Friday, June 11, 2004

FIRST MOZZER, NOW BRUCE: George W must be wondering if he has any friends left - not only has Morrissey wished him dead, but now Bruce Springsteen has broken America's playing-at-Diana Reagan truce to run the text of a speech by Al Gore on his website. It's actually a pretty good speech, too - better than Gore's guest slot on Futurama would have lead you to expect. We doubt if Bush has any stump speeches planned which will take in DeSade, Goethe and Freud. And it cuts very firmly to the chase:

"There was then, there is now and there would have been regardless of what Bush did, a threat of terrorism that we would have to deal with. But instead of making it better, he has made it infinitely worse. We are less safe because of his policies. He has created more anger and righteous indignation against us as Americans than any leader of our country in the 228 years of our existence as a nation -- because of his attitude of contempt for any person, institution or nation who disagrees with him.
He has exposed Americans abroad and Americans in every U.S. town and city to a greater danger of attack by terrorists because of his arrogance, willfulness, and bungling at stirring up hornet's nests that pose no threat whatsoever to us. And by then insulting the religion and culture and tradition of people in other countries. And by pursuing policies that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent men, women and children, all of it done in our name.
President Bush said in his speech Monday night that the war in Iraq is "the central front in the war on terror." It's not the central front in the war on terror, but it has unfortunately become the central recruiting office for terrorists. [Dick Cheney said, "This war may last the rest of our lives.] The unpleasant truth is that President Bush's utter incompetence has made the world a far more dangerous place and dramatically increased the threat of terrorism against the United States. Just yesterday, the International Institute of Strategic Studies reported that the Iraq conflict " has arguable focused the energies and resources of Al Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counterterrorism coalition." The ISS said that in the wake of the war in Iraq Al Qaeda now has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks.

Not all of Bruce's fans are able to follow this - presumably the ones who thought Born In The USA was an anthem, and Springsteen has been careful to clarify his position:

"People come to my shows with many different kinds of political beliefs; I like that, we welcome all. There have been a lot of questions raised recently about the forthrightness of our government. This playing with the truth has been a part of both the Republican and Democratic administrations in the past and it is always wrong, never more so than when real lives are at stake. The question of whether we were mislead into the war in Iraq isn't a liberal or conservative or Republican or Democratic question, it's an American one. Protecting the democracy that we ask our sons and daughters to die for is our responsibility and our trust. Demanding accountability from our leaders is our job as citizens. It's the American way. So may the truth will out."

Mind you, he's not carrying all his fans with him on this, as some of the threads on the official message board demonstrate; although we doubt if Bruce will be too upset that he's no longer going to sell records to the sort of dickwad who believes "99% of terrorists are Muslim."

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