It's Recess-time Somewhere

Proud Member of the Reality-Based Sandbox

August 11, 2005

I Raq and Roll

Have you guys heard Clint Black's little ditty "I Raq and Roll?" The
catchy little tune he plans on crooning at the "Dancing on Their Graves" Shindig planned in Washington to "commemorate" the fourth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

When I first saw the lyrics to this song, my intention was to pick it apart and poke fun about how ridiculous each line was, but I got hung up on this one.

You can wave your signs in protest
against america taking stands
the stands america's taken
are the reason that you can

There is so much wrong with this, that I couldn't decide on just one angle to take, and figured it deserved it's very own post. And as a matter of fact, this is an argument I frequently hear from the rabid Right, those who simply regurgitate talking points without having a clue what they are saying.

As you can plainly see, George Bush is fighting tooth and nail against speaking with Cindy Sheehan and allowing her to take a stand against an unjust war and the senseless killing of her son.

The Bush Administration has threatened to have her arrested on the grounds that she poses a national security risk. And how ironic is it, that in the same week as this story hit the papers, a CIA field commander admitted that they let Osama bin Laden slip away in the mountains of Tora Bora in 2001 and did not choose to use the necessary troops to catch him. Which one do you think poses more of a threat to national security, Sheehan or bin Laden?

As far as rights to protest, gay rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, religious rights and voting rights, this has got to be one of the most repressive regimes the U.S. has known. The Administration is fighting tirelessly to take these rights away from us. The way the Bush Administration is handling terrorism is detrimental to freedom and liberty here in the U.S. The Patriot Act takes away our freedom and liberty. It certainly doesn't defend freedom and liberty. And for Clint Black to allude to the fact that it does, shows his truly extraordinary stupidity.

The idea that they are somehow "defending freedom" in their silly war in Iraq is ludicrous! Their doing it not to just line their own pockets, but to stuff their pockets full of oil money. The war in Iraq has nothing to do with freedom or liberty or even with fighting the real bad guys. And a few of the consequences of this diversion from fighting terrorism, is that we are spreading Islamic fundamentalism, nurturing a breeding ground for bad guys, and taking away boatloads of freedoms from women in Iraq.

Not only that, the whole statement reeks of bizarre twisted circular logic that doesn't make any sense. You want to protest. Our military fought for your right to protest. Our government allows us to protest. But please be a dear and hush and kindly accept what the government is doing. You can't have it both ways.

As Thomas Jefferson said "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."


  • At August 11, 2005, Anonymous Gordon said…

    You can wave your signs in protest
    against america taking stands
    the stands america's taken
    are the reason that you can

    That's actually true, but the present "stand" on Iraq is having the opposite effect. I hope to live long enough to see us once again take a stand for the Constitution instead of against it.

  • At August 11, 2005, Anonymous mary said…

    What do they do, shoot up with hallucinatory drugs and write these lyrics? These people live in an altered state at all times - the goons are among us.

  • At August 12, 2005, Blogger J.Klein said…

    I hear that Cindy was going to attempt to move closer to Bush's door this week, and I cant wait to see what Bushy does. If she forces them to arrest her its going to turn into a real circus down there.

  • At August 12, 2005, Blogger Sylvana said…

    Those country song writers work so hard to get some "clever" catch phrase out of the song that it often is completely ridiculous. He probably doesn't even know what the hell he's singing about. He's just thinking about all those trucker hat sales $$

  • At August 13, 2005, Blogger sideshow bob said…

    Country music licks balls!!!!!!!

    Except for Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams (Sr., not Jr.)

  • At August 13, 2005, Blogger Johnny Virgil said…

    You said that "we are spreading Islamic fundamentalism, nurturing a breeding ground for bad guys, and taking away boatloads of freedoms from women in Iraq."

    How are "we" taking away freedom from women in Iraq? Did they have an extraordinary amount before? I would say it's the people of Iraq and Islam itself taking away their freedom if, in fact, they decide to institute a constitution based on religion. That's the major beef I have with the way the current administration thinks. They think you can "give" a country freedom and democracy. There's two problems with this mindset -- one, the people of Iraq have been under a dictatorial thumb for so long they have no idea what to do when they aren't, and two, when you suddenly have a democracy and the majority of the voters are hard-line islamic fundamentalists, then you have a good chance of getting a hardline islamic fundamentalist elected into a position of power. There *is* such a thing as a bad democracy. They don't seem to understand that.

    As far as women's rights in particular goes, I'm sure that thousands of years of treating women like dirt is not going to be erased overnight. It's a cultural issue, and it just shows how effed up Islam can really be.

