -- not an acceptable word to the busheviks and to the C&W bosses. To them, you're with us or against us.

So, they went after her and the Chicks.

I am ashamed that we have the government we have in the WH. Why should we respect them?

srimbael said...

First of all, I resent the implication that my reaction to the comments by Natalie Maines was manipulated or directed in some way by Bush or Republicans. When I heard the comments made by Maines, I immediately formed by own opinion, which was anger and humiliation that a US citizen would criticize her government in such a public venue IN ANOTHER COUNTRY!! Had Maines made those comments at a concert here in the States, perhaps the backlash would not have been so virulent, but doing so in a foreign country was as far as I'm concerned almost an act of treason. We are at WAR! We are at war against terrorism. Who the hell does Natalie Maines think she is to say such a thing as though she represented all Americans?

My second comment is that your blog accuses the President of squelching fair and open debate. Well, the fact that people responding to remarks that Maines felt she was entitled to make openly and in public were not supportive does not negate the fairness or openness of a debate. In fact, I think the debate was very open and very fair. One side, Maines, stated her views; the other side, US citizens, then stated their views.

BTW, I am still boycotting French products, and I am an Independent, formerly a Democrat. No one is influencing me to not buy French wines to not read magazines owned wholly or in part by French people. I am boycotting them because their actions since WW2 have been less than honorable or loyal.

Robert Cook said...

SRIMBAEL represents the credulous but hopefully rapidly diminishing cohort of Americans who think of themselves as "independent thinkers," yet who parrot the propaganda of this criminal administration as if...well, as if they had "immediately formed (their) own opinion!"

Further, SRIMBAEL conflates George Bush with "the country," as others who don't understand the nature of our system of government have done. Ms. Maines, a Texan, simply made the entirely sensible and well-grounded comment that she was ashamed of George Bush, ashamed of him as a representative of her home state, (which, for what it matters, is not his).

Aside from his war crimes, Bush is a dolt, an imbecile and coward of such low character that one could imagine him playing the Elisha Cook character in THE MALTESE FALCON.

Where does the First Amendment bar our freedom to criticize the President, or, for that matter, the country, under ANY circumstances, or whether here or abroad? Where, when we see our country headed toward calamity--as our invasion and destruction of Iraq certainly is--are we constraiend from speaking out against that course of evil?

SRIMBAEL, aside from conflating Bush with "our government," assumes Ms. Maines intended her remarks to "represent(s) all Americans," when, in fact, she has never made any such representation. She was speaking for herself, and, perhaps, for her bandmates.

As for SRIMBAEL's apparent skepticism that Bush squelches fair and open debate, I ask him or her to comment on the anti-American "free speech zones" (sic) established by the Bush campaing during his stops around the country when he was running for re-selection. These "free speech zones" (sic) were set up as penned-in areas far from the sites where Bush would appear, and protesters--American citizens who wished to exercise their free speech righs to condemn this President for his violations of the law and of human decency--were forced into these "free speech zones," and were allowed nowhere near our "freedom-loving" (sic) Texas cowboy (sic). Those who made it into Bush's speeches who were even suspected of being Democrats or other similar types of dangerous malcontents were hustled out post haste.

So much for Bush's courage or tolerance in the face of the fruits of freedom, fruits he apparently considers quite bitter.

I'm skeptical that SRIMBAEL was ever a Democrat or is presently an independent, but, if true, this simply proves that nitwits are to be found in abundance everywhere, and are not unique to the freedom-haters in the Republican party or among the non-Christians who follow Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and their ilk.

Robert Cook said...

Please forgive my several lapses in syntax; where I thought I was clicking to "preview," I apparently clicked to "submit."

Bryan said...

Boy. It's great to see the Bush-haters raising the level of political discourse in this great nation of ours.

Robert Cook's near-omniscience is astounding. He knows not whether "srimbael" is a "him" or a "her", yet somehow, in all his liberal erudition, he just knows that srimbael couldn't have arrived at his opinion honestly. In Robert Cook's world, people who hold such opinions are merely "parrot[ing] the propaganda of this criminal administration."

Robert Cook also knows that, in addition to being a criminal who commits war crimes, Bush is an imbecile, a dolt, and a coward of low character. I'm guessing that Robert Cook makes this judgment about Bush on the same basis that he judges the intelligence of people like srimbael...that “basis” being that people who happen to disagree with the views of Mr. Cook can't possibly be right. Rather, they're "nitwits" and "freedom-haters." (Note to self: in future make sure to vet views with adherents of the current liberal orthodoxy to avoid being a nitwit)

And then Mr. Cook asks rhetorically, “Where does the First Amendment bar our freedom to criticize the President, or, for that matter, the country, under ANY circumstances, or whether here or abroad? Where, when we see our country headed toward calamity--as our invasion and destruction of Iraq certainly is--are we constrained from speaking out against that course of evil?”

