Integrity and Courage

Posted on Thursday 22 June 2006

I recently got one of the Dixie Chicks albums from a friend. Apparently, this is a follow-up album to the one that was boycotted during the start of the Iraq invasion. Lead singer Natalie Maines, apparently had the integrity and courage to say what she believed about the war in Iraq. From the CNN article on the controversy.

“I think people were misled and I think people are fighting a war that they didn’t know they were going to be fighting,” Maines said Friday on NBC’s “Today” show. “And I think they were misled by people who should have been asking questions and weren’t.”

She also said that she was ashamed that George W. Bush was a Texan. I don’t blame her. George W. Bush has proven that he and his administration is incapable of telling the truth, taking responsibility for their actions, or respecting human rights—either here or abroad. He has also shown a total disregard for the fairness of the election process, the Constitution or the rule of law.

On the new album, “Taking the Long Way”, there is a song called “Not Ready to Make Nice”. This song appears to be a response to the threats and intimidation tactics used by the Bush regime supporters and pro-war activists after her comments—these tactics included death threats, banning air play of their recently released album, and destruction of Dixie Chicks CDs.

Here are the lyrics to the song “Not Ready to Make Nice”:

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I’m not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I’m still waiting

I’m through, with doubt,
There’s nothing left for me to figure out,
I’ve paid a price, and i’ll keep paying

I’m not ready to make nice,
I’m not ready to back down,
I’m still mad as hell
And I don’t have time
To go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I know you said
Why can’t you just get over it,
It turned my whole world around
and i kind of like it

I made by bed, and I sleep like a baby,
With no regrets and I don’t mind saying,
It’s a sad sad story
That a mother will teach her daughter
that she ought to hate a perfect stranger.
And how in the world
Can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That they’d write me a letter
Saying that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over

I’m not ready to make nice,
I’m not ready to back down,
I’m still mad as hell
And I don’t have time
To go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

I’m not ready to make nice,
I’m not ready to back down,
I’m still mad as hell
And I don’t have time
To go round and round and round
It’s too late to make it right
I probably wouldn’t if I could
Cause I’m mad as hell
Can’t bring myself to do what it is
You think I should

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I’m not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I’m still waiting

The song talks about the threats and bigotry, and how Natalie wasn’t willing to back down, even in spite of the threats and possible damage to her career. I think her took great courage and integrity to stand against an unjust war, and the lies that were told to support it.

If death threats and public intimidation are the response to a person’s opinion—how far down the slippery slope of fascism have we slipped? One of the United States’ defining characteristics is the right to free speech, even unpopular but highly pointed and truthful speech. Unlike what many war supporters would like you to believe, it is possible to be against the war in Iraq, yet still be in support of the troops we have committed there.

I firmly support the troops, but feel that they really need to be brought home. We have lost over 2,500 troops in the execution of a war based on the lies and deception of the current regime in power—one that has repeatedly ignored the rule of law, human rights, and civil liberties clearly spelled out in our Constitution. The Bush regime has proven itself well on the way to a fascist state—with all fourteen of Dr. Lawrence Britt’s defining characteristics of a fascist regime being present.

I applaud Natalie and the Dixie Chicks for standing their ground—not budging on this issue—and for having the grace, courage and integrity to publish a song about their experiences.


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