Spending the last few days in borrowed space while cat sitting for my old cat, I’ve been perusing the books on the walls in the apartment I’ve holed up in. Today I picked up Witness Iraq, a largely pictorial war journal chronicling the few months the US was in Iraq tearing down Saddam’s regime. In it, I came across a letter of sorts—it’s either a blog post or something like it, written by someone serving during that time. I’m not sure why I’m posting it, and I can’t really justify it’s purpose on this blog by referencing it’s discussion of celebrities. But it struck me, so here it is.
>People are talking about boycotting celebrities who spoke out against the war.
>>You can count me out. I don’t look to celebrities to tell me how to think.
>>I make my own decisions. I volunteered to serve in the military. I worked hard to earn my officer’s commission. I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes the First Amendment.
>>Celebrities, like all Americans, enjoy the freedom of speech. I enjoy the freedom to not listen to what they have to say. Until they run for public office, their opinions hold no more weight with me than that of my garbage man.
>>Heard that Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins have taken some heat for speaking out.
>>I think they are fine actors. I loved Bull Durham—it’s a classic in my book. If Susan and Tim want to take advantage of their celebrity status to express negative opinions about my Commander-in-Chief, that’s their prerogative. I happen to disagree with their point of view.
>>Hey, I have people I call friends who have similar points of view to Susan and Tim. Some of them may have attended war protests, for all I know. We disagree, but they’re still my friends. I’m not going to stop returning their calls just because of their political opinions.
>>So why should I boycott actors, or musicians, just because they oppose what I’m doing? I think there’s room in our democratic society for dissent, as long as it is respectful.
>>So go ahead, boycott celebrities if it makes you happy. This American respectfully declines to participate. But that’s OK, I’ll continue to defend your freedom, just like I defend those celebrities.
>>Whether they want me to or not.
>>Posted by LT Smash at 04:28 PM, 04/22/03