John Mellencamp's open letter to Bush - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-21-2003, 11:33 PM   #1
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John Mellencamp's open letter to Bush

You can find it here

Quote:
"As the echo of the war drums fades away and the angry masses calling for blood slowly disperse, we as a nation must now confront the truth. We face the unpleasant reality of an uncertain future, compromised safety, a failing economy, and the question of how a society of otherwise reasonable citizens was systematically lied to and manipulated into backing the political 'hijacking' of Iraq.

"Before a single bomb was ever dropped, some of us, formerly called the 'anti-American and unpatriotic,' have questioned or opposed this war. Now, each day, as the dust settles and the truth slowly surfaces, more and more people come to the inevitable conclusion of what a debacle this whole war was.

"Thirty-nine-thousand bombs later, no weapons of mass destruction uncovered, no dangerous dictators captured, no connection to September 11th. What have we gained but relentless media coverage of a fallen statue and some stolen oil fields--the spoils of this misadventure. Not to mention lucrative corporate payoffs and an enormous price tag of over $80 Billion...some tax cut.

"But what have we lost? We have lost the lives of over 300 Americans. Approximately two U.S. troop deaths each day, 193 deaths since the war was declared over. In total, an estimated 20,000 people have died, thus far, in this conflict.

"In addition to the lives given for this effort, our nation has suffered the loss of respect within the world community, particularly the United Nations. We have managed to squander any goodwill we once had to now succeed in solidifying our image as the globe's leading bully. Arrogant and thoughtless.

"The word Democracy means literally 'by the people.' This is the basis of our government and society. It is what this country was founded upon and what makes us American. It is not just our 'right' but also our duty to speak out and voice our thoughts and opinions. How, then, was it possible that, in the land of freedom, those who opposed the common opinion were called...'un-American?' Resentfully, we wonder.

The song 'To Washington' was met with criticism and was labeled an anti-war song. That was not at all the case or intention--it was merely a report of the political climate, in the age-old tradition of the troubadour spreading the news through song and story. Professionally, we, the Mellencamps, have the opportunity to travel extensively, and we take full advantage of that by talking to, listening to, and experiencing the diversity our vast country has to offer. The lyrics of 'To Washington' are not just a personal opinion, but also the view from a very wide horizon.

Who is to say what is or isn't 'patriotic?' Do the flags that wave from every minivan really offer any support? Where is the support for the thousands of servicemen and women who return to the states to see their benefits cut, their health problems ignored, their jobs gone, and their families living in poverty? How are they repaid for their efforts, for risking or losing their lives? So far, dismally.

"This nation was founded to enable freedom and diversity of opinion, and many lives have been lost to secure that liberty. Paradoxically, some still resist the open mindedness that is the very foundation of this country.

"The Governor of California was removed from office based on finance troubles. And yet George W. Bush has lied to us, failed to keep our own borders secure, entered a war under false pretense, endangered lives, and created financial chaos. How is it that he hasn't been recalled? Perhaps this time we could even have a real election...but that wouldn't fit the Bush administration's 'take what you want and fire people later' policy. Take an election; take an oil field; take advantage of your own people--a game of political Three-Card Monte.

"The fight for freedom in this country has been long, painful, and ongoing. It is time to take back our country. Take it back from political agendas, corporate greed, and overall manipulation. It is time to take action here in our land, in our own schools, neighborhoods, farms, and businesses. We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action. Now is the time to come together."
Just another celebrity with an opinion or a thoughtful letter? Or something in between? Thoughts?
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:58 PM   #2
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Take out the references "To Washington" and it could be written by any good journalist, in my opinion.

Well said, Mellencamp.
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:02 AM   #3
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*Stands up and applauds*

A true letter if ever there was one.

He's absolutely right. Particularly about the whole thing with patriotism. I'm sorry, but those who said that us anti-war people were "unpatriotic" were far from being right. They didn't seem to get the fact that this is a democracy, not a dictatorship, and we had every right to speak out against this war.

Your question "Just another celebrity with an opinion" brings up something else-I've been confused about why there were people in our country getting all upset when celebrities voiced their opinions during this war and after. Let's not forget we actually had an actor for president, and the people of California just elected an actor for governor. Charlton Heston, another actor, was involved with the NRA. Nobody seemed to mind those celebrities spouting their political views.

And then there's those of us here who are fans of a band that's been politically minded, whose lead singer in particular has been heavily involved with political things.

If we allow those people to voice their views...if we ELECTED two of those four people to offices of some kind...why, then, were people complaining about other celebrities voicing their views during the war? It makes no sense to me.

Meh, anyway, getting back on the topic at hand here...I couldn't agree more with this letter. The part about patriotism and the soliders coming back and having their lives in shambles in particular are bits I think that those who slammed us anti-war people during the war deserve to read.

And I think the Bush administration would do well to read this letter, too.

