Rolling Thunder 2013

May 27, 2013

All Posts, Features, News

Decoration Day, which became Memorial Day, spontaneously began during the American Civil War – a war fought mostly by conscripts – as a day set aside to tend and decorate the graves of that war’s dead. By 1867 Memorial Day had its own poignant hymn, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping.” And, the next year General John Logan, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic – which was probably the largest veterans organization in history – asked his members to decorate the graves of both Union and Confederate dead at Arlington National Cemetery.

The day to tend the memorials was observed on different dates from state to state under slightly different names. There was a pronounced disagreement about the holiday between the North and the South. To this day most of the states in the old Confederacy have a separate day to honor their Confederate dead. Texas remembers in January. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi remember in April. Louisiana and Tennessee honor their Confederate dead on Jefferson Davis’ birthday in June.

Memorial Day became a national holiday and the culmination of a three day weekend in 1971, two years before the United States pulled combat troops out of Vietnam and four years before that war’s brutal and tragic finale. The motorcycle ride called Rolling Thunder began a dozen years after that, which was five years after the dedication of a black chevron carved into a corner of the National Mall. The half buried chevron is officially called the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Most Vietnam veterans simply call it “The Wall.”

The Wall

The Wall was controversial from the start for all the reasons anything can be controversial in a narcissistic society obsessed with its reflection in the fun house mirrors of the mass media. Three veterans named Ray Manzo, John Holland and Walt Sides rode their motorcycles to The Wall for Memorial Day in 1987 with the same intentions the first celebrants of Decoration Day had.

At the time, the Vietnam War and the men who had fought for America there were still the punch lines of many bitter jokes. (How many Vietnam Vets does it take to screw in a light bulb? Pause. You can’t know man! You can’t know! You weren’t there! Ha! Ha! Ha!)

The Wall had been defaced. Many veterans thought The Wall needed protecting, tending and appreciation and in 1988 Manzo, Holland, Sides and a Vietnam veteran named Artie Muller returned with about 2,000 of their dirty and dangerous biker friends. They came, as a biker from Pittsburgh named Robert Wagner told a reporter that day, as “a show of strength.”

Mueller went on to make a career out of the final leg of the Run To The Wall, which is called “Rolling Thunder.” He is good at what he does. This year some uncounted number of motorcycles, maybe as many as 750,000, rode from Arlington, Virginia to The Wall.


Mueller is now 67 and most of the original meaning of Rolling Thunder has been submerged under a rising tide of phony patriotism. As the Civil War was the first war fought mostly by men who had no choice in the matter, Vietnam was the last war fought mostly by conscripts. Congress ended the draft in 1973 and the gulf between soldier and citizen has been widening ever since. Twelve percent of the nation was in uniform in World War II. About one half of a percent wears a uniform today. When the draft ended, 70 percent of Congress had worn a uniform. Today, fewer than 20 percent of Congress has gone through Basic Combat Training. As a result, most of the people responsible for America’s current string of low intensity and micro wars judge them dispassionately – as Adolph Eichmann was dispassionate about the blood on his hands.

As recently as the turn of the millennium, most Americans understood that Rolling Thunder had some valid connection to Vietnam and the profound alienation of many of that war’s veterans from bourgeois America. The best way to repeat history’s mistakes, an old saw claimed, is to forget about them. Even a decade ago, America was not ready to forget. Mueller and his coterie were welcome guests in the George W. Bush White House because, whatever his other deficiencies, Bush at least had the decency to be ashamed for what he did and did not do during Vietnam.

President Obama, on the other hand, is he among us who is without shame. He thinks Vietnam was a movie and he is a shameless supporter of the professional military. He has an accountant’s view of America’s wars. He is an obviously self-satisfied and hollow man who seems personally unacquainted with rage, shock, violence and blood. And, he has given Rolling Thunder and Artie Mueller the cold shoulder for his entire term. That was the case again this year. He seems to think Mueller has nothing to teach him.

Mueller still remembers how Rolling Thunder started. In an interview with the Washington Times last week, Mueller said, “Everything about this rally still affects me, no matter how many years we’ve been doing it. And everything we do is meant to remember and honor our POWs, MIAs and all of our veterans. I lost a whole lot of guys in that war. I never forget that I made it back but they didn’t.”


