1972, anti-war activists like Jane Fonda and Ramsey Clark traveled
to North Vietnam and in the process, helped shine a light on the
American tactic of bombing Vietnamese dikes. In 2006, rocker-rapper
Kid Rock traveled to Iraq because, he says, he wanted "to see exactly
what the soldiers are going through . . . and let them know they're in
our hearts." The times, they have a-changed.
In the latest issue of Blender
Magazine, Kid Rock talks about spending Christmas in Baghdad. He
tells his readers about "human feces literally spilling into the
streets" and how "our troops deal with it every day." There was no
indication of how the actual citizens of Iraq felt about sewers that
surely functioned better before the U.S. invasion. This isn't
radical chic; it's G.I. Joe for the rich and famous.
This was Kid Rock's second trip to the occupied nation. In 2003, he
took part in a show at Saddam International Airport. "Back then," he
explains, "it was like 'Hurray, we won! We fucking tore this country
up, and rightfully so'."
The second time around, the American Bad Ass ended up hanging with the
troops thanks to Senator Bill Frist ("he seemed like a cool enough
guy" Kid declares). His military tour guides made certain the Detroit
rocker saw all the important sites, for example, soldiers that "hooked
up" a school so Iraqi kids would "have fresh water" and, of course,
GIs just itching to re-up for another tour in Iraq to help "these
Did the Motor City millionaire have any conflicted feelings while
jamming in the Middle East? Well, the sight of soldiers' coffins gave
him pause (no word on how the many more dead Iraqis impacted him) but
he did learn you need a firm hand in the war business. "We know Saddam
had to go," a soldier told Kid, "but you gotta hand it to him: He knew
how to keep this country in line." The Kid's reaction? "Our guys are
trying to do it with democracy, but you could hear their frustration."
As a "higher ranking guy" explained to the affluent artiste, "We don't
create policy, we execute it." Therein lies Kid Rock's take-home
message: "Whether it's a right war or a wrong war, they've got their
papers and they've got to fight."
Sounds like the establishment won't be losing any sleep about a return
to Vietnam-era dissent. This ain't your father's activism.
is the author of several books, most recently 50
American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know (Disinformation
Books). He can be found on the Web at:
Other Recent Articles and Poems by Mickey Z.
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