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Saturday, March 12, 2022

Still Living With War... Deja Vu Yet Again?! - UPDATED

Living With War by Neil Young - 2006

Sadly, we're still living with war.

And judging by the beat of the war drums, it looks like we'll soon have another kinetic war front open up in Ukraine, eastern Europe and likely elsewhere, very, very sadly.

If there was ever an artist to which the label anti-war sticks, it would be Neil Young. Over 50 years since "Ohio" and Kent State, the tin soldiers are still marching onwards toward war.  Except this time, not just some random regional conflict to keep the War Machine primed, but full on discussion and encouragement to get a full blown World War #3 going.
Military madness, indeed.

Last month, as the war drums started beating, Neil Young penned an editorial on  Neil Young Archives: VIEWPOINT: The Apotheosis of War.
“The Apotheosis of War” 
by Vasily Vereshchagin
(Click photo to enlarge)

In a followup, Neil Young writes "Streets are the Stage for Change" and asks:

"THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP FOR HUMANITY and let the whole world know who they really are."

With military madness continuing to kill our countries, what's the average citizen of the world to do?

Obviously, we're Still Living With War -- both in our minds and hearts -- because it's all just deja vu, all over again and again and again ...
In a 2008 article on Who Got Iraq Right? by Greg Mitchell and Tom Engelhardt, they include Neil Young and his album Living With War as an alternative voice for:
"... exposing the criminal nature of, and the many costs of, the Iraq war that have emerged from an "alternative" universe that includes former war correspondents, reporters for small newspapers or news services, comedians, aging rock 'n rollers, and bloggers, among others. "
As Neil Young has stated: "History is a cruel judge of overconfidence."

Neil Young Signs "PEACE"

More "Shock And Awe" coming our way.

Once completing the album Living With War in 2007, Neil Young played the album for his label Reprise and than immediately gave a live interview to CNN. For many fans, this was Neil at his finest -- speaking truth to power.

Neil Rocks on CNN

(This is still an amazing clip some 15+ years later)

So did "Living With War" become the rock equivalent to the film "Fahrenheit 9/11"? For critics, it seemed to be the case.

 "CSNY DEJA VU" Film Poster - 2008
Part performance, part documentary and commentary, the film CSNY Déjà Vu is a call to peace and remains relevant today. Because if we ignore the lessons of history, we do so at our peril.
From album "Living With War", the title track's lyrics continue their prescient revelations on today's times. so, carry on.


[Try to remember peace (visualize) ]

"I join the multitudes
I raise my hand in peace
I never bow to the laws of the thought police
I take a holy vow
To never kill again
To never kill again

I'm living with war in my heart
I'm living with war in my heart and my mind
I'm living with war right now"

Despite what the critics wrote negatively about the album -- if nothing else -- Living With War was the most courageous album of 2006.

no war
No War
Greendale Film still


More on CSNY: Deja Vu Film.

Also, see:
- Premiere of 'CSNY Deja Vu' at 2008 Sundance Film Festival
- Deja Vu Preview Footage on YouTube
- Interview at Sundance: Bernard Shakey Explains CSNY Deja Vu
- Concert film 'Deja Vu' polarizes Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fans
- 2006 Crosby Stills Nash & Young Freedom of Speech Tour

Crosby Stills Nash & Young - 7/6/2006 - Camden, NJ
2006 Freedom of Speech Tour
photo by Buzz Person (via

Also, see Crosby Stills Nash & Young Freedom of Speech tour comments. More at Commentary on Politics of CSNY Freedom of Speech Tour.  (Ah, those were the days.  If you think you're stressed today, you should've been here back in 2006. or is just deja vu all over yet again!?) 

And we'll probably do this again in 2032 ... if only ... at the least, for our "Families".


UPDATE:  This week's Thrasher's Wheat Radio episode features our Special Guest Davy from Scotland who discusses the connections between albums Deja Vu and Living With War amidst the backdrop of ongoing global unrest.



