To Brother Light Searcher

 

From: holderlin66
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 1:57 pm
Subject: To Brother Light Searcher

You must remember Country Joe and the Fish.. Well it's one, two, three, what are we fightin for...

On February 22, 2004 FROM Randall Bart:

Fixin' to Lie Rag
by Randall Bart

Come on all you Americans.
Bush is President again.
He found a guy who's really bad.
The name's Saddam. He's in Baghdad.
So show some ID, take off your shoes.
What have you got to lose?

And it's one, two, three,
What are we searching for?
George said it, it must be true.
I believe in W.
And it's five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There's no need to wonder why,
'Cause Presidents never lie.

The USA's the worldwide cop,
And evildoers must be stopped.
Saddam's got nukes and poison gas.
Let's go kick him in the ass.
Conquer the land, sell off the oil.
To the victor goes the spoil.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we searching for?
George said it, it must be true.
I believe in W.
And it's five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There's no need to wonder why,
'Cause Presidents never lie.

Now there's rebuilding to be done.
Halliburton is the one.
Cheney says they have the skills.
We're the ones who pay the bills.
So give up your rights. Write me a check.
We'll make the whole world a wreck.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we paying for?
Dick said it, it must be spent.
He's our Vice President.
And it's five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There's no need to wonder why.
Vice Presidents never lie.

Molly Ivins

04.06.04

AUSTIN, Texas -- Iraq. What. A. Mess.

As Cousin Eddie Faulk used to say during Vietnam, "If those folks don't like what we're doin' for `em, why don't they just go back where they come from?"

Eric Alterman sums up the position of the "We told you so" crowd thusly:

The invasion of Iraq will cause, not prevent terrorism.

The Bush administration was not to be trusted when it warned of the WMD threat.

Going in without the United Nations is worse than not going in at all.

They were asleep at the switch pre-9/11 and have been trying to cover this up ever since.

And they manipulated 9-11 as a pretext for a long-planned invasion of Iraq.

Any occupation by a foreign power, particularly one as incompetently planned as this one, will likely create more enemies than friends and put the United States in a situation similar at times to Vietnam, and at other times, similar to Israel's occupation of Lebanon; both were disasters.

An invasion of Iraq will draw resources and attention away from the genuine perpetrators of the attack on us, and allow them to regroup for further attacks.

Bonus: Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" will increase anti- Semitism worldwide."

OK, that's the bad news. What talkingpointsmemo.com's Josh Marshall calls "the hunky-dory crowd" is still telling us the electricity is back on and things are almost back up to where they were under Saddam Hussein. There's a mark to aim for.

Look, I never root for bad things to happen, and maybe Moqtada Sadr has just set off a spasm of violence, not a real Shiite insurrection. As Marshall also notes, we expected Sunni opposition, but it doesn't make much sense for the Shiites to rise up now when all they have to do is sit back and wait. Maybe the Shiite outburst is just a reaction to Paul Bremer's incredibly dumb move in shutting down their newspaper. (Just for the record, occupiers purporting to bring democracy should never shut down newspapers.) If that's the case, why wasn't Sadr invited to the table and given a stake in the transition?

The "we told you so" crowd often points out we'd be a lot better off if anyone in the administration read history, usually citing the British occupation of Iraq. Hell, try Napoleon's occupation of Egypt -- and he was an administrative genius who brought along a team of culturally sensitive advisers.

I like to think of myself as part of the "so what do we do now?" crowd, but it is like drinking gall. We could try what we clearly should have done from the beginning -- put more boots on the ground. We've got 130,000 troops there now. (Remember when the Bushies told us it would be down to 30,000 by the end of last summer?) Gen. Eric Shinseki's "several hundred thousand" prediction looks more prescient all the time. The trouble with that scenario is that it violates the First Rule of Holes (when you're in one, quit digging.) Second, it may be too late.

Then there's the old reliable, "Bug out now." I always liked Sen. Aiken's advice on how to get out of Vietnam: "in boats." Yep, it could be time to declare victory and go home. That seems to be President Bush's plan. He can just say, "Well, we took care of the weapons of mass destruction, so we're outta here."

As many others have pointed out, June 30 is just a ridiculous deadline. Even though we're not planning to withdraw on June 30, damned if I can see how we're going to hang onto what was supposed to be the great strategic advantage of this war. Those of you who follow neo-con thinking know this never was about weapons of mass destruction, it was supposed to give us a place to plonk ourselves down so we could restructure the entire region.

I suspect what we'll wind up doing is the inevitable "muddle along" until our leaders can lie us out more or less gracefully. (George W. Bush will admit he made a mistake the day the Cubs win the World Series.)