Presently, most Americans are convinced that wars should be subcontracted to professionals rather than fought by their sons and fellow citizens as a common cause. So it is not surprising that Memorial Day is now conflated with Veteran’s Day and Independence Day. And, the old veterans’ show of strength is increasingly regarded as a public nuisance. Rolling Thunder got significantly less play from the top, national news outlets this morning than the big car race in Indianapolis,

And many Washington area residents are frank about their contempt for the event.

“Yes, I’ll take the day away from my orthodontics practice, pull on my leathers, skip shaving for a day for that ‘tough’ look, and disrupt traffic all over the region with a bunch of accountants and middle managers riding overpriced loud scooters for morons,” a poster commented last week on Fairfax Underground, a community news site and bulletin board in Suburban Virginia.

“The only thing dumber than the tards riding their noisy little bikes and fucking up traffic are the tards who camp out by the side of the road in lawn chairs to watch them all go by. Who the fuck has never seen a motorcycle before, and wants to stand around for hours watching a bunch of organ donors putt-putt by on their loud attention-whore-mobiles,” another suburbanite commented.

Another said: “Wow, it’s time for Monkeyfest 2013 already? Time flies! Get ready for the parade of hairy, greasy, stinky, disgusting, fat-ass ‘riders’ clogging up the roads to fill their endless cravings for attention.”

And another: “Why do they continue to have this? How many years has this been going on? What have they accomplished? I have nothing against a bunch of old guys trying to be cool for a weekend, but what’s the point? If they are trying to change things it ain’t working!”

In response the Mueller’s persistent argument that his rally raises awareness of soldiers being held prisoner and those missing in action a sarcastic commenter said: “Don’t you guys get it? Rolling Douchery is all about the MIAs and POWs. It has nothing to do with ‘riders’ wanting attention. Not at all. This has been going on for 25 years, and so far Rolling Douchery has been responsible for approximately zero (give or take zero) recovered MIAs and POWs. So it’s a huge success, and will undoubtedly continue to be so – because it’s all about the MIAs and POWs.”

A commenter on a Washington blog called POPville wrote: “I hate Rolling Thunder (a big party to show off bikes disguised as concern) so much that I go on vacation around Memorial Day.” Which is what President Obama does.

And another wrote: “Gathering in one place to show respect for those who served their country is thoughtful. Gathering across a huge swath of territory on intentionally loud noisemaking machines that disrupt other people’s lives is just a selfish festival. It’s analogous to going out to throw up in public on St. Patrick’s Day.”

President Speaks

The President was back in Washington this morning in time to laud the newly professionalized military. After laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier this morning, he delivered his annual Memorial Day speech. It wasn’t exactly The Gettysburg Address.

In his remarks the President praised the “one percent of the American people (who) bear the burden of our defense” but he did not question that perverse statistic. He called the volunteers “heroes, each and every one. They gave America the most precious thing they had, the last full measure of devotion. And because they did, we are who we are today: a free and prosperous nation, the greatest in the world.”

He continued, “They risk their lives, and many give their lives, for something larger than themselves or any of us: The ideals of liberty and justice that make America a beacon of hope for the world. That’s been true throughout our history – from our earliest days, when a tiny band of revolutionaries stood up to an empire, to our 9/11 generation, which continues to serve and sacrifice today.”

“Over the last decade, we’ve seen the character of our country again,” the President boasted.

Obama is so calculating that it is often hard to know what he is talking about. The war in Afghanistan, which “is larger than…any of us,” is after all his war. And, it is clearly Congress’ war. And so are all the micro-wars in places like Yemen, the Sudan, the Phillipines and Columbia. So it is difficult to tell whether Obama is a liar on the subject of war or simply blind to it. Neither of those possibilities is comforting.


An obvious example of this fatuousness or mendacity broke into the news last September when Marines in Afghanistan were widely described as “inhuman” for urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban. All combat veterans, and virtually every man who has lived in the last 200,000 years, would have found the conduct of those Marines to be completely human. The President, who is fussy about pronouncing “Taliban” forgot how to pronounce “Marines.” But other members of his administration and party did speak about the incident. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who served in the peacetime Army before Vietnam, called the Marines “utterly despicable.”

And Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, also condemned the Marines for not fighting her war correctly. The same week a Marine Staff Sergeant was being court-martialed for “desecration of human remains,” “posing for unofficial photographs with human casualties,” “failing to properly supervise junior Marines” and not reporting misconduct, Shultz said this on Bill Maher’s show on HBO: “Let’s remember that this is the United States of America. The greatest country in the world that is the country that we hold ourselves up as a shining example. That conduct, and I represent a lot of wonderful 18-year-old kids in the Twentieth District in South Florida, and I wouldn’t expect that conduct out of any of them no matter what their level of maturity is and it’s unacceptable in any way shape or form.”

After Wasserman Shultz self-righteous and self-serving little speech, the in-studio audience, which might not have contained a single combat veteran, enthusiastically cheered.

Next year Obama should set aside a couple hours for a little chat with Artie Mueller about war. He might learn something. Wasserman Schultz should sit in on that meeting, too.


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37 Responses to “Rolling Thunder 2013”

  1. Freeman Says:

    Thank you gentlemen.

    Pretty much confirms what i suspected states 30 to 50 in the states.
    asked a couple of buddies across canada 30-50.

    Cost in quebec for anything over 400 cc is now $1,116.90 !
    i shit you not:

    This province is not only hell bent on eradicating mc (read 81 as they are the only major club here) most of them are inside now.

    But seems to want to eradicate bikers all together, or reserve the ”previledge” of riding to middle age yuppies to live out a childhood fantasy.

    Know the rules before you break’em (and im about to break a few)

  2. Snow Says:

    @ freeman
    A motorcycle plate cost about $32 for 3 years in Louisiana.

  3. WARTHOG Says:

    $41 in Illinois.

  4. freeman Says:

    Yeah OK same here, whatever, ciao.

  5. freeman Says:

    Just out a curiosity, how much does a license plate costs around the states?

  6. Drifter Says:

    Try not to shed a tear around the 2:00 mark.

  7. freeman Says:

    Nah Springer, guess you quit the keyboard before not making sense!

    I never was one big on blogs, forums or post your opinion sites.
    From what i read i always found them to be like ”ligne ouverte” on radio,where people call in just complaining about there own self pity and worthless life, and it just makes you feel like kicking them in the butt, for having a shitty life when you realize the reason is that they dont do shit to change anything about it.

    Thanks Rebel for having this site up, only thing i found worth reading on the web for a long time, and springer, its better to be informed then be a sheep, no matter how pissed off it makes you.

    b.t.w. im not always this bleak!

    know the rules before you break’em

  8. springerman Says:

    @ freeman thank you for the information I don’t know why I never would guess things were that way up north but I should assume things are fucked up everywhere. I must be in the I don’t care about anything stage of my life and am finding it harder and harder to keep from going ape shit. Reading rebels site does a good job of feeding my brain even though the subjects covered are not pleasant reading when it informs of the constant oppressive trends of government and its contempt of the very citizens it supposedly represents. I hope I am making some kind of point here not just rambling as my intake of alcohol is ever increasing these days. Again factoring in the I don’t give a shit state of mind.

  9. Donny1020 Says:

    Old Sarge just went on and on, wow. Lifers, go figure?

  10. Prospect Says:

    We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
    Winston Churchill.


  11. freeman Says:

    My bad i should have been more specific, what i wrote” you over there and us over here”, should have read, the sheeps over there and sheeps over here don’t give a fuck, sorry bout that one.
    i also read the post top to bottom not in diagonal and i agree with you everyone here his thorough and to the point(well most of the time)
    now politician, or as i like to call’em polichinelle, which means bad society clown!!!
    they are bad all over this freaking planet(of course its always worst where someone sits right?) but over here we have a lot of things government owned (besides the sheep) hydro quebec, the only source of energy besides natural gaz is government owned, booze (besides beer) is government owned they govern all the imports on wine and spirits and hard liquor.
    lotteries is government owned, they also own the mtl casinoso basically the gov owns power you use everyday, and all your sin, plus the tax they charge on cigarettes a pack is between 8-10 bucks, so this how they make money.
    plus a couple of years back the federal came up with a goods and services tax GST, it was suppose to be temporary (so was the income tax during world war two ,anyways) the qc gov made up a tax of there own, the provincial sales tax, the trick is: you take the total of your purchase, add the federal tax and THEN ADD THE PROVINCIAL TAX! we are probably the only province in the world that taxes a tax! both taxes where suppose to be temporary, yeas later are still in effect.

