Sunday, March 22, 2009

If I knew the way, I would take you home

I am attending our yearly commemorative candle-lighting tonight, for the thousands of American dead in Iraq. It is YEAR SIX of the Iraq War. Do you believe? YEAR SIX.

I find I do not want to go; I find the sight of all those candles (one for each soldier) simply stunning (not in a good way) and almost utterly overwhelming. What possible good could come from thousands of dead enlisted personnel; thousands of once-alive, vibrant young souls?

Why are we still in Iraq, again?

Depressed, confused, talking to God (okay, arguing!) and feeling the futility of it all. And yet, giving up is not an option. I have never known how to do that. (See previous post: I have 4 Virgos in my astrological chart!)

As Deadheads know, there is only one song for these occasions.


~*~

Ripple (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)


If my words did glow
with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice
come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

Its a hand-me-down
the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand
if your cup be empty
If your cup is full
may it be again
Let it be known
there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men

There is a road
no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go
no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow.

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall
you fall alone
If you should stand
then who's to guide you?

If I knew the way, I would take you home.



~*~

Do yall have any idea how many versions of this are on YouTube? Maybe hundreds.

This one is particularly nice in that you can hear the audience singing along.



Ripple - Grateful Dead

8 comments:

Annie said...

I was vehemently opposed to the Iraq war from the start. Groups of people here would stand on the traffic island with big signs at one of the main intersections and protest, before we invaded and long afterward. To no avail, obviously. Wish I could tell you why we are still there, but the reasoning seems cloudy, at best. What about profit? And greed. Those reasons get my vote.

I loved the acoustic sets they opened with in October 1980. We saw 8 of the 14 Warfield shows, which may have contributed to how old I feel lately! They did the same thing at Radio City,as I am sure you know. They always closed with Ripple and we always sang along. Deep sigh. :)

mikeb302000 said...

Good for you, Daisy. Thanks for sharing it.

Dw3t-Hthr said...

If you can't bear the candles, I don't know if you want to follow this link, but I wanted to at least mention it - a friend of mine got so frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement of the war dead that she built a war memorial on her property.

http://walkofthefallen.com/

SnowdropExplodes said...

This seems like the place to mention that in the UK, at the Cenotaph (a monument to the dead of the 2 World Wars) a woman was arrested simply for reading out the names of the British soldiers killed in Iraq. It was deemed to be a "political protest".

When somewhere between 1 and 2 million people protested, and we still went to war, it makes you wonder. As for why we're still there, it's because the leaders who authorised it needed a clear victory, never realising that there could be no such thing. It's worth noting that the first graffiti in Iraq after the fall of Saddam that opposed the presence of Allied troops appears just a few days after the statue was pulled down: it said to the Americans, "Job done, now go home"...

Hugo said...

Hurrah. The song always makes me tear up, and I hadn't seen that Youtube version. Thank you.

Peggy-O said...

"What possible good could come from thousands of dead enlisted personnel"

How about freedom for over 25,000,000 people? How about human rights restored to them, human rights that we often take for granted, human rights that they did not have under Saddam Hussein? Iraq was a black hole on this planet we all share. Now it has hope.

Through history we've learned that freedom is very, very costly. It's comes sadly when innocents are killed, when soldiers are killed. That, inevitably, is the what it takes to achieve a greater good. If we never fought wars because of the cost of human lives, evil would reign supreme and no one would be free. If it's so important that we be free -- why not others?

DaisyDeadhead said...

Peggy-O: How about freedom for over 25,000,000 people?

Why are the Iraqis now begging us to leave, then?

How about human rights restored to them, human rights that we often take for granted, human rights that they did not have under Saddam Hussein?

Why are the Iraqis now begging us to leave, then?

Iraq was a black hole on this planet we all share. Now it has hope.

Why are the Iraqis now begging us to leave, then?

Apparently, in your misguided and uninformed arrogance, you aren't listening to the actual people in question. They are tired of our decimation of their country and the necessity of living on two hours of electricity a day, and want our asses OUT, posthaste.

Through history we've learned that freedom is very, very costly.

Umm, how is no water, medicine, food and electricity "freedom"?

You wouldn't last ONE FUCKING MONTH in the conditions you expect these people to live under.

It's comes sadly when innocents are killed, when soldiers are killed.

That is not "sadly"--that is barbarism, evil, outrage, wanton savagery. Cynically using people for cannon fodder, as the Dubya Admin openly did, is a horror. "Sad"--my ass.

No, YOU and the war apologists are the "sad" ones, since you are so profoundly ignorant and brainwashed.

That, inevitably, is the what it takes to achieve a greater good.

If you believe this twisted evil nonsense, you are as bad as the vicious butchers who started this war. I assume you voted for their sorry asses.

The blood of American soldiers and the Iraqi people (including babies and innocent) children, is therefore on your hands. On Judgment Day, you will have plenty to answer for.

If we never fought wars because of the cost of human lives, evil would reign supreme and no one would be free.

Do not shift the subject from the specificity of the IRAQ WAR to ALL WARS... this war was fought under false pretenses and lies: there are no Weapons of Mass Destruction. TOTAL LIES.

There is no defense for lying to the American people--that is called DELIBERATE DECEPTION. And it is ALWAYS WRONG.

Why do you defend liars and lies?

If it's so important that we be free -- why not others?

And as I said, how is going without medicine, water, electricity, etc etc for 22 hours a day "freedom"--do you have ANY EARTHLY IDEA about the conditions inside Iraq, due to our military meddling?

Read a book or two first, before posting here, please. I don't welcome people who defend liars, thieves, pigs and general evil.

(((crosses self, lights candle to keep away the deluded demons)))

SnowdropExplodes said...

Peggy-O:

I repeat what I already said:

It's worth noting that the first graffiti in Iraq after the fall of Saddam that opposed the presence of Allied troops appears just a few days after the statue was pulled down: it said to the Americans, "Job done, now go home"...

In other words, the freedom came relatively cheaply. The vast majority of civilian and soldier casualties have come since then, in Dubya's determination to make Iraq a puppet regime and a base of US operations in the Middle East.

Not to mention, the oil. Had the invasion been handled properly, the infrastructure would have been the first priority, and fixing the water, power and health services could have been done in 40 days (if you doubt this, remember that when Saddam was in power after the 1990 war, he managed to get the electricity supplies up and running that quickly after the US bombing). If the US forces had focussed on the needs of the Iraqi population instead of on securing oil, then the resentment and anger on which the the insurgents preyed to mobilise violence, simply would not have developed as it did.