Article Comment 

Roger Truesdale: Elvis and the Taliban


Roger Truesdale



Before our president, the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Council make their final decision about Afghanistan, getting us deeper into our hunt for Osama Bin Laden or obliterating the Taliban, they would be well-served to buy me a plane ticket to come brief them on Elvis. 


I know. Don''t skip over to the classifieds just yet -- read on. 


Generally speaking, I''m of the opinion that folks who love Elvis -- that''s the King of Rock and Roll, from up the street in Tupelo -- are good and honest. Elvis fans and their offspring embrace good old American values and fare pretty well in polite society. 


I love Elvis. My mama loves Elvis. If Mr. Gallup were to take an Elvis poll, even after all these years, I''d bet the vast majority of the kids that you''d want your kids to play with have some affection for The King. 


On the surface, you would think Elvis was just about rock and roll, sideburns, tight jeans, flashy cars and screaming teenage girls. Elvis is much deeper than that. Elvis is America, equal parts hillbilly twang, Beale Street blues and down-home gospel. Elvis loved Jesus, his mama and America in that order. And never forget, he wore the uniform. 


He stood for mamas all over the world. He stirred many a soul with his rendition of "How Great Thou Art." What red-blooded American didn''t get goosebumps when they heard him sing "The American Trilogy?" He loved and respected women -- "I Can''t Help Falling In Love With You." 


Stay with me.  


It''s not just folks from around here, it''s folks from all over the world who love Elvis, too. Talk to the tourism pros in Memphis and Tupelo. They will tell you that more than a few of the pilgrims who come to pay homage to The King don''t sound like they are from Pantherburn. 


Still, what''s this got to do with this foreign policy thing? 




Ponder this 


We vaporized the Japanese. If any nation on Earth should hold a grudge -- even given the fact that they asked for it -- I''d think it would be them. 


What did it take to get them to forgive and forget?  




They went from worshiping the emperor, committing hari-kari, and women shuffling around in kimonos to wearing bell bottoms and mini-skirts, manufacturing fast cars and, God bless ''um, trying to sing like Elvis.  


They bought into Elvis -- us. 


Even the bonehead pre-commie Russians (who, by the way, are still boneheads and, as best as I can tell, enjoy stirring up a mess every chance they get) were buying blue jeans on the black market for untold sums and secretly listening to Elvis'' gospel recordings on Radio Free Europe. Don''t tell me that the commie backsliders who kept secret stashes of Elvis records didn''t have a lot to do with Mr. Gorbachev tearing down that wall. 




Around the world 


These days, if you read between the lines, Iran''s weak link is that the young folks over there love Elvis. They are educated and smart. They like rock and roll, fast cars and western cool -- all Elvis. 


If I were Israel''s Prime Minister Netanyahu, I''d build me a radio station, put WHBQ''s old DJ George Klein back to work, beam the signal their way and have him spin nothing but Elvis records. 


This brings me to the Afghans and their pals, the Taliban. We are never going to be friends. Why? They don''t like, nor will they ever like, Elvis.  


Centuries of their being beat down to the point where they could never understand "Don''t Be Cruel" make it impossible for us to do business. Furthermore, no compromises could or would ever be made by us to accept any part of their insecurities. 


A learned and well-respected military type friend of mine who tolerates my craziness actually agrees with me on why no one has turned Bin Laden in, even with the millions in reward money. It''s all about Elvis.  


If a turncoat were to turn him in and we pay off, what in the heck is he going to do with the money? There''s no need to buy a Cadillac convertible like those that Elvis drove. They blow holes in their roads every day trying not only to kill us, but themselves. Not much fun out riding those roads. 


He can''t buy a television. There''s nothing good on. They don''t show Elvis movies. 


There are no honky-tonks with juke boxes that play Elvis records. 


He can''t blow it on full-figured, big-legged women. How would he know he''s getting one under one of those burkas the Taliban make those poor women wear? 


Bottom line: We can''t do business. They don''t like Elvis. 




Drives me nuts 


This talk about winning their hearts and minds drives me nuts. I don''t know much about minds, but I know our hearts and souls (as crazy as it might sound) are all wrapped up in Elvis, a poor Mississippi boy who took a hound dog, a pair of blue suede shoes and a dime store guitar to the top and all along the way embraced everything good about America and our way of life. 


If I got a chance to meet in the basement of the White House with the generals and Ivy League historians and strategists, I would advise them to take a close look at who our real friends are in this crazy world -- all Elvis fans. 


I''d present two ideas. I would plead that we not lose one more American soldier trying to cram Elvis down the throats of a country who will never ever appreciate the music. 


On the other hand, I''d demand that if we have to lose a soldier, let''s make sure that it is to keep Elvis'' spirit alive right here at home. 


There''s a world of difference between the two. Think about it.


Roger owns Bayou Management, Inc. and is also a semi-pro guitar player.


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Reader Comments

Article Comment Alice Prier commented at 12/7/2009 11:17:00 PM:

Well said, Rog. They have marched to a totally different music since time began - - -and ain't none of it about our precious Elvis !
Merry CHRISTmas to you & yours,
Alice & Ron


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