Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Joan Baez Disinvited To Walter Reed 

It turns out that when John Mellencamp performed for troops at Walter Reed Army Hospital about a week ago he was supposed to be joined by Joan Baez. However, four days before she was scheduled to appear the Army turned her down.

In a letter to the Editor in today's Washington Post, Miss Baez says that she could have made a contribution to those returning from war. She writes:

I realize now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that's why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
As many of you know I am an admirer of Joan Baez. I love her music and for decades I have followed her political activism against war and for human rights. But in this case I do believe the decision to not have her sing at this event was correct.

She has been such a vocal critic of the war and specifically Mr. Bush that I think having her there would have been insulting to those who have risked their lives in Iraq and Afganistan. I have been to her concerts in which she has made the mistake that many liberals make which is confuse the personal with politics. In some of these appearances Miss Baez has tried to make jokes which I found demeaning to the office of the presidency. I have emailed this observation to her listserve. Perhaps in a reaction to comments such as mine in the last several years she has focused on her opposition to the war.

I do think that you can be against our country's policy in Iraq and support our soldiers. However, both of these positions need to be carefully and consistently handled with respect toward everyone.

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