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Have anti-war songs changed anything?

Related threads:
Greatest Anti-War Song Ever? (345)
Anti-war songs from WWI (58)
Anti-war songs to fit the occasion (57)
Lyr Add: The Price of Oil (Billy Bragg) (8)
Lyr Add: Stop the war songs (4)
Links to Anti-War Songs sites (5)


GUEST,Tunesmith 25 Nov 03 - 02:29 PM
mack/misophist 25 Nov 03 - 02:34 PM
greg stephens 25 Nov 03 - 02:37 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Nov 03 - 02:40 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 Nov 03 - 02:41 PM
Wolfgang 25 Nov 03 - 02:59 PM
Joybell 25 Nov 03 - 04:02 PM
GUEST, mikefule 25 Nov 03 - 04:12 PM
greg stephens 25 Nov 03 - 04:15 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Nov 03 - 05:04 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Nov 03 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,susanne (skw) abroad 25 Nov 03 - 05:10 PM
Bill D 25 Nov 03 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Clint Keller 25 Nov 03 - 07:46 PM
akenaton 25 Nov 03 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,chicken man 25 Nov 03 - 08:32 PM
George Papavgeris 25 Nov 03 - 08:57 PM
alanabit 26 Nov 03 - 04:31 AM
mooman 26 Nov 03 - 04:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Nov 03 - 06:18 AM
Peace 26 Nov 03 - 02:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Nov 03 - 02:32 PM
Margret RoadKnight 27 Nov 03 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Frankham 27 Nov 03 - 01:17 PM
GUEST 27 Nov 03 - 01:20 PM
Jacqk 28 Nov 03 - 12:25 AM
Dave Masterson 28 Nov 03 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,guitaropsimath 16 Aug 07 - 12:34 AM
Mo the caller 16 Aug 07 - 03:31 AM
Rog Peek 16 Aug 07 - 07:36 PM
Teribus 16 Aug 07 - 08:33 PM
Gulliver 16 Aug 07 - 10:24 PM
Dan Schatz 16 Aug 07 - 10:42 PM
Bert 17 Aug 07 - 02:07 AM
GUEST 17 Aug 07 - 03:20 AM
sing4peace 12 Sep 09 - 09:59 PM
Beer 12 Sep 09 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,blueuke 13 Sep 09 - 03:29 PM
Lox 13 Sep 09 - 03:40 PM
topical tom 13 Sep 09 - 03:46 PM
Azizi 13 Sep 09 - 03:50 PM
Sandra in Sydney 13 Sep 09 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,iancarterb 14 Sep 09 - 02:52 AM
Stringsinger 14 Sep 09 - 08:35 AM
billhudson 14 Sep 09 - 12:08 PM
TonyA 14 Sep 09 - 12:30 PM
sing4peace 14 Sep 09 - 01:14 PM
SuperKrone 14 Sep 09 - 09:08 PM
iancarterb 14 Sep 09 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Mr Red 15 Sep 09 - 07:52 AM
oldhippie 15 Sep 09 - 03:13 PM
sing4peace 17 Sep 09 - 06:19 PM
Stringsinger 17 Sep 09 - 08:28 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Sep 09 - 09:27 PM
TonyA 17 Sep 09 - 10:48 PM
Tim Leaning 18 Sep 09 - 01:00 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 09 - 03:01 AM
Mo the caller 18 Sep 09 - 03:11 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 09 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 18 Sep 09 - 05:05 AM
SuperKrone 18 Sep 09 - 06:26 AM
bankley 18 Sep 09 - 09:12 AM
TonyA 18 Sep 09 - 09:58 AM
GUEST 18 Sep 09 - 11:30 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 09 - 12:09 PM
t.jack 18 Sep 09 - 12:41 PM
sing4peace 18 Sep 09 - 01:40 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 09 - 02:07 PM
TonyA 18 Sep 09 - 05:34 PM
Ron Davies 18 Sep 09 - 10:29 PM
Ron Davies 18 Sep 09 - 10:38 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 09 - 11:32 PM
TonyA 19 Sep 09 - 11:11 AM
Ron Davies 19 Sep 09 - 12:42 PM
Ron Davies 19 Sep 09 - 12:48 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Sep 09 - 01:02 PM
Stringsinger 19 Sep 09 - 01:08 PM
Ron Davies 19 Sep 09 - 01:28 PM
TonyA 19 Sep 09 - 02:10 PM
SuperKrone 19 Sep 09 - 02:54 PM
Stringsinger 19 Sep 09 - 04:06 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Sep 09 - 04:17 PM
TonyA 20 Sep 09 - 12:00 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Sep 09 - 01:15 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Sep 09 - 01:29 AM
TonyA 20 Sep 09 - 09:15 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Sep 09 - 10:13 AM
TonyA 20 Sep 09 - 12:06 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Sep 09 - 12:31 PM
Ron Davies 20 Sep 09 - 02:45 PM
TonyA 21 Sep 09 - 11:31 AM
Tim Leaning 21 Sep 09 - 01:12 PM
Ron Davies 22 Sep 09 - 09:03 AM
Ron Davies 22 Sep 09 - 09:08 AM
Ron Davies 22 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM
TonyA 22 Sep 09 - 02:25 PM
weemo 22 Sep 09 - 04:38 PM
agingcynic 22 Sep 09 - 05:07 PM
sing4peace 22 Sep 09 - 05:07 PM
TonyA 22 Sep 09 - 10:02 PM
Ron Davies 23 Sep 09 - 12:14 AM
GUEST,Suzi Z 23 Sep 09 - 02:32 AM
TonyA 23 Sep 09 - 11:38 AM
TonyA 23 Sep 09 - 11:44 AM
billhudson 23 Sep 09 - 11:57 AM
sing4peace 23 Sep 09 - 12:47 PM
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GUEST,Suzi Z 28 Sep 09 - 05:31 PM
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Subject: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:29 PM

Following on from the choice of best anti-war song thread, is it fair to ask if any of those beautifully written songs have changed anything. The songs mentioned in that thread cover every aspect of war. Eric Bogle's songs highlight the human cost and the futilitiy of war . "Universal Soldier" blaims the foot soldier, but " Masters of War" blaims politicians and big business. BUT, has any of this altered history? Prevented a war from starting? Ended a war? Or, are all those talented songwriters wasting their creative efforts on a lost cause?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:34 PM

They are as good a form of protest as any. They are a form of identification; it's important for us to recognize each other. Other than that, it's impossible to say for sure. Besides, a good song is it's own vindication.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:37 PM

Won't do to be too pessimistic, and say the songs have no power. When the powers that be decide these things, it is often a finely balanced decision. Politicians will balance the likely benefits to the world(or themselves) of going to war, against the undoubted miseries. Sometimes it goes one way, sometimes the other.
    And songs of peace undoubtedly reinforce our awareness of the horrors of war. So it is a fairly safe assumption, that whenever a group of people decide on a peaceful course of conduct, they will have done so partly because of the influence of song. So, what I mean is, don't dwell on the wars the songs failed to stop: think about the wars that didn't happen, that songs helped to stop. And keep singing.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:40 PM

A song ain't gonna change nothin'!


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:41 PM

(oops...)

But that doesn't mean one shouldn't try....


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 02:59 PM

Examples of songs that changed something is a fine old thread with some examples.

A song that altered history? 'Granola Vila Morena' perhaps, though it could be argued that any other song could just as well have triggered that revolution.

In the history (before '45) of the German armies there have always been forbidden songs. You could get punished for singing them. If the people deciding about censoring such songs thought these songs might have a possible detrimental effect on the military, we should seriously consider the possibility they were right.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 04:02 PM

That's a good old thread alright. I agree that even if songs don't appear to have much effect outside the group singing them, they are at least useful to cement relationships and work towards solidarity. My husband talks about the use of songs, within the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s when people feared for their lives.
I've never had my life threatened for my beliefs but I've lead singing in front of bulldozers a time or two. Once we stopped in the middle of "We Shall not be Moved" just at the point when a huge tree crashed to the ground from where it had been "standing by the waterside" for over 200 years. We WERE moved that time, just like the tree, but we influenced a few more people and we gained a few converts.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST, mikefule
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 04:12 PM

Yes, anti-war songs have changed something: they have become an important aspect of a stereotype of anti-war protestors, making it easier for the authorities to categorise all anti-war protestors as beardy-weirdy folk singing Guardian reading idealists. Thus, the anti-war song makes anti-war protestors feel good about themselves, whilst making them an easier target for satire.

But that's more to do with style than content.

So, take the powerful, "Last Night Another Soldier" by the Angelic Upstarts... well, that helped to stereotype anti-war (peace in Northern Ireland) proetestors as scruffy thick anarchist punks... an easy target for satire.

Songs don't change the world. They do, however, act as a bonding agent for groups of people who might change the world, but probably won't.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: greg stephens
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 04:15 PM

Well, I'm sorry, but anti-war protesters are beardy-weirdy folksinging Guardian readers, arent they? what's wrong withthat?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:04 PM

It's hard to put a finger on the precise effect of a song, however powerful. Howsomever......


How could one say that Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and/or Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream had NO effect in the 60s?
Sure, you can't quantify the effect, but they were right out there with other influences on popular thought.   

Or, during the US Civil War, The Battle Hymn of the Republic?

