Stars turn backs on America's troops in Iraq


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rick_reno
December 24, 2005, 01:46 PM
We should - in turn - turn our backs on their movies/music/etc. Support the ones that support our troops - don't support the ones that don't.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,1673781,00.html

During world war two American troops away from home for Christmas were entertained by Marlene Dietrich, Bing Crosby and the Marx Brothers. Even in Vietnam Bob Hope was guaranteed to put in an appearance. But soldiers in Iraq are more likely to get a show from a Christian hip-hop group, a country singer you have probably never heard of and two cheerleaders for the Dallas Cowboys.
Just as the seemingly intractable nature of the war has led to a growing recruitment crisis, so the United Services Organisation, which has been putting on shows for the troops since the second world war, is struggling to get celebrities to sign up for even a short tour of duty.

It is a far cry from the days following the September 11 2001 attacks, when some of the biggest names in show business, from Jennifer Lopez to Brad Pitt, rallied to the cause. "After 9/11 we couldn't have had enough airplanes for the people who were volunteering to go," Wayne Newton, the Las Vegas crooner who succeeded Bob Hope as head of USO's talent recruiting effort, told USA Today. "Now with 9/11 being as far removed as it is, the war being up one day and down the next, it becomes increasingly difficult to get people to go."
Newton said many celebrities have been wary of going because they think it might be seen that they are endorsing the war. "And I say it's not. I tell them these men and women are over there because our country sent them, and we have the absolute necessity to try to bring them as much happiness as we can."

Fear is also a factor. "They're scared," country singer Craig Morton, who is in Iraq on the USO's Hope and Freedom Tour 2005, told USA Today. "It's understandable. It's not a safe and fun place and a lot of people don't want to take the chance."

The USO was founded in 1941 as a way of boosting morale for the military. For most of that time Bob Hope, who made his first appearance in 1942 and his last in 1990, was its most recognisable face, famed for putting on Christmas extravaganzas on aircraft carriers and American bases during the Vietnam war. Thousands of performers signed up to play the "foxhole circuit" during the second world war, but the USO has a much smaller list.

Some of the entertainers still willing to travel are die-hard true believers - rock musician Ted Nugent carried a Glock handgun to shows in Iraq last year and said in a radio interview that he manned a machine gun on a Humvee. But many of the USO's regular performers are fierce critics of the war, among them the comic and star of Good Morning Vietnam, Robin Williams, who told USA Today he would like to return to the Middle East in the spring for what would be his fourth tour since 2002. "I'm there for the [troops], not for W," he said in a reference to the president. "Go, man. You won't forget it. You'll meet amazing people," is his message to stars that ask him about the tours. But the comedian said he mostly tries to keep politics out of the show after he did a few jokes about Bush's brainpower at a base in 2003 and got a chilly reception.

Other critics of the war who regularly perform include the leftwing comedian Al Franken (who is headlining the current tour along with Christian hip-hop group Souljahz) and the punk legend and actor Henry Rollins, one of the Bush administrations most vocal critics.

The tradition of beautiful women thrilling the troops has continued - although while Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell showed up in Korea and Vietnam could boast Raquel Welch, in Iraq they have had to make do with sometime pop singer and reality TV star Jessica Simpson.

Wartime entertainers

Second world war 1941 - 1945

Bob Hope
Duke Ellington
The Marx Brothers
Judy Garland


Korean war 1950 - 1953

Bob Hope
Marilyn Monroe
Jane Russell


Vietnam war 1961 - 1975

Bob Hope
John Wayne
Raquel Welch

Gulf war 1990 - 1991

Bob Hope
Steve Martin

Iraq war 2003 - present

Robin Williams
50 Cent
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders

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Langenator
December 24, 2005, 01:55 PM
"had to make do with Jessica Simpson?" Apparently the Brits can't appreciate a red blooded American woman. I guess they're still going for the 'heroin chic' look.

And is Toby Kieth a country star nobody's heard of? Maybe if your a snobby Brit media type, but last I checked he was pretty damn popular with the troops.Actually, my wife's uncle, a C-17 pilot, got to fly him around.

