Dixie Chicks

As you may be aware, the Dixie Chicks (a US country group) are in some hot water as they said 'we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas'. This has had people boycotting their records, organising rallies against them and phoning radio stations to get their records yanked from the playlist.

This is at a time when the US is fighting for 'democracy' (well, they're fighting for many things, it seems to change all the time). The dixie chicks have not said things which might be construed as wishing the US/UK soldiers harm. What they've said is that they're not particularly impressed with George dubya Bush, not the greatest deduction ever.

Is this not the very thing which the US should be proud of, the fact that one CAN (at least on paper) criticise the leaders? In fact, it should be the right of a citizen to criticise the leaders, if not the duty. Not only that, but they should be able to do so safely.

Indeed, a criticism of the leadership is not necessarily a criticism of those brave souls who are following orders, on both sides (one suspects that the average Iraqi soldier has little clue of what this is all about, except that his wife and family are in harms way). Though we should recognise that the dividing line can be thin, and now we are in a conflict, we can only hope for a speedy, permanent and peaceful, resolution.

Of course, one should recognise that it is an individuals right to speak out against the comment that the Chicks made, and to spend their money as they wish, but some people could be taking this to extremis by threatening the personal safety of the Chicks.

A town in the US is currently debating whether to give the Chicks the keys to the city to recognise their right to free speech. This is not without some controversy, see also this article, and this one.

One wonders, if McCarthy could be returning. 'Are you now, or have you ever in the past not supported the President'.... who incidentally, should be Al Gore.