The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #101294   Message #2041627
Posted By: Jeri
02-May-07 - 04:48 PM
Thread Name: BS: Joan Baez kicked out of Walter Reed
Subject: RE: BS: Joan Baez kicked out of Walter Reed
I'm all for the entertainment and comfort of the injured. If that's all she meant to do, and it wasn't planned to be a photo op/media event that was more about her than the patients, then it would have been a grand thing. She's on the radar and well known though, that whether she wants a thing to be a media event or not matters not at all - it will be.

I doubt that the hospital wanted that kind of attention, and I'd guess the people in charge feared the event would be more about Joan Baez and politics than about doing something nice for the injured soldiers. ("Hope this gets some coverage!") They possibly also had to consider whether the soldiers would appreciate her singing for them. Do these young folks know who she is? Do they know anything beyond her anti-war political activist history?

I have a great deal of respect for Ms Baez and likely agree with her political beliefs. I don't think the soldiers, healthy or injured, alive or dead, should be used as pawns. We're used to thinking thats something the pro-war politicians do - treat people like objects that can support them. But if this is really about compassion for soldiers, why are we talking about Joan Baez? Why is this about what some feel is her right to sing for a particular audience? Does anyone have the right to demand to be allowed to perform for an audience who isn't there of their own free will?

Personally - and I've been against these wars - I suspect the Army made the right decision. Although this might have been intended otherwise, based on what people are now talking about because of the refusal of permission, it doesn't appear to have been about entertainment or the comfort of wounded soldiers.

I despise the de-personalization and use of the unasked by people with some degree of fame and power to support their own agenda, and I don't really care what side anybody's on. Using people as pawns is just wrong.