A song with a strong message, coming at the right time, becomes part of the cultural influences moving in a direction.   That's making a difference, even if you can't hogtie it.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:05 PM

Okay, Okay, The Battle Hymn of the Republic is not an anti-war song, but the principle is still there.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,susanne (skw) abroad
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:10 PM

Greg, I'd know if I had a beard, even though I have been accused of weirdness now and again.

Just this once I find myself agreeing with Clinton Hammond. My question would be: If the answer to this thread title was 'No', would that mean we should stop writing and singing anti-war songs?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 05:47 PM

songs, by themselves, change nothing....but what they do inside some heads has always had some effect...even if it's just to paint a picture and make a point. And perhaps hearing a song has affected how a few people vote about those who start wars...You can't prove direct causality, but I have seen tears and resolve that I suspect DID affect behavior...and just maybe made a difference...


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,Clint Keller
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 07:46 PM

Songs can let you know how other people think. No reason why they shouldn't do as much good -- or harm --as editorials or speeches or posters or any form of communication.

clint


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: akenaton
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:06 PM

Iam sure that songs like Eric Bogles,"No Mans Land"can have a very slow effect on the way people percieve war and conflict...
In short ....They make people think..Always a good thing ..Ake


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,chicken man
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:32 PM

My question is [are all wars bad?] If the Americans had not rebeled in 1776 would we still be singing God save the Queen? The US Civil war would we still have slavery? WW2 Had Hitler not been stopped
Would Eastern europeans been killed,Poles, Russians, also Jews, Gays, Gypsies, Handicaped people???
Therefore is there ever a "Good" war. When is war ever justified??? or is it. Just something to think about.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 25 Nov 03 - 08:57 PM

War is bad. It may sometimes be a necessary evil, but it remains evil. How can it be good to end a single life? it may be the ultimate recourse to prevent the loss of further lives, but it still is not good. So every effort is to be made to avoid it, in the sense of trying to achieve the same end with peaceful means. As much as one can. And then a little bit more. But back to the thread...
If an anti-war song has ever stopped a single individual from taking up arms unnecessarily, then it has had an effect. It may not have changed the course of a war, or of mankind. But it clearly has changed at least one life - and maybe saved a few.
Ask yourself the value of a single vote - not that much different. It may not change the election result; not even the magnitude of an electoral win or loss. But would you be happy to lose the right to vote how you want?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: alanabit
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 04:31 AM

Absolutely. The worst tyrannies arise not from the industry of the few but from the indifference of the many. Most of the worst evils of this world can be averted by a large number of people doing a small amount of good. That can mean many things. At election times it means picking the lesser of two evils - which is what most political choices come down to. Songs make up a very small part of that process, but I would not want to lose them. As the good songs last and doggerel like the "Horst Wessel Lied" (a Nazi rallying song) get shown up for the rubbbish they are, I would say time is on the side of the singers.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: mooman
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 04:37 AM

I believe a good anti-war song can help sensitise and motivate a good number of people. And people ultimately elect (in some countries) politicians.

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 06:18 AM

"If the Americans had not rebeled in 1776 would we still be singing God save the Queen?"

Probably about as frequently as Canadians and Australians sing it.

..........................

Songs can be important in building movements, and movements can achieve some kinds of victories. And songs can help people as individuals and groups to have the courage carry on in spite of everything.

In time the fall out from movements permeates how people generally tend to interpret the world. Sometimes quite a long time. But the kind of ideas that at one time seemed far out and extreme can become part of the way ordinary people see the world.

These days imperial wars have to be disguised in order to be acceptable to people, in a way that just wasn't seen as necessary a couple of generations ago. That is some kind of progress.

(Mind it can go the other way - torture appears to be seen as acceptable in a way that we might have fooled ourselves was no longer possible.)


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Peace
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 02:16 PM

Prob'ly not.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Nov 03 - 02:32 PM

Now how about influence of pro-war songs?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Margret RoadKnight
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 01:22 AM

Not exactly "anti-war", but great documentation of the effectiveness of songs in the anti-apartheid movement in the film AMANDLA (subtitled : A revolution in Four Part Harmony")


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 01:17 PM

Every time we sing Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream, Down By the Riverside, Tommy Sand's The Music of Healing it strikes a responsive chord in the audience. Today's audiences are hungry to hear this
kind of song. No one really likes war even though some seem to promote it. But everyone wishes for peace in some form or other, even those that seem to be opposed to it.

Does an anti-war song change anything? It depends. In some cases small imperceptible changes in
people may occur.

It may be that songs by themselves may not change history but
added to movements that fuel constructive energy, they may have a potent affect.

They are so worthwhile and important to sing that we have to
operate on a faith that they have some power to influence people.

Any song can be satirized. I think that the funniest are those
that poke fun at pro-war songs.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 03 - 01:20 PM

I agree. Change is the wrong word to describe the impact songs have. Influence or affect are better word choices. Many songs have influenced people, but I can't say I know anyone who was changed by a song. Maybe in a very superficial way, but not anything meaningful or lasting, as the thread title suggests.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Jacqk
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 12:25 AM

I don't think songs change things of themselves; but as part of a greater movement they lend energy.

I'm no historian, so this is only a guess, but one song that might have changed something so large as a war was the song Strange Fruit, by Billie Holiday. It didn't address war, but another equally ingrained aspect of our country, lynching.

Billie's song was part of a much larger movement, which got people thinking, and so it found an audience ready to think about what was being sung. A recipe for anti-war change?

Jack


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Dave Masterson
Date: 28 Nov 03 - 06:37 AM

Have anti-war songs changed anything? In all honesty, on the wider stage probably not, but as individuals you have to stand up and be counted for your beliefs.
"All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing." Anon.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,guitaropsimath
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 12:34 AM

The anti-war songs of the 60s that I heard, thought about, believed and sang have made a difference in how I perceive the world. Maybe over the last 40 years of encouraging folks I talk with and sing to to think about alternative solutions to our various social ills some other folks are seeing things a little differently. Like Arlo sez, "Never before in history have things been so bad that so little can make so much difference." So thanks, Buffy, I think Universal Soldier has made a difference.

Doug


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 03:31 AM

I sometimes wonder if the 'protest' song has been put in to balance the programme. With a jolly song to follow.

And I think, 'So what am I supposed to do about that?'


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Rog Peek
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 07:36 PM

Desmond Tutu once said If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

If you do not wish to take a stance of neutrality, then protest is essential, and as mack/misophist said Songs "are as good a form of protest as any".

Besides, I'm sure they can at least make some people in high places feel uncomfortable. I'm damn sure Phil Ochs was a thorn in the side of J. Edgar Hoover, and probably a few others. Enough anyway to have provoked an FBI file over 400 pages long. I can imagine J Edgar Hoover went apoplectic when he heard lines like "....pledge allegiance against the flag." or "......even treason might be worth a try" or "We'll assassinate the President."

So keep on writing, keep on singing!!!


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 08:33 PM

No, not one iota, nor will they ever change anything, they are all retrospective - If you believe that old hackneyed saying that "Those who forget the past are condemned to relive it" - well the same goes for the songs. Victors very rarely write songs, they are normally the preserve of the defeated.

TMOPOTS


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Gulliver
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 10:24 PM

"Victors very rarely write songs, they are normally the preserve of the defeated."

Huh?!?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 16 Aug 07 - 10:42 PM

If songs can change people, then people can change things. It happens very slowly, over great time, and not alone, but songs can make a difference.

Wendell Berry wrote eloquently about protest:

"Much protest is naive; it expects quick, visible improvement and despairs and gives up when such improvement does not come. Protesters who hold out longer have perhaps understood that success is not the proper goal. If protest depended on success, there would be little protest of any durability or significance. History simply affords too little evidence that anyone's individual protest is of any use. Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one's own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence."

Dan Schatz


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Bert
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 02:07 AM

has any of this altered history?

I think that it is quite likely that the CND movement in the Fifties and Sixties, songs and all, kept the big powers talking for long enough for them to start thinking a little.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 07 - 03:20 AM

They may not change the the minds of "the good and the great" but they do help to establish the fact that we are not alone in objecting to the crap they throw at us.
I'll never forget the affinity I felt with all the other anti-Vietnam protesters in Grosvenor Square when we were telling the occupants of the US embassy what we thought of Napalm and Agent Orange.
They also put on record that the blood of the Vietnamese, Chileans, Nicaraguans, Greeks, Kurds, Haitians, Iraqis - whoever, was on their hands and not ours.
"Disc of sun in the belching smoke,
Blazing huts were the children choke,
Burning flesh and blackened blood,
Charred and blistered like smouldering wood.
Oh brother, did you weep,
Oh brother, can you sleep.

Wall-eyed moon in the wounded night
Touching poisoned fields with blight,
Showing a ditch where a dead girl lies
Courted by ants and hungry flies.

Scream of pain on the morning breeze,
Thunder of bombs in a grove of trees,
Hymn of rubble and powdered stone,
Mangled flesh and twisted bone.

Programmed war, efficiency teams,
Punch-cards fed to thinking machines.
Computered death and the murder plan,
Total destruction of Vietnam.
Oh Brother have you got no shame,
Oh Jesus, they're killing in my name".   

I wish I'd said that - in fact I did, many times.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: sing4peace
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 09:59 PM

I'm a newbie here at Mudcat, came across this thread and had to add a story about my friend, Joe Labriola. Joe was a Marine in Vietnam, did two tours, came out with a body full of shrapnel and a chest full of medals and started working as a recruiter. One day he was riding to work when he heard Phil Ochs on the radio singing: I've Got Something To Say, Sir (and I'm gonna say it now). He told me it was as if a hammer had hit him on the head, split it open and let the light come shining in. He got to the office and asked the other recruiters whether any of them had questions about the war they had fought. He was told that with thinking like that he was no use to them anymore and he was fired on the spot. Phil's song had everything to do with Joe's 180 degree turnaround on the war. (To find out more about what happened to Joe please check out: www.freejoelab.com).