    you would think that with all that quebec would be a rich province right? heeeeeeeeiiiinnnnn! fucking wrong! why this province is the most corrupt!
    the gov started looking at construction company income report, to find false facturation was going on, 4 years down the line they put up the charbonneau comission, turns out municipal was taking % on every city given contract (yeah i know duh!) thosE fuckers would get family, contacts, straycats, anyone to make a donation to the municipal party in power, (and then pay them back, yeah you guessed it CASH!) cant wait till they get to provincial and federal (yeah i know wishfull thinking) which means as a contractors biding on public contracts you had no choice but to join in on the collusion going on or you didn’t get a contract.
    now with that commission the only reason why it works is this: once you testify before the commission, nothing you say, while being interrogated, can be held against you in a court of law, its literally like turning informant but you do no time what so ever, nothing nada fucking zip,the plea bargain is you walk free automatically, you cant be prosecuted for this shit, if your in a club, you and your club try pulling that off, never gonna happen.
    I have already told my two sons, to be a black sheep in this family: grow up to be lawyers, cops or worse politicians, to be an honourable man don’t grow up to be a sheep, black or white.
    i could go on, and go back to some real dark shit that the powers that be have done trough all the years to control the majority of sheeps.
    dates back to Machiavelli he took all he saw of manipulative power, added to it and they have been adding pages every since.
    witch hunt? same damn thing, herbalist had the healing process/cures, by plant infusions and concoction almagation of plants, roots, what nature provided instead of working with them, new medicine ostracized them, stole that knowledge (that took hundreds of years of experimenting) it was taken away from everyone to be specialized ,then erased by killing the people (mostly women) who possessed it , don’t believe me? look it up: all the plants that the pharmaceutics use are pharmacopé which means as illegal as possessing as cannabis (pot) not a cop in the world could spot them but…
    but for now i will just stop here and plug my electric guitar and blast a 30 min solo or take the quad for a mud ride or do both, for these are the only two things that stop me from going ape shit when thinking of these things. thats alot of things in one paragraph.

    know the rules before you break’em.

  12. Snow Says:

    The way I see it, the ones who whine loudest do the least, if veterans and those who support them inconvenience those whiners so much the better. Have a problem with that? Take it up with a vet.
    Also, any so called leader of any country who snubbs their nose at those remembering the ones who have fallen should be tried for treason and shot at dawn.
    My 2 cents, respect sent to all vets, alive and past, Snow.

  13. springerman Says:

    @ freeman I read your post completely as I do of all posts on rebel sight. I find all(most) who post here engaging and knowledgeable. Most of all it is the perspective from which people post that I try to understand as I read. I certainly do not understand anyone’s fascination with “the queen” or “the royals”. As far as not caring about what happens up north where you are I want you to know that a politician is a politician here in USA,CANADA or wherever THEY ARE ALL DOUSCHEBAGS !!!! They can never fully erase the past but unfortunately by the time the record can be set straight it will be generations later by some other DOUSCHEBAG trying to get his/her name in the spotlight. I keep trying to stop making mistakes and learn from the past .And for all of the people complaining about being inconvenienced by Rolling Thunder they are even bigger DOUSCHEBAGS than politicians if that is possible.

  14. Q-Baller Says:

    Thanks Rebel as always for painting the picture as real as it can be with only words.

    If I step back and look from a wide spacetime view, I see the USA world empire teeter tottering on its hegemony. Just like the Roman Republic with its virtuous Citizen-Soldiers morphed into the Roman Empire with its professional conscripts, so to the USA is now something much different than the days of Washington and Franklin.

    How many still buy the “fighting for democracy” bit about Afghanistan? Anyways that is not the point to Memorial Day.

    Yes, I spend more time with accountants than probably any other reader here. Still reading your post reminds me to be grateful. I have fallen family in Normandy and the Philippines from World War II and a great great uncle that took a lead bullet in the throat back in the Civil War.

    Remember, be thankful and show respect for the Fallen. Thank-you for the reminder.

  15. Snow Says:

    @ Freeman
    I can relate, my family settled in South La. cause they said fuck you to the British crown, packed the shit they could carry, left Halifax and never looked back..

  16. freeman Says:

    I have just re-read all of this, and one thing that pisses me off and is a common trait to alot of countries, defuckingnial! the sweep it under the carpet syndrome.

    Everytime something looks bad for us (read the gov)make nothing of it and make it disapear, a tangent as built by the media and public opinion is all over it? just bury the damn events!!

    im from Quebec,canada, i know a lot of you wont give a fuck what happens up here, as alot of here dont give a fuck what happens down where you are.

    but i will give you a very brief inlook on the history of this country and how it was/is and will be handled by the federal gov.

