Celebrities and Free Speech

Charlie Daniels isn't someone whom you would turn to for his expertise on politics. He has recently characterized the peace movement, especially as represented by Hollywood actors, as being a bunch of "pampered, overpaid, unrealistic children." Pundits like Cindy Osborne have labelled those who have opposed the war: drug addicts, alcoholics, philanderers, convicts or worse, even terrorists.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of actors and artists who support the war: Brad Pitt, Kid Rock and Bruce Willis are just a few. But have any of them made the case for our invasion and occupation of Iraq any more intelligently than those who oppose the war, such as Brian Eno?

I'm not suggesting that eloquence should be equated with what is ethical or moral, but there does seem to be a common thread running through the ranting of the jingoists and racists who have come out of the woodwork to back the Bush administration in its unholy quest to stay in the White House, dictate energy policy and determine the fate of the Middle East at least until 2008.

If nothing else, those pro-war rallies hosted by Clear Channel have given these poor idiots a chance to meet other idiots and, God help us, breed. I don't blame these people for their ignorance, but I do wish they didn't make it so easy for the government and the media to brainwash and lie to them.

Let me state for the record that I don't identify with peace protesters, at least not on a superficial level. Many of them are long-haired, unemployed, stinky, granola-eating, Birkenstock-wearing, pot-smoking freaks. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I don't look at them and see myself. I will also admit that many of them oppose war for nothing more than some naively-held pacifist ideal. I'm not a pacificist, but I stand with Jimmy Carter and the Pope when I say that the US invasion of Iraq was unjust. Our winning doesn't change anything; the ends don't justify the means, nor should they.

Returning to celebrities. Why should celebrities speak out? What could they possibly know about politics?

Has anyone attempted drawing a correlation between education and attitude towards the war? I only ask because I don't know any smart person who supported this war, at least anyone who wasn't working for the administration or the media. I'd guess that the Dixie Chicks are a lot smarter than Charlie Daniels.

If you're a fan of the Dixie Chicks or the First Amendment, you can sign a petition to support Natalie Maines exercising her constitutional right to free speech, i.e. her recent comments about President George W. Bush.

Speaking of the Dixie Chicks and free speech, the South Carolina legislature "adopted a resolution requesting an apology and a free concert for military families when they open their U.S. tour in Greenville in May."

How about a petition to give medical care to the innocent Iraqis who were maimed by the US-led invasion?

A typical argument made by the ignorant and naive is that the Bush team knows more than Hollywood types and we should trust and support them. I agree that they certainly know more, but that doesn't mean they implicitly deserve our trust or support.