If songs weren't so powerful, Clear Channel communications would not have issued their infamous banned songs list in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. Remember how ridiculous it was to have "Imagine" considered subversive?

A few years ago, I was privileged to be part of a recording with many of the original people who sang together as "the Freedom Singers". Their singing was featured often in the public television documentary series "Eyes on the Prize". The Freedom Singers were a totally cooking vocal ensemble. They were absolutely essential to the civil rights struggle - some of them were Freedom Riders - all of them had been part of various civil disobedience campaigns as they fought Jim Crow laws.

Chuck Neblitt (choral director) told me that to them, the most important song of the movement was "Hold On" - (keep your eyes on the prize and hold on). That was the song that they would sing to and with each other as they were set upon by dogs, had their heads bashed in and as they sat in police wagons and holding cells all bloody and weary. "Hold On" was the song they credited as the backbone of the movement - more so than "We Shall Overcome". Similar stories are told of songs in the anti-apartheid movement as well.

I like to remind people that a singing movement makes tyrants tremble. As it says in the song: Paul and Silas began to shout, their chains fell off and they walked right out - keep your eyes on the prize and hold on..."

Still good advice I think.

I think it is also important to not just talk the talk (or sing it) but to walk the walk as well. It takes more than songs to stop a war, but the songs can sustain us along the way.

JK


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Beer
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 10:21 PM

I like you already "sing 4 peace", and I welcome you to Mudcat. I have a feeling if you stick around you will be a great contributor. Your message was great and the Vietnam era brought back many memories. Some great, some more difficult.
No I never served but was still part of the time.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,blueuke
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 03:29 PM

Sing4peace:
I just heard a fascinating story about the "Clear-Channel Censorship List" on Crap from the Past, explaining exactly where the list came from and why Imagine & other songs like What a Wonderful World were on the list. Check it out--search for Crap From The Past's most recent show 9/11/09.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Lox
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 03:40 PM

Songs don't change things directly, but they do inspire people to care and think about issues that they might otherwise ignore.

In this way they can increase the numbers and the motivation of people to seek ways of stopping wars.

There are certain simple truths that music is somehow better at conveying than words and the tragedy and futility of war is one of them.

Just as love songs are often responsible for sex!


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: topical tom
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 03:46 PM

I believe that this has probably all been said before but here goes.Anti-war songs have obviously not stopped war but it is my belief that they have sensitized many people to the horror and madness of a race killing it's own fellow-beings.They have helped promote anti-war movements which, in turn, have given pause to blind indifference to war and it's effects on people the world round.Anti-war songs can change outlooks, opinions, and perceptions of war. They may not stop war but, by God, they scream out to be written and sung!May they never disappear from this troubled Earth.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Azizi
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 03:50 PM

sing 4 peace, here's the link to the website you mentioned in your post:


http://www.freejoelab.com/index.html


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 13 Sep 09 - 06:57 PM

Alistair Hulett uses a quote from the time in "Red Clydside"

"A bayonet that's a weapon with a working man at either end"

It's a very powerful image, tho I don't if it changes anything in the wide world.

sanra


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 02:52 AM

At least one person will feel better DURING the singing of the song. Nobody ever felt better until AFTER a war.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 08:35 AM

The songs have brought the issue into the consciousness of those who may not like them.

This is a good thing. They've awoken people from the slumber. This is the function
of any good topical song.

Will they change human behavior? That remains to be seen.

The songs helped end the Vietnam War. Maybe new ones will get us out
of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Remember "Give Peace a Chance"? and "Hey,hey, LBJ, how many kids have you killed today?"

Yes, I think a good protest song helps to bring these issues into focus.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: billhudson
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 12:08 PM

Who knows at the end of the day? But, if we can get people to stop and think we are half way there. It's always one to one if you change anything but its a link.
Pete Seeger and I were talking about this very same point and he always tells me of a young seminary with a sign against the war. Someone told him, "You are not going to change the world" And the young man said,"I'm trying to not let the world change me",or something like that. The point is if you believe what you are singing then keep going, no matter how out numbered you might think you are.
But to answer the question, yes I do think it has changed a few minds.
Still Pickin
Bill Hudson


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 12:30 PM

A dilemma facing the effectiveness of anti-war songs is that so very few people are actually pro-war. Most have been led to believe that war has been thrust upon them by an implacable aggressor, leaving them no choice. So in singing an anti-war song you're essentially preaching to the choir, except that owing to illness some choir members may not be in church today. You appear to be blaming them for being ill, which just makes you seem crazy.

Still, as others have said, it's important to sing the songs anyway, if only to avoid seeming crazy to yourself.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: sing4peace
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 01:14 PM

"The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still small voice within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority." Mahatma Gandhi

I've been labeled as a "protest singer" ever since I was a 15 year old banging out a very passionate, if somewhat out of tune version of "The Times They Are A Changin'" at the Pawtucket Elks Club back in the autumn of 1968. That song and so many others remain in my repertoire because they are powerful tools.

I know songs change people, I've been changed by songs my whole life. That's why I sing and that's why I listen to music. It's like food - molecularly altering. I have a box full of letters I have received from people who tell me how this or that song I sang made them question their own choices and beliefs.

Today, I think I do my best singing at an open mike/public speakout I have hosted in Memorial Square in Providence, Rhode Island (USA) every Saturday, rain or shine, for over five years (since May of 2004). It is called the "No Time To Be Silent Vigil". We started the vigil in the aftermath of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib to speak (and sing) out against torture. We gather where we do in hopes of convincing Judge Williams (our former Supreme Court Chief Justice) to resign from the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay and we brave the elements -not to mention the so-called slings and arrows of public opinion - to address the brutal reality of "the never ending war".

Many musicians have joined me there along with poets, painters and a dancer now and then. Some will sing, some read poetry and it's quite moving when we are visited by a local jazz trumpeteer who brings us all to tears with "Taps". We practice radical listening and advocate persistant and creative non-violence. We've had thousands of conversations with people over the years - weaving community one person at a time.

Consider yourselves invited. We'll be there for the foreseeable future - every Saturday - rain or shine from noon until one in front of the monument to "the war to end all wars" - that is, as Hank Williams used to say, "God willing and if the creek don't rise".


"Hope is the thing with feathers
that perches in the soul
and sings the tune
without the words
and never stops at all."
Emily Dickinson

------
Your sister in Hope and Song,
Joyce Katzberg


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: SuperKrone
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 09:08 PM

1967, 1968, 1969 Fifth Avenue Peace Parader here. The songs helped end the draft, but so did the realization that those who could not figure out how to evade the draft were not the ideal participnts in technologically sophisticated warfare. I do remember with deep shame that we walkers (we didn't MARCH by any military standard) cheered ourselves for keeping on through a rain shower, to the tune of Handel's Water Music that happened to be playing on someone's portable radio, very high tech for the time. Shame because at the same time draftees and volunteers in 'Nam were crawling through the muck on their bellies. And the shame of the XX exemption: female, so not draftable. Over the last few days I've cobbled together a set of lyrics about war as it is now in the US.

"Jennie's Gone for a Soldier

There's a yellow ribbon painted
On the back of my old van.
And it is for my daughter
Who is serving in Iran
Bringing ammunition convoys
Through a frightened, angry land.
Jennie's gone for a soldier.

Our Jennie's made lieutenant,
Boys and girls in her command
They place their lives and honor
In her strong and dirty hand
Leading ammunition convoys
Over mine-torn bloodied sand.
Jennie's gone for a soldier.

Hush, my grandchild,
Hush, my love.
The hawk of war
And the mourning dove
Tell the earth below
And the sky above
Your Mother's gone for a soldier.

And when she rotates back again
Its never quite the same
She answers to "Sargeant" now,
And not to her born name,
And civilians can't be easy
With the vigilance and flame
War leaves in the eyes of a soldier.

I almost, ALMOST, wish I could
Put flowers on a stone,
Not watch the child I sang asleep
Stand in the dark alone
Flinching from the fireworks
Lit by those who've never know
What rockets can mean to a soldier.

Weep, my grandchild,
Softly, love,
With the hawk of war
And the mourning dove
Tell the earth below
And the sky above
Your Mother's gone for a soldier.

Spoken:

She comes back with her eyes,
With her arms and her legs,
But not the same woman.
Always my daughter,
Always your Mother,
But not the same woman.
Not quite."

Similar things, of course, happen to sons and Fathers.
It isn't that I think that warfare should be closed to women.
It isn't even that I think we can manage without warriors,
not for a while yet, anyway.
But I do think that Obsidian the officer,
and Dove her mother,
and Hunter her son,
are worth a song.

