Jewish World Review March 18, 2003 / 14 Adar II, 5763
Dixie Chicken out
All I had to do was mention the name of the Grammy Award-winning country trio to elicit immediate disgust and anger from housewives, business executives, and event staff and volunteers. "Who do they think buys their albums?!" asked Ellie, a catering employee. "I whipped my copy of 'Fly' (the Chicks first CD) across my daughter's soccer field so the dog could chew it up," laughed a high-profile restaurant owner.
The fury surrounds the now-infamous comment Chicks' lead singer Natalie Maines made to a packed London audience that she was "embarrassed" that George W. Bush was from Texas. Apparently unaware that Americans at home have electronic access to her inane comments abroad, Maines was blown away by the landslide at home. Within a few days, radio stations in Texas were announcing on-air boycotts, fans were ripping up tickets to the groups' upcoming American tour, thousands of others were vowed never to purchase another Chicks' CD.
The reality of losing gobs of money in today's struggling record business slapped Maines across her chubby little cheeks.
The official Dixie Chicks website posted this "apology" 4 days after the lead singers' initial remarks: "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American."
To forgive is divine, but to forget what lies at the core of Maines' original comments and those of the more vicious anti-war/anti-Bush brigades is ill-advised and dangerous.
Maines' outburst is simply the latest and loudest of the caterwauls coming from those who believe they are intellectually and morally superior to the average American who supports this president and his view of the dangers posed by Saddam. People like Susan Sarandon, Jimmy Carter and Jessica Lange feel it's their solemn duty to tutor the rest of us who have neither the time nor the money hang out at peace rallies or travel to Baghdad courtesy of the Ministry of Information. Most of what we hear from the "anti-war" crowd hasn't been reasoned debate; it has served only to foment anti-American sentiment abroad. Those like Maines who go overseas to malign our leaders merely help those who are cheering on the demise of America's global super power status.
When hit with charges of 'anti-Americanism' these elites invariably respond that they "support the troops, but not the war." But why take their word for it? Let's ask the troops to see how much they feel supported by the likes of Sean Penn and Danny Glover, who believe we should have more faith in the intentions of the UN and Saddam, and less in our President. Imagine a USO tour, lead by Jessica Lange, Tim Robbins and Bill Maher. Neither can I.
When the war is over, when Saddam is gone, when his hidden weapons caches are on display for the world to see, and when Iraqis are living in freedom, we must not allow anyone to forget the obstacles we had to clear to make it all happen. The French and their ideological soul-mates here in the US will try to wallpaper over their previous comments and actions. To honor the memory of those who will lose their lives in this war, we cannot allow that to happen. We do not want to find ourselves struggling to climb out of this same UN-manufactured quicksand the next time we face a threat of weapons of mass destruction.
The closing ceremony at the rodeo Sunday night featured a parade with surprise guest "41," former President George Bush, who rode around the stadium in an open-air truck, waving to the deafening crowd, no doubt his mind and his heart with his son in Washington. Then Lee Greenwood sang "Proud to be an American," before the country legends Alabama kicked off what was billed as its final concert.
"You know the Dixie Chicks played here last year," my friend Dan said, as
the fiddle music electrified the stadium. "Somehow I don't think they'll
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