Thrasher's Wheat Radio 2.0 Vodcast/Podcast - Episode #14
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At 3/12/2022 03:38:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

All right, let's get CSNY back together again to give us some more instructions on how to live in peace and harmony. A lesson taught by 4 guys who after 50 years, hate each other more than they ever did before. Yes, more versions of Teach Your Children and Ohio should be just the thing to stop Putin in his tracks.

Thankfully, we do have Joe Biden and Kamala Harris leading the charge towards peace, and based on everything that's gone on here in the US since they have taken control of the wheel, I have no doubt that this Ukraine conflict will be over very soon. And if it isn't, don't worry, the Biden administration will find a way to lay the blame on just about anyone for their failures. It will be Trump's fault, or Covid's fault, or Putin's fault, or NATO's fault, or Joe Rogan's fault, or my fault, or your fault. Just don't blame Joe, Kamala, Nancy, Chuck, or any Democrat. What can they do really? They only have control of the White House and Congress. There's only so much they can do.

At 3/12/2022 07:01:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Richie, you and I disagree on a lot. But we agree maybe on the fact that Biden seems pretty worthless. If you look at his history, especially going back to the 1990's, he helped pass some very bad laws (the crime bill set the country back 100 years on race relations and racism).

But forget all that, because my problem is that he is not anywhere near progressive enough.

watching defenseless people be slaughtered and then the refugees and so on, it is simply unbearable. I cannot adjust myself to sanctions as an entire people and their civilization are pointlessly ruined. (Remember, this has happened before, Stalin starved the Ukraine in the 1930's with no mercy, none.) I think we have a moral obligation to do more, and I mean even military intervention- although it might be too late. Remember when that convoy of Russian soldiers and weapons was sitting on that road for three days? Well, that convoy could have been totally destroyed in an air strike.

Don't get me wrong. Trump is still in the causal stream here, as he is a pathetic coward who kissed Putin's ass.

But we need to something more. This is intolerable. We are watching war crimes.

At 3/12/2022 08:28:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Interesting that Trump was a "pathetic coward" in dealing with Putin, yet there was no military action on this scale from Putin between 2016 and 2020, yet Putin's major military aggression has taken place when Obama, and now Biden, were in office.

At 3/13/2022 04:35:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

As for military interventionism: The people here in Europe do not want Putout to determine our fate or the fate of the Ukraine. But to make no mistake: There will not be an American president to determine our or Ukraine's fate either. So far Biden is just doing fine for the majority of Western and Central Europe. Nobody here wants the US cavalry saving the day. This conflict is nothing that can be ended by the West militarily without triggering chains of consequences beyond everybody's control.

And while many European people have to concede at this point that it was an illusion to trust in economic and cultural cooperation with a pseudo-democratic system turned into a neo-czaristic regime, we now have to live with that. That also includes bearing the pictures of millions fleeing under the heavy fire of the aggressor while we wait that the sanctions will come into full effect. That does not exclude supporting the Ukrainian forces any way we can without NATO being drawn into direct physical confrontation. All of that asks for massive support to Ukrainians on all economic and social levels, here in the relative safety of Central Europe and in Ukraine.

At one point not too far in the future Putin will learn that he can not win this asymmetric war. Unfortunately this also includes kicking the whole of Russia into a deplorable state of poverty for years to come. At this point also many Russians already try to leave their country. It is expected that with the total fail of Putin's original plans they will now declare the state of war for all of Russia, effectively closing the borders for Russians who want to leave. It is estimated that a mere 8% of the Russian population is supporting the attack on Ukraine, while the remaining percentage is subject to Putin propanganda. They will learn at their ATMs, at their McD restaurants shut down, in their hospitals and driving their failing cars that there is something dead wrong about the "special operation". (How long did it take for the American people to realize that the Vietnam war was more than just some military aid in the context of the domino and containment theories?)