If anyone is inspired to sing it, the tunes are out there.
Just give a mention to Obsidian, Dove, and Hunter,
And SuperKone, who remembers the 1960's.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: iancarterb
Date: 14 Sep 09 - 10:13 PM

"the realization that those who could not figure out how to evade the draft were not the ideal participnts in technologically sophisticated warfare." I always hoped that were not just true but difficult to fight, but it's not impossible to lower the threshold of skills needed or remove the control from the consequences- cf the gamers who fly remote control drones over Afghanistan from a Nevada airforce base. Not much PTSD from that. We'll need the songs and the marches ongoing, I fear, and I likewise fear that obligatory national service with the military being one option is the only way to get away from the all-volunteer forces who have more at stake in their decision than draftees. The draft enabled but also eventually helped to provoke the end of the Viet Nam lunacy. I know from experience that the only real military offense is Non Belief, and the senior petty officers and mid level officers can ALWAYS tell at 20 paces, and you're in trouble from first day to your last. It is, at least, socially important trouble.
Carter


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 07:52 AM

As my old mammy said - "Constant dripping, wears away a stone" - any drip knows that.

My feeling is that until everyone can speak the same language, pray to the same god, and generally suffer the same drought/flood, wars are inevitable, songs can only be a paliative. And once English (of whatever patois) becomes the lingua Franca (contentious in itself) it will be the source of irritation because of that. Take the rise and rise of the Welsh language as an example.

Our only hope is that the spectre of global warming might just be a meeting point for all humanity, if only there wasn't quite so much of it.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: oldhippie
Date: 15 Sep 09 - 03:13 PM

I think Lox said it best:

"Songs don't change things directly, but they do inspire people to care and think about issues that they might otherwise ignore."

Likewise, the question could have been:
"Have Union songs changed anything?"
or "Have political songs changed anything?"
or "Have anti-nuclear songs changed anything?"

Would your answer have been any different?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: sing4peace
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 06:19 PM

I'm still opposed to the draft. Always will be. It's involuntary servitude and only makes it easier for the empire to expand it's never ending war. I marched against the draft in the sixties and again when they brought registration back in the late 70's early 80's. Being a privileged member of the "XX club", I sent a letter to the FBI telling them that I would be openly advocating non-compliance so that I would be in exactly the same danger of a prison term as I was asking those young men to assume.

I don't need somebody else's kids (or parents) to be called up to war in order to speak out against the war. I'm always surprised when I see people advocating to reinstate the draft so we can get a "real peace movement" going. There already is a real movement going on. It just doesn't get the press that the tea party folks do. For evidence of that, please google "The Nuclear Resister" online and check out the April, 2003 issue. You'll see reports from cities all across this country - not just the "liberal" hot spots - where people risked arrest to speak out during the lead up to the invasion of Iraq. Reports of groups of people by the tens, twenties, hundreds, thousands arrested trying to stop the war before it started. It takes up six three column pages. Seen altogether like that, you get a very different sense of how large the movement really is.

I'm sure that a new call for conscription would prompt a lot of folks who are currently silent to speak out and get involved. Let's figure out a way of inspiring and sustaining that kind of anti-war activity without falling into the Karl Roveian trap of calling for the draft.

In hope,
Joyce

P.S. Super Krone - that was a very moving lyric. Thank you for posting it.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 08:28 PM

How can anyone really answer this question? Different reactions by people. Some are affected by songs.

The next more important question is has war changed anything?

I say it doesn't work.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 09:27 PM

What, never?

Afraid sometimes the other guy starts something that has to be responded to. I know that correctly identifying the situation is not that easy ? look at some of the messes going on just now.

But as I always say, if someone hadn't responded 70 years ago, I wouldn't ever have been a student, or a teacher, or a critic.

I would have been a lampshade.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 17 Sep 09 - 10:48 PM

quote: Afraid sometimes the other guy starts something that has to be responded to.

Thank you, M, for the perfect illustration of the point I made earlier:
...very few people are actually pro-war. Most have been led to believe that war has been thrust upon them by an implacable aggressor, leaving them no choice.

You're willing to support armed aggression as long as the imperialists tell you they have a good reason for it, to stop a bully or a terrorist for example, and you don't notice that all the places where these bullies and terrorists live happen to be rich with oil fields not under US control and/or along essential pipeline routes from the Caspian Sea.

I wasn't around 70 years ago, but I doubt that things were much different then, as suggested in this article.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 01:00 AM

I dunno about all this but |I hope you all Spend this night in peace and that tomorrow is a good day for you .


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 03:01 AM

No, Tony, I didn't think you were around 70 years ago.

My, what a convincing article of Mr Buchanan's you linked us to [tho he must have kicked himself afterwards for forgetting that 'the trains had been rolling' to Dachau since 1933]. Oh, of course, once he had invaded Poland, Hitler would have said, 'Oh, this invasion-kick is getting boring, I'll just go out and smell the flowers instead': silly us not to have thought of that. 'Tomorrow the World!' he would have thought giggling; 'why, that was just a bit of fun'.

Just piss off Tony ? & take Buchanan with you, eh?

Lampshade


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 03:11 AM

Every time a 'peace song' is sung I can feel hackles rising in the seat next to mine.
"He shouldn't impose his views on a captive audience"
"The issue of Palestine (substitute a conflict of your choice) is more complicated than he makes it"
Etc.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 04:22 AM

"If ever I have the power," Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, " then, with no considerations of humanity or sympathy or pity, I will make it my business to kill every Jew in the world". It's all there, in black·n·white, in German script originally of course.

Come on Tony, that's your cue: tell me I'm quoting out of context or something.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 05:05 AM

If you thought anti-war songs change attitudes - and they do

Consider the jingoistic rabble rousing songs.

Those that consider the IRA to be a pretty cause should look to the rebel songs and what they actually say.

The devil doesn't have ALL the best tunes - but he has enough for his purpose. And he is not as red as you think. Sometime he is green, somtimes orange, purple, blue and sometimes star-spangled.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: SuperKrone
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 06:26 AM

If there ever was a side of a war that could be argued for it was "The Allies" in WWII. But the USA didn't join in because of the atrocities. There was a very strong movement in the US that wasn't against war as such but was against "foreign involvement". To paraphase the idea very loosely-- "let the foreign trash kill each other off. We are the USA, strong and pure, and we will survive and thrive without them."

What flipped the switch on that was nothing in Europe--- it was Pearl Harbor. The (non-Caucasian) foreign trash were now trying to kill US, the USA.

As for nobody being pro-war (or willing to admit to being pro-war)-- that's a new thing, since the World Wars, really. Before that the MAJORITY ( or at least the published majority) view was that war was good for both countries and individuals. It got warriors into physical condition and taught courage and endurance. The Boy Scouts were meant to teach the virtues of war to young men. Young WOMEN, called girls. got the Brownie Scout oath: "to help other people at all times, especially those at home".


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: bankley
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 09:12 AM

the songs with a lot of 'meat on the bone' changed me...
I'm not much... but I'm something... so..... yes they have..


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 09:58 AM

SuperKrone, it sounds like we've made progress then, if it's only recently become necessary to find pretexts for war. But what about slavery as the basis for the US Civil War (the Battle Hymn of the Republic: abolitionist John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave), though none of the vast land grants afterward went to former slaves? And this at a time when other countries were freeing their slaves without armed conflict and helping the slaves to join the economic mainstream. That sounds like a pretext. And remember the Alamo, which the Mexican bullies used to force us eventually to annex half of Mexico. And remember the Maine, which the Spanish bullies used to force us to take Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, incidentally killing a million Philippinos when they took the liberation pretext seriously. There's a long and continuous history of defending ourselves and others against bullies, expanding the empire at each step.

M, Buchanan doesn't deny what Hitler might have wanted to do in his wild dreams, nor what he might have said publicly in order to build a power base; only that he would never have had the power to do it, and would never even have been able to attempt it had he not been attacked by world powers. But it sounds like you agree with him to some extent, that the reason for going to war against Germany was not the stated pretext that his re-taking of Danzig proved he intended to and might some day be able to conquer the world; though it sounds like you went beyond that to imply that the real reason was a secret altruistic desire to save Jews under German rule from persecution. Is that what you meant?

Note that the Germans, too, were anti-war, but were told they were forced to invade Czechoslovakia to save the German majority in the Sudetenland from the bullies in the Czech government.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 11:30 AM

Welcome on board ( SING 4 PEACE )good taughts ..Yes walk the walk and talk the talk. Song does make one sit, think, squirm and dance.As a kid playing war games wearing a navy uniform from the local army surplus i was always on the good side and proud of it.THEN! WAM, i started playing guitar.My sister and i picked up a hitchiker one day who said he was a draft dodger.What the hell is that?. I then started to listen to songs of Buffy St.Marie ,Bob Dylan whos names ment nothing to me .Songs have messages ,and do motivate change.I see very little protest now aday i guess it will come about when the temperature here in Canada is below zero putting the grip on little turn out.A powerful song comes about at the right time when something is to be said and have an answer to questions unasked .

                                 t.j.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 12:09 PM

Oh, now, come on Tony. Invasion of Czslvka had been followed by Chamberlain's Munich disgrace. If he had then got away with invading Poland unimpeded [which would of course have given him the power base to go on in other directns ? esp after the Molotov Pact], do you [& Buchanan] seriously suggest that, having Germanised a gigantic area of N.Central Europe, & having come clean with his intentions 15 years before, he would have said to himself, 'Oh this invasion stuff is just too easy, I'm bored with it; think I'll go back to bed, ho-hum'? I'm sorry if I sounded rude before. But, honest now, get real. I can't believe you really believe that if he had been allowed to get away unhindered with the invasion of two sovereign states in the heart of Europe, he would just have jacked it all in. Is that really what you are saying?

