Monday, July 25, 2005

A Bit of Old News that Still Pisses Me Off...

Vandals Shows in Europe Cancelled Because of Anti-War Protestors

There is probably one thing that pisses in my cornflakes more than the cartoon-violence attitude of warhawks like Donald Rumsfeld and his colleagues.

I can't stand the peace-by-jackboot attitude of some members of the anti-war movements around the world.

A long-lost friend of mine gave me a ring tonight. I sent out about a thousand e-mails to various people letting them know I finally changed my cell number, and he was calling to give me his new number in Phoenix, Arizona.

Somehow, we got on the topic of the Anti-War movement in Europe and the Vandals' cancelled shows in Europe back in February. The band had one show cancelled in Vienna by a club owner afraid of protesters and a show in Greece shut down by anti-war protesters outside a venue in Athens.

Why? Because the band played as part of a holiday event for troops stationed in Iraq.

At the Athens show, several dozen protesters, armed with a variety of weapons, demanded that the band be barred from playing before an audience for supposedly prolonging the War in Iraq. Concert goers were reportedly threatened along with the group.

Using weapons and intimidation tactics...to promote peace?

The Vandals are probably one of the least politically motivated punk bands of all time. Their catalog ranges from complete silliness ("My Girlfriend's Dead") to outright Oi! type bizarreness ("Urban Struggle" and "Mohawk Town" aren't exactly Andrew Lloyd Webber). This isn't Toby Kieth wrapping himself in the flag to sell records. This isn't Britney Spears popping gum and looking stupid on Farenheit 9-11.

Its a punk band, people. Try protesting at the American embassy. Better yet, why not fly to Washington or London and let the people who created this mess hear your rage.

Of course, the chains and knives are, in the eyes of most peace advocates, not the most appropriate tool for promoting non-violence.

The Vandals entertained some troops who really don't want to be in Iraq in the first place. There's a big difference between supporting the brave men and women who serve their country and supporting a national policy. They are not mutually inclusive. I grew up in an area where about a third of my graduating high school class ended up in the military. They joined up to help make the world a better place, to escape a life of crime, and to earn money for college.

I remember one of my high school buddies, after he finished up his time in the Marine Corps, summed it up this way:

The rich do the bitching, the poor fight the war.

The Vandals gave guys like my Jarhead friend a lot of entertainment when they were children. And they were nice enough continue to entertain them in a war zone. How stupid does one have to be to hold an apolitical punk band accountable for a whole war?

APmay05OPED.jpg (JPEG Image, 1701x2181 pixels)

7 comments:

Kara said...

Wow, you can say that again!

:)

Ms. Jen said...

When I was in Germany last month, I was so pissed off by this attitude that somehow American soldiers are just part of some ultra war machine. The Abu Garib thing didn't do anything to help that.
I got in an argument with a guy who said every soldier should be tried as war criminals and shot. That's the stupidest thing I think I've ever come out of a protester's mouth - especially someone from a country less than a century removed from the 3rd Reich. If we'd taken the same attitude with the Germans after WW2, their country would be Europe's parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the support and for the post.

Semper Fi!
Gunny
Live from Iraq

Anonymous said...

Band like these are supporting Bush's terrorism and should face the wrath of the world's people. We never asked for arrogant invaders to liberate the world. if soldiers do not support the war why do they fight? They could just go home and refuse orders to commit murder. American arrogance make the world a dangerous place. Just because your friends were pour does not mean they should be killers of babies and women. The only way to find peace is sometimes through making a voice heard loud by the enemy of peace. Let them know how their support will not be tolerated.

Adrienne, Tours FR

Ogbuefi Stephi said...

hi.
i respect all the opinions offered up here, but i want to point something out: yes, we are fighting a war that is unnecessary and principle-y flawed. HOWEVER, the individual soldiers and brave souls doing the killing are those most in need of our support, even if we do not support the cause. the thing is, by fighting, they are not supporting any cause. i'm sure most do not believe there are wmd's, and the truth is that they are the ones who are experiencing FIRST-HAND how much the iraqi people do not want the u.s. to impose democracy and liberty upon them. it's sad and horrible, but those fighting the war are performing a duty to their country, not particularly to one individual war monger (though it is unfortunate that's how it appears to most people).
i hope everyone understands that the real victims are those actually involved. this includes our american soldiers AND iraqi people. they are all victims of a dangerous war and its ideology.
furthermore, i want to say that the european people have a right to voice their opinions, just as we do. it's just sad that people are placing blame in places where it's undeserved.

The ZenFo Pro said...

Adrienne,

First and foremost, thanks for stopping by. I didn't know I had anyone from France reading my stuff.

But I still believe that it is rather pointless to disrupt a punk concert to send a message to Washington.

As for "going home," there are dire penalties for abandoning one's post in the military - be it American, French, or otherwise. As for my friends being baby-killers, well, that's a rather jingoistic statement. What if I were to say the same thing about, say, a relative of yours who may have fought against the Algerians? Am I to call him/her a baby-killer too, simply because of the French atrocities of that brutal conflict?

One cannot advocate the concept of "peace" using concepts like "wrath, "intolerance", and "enemy."

Again, thanks for posting and don't feel you have to be a stranger. We all have a right to our opinions and please feel free to express them.
J.

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