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Country Weekly - April 29, 2003

Readers flooded our mailbox with letters responding to Natalie's Bush-bashing comment.  Here's a sampling.
Natalie Maines may not like President Bush or agree with his views, but she shouldn't have stood before a foreign country and made the remarks that she did.  I will bet you there are lots of Texans who are ashamed of her right now.
-- MRS. J.D. NEAL, Lake Charles, La.
I applaud Natalie!  Do those who want to boycott the Dixie Chicks and destroy their CDs have a problem with freedom of speech?  It seems they are saying we should have freedom of speech but not exercise it.  Well, I say: Good for you, Natalie.  Destroy my CDs?  Not a chance.
-- BILL LAJAUNIE, West Los Angeles
They wait until they leave the country, blurt out their seditious excrement on the eve of war, then whimper that it's free speech, as if that justifies the foulness of their treason.  I am so sick of these entertainers who have taken so much from this land, and who then turn around and mindlessly rend it like wild dogs.
I believe it is President Bush who should say he is ashamed to be from the same state as Maines.  But unlike her, he has manners, respect, courtesy and the common sense to know when to keep his "freedom of speech" to himself.
-- DEBRA SPRADLIN, Farmland, Ind.
I am so sick of people bitching about the Dixie Chicks for what they believe in!  What a shame to call the nation the "land of the free" when someone can't express their own opinions of others.
-- ANNIE PLANTE, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
I'm embarrassed and ashamed that Natalie Maines is from Texas.  She and Tom Daschle should be exiled to France.
-- CRESSA JENNINGS, Sheffield, Texas
The comment that Natalie made about the president has been blown way out of proportion.  Natalie has apologized and that's all she can do.  She made a mistake at a very bad time but she won't be the last to do it.  It's time to forgive and forget and get behind our troops.
-- SCOTT WETTERICH, Cincinnati
She has opened her big mouth one too many times.  I feel sorry for Emily and Martie.
-- RON JENSEN, Portland, Ore.
Maines cannot say she is for our troops, but is against their commander-in-chief.  The troops and their commander are inseparable.  As we are on the verge of war, a disruption to the morale of the soldiers cannot be tolerated.
-- RALPH OLIVER, Colorado Springs
The Chicks may be ashamed of President Bush but I am ashamed of their fans and the stations that are boycotting the group.  The Chicks are exercising their right of free speech.  The fans and stations are engaging in economic terrorism.  No one in this country should be forced to keep silent from fear of retribution.  That is what separates us from totalitarian countries.  Americans have a long history of mocking, criticizing and even hating their presidents.  That right keeps our country strong and out of the hands of dictators.  Many people in this country are not convinced that war is the right answer and do not think Bush has proven why we should invade Iraq or that Iraq is connected to 9/11.  My fellow country fans should be true Americans by upholding our Constitutional freedoms rather than blindly insisting that we all love our country by unquestioningly following the president.  There would not be an America is we had unquestioningly followed the king in 1776.
-- REBECCA KIRKMAN, Morristown, N.J.

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