And the band played on

Was talking with a sister last week about her eldest daughter’s engagement to an Australian and she brought up the song “Waltzing Matilda”, how she was unfamiliar with it and he’d introduced her to the song during his Christmas stay with the family. My mind went immediately to “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” done originally by Eric Bogle, later by the Pogues and others. I forget there’s any other version. But no the one she’d heard was the anthem, not the anti war song.

I texted myself so I’d remember to find and download “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. Both the recordings by Pogues and Bogle, which I used to have.

I did today.

And I choked up as I listened to Eric Bogle sing. And the tears rose up out of the choked throat and sat at the edge of my eyes, for I nearly always cry when listening to this song. But I managed to not cry and I thought it was over as I sat to write this post, the song playing again…

I was caught unawares, cracking into a sob. Then another. I had to stop writing.

It’s just the kind of cry I needed after reading last week about Bush’s remarks on the war on March 13th.

“I must say, I’m a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed,” said President George W. Bush in a Thursday video conference.

He was responding to civilians and military personnel who gave him an earful about the problems in Afghanistan where the war has dragged on for over six years.

“It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks,” continued the 61-year-old Bush.

You can download the Bogle version of the song I was listening to here. The link is down toward the bottom of the page.

Casualty of Evidence

Heretik yesterday remembers the tragedy of Kent State in a highly personal way, and points also to Bushmerika as a place of information for those who weren’t here yet or too young to remember or who want memories refreshed or who don’t know the surrounding details.

Check the page out. There are photos. Faces.

The photos mean something. They have identity. They are the record of the moment. History is engraved in them.

Several weeks ago I began a posting on how with Afghanistan and Iraq, the practice of concealing from the public the faces of prisoners became common. A legion of the faceless destined for Guantanamo Bay or housed in Iraqi prisons, one of the excuses was protection of the identity of the individual.

This WWII poster by Ben Sahn (1942, NARA Still Picture Branch, NWDNS-44-PA-245)referenced Lidice, a Czech mining village obliterated by the Nazis in 1942 in retaliation for the shooting of a Nazi official by two Czechs. The men were killed during a 10 hour massacre and the women and children sent to concentration camps. But, in a sense, that is the small print, which it literally is on the poster. The bigger picture is the hood and the handcuffs. The hood imparts more than a simple concealment of identity. It rightly associates with it the obliteration of the individual.

Continue reading Casualty of Evidence

One learns when one is two that a big fat square will not fit through a little peg hole. Intelligence is judged by some on an ability to recognize and accept this fact

In the comment area of Washington Monthly’s this article which states Italian Foreign minister Fini has rejected the U.S. account.

Is it any wonder? At dailykos is a summary of Gianfranco Fimi’s testimony to the Italian House of Representatives. Paper Tigress listened to the testimony at La RepubblicaRadio.It and prepared the summary which is also up on her website.

Continue reading One learns when one is two that a big fat square will not fit through a little peg hole. Intelligence is judged by some on an ability to recognize and accept this fact

I want to read Giuliana Sgrena’s story

CNN executive, Jordan Eason, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is said to have said that the U.S. military deliberately targeted journalists–he knew of about 12 who’d not only been killed but had been targeted as a matter of policy.

Jordan Eason, reportedly having said to have said the above, then resigned from CNN and said he hadn’t meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when they accidtantally killed journalists.

Today comes the news of another U.S. checkpoint slaughter in Iraq. This time the car taken aim at was one in which was Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, just released after being held hostage for a month. She was wounded. The Italian secret service agent, Nicola Calipari, who had facillitated her release “threw himself over her” and was killed. Two other agents were wounded.

Continue reading I want to read Giuliana Sgrena’s story