    There was a back and forth exchange by the brits and france for ownership of north america, alliances made with the native americans swayed it back and forth, brits took control of most of what is now called canada, quebec however had an irreductible side that said fuck this we are who we are deal with it.

    our patriots and that is exactly how they called themselves ”patriote” got hung high for rebelling against the brits and theyr beliefs, and not seeing why the fuck they should pay taxes to some gay looking asshole living 10 000 kilometers away.

    that dates back hundreds of years, nowadays we got prime minister harper who has some fucking pavlov syndrome and worships the queen!

    no fucking kiddin! the annual budget of canada got sliced off of millions of dollars going for hommage to the queen of england, picture, memorials and what not, hung in every federal offices country wide, and im not even talking about the visit of the queen security alone, was like 5 millions.

    what does this have to do with this thread? if anyone is still readin?
    our our prime minister over here decided that the hanging of the patriots never happened; BANNED FROM HISTORY BOOKS NATION WIDE!, QUEBEC NEVER CALLED REFERENDUMS TO SEPARATE FROM CANADA, that NEVER EXISTED,it makes canada look bad.

    One more for ya, the prick as a fixation with a war that has no significance historically and politically ,1812 war look it here:

    all of this shit including rebels article can be summarized (i think with all due respect to this:) remember the past, learn the ways of the old, know the ways of the new, make your own mind, avoid mistakes.

    know the rules before, you break em.
    yours truly.

  17. Frequent Flyer Says:

    Debbie Wasserman Shultz looks like she puts mayonnaise in her hair.

    Or is that something else?

  18. freeman Says:

    gotta agree with old sarge on this, times they are a changing,drones are a roaming.

    know the rules before you break’em.


  19. Martin Says:

    It’s amazing how many people can complain about veterans riding their loud motorcycles and causing an inconvenience in their lives for one day. Just one day veterans get to take a moment from others when so many have been inconvenienced by the same wars that many of these individuals support.

  20. Old MSgt Says:

    I think that part of the same fucking shit I have had shoved down my throat for decades is that “we” lost in Vietnam because the troops were undisciplined.
    Certainly not by me. Viet Nam was calculatedly extended by Nixon to win re-election then settled when the American public tired of supporting the worthless South Vietnamese government. Even then, there were enough dedicated South Vietnamese military to prolong the fight until 1975 and make the conventional NVA drive South costly.

    Combat refusals were real. Draft resistance in service was real. Fraggings were real.

    That shit wasn’t a media invention, but draft proponents IGORE those things completely.

    Why the amnesia? The Army didn’t pretend they weren’t real.

    Ignore everything I say and read for yourselves.

    That in NO WAY should be used to tar the majority of successful draftees. It SHOULD be considered because it did massive, documented damage to the Armed Forces which took many years to repair. Even the Air Force, which didn’t draft, suffered because Americans not wanting to die for LBJs and Nixons ignorance enlisted to escape the Army and not because of enthusiasm for the mission. They didn’t give a shit about discipline (all my senior NCOs regaled us with stories of the Bad Old Days) and performance suffered.

    “The “volunteer” army is a corrupt and expensive racket.”

    Compared to what? Armies have always been “rackets” (profiteering during the War Between the States, black marketing during WWII, Brown and Root making a mint off LBJ building bases after helping his early career).

    In what PRECISE way is the Volunteer Force a racket moreso than a mixed force?

    Are the professional soldiers and Marines who voluntarily deploy MANY times somehow lesser beings than the conscripts of old?

    Is there something wrong with preserving their combat experience instead of training a rotating pool of new guys/gals?

    How many Soldiers and Marines should we indirectly kill and maim by forcing waves of noobs on them in the name of shared sacrifice?

    “Nations should fight wars.”

    If the wars are so large they require it. The US as a “nation” didn’t fight most of its wars even before the Cold War.

    Historically, most wars are merely tools for situational readjustment. It doesn’t functionally MATTER if they are a moral crusade (the moral crusade model is part of why bad wars are prolonged) except that Americans have been groomed by their masters to want moral crusades since that’s an easy way to sell war.

    Wars don’t NEED nations to fight them because dumping cannon fodder into meatgrinders like Verdun is obsolete. The purpose of troops is to kill other people, so if you can get that done without throwing away a lot of your own folks in the process that’s what to do.