Angela
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:08 AM   #4
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Although I agree with some of the sentiment expressed in Mellencamp's essay (specifically many of the comments he makes in relation to the invasion of Iraq), I think that in his effort to tie together a number of "liberal" touchstones he only diffuses his message. Mellencamp would have done better not to bother here with such issues as the California recall and the notion that Bush has created "financial chaos." Also, to me he comes across as outraged and at the same time apologetic, like he doesn't want to piss too many people off. A bit weak, in my opinion.
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Old 10-22-2003, 12:49 AM   #5
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who is john cougar and how come he has changed his name over the decades from-
John Cougar
to
John Cougar Mellancamp
to
John Mellencamp...
and why the hell are his writings being cited on a U2 message board ?.
He makes crap music.

thank u-
dB9
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Old 10-22-2003, 03:58 AM   #6
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ah good old mellencamp

"I find U2 so pretentious I couldn't even like their records. They probably make great records, but the things that come out of those guys' mouths is offensive to me. 'We are the greatest band in the world.' If you were, why would you say that?" -the coug

really shows he is a good thinker, i dont put much stock into what he says
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Old 10-22-2003, 05:42 AM   #7
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can't give an opinion on the letter

but I can give an opinion on 'Jack and Diane'

it sucks
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Old 10-22-2003, 06:51 AM   #8
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[Q]As the echo of the war drums fades away and the angry masses calling for blood slowly disperse, we as a nation must now confront the truth. We face the unpleasant reality of an uncertain future, compromised safety, a failing economy, and the question of how a society of otherwise reasonable citizens was systematically lied to and manipulated into backing the political 'hijacking' of Iraq.[/Q]

The economy is turning around. Many indicators are showing this, including some of the stocks. Buy now if you have money. However, you are conveniently ignoring the past twelve years of ignored resolutions by Iraq as well as the Human Rights violations by its dictator, and that how many lives are now being saved on a monthly basis in Iraq because of the removal of the regime.

How about the fact that schools are now being rebuilt, electricity is beuing restored, and a stardard of living is being put in place that is better than theone that existed before.

[Q]"Before a single bomb was ever dropped, some of us, formerly called the 'anti-American and unpatriotic,' have questioned or opposed this war. Now, each day, as the dust settles and the truth slowly surfaces, more and more people come to the inevitable conclusion of what a debacle this whole war was. [/Q]

I never heard the President call anyone anti-American and unpatriotic.

[Q]"Thirty-nine-thousand bombs later, no weapons of mass destruction uncovered, no dangerous dictators captured, no connection to September 11th. What have we gained but relentless media coverage of a fallen statue and some stolen oil fields--the spoils of this misadventure. Not to mention lucrative corporate payoffs and an enormous price tag of over $80 Billion...some tax cut. [/Q]

We have not stolen a single drop of oil, that is insulting to any person who wears the uniform of the US service. The relentless media covereage has failed us as citicens to include the fact that the report does show evidence that the WMD program did exist in a holding pattern, that there is apparently evidence more and more appearing theat Al-Qaeda was more connected to Iraq than we thought, and that the ENTIRE international community, even those opposed to the war believed there was WMD. They may still find the WMD.

[Q]"But what have we lost? We have lost the lives of over 300 Americans. Approximately two U.S. troop deaths each day, 193 deaths since the war was declared over. In total, an estimated 20,000 people have died, thus far, in this conflict. [/Q]

I do agree, tjhe loss of life is tragic. It saddens me. But, John, I wonder if you know how many people were dying under Saddam. I also wonder if you realize that potentially, we will have by the end of the year saved more lives than have been lost since the end of the war was declared?

[Q]"In addition to the lives given for this effort, our nation has suffered the loss of respect within the world community, particularly the United Nations. We have managed to squander any goodwill we once had to now succeed in solidifying our image as the globe's leading bully. Arrogant and thoughtless. [/Q]

John, have you been paying attention? Seriously? Since the war has ended there have been two unanimous resolutions passed by the UN security council that support the rebuilding of Iraq. UNANIMOUS. The US has taken a hit, but it is no where near as dire as you would like us to believe.

[Q]"The word Democracy means literally 'by the people.' This is the basis of our government and society. It is what this country was founded upon and what makes us American. It is not just our 'right' but also our duty to speak out and voice our thoughts and opinions. How, then, was it possible that, in the land of freedom, those who opposed the common opinion were called...'un-American?' Resentfully, we wonder. [/Q]

Again, John, when did the President label you un-American? Not to lecture you further on our form of governement but you do not live in a democracy. If you did you would be voting every day. You live in a democratic republic. You may want to educate yourself about the republic part, because, the Representatives voted and gave the President the power to take actionin Iraq.

[Q]The song 'To Washington' was met with criticism and was labeled an anti-war song. That was not at all the case or intention--it was merely a report of the political climate, in the age-old tradition of the troubadour spreading the news through song and story. Professionally, we, the Mellencamps, have the opportunity to travel extensively, and we take full advantage of that by talking to, listening to, and experiencing the diversity our vast country has to offer. The lyrics of 'To Washington' are not just a personal opinion, but also the view from a very wide horizon.

Who is to say what is or isn't 'patriotic?' Do the flags that wave from every minivan really offer any support? Where is the support for the thousands of servicemen and women who return to the states to see their benefits cut, their health problems ignored, their jobs gone, and their families living in poverty? How are they repaid for their efforts, for risking or losing their lives? So far, dismally.