As to your sort of btw questn, not many gave a flying fuck what happened to the Jews; but it was a good indication of how he was likely to treat any intransigent among invaded populations also ? as indeed it transpired. So I don't think many fancied the idea of his lot goosestepping & sieg·heiling all over our Grn & Plsnt, chucking any who didn't like the style into the Dachau that had been set up in Wilmslow or Solihull... Do you?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: t.jack
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 12:41 PM

What was the question????????????

    t.j.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: sing4peace
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 01:40 PM

From one who might also have become a lampshade, or a bar of soap, had Mr. Hitler not been stopped - and whose ancestral homeland of Galitzia, Ukraine was completely depopulated of my kind- I come away from my study of WWII with a different perspective on the "what ifs".

I think we learned nothing from WWII and that makes me very sad.

Hitler's method:

scapegoat the welfare recipient;
exacerbate fear and resentment of immigrants;
designate certain populations to have no civil rights - to be "non-persons";
establish geographical zones where detention facilities imprison "non-persons";
employ the national guard outside of their own regions, make them commit atrocities so that their spirits are broken;
control the media and the message;
intimidate the population with "with us or against us" slogans;
consolidate powers through "enabling act" legislation;
create ever new methods for the mass incineration of "undesireables"

Today, we are dealing with the "war on terror" where we citizens of the U.S. have been asked to condone the indefinite detention of "enemy combatants" in secret prisons - without trial - because their testimony in open court would reveal that their confessions were obtained under torture. It has already been revealed that the Bush administration was well aware that many of the people being held at Guantanamo Bay had absolutely nothing to do with the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden or any terrorist group whatsoever. They continued to hold them because they came from certain areas where we needed information they could provide. (This is according to former Secretary of State Colin Powell's ex-chief of staff, Colonel Larry Wilkinson.) For crying out loud (and I do) we detained and tortured a twelve year old boy at Guantanamo until he was released just last month.

I set about early in life trying to understand how it was that the Nazi's got away with what they got away with for as long as they did without people knowing about it. In the aftermath of the murders of September 11th, 2001, I understand exactly how they got away with it.

A look into the roots of Hitler's career will show who got rich off of supporting him early on - and who is still getting rich off the "never ending war." As they say, follow the money. For instance -check the U.S. Congressional record from 1942 and you will see that George W.Bush's grandfather - Prescott Bush - was censored for trading with the enemy(ie Hitler). It wasn't just the Bushes either. And it wasn't just here in the U.S. Check out the Congressional Record for May, 2001 and you will see the U.S. gave the Taliban $43 million dollars (this while they were blowing up ancient Buddhas and terrorizing women into Burkas). A daily check of the business page will show which folks are doing quite well profitting off of the privatization and machinery of war.

Seems to me the method is: identify the baddest guy on the block and make him "your guy". Build him up with weaponry until he gets too big for his britches then go back to your people and declare that Mr. Bad Guy is the devil (or the new Hitler). Disseminate disinformation through a cooperative (and corporately controlled) media. Bomb the heck out the infrastructure. Install a new regime. Rebuild the new infrastructure. Lots of money to be made all around.

Some folks marched in the 60's and then went their various ways feeling good about themselves for stopping the war. Problem is, the war never really stopped - it just changed fronts. Some of us kept marching: against the dirty proxy wars in Argentina and Chile...against U.S. support for the apartheid regime in South Africa...against the training of Central and Latin American death squads at Ft. Benning in Georgia (US), against the development of newer and more "useable" nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; and against the invasions of Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq - we are still marching to this day.

It's been said before - it is still true. All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to remain silent. I may not be able to stop a war by singing anti-war songs - but I can at least look at myself in the mirror and know that I am not cowered into silence. Silence is the voice of complicity. This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine!


In never ending hope and song,
Joyce Katzberg


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 02:07 PM

Absolutely, Joyce. It's heartbreaking that, after all that horror, things aren't better right now. But they could have been worse if people had acted differently 70 years ago ? or, as TonyA/Buchanan won't seem to get in their thick heads, not acted at all. At least you & I, if not all my cousins from Roumania & Lithuania, are here to say alas; which we wouldn't have been if ...   You, incidentally, are too young to have literally been lampshade or soap: I'm not... I happen to have been born in London in 1932. It could just as easily have been Warsaw...

Singing in hope ... still -   Michael


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 05:34 PM

Michael, the issue is not whether Hitler fantasized about being dictator of the world, as I'm sure many politicians do at times, but whether he had the power to act on it, and the realistic intention that might have proceeded from that power. He needed pretexts to mobilize the nation to war just as much as our government does, and his pretext in Czechoslovakia and Poland was to liberate German majorities from non-German rule. He even went to the trouble of sending agents provocateurs into Sudetenland to stage a rebellion, so the Czech government's response could make invasion seem to Germans as urgent as the NATO invasion of Yugoslavia seemed to many Americans.

If he shared your fantasy, then the Allied invasion was his dream come true, an excuse to conduct war against anyone he chose. Nothing else could have justified the kind of aggression you suggest he had in mind. But the article makes it clear that he was not inclined in that direction, and if the Allies had not invaded 6 million Jews and 40 million others might well have been spared. Naturally the governments which chose to invade claimed afterward that many more millions would have died if they hadn't, but their opinion on the matter is extremely biased, especially in light of their conviction of the Nazi leaders to death for the crime of aggressive war.

Contrary to your assertion, my head is not thick. I'm an extremely thoughtful person, one who debates issues rather than casting schoolyard insults, and one who questions the government's story any time they tell me they need to kill people, especially when those people have oil or other resources desired by the wealthy who control government. I'm relieved to hear that you at least don't believe the Allied governments acted out of their love for the Jews. But I suspect that you think that's all changed now, and that love has blossomed and become the secret motivation for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the coming war in Iran. Is that true?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 10:29 PM

OK, GWB is a despicable worm-- to say the least.   His father however was an authentic hero of WW II.   And as for Prescott Bush in the Congressional Record, let's have a direct link.   It appears that's questionable. If you read even the Guardian article referred to, it's a lot murkier and more complex than we're led to believe by another Mudcatter with dial set on "outrage" --as usual.



Re: topic:

Actually, Tom Lehrer, as often happens, put it best:   

Folk Song Army

"We are the Folk Song Army"
Every one of us cares
We all hate poverty, war and injustice
Unlike the rest of you squares."

Anti-war songs have changed things no more than "Ballad of the Green Berets" and "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" have on the other side.

It's people expressing their points of view.   Unlikely anybody outside the choir is converted.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 10:38 PM

And as for "if the Allies had not invaded" Jews would have been spared?   Exactly what are you smoking?   Do you not believe that Hitler lived and breathed anti-Semitism--(and had no use for Christianity either--except as a tool, if the Christians in question were compliant?) If not, why not? Have you never heard of Wannsee?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 11:32 PM

No, Tony, of course I don't think your head is really thick - 'can't get into thick head' is a sort of cliché for 'oh why o why can't see what is patent to me?'; apologies if the phrase really offended you.

& - No, of course *my head* isn't so thick as to believe the idiocies you attribute to me as possibilities in your last para ? see my response to Joyce sing4peace that just preceded your last post. But, as Ron Davies supports me in saying just above, your idea that Hitler would have spared the Jews [Kristallnacht 1938?; Jewish deaths by the thousand if not million in Dachau since 1934? the Holocaust as it came to be called was well under way by then] if we hadn't declared war in 1939 & therefore that Joyce's begetters & I & my family wouldn't ever have become lampshades or soap; & that he would have found no further pretexts & excuses for invading any more countries but just have given up the spread of his 1000·Year·Reich & stayed peacefully at home in Berchtesgarten, just won't wash.

Come now ? you know it makes sense...


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 11:11 AM

Michael, you're ignoring what the Buchanan article said and arguing against things it didn't say. If you don't want to read the article or consider its thesis, that's your right. But it makes a compelling point, and is written by someone who, though not a pacifist, has argued eloquently and consistently for two decades against pretexts for imperial aggression given by both US political parties.

You didn't state your opinion of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran in your reply to Joyce. Perhaps you meant to, but it's not there.

Ron, I'm a non-smoker. I assume you didn't really mean to suggest otherwise and were only trying to denigrate my character and intelligence instead of discussing issues and citing facts, just as Michael has done several times. But since you paired it with a small amount of rational argument I have to take you seriously and reply.

The article you're refusing to consider is not about Hitler's paranoid fantasies or craven posturing. It's about political reality -- what he might have been able to carry out under different circumstances, and his realistic intentions as indicated by his actions before the invasion of Poland. It suggests that without Allied guarantees, which Hitler had good reason to believe would not be honored, Poland would have ceded Danzig and he wouldn't have had the political capital needed to invade. The Wannsee Conference was held in 1942, long after that and well into the war which radically changed his political reality.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 12:42 PM

By Wannsee, the "Madagascar plan" --a "super-ghetto", which was first suggested as a solution to the "Jewish problem", was dead. Most of the "Final Solution" took place after Wannsee--in fact that was the gist of that conference. It's absurd to think that Jews would have been saved by the Allies declining to invade--in fact the longer the wait, the more would likely have been killed.

And if you seriously believe that Pat Buchanan has bold new clear thinking on this issue, you need to read a bit more-almost anything but David Irving.

Buchanan is right when he says that World War II was the "unnecessary war", but for exactly the opposite reason he states. The real reason the war was unnecessary is that elements of the German military planned to remove Hitler--in several plots, in fact--before September 1939. But Hitler's bloodless victories cut the ground out from under the plotters.   Had the Allies, at several points, refused Hitler's demands, the plotters would have gone ahead.

