Thursday, February 26, 2009

Darryl Worley and misguided patriotism

In the early days of the Iraq War, one song touched many Americans very deeply and was able to remain on Number One for several weeks. Outside the US, it has received little to no attention, but it's a very honest emotional testimony to the mix of patriotism, desperation, hatred and belligerence that caused so many US citizens to support a war that they would later recognize to be one giant mistake. We're talking, of course, about Darryl Worley's "Have You Forgotten?".



I hear people saying we don't need this war
But, I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
Applied to the Iraq War, one confuses a fight for freedom (which is necessarily a fight against aggression, but the Iraq War was, per definition, an act of aggression itself) and for the safety of one's common perimeter (Iraq was at no time a threat to the safety of the US, at least no such estimates have come to my attention) with an act of violence. Fighting for freedom doesn't entail bombing innocent civilians. No threat to American freedom originated from these unfortunate Iraqi people.

Additionally, a revolution against an oppressive monarch ("not backing down") is not quite the same as clusterbombing a foreign nation. Worley should've considered this possibility before cheering for war.

Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
Well, after 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right
A national trauma cured with the lives of peaceful, innocent civilians? That's sick.

I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fighting for
The sad thing is, while many of these soldiers do believe they fight for freedom, they're (not quite falsely) seen as an occupying force by a good number of natives and are being used to justify all kinds of tyrannical measures at home in the meantime.


The entire Iraq War should have never begun. Too many lives have already been lost due to it. There's no point in pretending that it "must be won", we can't let any more individuals die to fulfill a never clearly defined objective. It must end now. Every delay will cause new hurt and tragedy.

12 comments:

AmyK said...

It seems some ignorant people keep feeling the need to spout off about things they have no idea about. Have You Forgotten was NOT written about the war in Iraq. Nowhere in the song does it mention Iraq. And in fact there was no official war in Iraq when Have You Forgotten was written and released. Military operations against Iraq began at around 9:30 PM EST on March 19, 2003. By this date, Have You Forgotten was already in the Top 10 on the charts. In December 2002, Darryl played for the troops in Afghanistan, Kuwait, etc. When he came home he and Wynn Varble wrote the song about the war on terrorism and 9/11. Darryl and the Krew debuted Have You Forgotten at the Grand Ole Opry in January 2003. Within days Darryl’s record label was inundated with requests for the song. By the time they could get the song recorded and released it coincided with the issues in Iraq really heating up and moving close to war, so many thought it was about the war in Iraq but they are WRONG. Bottom line is that it was Darryl and Wynn that wrote the song and THEY should know what inspired the song. Have You Forgotten is 6 years old -- Build A Bridge And GET OVER IT.

Sphairon said...

Amy,
even though "Have You Forgotten" was not intended to endorse the Iraq War, you'll have to admit that many times it was used as an emotional backup of an Iraq War supporter's arguments. I tried to treat the song in this context. If it came across like I was directly attacking Worley, it wasn't meant to sound like that. The one time I mentioned him, my statement also applies to the Afghanistan War.

And I agree, we should always try to build bridges.

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