At the central station of Munich Ukrainian children, women and elderly persons arrive by the thousands every day (The Ukrainian capital Kiew, like Cincinnati,OH by the way, being one of the partner cities of Munich). This very rich country will do every thing we can. And while it may seem ridiculous to many watching from far away: A lot of people shut down their gas-operated heating systems and stopped driving their cars. Nobody wants to concede a bloody Euro to Gasputin, if we can help it. To think about something like that, I suggest, is more realistic than dreaming up superhero US presidents saving the world for one more day.

At 3/13/2022 10:53:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Dionys, I was not thinking of some superhero US president saving the day. I was thinking of some form of military intervention, especially an airstrike aimed at a stalled convoy- and it was only an idea. There has to be a moral obligation here, a very strong one. Generations are being harmed. The country is being torn to pieces. How long will it take to rebuild it?

I believe Biden stopped Russian energy imports and the US does not depend on Russian oil as much as Europe (not nearly as much). But there is no way US citizens will stop using their cares and trucks (which they don't need) or anything else, they will just complain about the cost.

And this will drive US oil production, and from this some will get even richer. Some few will profit from this turn of events, which is another reason why it is so sickening.

At 3/13/2022 12:00:00 PM, Blogger Dionys said...

Of course we all have these ideas. A coordinated conventional NATO effort would have the Russians run for home in a few days, were it not for the nuclear option. But these short and mid-range missiles are aiming at European, not at American cities.
As for the moral obligation: there are still many options how to meet that. The sanction catalogue is not exhausted yet. I know that there are large Ukrainian communities in the prairie provinces of Canada, are there any in the US midwest? They will have ideas how to support their relatives.

Hereabouts people also complain about the cost (gas prices in Germany are at 8,00$+ a gallon), but then again in this densely populated country a lot of us have alternatives like public transport. So besides climate change and Putin's war our bank accounts are another incentive to shut down what isn't absolutely necessary.

I agree with you on the US energy production perspective. One of the reasons for Germany's dependency (mostly the industrial sector) on Russian gas and oil is that this country did not want to buy fracked product because fracking is banned in Germany for environmental reasons. Unfortunately the last two Merkel administrations did not enough to expand on renewable energy, they could have done a lot more.

My friends and I are in touch with Native American communities who will suffer under these circumstances because big oil will feel invited to increase their activities now. "sickening" is quite an understatement.

That's another reason why NYA appears to have fallen silent more or less, I guess. Facing political gun point brings all environmental activities to a sudden halt. I wrote them that I appreciate their (Neil Young's) silence at present and I am pretty much convinced that he will be trying to do his part in standing with Ukraine.

At 3/13/2022 12:19:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Folks - quite an impressive discussion here on these times. thank you so much for contributing dialog.

as long as we're all still speaking, there is always hope for peace.

as for us here @ TW?

We share our thoughts on the music and the message @

Thrasher's Wheat Radio 2.0 Podcast - Episode #14 |Episode #14 | Still Living With War + Deja Vu Again | Hosted by

This week's episode features our Special Guest Davy from Scotland who discusses the connections between Deja Vu and Living With War amidst the backdrop of ongoing global unrest.


At 3/13/2022 03:07:00 PM, Blogger Mister Henry said...

Much appreciation to Dionys for first Comment.

Love and protect the children. Please be nice whenever you can. Take quick action but don't worry so much.

The Ego seeks to separate and divide. The Spirit seeks to unify and heal.
--Pema Chodron

Maybe one day we'll be strong enough
To build it back again
Build the peaceable kingdom
Back again
Build it back again
--Patti Smith

At 3/13/2022 10:50:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Of course, we DON'T have all these ideas.

I am also certain that we have FAILED on the moral responsibility, as the causal chain goes back a long way and NONE of it is about anything LIKE moral responsibility.

We are NOT doing what is required.

At 3/14/2022 03:01:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

Maybe that's my geographical bias. "We", I intended to say, are people world-wide who are informed and compassionate and therefore have an opinion. I did not intend to include individuals who do not meet these criteria. Maybe there are more of those on other continents.

