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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

When Neil Young Hit Bush, and the Media, On Iraq

The coming 11th anniversary of the start of Iraq war makes me recall one of the unsung singers who (eventually) took a hard-hitting stance against the war.  Here's what I posted some time ago--there's much more in my new book on Bush, the media and Iraq--and see clip at bottom.
Neil Young: Rock star as journo? It essentially happened in 2006 when Neil Young, son of a famous Canadian sportswriter, hurriedly wrote and released (only online at first) his ripped-from-the-headlines Living With War CD. He even proposed impeaching the president "for lying" (and "for spying"). In one of the songs in the collection, Young sang repeatedly: "Don't need no more lies."

He emphasized the prohibition against the media showing pictures of coffins with the American dead being returned from Iraq, singing: "Thousands of bodies in the ground/ Brought home in boxes to a trumpet's sound/ No one sees them coming home that way/ Thousands buried in the ground." In another song: "More boxes covered in flags/ but I can't see them on TV."

When Young urged that Americans "Impeach the President," he included audio clips of embarrassing Bush statements ("We'll smoke them out ..."). But a highlight of the collection was the blistering "Shock and Awe," which, along with its antiwar lyrics, included the more philosophical "History is a cruel judge of overconfidence." He also recalled that "back in the days of Mission Accomplished ... the sun was setting on another photo op."

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