Then there's Bruce Willis and John Elway, to name a few.

As for the "recruitment crisis", active Army hit something like 105% of mission the last two months. Amusiningly, the segment with the lowest numbers was the Air National Guard. All Army and Marine components were over 100%.

Kaylee
December 24, 2005, 02:49 PM
The caption on a paper I saw yesterday in the rack (I think it was USA today, not sure) mentioned that two of the USO entertainers were Al Franken and Robin Williams.

That must go over well. :uhoh:

edit -- ah, here we go:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2005-12-22-uso-cover_x.htm

I have to give Franken credit for this:
Franken said he confines his political gibes to his books and his radio program. "I know there are guys who hate me here, but there are a surprising number who come up with my book to sign," he said.

though this is also enlightening -
Williams said he did a few jokes about Bush's brainpower at a base in 2003 and got a chilly "red state" reception.

Drizzt
December 24, 2005, 03:41 PM
http://www.uso.org/pubs/8_16_2143.cfm

Tour Date Location Produced By

Sergeant Major of the Army Hope and Freedom Tour 2005
featuring Al Franken, Mark Wills, Craig Morgan, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, Keni Thomas, and SoulJahz TBD Persian Gulf USO

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Holiday Tour Dec. 15 - 26 Korea USO/AFE

Rich Little Dec. 7 - 16 Germany and the Netherlands USO/USAREUR

"Yours, Mine and Ours" Movie Screening Nov. 21 Washington, D.C. USO

Ron White and Robert Hawkins Nov. 20 - 29 Germany and Belgium USO/USAREUR

National Hot Rod Association Nov. 13 - 18 Germany USO

La Mafia Nov. 11 Ft. Carson, Colo. USO

Lonestar Nov. 4 Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, Miss. USO

Drowning Pool Oct. 30 - Nov. 4 Kuwait USO/AFE
Ty England

Marine Expeditionary Force Celebration Oct. 22 New River Marine Corps Air Station, Jacksonville, N.C. USO

Leeann Tweeden
Military Idol Finals Oct. 22 - 23 Ft. Gordon, Ga. USO

Hurricane Katrina Troop Support
featuring NBA Legends Darryl Dawkins and Artis Gilmore
Oct. 13 - 14 Gulfport, Miss. USO

Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band Sept. 30 Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. USO

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Sept. 26 - Oct. 2 Cuba USO/AFE

Don King and Sam Simon Sept. 26 Germany USO

Hurricane Katrina Troop Support
featuring Wayne Newton, Neal McCoy and Jeff Ross Sept. 20 - 22 Gulfport, Miss., and New Orleans, La. USO

Dave Attell Sept. 20 - 27 Kuwait and United Arab Emirates USO/AFE

Vince Vaughn Sept. 2 - 10 Kuwait and Iraq USO/AFE

Tito Puente, Jr. Sept. 1 - 12 Korea and Japan USO/AFE

Alex Skuby and Larry Romano Aug. 31 - Sept. 10 Germany USO/USAREUR

Henry Rollins Aug. 25 - Sept. 1 Egypt and Turkey USO/AFE

Chairman's Troop Visit 2005
featuring Colin Quinn, Jeff Ross, Gale Sayers and Leeann Tweeden Aug. 14 - 23 Germany, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, Djibouti, Oman, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, Hawaii and Alaska USO

Rascal Flatts Aug. 1 - 7 Iraq USO/USAREUR

"The Dukes of Hazzard" Film Premiere July 26 - 29 Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Miramar, Calif. USO

Ty England June 27 - July 5 Korea USO/AFE

Hootie & the Blowfish
National Guard Welcome Home Celebration June 25 Raleigh, N.C. USO

Chelsea Cooley,
Miss USA 2005
Shelley Henning,
Miss Teen USA 2005 June 24 - June 29 Cuba USO/AFE

Henry Rollins June 13 - 23 Korea, Japan, Guam and Okinawa USO/AFE

The NBA Legends with Kelly Clarkson
featuring Artis Gilmore, Gail Goodrich, Spencer Haywood and Dan Roundfield June 10 - 14 Kuwait USO

