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Boomer Anthems: Masters of War

BECAUSE now more than ever.

(Just where are all those iconic anti-war demonstrations from, well, just about everywhere over the last 60 years? Nowhere. Nowhere at all. They were all just a smile, a giggle, and then to be memory-holed by the enemies among us.)

Speaking just for myself my off-line notebook says:

(May 2, 2002) I see the dead, the “destroyed,” on both sides, the young soldiers on both sides with all their unlived years stolen by atomizing weapons sent by ghost fingers from armed and targeting robots lurking in the sky.

I find I don’t care at all anymore who “started it”…. Or why it started …. Or this provocation or that insult …. Or whether war by patriot or war by proxy or war by sending in endless ammunition and beta-tested weapons systems to see how well they kill in the mud, in the blood, in the red mist,  in the red rains ….  All of it …. ALL OF IT — ALL OF THEM … I hate and despise all of the Golems in Kyiv, in DC, in London, in China, in Moscow…  All of them, all the masters of war. I don’t know about others but I ain’t marching anymore.

I was conceived in war and born in peace. In my life, there has been the war during which I was conceived and that took the young man I am named after. Then there was the Korean War in which my uncle fought. Then there was the Vietnam war that came for me and which I dodged to my lasting shame. Then what? Falklands? Grenada? Others that have slipped away into the smoke of the war world? Then the wars of 911 and their endless debacle. And now what is presented to me as my choice? PUTIN OR PUTZ? That? That’s my CHOICE? My hope?

I decline the gambit.

I find can’t take “sides” anymore; no, not ever. No more lining up in my “Team USA Jersey” to root for or against some system whose bitter fruits are young men made into a red mist and shredded gobbets of flesh,  done by air or sniper,  by artillery, or by drone,  or with drone or under drone or done in ….  Done in by a drone; some sexless bee weapon wielded by some unseen queen? 

I see now that I at last, at long, long last,  stand outside all these trumped-up causes, these deadly and eternal failures. Today I stand to see and be repulsed but still made so ripe with despair that I have been (through the unremittingly rained bullshit of causes) made ready, primed  –once more once more — to “choose sides” ….

And so the whole cycle begins again and again and again… The snake that consumes its own tail. There. Out there where I can almost see it. Out there where Oruorborus circles the place where some demon will take control of some man and make him hatch the sun on the surface of the Earth. And what then? What then?

I find my thoughts, like thoughts of youth,  grow long.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Bill Henry June 9, 2022, 9:30 AM

    Amen… Amen…. Amen…

    I hate all of them… What you are feeling is the disgust of the Holy Spirit…

    Come on Jesus… what are you waiting for…

  • Mike Austin June 9, 2022, 10:26 AM

    War is not the most terrible thing. The Old Testament is full of it, of Yahweh sending off the Chosen to do battle against the forces of Moloch. In the New Testament Jesus says:

    “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”—Matthew 10:24

    So what to make of war? Is it true that “only the dead have seen the end of war”? Yes it is. Such is the state of man since he was tossed out of the Garden. We deal daily with the consequences, with “wars and rumors of wars”.

    You don’t have to like it. But I do insist you deal with the world as it is, not as you would like it to be. This world of ours offers up double rainbows as well as wars to the knife. Do the best you can with what you have. The rest belongs to God alone.

  • Auntie Analogue June 9, 2022, 10:41 AM

    “To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his Gods.” – Thomas Babington Macaulay

  • Lance de Boyle June 9, 2022, 11:25 AM

    Down here, we’re too poor to afford well-formed utterances, but there’s a diff between wars that are forced on you….
    “Oh, Christ! Here they come!”
    …and wars concocted by smug white shirts in state departments and weapons plants who, with the aid of the Organs of Persuasion, gin up a passion for war and make it seem a logical necessity.
    “Yeah, let’s (you) get ’em!”

  • ghostsniper June 9, 2022, 11:26 AM

    “Then there was the Vietnam war that came for me and which I dodged to my lasting shame.”
    That shouldn’t be so.
    But I was there, so I understand.
    Let me ‘splain: We are not their pawns.
    And nothing else matters.

