In 2004, the Tennessee Republican National Convention sponsored a celebration of Johnny Cash at Sotheby’s auction house, leading hardcore punk singer Jello Biafra to wonder, “What would Johnny Cash think of Bush’s illegal war in Iraq?”
The legendary country singer Johnny Cash was deeply upset by the 2003 invasion of Iraq, according to an interview with his daughter, Rosanne Cash.
Describing her father’s political views, Cash told The Progressive magazine that her father “didn’t care where you stood politically” and that he “could love all stripes, and that’s why all stripes claim him.”
Although he refrained from partisanship, she notes that he was still willing to act on his political views.
“For example, my dad went to the Nixon White House and refused to sing ‘Welfare Cadillac’ (instead performing the anti-war songs ‘The Ballad of Ira Hayes’ and ‘Man in Black’). He protested the Vietnam War, but he went to perform for the troops with bombs dropping all around him.”
Rosanne Cash also claims that if it was not for his failing health, her father would have publicly denounced the 2003 Iraq invasion.
“We invaded Iraq in March, and he died in September. And because his health was so fragile, he couldn’t take the controversy of making a public statement against the war.”
Rosanne Cash was attacked “mercilessly” after participating in Musicians United to Win Without War and says “[my father] knew that he couldn’t tolerate that.”
Two weeks before the U.S. lead invasion, Johnny Cash was put into a medically induced coma.
“He went to sleep not knowing if we had invaded Iraq. It was the last thought on his mind. When he woke up, I was sitting by his side. He looked at me and reached over to pull the television over to him. He was looking at me like, ‘Did it happen?’ I said, ‘Dad, it happened.’ He went, ‘No! No!’ Can you imagine? This is the first thing he thought of when he woke up from a weeklong coma.”