Monday, March 22, 2004

How many saw Sunday evening's 60 Minutes? Wow, that's enough hands. You may put them down now. From reports I have heard all day long, it was a must-see hour of TV.

The most attention-getting interview of the evening was that of Richard Clarke. He has worked in different positions relating to terrorism for the past three presidents and chose now to cmoe forward with his account of the details of Bush's cabinet and how the 9/11 attacks were handled.

He stated in one sound bite that before and after 9/11, Bush and members of his cabinet - such as Donald Rumsfeld - had an obsession with Iraq. They had plans to invade before 9/11 and the events of that day offerted them the opportunity with what they considered reason to do just that.

Another sound bite from 60 Minute states that Clarke sent a memo to Bush and high-ranking cabinet members warning of an impending attack by Al-Qaeda on American soil. Nothing was ever done. The memo likely never made it to Bush himself.

Yet another disturbing fact was his report in the days and months following 9/11. In his report of that day's events and the days preceding and following it, he stated a clear link between Al-Qaeda and the attacks on the east coast of America. This report came back upon review by other government officials with the response of "Wrong Answer" attached to it stating that they wanted it to show a link between the attacks and Iraq.

In another statement, Clarke recounted a statement in which Rumsfeld said "Bomb Iraq. There are no good targets in Afghanistan."

Clarke replied by saying "But Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan."

The title of his just-released book is "Against All Enemies". I am considering buying it with the next paycheck.

Part Deux

Music plays an important part in nearly everyone's daily lives. It also plays a huge part in events that happen in the world as a whole, too. I remember in 1999 as a heated presidential election season was raging on... a video came on to MTV2 that had an effect on younger Americans and got many of them to the polls that November.

The band Rage Against the Machine had long been known for being strongly political in nature but this video took direct aim at the two front-runners for president. It was strong and stuck in my mind and the minds of many more who wer elucky enough to see it. The message was not just in the video for Testify but in the lyrics as well. The best part of this message was that it was freely shown during all hours of the day and even gained airplay on the more widely received MTV. That was four years ago though.

In four years, the time have changed drastically. The Dixie Chicks made a public statement against the war in Iraq - their songs were pulled from numerous radio stations across the country. People are secretly investigated if their habits seem un-patriotic. Our country has become a policed state in the course of four years and it is severely fucked up how it all happened.

Four years later, thought, we still have political messages in music.. They are just harder to find. Rage Against the Machine is no longer. They are now 3/4 of the band Audioslave with Zach DeLaRocha still somewhere under the radar but still working on his music. Music with a meaning.

The band with a political message in a video this time around is the ever-evolving Incubus. Not widely known for having music containing political messages, it is their video for Megalomaniac which carries a number of strong messages. Although it only shows one clip of Bush, the lyrics can be powerful nonetheless. The biggest difference that four years makes is that because the video contains an animated image of Adolf Hitler, the video has been relegated to late-nights on MTV. It's amazing how much control can be gained in four years and how much freedom can be lost.

It's time to gain back that freedom and change our country for the better. Do whatever it takes. Vote in every election - even the small and seemingly insignificant ones. After what we witnessed in Florida in November of 2000, EVERY vote counts. If you feel strongly about political matters, write letters to the editors of local newspapers. If there is going to be a protest (much like there were this past weekend over the war in Iraq) about a matter which you feel strongly about, join it. It is your right to peaceful protest. At least until that one gets revoked along with the rest of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Vote. Protest. Write. Take Action. Volunteer. Donate. Support what you favor. Protest what you don't. We can take our country back.

Stay tuned.

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