Some People Will Never Get It

by James Glaser
February 25, 2003

Toby Keith and his band are coming to Duluth with his hit song, Courtesy of the Red, White, And Blue. The song was written in response to the terrible terrorist attacks of September 11, but the words are from a man that has no understanding of death, war, and what they bring with them.

Toby would like us to believe that America will get some justice out of attacking somebody. Not the terrorist because they are dead. Not some country, because terrorists have no country. In the song Toby says, "Cuz we'll put a boot up your ass. It's the American way."

I have to tell you I felt that same way before I went to war. Full of bravado, ready to take on the world, and full of big talk.

You know what? That all ends when the war really starts and as much as Toby would like America to swagger in and bust some chops, it doesn't work that way. America already tried to but a boot in Afghanistan ass, but when you find the dead kids and the mothers holding on to them and rocking back and forth with screams of sorrow, it kind of takes the swagger out of you.

When you have to put your very best friend into that body bag, you start to wonder just what this is all about. Now I am sure Toby Keith is a fine young man, but he hasn't a clue about what he is leading cheers for.

When America goes to war it is serious business and every man and women involved quickly realize that all the flag waving and all the cheering led by those in Washington are really nothing. There is no justice, nor glory, just you and the job you were trained to do. I always found it interesting in Vietnam to see the guys that had just arrived and those that were about to leave. War makes you a serious person, one that thinks about what you are going to do.

Many people in America think that's what we do, we shove a boot in somebody's ass. But that is not it. We explode people, hopefully the enemy, but more often than we would like, we are exploding women and children, people that have done nothing to us, in fact people that we would probably like, Children we would like to watch grow up

It isn't Toby Keith's fault that he wrote a song that glorifies war. It's the way most Americans think because they have never seen a war. Plus we now have a President that is cheering our nation on to war. President Bush, even if he hasn't consciously thought of it, is willing to kill thousands of totally innocent people so he can get Saddam Hussein. No matter how many times he talks about just wars and liberation, we are still doing the same thing those terrorists did. We are killing innocent people and for their loved ones, the loss is just as great as the loss of our people for us.

Toby Keith, I have no doubt will make lots of money with this song and he is certainly not the first to wrap himself in old glory to sell records for his benefit and gain. I do however hope that when you listen to that song, you realize that it is just a song to make money with and that those words may be the way a lot of Americans feel, but they have nothing to do with the reality of Justice and War.

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