    I appreciate the yearning for universal conscription to foster some sort of national emotional engagement with US wars, but the US is huge. There would be little for even a Cold War-sized armed force to do and it would be too expensive to equip even if not manned by conscripts whose only purpose in being inducted was to pretend there was shared sacrifice.

    In contrast, Israel has more engagement because it’s the size of a small US State and military manning requires both professional and conscript soldiery. The US has over 300 million people, and conscription with the purpose of Nanny State indoctrination would instantly breed effective passive and active resistance.

    Conscription advocates deliberately ignore the downside to conscription. When will we hear them mention the drawbacks and how to realistically deal with them?

    “It is equally destructive to send the same National Guardsmen to combat zones over and over and over and over. ”

    They can choose not to re-up. That simple. There are more post-service transition programs in place than ever before. They can go to school for four years and get BAH as a stipend. (I’m attending college with plenty of other separated and retired Army and Air Fore vets doing this.) If someone claims they are “stuck” in the military that bears further examination in detail.

    If you re-up, it’s either for the mission/comradeship (lots of folks enjoy their work though they won’t usually put it that way to civilians), the money, or both. If you can cope with war you can certainly make the effort to cope with peace. That’s a choice.

  21. Tim D Says:

    @ BigV: I AGREE!!! WELL SAID!

  22. Rebel Says:

    Dear Old MSgt,

    I was a draftee. Virtually everybody I served with was a draftee. Most of them were college educated and I thought they were all extraordinarily professional killers.

    There are fewer casualties now in Afghanistan because it is a lower intensity war, not because the troops are necessarily better. There is now a great emphasis on mounted patrols and winning hearts and minds. I think that part of the same fucking shit I have had shoved down my throat for decades is that “we” lost in Vietnam because the troops were undisciplined. We lost in Vietnam because to win would have required putting in another 250,000 troops and re-colonizing Indo-China. We didn’t do that because both the Russians and Chinese had a stake in the fight and the world was much closer to nuclear confrontation than it now is. So, ultimately Nixon made nice with Red China and fucked all over the Vietnamese.

    The reason we now have a volunteer force is because too many past and future politicians were embarrassed by what they did to avoid the draft during Vietnam. We did away with the draft because very many upper middle class fathers didn’t want their sons to have to explain why they pretended to be homosexual in order to avoid the draft. It is destructive to both the Republic and the Armed Forces to compartmentalize wars and hide them away where all the timid citizens cannot see them. It is equally destructive to send the same National Guardsmen to combat zones over and over and over and over. The true costs of wars continue for decades. Nobody has any idea of what the true cost of Iraq and Afghanistan will eventually be.

    Nations should fight wars. The American people should fight American wars. That’s one of the reasons our Founding Fathers gave us the right to keep and bear arms. The “volunteer” army is a corrupt and expensive racket. Fighting a war is basically pretty simple. Find, engage and kill the enemy. No bullshit. No girls allowed. You will take casualties. If you don’t think a war is important enough to invest your son then don’t fight it. We fought a war in Iraq that caused untold misery and accomplished basically nothing because George W. Bush wanted to prove he had a dick. There is no nice way to fight a war. It is a heartless, cruel, bloody business. It isn’t nice. It is long lines of refugees and orphans. It is life changing sorrow. It is a great, inefficient, stupid waste of everything. There is no “moral high ground.” You fight to win. And, I can tell by your remarks you don’t know shit about Vietnam. Okay? All due respect. No offense intended. I am sure you know much more about what a war is and why you fight them and how you actually win them than anybody in the Obama Administration.


  23. Tim D Says:

    Rebel, thanks for the info, I feel anyone who says disrespectful comments about our vets who were in Vietnam, and the disrespectful comments about true Biker American Riders such as Rolling Thunder, or any biker Club’s that went to support our Vietnam vets and the MIA’s and POW’S, should have their asses KICKED BADLY!!~ and they should be thrown out of this so called great country of the USA, and sent to a fully communist country forever, those people are usually plastic inhuman assholes, I am a vet, but was not in Vietnam, But I respect all those who were in Vietnam or any war they were in, they all deserve respect and HONOR, we Americans have a very disrespectful President, and many Americans see that now, its a little to late though, I can not believe our president wouldn’t give just 1 second of his time to rolling thunder and the people who rode with them, Americans should Impeach him, as a matter as fact, Impeach all of them!! to me they our prez and most of the politicians don’t really Give a rats ass about any American, or any Vet, I didn’t know that the wall was vandalized and disrespected, I would like to give my Thanks and respects to: Manzo, Holland, Artie Muller and Robert Wagner, for what they have done for our MIA’s and POW’s and Vietnam vets, and my respects for all vets in America, and I would like to thank all of You,I am glad I read this, I did learn something. Tim D.

