Thursday, November 1, 2007

Roland the headless Thompson gunner

Warren Zevon would undoubtedly have revelled in the twisted story of a shadow army of mercenaries protecting and fighting alongside American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His song, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner, talks about a mercenary who refuses to die, even after he is beheaded.
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
Now, it seems like Blackwater is bring art to life, as it pursues it's deceased employees beyond the grave. From the New York Times:

Blackwater is pursuing a bold legal strategy, going so far in a North Carolina case as to seek a gag order on the lawyers for the families of four Blackwater employees killed in an ambush in Falluja in 2004. The company argues that the dead men had signed contracts that prohibited them from talking to the press about Blackwater and that this restriction extended to their lawyers and their estates even after death.

Still, no one has ever written a better, and more frightening song about mercenaries then David Rodriquez's The True Cross (on the hard to find album of the same name):

The True Cross

When we left the Saigon embassy
The last ones out the door
We fire-bombed their paperwork
To cover up their war

We partied on the Arizona
Until after twenty days
When the lights of San Diego
Woke us from our drunken haze

And then the general calls us back, he says,
"We need you to assist"
When they paid us off in unmarked bills
I guess we got the gist

With two vatos out of Houston
And one from San Antone
In the bloody streets of Salvador
They left us on our own

Now we don't meddle in their politics
We could not take the pain
Ain't the way we analyze
Ain't the way we train

We know twelve dialects of Spanish
Plus the one in Panama
We're the MVP's for the CIA
PTSD and all

So you can keep my bronze medallions
You can stick my silver stars
All I need is something I can spend
In this Guatemalan bar

Fourteen rounds, a Belgian Browning
And a two-star general's pay
And I'll keep right on a-killin'
for the United S. of A.

So as I look out on these mountains
From the nightclub Carribelle
Some officer is ordering
civilians shot to hell

And I think of my own country
How she treated me so bad
And how we finally found a way to live
The best we ever have

CompaƱeros out of Saigon
The last to leave that day
But we been twenty years a killin'
for the United S. of A.

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