Obama is familiar with Bob’s “You masters of war/You play with my world like it’s your little toy/You put a gun in my hand/As young people’s blood flows out of their bodies you hide in your mansion/ the money will never buy back your soul.You lie and deceive/But I see through your eyes/And I see through your brain/And I hope you die/And your death’ll come soon/And I’ll stand over your grave ’til I’m sure you’re dead.”

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 chest from 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.

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 history 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.

Jay Janson is an archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer; has lived and worked on all continents; articles on media published in China, Italy, UK, India and the US; now resides in NYC;. Howard Zinn lent his name to various projects of his; Global Research; Information Clearing House; Counter Currents, Kerala, India; Minority Perspective, UK; Dissident Voice, OpEdNews; HistoryNews Network; Vermont Citizen News and others have published his articles, 250 of which are available at http://www.opednews.com/author/author1723.html Weekly column, South China Morning Post, 1986-87; reviews for Ta Kung Bao; articles China Daily, 1989. Is coordinator of the (King Condemned US Wars) and creator of Prosecute US Crimes Against Humanity Now Campaign fearuting a country by country history of US crimes. Studied history at CCNY, Columbia U., U. Puerto Rico, Dolmetscher Institut München, Germany; Korean National University of Arts, Seoul; Radiotelevisione Italiana, Rome; Zagreb Radiotelevision,Yugoslavia; Hong Kong Arts Academy.


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