Bob Dylan Allows Masters of War to a Put Medal Around His Neck

by jay janson

In a White House ceremony on May 29th, Bob Dylan, a beloved war protest singer and anti-imperialist songwriter celebrity stood before cameras as the Presidential Medal of Freedom was laid on his chestfrom behind by the most recent of the twelve US presidents since Truman that have done the bidding of a community of private investors engineering atrocity wars and covert violence upon defenseless and colonially plundered small nations

Tens of thousands of Bob Dylan fans dedicated to making America’s illegal and undeclared wars unacceptable and inoperable in the name slain Martin Luther King Jr’ demand, must have winced.

Obama is ordering death in more than a dozen Muslim nations and taking credit for having initiated the deadly bombing for four of them.

Thousands of the more bitterly disappointed must have thought of no longer being able to stomach listening to Dylan’s, previously inspiring antiwar recordings.

But more thousands, perhaps millions, world wide, your truly included, will discount a strange and contradictory moment, in which, Bob Dylan, now elderly and frail looking, lets himself be used by an corporatist backed angel of death to make it look like even this wonderful singing humanitarian might  perhaps support Obama’s lies for taking the lives of so many of us and our children.

What Bob Dylan expressed in singing of the power of truth that will some day sweep away the insanity of wars for money and put our pathetic war criminals in their place, will always remain infinitely more important than the composer and artist himself to a mankind still imprisoned and tortured after centuries of rule by investment banking.

Of all Dylan’s poignantly sung songs of imperialist wars, his Masters of War stands out as the most penetrating. It projects an bitter determination that masters of war (might we not say, like Obama) and their minions and co-conspirators and accessories before the fact in crimes against humanity will most surely come to be prosecuted.

One suspects as the momentum for bringing the full weight of the law down on sixty-three years of illegal and undeclared wars for maintaining, as Martin Luther King Jr. emphasized, “unjust predatory overseas investments, Obama, in between administrating Wall Street’s violent genocidal reach toward fulfilling absolute global hegemony and economic looting supremacy, might reflect on the lyrics Bob Dylan’s Masters Of War- as much applicable today as when first performed in 1963:

Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.

You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
You play with my world
Like it’s your little toy
You put a gun in my hand
And you hide from my eyes
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.

Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.

You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion’
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.

You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins.

How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
Though I’m younger than you
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.

Let me ask you one question
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
I think you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul.

And I hope that you die
And your death’ll come soon
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I’ll watch while you’re lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I’ll stand over your grave
‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

Post Script:
To add insult to Bob and perhaps seeking to compromise his integrity before media audiences, that afternoon in the same ceremony in the Oval Room, Obama honored, with the same Presidential Medal of Freedom, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, irrevocably infamous for her heartless reply on 60 Minutes (5/12/96) to a question about U.S. sanctions against Iraq:

‘We have heard that a half million children have died. That’s more   children than died in Hiroshima. Is the price worth it?’  Secretary of State Madeleine Albright replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

In 2003, Albright, while holding a high position on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange, was involved in a compensation scandal which resulted in her resignation. She currently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations Board of directors [shudder], Not very nice company for a hero of the common man with a world wide reputation of inspiring decent folk to resist the oppression of Wall Street rulers.

Shall we be disappointed? No. Let us just be sorry for a pathetic end to a contribution that spoke to the many suffering death and maiming of loved ones and destruction under capitalism’s final stage of global imperialism, now aiming and preparing for a new world-wide conflict that will realize trillions of dollars in profits monthly from use of its present massive investments in weapons of mass destruction.

Maybe an elderly Bob has been suckered into thinking that murdering Taliban (Students of God) and suspected enemies of America (brave men fighting the most powerful high tech Armed Forces in the histroy of the world in dozens of countries), is somehow different as the murdering of Vietcong defending their poor country that was ongoing at the time of his strongest protest songs.

We end this sad denunciation of a war promotion effort to make Bob Dylan appear to be betraying himself and the poor people he sought to defend and empathize with, with a quote from one of Dylan’s contemporaries, shot down as was Martin Luther King jr., surely for having been too influential in a time of easily exposed deceit to an American public not quite so decadent and war willing as today’s.

“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends.” – John Lennon

We cannot know what Bob Dylan might come to do about this obvious and horrible contradiction intentionally featured in media this week, but throwing medals of honor back by those ashamed of holding them has become a popular practice to relieve one’s conscience.

This entry was posted in American Military Culture, Barack Obama, Events, The Left's Challenge and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Bob Dylan Allows Masters of War to a Put Medal Around His Neck

  1. Sad…where have all our heroes gone…long time coming…and of all people, Dylan!! I think George Harrison, John Lennon, and all the anti-war, anti-Fed heroes would scratch their heads and turn over in their graves if they knew…

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