Norm Solomon on A Time of Butterflies and Bombs, and about the upcoming Woodstock reunion concert this month, and about Country Joe's new song.
"We saw butterflies turning into bombers. And we weren't dreaming. At the time when the Woodstock festival became an instant media legend in mid-August 1969, melodic yearning for peace was up against the cold steel of American war machinery.
The music and other creative energies that drew 400,000 people to an upstate New York farm that weekend rejected the Vietnam War and the assumptions fueling it. Thirty-five years later, the Jimi Hendrix rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner could still serve as an apt soundtrack for U.S. foreign policy, with bombs bursting in air over urban neighborhoods across much of Iraq.
A Woodstock reunion, scheduled for Aug. 20-22 in the town of Bethel, N.Y., comes while the gap between the nation's commander in chief and huge numbers of its citizens is enormous.
Among those on the bill for the 35th anniversary event is the Country Joe Band. Its four musicians were original members of Country Joe and the Fish. No doubt the band's upcoming Woodstock performance will include "Cakewalk to Baghdad," a caustic tune based on boasts -- from such right-wing media darlings as Richard Perle and Ken Adelman -- that the U.S. military's quest for victory in Iraq would be a "cakewalk.""
Lyrics and link to Real Player version of the song (scroll down for full lyrics ... Real Player link at left)
"I remember back, before we whacked Iraq
I was watching the news, were we gonna attack?
A man named Richard Perle came on and talked
He said going to Baghdad would be a cakewalk
Cakewalk to Baghdad,
Cakewalk to Baghdad"
It ain't the Feel Like I'm Fixin to Die Rag, but I like it. What's the saying? Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. ;-)