Vultures Row: A Neil Young Fatwa?

A Neil Young Fatwa?

The following post is in response to a comment by RP1 from Rockphiles on our previous posting concerning Neil Young.

Just a bit of trivia:  Did you know that in the parlance of the US Navy, RP1 Means Religious Program Specialist, First Class?  The reason I mention this is that I was, among other things in my naval career, an RP2.  I served ten years active duty and three in the reserves until a medical condition precluded any further service.  Thank you for recognizing my contribution to the nation.  In addition, my brother served, my father served, my grandfather served, his father and grandfather and great grandfather had also served our nation.  I am a sixth generation sailor and proud that my son is considering the call to duty also.  You asked if any of my family has died in the line of duty.  Yes.  Yes, I have had Family and Friends fall in battle.  I have also had friends die as a direct result of terrorist attacks, including shipmates that died in the attack on USS COLE.  

Does my service, my family’s service, my pain and suffering at the loss of my friends and family make me any more or less qualified to comment on war in general?  You seem to think so.  

“…at least he is preceding from a place of personal knowledge about war…Bush, Jr. bungled this current mess, simply because he has no military experience.”

First of all, President Bush was in the military.  This is a fact.  Somehow the issue of his performance evaluations has been so twisted and convoluted that it is now accepted by the left, as evidenced in your own words, that he never served.  This is incorrect. It is a hard cold fact that President bush was in the Texas Air National Guard, was a commissioned officer, and a trained F-102 pilot.   If he has no service how could there have been such a kerfluffle over his fitness reports with Dan Rather?

I think that your position that only a military leader can lead the military in war is not only wrong, it is childish. By your own logic you should refrain from commenting on the subject if you have not served.  However perusing your reasoning, 12 of the 43 presidents would not have been qualified to lead the US Military therefore the following people should never have been president of the United States:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
Martin Van Buren
Millard Fillmore (Served in the militia during the Civil War, after his Presidency.)
James Buchanan
Grover Cleveland
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
William Jefferson Clinton

If you are insisting that service in the reserves, the national guards, or militias, we can also say that:

Rutherford B. Hayes (23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment)
Benjamin Harrison (70th Indiana Infantry Regiment)
Chester A. Arthur (New York State Militia)
Theodore Roosevelt (New York National Guard, 1st US Volunteer Calvary Regiment)
James Polk (Militia Cavalry Regiment)
Lyndon Baines Johnson (USNR)
Richard Milhous Nixon (USNR)
Thomas Jefferson (Virginia Militia Regiment)
Gerald R. Ford (USNR)
Harry Truman (Missouri Army National Guard)
William McKinley (23 Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment)
John Tyler (Formed a company for defense of Richmond, VA but never part of the armed forces)
Abraham Lincoln (Illinois Militia)
Ronald Reagan (USAAC US Army Reserve)

Could not have been presidents because they did not serve and would have “no of personal knowledge about war…simply because he has [they had] no military experience”

That being said, I did not criticize the content of Mr. Young’s statements other than the fact that he calls President Bush our president when he is clearly not Mr. Young’s President.  Mr. Young is a citizen of Canada and has enjoyed making the majority of his fame and profit from America but has never bothered to become a citizen, but he expects the right to complain about our president, which is a little disingenuous, and that was the point of the post.  

“I don't think the President needs the vulture to defend his position”
Where in the Neil young post did I mention President Bush, let alone defend him?  The closest you can come is when I quoted from Young’s own song.

“Mr. Vulture seems to be actively flapping around blog world today, making sure to share his opinion about Neil Young as if he is on a - excuse me - jihad of sorts. We were delighted see him share his opinion over at the Rockphiles blog.“

I would like to point out that one post and one comment on your blog is hardly “a jihad of sorts”.  In order of fairness I am quoting my comment at Rockphiles.

Another has been trying desperately to recapture the glory days of his youth. Instead of evolving, Young tries to play on the listener’s political emotions instead of creating something original or interesting. The best thing that can be said about Living with War is that he is allowing free downloads.

My comment was clearly a review of Living with War as a work of art, and not a political commentary.  I have reviewed the work and I found it boorish and uninspiring.  I have always liked Rockphiles as it has been a great site to review music.  If comments that are contrary to your opinions are not allowed I will refrain from making any more.

“And interesting that we are now resorting to silly personal remarks about Neil, when we obviously don't have the intellectual acumen to refute his position except to name call, accuse him of not being an American”

RP1, again please show me where I insult Young.  I took issue with his calling himself an American, which he is not, and I reviewed his latest offering, which I found to be a simple rehashing of his glory days.   I did not make the leap from a critique of a washed up pop star to my personal feelings about the war on terror, you did.  

“Please everyone - grow up. This is not defensible. War is wrong. Bush messed up. There were no WMDs. Saddam did not attack the Towers. We should not be in Iraq.”

You stated “In war nobody wins”.  I beg to differ.  Even in Afghanistan, you can honestly tell me nobody won?  Women can now seek an education and can be doctors, lawyers and politicians.  Can you honestly tell me that they did not win anything?  They have their freedom, and yes, people did die for it, but many, many more are free.  Freedom has a price and that price was paid by men and women who volunteered to fight for it.

“What is right about war? Perhaps what you say is what bin Laden says to his followers. It's a dirty job, and so on. Don't you see how the knife cuts both ways?”

What would your answer be to bin Laden? Are you suggesting that we appease him, give in to his every demand?  Are you ready to become a Muslim living with 7th century technology?   Can you honestly tell me that the sacrifice of a relative few was not worth it to the many, or is it your belief that women should be oppressed in to total submission, that there should be no freedom of speech, that you may only worship the state chosen God?

Because you have a personal objection to the concept of war simply does not make it wrong.  It was not wrong to fight the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War, World War One, it was not wrong to fight Hitler and Tojo, it is was not wrong to fight in Korea, Viet Nam, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, nor was it wrong to go into Afghanistan and Iraq.  

You see no reason to attack anyone, no reason for war.  I ask you what should we do when terrorists attack us?  Your aversion to war is not shared by those who hate us, those who wish us dead, and indeed those who are claiming to not rest until we are completely destroyed.  If you can propose another method of ensuring they will never again attack us, and kill three thousand of our countrymen I would love to hear it.  Giving them land, building houses for them and giving them money doesn’t work, because that has been tried and led to more attacks.  It emboldens them and sends the message that they can threaten to attack more and make more demands.  

The simple, ugly fact is that terrorists declared war on us, and will not stop until either we or they are dead.   We have a choice to make.  We can be cowards and appease them, giving up our rights to freedom, speech, equality, and religion or we can take a stand and deal with them once and for all.


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