Charles Barkely and Roy Green June 8 - 15 Kuwait, Qatar and The United Arab Emirates USO/AFE

Fred Travalena May 18 - 27 Bosnia, Kosovo and Austria USO/AFE

Toby Keith May 12 - 23 Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Belgium and Germany USO/USAREUR

Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band May 17 - 27 Germany, The United Kingdom and the Nertherlands USO/AFE

Bobby Lopez May 1 - 14 Guam, Japan and Okinawa USO/AFE

Christia Mantzke April 21 - 30 Greenland USO/AFE

Adema March 30 - April 8 Kuwait and Iraq USO/AFE

USO and NFL Salute the Troops
featuring Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons and Lawrence Izzo of the New England Patriots March 29 - April 7 Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq USO/AFE

Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band March 13 Twentynine Palms, Calif. USO

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders March 8 - 21 Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom and Iceland USO/AFE

Colin Quinn March 7 - 16 Kuwait and Iraq USO/AFE

Leeann Tweeden and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels March 5 El-Centro, Calif. USO

Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan Band Jan 29 Naval Base Ventura County, Calif. USO

James Avery and Stephen Root Handshake Tour Jan 15 - 21 Guam and Kwajalein Atoll (Marshall Islands) USO/AFE

Carl Smith and Tina Wesson Jan 8 - 19 Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands USO/AFE

mercedesrules
December 24, 2005, 04:20 PM
Reno, are you pro-war (Iraq war) or anti-war?

jefnvk
December 24, 2005, 04:26 PM
Drizzit, the problem I see with that list is a lot of those shows are right here in America.

When I went to see Uncle Ted, I remember him showing video of him and Toby Keith's trips overseas, along with him mentioning he was going back.

Langenator
December 25, 2005, 01:52 AM
Getting performers to go overseas, even to safe places like Germany, is always tougher than getting them stateside.

Here at Ft Lewis, we've had NFL cheerleaders come to post just about every week during football season. But I've only seen the ones from Dallas go overseas.

We got Mary Chapin Carpenter when I was in Macedonia in 1997, and I saw Aaron Tippin at Ft Leavenworth in 2000.

Also, the logistics of moving those USO shows around in a combat zone has to be a major PITA.

bg
December 25, 2005, 05:10 AM
Regardless of how one feels about TV's pro wrestling, Vince McMahn ?
takes his crew to both Iraq and Afghanistan for holiday shows. I
watched one this last Monday night. 40* with the wind blowing and
these guys and gals where in their "costumes" for a lack of better
words, to do their matches and interact with the troops there..

To me this is a MAJOR plus. I sometimes forget how lucky I am to
have the things I have and the freedom to enjoy them. When that
happens, I refer to this >
http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/iraq_war_families/

Khornet
December 25, 2005, 08:36 AM
was left off the Vietnam list: Ann Margaret. She went to great lengths to entertain and support our people over there.

Lambo
December 25, 2005, 01:45 PM
During his 1st. Tour last year my nephew a USMC CH-46 Pilot provided Transportation for Toby Keith & Ted Nugent. They treated Nugent with a trip to the Range for a Bang Bang session with a 50 cal. Machine Gun. He had a smile from ear to ear!

hso
December 25, 2005, 02:01 PM
The list provided by the Guradian is woefully short of all the folks that toured in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

The fact the Toby Keith and Al Frankin both perform for the troops in Iraq is great! Support for the toops should not be confused with support for the politics that put them there and more performers should understand that.

yonderway
December 25, 2005, 05:12 PM
I can't stand Nugent's music (last time I saw him was probably about 5 years ago in Raleigh, NC opening for KISS) I think the man is one of the rare true patriots of our time. Almost a shame he doesn't jump into the political waters. The Nuge would make a kick-ass senator, no?

armedandsafe
December 25, 2005, 07:39 PM
Drizzit, the problem I see with that list is a lot of those shows are right here in America.