  24. BigV Says:

    Corrupt: Well said.

    I think we need a draft or two years minimum paid civil service beginning at age 18. Today’s youth have nothing and I mean nothing going for them. There are rare exceptions to that, but anyone under the age of 50 probably isn’t worth a shit when it comes to worth ethic, willingness to sacrifice, etc.

  25. Corrupt Says:

    Old MSgt,

    While I agree with pretty much everything you wrote I do not agree with your view on the draft. I believe that the current diversity/loss of the the “melting pot” is partly due to the lack of a unifying experience (that the draft provided). If nothing else, you could at least figure that most draftees could speak english at the end of their tour. We now have many politicians who haven’t served. We have leaders that have no skin in the game as far as having their children at risk before they decide to send our troops in harms way.

    IRT the cost of draftees, as in the past, those one their initial tour were paid much less than those on subsequent tours.Thanks & respects.

  26. Whitepride Says:

    Thank you, Rebel. A person who hasn’t been in combat has no right to judge those Marines and what they did. Fuck all those douchebag politicians and fuck Bill Maher!

  27. Pig Says:

    I cannot think of a better way to say it so to borrow, once again, from the good folks over at The Sipsey Street Irregulars…

    “We will not go gently . . .”
    This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. I have studied history for years and I cannot recall it ever happening. It may be that our task is impossible. Yet, if we do not try then how will we know it can’t be done? And if we do not try, it most certainly won’t be done. The Founders’ Republic, and the larger war for western civilization, will be lost.

    But I tell you this: We will not go gently into that bloody collectivist good night. Indeed, we will make with our defiance such a sound as ALL history from that day forward will be forced to note, even if they despise us in the writing of it.

    And when we are gone, the scattered, free survivors hiding in the ruins of our once-great republic will sing of our deeds in forbidden songs, tending the flickering flame of individual liberty until it bursts forth again, as it must, generations later. We will live forever, like the Spartans at Thermopylae, in sacred memory.

    — Mike Vanderboegh, The Lessons of Mumbai:Death Cults, the “Socialism of Imbeciles” and Refusing to Submit, 1 December 2008

  28. Base Says:

    The ability to translate what is really being said by Obama or any other person for that matter is a/and has always been a necessary craft. So much so it should be required learning.

    The bloggers comments.

    It has become so easy to recognize the ones who will be taken out first when it all goes to hell. They will go down with blinders on and a “WTF” look on their faces. Poor souls.

    Myself have always viewed things from all angels and really do attempt to gain an understanding of another persons opinion.
    My stopping point in all that comes about when it’s time to insert head into rectum to gain their perspective.

    There is just some lines that don’t need to be crossed to gain understanding.

    These bloggers shallow and obstructed view of rolling thunder is a perfect example of not seeing the forest because of the trees. Or screams “MY HEAD IS FIRMLY SHOVED MY ASS!”

    Pretty good example of the clueless…

    Respectful regards to our fallen.

    Head on a swivel folks.

  29. Sickey Says:

    Donny1020….While I want to assume you were referring to the worthless non-fighting politician types that cloak themselves in a pseudo-patriotic vain hubris, it does seem your comment was wider spread to include anyone who would thank a vet for their service and, hadn’t served in the US Armed Forces themselves. Please clarify for me, the 39 year old thankful non vet.



  30. slycechyx Says:

    I hope to ride to Rolling Thunder someday, can this old granny make it all the way from AZ on her little sporty? I don’t know, but would love to give it a try.

    Fuck Obama.