If I were John Kerry, I would be having such horrible nightmares about winning the election -- and actually having to ask an American soldier to be the last man to die for a mistake."

...................................................................................................................................

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 9:08 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] To Brother Light Searcher

Hey, Bradford, I love this kind of thing, and this is a blast. My regards to Randall Bart!

Tarjei

At 22:57 07.04.2004, Bradford wrote:

You must remember Country Joe and the Fish.. Well it's one, two, three, what are we fightin for...

On February 22, 2004 FROM Randall Bart:

Fixin' to Lie Rag
by Randall Bart

Come on all you Americans.
Bush is President again.
He found a guy who's really bad.
The name's Saddam. He's in Baghdad.
So show some ID, take off your shoes.
What have you got to lose?

And it's one, two, three,
What are we searching for?
George said it, it must be true.
I believe in W.
And it's five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There's no need to wonder why,
'Cause Presidents never lie.

The USA's the worldwide cop,
And evildoers must be stopped.
Saddam's got nukes and poison gas.
Let's go kick him in the ass.
Conquer the land, sell off the oil.
To the victor goes the spoil.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we searching for?
George said it, it must be true.
I believe in W.
And it's five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There's no need to wonder why,
'Cause Presidents never lie.

Now there's rebuilding to be done.
Halliburton is the one.
Cheney says they have the skills.
We're the ones who pay the bills.
So give up your rights. Write me a check.
We'll make the whole world a wreck.

And it's one, two, three,
What are we paying for?
Dick said it, it must be spent.
He's our Vice President.
And it's five, six, seven,
Tell me who I should hate.
There's no need to wonder why.
Vice Presidents never lie.

...................................................................................................................................

From: Jo Ann Schwartz
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 1:08 pm
Subject: I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag [was: To Brother Light Searcher]

Hi Brad--

I love this song!! My friends and I used to do an "Andrews Sisters" version -- it swings if you time it right. <G> [Dottie, if you don't know this song, you can listen to it on Country Joe's website: http://www.countryjoe.com/rag.htm ]

For nostalgia's sake, I'm sending along the original [which I meant to do back when we were discussing Dylan's anti-war period] as well as a newer version for today.

WARNING: Newer version contains strong language. Read at your own risk!!

Musing on how those who don't understand history are doomed to repeat it...

JoAnn

I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag
(Vietnam Rag)

Words and Music by Joe McDonald

Come on all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

Chorus:
And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

2:
Come on generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out and get those reds —
The only good commie is the one that's dead
You know that peace can only be won
When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come.

[Chorus]

3:
Come on Wall Street, don't move slow,
Why man, this is war au-go-go.
There's plenty good money to be made
Supplying the Army with the tools of the trade,
Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.

[Chorus]

4:
Come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, don't hesitate,
Send your sons off before it's too late.
You can be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box.

[Chorus]

Note: As I [Country Joe] have mentioned elsewhere I am guilty of leaving out
the women in my early material so now I always sing the last verse like this:

Come on mothers throughout the land
Pack your boys off to Vietnam
Come on fathers, don't hesitate
Send your daughters before it's too late
And be the first one on your block
To have your kids come home in a box.

Copyright © 1965 Joe McDonald

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

I Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag by Country Joe MacDonald
(editing by Thunder, AGR, January, 2003)

Well come on all you big strong men
Old Dubya needs your help again,
The mess he's in is really tough,
Way down yonder in the Persian Gulf,
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lot of fun.

And it's one, two, three, what are we fightin' for,
Don't ask me I don't give a fig, next stop is them oil rigs.
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates.
Well, there's no time to wonder why,
Whoopee!
They're all gonna die.

Come on wall street don't be slow.
Why, Man, this war is a-Go-Go-Go.
There's plenty of good money to be made
By supplyin' the Army with the tools of its trade.
But just hope and pray that if they drop a nuke,
They drop it on old KirKuk .

And it's one, two, three, what are we fightin' for,
Don't ask me I don't give a fuck, just keep my gas below two bucks.
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates.
Well, there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee!
They're all gonna die.

Come on Generals, let's move fast;
Your big chance has come at last.
Now you can go out and get those Rags--
Cause the only good Iraqi is in a body bag.
And you know that peace can only be won,
When we've blown 'em all to kingdom come.

And it's one, two, three, what are we fightin' for,
Don't ask me I don't give a rat's ass, let's mop us up some Iraqi trash.
And it's five, six, seven, open up the pearly gates.
Well, there's no time to wonder why,
Whoopee!
They're all gonna die.

Come on Mothers now don't be sad,
Pack your boys off to old Baghdad.
Come on Fathers, don't hesitate,
Send your sons off before it's too late.
And you can be the first ones in your block
To have your boys come home in a box.

