16 August 2005

God Bless Afghanistan...

Afghanistan is looking for a new national anthem that the government hopes will bring harmony to the country after nearly three decades of conflict.

A panel of poets, writers and musicians tasked with writing a new anthem after seeking the views of all ethnic groups released a draft this week for public comment. (see full story from Reuters)

My first thought, of course, was of a former co-worker who, for reasons that are not clear to me, would sing "God Bless Afghanistan" when all the other schoolkids were singing "God Bless America."

Maybe a little musical reconstruction would work to help bridge the red-blue divide here in the US. I've never been a big fan of the militaristic and hard to sing "Star-Spangled Banner." A far better alternative would be "America the Beautiful." But imagine the possibilities of consulting with representatives of all religions and ethnic groups in the US in forging a national anthem that truly represents our multiethnic immigrant nation.

Not that I'd want the job of mediating that unwieldy commission, mind you...

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