"This nation was founded to enable freedom and diversity of opinion, and many lives have been lost to secure that liberty. Paradoxically, some still resist the open mindedness that is the very foundation of this country. [/Q]

Personally, I cannot stand your music. I will not say anything else about it. If you wrote it for the reasons you stated good for you. We need all kinds of people here in the US.

[Q]The Governor of California was removed from office based on finance troubles. And yet George W. Bush has lied to us, failed to keep our own borders secure, entered a war under false pretense, endangered lives, and created financial chaos. How is it that he hasn't been recalled? Perhaps this time we could even have a real election...but that wouldn't fit the Bush administration's 'take what you want and fire people later' policy. Take an election; take an oil field; take advantage of your own people--a game of political Three-Card Monte. [/Q]

More political 'BULLSHIT". John, please read everything again. Our borders were insecure before the Bush admninistration the war with Al-Qaeda started under the prior administration which was much more content not dealing with it. the economy was already failing coupled with 9/11 it really failed. The election was real Johh, once again, I think you have failed to properly study your constitution, and finally please stop saying we have stolen oil.

[Q]"The fight for freedom in this country has been long, painful, and ongoing. It is time to take back our country. Take it back from political agendas, corporate greed, and overall manipulation. It is time to take action here in our land, in our own schools, neighborhoods, farms, and businesses. We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action. Now is the time to come together[/Q]

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Old 10-22-2003, 07:09 AM   #9
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this man suxs! have you heard his song that he came up with after 911 .radio station 9.55 classic rock played it once and then the dj said lets hear that again and played it again it was so funny and im glad the dj got it ,man his music suxs.

plese go find an mp3 of this song(thats what he calls it) plese hahahaha.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:29 AM   #10
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I think he makes some good points. Just my purple tuppence's worth. I don't plan to vote for Bush next year either. I can do without Mellencamp's dumbass swipes at U2, too.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
However, you are conveniently ignoring the past twelve years of ignored resolutions by Iraq as well as the Human Rights violations by its dictator, and that how many lives are now being saved on a monthly basis in Iraq because of the removal of the regime.
Dread, I don't buy that as a justification for the invasion. Bush did not base his case to go to war on human rights violations. He based his case on WMD violations. Furthermore, prior to the war, there was no national discourse about Hussein's human rights violations. This topic was only raised when it became convenient.


[Q]
I never heard the President call anyone anti-American and unpatriotic.[/Q]
I think what Mellencamp is getting at is that many of the Bush/war-supporting public called the anti-war crowd unpatriotic. Are you denying that that occured?



[Q]I do agree, tjhe loss of life is tragic. It saddens me. But, John, I wonder if you know how many people were dying under Saddam. I also wonder if you realize that potentially, we will have by the end of the year saved more lives than have been lost since the end of the war was declared?[/Q]
Again, this 'saving the oppressed' reasoning came into play after Bush had already established the we needed to bomb Iraq because of the WMD threat. America did not give a damn about tortured Iraqis until it became convenient to do so.


[Q]You may want to educate yourself about the republic part, because, the Representatives voted and gave the President the power to take actionin Iraq.[/Q]
I'll give you that. There are many in Congress who should be ashamed of themselves.
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:52 AM   #12
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I think it's a good letter. I don't think his music or comments about U2 have anything to do with this letter. I'd argue the rebuttals, but honestly I'm getting a little tired of the same rhetoric about this war and Bush in FYM. I'm taking a break from discussing these issues for awhile.
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:02 AM   #13
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It would be nice if the letter had a clear point. It appears to be a mishmash of questions on the war and the economy sprinkled with weeping victimization about being called unpatriotic (which, as Dreadsox correctly notes, was not done by Bush).
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Old 10-22-2003, 11:03 AM   #14
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by pub crawler
[B]
Dread, I don't buy that as a justification for the invasion. Bush did not base his case to go to war on human rights violations. He based his case on WMD violations. Furthermore, prior to the war, there was no national discourse about Hussein's human rights violations. This topic was only raised when it became convenient.


I agree that Bush's biggest mistake with the war was using the WMD argument rather than the human rights argument. When I went to the anti-war demo in February all I'd heard was the WMD argument. If Bush and Co. had talked more graphically about the human rights situation before the war it would have helped them. I was horrified to hear about some of this stuff. It was late when they brought this in. This was a strategic and psychological mistake more than a policy mistake. I actually did not want to be knee-jerky about this because I had no sympathy with Saddam. Now Jean Sasson has a new book about Iraq, the human rights nightmare. It's about a woman in Baghdad who went to prison for something she didn't do and went through all sorts of hell until she managed to escape to Jordan. This stuff took place several years ago. It's real. I keep thinking "why didn't they tell us this stuff?"
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Old 10-22-2003, 06:43 PM   #15
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There were many here, including sting and myself, who made that argument repeatedly about the humanitarian reasons for war. We repeatedly argued this point in this forum and quoted extensive facts and statistics.

I EVEN went so far as to criticize the White House for NOT making it the main thrust of their case for war.

the White House did mention it but does it make good headlines? I think not? So the press and the White House did not make it the thrust of the case.
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