Bring Roland home part 3: GO AWOL

“They killed to earn their living ……..”

Roland the Thompson gunner…” (song excerpt, Warren Zevon)

Here’s more bad news for the “volunteer” Army. “Roland” our enlisted soldier sent to fight in IMMORAL WARS WE CAN’T WIN  is getting smart. “Roland” is GOING AWOL. Go “Roland” – go AWOL before you go crazy with guilt or before you go crazy and commit suicide.

Maybe we need some car “ribbons” that say “Save our TROOPS: GO AWOL”.

Read on for more GRIM FACTS about the immoral wars we can’t win:


Aaron Glantz

Author, “The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans”

Army Report: AWOLs Up 234%

Tucked into this massive Army report on suicide is an interesting fact: Since 2004, the number of soldiers going AWOL, deserting, and “missing movement” — that is failing to deploy when they’re supposed to — has gone up a shocking 234 percent.

The Army includes this fact on page 92 of the 350 page document, in a section on misdemeanor crimes — alongside motor vehicle violations, substance abuse, and other crimes — which collectively have been rising at the rate of more than 5,000 a year for the last five years.

“Good order and discipline are on the decline,” the report says.

Alternatively, one could say that after seven years of war in Iraq and nearly a decade in Afghanistan, American soldiers are increasingly unwilling to risk their lives for unpopular wars with an unclear path to victory.
End quoted article

“Through sixty-six and seven they fought the Congo war
Fingers on their triggers, knee-deep in gore
For days and nights they battled the Bantu to their knees
They killed to earn their living and to help out the Congolese”

Roland the Thompson gunner…” (song excerpt, Warren Zevon)

A few days ago I wrote a plea for everyone to call and write their elected officials to SCREAM:


My post talked about the economy – and huge waste of human capital and the huge waste of American resources we throw away in the wars – resources we could use here, right NOW, to rebuild our own Country.

The following article drives the human capital loss home. What will we do when we run out of WILLING soldiers? Are YOU READY FOR A DRAFT? Are YOU READY FOR THE HORRORS OF WAR TO HIT YOUR FAMILY?

I’m old enough to remember the tragedy of the Vietnam War – the war we COULDN’T AND DIDN’T WIN.

I remember a college classmate who graduated from University of Michigan – and promptly SHOT HIMSELF IN THE HAND TO AVOID THE DRAFT.

I remember the misery of college friends – smart, sensitive, principled young men – who would GLADLY have contributed to America – but were refused Conscientious Objector status. They ended up in Canada, contributing to a foreign country instead of to our own. What a waste of our best and brightest.

I remember the humiliating draft induction theater young men had to go through to try to avoid fighting in that IMMORAL WAR WE COULDN’T WIN.

I remember how parents, who had been “hawks”, suddenly turned into “peaceniks” when the DRAFT was ready to hit their beloved child.

I remember – are YOU READY FOR A DRAFT? Are you going to look the other way as more and more soldiers return to Amercia from IMMORAL WARS too mentally and physically maimed to enjoy the Country they were SUPPOSEDLY fighting to protect?

Read “The Lunatic’s Manual” and think about what YOU CAN DO TO STOP THE IMMORAL WARS WE’LL NEVER WIN:


New York Times

August 2, 2010

The Lunatic’s Manual


The Army, to its credit, tells the story of a middle-aged lieutenant colonel who had served multiple combat tours and was suffering the agonizing effects of traumatic brain injury and dementia. He also had difficulty sleeping. Several medications were prescribed.

On a visit to an emergency room, he was given a 30-tablet refill of Ambien. He went to his car and killed himself by ingesting the entire prescription with a quantity of rum. He left a suicide note that said his headaches and other pain were unbearable.

As if there is not enough that has gone tragically wrong in this era of endless warfare, the military is facing an epidemic of suicides. In the year that ended Sept. 30, 2009, 160 active duty soldiers took their own lives — a record for the Army. The Marines set their own tragic record in 2009 with 52 suicides. And this past June, another record was set — 32 military suicides in just one month.

War is a meat grinder for service members and their families. It grinds people up without mercy, killing them and inflicting the worst kinds of wounds imaginable, physical and psychological. The Pentagon is trying to cope with the surge in suicides, but it is holding a bad hand: the desperate shortage of troops has forced military officials to lower the bar for enlistment, thus letting in people whose drug and alcohol abuse or other behavioral problems would previously have kept them out. And the multiple deployments (four, five and six tours in the war zones) have jacked up stress levels to the point where many just can’t take it.

The G.I.’s have fought valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands have died and many, many more have suffered. But the wars have been conducted as if their leaders had been reading from a lunatic’s manual. This is not Germany or Japan or the old Soviet Union that we’re fighting. But after nearly a decade, neither war has been won and there is no prospect of winning.