Moral obligation: A moral obligation is limited by the capabilities of the carrier of such an obligation. An obligation that extends to the possibility of annihilation of the carrier is a heroic stance, but to sacrifice your existence (and the chance to ever improve the situation) is not what can be demanded from anyone. Beyond their present rhetoric Ukrainian politicians knew that since the revolution in 2014.

German and other European politicians carry several moral obligations: For obvious historical reasons, they carry a moral obligation towards the Ukrainians as well as the Russians (mind: it's Putins war, not the Russian's) but it was Germany's war which sought to annihilate both peoples in 1941 - 1945. European politicians carry a moral obligation towards their own peoples. Burdened with these obligations the military option is no option for Western Europeans, thanks to the balance of terror the former super powers established after the Second World War.

The causal chain goes back to 1989 when under Glasnost and Perestroijka the Soviet Union fell apart and everybody in the west thought that a democratic process and development was just a given, and a chance to do some little business on the side.
Still that does not justify an aggression of the kind we are witnessing. We failed on our moral obligation at least since 1999 when Putin came to power by turning the blind eye. No use crying over spilled milk. The moral obligation now is to limit the damage. And that's the hard thing to do while watching the news about the war in Ukraine.

At 3/14/2022 09:34:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Mister Henry - good to see you again our old friend. been awhile.

drop by again sometime. it is in these times that we seek wisdom, comfort and solace of the wiser ones.

@ Dionys - likewise, it is in these times, that we seek the perspective of those closer to the front with more at stake. also, your grasp on the long view of history is imperative.

there are way too many in positions of power who are in this for the short term benefits only.

As Neil Young has stated: <1>"History is a cruel judge of overconfidence."

At 3/14/2022 09:36:00 AM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Dionys, sorry for my impatient language in what looks like a critique of your reasoning.

In truth, my impatience has origins in a definite thesis: a great deal of what goes on in politics, in the US at least, has no relationship to moral thinking. Believe me, I understand the moral nuance you gave in your last post. I have a long history with moral theory. I think we are consistently up against a form of nihilism and this is precisely what is playing out on the world stage as we discuss. Elementary examples come from local politics, where many people talk about morality, not so well or fluently, but they do indeed talk. They conceal their nihilism of self-assertion but I do not think they do it consciously: they actually believe that they are speaking moral truths. This is what I have been up against: teaching that the US is systemically racist is anti-american and false. These are the in your face belligerent types who are totally convinced by their insane ignorance.

At higher levels, we can see a full on switch to "a-morality." The main concerns have nothing to do with what we ordinarily consider the right action or motive. In fact, and I have argued this in other places, there are no moral motives. If you endeavor to promote moral thinking (or thinking based in related values, such as aesthetics), you are a crazy person, a kook. The "national interest" and so forth goes first and this just means the battle over power and money and re-election. This is nihilism, American style.

This brings me to Living with War. These songs are, to me anyway, flat our brilliant because they face the nihilism. The frustration and rage and sadness that engulf the album are born from the wall of nothingness that is US policy. We have forgotten (perhaps) just how stupid and unjustified it was to attack Iraq (the second time around at least). But forget details at this point. The same wall of nothingness takes place in the fight over the environment: nothing gets done because it does not motivate. What has happened now is belligerence is living happily with ignorance and narcissism.

I was not looking into your well considered words. These ideas are behind my thoughts. Of course we have failed to meet moral obligations because morality does not motivate. Sociopaths run the US government. This is true with both parties. One has to look at the extremes and then they are "extremes" and "kooks" just as Neil is "bird brain punk" (Ted Nugent, who has lots of fans) for having a moral compass deeply embedded in his orientation to reality.

At 3/14/2022 09:45:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Abner - thanks, as always, for your carefully chosen thoughts and words here during these volatile times.
we're trying to come up w/ a CotM here and it is a bit challenging. Altho, the 'graf on LWW might do just as well if we try and set in the context of the discussion. if that's ok.

btw, any extra moral compass's out there for loan? we can use a few spares these days ...