One of the most striking ironies of this period is that Hitler wanted war, far in advance of the time his military leaders told him they would be ready.   But the vast majority of his popularity with the German population was based on the fact that, over and over, he attained diplomatic goals for Germany without war.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 12:48 PM

To say that giving Hitler Danzig would have solved the problem is incredibly naive.   It would have been just one more bloodless victory--and pushed Hitler's popularity up further. Rather than depriving him of political capital, it would have pushed his political capital to new heights.

Also, if you think Hitler would have then stopped his plans, you are also woefully Pollyannish. Among other things, you are assuming that Hitler was rational.    Not the best assumption.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 01:02 PM

TONY.A I read Buchanan carefully. But it wasn't Buchanan but you who wrote -

'if the Allies had not invaded 6 million Jews and 40 million others might well have been spared'

'Might well'? 'might well'!!! In, as the saying goes, your dreams - pipe-dreams or otherwise.

And you know very well that is what I am arguing against (& Ron also); so don't go disingenuously implying that nobody said it. By the time it all happened, as I demonstrated [you have heard of Kristallnacht, I take it - only one symptom of what was going on nationwide by then & had been for 5 years], Hitler's ambitions had long ceased to be 'craven fantasies' or 'posturings' & become all-too-terrifying realities. Pity you weren't there, it might have got some actualities into your head, whatever may indeed be its true density. Have you never seen Riefenstahl's 'Triumph Of The Will'? Do you really think AH's territorial ambitions, as manifested in his invasion of Czchslvka, on frivolous excuse of doing a favour to a Teutonic minority in its population & getting away with it at the disgrace of Munich, followed by his further invasion of Poland on an equally frivolous pretext [why should the Poles have ceded one of their cities to keep a self-evident, highly successful, no-longer-fantasising-if-he-ever-was-after-1933, fanatic pacified!?] would really all have disappeared if we had had another Munich & he had been suffered to get away with it yet again? He had declared explicitly that his Reich would last 1000 years [however disputed the quote about Morgens?der?Welt]; & had demonstrated that he meant it and wasn't fantasising & that his population had better co-operate ['Guns, not butter' as his acolyte Göring put it.]

Whether you smoke or not, you are labouring under severe delusions for some reason. I apologised for being rude last time. This is the last I shall bother to say on the subject & I shall not follow it up with an apology: ?

For reasons that Bob & I have made absolutely manifest, I think YOU ARE A CREDULOUS BOOBY - paradoxically both naive & disingenuous; devoted to red?herrings: what the Americans are doing in the mid-east at present, however clear or otherwise I made my opinion of it in my response to Joyce, has nothing to do with the case and does nothing to support your fatuous attempts to rewrite history. I make no apology for calling them so. If you trouble to rejoin I shan't even bother to read what you say because it is becoming just too boring to argue against such wilful, obscurantist idiocies. And if you think I am a rude, ill-bred unmannerly boor for saying so, then I shall just have to live with it, shan't I?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 01:08 PM

It's really hard to say who has become affected by a song and in what way. To assume this is not verifiable.

What is Pollyannish is going along with the doctrines of the MIC as if they were true and should not be challenged. This is incredibly naive.

Race and religion-bating have always been a pretext for aggression and war. Jews were the scapegoats in Nazi Germany as there are others today to defend institutionalized violence.

There are many erstwhile authorities on a mad-man like Hitler without any claim to really knowing his psychological and pathological make-up. He was a politician who obviously
galvanized his audience in the same way that the Right-wing of the US is doing today.

I think in some cases maybe an anti-war song brought into focus another way of looking at an issue. Who is really to say?

Frank


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 01:28 PM

Sorry, I'm not familiar with your alphabet soup. MIC? KEY? MOU...
Hitler was more than a "politician".   Though admittedly there sure are echoes of him when you hear somebody talk about "real Americans".


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 02:10 PM

quote: "If ever I have the power," Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, " then, with no considerations of humanity or sympathy or pity, I will make it my business to kill every Jew in the world". It's all there, in black·n·white, in German script originally of course.

Can you provide a link to this, Michael? Or at least provide the chapter number? I can't find anything remotely like it in an online English translation of Mein Kampf with Ctrl-F text search. Lots about Jews, but nothing advocating violence against them. Only 7 occurrences of the word "kill," none of them suggesting that anyone should kill anyone else.

Are you saying the passage is not in any English translation, and maybe not even in any published German version but only the original handwritten script? If so, how do you know that?

Not that it matters much, since Hitler certainly did commit extreme violence against Jews in the end, regardless of what he wrote in prison, but I'm wondering about the reliability of your information.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: SuperKrone
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 02:54 PM

From: TonyA - PM
Date: 18 Sep 09 - 09:58 AM

SuperKrone, it sounds like we've made progress then, if it's only recently become necessary to find pretexts for war. But what about slavery as the basis for the US Civil War (the Battle Hymn of the Republic: abolitionist John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave), though none of the vast land grants afterward went to former slaves? And this at a time when other countries were freeing their slaves without armed conflict and helping the slaves to join the economic mainstream. That sounds like a pretext. And remember the Alamo, which the Mexican bullies used to force us eventually to annex half of Mexico. And remember the Maine, which the Spanish bullies used to force us to take Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines, incidentally killing a million Philippinos when they took the liberation pretext seriously. There's a long and continuous history of defending ourselves and others against bullies, expanding the empire at each step.

TonyA: I don't think there's any disagreement on real issues between you and me. Some people in the North, many colored folk in the South, and a very few white folk in the South saw slavery as the real issue. Most others saw the issue as States's Rights versus Majority Rule. The Emancipation Proclamation applied ONLY to those states that were in rebellion(!) Slavery in non-rebellion states was not then addressed. Many Northern States had already forbidden slavery on a state by state basis. What happened in, say, West Virginia, is something I don't know, but may research.

Alas, being anti-Nazi was not the same thing as being pro-Jew. The fate of many of those Jews and other "undesirables" who managed to escape the Axis countries was to live for years as people without countries, since other countries were unwilling to let them in. Mary Francis Kennedy Fisher, a writer on food and memories, describes Jewish women who lived full time on ocean liners, never setting foot on shore, and "protected" by a succession of ocean liner officers. What happened to Jewish women too old or homely to rate such "protection"? Don't know, would like to think that the logical guess is wrong.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 04:06 PM

Hitler was a master politico. That's why he endured. He could stir up the crazy population like so many Republican politicians today are doing. Riefenstahl's 'Triumph Of The Will' substantiates this very well.

MIC=Military Industrial Complex.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Sep 09 - 04:17 PM

TonyA: Thank you for your reasoned response to my previous perhaps a bit incontinent post. I have to confess that I appear to have committed the unforgiveable, unscholarly sin of having failed to check my sources. I read Mein Kampf, in English translation, at the age of 14 in 1946. That quotation so struck me that I memorised it and it has lived with me therefore for 63 years. Now I find you are right; I cannot locate it at the source where I could have sworn I got it. Perhaps I read it somewhere else at the same time, and confused the two sources. I can scarcely have invented it in such detail. But I agree with you now in having failed to locate it in MK ? I should have thought Vol I Ch xi would have been the likeliest place; but I can't find it there, I must admit.

Thank you for admitting that, pragmatically & empirically, he might as well have said it as that was certainly, post-Wannsee, what he set out to do. But I am much ashamed of such a scholarly lapse nevertheless. Not that my main points are affected: but you will, I am confident, follow what I mean.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 12:00 AM

SuperKrone: I agree. There are always a number of different reasons/pretexts for any military aggression, or at least different opinions of what the real reason is. Governments always give a patently false official explanation, for the consumption of the masses, and that encourages better-informed people to speculate as to what the real motive is. George H W Bush said emphatically on prime time TV that his invasion of Iraq was "not about oil," but on a Sunday morning talking-head show after he left office he said, "If I had waited for the Congress to act, Saddam woulda been in Riyadh and oil would be 30 dollars a barrel." Of course that was false too, both about the danger to Saudi Arabia and the idea that the reason our government is killing people in oil-rich countries is so we can have cheaper gas for our Hummers. Our government is owned by people who sell oil, and who welcome higher prices. But it was a different story, aimed at a more sophisticated audience.

Michael: The validity and date of your quote does have bearing on Buchanan's idea that the carnage was avoidable. If Hitler said that before Germany was invaded, and if the German public knew he had said it and they accepted him as their leader anyway, that would discredit the idea, as you were trying to do in presenting the quote. But if the Final Solution was devised by the leadership under conditions of war, that supports him.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 01:15 AM

TonyA: Note the date of this speech -

'Prior to the beginning of World War II, during a speech given on January 30, 1939 (the six year anniversary of his accession to power), Hitler foretold the coming Holocaust of European Jewry when he said:
"Today I will once more be a prophet: If the international Jewish financiers in and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the result will not be the Bolshevization of the earth, and thus the victory of Jewry, but the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"'

Altho it is not expressed in quite the explicit terms of the statement I can't put my finger on, dammit, it nevertheless explicitly predicates AH's contemplation of his 'Final·Soltn' concept well before the invasion of Poland & beginning of the war. The fact that the 'Soltn' was generally accepted as policy is underwritten by the massacres at Lithuania, Lvov, & (particularly) BabiYar, all having occurred well before Wannsee.