Twelve out 0f fourtyfour? Hmmmm

Pops

MikeIsaj
December 25, 2005, 08:50 PM
Fear is also a factor. "They're scared," country singer Craig Morton, who is in Iraq on the USO's Hope and Freedom Tour 2005, told USA Today. "It's understandable. It's not a safe and fun place and a lot of people don't want to take the chance."There it is. That says it all, right there!

IndianaDean
December 25, 2005, 09:24 PM
Good for Ted and Robin. I don't care about Franken however, because he's an anti-gun dope.

wingnutx
December 25, 2005, 11:41 PM
We got Joan Jett :neener:

MDG1976
December 26, 2005, 12:26 AM
"Had to make due" with Jessica Simpson?? Have they seen Jessica Simpson??

c_yeager
December 26, 2005, 01:01 AM
I dont really think that Holywood personalities have an obligation to go into a war. Yeah, its nice if they do it, but I fail to see why they should have to. They are people who do jobs, just like everyone else. Heck, their jobs are far less usefull than most. Anyone who is staying at home with a skill that could be used by the military is in no position to criticize anyone else for doing the exact same thing.

DRZinn
December 26, 2005, 04:22 AM
Gary Sinise & The Lt. Dan BandNow THAT's funny!

wingnutx
December 26, 2005, 04:26 AM
I dont really think that Holywood personalities have an obligation to go into a war. Yeah, its nice if they do it, but I fail to see why they should have to. They are people who do jobs, just like everyone else. Heck, their jobs are far less usefull than most. Anyone who is staying at home with a skill that could be used by the military is in no position to criticize anyone else for doing the exact same thing.

+1

GlenJ
December 26, 2005, 07:33 AM
I'd like to see the Bush twins enlist in the Army and go over there. That could be there rebellion against there father since he dodged going to Nam the PC way.

captain obvious
December 26, 2005, 07:42 AM
or just send the bush twins over with USO....:D
(worked at WVU before '04)

MikeIsaj
December 26, 2005, 08:19 AM
c_yeager: No one is saying they have an obligation to go anywhere. The fact is that in the entertainment industry there is a tradition of going to the troops to entertain them, particularly during holidays. The fact that these present day entertainers don't seem eager to honor that tradition says something about them. Do you think performers in the past weren't nervous about going to a war zone to entertain the troops? I'm not saying they should be forced to go, just realise what it says to some of us when they are afraid to go.

Greedy, selfish, cowards is what it says to me. And until they show some courage, their anti war politics mean nothing to me.

mercedesrules
December 26, 2005, 05:17 PM
...Support for the troops should not be confused with support for the politics that put them there ...

Why not? :confused: They volunteered to prosecute the war. They are the willing enforcement arm of the state. It makes no sense to hate the war but support the troops.

Double Naught Spy
December 26, 2005, 06:51 PM
We should - in turn - turn our backs on their movies/music/etc. Support the ones that support our troops - don't support the ones that don't.

Oh, this must be like the whole Vietnam traveling war memorial that a vet could not get money from a particular local Target store and therefore went on the internet rampage that blossomed into a full blown spam event. The idea was to really hurt Target stores (that employees several hundred vets nation wide) so as to force them into giving a donation. What a cluster bomb that was. Turns out that Target is one of the leading companies in the US when it comes to donations but the moron author of the spam never checked into it, played the poor crybaby, and demanded action.

When you ask somebody to volunteer to do something, it is just that. You are asking them to volunteeer and you have to be prepared for them to say no. It takes on a nasty fascist tone when you attempt to hurt (even financially) those who don't volunteer for what you think they should volunteer.

Heck the notion of punishing those stars because they don't want to go overseas sounds down right Unamerican to me.

When you look at the events actually schedule in threatre, not safe havens such as Germany, Belgium, Japan, or in the US, but actually in theatre, the list grows longer. Why? If compared against the likes of Bob Hope, remember that Bob Hope consistently went in theatre for USO shows. Hell, even outspoken Vietnam War protester Johnny Cash went to Vietnam to entertain troops.

On top of that, we will have to turn our backs on everyone else who isn't a vet and who isn't working in a voluntary position to support the US troops, here or overseas. What apply a double standard and boycott only famous people?

