NYMag profiles American military deserters in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.
Desertion is always a solitary choice, but it can be especially so for those who seek refuge in other countries. The deserter in exile is cut off from community, family, and country, knowing there may never be a safe way home. For the alienated troops who fled to Canada in the early years of the Iraq War, the decision seemed to offer solace. The northern border has always welcomed disaffected Americans, from the British Union Loyalists who opposed the Revolutionary War to the draft dodgers and deserters avoiding Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1975, roughly 50,000 U.S. citizens took shelter in Canada, where the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quietly embraced them. In the first three years of the Iraq War, at least 200 new American troops joined them, believing they would find the same open arms. Most of the new deserters chose to live and work in cities like Toronto and Montreal without revealing their military past; only about two dozen stepped forward publicly to request political amnesty as “war resisters.”
BS 2000 was the short-time collaboration between Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz of the Beastie Boys, and Amery "AWOL" Smith, best known as a punk drummer. They released a couple albums on the now-defunct Grand Royal label. They toured live, performing with the keyboards, drums and vocals (YouTube) that was the sound of punk rock and hip-hop combined into something funky and weird (Grooveshark stream). Bestie Mania has more on the band. Oh, and Adam and Amery shared their record collection on WFMU back in the day, so the show is only available in Real Media.
Why Noah Went to the Woods: He was a proud Marine who survived three brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah Pippin vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob Marshall Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved. "The Pippins were alarmed. Given their son’s strict adherence to his moral code, a scenario in which Noah had intentionally shirked his military duty was nearly inconceivable. After several calls to his phone went straight to voice mail, they began to investigate, discovering that they knew far less about their son than they had imagined."
The Is The Life: the most important period of hip hop you never knew existed (NSFW audio throughout)
The year is 1989, the world of hip hop in mainstream America is dominated by the street hard, in your face West Coast Gangsta Rap genre headed by NWA. And an army of increasingly forgettable imitators as well as genuine ingenuity coming from the opposite coast The pop music market is dominated by the sugary sweet vaguely hip-hopish pop of The New Kids On The Block. And on the corner Crendshaw and Exposition in South Central Los Angeles a group of kids at a health food store called The Good Life Health Food And Resource Center take a weekly Open Mike and turn it into an ongoing hip hop workshop where lyrical prowess, performance, and positivity instead of battling and trash talking was encouraged. In fact, swearing was strictly disallowed at The Good Life. [more inside]
Al Columbia has finally updated his site . Previously, there had been ominous hinting at a more fleshed-out web experience, but no follow-up. Rumors of a documentary by Kevin Belli have been in the air for years, but nothing has been announced beyond this (scroll down). In March, the Fantagraphics blog brought more news of the documentary's progress and hints of publishing Columbia's sketchbooks. Columbia himself confirmed the Fantagraphics book at the beginning of April in an Inkstuds interview (audio), describing it as a large-format collection of most of his unpublished work from the last ten years. Promises, promises. His contribution to Mome 7 and 8 seem to be a bit more concrete. If you've been waiting on A.C. all these years, you'll want to hear that interview: he brings you song (his own Percival Cook), much nervous laughter, meandering descriptions, and dream revelations (at age 12, a dream of having sex with Felix the Cat). [more inside]
Sir! No Sir! The Vietnam GI Antiwar movement. (49 minute video)
If the same journalistic standards applied to CBS by the independent Rathergate panel had been applied to the Pentagon Papers, they never would have seen the light of day, says James Goodale, former vice chairman of the New York Times.
To set the record straight: While the country was busy with CBS and Rather's mistake, the story of Bush going AWOL was lost.
Why Bush Left Texas Growing evidence suggests that George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas Air National Guard unit in 1972 for substantive reasons pertaining to his inability to continue piloting a fighter jet. A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing... If it is demonstrated that profound behavioral problems marred Bush's wartime performance and even cut short his service, it could seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal values. It could also explain the incomplete, contradictory and shifting explanations provided by the Bush camp for the President's striking invisibility from the military during the final two years of his six-year military obligation... There's that elephant in the living room again.
George Bushes's Military record: a critical analysis This pdf file is about as definitive a look as we are likely to get on the Bush military record. Clearly most post4ers/readers of Metafilter do not support Bush, but having some clear-cut evidence at hand to use in arguments against those who attack the Kerry militaryrecord, this will give the Bushites reason to move on to other topics
DESERTER An examination of the Bush military files within the context of US Statutory Law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures of that era lead to a single conclusion: George W. Bush was considered a deserter by the United States Air Force.
Camilo Mejia is the first US soldier serving in Iraq to run away and proclaim himself a conscientious objector. The Pentagon says another 600 people have done the same, and for the same reasons: they find this war immoral and illegal.
Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey are soldiers who went AWOL and fled to Canada. They share their stories on their websites. [Via Plastic.]
George W. Bush "suspended" from Texas Air National Guard. He repeatedly says he was discharged "honorably", but some government documents seem to say otherwise