Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Anti-War Activist Banned From Performing At Walter Reed

John Mellencamp asked folk singer Joan Baez to perform with him at Walter Reed, but the Army denied her performance. Joan Baez is an anti-war activist who opposed Vietnam as well as the current war.

"I have always been an advocate for nonviolence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam War 40 years ago," she wrote. "I realize now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that's why I didn't hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, four days before the concert, I was not 'approved' by the Army to take part. Strange irony."

Irony is not the proper word ... more like retribution. To put it in a hippie term you might understand ... the cosmos realigned to bring karma back into balance with the earth.

The Post reported that Walter Reed officials did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday, but that in an e-mailed statement published Monday on, spokesman Steve Sanderson said the medical center received the request for participation by Baez just two days before the concert.

"These additional requirements were not in the agreement/contract and would have required a modification," Sanderson told the magazine's Web site.

Mellencamp's people didn't respond to this article, but told

"They didn't give me a reason why she couldn't come. We asked why and they said, 'She can't fit here, period.' "

I believe Mellencamp is telling the truth. The troops don't take kindly to anti-war activists showing up and singing anti-war folk songs as their buddies are still fighting.


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