  31. Bill Says:

    America, whatever it is, or was, exists nowhere but in the minds and hearts of those who reach out, cling to, and if necessary fight for that certain unanimity among men who honor freedom with their lives. This kindred community of countrymen, who if even only in their own minds live in that world of justice and liberty, is really all there ever was or is of this thing called America. These noisy men on motorcycles are part of it, absolutely. The delicious irony here is the much offended sensibilities of the poseur patriots, in their very hallowed and because of them, hollow grounds. The world is tipping over. What really matters most is now publicly reviled by those whose vacuous opinions are worshiped by the spiritual mutants who bond with the Kardashian/Obaman dreck that passes for role models in this mindless new world. America is fast disappearing like the last wisps of smoke from a once great fire, too hot and bright for too many, and so left untended, to die. When the cold and darkness finally descend, only then will the hollow fools who urged on its demise, weep for what once was, America.
    Thank you, Rebel, for maintaining this little slice of what’s right.

  32. Old MSgt Says:

    Great piece.

    IMO Rolling Thunder ought to be deliberately morphed into a more general veteran event because dividing vets by war isn’t quite the best way to build veteran POLITICAL leverage.

    Later vets like myself owe the fact we weren’t generally treated as expendable to the ACTIVISM of Viet Nam veterans who got royally fucked by their parent service, the VA, the government, the public, and Hollywood, and that’s the short list!

    BTW any Commie back in the day with a lick of sense would have done away with any POWs not officially accounted for because they would have been an embarrassment, and MIA return missions proceed apace

    because even though the war didn’t succeed as intended, the Vietnamese know their traditional enemy is China and have solid interests in cooperating with the US. (How many Americans know about the Sino-Vietnamese war?)

    As far as the “professional military”, I enlisted at the end of the Hollow Force and saw the transformation. One reason we take far fewer casualties and have far better discipline (note the lack of large stockades and no modern equivalent of Long Binh Jail!) is we have more career military who are best suited to spending the years it takes to learn modern systems.

    Conscription was effectively turned into a disaster for the military by resisters, unfair deferments (inevitable under any system!), and a very rapidly rotating pool of short-term folks who, even if they were good, didn’t stay in long enough to build a suitable force for a very extended war.

    Fuck the draft. It would take billions away from the “tip of the spear” and cost MANY dead guys. It didn’t protect G.I.s from being expended cynically in attrition warfare against expendable gooks.

    THIS is part of history too, and there’s lots more:


    By Col. Robert D. Heinl, Jr.
    North American Newspaper Alliance
    Armed Forces Journal, 7 June, 1971”

    The US needs Centurions. It can’t financially afford general conscription, so to appease the perceived need for “shared sacrifice” a few (mentally and physically fit) unfortunates would be “designated sacrifices”.

    G.I.s aren’t stupid, and they’d instantly understand they were being sold down the river…just like last time.

    Part of serving in any military is always going to be “serving idiots” or serving the malicious and corrupt. Always went with the territory and always will, which doesn’t exclude a personal, professional commitment to get the job done. (The French Foreign Legion fought like lions against the Viet Minh and knew they didn’t have a personal dog in the larger fight. Smedley Butler finally got pissed off, but that was after an illustrious career.)

    My deepest thanks to all Viet Nam vets, whose “lessons learned” at great personal cost changed the US military for the better, despite frequent institutional resistance!

  33. Paladin Says:

    I wonder if today, the soldiers whose names appear on the great wall, would even recognize the Country that they gave up their lives for. I know I don’t.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),


  34. Donny1020 Says:

    Just in response to troyez, one of the things that has always bothered me is guys that say thanks for your service all the while they and their type didn’t. On top of that is their romantic view of war, they don’t know the words to the old song “war, what is good for, absolutely nothing).

    By the way screw all politicians and remember these guys that wrap themselves in the flag or new leathers are same squares that lock us up. Oh ya. I still hate Officers, FTA!

  35. willienelso3 Says:

    Dear Rebel,

    Thank you. You keep getting better and better.

    I was going to pass around last year’s article, but now this.
    You provide a voice for many who cannot speak.

    with respect,


  36. troyez Says:

    Thank you for your service, and thanks to all who served so that these worthless wastes of space (Washington area residents on blogs, never face to face, mind you) can exercise the hard won 1st amendment rights by pissing and moaning about traffic and noise. Obama and his cronies ignore Rolling Thunder (except to complain of course) year after year, yet they “support our troops” with cheap words when there’s a microphone and camera present, never mind that the clubs they persecute with the BATFE hammer are mostly made up of veterans. I’d better stop now, this subject infuriates me.
    L&R to all who served.

  37. rollinnorth Says:

    Thank you, Rebel.
    For five years, now, I remind whoever might be listening, “Screw Garrison Keillor!”


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