At 3/14/2022 04:12:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Anything you want to do is fine with me Thrasher- but what us a CotM?

At 3/14/2022 05:41:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Sorry Abner. CotM = Comment of the Moment

so check back again soon! :)

At 3/14/2022 06:26:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

I think I should have figured that one out.

At 3/14/2022 11:06:00 PM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

Hey Richie, What would you do to make the current situation better?

At 3/14/2022 11:41:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

I would immediately start producing energy here in the States. Energy independence is a wonderful thing. That's the first step. When you rely on dictators like Putin for oil, you're kind of tied to the pig, ain't ya? Same goes for dealing with scumbags in Venezuela and Iran, which Joe Biden seems ready to do.

As far as Ukraine and Eastern Europe goes, that's much trickier. We are all on eggshells here, obviously something must be done for the Ukrainian people, but one Russian jet gets shot down by a NATO force, and we got World War III on our hands. Is that what anybody really wants? To be honest, though, I'm pretty sure we are already headed there. War is, after all, good business, and there's a lot of corporate war machines who are licking their lips at this very moment. Who knows, maybe this is all part of a big plan, maybe Putin only wants Ukraine and that's it, but somehow someway something happens to trigger something much more heavy. Just don't be shocked if a stray Russian missle "accidentally" strikes a NATO target.

Greg Gutfeld on Fox had a real interesting idea (he usually does btw) about having both Obama and Trump fly over to meet with Putin or Russian leaders. It would show Putin that we are truly a UNITED States, plus at least Putin would have to deal with 2 strong leaders, instead of a buffoon like Joe Biden. You may have to cede some of Ukraine for Putin, but you may also be able to get him under control.

All I know is I can't begin to comprehend the fact that we may be close to experiencing another World War, and we've got Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in charge. That is immensely scary to me, and should be scary for all of you as well.

At 3/15/2022 03:40:00 AM, Blogger Dionys said...

What really is scary how some Americans one more time can even think of sorting whole countries as bargaining chips among has been presidents of whatever super powers there are. That is putinesque and anti-American.

At 3/15/2022 04:43:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

Actually, if it was truly up to me, I would leave all you dumb Europeans to fend for yourselves. Truthfully I could care less about what happens halfway around the world in a place where 2 World Wars have already taken place. It's not my fault that you all keep getting into the same messes.

But of course, once things get real nasty, Europe will once again expect the United States to step in and fix things, yet again. So when Putin invades Poland, I look forward to posts from you wondering when America will get involved to solve your problems yet again.

At 3/15/2022 05:18:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Richie, I do believe that you have crossed the line.

You better care as the US is fully embedded within the world economy, just work with your own self-interest.

I am sure that the US will produce more and more domestic energy and this will do more and more damage to the environment because we are way behind on sustainability efforts (those really dumb Europeans are way ahead of us on this one).

We cannot escape the world ecology, isolationism is one more step towards US Fascism.

By the way, Trump isn't going to any summit, more like jail.

Richie, ask yourself why Trump no longer has a charitable foundation and cannot have another one, look it up. Jail. Lock him up.

At 3/15/2022 05:29:00 PM, Blogger Richie Cruz said...

So the guy who called me Anti-American and Putinesque because I offered an opinion as to what should be done didn't cross the line?

At 3/15/2022 08:11:00 PM, Blogger Abner Snopes said...

Richie, I will give you that one. We have to stop, this is what Putin wants us to do, tear each other apart. I'll start by offering a sincere apology. Enough, let's keep this whole thing totally on the issue and the point and not go nuts. We need to respect one another and this blog.

At 3/16/2022 12:27:00 PM, Blogger Peacelover Doc said...

Richie, Your comment made at 11:41 is certainly reasonable & while I'm not a fan of the pipeline it certainly would relieve our dependency on non-North American oil. I also like the idea of Obama & Trump meeting with Putin.


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