Freedom to Screech

Do you remember the Dixie Chicks?  This female group was the nation’s hottest country band back in 2003, when they went to Great Britain on an international tour and wound up destroying their career one night on a stage in London.

The “Chicks” were in London just days before U.S. ground forces invaded Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Pandering to European anti-war sensibilities, the group's lead singer, Natalie Maines, said to a packed audience: “We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

The Brits responded as I’m sure she expected them to. Even in 2003, President Bush was a despised figure by the elitist international left -- depicted as a war-mongering, ignorant cowboy from Texas.

Back home in the U.S., things were a little different. The American public generally viewed the Dixie Chicks' comments not only as rude and disrespectful, but unpatriotic as well. However, among the nation’s country music fans, the “Chicks” quickly became pariahs. These music fans were, if nothing else, flag-waving patriotic folks.

The Dixie Chicks' music career slid almost immediately into the toilet. American concert dates were canceled and people refused to buy their CDs. After giving the big middle finger to their fans back in the U.S., the group argued that they had been silenced -- censored, if you will -- by supposedly intolerant, war-loving country music fans.

But there's a point to my little walk back down musical history lane.

The Dixie Chicks have become just another musical asterisk, but the larger point is the inability of liberals and leftists to accept responsibility for their actions.

The Dixie Chicks had every right to make unpatriotic fools of themselves that night in London, but the American public also had the right to judge their comments and reject them and every note they played. Natalie Maines had insulted America and trashed an American president ... while on a foreign stage!

But let’s fast forward the tape a few years.

Earlier this year, Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren was invited to speak on U.S.-Israel relations at the University of California, Irvine. But Muslim activists from the university's Muslim Student Union were also there and tried to prevent the ambassador from speaking.

In succession, the Muslim activists stood up and repeatedly shouted down the ambassador, saying that he was “propagating murder.” To loud cheers from other activists, one by one they were removed from the auditorium and led away by security guards.

You can guess what happened next.