    The breeding ground comment -- for the most part, I agree. But... I have to say that I also believe that ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away, and it doesn't make the fanatical arabs hate the US any less. Unfortunately, trading some freedoms for some security makes sense today, regardless of what Ben Franklin and Tom J said back in the day. They didn't have the inverted pyramid to deal with. In today's world, a 3 week shipping delay in foodstuffs or a 3 week power outage in the middle of winter would result in a large number of casualties, for instance. We, as a society, are much more helpless on an individual level than they were when those statements were uttered.

    I always wonder after reading something like this -- as the author, what is your suggested solution? What would you have done differently and why? What makes you think it would have been more effective? It's easy to shoot holes in something, but quite another thing to come up with a viable alternative. I don't have the answers, but I'm open to listening to some of your suggestions.

  • At August 13, 2005, Blogger cookie christine said…

    Here is a link to a post on womens rights that you might find.

    And if I were the boss, I wouldn't have invaded Iraq in the first place and I would have let the CIA and the legal sytem find and prosecute terrorists. Certainly would not have gotten the military involved.

  • At August 13, 2005, Blogger Johnny Virgil said…

    Yeah, but that sort of illustrates my point. Because the majority is Shiite, the "democracy" thing is going to shift the balance of power in their direction.

    As for prosecuting terrorists as criminals, that doesn't really work when the criminals have a tendency to get blown to bits or incinerated in the process of committing their "crime." You have to take away the REASON for the hatred, and that's no easy task. In a lot of cases, the hatred is a result of being brainwashed by your environment, your education, your parents, etc. Radical Islam is a disease, and I'm saddened that more moderate Muslims don't take a stand against it. The middle east has a gigantic inferiority complex, and the arab societal tendencies are to find someone to blame besides yourself. In a lot of cases, it's the "great satan" -- justified or not.

  • At August 13, 2005, Blogger cookie christine said…

    The millenium bomber was prosecuted successfully here in the good ol' USA. And he didn't even have to get sodomized or beat to death at Gitmo. As were the Oklahoma City terrorists.

    Also, generally behind a suicide attack are several people that help plan it, help recuit folks to pariticpate, help make the bomb and help to find the materials to make the bomb. There's quite a web of bad buys out there. And the way to fight them is the find the terrorist cells, break them up, and prosecute them.

    One of the main reasons that radical muslims hate us, is that we are hanging out on their holy lands. If we'd just get the hell out of there, and find other energy sources besides oil and find ways to conserve, life we be a lot brighter and sunnier for all of us.

  • At August 13, 2005, Blogger Johnny Virgil said…

    All true statements. You make it sound a lot easier than it is, however. The two examples you used of treating terrorism as a criminal rather than a military issue are really the exception rather than the rule. The simple truth is, most all terrorist acts ever commited were carried out by muslim males between the ages of 18 and 40. Yet profiling is not allowed. To me, this defies logic.

    I happen to agree with you that Iraq was a bad idea, but I don't agree with you that going after onesy-twosey terrorists is going to do anything at all to solve the problem of radical islam. I don't think you understand the depth of their need to convert you or see you dead. Check out They translate middle eastern media. It's pretty eye opening. While you will see some moderate arabs promoting a voice of reason, you will see many more hateful, inciting Imams whipping the young, uneducated, poverty-stricken populace into a frenzy of western hatred.

    I'd be willing to bet that the war on terror will be like the "war" on drugs -- basically unwinnable. Breaking up the cells? That sounds like a really good idea, but again it's an example of a solution that sounds so simple but is really infinitely complicated. Just do it, you say. Just find the cells and break them up. We need a lot more arab-speaking, arab-looking undercover agents to do that, for one thing, and it takes a really, really long time to create a viable intelligence infrastructure capable of infiltrating the arab culture. We also have some really restrictive laws that hobble the CIA's ability to consort with unsavory characters, even if it's to catch worse unsavory characters. And how do you fight against something like the UK bombings? In an open society like ours and GBs, it's way too easy to make things go boom. Basically, you're looking at two alternatives - just live with it and start getting used to things blowing up, or start taking away some personal freedoms in the name of security. Neither of those things is any good at all, but what is the third choice? Appeasement? Just give everyone what they want and maybe they'll leave us alone? That's naive. Didn't you ever get bullied on the playground? It doesn't work that way. Some idealists think that there's no choice to be made there between freedoms and security, but as the saying goes, a liberal is just a conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.

    I also agree with you that alternative fuel sources are desperately needed, but assuming for a moment that we did somehow find a way to completely sever our dependence on oil -- do you think that would be the end of it? If we weren't tainting the ground of the holy lands with our infidel presence, would they just be happy to live in poverty, since the only thing they have to sell is something nobody wants anymore?

