Dixie Chicks – Not Ready To Make Nice
The Dixie Chicks are a country music band, currently comprised of Martie Maguire, Emily Robison and lead singer Natalie Maines. The band formed in 1989 in Dallas, Texas, and performed bluegrass and country music, bused and toured the bluegrass festival circuits and small venues for six years. The Dixie Chicks achieved massive country music and pop success, beginning in 1998 with hit songs like "Wide Open Spaces", "Cowboy Take Me Away", and "Long Time Gone". The Dixie Chicks also became well known for their independent spirit and controversial comments on subjects such as war and politics. On the morning of September 11, 2001, four commercial U.S. jet liners were high jacked by al-Qaeda terrorists and three of them hit targets, the World Trade Center (Twin Towers) in New York and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Over 3,000 victims and 19 high-jackers died in the attacks. A campaign was launched in 2001 with the invasion of Afghanistan in response to these attacks with a particular focus on militant Islamists and al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Somehow over the course of the next year and a half, Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein became the target of President George W. Bush and administration's top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. According to some reports, these officials made hundreds of false statements following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq and the myth of “weapons of mass destruction” in order to justify launching an attack of Iraq on March 20, 2003. Regardless of hundreds of anti-war protests throughout the U.S. (one of which I attended here in Austin) and protests abroad, the U.S. Administration turned a deaf ear. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was about to begin in spite of these frustrated worldwide objections to a needless war. Just ten days before the Iraq invasion, March 10, 2003, the Dixie Chicks performed a concert in London, England to start off their Top of the World Tour. During the introduction to their song "Travelin' Soldier", Natalie Maines, a Texas native, said: “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.” Maines’ comment angered many country music fans; there was a huge disapproving uproar, and the start of a boycott of Dixie Chicks' music that was financially damaging. On March 12, 2003, lead singer Maines attempted to clarify matters by saying, "I feel the President is ignoring the opinions of many in the U.S. and alienating the rest of the world". With this statement having had no effect on public opinion, Maines issued an apology on March 14: "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. We are currently in Europe and witnessing a huge anti-American sentiment as a result of the perceived rush to war. While war may remain a viable option, as a mother, I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American." While some people were disappointed that Maines apologized at all, others dropped their support of Dixie Chicks and they lost their sponsor, Lipton. In one famous anti-Dixie Chicks display, former fans were encouraged to bring their CDs to a demonstration at which they would be crushed by a bulldozer. There was a poll at the time that indicated 76 percent of former Dixie Chicks fans stated, "If I could, I'd take my CDs back". Across the country, radio stations refused to play Dixie Chick music. Film maker Michael Moore claimed that these boycotting radio stations were owned...
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