06 February, 2005

Deserting the Fray

Deserting the Fray

Perhaps you didn’t hear
About the Israeli
Tank commander
Who refused to go on
Driving through
Palestinian homes
Following a long tradition
Of Jewish discourse
Exercising his conscience

Perhaps it all just
Got too much
Spraying the bush
Only to find dead children
Who had been recruited by force
Was it the lack of gumboots
The blisters the hunger
The isolation

You left your
Assault rifle
Leaned against the wall
Of Gulu police station
And took the bus

No useful skills
Glazed by the noise of battle
No money no job
No safe place
When enough was enough

Willy Bach © 2002

Footnote: These thoughts followed the case of the civil disobedience campaign by eight former Israeli soldiers and the interview with ‘The Monitor’ journalist, Frank Nyakairu, shortly after his release from detention (after the helicopter down story). UPDF soldiers suffer from low pay and low morale and are deserting at the rate of at least three rifles a day, others just take their weapon with them, perhaps to join the LRA, become outlaws or just sell their weapon to criminals.


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