Start this Sunday in church. Turn away from the church all those who do not fit the acceptable criteria of serving the troops or having been troops. It will be strange when you can let in one family member, but not another, but do you want to be worshipping with somebody who isn't putting in time supporting our troops?

Yes, the suggestion is way overboard and is intentionally that way just as the notion of boycotting all the famous people that are currrently NOT involved in volunteering their time for the troops.

The draft is not mandatory and entertaining the troops should not be mandatory either.

It would be a lot better than instead of boycotting everyone not involved in supporting the troops in the manners that you see fit, do something beneficial instead. Keep in mind that boycotting is something of the wussy passive aggressive kind of thing to do because boycotting means not doing something like buying the product of some entertainer. So it costs nothing. Instead, when you go to buy and album of some singer or movie of some actor that does support our troops, buy 3 copies. Keep one for yourself and send the other two copies in care packages overseas. You will be rewarding that entertainer that supports the troops and you will be giving the troops more entertainment as well, further promoting the pro-troops entertainer amongst potential new fans if they aren't fans already.

I know, it sounds crazy. After all, such a process would cost each of us some money and probably most of you who want to boycott certain stars, in part because it doesn't cost you a darned thing, will come up with all sorts of excuses for not buying pro-troop entertainer products and sending dupes overseas.

TonkinTwentyMil
December 26, 2005, 07:57 PM
was left off the Vietnam list: Ann Margaret. She went to great lengths to entertain and support our people over there.

Yep, Anne Margaret's a real trooper.

She toured with the Bob Hope gang, along with Rosie Grier (NFL), the Les Brown Band, the Gold-Diggers (dancers), and Miss Universe in 1968-69 (Vietnam, Gulf of Tonkin). She was (and still is) One Hot Babe.

We drew straws on my ship to see who'd give up their junior-officer bunkroom rack for her to sleep in overnight. I lost. A buddy won. He later auctioned-off the sheets in which she slept!

TonkinTwentyMil
December 26, 2005, 08:35 PM
I'd like to see the Bush twins enlist in the Army and go over there. That could be there rebellion against there father since he dodged going to Nam the PC way.
Oh, just give it up, dude... and go back to Dem. Underground.

The Angry-Lefties continually screaming this bullsnit about Bush conveniently overlook these facts:

1. That he was actually in the "active duty" Air Force for about 20 months... the standard time required to process any college grad at the time through (a) Officers Candidate School, (b) basic flight training, and (c) advanced Jet training. Just because one eventually served in the A.N.G. does NOT mean the Pentagon had just waved a magic wand and pinned lieutenant's bars and pilot's wings on some "draft-dodging party-boy" at a charming ceremony. ALL flight training has a significant "wash-out" rate, too. Bush stuck.

2. At the time he signed up, the jet aircraft he eventually was trained in (the F-104) WAS, in fact, seeing active combat duty in Vietnam... including pilots FROM Air National Guard units.

3. The reason the F-104 jet was phased out of Vietnam combat duty (and relegated to being primarily a stateside interceptor) was because of its unfitness for the evolving tactical "air war" needs of the Vietnam War. The Pentagon eventually declared it obsolete for Vietnam, in no small part because of its vulnerability to groundfire -- as proven by its significant operational losses.

4. That the "pilot attrition rate" (deaths from non-combat flying accidents) for the F-104, during both training, Vietnam service, AND non-combat stateside Air National Guard service, was significantly above average for USAF aircraft. Remember, this was an operational FACT during Bush's subsequent years of service in the Texas Air National Guard.

The reasons you don't know this are:

1. Few, if any, in the contemporary MainStream news Media (MSM), EVER served in the Military. Accordingly, what they actually KNOW about such matters (to help give their reportage honest perspective) wouldn't fill a puke bucket.

2. In case ya hadn't noticed, the above MSM has a well-documented political bias. Surprise, surprise.

3. Liberal partisans tend to also (a) know little about the Military, (b) hear what they wanta hear... while filtering-out facts which undercut their positions -- like the fact that there is a HUGE difference between being a junior grunt in the Air Guard... and being a pilot of a jet fighter aircraft there.

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