I think these considerations undercut your [& Buchanan's] idea that the Germans might not have accepted AH as their leader & followed his provocations if they had known his true intentions. Contemplation of Kristallnacht, together with what had been going on since 1933 at Dachau {& indeed in German cities even prior to AH's accession to the Chancellry in 1933, but from about 1931 onwards, when his Brownshirts were allowed, by police & public, to swagger around abusing and assaulting Jews with impunity, & indeed with at least passive enthusiaistic consent}, undermines Buchanan's [& your] position; & lends credence to the fact that the Final·Sltn had been at least implicitly predicated & enthusistically endorsed by the German people, who would have been entirely unsurprised by the eventual conclusions of Wannsee & their implementation ? by which time Auschwitz-Birkenau, Thirienstadt, Treblinka, & the others planned exclusively or primarily as "death camps" with no pretence at their being "labour camps' of any other such euphemism, were well up & running.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 01:29 AM

To name source, as I omitted to do [apologies]: quotation which begins above entry is copied from Wiki 'Final Solution' entry.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 09:15 AM

Michael, it sounds like you give a lot of credence to Hitler's ravings as sincere expressions of his belief, and not as just the same sort of appeal to the sentiment of the masses that contemporary politicians aim for when they publish books (or the pretense of being a born-again Christian that a semi-literate politician might use instead).

But in those ravings he blamed "the Jews" for starting the first World War, and in the one you quoted he expressed fear that they would start another one. Did you suddenly drop the belief in his sincerity there, and assume that he didn't actually fear world war but rather intended to start it?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 10:13 AM

Sorry, Tony. You have lost me, I'm afraid. I maintain, whatever this somewhat complex last post of yours means [or is intended to] that the position that AH's being allowed to invade Poland unhindered, as he had already done Czech, would, in some manner unspecified, have prevented the Holocaust & saved the Jews from their ultimate fate [incl the Jews of the UK, remember], is untenable & of a barely credible naïveté. This is not intended to be offensive; simply what I believe to be an incontrovertible fact. How I may perceive Hitler's beliefs or their bon·fides or their consistency at any point does not, so far as I can see, have the remotest relevance to this central tenet of mine ? which, as I apprehend the entire question, completely undermines your [& Buchanan's] posture.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 12:06 PM

quote: ...the position that AH's being allowed to invade Poland unhindered, as he had already done Czech, would, in some manner unspecified, have prevented the Holocaust & saved the Jews from their ultimate fate...

No one has suggested that. Your continuing argument against it, as though someone had suggested it, is the reason why I assumed you hadn't read the article.

Buchanan said that it was Poland's assurance of Allied backing that made them obstinate about Danzig, and that their obstinacy, together with the belief that the Allies would not in fact intervene if Hitler took Danzig by force, made it politically possible for him to invade Poland, in spite of the natural resistance of any populace to wars, especially wars that may end up harming them personally, and in spite of Hitler's own fear of another world war.

Buchanan specifies the part about preventing the Holocaust clearly: If the 95-percent German city of Danzig had been ceded, Hitler would not have invaded Poland. He wanted to unite Germans in his thousand-year reich, not Poles, and the popular support for his aggression was based on that goal, not on conquest of the world. He would have continued persecuting the half-million German Jews, forcing them and other non-Germans to leave Germany if his political run lasted long enough. The conditions that set the stage for the Wannsee conference would never have existed, and Hitler would never have had control over Poland or its Jewish population.

quote: ...untenable & of a barely credible naïveté. This is not intended to be offensive...

Why would that offend me? But if you'll permit a constructive criticism, I think arguments are more effective when you present the merits of your own position rather than a description of the intellectual depravity of anyone who would take a different position.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 12:31 PM

I do not think you intellectually depraved in the least ? that would be offensive. Merely mistaken. So I can't see what you imagine to be 'constructive' in your criticism of my arguments; which strike me as perfectly coherently to present 'the merits of my position'; but if you won't see them, you won't.

We are not going to agree. You and Buchanan are quite patently mistaken, to my mind, in your assessment of the situation. The famous 'guns not butter' dicta of both Goebbels & Goering, obviously intended to soften up the German populace to the inevitability of a forthcoming war, date from 1936. The concept of 'Lebensraum', giving obvious validity to my view of AH's territorial ambitions, came even earlier.

I don't think there is not a lot of point our going on at these sort of cross-purposes. I think you wilfully ignore my cogent arguments. You accuse me of the same ? indeed, of having so far misinterpreted Buchanan's as to have cast doubts on whether I had read him. I had. I think his position false. Yours likewise. I propose to leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Sep 09 - 02:45 PM

"Final Solution" enthusiastically endorsed by the German people?    I would disagree.   There were decent Germans, some of whom were eventually executed.   And there were a huge number who just did not want to know what was going on and who wanted to support their leader--even a murderous unstable leader. After all, everything he had promised up to that point--against a huge amount of skepticism--had come true.

There were rumors of what was happening at the Eastern Front--which is where the wholesale mistreatment and slaughter--of partisans, prisoners and Jews--was going on. But most Germans did not know many details, knew it was possibly dangerous to know them, in fact, and tried to justify it any way they could--especially by citing the harsh conditions of war.

To say the "Final Solution" was embraced by the German population at large needs a lot more support than we have seen so far.

It should however also be obvious to any thinking person that regardless of what happened with Danzig, Hitler intended to get Lebensraum to the east.   And he believed strongly that non-Aryans were Untermenschen and existed only to serve Aryans. Without Allied intervention, it's incredibly naive to think that Poland would have survived as anything but a colony of Germany.

Giving Hitler Danzig would only, as I said, have pushed his political capital to new heights--as yet another bloodless victory. And made it even more difficult for anti-HItler Germans to even dream of removing him.

Remember: "nothing succeeds like success."


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 11:31 AM

quote: "Final Solution" enthusiastically endorsed by the German people?    I would disagree.   There were decent Germans, some of whom were eventually executed.   And there were a huge number who just did not want to know what was going on and who wanted to support their leader--even a murderous unstable leader. After all, everything he had promised up to that point--against a huge amount of skepticism--had come true.

There were rumors of what was happening at the Eastern Front--which is where the wholesale mistreatment and slaughter--of partisans, prisoners and Jews--was going on. But most Germans did not know many details, knew it was possibly dangerous to know them, in fact, and tried to justify it any way they could--especially by citing the harsh conditions of war.


When I was younger I tried to imagine what it must have been like to live in Germany under Hitler. As I've followed the press coverage of wars over the last two decades, and the complacency and willful ignorance of most of the public, I've often felt I understood. But this discussion, and in particular Ron's reply to Michael's comment about the attitude of the German people, has reminded me that the situation there must have been incomparably worse. So I've been trying to think of a truly equivalent scenario in the world today.

Imagine that in the aftermath of 9/11, Blackwater founder Erik Prince enters politics and rises quickly, becoming US president on a platform that includes eliminating the threat of terrorism by discouraging Muslim emigration to the US and maintaining close scrutiny and curtailing civil rights of all Muslims already here. After taking office, he uses the extra-constitutional powers of the Patriot Act to start rounding up Muslims in the US and shipping them to Guantanamo, beginning with people suspected of having ties to al-Qaeda, but after a few more terrorist attacks inside the US he declares a state of national emergency and, among other things, expands the internment program, eventually rounding up all Muslims. Much as the real Erik Prince allegedly did with Blackwater employees, the hypothetical President Prince "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life" (quote from The Nation) by US troops in Iraq. Gordon Liddy is made commander of the detention center at Guantanamo, and secretly begins a program of mass executions of detainees. The mainstream press doesn't report the mass executions or the program of wholesale murder in Iraq. There are rumors about these programs, and many Americans could learn more about them but are afraid of what they might learn, and the courageous few who do investigate and protest are arrested and imprisoned without trial. The population has a sense that something is wrong but the nation is in a state of emergency similar to wartime, and the terrorist bombings are occurring more frequently.

Could all that happen? I'd like to think not, but it's impossible to be confident. The fear instilled by 9/11 made Americans tolerate a lot of criminal activity by those in power. Maybe a state of war or state of siege would make them tolerate even these horrors.

Now consider a variation on that scenario. Prince is elected but there are no more terrorist attacks inside the US after 9/11. We enjoy peace and prosperity, and a sense of security thanks to his tough stance on terrorists and nations that harbor them. He's highly successful in both domestic and international issues because of his ruthless and systematic tactics, tolerating no dissent. He continues the policies of his predecessors, invading countries that have strategic resources, but does so more aggressively, and his success in those invasions adds to his prestige and power. He gets very favorable terms for oil leases from all Muslim countries, which keeps the price of gasoline in the US much lower than anywhere else. US companies build pipelines from the Caspian Sea to supply Europe, Japan, India, and China, increasing US prosperity to record levels. But Prince carries out his program of extermination of the Muslims anyway, because he just hates them and "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe." (quote from The Nation) He starts slowly, interning only suspected terrorists at first, but gradually expands the program to include all Muslims, and gradually turning the detention centers into extermination centers. Muslims in all the countries he invades are systematically eliminated under the same program as in Iraq and Guantanamo. Millions of Muslims are killed worldwide. His political opponents are unable to stop him because he's been so successful. Residents of occupied Muslim countries offer resistance but are no match for the US military machine. World powers are unable to intervene because of America's nuclear arsenal.

What do you think? How likely is that second scenario? Does a state of war or similar emergency change what a leader can get away with?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 21 Sep 09 - 01:12 PM

Awareness and bank balances?