  • Chris June 9, 2022, 11:29 AM

    Love the song, the video was lame. The expected pictures of Hitler and Nixon. And the earned pictures of Bush/Cheney. But not one picture of JFK, LBJ, MacNamara – the Democrat architects of the Viet Nam debacle. Or, Obama and Biden, the actors behind the later mideast slaughterhouse and the current butchery in Ukraine.

    • Vanderleun June 9, 2022, 12:47 PM

      I don’t make the videos, I just find and post them. And you are right about the expected pictures, etc. But, as we used to say, “the song remains the same.”

    • KCK June 10, 2022, 8:31 AM

      Good catch. To this day, I cannot utter the name: MacNamara.

  • Steve (retired/recovering lawyer) June 9, 2022, 11:51 AM

    “Death comes to us all.” No truer words were ever spoken, but the issue is how and when. When death comes to the young it is frequently in the guise of tragedy for a life cut short by a foolish and avoidable accident. Increasingly, it comes as self-inflicted absurd theater, less meaningful than a play by Ionescu, or perhaps something like Didi and Gogo whiling away their time waiting for Godot while smoking weed and popping/shooting up fentanyl.

    I, as much as anyone, decry the stupidity and selfishness of old men sending young men off to unnecessary wars, and it seems to me from my perch atop seventy-two years of life, that most of the wars through which I have lived were less than unnecessary; they were intentionally wanton and wasteful and I hate with every fiber of my being those old men who sent the young into harm’s way in each and every one of those wasteful, wanton exercises in stupidity/cupidity.

    The irony is, however, that so many of those young sacrificial lambs went eagerly, at least at first, and even more so that they acted heroically when they went into combat. Their heroism can not be tarnished by the ignoble reasons for their wars, nor the even more ignoble natures of those responsible for them.

    What leaves me without explanation, however, is the attitude of those not insignificant numbers of Americans who are now eager to involve us in a war between two semi-Asiatic powers in Ukraine. What can they be thinking? Are they thinking? What dog do they have in that fight? How did the anti-war left become cheerleaders fo the current autocracy in Washington? Can anyone enlighten me? I’ll wait.

  • ghostsniper June 9, 2022, 2:06 PM

    Steve axed: “What can they be thinking?”
    As always. “Money”
    Them tanks and jets and all the stuff that goes around them ain’t fee ya know.
    And you can’t stroll into walmart and grab em off the shelf.
    BIG money people want even more money and that kinda money only comes one way.
    What’s it good for? (abso-loot-ly nuthing)

    • Vanderleun June 9, 2022, 3:24 PM

      I used to think it was money but no longer. Although I am sure money figures in the mix it only helps to carry forward a kind of spiritual sickness in which the persons profiting also deeply enjoy the suffering their arms inflict, I now believe they are perverted sexual sadists who probably collect albums filled with pictures of the disfigured dead, and that have the pages of those albums made from human skin they had harvested especially for this use.

    • Jack June 9, 2022, 3:45 PM

      Sure, they are in it for the money but the real reason is power. Absolute power of the things they can master and control and that would include God Himself were it only possible. The closest they will ever come to Him is to become powerful here and ride that horse until it drops dead under their feet and damn anyone who gets in their way.

  • Nothing New Under The Sun June 9, 2022, 3:47 PM

    The Van Morrison song about the Great Deception comes to mind.
    Finding all the great old songs by the masters here lately and loving it!

  • Ed in Upstate NY June 9, 2022, 4:12 PM

    “I was conceived in war and born in peace.” Thank you for that wonderful sentiment, Gerard, because it got me thinking and then it got me calculating. I, too, was conceived in war and born in peace on February 11, 1946. My parents were Italian immigrants and both had a deep love for America as well as for the country of their birth. If my calculations are correct (and my hunch), I place the date of my conception right around VE Day, probably in celebration of the fact that their homeland was no longer at war.

  • Mike Austin June 9, 2022, 6:35 PM

    Ok then. We live in “interesting times”. I’ll grant you that. May I remind you that when war begins—real war, not Pentagon scenarios or PowerPoint presentations or media imaginings—that things will not go as planned? Sing all your songs, read all your poetry, emote and whine and weep all you want.

    The future belongs to the men with guns. It has always been so.

