Bacharach Takes A Stand


Pop composer Burt Bacharach has written his first lyrics in a career spanning nearly 50 years, expressing his disillusionment over the war in Iraq.

The 77-year-old, who wrote songs such as Walk On By with lyricist Hal David, has written a number of political songs on his latest album At This Time.

“I had to do it. This is very personal to me,” he said.

Bacharach previously left David and his ex-wife Carole Bayer Sager to write the lyrics to his songs.

“I thought that was very important because I couldn’t have somebody else write these lyrics.”

He added: “I never was a political person in my life. I wrote songs during Vietnam, not about Vietnam. I was just writing love songs. Leading my own life in my own insulated world.”
(Source: BBC News)

So Burt Bacharach, a 77-year-old geezer, never known as a radical, is questioning the US invasion and occupation of Iraq?

And yet…

All our drug-guzzling, celebrity-whoring, model-shagging “rebel” rock stars are saying… fuck-all?

This really shows the bankruptcy of modern rock and indie culture. What used to be the music of rebellion, of revolution, of non-conformists, punks, queers, troublemakers and people your Mum generally didn’t want you to know has become the music of saying nothing.


All the contemporary rock bands who are busy fucking the corpses of the ’80s, ’70s, ’60s or whenever are missing the point. If you rip-off, say, Gang Of Four or McCarthy or MC5 or Neil Young, it’s not enough to just wear similar clothes, take similar drugs and play similar chords. You’ve left out the most important thing about those artists: their politics. The result is karaoke rebellion, about as dangerous as a Tory MP singing along to James cocking Blunt, a complete fucking sham.

If you’re a musician reading this, you have a choice. With fame comes power. If you’re a famous rock/indie band, you could use that power to highlight the great evil being done in Iraq, you could make your legions of fans think about who they vote for, you could raise issues the mass-media want to avoid. I’m not saying you have to preach, but you could at the very least question and explore. Like Bacharach.

Or you can say nothing. Like the people who kept quiet when Hitler came to power in Germany, you can turn a blind eye to the evil being done. You can ignore the 100,000 Iraqi dead, slaughtered by us, much as some Germans chose to ignore their missing Jewish neighbours. Why rock the boat, eh?

You just keep your mouth shut, keep working on that fashionable drug habit and looking pretty for the cameras.

Spain Seeks Extradition Of US Killers

Jose Couso
Jose Couso

A Spanish judge issued international arrest warrants yesterday for three US soldiers who face being put on trial in Madrid for the killing of a Spanish television cameraman during the Iraq war.

Lieutenant Colonel Philip de Camp, Captain Philip Wolford and Sergeant Shawn Gibson of the US Army’s 3rd Infantry Division were wanted for questioning as suspects in the killing of José Couso, from Spain’s Telecinco channel, according to the warrants.

“I order the … capture and arrest of the US soldiers, with a view to extradition,” said Judge Santiago Pedraz, an investigating magistrate at the National Court.
(Source: Common Dreams)

This is another news story you’re unlikely to see as the top headline on the evening news. It’s just one more life lost to the “shock and awe” of the US blitzkrieg on Iraq. An invasion so contemptuous of world opinion that its tanks shelled hotels full of journalists, citing the lie that it was “returning fire.”

But why has Spain had to issue warrants for arrest? Surely the US is the upholder of international law, the great protector of freedom and democracy?

Judge Pedraz said he had issued the warrant because the US government had not replied to his requests for help as he investigated Couso’s death.

It was “the only way of ensuring the suspects became available to Spanish judicial authorities, given the complete lack of cooperation,” from the US, the judge explained in a written document.

“Most of the international press was in the Hotel Palestine, where they had gone from the Hotel Rashid, following the Pentagon’s own recommendations,” the judge added.

A US State Department official told Reuters this year: “I just cannot imagine how any US soldier can be subject to some kind of foreign proceeding for criminal liability when he is in a tank in a war zone as part of an international coalition.”
(Source: Common Dreams)

How arrogant is the US? It won’t even deign to co-operate with due legal process in Spain, one of its former coalition partners.

Once again, the US is ignoring countries that are demanding justice for their murdered citizens, writing them off as unfortunate casualties of war against an evil enemy who must be defeated. Whatever the cost in innocent human lives.

Sounds a lot like something Al-Quaeda would say, doesn’t it?