    Somehow I don't think so.

    It's an interesting problem, and it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better - if it ever does. Watch China and India. One of the main reasons gas is so expensive right now is because their usage of oil and other petroleum products has skyrocketed, and the refineries can't keep up. It's not all about the war, although the press would have you think so. Wow, sorry for such a long rant! :)

  • At August 14, 2005, Blogger cookie christine said…

    So you're a fan of racial profiling? If that pic is in fact a pic of you, you like a heroin addict. Would you like to be singled out and have federal agents search your house without a search warrant? Small price to pay to fight the war on drugs, eh?

    Don't you think that if we had taken the $300 billion that we've spent in Iraq and put it towards actually fighting the bad guys. Putting our best minds to work actually trying to eliminated hatred, violence and poverty rather than increasing them, maybe we'd actually get somewhere.

    And isn't a conservative just a liberal whose job hasn't been outsourced yet?

  • At August 14, 2005, Blogger Johnny Virgil said…

    Heh. Outsourcing is another interesting issue. Makes me want to ditch computers and start working on cars or become an electrician.

    And no, I'm not a "fan" of racial profiling. In fact, I hate that it's even considered necessary. That doesn't change the fact that it can be a useful tool. If blonde-haired swedes were blowing airplanes out of the sky, and I was a blond-haired swede, I would be pissed if I did NOT get a little extra attention at the airport.
    You seem to think all profiling involves rubber hoses and torture. It doesn't.

    There's a huge difference between busting down someone's door and doing an illegal search, and a little extra diligence before you board a plane. It's very possible to approach a blond-haired swede and say "excuse me sir, but BHS's have been blowing planes out of the sky lately -- do you mind if we take a quick look at your bag and passport?"

    I know that for some people, it's way too close to "may we haff your papers, please?" but that doesn't change the fact that it is a useful, if sometimes distasteful, tool that can be applied judiciously. As with everything, of course, it has the potential for abuse.

    I agree with you on the price of this war, and how it could have been better spent. Truthfully, the entire WMD thing boggles my mind. I find it difficult to believe that so many intelligence agencies could be so wrong. Ours, GB, Israel, Russia, China, even some Iraqi ex-patriots said he had them. What the hell? Is it really that bad, or was SH *trying* to make us think he had them?

    Regardless of if they ever existed, Hussein probably deserved what he got based on the UN resolutions alone, even though the UN is so spineless and corrupt that it would never have acted.

    What would I do with the money? Well, aside from buying some smack (no, by the way, that's not me, it's actually Brandon Lee) I would have taken the 300 billion and put it toward improving intelligence. Put it toward training agents. Translators, etc. As for taking the 300 billion and putting it toward humanitarian projects in the middle east, which is what I assume you mean, take a look at the sheer amount of cash that we give to Egypt in aid every year. The US has provided Egypt with $1.3 billion a year in military aid since 1979, and an average of $815 million a year in economic assistance. Does that make us popular in Egypt? Nope.

    Anyway, I've enjoyed our discourse, and I hope you aren't upset with me. It wasn't my intention.

    I do lean conservative regarding foreign policy, but I am not a member of the "rabid right" (I believe in the separation of church and state and women's right to choose for instance. Oh, and Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot.) nor do I vote Republican. I think that both sides have their whackos, and somewhere in the middle there's a course of action that is probably the closest we can come to correct. I just wish we could agree on something as a country. We have never been more divided, and it's not a good thing.

  • At August 14, 2005, Blogger cookie christine said…

    It has been an interesting discourse, and no, I'm not upset. As long as folks are respectful, all opinions are respected here.

    As far as blonde haired swedes at the aiport go, the more attention I get at the airport, the better. ; )

    And it wasn't our intelligence agencies that were incorrect, it was the Bush Administration "fixing the intelligence around the policy". Read up on the Downing Street Memo, Plame Gate and all that if still think that so many intelligence agencies were so wrong.

  • At August 14, 2005, Blogger Johnny Virgil said…

    Yeah, I read the memo, but I guess I wasn't convinced. I'm sure they did fix policy. I think half the evil in the world is done because of religion, and the other half is done by politicians. I don't trust anyone who would want that job. Call me cynical, but...that's what I am. I stumbled on this a while back and bookmarked it because it made some sense. I bet there's a lot of truth to it. It looks to be a rightwinger website, and it's the only article I've ever read there, so I'm not really sure.

  • At August 14, 2005, Blogger oldwhitelady said…

    I didn't even know he had this song out. I sometimes listen to country, but never paid attention, or it didn't play while I was in the car.


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