    The pen is mightier than the sword? Ok, meet me in an alley with your pen. I’ll come with my sword.

    It is the sword that makes History.

    • Randall Bridges June 10, 2022, 11:17 AM

      And… the pen re-makes it.

      • Mike Austin June 10, 2022, 5:33 PM

        That is so. It must be so. The killers level the ground so that sprouts can take root. As John Adams said, “I study military history so that my children can study art.”

  • Anonymous June 9, 2022, 7:09 PM


    Lance is right — sometimes war is necessary. Just because you have a fervent wish to be left in peace, you may still wind up with a fight on your hands.

    Trotsky was right: “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” That asymmetry is something that too many pacifists don’t understand.

    As for the mess in the Ukraine, I think Jack has it right — it’s about money and power and a desire to enslave the world. If this guy, Brian Cates [https://t.me/s/drawandstrikechannel] is right, a lot of bad actors — Biden, Fauci, Pelosi, Bill Gates, and many others — have treated the Ukraine as a private fiefdom in which they can do things they can’t here in the U.S. That is why so many on the Left are so anxious to prop up the Ukrainian regime — if it collapses, a whole lot of shocking stuff is going to come out.

    My two cents’ worth, as usual.

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • Hale Adams June 9, 2022, 7:10 PM

    Gah. I hit the “submit” button too soon. *smacks forehead*

  • Roy Lofquist June 10, 2022, 4:13 AM
  • Dirk June 10, 2022, 6:33 AM

    To stop war, kill those who start wars,!

    The wrong people are dying.

    When those who start, finance, and profit from war start dying, you will be amazed at how quickly common grounds is achieved!

    War, how antiquated.

  • KCK June 10, 2022, 9:08 AM

    I’ve studied war. Until I get blue in the face, I have studied it.

    It was probably because I had some extra curiosity about war; I mean, my brother never dove into my father’s first-hand war stories of the Italian campaign like I did. I was the proverbial moth to the flame. Because, I pulled out all he had; I listened closely and I want to feel that dad needed that sounding board, or that listener. I listen to the other children of veterans saying: “dad never talked about it”. I kind of call bullshit on that. He talked about it, and you weren’t listening.

    I was lucky it never came for me. I stood in the aperture, and waited. For over 10 years I was that lamb waiting for the slaughter. But, I did do something. I worked my ass off. Infantry school and infantry billets. Tank units, mech infantry units, infantry school, NCO school, Officer Candidate School, the Reagan years (very little sleep and a fukton of training). I drove and drove and drove on anywhere from zero to 2 or 3 hours’ sleep a day. Ran here, ran there. Walked through dark woods at night. Blew shit up. Avoided injury. Studied and read.

    I did get called for the Gulf War, but that ended before my orders came due. The Cold War didn’t go hot. I did walk up to the front lines there in Costa Rica/Nicaragua. It’s a jungle river, with haggard and possessed men on this side, and over a hundred Sandinistas with .51 caliber MGs on the other. As the missionaries and I walked forward to look across at the Nicaraguans, I remembered my training and warned them of toe-poppers and nut-busters that could certainly be present.

    So, my story is nothing compared to those my Vietnam veteran buddies told me. They had the eyes. The thousand yard stare eyes. I actually got some of that fancy PTSD on me for awhile, because in the late 70s you felt exposed in your uniform, out in public. I had private and personal reactions to that feeling. But, nothing anywhere near the waking up at night screaming like my one roommate, or the inability to hold a job like one of my friends (after an employer asked him if he’d ever killed a baby in Vietnam. Turns out he had). You want to beat the face in on people like that, but actually a tripwire veteran is peaceful at his core.

    I have interviewed dozens, if not hundreds, of WWII veterans. Some gatherings so intense that you could cut the air with a knife. My dad came so close to death so often that it was a given that he survived by miracle as much as cunning. The dud artillery shell landing in his foxhole. The spent shrapnel that hit his trouser bottom, the 25 men drowned when he had been a passenger on board the same vessel a few minutes before. The chance death of the famous soldier Bill Darby, a block away from where dad was ordered to displace from the doomed truck/boat and get in another that didn’t swamp. The direct fire artillery shrapnel peppering your truck as you speed over a Bailey Bridge and the white phosphorous at night that arcs up and towards your foxhole but doesn’t land on you. The high tension power wire that catches you by the neck because you’re standing up in the truck, gawking at a burning Tiger Tank and don’t see it coming (he quickly flung it off his neck in a high speed save).

