Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Anglo American AWOLs Alarm ...

02 June 2006

Anglo American AWOLs Alarm ...

Apparently, there's an awful lot of it about, lately.

A.W.O.L., that is.

In other words: Absent Without Leave. A la the young George W. Bush.

Though 'This Old Brit' would argue that since Bush never ever did return to his duties, his was a clear cut case of desertion -- even though he had the cushiest of numbers safe back home, and was never in any danger of anything except his own bad 'habits'. Nor was he ever expected to 'dirty' his high class hands in any 'action' at all.

However, the growing numbers of UK and US servicemen deciding they've had enough of their lying political leaders' illegal invasions, occupations and sundry war crimes against humanity, have far greater grounds for such 'actions' than dumb-ass, chickenhawk Dubya ever did.

His bosom buddy Blair, of course, never even made any pretence of 'serving' his country, in the strictest sense of the word. Nor, as far as we're aware, did/have/will any of his smart-arse family.

But before we digress further from the point we planned to make -- take a look at this.

When AWOL Is the Only Way Out

Peter Laufer, AlterNet. Posted June 2, 2006.

As explained in a new book, Mission Rejected, the sight of U.S. troops kicking the heads of decapitated Iraqis around 'like a soccer ball' made Army soldier Joshua Key desert to Canada.

Former U.S. Army Soldier Joshua Key. Image by Kate Gridley

The following text is an excerpt from Peter Laufer's new book, "
Mission Rejected: U.S. Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq" (Chelsea Green, 2006).

"We was going along the Euphrates River," says Joshua Key, a 27-year-old former U.S. soldier from Oklahoma, detailing a recurring nightmare -- a scene he stumbled on shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003. "It's a road right in the city of Ramadi. We turned a real sharp right and all I seen was decapitated bodies. The heads laying over here and the bodies over here and U.S. troops in between them. I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, what in the hell happened here? What's caused this? Why in the hell did this happen?' We get out and somebody was screaming, 'We fucking lost it here!' I'm thinking, 'Oh, yes, somebody definitely lost it here.'"

Joshua says he was ordered to look around for evidence of a firefight, for something to rationalize the beheaded Iraqis. "I look around just for a few seconds and I don't see anything." But then he noticed the sight that now triggers his nightmares. "I see two soldiers kicking the heads around like a soccer ball. I just shut my mouth, walked back, got inside the tank, shut the door, and it was like, I can't be no part of this. This is crazy. I came here to fight and be prepared for war but this is outrageous. Why did it happen? That's just my question: Why did that happen?"

He's convinced there was no firefight that led to the beheading orgy -- there were no spent shells to indicate a battle. "A lot of my friends stayed on the ground, looking to see if there was any shells. There was never no shells, except for what we shot. I'm thinking, Okay, so they just did that because they wanted to do it. They got trigger happy and they did it. That's what made me mad in Iraq. You can take human lives at a fast rate and all you have to say is, say, 'Oh, I thought they threw a grenade. I thought I seen this, I thought I seen that.'

You could mow down 20 people each time and nobody's going to ask you, 'Are you sure?' They're going to give you a high five and tell you that you was doing a good job."

He still cannot get the scene out of his head. "You just see heads everywhere," he says. "You wake up, you'll just be sitting there, like you're in a foxhole. I can still see Iraq just as clearly as it was the day I was there. You'll just be on the side of a little river running through the city, trash piled up, filled with dead. Heads and stuff like that.

I don't sleep that much, you might say. I don't sleep that much."

His wife, Brandi, nods in agreement and says he cries in his sleep.

You can, nay you should, read the revolting rest of this soldier's sorry story at Alternet.

(Hat tip to Current Era for the above).

And it's not just American troops who are sick and tired of the ongoing horrors.

Far from it in fact.

Examine for example this enlightening excerpt -- pathetically played down by the MOD, as usual of course -- from a piece recently published by the BBC News website.

At least 1,000 UK soldiers desert

Cases of soldiers deserting the army are said to be rising

More than 1,000 members of the British military have deserted since the start of the Iraq war, the BBC has learned.

Figures for those still missing are 86 from 2001, 118 from 2002, 134 from 2003, 229 from 2004, 377 from 2005, and 189 for this year so far.

The news comes as Parliament debates a law that will forbid military personnel from refusing to participate in the occupation of a foreign country.

The MoD insists "absent without leave" figures have remained constant. A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said the soldiers currently missing were considered to be "absent without leave" and would have to be court martialled before they could be found guilty of deserting.

