Posted by guest blogger Renee.
Apparently a little fued is brewing between country singer Toby Keith and the actor Ethan Hawke where by Keith takes exception to some article Hawke wrote for Rolling Stone about a 2003 incident that took place between Kris Kristofferson and someone who Hawke keeps anonymous but seems to be describing Keith.
While the soap opera of it all bores me and probably you, one thing did irk me. According to Hawke, Kristofferson ended up telling Keith "Have you ever killed another man? Huh? Have you ever taken another man's life and then cashed the check your country gave you for doing it? No, you have not, so shut the (expletive) up. You don't know what the hell you are talking about."
Kristofferson (conveniently?) doesn’t remember any of this but did think that the Hawke article was a "beautiful story" and considers him, as well as Keith friends.
Now, I was curious about Kristofferson’s service since if indeed he did say anything close to what is quoted, while still being wrong, at least one could know where the man is coming from. But from a bit of research on the ole interwebs, which is not unto itself conclusive in any way, it seems while Mr. Kristofferson did serve he never took "another man's life and then cashed the check your country gave you for doing it".
This is where the whole Chicken Hawk (e) argument always backfires on the person leveling the charge. First, if you’re going to walk the walk, talk the talk, so to speak, it’s still wrong but at least you don’t look like a total fool. Secondly, the premise doesn’t work, ever.
Everybody has a right to an opinion about anything in this country even if you don’t agree with it, especially if you don’t. Military service and/or combat experience is not required to express opinions. I’m surprised a Rhodes Scholar like Mr. Kristofferson doesn’t understand that.
Using Mr. Kristofferson’s criterion his friend Mr. Hawke shouldn’t spout off about the Iraq War. I’m sure a few combat vets would love for Mr. Hawke and those like him to keep their mouths shut, but I digress.
Now, fast forward to today and Pres. Obama’s surprise six minute visit to Iraq. It seems the president wants the Iraqis to "take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty" and he wants then to know "they have a steady partner with us". I’m sure the Iraqis feel that someone who wanted us to cut and run is suddenly a "steady partner" because he now flies in Airforce One.
He also said "Now that we're there," the U.S. troop withdrawal has to be done "in a careful enough way that we don't see a collapse into violence." Well, we were "there" while the then Senator Obama wanted to us to leave and could’ve cared less if Iraq collapsed "into violence."
But the kicker may be this one, "… as long as I'm in the White House you're going to get the support that you need and the thanks that you deserve from a grateful nation". Yea, I wonder what the results would be of a survey of the troops as to who they feel has given them more support over the last 6 years of the Iraq War, the current CinC or the former? I’m not sure what is more infuriating, the insinuation that there wasn’t support or gratefulness from this nation before you President Obama took office or that we’re suppose to somehow forget that you showed neither before January 20th? They are both insulting and new lows, even for you, which is saying a lot.
I’m sure Mr. Kristofferson will be calling Pres. Obama’s Blackberry any day now to tell him "You don't know what the hell you are talking about".