Forget glasnost, nukes, and Ronald Reagan - Jimi Hendrix won the Cold War.
Want proof? Over the past weekend a man named Andras Simonyi, Hungary's ambassador to the United States, gave a speech at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. He talked about how Western rock music, smuggled into Eastern Europe, literally fanned the flames of freedom in the hearts and minds of those under Soviet control, giving them the resolve to rise up against the oppressors and win the freedom everybody deserves (Hungary became a democracy in 1990 - after 40 years of Communist control).
It's ironic, really - especially when rock and roll has always been called the Devil's music. You could say the Devil's music beat the Devil's political system.
Mr. Simonyi grew up listening to the Beatles, Cream, Traffic, and Jimi Hendrix from records and tapes smuggled into the country.
It's hard to understand how Simonyi and his friends were impacted by music, something we in the United States have never been restricted from. No matter what you want to listen to, it's available. The worst I ever faced were my parents shouting "turn that crap down" whenever I brought home a new Metallica record.
Regardless, rock & roll was truly America's secret weapon in the Cold War, and you can bet the CIA had nothing to do with it.
Or did they?
SAVING JESSICA LYNCH
Well, it's that time again - the news is full of stories about Private Jessica Lynch, the POW in Iraq who was rescued by commandos in a daring nighttime raid. Bla, bla, bla. I didn’t watch the Sunday night TV movie or pay any attention to Diane Sawyer’s interview. Not that Lynch’s capture, or the deaths of her fellow troops in the ambush that led to her capture, are trivial - but instead of a genuine human interest story we're seeing more propaganda. From both sides.
The anti-war side has used comments from Private Lynch - those to the effect that the military used her capture as an attempt to rally support for the war - to undermine our efforts overseas; the pro-war side has leaked information from Private Lynch's new book stating that she was raped by her captors in an attempt to, again, rally support for our efforts overseas. To confuse you even more, Matt Drudge ran a story on his website over the weekend saying that the Iraqi doctors and nurses who took care of Private Lynch reported no signs of rape when she was in their care.
Private Lynch will sell a lot of books and enjoy a moment in the spotlight, but the fact is she should never have been in Iraq to begin with. If the rape story is true, it backs up everything those of us against women in the military have always said would happen; if the opposite is true, then the public is being lied to.
Are you surprised?
WHY I DON'T TRUST THE MEDIA
Maybe you've been watching the news lately and have heard about the staggering number of troop deaths in Iraq - since the end of "major combat operations". It's like our guys are just sitting there waiting for the next sniper shot or suicide bomber or land mine or whatever instrument of death our cowardly enemies decide to employ. They're doing a pretty good job of keeping our troops on edge and the American people frustrated - especially with their allies in the media.
There's no grand conspiracy, of course. Dan Rather isn't meeting with the survivors of the Taliban and al-Queda to decide what he'll say and show on TV, not at all. But there is a definite slant to the news we're hearing from the war zone, and it needs to be addressed, because it's not doing the American people any good, nor is it saying much for the so-called educated minds we’re all so proud of.
Remember your critical thinking classes in school? You mainly see them in colleges and universities - they were advanced English and philosophy classes; advanced math classes were good for critical thinking as well, since you're taught to think deeper about certain equations rather than see what's on the surface.
We are only being told one side of the Iraq story. The press and the politicians opposed to our actions are attempting to sway public opinion with how bad things are over there. We are not being shown the other side, either because the Bush Administration isn't saying anything, or can't say anything for security reasons; if they are trying to get the information out, reporters are not acknowledging the information. You'll notice I don't list any recent "wins" for our side - I don't know of any. But critical thinking tells me that can't be the case; otherwise the bad guys wouldn't be trying so hard to stop us.
Part of the problem is that we have reporters in Iraq to begin with. There has been no news out of the Afghanistan campaign for months - good or bad. Know why? No reporters. Nobody there to distract our troops from doing what they do best, but in Iraq it's the opposite. Meanwhile, Wolf Blitzer and Brian Williams think they're a couple of heroes for showing us dead Americans on the news.
Critical thinking requires us to ask questions of what we're being told, and I don't see that happening.
Sure, we haven’t found any WMDs, but Hussein had plenty of time to hide them. You think he had a sudden change of heart and got rid of the weapons while remaining a tyrant?
We can’t give up.
If we lose in Iraq, we'll have another big 9-11-01 eventually, and more people will die. I suppose it’s really no big deal, though – nobody seems to care.
We're all just cannon fodder for the Machine.
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