She added only one person has been found guilty of deserting the Army since 1989. According to MoD figures 2,670 soldiers went "absent without leave" in 2001, with the figure rising to 2,970 in 2002 and falling in 2003 to 2,825. In 2004 it rose to 3,050, falling back again in 2005 to 2,725.
(Hat tip to Gorilla's Guides for the above).

See what we mean by 'played down'?

Spin, it seems, still reigns supreme in Blair's British Mili-Politco World.

But do they still not understand what their soldiers are saying?

Read the rest of this revealing report, right here.



Anonymous Rosemary said...

Thanks for featuring this report, Richard.

I saw the brief intro to the story at Alternet and posted it at TAPA without comment, thinking it would surely get some reactions, but last I noticed, nobody said anything. (sigh)

7:52 am  
Blogger Gert said...

Great post, Richard.

We should all stop and reflect also on the fate of the Coalition soldiers. Possibly we're creating another lost generation. Now Canada seems very reluctant to accept American deserters, you wonder what will happen to them...

Good to have you back, BTW.

3:40 pm  
Anonymous graniab said...

so glad you are back - for sure these poor kids will be on their own - the VA (veteran's affairs) can't cope with the current load let alone a new influx of broken men and women. I hope the British equivalent can do a better job.

4:30 pm  
Anonymous Tom said...

Thanks Richard for drawing attention to that article, or more importantly, to the horror which it describes.

Honestly, I'm struggling to find words, to describe my abhorrence, for what is happening there. It is also the most troubling, that despite the firm and sustained majorities' clear desire, the governing Elite is capable to go on now over 3 years, and even threatening with further escalation.

Indeed, we can now add Canada as a satellite, to the Globalist neo-con Elite. Again, against majority opinion, we have now a certain Stephen Harper who is manipulated in, for a PM. He is the same sort of loathsome lackey, just like his collegaues in the UK/AUS. So I'm not sure, how long this narrow lane of escape route from the Calvary will remain open, for the young American soldiers, as the anglo-saxon world is converging with Israel, for what purpose, we can only speculate.

7:48 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

My appreciation to all, once again. Whenever I wonder if it's worth banging on & on, and if even a single sould ever 'learns any better' by reading what the mainstream won't tell them - you all help convince me I'm not wasting my time. Drip, drip, drip, eh?

Btw, Gert, your posts get better by the day. You'r a master at tackling a certain topic that so many are scared to touch.

FWIW, I'm about to add you to my links list. I'd have used the 'swap links with me' button on your site long ago, but reading the rider re: must be related to 'web developement' put me off. But now I see that that's not the 'strictly speaking' case.

Also, if you're reading, Mark from Ireland, I'll be adding yours too.

I think it's so important to all support, help, encourage and promote one another. Strength in numbers and all that, eh?

8:01 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Richard, your work has attracted an exceptional group of thoughtful posters.

I agree it's important to develop and hang on to these networks for our own sanity in a world that's gone insane.

10:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disgust is not a strong enough word.

Let me add my thanks, Richard. And don't you dare stop - ever! Nor any of you other good guys. Be you bloggers or posters.

Eventually, as has always proved to be the case right throughout history, the truth will out. Goodness WILL prevail - so long as enough of us sincerely want it to, and never tire of trying to bring change about.

I echo especially Rosemary's words -- I know I'm in good and sane company when I visit here -- which is regularly.

I remain anonymous (for good reasons)when I post (infrequently) but I do read everything (comments included) - always.

11:04 pm  
Anonymous bluey said...

Who am I to argue with anything said already?

Great blog - great people. What more can I say?

1:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Playing footbal -- with severed human heads. All American boys will be All American boys I suppose.

1:29 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Your all too kind -- it's my pleasure. Really.

And Rosemary, you certainly got that right about our posters/readers/friends.

11:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:46 am  
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12:54 am  
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12:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a member of Joshua Key's family here in Oklahoma. I find it amazing how much his story has changed since he left Colorado on the run. Knowing him as well as I do, this isn't how he really talks. I'm not saying horrible things don't happen. But when you have lawyers representing you for free, families giving you houses and money, and people treating you like a national hero, it's amazing the things you will let yourself be talked into. While his mother lies here in Oklahoma on the brink of death, he is in Canada. She has never seen their little girl and the youngest boy was just a tiny baby when we all last saw them. Our family is so heartbroken by they way things have played out. One of Josh's younger cousins just enlisted in the Army as an Airborn Ranger, pray for him and our family, so we don't lose another one to the war.

3:44 am  

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