The Dixie Chicks Were Right
by Amy Branham
Last night, while surfing for something to watch on the television, my husband ran across the show “Austin City Limits.” The Dixie Chicks were playing, so he stopped his surfing and we watched them perform. It was good to see them up on stage performing again, especially in a Texas venue, though I do believe the show was a rerun from about a year ago.
As I listened to the songs they performed, I thought of what the Dixie Chicks had been through because they dared to voice an opinion contrary to that George Bush and the war in Iraq. They have had death threats, nearly lost their careers, and have virtually been blacklisted in country music. Their patriotism and right to life have been called into question time and time again, their CD’s burned. Yet they came back, full of defiance, to sing and perform for us again, to a new crowd and fans that were happy to see them back.
I couldn’t help but think, as I sat there listening to them, that the Dixie Chicks were right… They dared to speak the truth..
When Natalie and crew spoke out, when so many others spoke out again the war in Iraq during the lead up, we should have listened to them. They had more sense than so much of the rest of our country. We were caught in fear, and that fear was used to fan the flames of war.
When the Dixie Chicks spoke out, my son and the sons of my friends were still alive. They had just released a CD that had a song called ‘Traveling Soldier’ that tore me up every time I heard it. I could imagine that traveling soldier being my son, going so far away from home, writing letters to some girl back home. I could imagine my son coming home in a box and his name read in a memorial to the war dead. I could imagine…
Yet I could not, even in my wildest dreams, have imagined the true despair, the true heartache, the true fear and the pain I was to later experience.
3,422 American sons and daughters have died since this hideous war began. If we had only stopped and listened to the voice of reason, such as the Dixie Chicks or so many of the others who cried out to our nation’s leaders to not hastily go to war, those men and women would still be alive today. 25,378 soldiers would not be wounded and facing the rest of their lives learning to live with their wounds. Countless civilians of Iraq would not have had to bury their dead. If only we had listened to some voice, one voice, any voice, of reason.
But we did not listen. And now, when I listen to the Dixie Chicks defiant song, "I'm Not Ready To Make Nice," I can stand up with my head held high and say, Hell, yeah! I’m not ready to make nice. I’m not ready to back down. I’m mad as hell… You get the picture.
The Dixie Chicks were right.