    So. When the Vietnam vets would liquor up, and sometimes invect at me: “you no combat fuck!” I’d take it at face value. I was a no combat fuck.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t know a few things. I know just a little more than the average man in America about war, and yet I still don’y know shit. However, I do know Clausewitz. LOL.

    Tolstoy had his fill of war, didn’t he? Ironically, it was the Crimean War. The one the Russians lost in the early 19th century. Anyway, I always think about this quote from Tolstoy: “you may not be interested in war, but it is interested in you”.

    I’m watching The Guns of Navarone. Gregory Peck, who is as far from the arch-typical mountain climber as you can get, is the mountain climber cum commando on this mission in the Greek islands in WWII. He has a subordinate who is tired of knife-killing Germans and assorted Fascists and wants it all to end. Gregory peck says (typical WWII total war mentality) “Who gave you permission to quit this fight?”

    War, gentlemen. It’s above your pay grade. It’ll come to you in good time, if it already hasn’t. My apologies to the actual war veterans present. I know I’m full of shit. But, it’s well-formed shit, you have to give me that much.

    All my best. Good post, Gerard.

  • Dirk June 10, 2022, 11:40 AM

    Interesting, we all have different experiences, my experience is real combat vets say very little. One of my great privileges is assisting my fellow vets, whom the VA systems shafted. From Calif to Wash, I’ve stopped and visited, done their paperwork with them, even trick fucked the system to achieve these men and women receive the benefits they’ve earned.

    Starting with my Uncle now gone, a forward artillery army guy. In Korea he was overrun will calling fire, dropping fire on his own position. Silver Star, not one word. The only reason I know this is my grand father, his dad shared it with all the grand kids.

    He later mailed home the M1 carbine he carried. Was in the family for many many years. After my grandma’s death grandpa couldn’t take the loneliness without his girl,,,, shot himself with that carbine.

    Grandpa was in one conflict or another. I simply don’t recall.

    NONE of the men I’ve had the honor of knowing or working with will say squat. When I’m attaching a copy of their DD214, their awards are listed. Some are ball busters? I don’t ask, I’m more interested in getting these wonderful Americans the benefits they earned in a time in space wherein life on a battle field literally was hell on earth.

    It is MY honor to help these men and women.

    • ghostsniper June 10, 2022, 2:31 PM

      The communications system in the VA is an absolute horror.
      With every so called improvement it gets worse.

  • Dirk June 10, 2022, 5:00 PM

    Ghost I use the Reno Nv VA hospital in Reno Nv. My health cares better then the Delaware douche’s.

    Five years ago I would have agreed. Since I moved my health care to this Reno Va, OUTSTANDING in every way. I’m their next Wed / Thur. I’ll have spinal injections six, 3 per side,,,,,I’ll meet with the ortho’s to determine when exactly they will replace my right hip. If they tell me the next day, I’ll take it.

    The pain is off the charts. I’m living on Oxi 10s, plus hydro 10 kickers. Still don’t touch the pain not a good place to be.

    to my point. I’m told and I think I agree location has everything do do with vets health care. Shouldn’t be that way, yet it is.

    I’ll close with this. Here at Reno VA hospital, I’m involved in every medical decision regarding my health care. Always given options. The data to assist in medical choices.

    Ghost I hope you and all the others find a facility with this quality of health care.

  • Dirk June 12, 2022, 6:18 PM

    I had a really really expensive day, and a really really good day. I lost 10k, on my motocross adventure. Poured rain like I’ve never seen, to dangerous to send two hundred riders onto the track. All we’re headed home by 0900.

    As I clean my mess, I got a call from an old vet I’ve been working with. He received his VA letter today, confirming him his disability at 60%, his wonderful wife installed as his care giver. Maybe 1400.00 a month.

    Keep the ten K, I’ll take these 60% wins all day long. Got four or five more vets whom should be getting their letters soon. These are good people, that the systems failed!