Rock bands including Pearl Jam and REM have joined a coalition of musicians to support the US president's efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Um ... what "efforts?"
A "presidential effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison" would look something like this:
1) President picks up phone, tells operator to get the Secretary of Defense on the horn.
2) Ring, ring.
3) SecDef: "Hello, Mr. President."
4) President: "Close Gitmo. You have 30 days."
5) SecDef: "Yes, sir."
6) 30 days later: Camera pans across former Guantanamo Bay facility. No visible movement. Crickets chirp.
Gitmo isn't still open because the president's "efforts to close it" have failed. It's still open because he's decided, for whatever reason, that he'd rather keep it open than close it.
If REM and Pearl Jam want the place shut down, then the proper tool for getting that job done isn't "support" for non-existent "efforts," it's pressure.
Here's an idea for those guys:
- Form a coalition of artists and bands who agree in principle that this issue is a deal-breaker when it comes to their support for the president or any other Democratic politician.
- Get in touch with whatever "arts and culture advisor" or other bureaucrat might have the president's ear for 90 seconds every other Thursday.
- Let that advisor know that the coalition will be coming together, a la "We Are The World," to record a cover version of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," and that proceeds from sales of the tune will be donated to support a designated third party or independent presidential candidate.
- Follow through. If Gitmo's still open on the day of the recording session, do it. If you pick up the New York Times and see a "Gitmo Closed!" headline, record a sappy paean to the president's penile prowess or something like that instead.
memeorandum threads on this topic: Here and here