...................................................................................................................................

From: holderlin66
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 4:49 pm
Subject: I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag

Jo Ann Schwartz wrote:

Hi Brad--

I love this song!! My friends and I used to do an "Andrews Sisters" version -- it swings if you time it right. <G> [Dottie, if you don't know this song, you can listen to it on Country Joe's website: http://www.countryjoe.com/rag.htm ]

I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag
(Vietnam Rag)

Words and Music by Joe McDonald

Come on all of you big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He's got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We're gonna have a whole lotta fun.

Chorus:
And it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it's five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain't no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we're all gonna die.

[Bradford:]

Published on Friday, April 23, 2004 by CommonDreams.org Country Joe Band, 2004: "Uncle Sam Needs Your Help Again" by Norman Solomon

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0423-06.htm

Taking the stage at a community center in the small Northern California town of Bolinas, a group of four musicians quickly showed themselves to be returning as a vibrant creative force centered very much in the present.

Not that the music of Country Joe and the Fish ever really disappeared. Since the release of the band's first two albums in 1967 -- "Electric Music for the Mind and Body" along with "I-Feel- Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die" -- many of its songs have meandered through the memories and semi-consciousness of millions of Americans who came of age a third of a century ago.

Now reconstituted with four of the legendary group's original five members, the new Country Joe Band has just begun to tour. When I saw them perform, midway through April, the music was as tightly effusive as ever, with poetic lyrics mostly brought to bear on two perennials: love and death.

Their new song "Cakewalk to Baghdad" is in sync with Country Joe McDonald's compositions that stretch back to the escalating years of the Vietnam War. With the post-"victory" occupation of Iraq in its thirteenth month bringing death to many people including children, his old song "An Untitled Protest" remains unfailingly current. Sung the other night, it was no more dated than today: "Red and swollen tears tumble from her eyes / While cold silver birds who came to cruise the skies / Send death down to bend and twist her tiny hands / And then proceed to target 'B' in keeping with their plans."

No less than its previous incarnation, the Country Joe Band exemplifies how rock music can transcend itself as an art form. This is no small feat for any musicians, including those who create songs that encourage resistance to deadly routines of the status quo.

Rhetoric is destructive to art. On the other hand, ambiguous or self-absorbed artistry is apt to be isolated from key social realities. But the Country Joe Band is not agitprop or evasive. For an overview, take a look at www.countryjoe.com -- a website that reflects how a creative process can stay grounded in humanistic projects of our times.

Songs that Country Joe and the Fish released in 1967 are so intricate that an attentive listener is bound to agree with McDonald's recent comment to an interviewer: "Those songs are very complex and difficult to play, they're less rock 'n' roll and perhaps more ... well, symphonic." Rendered by the Country Joe Band, the psychedelic sound can seem orchestral. Yet there's still no reliance on high-tech sound effects.

By now, apparently, we'd be foolish to take the integrity of talented artists for granted. Maybe, as a late '60s advertisement proclaimed, "the man can't bust our music" -- but the corporate system can sure water it down a lot. Or turn music into outright pabulum. Television showcases plenty of grim results when so many knees bend toward corporatized altars.

These days, cynicism about famous musicians with protest credentials is running high. Weeks ago, Bob Dylan began to appear in a Victoria's Secret commercial. It may seem that the times they are a prostitutin'.

Media outlets are filled with ads, commercial plugs and vapid -- or corrosive -- content leaving the impression that gifted artists sell out to the almighty dollar sooner or later. "Today's musical superstars seem more interested in hawking their clothing lines and name-brand perfumes than in any meaningful form of political action," magazine editor Leslie Bennetts wrote in a Los Angeles Times essay. By coincidence, the article appeared on the same day that I saw the Country Joe Band in concert.

Unlike the profuse and dreary examples now personified by Dylan, quite a few musicians -- renowned or scarcely known -- have successfully struggled to retain creative control over their work. They continue to resist the corporate juggernauts that routinely flatten talent into the pap of pop.

A new development to celebrate is the rise of the Country Joe Band. While standing the test of time, music from the ensemble group resonates profoundly each day as young Americans in uniform do their best to survive in a faraway country: "And pound their feet into the sand of shores they've never seen / Delegates from the western land to join the death machine / And we send cards and letters."

It happens that Country Joe McDonald and the band's other musicians have returned to public space together at a time when many American soldiers -- following the orders of the commander in chief -- are continuing to kill and be killed. An old question is also new: What are we fighting for?

"And those who took so long to learn the subtle ways of death / Lie and bleed in paddy mud with questions on their breath / And we send prayers and praises."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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