The answer, of course, to the pseudo-questions that Mr. Cook subtly poses is patently obvious – the First Amendment doesn’t do any of those things that he suggests. But Mr. Cook is merely demolishing a straw man. Srimbael didn’t suggest that the First Amendment did any of those things in the first place.

The supreme irony is that Mr. Cook comes awfully close to suggesting that people who disagreed with the Dixie Chicks shouldn’t have exercised their own free speech rights in the way that they did (by boycotting them). Surely, in all of his omniscience, Mr. Cook realizes that the First Amendment acts as a bulwark against government suppression of free speech. It does not insulate Natalie Maines and the rest of the Chicks from the criticism of others exercising their own rights and reacting to what they perceived to be an objectionable statement.

Perhaps what Mr. Cook really objects to is not an illusory violation of the First Amendment, but rather the scorn with which the Chicks were treated for expressing their apparently sincere views of the President. If so, surely he’s at least as big of a hypocrite as he accuses Bush of being: srimbael and others who hold views that differ from the learned Mr. Cook get nothing but scorn and name-calling from him.

Atheist said...
Paul Craig Roberts urges people to

Robert Cook said...

Well, Bryan, I cannot know whether SRIMBAEL is male or female because the moniker gives no clue, but I can assume his or her opinions are, even if arrived at "honestly," ill-founded in any understanding of our country's founding principles. SRIMBAEL's assertion that Ms. Maines' mild criticism of Bush was "almost an act of treason" tells me that he or she does not much favor freedom any more than Bush does. (And this goes to my "rhetorical question" about the First Amendment, Bryan: we Americans have the right to speak freely, to criticize our President or our government in the most frank terms--anyplace and anytime--without there being any question that this amounts to treason. If SRIMBAEL truly thinks Ms. Maines' exceedingly mild rebuke approaches treason, I ask how he or she squares that with our free speech rights. WHERE is there any suggestion in our framework of law that would allow SRIMBAEL to arrive at such a conclusion? In fact, Teddy Roosevelt--one of our Presidents, let it be noted--wrote:

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

"Roosevelt in the Kansas City Star", 149
May 7, 1918)

Of course, there is no suggestion in my post that those who disagree with Ms. Maines should be silenced, as you well know; there is only my skepticism that SRIMBAEL's reaction is reasoned or well-founded, as his or her comments merely echo the knee-jerk antagonism to Ms. Maines that have resounded in the right-wing universe since she committed her supposed offense.

That SRIMBAEL claims to continue to boycott French products tells me he or she simply is following along with the lunatic fringe, rather than arriving at his or her opinions independently, given that, at this late date, we can see the French and the Germans, among the other nations who refused to go along with our criminal invasion of Iraq were--as were we Americans who opposed the invasion at the time--RIGHT. The notion that the French are somehow guilty of disloyalty to America because they found no cause to attack Iraq—rightly so, as there was no cause—and that they must therefore be “punished” with a boycott of their products bespeaks a mind that has not thought overmuch about the realities of these past few years.

As to Bush's character and criminality: it takes no great discernment to see that Bush is an need only look at and listen to him; one needs no great powers of divination to know he's a coward...his desertion from service in time of war demonstrates that, as did his shameful mocking of a prisoner on death row in Texas during his governorship, who had merely had the temerity to request a commutation of her sentence to life in prison. One need not study the arcana of law to know Bush is a criminal: he launched a war of aggression against another nation. Under the Geneva Conventions accords, of which the U.S. was a dominant shaper, that is a crime against humanity, the greatest crime, as all the other crimes of war derive from that original crime. The UN Security Council did not approve our plan for war, yet we invaded anyway. So, we lacked justification for war under either the Geneva Conventions standards or through UN approval. Further, we have kidnapped and imprisoned countless persons, with evidence to suggest that many, if not most or all of them, have been tortured, and they have been held with no recourse to legal remedy. We have killed thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens, those we supposedly attacked Iraq to liberate--a rationale that was amped up only after the WMD excuse could no longer be sustained. This White House has admitted to having tapped the phones of untold numbers of citizens without acquiring warrant. The crimes of this administration are in the public record, if one but merely pay attention.

Dolt, coward, criminal, hater of freedom...that is our current man in the White House.