Trillions of dollars are being squandered. George W. (“Mission Accomplished”) Bush took the unprecedented step of cutting taxes while waging the wars. And Barack Obama has set a deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan without having any idea how that war might be going when the deadline arrives.

This is warfare as it might have been waged by Laurel & Hardy. Absent the bloodshed, it would be hilarious. I’d give a lot to hear Dwight Eisenhower comment on the way these wars have been conducted.

July was the deadliest month yet for American troops in Afghanistan. Sixty-six were killed, which was six more than the number who died in the previous most deadly month, June. The nation is paying little or no attention to those deaths, which is shameful. The president goes to fund-raisers and yuks it up on “The View.” For most ordinary Americans, the war is nothing more than an afterthought.

We’re getting the worst of all worlds in Afghanistan: We’re not winning, and we’re not cutting our tragic losses. Most Americans don’t care because they’re not feeling any of the tragic losses. A tiny, tiny portion of the population is doing the fighting, and those troops are sent into the war zone for tour after tour, as if they’re attached to a nightmarish yo-yo.

Some kind of shared sacrifice is in order, but neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Obama called on Americans to make any real sacrifices in connection with either of these wars. The way to fight a war is to mobilize the country — not just the combat troops — behind an integrated wartime effort. To do that, leaders have to persuade the public that the war is worth fighting, and worth paying for.

What we have in Afghanistan is a war that most Americans believe is not worth fighting — and certainly not worth raising taxes to pay for. President Obama has not made a compelling case for the war and has set a deadline for the start of withdrawal that seems curiously close to the anticipated start of his 2012 campaign for a second term.

It’s time to bring the curtain down for good on these tragic, farcical wars. The fantasy of democracy blossoming at the point of a gun in Iraq and spreading blithely throughout the Middle East has been obliterated. And it’s hard to believe that anyone buys the notion that the U.S. can install a successful society in the medieval madness of Afghanistan.

For those who haven’t noticed, we have a nation that needs rebuilding here at home. Maybe we could muster some shared sacrifice on that front.

It’s time to bring the troops back, and nurse the wounded, and thank them all for their extraordinary service. It’s time to come to our senses and put the lunatic’s manual aside.

(End quoted article)

Earlier post:


NEWS FLASH: July 2010 marks the most American soldiers killed in one month to date in the immoral and unwinnable war in Afghanistan – what are YOU going to do about it?

Today I am calling out to all concerned parents. I’ve got a radical idea about how to get us money for EVERYTHING! Health care! New school buildings! Jobs! Infrastructure! Food! Teachers! Maybe even keep a roof over our heads!

It is so simple it will make your head spin:



Then, instead of bombing and rebuilding and bombing and rebuilding and bombing and rebuilding schools in far away places – and killing CHILDREN – and making PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD HATE US – we could use the money to feed, clothe, and provide health care for  our own children – maybe even for ourselves! and our old folks! We might even have some collective funds left over to build some critical infrastructure in our own County and put people back to work with living wage jobs and benefits while we do “our” rebuilding!

How’s that for a wild and crazy idea? Can you imagine instead of beating empty money bushes here in Molalla you could be calling and writing and calling and writing to your Congressmen to scream: BRING “OUR” SOLDIERS HOME NOW! SPEND OUR MONEY TO KEEP US ALIVE FOR A CHANGE! END THE WARS THAT WE CAN’T EVER WIN!


Because in the direction we’re headed, and if things don’t change soon, all a lot of “our” children will have to look forward to is Roland’s “job”:


by Warren Zevon

Roland was a warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun
With a Thompson gun for hire, fighting to be done
The deal was made in Denmark on a dark and stormy day
So he set out for Biafra to join the bloody fray

Through sixty-six and seven they fought the Congo war
Fingers on their triggers, knee-deep in gore
For days and nights they battled the Bantu to their knees
They killed to earn their living and to help out the Congolese

Roland the Thompson gunner…

His comrades fought beside him – Van Owen and the rest
But of all the Thompson gunners Roland was the best
So the CIA decided they wanted Roland dead
That son-of-a-bitch Van Owen blew off Roland’s head

Roland the headless Thompson gunner

Time, time, time
For another peaceful war
Norway’s bravest son

But time stands still for Roland
‘Til he evens up the score

They can still see his headless body stalking through the night
In the muzzle flash of Roland’s Thompson gun
In the muzzle flash of Roland’s Thompson gun

Roland searched the continent for the man who’d done him in
He found him in Mombassa in a barroom drinking gin
Roland aimed his Thompson gun – he didn’t say a word
But he blew Van Owen’s body from there to Johannesburg

Roland the headless Thompson gunner…

The eternal Thompson gunner, still wandering through the night
Now it’s ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland’s Thompson gun
And bought it…….

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