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 09:03 AM

The Prince scenario is extremely unlikely.   There is an extremely strong tradition in the US in favor of civil liberties--and not just among Democrats. Prince would never even get the nomination from the Republicans. Palin might, unfortunately--if the economy is perceived as not having improved, especially from the current 9.7% unemployment. And that is a real danger--which Mudcatters don't take seriously enough in my opinion. But even that should be unlikely, since the anti-intellectual forces she represents are in fact anathema to quite few Republicans.

Another extremely far-fetched part of the scenario is that the mainstream press would not report both on the rounding up of Moslems and especially the mass executions in Iraq. 1930's Germany's press was a captive of the state.   The US press is the opposite--all over the political spectrum. Even the WSJ editorial page harshly criticized GWB--albeit for not being aggressive enough.   And the WSJ reporting pointed out over and over how Bush's propaganda was just that--that his justification for the Iraq war was hogwash.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 09:08 AM

"mass executions" in Guantanamo, not Iraq

If this ever got out--and it would--it would mean the President's impeachment and removal.

I don't really think this kind of "what-if" scenario is very useful. It tends to enflame but not enlighten, in my view.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM

And of course, now we've definitely left the realm of music. Such a discussion would belong below the line.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 02:25 PM

Ron, you've addressed the two scenarios I described as if I had described only one. Of course it would be impossible in the second case, i.e. the world as we know it now. My question about the likelihood of the second scenario was rhetorical. What about the other question, as to what would be different between that and conditions of dire emergency?

The first scenario talks about what could happen if 9/11 had been followed by several other similar attacks. You saw how much changed after one such attack. I asked you to imagine a continuing series of terrorist attacks on that same scale, perhaps including chemical, biological, or nuclear terrorism, attacks which normal methods fail to stop.

My point in suggesting that first scenario was to try to describe a change in US political reality comparable to that of two world powers declaring war on Germany in 1939 and two more in the next two years. I couldn't use the exact analogy because no world powers could declare war on the US now; and even if they did no one would link it to an ethnic minority in the US (except in the sense that Japanese-Americans were linked to World War II), whereas Hitler blamed "the Jews" for instigating both World Wars.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: weemo
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 04:38 PM

back to the question,songs and poems from every war fill everyone with horror whether they be world wars,civil wars,wars in far off lands where one wonders if we have anyright to be there in the first place.but a song may ease one's conscience but so long as MONEY is to be made OUT OF WAR no anti-war song will affect change.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: agingcynic
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 05:07 PM

i wrote a war song that changed me from having a few bucks in my pocket going into the studio to being in the red coming out. the war the song was about is still on; seems to be picking up steam.

that song is called 'all the good men' and you can find it on the music page of this site:

http://www.daveshiflett.com

peace unto you all


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: sing4peace
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 05:07 PM

If songs can't change anything, why do you think the BNP is so eager to infiltrate folk music groups?

??
JK


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 10:02 PM

Good point, JK; though, strictly speaking, it only proves that BNP believe that anti-war songs change something. How reliable are they? (I don't even know what the letters BNP are an acronym for.)


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 12:14 AM

I see no point to imagining a "series of terrorist attacks", and the political consequences of such a series.   If you put enough conditions on your scenario, you can always get the answer you want.   Sounds like stacking the deck to me.

And as I also noted, such a discussion emphatically belongs below the line.

Of course I'm far more interested in facts and in history than in speculation.    There are plenty of fundamental topics there.   Right now I'm reading a fascinating biography of Rommel--which deals with some of the issues we've been discussing.

The one which really grabs me is this paradox:   as the author puts it: "Rommel...represented soldierly virtue at its most talented and straightforward in the service of evil at its most vile."

He did eventually commit suicide--under pressure from that evil. But how he came to serve Hitler at all--not just willingly but enthusiastically-- is an amazing story. As is of course his gradual turning against Hitler.   I haven't made it past 1941 yet.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,Suzi Z
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 02:32 AM

This may not be the greatest...but taste is always subjective
Song by Ron Trueman-Border...

Folk Alley for the music
PRISONER OF WAR Key of D Capo 2nd
C G C F
There are no chains about our ankles. No shackles on our hands
C G/B Am Am/G F G
They say we're free to wander through these God forsaken lands
C G C F
Ah but freedom's just a word boys it does'nt mean that much anymore
C G/B Am Am/G F G C G
Everyman's a prisoner, a prisoner of war

They say the times are changing but time is standing still
In the ghettoes, in the killing fields the same blood's being spilled
And it flows down like a river and floods the jail-house floor
Everyman's a prisoner, a prisoner of war
C G C F
CHORUS; Everywhere I look now from sea to shining shore
C G/B Am Am/G F G C G
Everyman's a prisoner, a prisoner of war

They tell us they'll move mountains all in the name of peace
They say they'll strive to find a way to make all hatred cease
But their lies are only whispers lost beneath the cannon's roar
Everyman's a prisoner, a prisoner of war

The mother and the daughter, the father and the son
Each generation lives in fear of the soldier and the gun
It's the same the whole world over and shall be evermore
Everyman's a prisoner, a prisoner of war

CHORUS;

Pour down your bombs and missiles. Pour down you acid rain
We live under their shadow now and forever must remain
At the mercy of the tyrant, abiding by the mad man's laws
Everyman's a prisoner, a prisoner of war


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 11:38 AM

quote: I see no point to imagining a "series of terrorist attacks", and the political consequences of such a series.   If you put enough conditions on your scenario, you can always get the answer you want.   Sounds like stacking the deck to me.

And that sounds to me like a begrudging way of saying yes, you do agree that demented leaders, under extreme conditions such as a series of terrorist attacks or having all the other world powers declare war on them, can get away with things that would be unthinkable otherwise.

That's the simple reality that Buchan's article is based on. The Holocaust, which after the fact has been given as the primary proof that it was necessary to go to war against Hitler, could never have happened without that war, his dementia notwithstanding. If the the Polish junta, under orders from the Allies, had given back the 95 percent German city of Danzig that was unfairly taken away after WWI, then Hitler would not have been able to marshal support for an invasion of Poland. And his actions and statements prior to that indicate he'd have had no interest in it.

But the Allies were obstinate about Danzig, because they wanted Hitler to invade Poland. They wanted it as a pretext for going to war against Germany -- not because they wanted to prevent the Holocaust, and I hope not because they particularly wanted to unleash conditions that would lead to it, but because they didn't give the flying obscenity that Michael mentioned earlier what happened to the Jews of central Europe and were willing to sacrifice any number of people of any ethnicity in order to consolidate power and maintain supremacy.

Hitler's use of military force to repatriate German areas held by neighboring countries was deplorable, but it was nothing out of the ordinary among powerful nations, and trivial compared to the various wars the UK and US have launched before and since that time to gain and keep control of territory all over the world. It could not have been the real motive for going to war against him. It was a pretext, just as the 9/11 attacks were used as a pretext for invading Iraq, and probably an engineered pretext, like Roosevelt's ultimatum to Japan and the attack on Pearl Harbor that was Japan's only possible response.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: TonyA
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 11:44 AM

Suzi, I love your song.

But did you mean to post it at the Greatest Anti-War Song Ever thread? It would be a good addition to that thread, which will probably be a valuable resource for years to come.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: billhudson
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 11:57 AM

If only one person's mind changes after listening to a good anti war song then maybe that is the best as it gets. I remember doing a gig and it as veteran's day. At the time I was discovering Wilfred Owen's poems. There was this Viet-Nam vet at the bar and asked him if ever heard of him. He recited word for word one of his poems. I think we save this world bit by bit, song by song.


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: sing4peace
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 12:47 PM

Suzi -

Thank you for posting that song. I'm glad you posted it to this thread as it quite germain. It was a great contribution to the overall conversation. I was so impressed with this song that I am going to learn it.

So here you have helped this song to change one more person. Each song I learn changes me. Isn't that why we all sing? To change the way people are thinking or feeling? Not necessary in a propagandistic way but in a literal way - we sing a funny song in hopes of making someone laugh - a love song to move a heart -

Nice also to visit that website. I can see it being very helpful.

---

Joyce

(who, BTW, has not forgotten about providing a linky re: references to Prescott Bush and friends being sanctioned by the U.S. Congress in 1942. It is not a controversial statement as it is a matter of public record and not conspiracy theory. However, even our town research librarian - who I gave this assignment to - has found that the congressional records are not as available online as they used to be and she is having a hard time getting back to pre 2000. Interesting. Not to worry, I will find it and, thanks to Azizi, I will do the blue clicky thing and ta dah! Here it shall be.

The main point of my previous post (September 18, 2009) was in pointing out that we need to broaden our scope when we are reviewing the "lessons" of World Wars I and II if we are ever going to understand the context of our times here in World War III (or is it IV?) Frankly, I thought Bush was being honest when he referred to it as "the never ending war".

"Show me who profits from the war and I'll show you how to stop the war." Henry Ford (who should have known, eh?)


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: sing4peace
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 10:38 PM

Tony A. -

BNP stands for British National Party. You can find out more here: thread.cfm?threadid=123139&messages=658

---
JK


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Subject: RE: Have anti-war songs changed anything?
From: GUEST,Suzi Z
Date: 28 Sep 09 - 05:31 PM

Thank you both Tony and Joyce..sorry about the delay in replying ..I read the poets of the first world war as a young teenager and was deeply affected ...so much so that I've been a pacifist ever since..music has had an even deeper effect ..so it can change how you feel


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