The Fables of Deserter Joshua Key: Why Milblogs are Needed.

| January 28, 2009

UPDATE: If you need a good laugh to wash this nonsense away, there is an AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME video tribute to Joshua.  YOU MUST GO WATCH. It’s like dirty hippie meets A Mighy Wind.  Only they met at special ed schol. 

Ed Note: Dear Grove Press, please include this quote on your next edition of the book.
“Joshua Key and his book are more full of fecal matter than the honey wagon trucks sucking out the port-o-johns at Ft Polk. I’d rather have a suppository applied with a tomahawk missile than read this book again.”

I mentioned a week ago that I had purchase the book The Deserter’s Tale: The Story of an Ordinary Soldier who Walked Away from the War in Iraq, by Joshua Key as told to Lawrence Hill. I owe IVAW a big apology. They are not the phoniest of all phony veterans, this no-talent assclown traitor is.

First off, you should start by reading the excellent work of a milblogger from Korea at ROK Drop who absolute demolishes Key’s story. I am going to avoid rehashing everything that that blogger did, and stick to some other elements that stood out to me. Part I of this post will cover some absolute absurd crap in this book, and errors that no one in the military would ever make unless they were such a shitbag that they really didn’t even know what they were doing. For instance, would a real troop refer to a “gunny sergeant” in the army, or to a “M-16 Grenade Launcher” instead of a M203? Nah, I don’t think so. Some of the quotes are just hilarious. Like the dude allegedly trying to commit suicide by shooting himself in the leg with the grenade launcher. What dipshit doesn’t know that 40mm rounds have an arming distance? And, how about a hospital where needles and fetuses are scattered on the floor? And some Hollywood type pyrotechnics stuff that I believe he saw on Die Hard II.

Part II of this post will detail the lavish tongue bath that this piece of work received from the media, and such literary luminaries as Daily Kos. A future post will go more in depth on the book itself, but anyone with a modicum of military training or common sense would see how much fertilizer this dude is spreading. As I see it, the job of milbloggers is to set these stories right.

As we stabbed the dummies with our bayonets, one of our commanders stood on the podium and shouted into a microphone: “Kill! Kill! Kill the sand niggers!” [Ed Note: According to Key, 1/3 of his basic class at Ft Leonard Wood was African-American, and yet seemingly no one felt that this was inappropriate. Maybe because it never happened. It should be noted that Key is mighty prolific in his use of the SN phraseology.]

My sergeant let loose with his .50 cal Machine Gun. Blasting away with bullets about 6 inches long, he shot the car and brought it to a halt. I saw a trail of gas leaking from the car. The sergeant shifted his gun, aimed at the trail of gas, and shot again. The line of gas caught fire, and flew back toward the truck, and when it hit the gas tank, the truck exploded in a ball of fire.

I shuddered at the thought of needing treatment in such a filthy place. Needles were scattered all over the floors and by toilets, and I spotted blood and fetuses. I imagined that the tiny, half-formed bodies had come from miscrarriages, and I stopped to think about how hard the war had to be on the women of Iraq. Given that the hospital lacked the equipment to properly dispose of needles and fetuses, it gave me the shivers to imagine the conditions in which the living were treated. I wondered to what degree our occupation of the country had caused all these problems in the hospital, and admired Muhammad and the other doctors and nurses for trying to save the lives of diseased and injured children.

We knew one man who had already done it [committed suicide] and another who had spoken openly of suicide. Shortly before coming to al-Habbaniyah, a Specialist named Love loaded his M-16 Grenade Launcher [Ed Note: No such animal, vegetable or mineral exists, must be referring to an M203] while he was standing on guard duty at our compound. I was changing the oil on our armored personnel carrier at the time, only about 50 yards away when I heard the thump of the grenade and the soldier screaming. Sgt Fadinetz, a few other soldiers, and I ran over to Love. “What happened?” we asked him, but he would not say. We could see that Love had shot himself in the ankle and we called for help. He was taken away for medical care, and we never saw him again. It was a good thing the grenade had not exploded or he could have been killed.

For the rest of my time in Iraq I was not able to forget the scene of the decapitated bodies and the heads being kicked by American soldiers. Sometimes, in my dreams, disembodied heads plagued me with accusations. They told me what I was slowly realizing; that the American military had betrayed the values of my country. We had become a force for evil, and I could not escape the fact that I was part of the machine.

Regarding Timothy McVeigh:

It was an American – a former gunnery sergeant in the 1st Infantry division in the First Gulf War – who had blown up his own people. [Ed Note– The army does not have “gunnery sergeants” which is E7 in the Marine Corps, McVeigh was an E5. You’d have thought a graduate of Basic/AIT would fricken know the rank structure, no?]


So, on to the Media reaction:

Ultimately, Key and his family made it to Canada, where they are awaiting word on whether they will be legally accepted for asylum. But the questions he raise, coupled with the Washington Post stories about treatment of veterans, will not go away. Why does the flesh-price of war always fall disproportionately on those with lower income? How much ingenuity and promise of these young men and women are being wasted on destruction? How much longer can we sweep the damaged under the rug so the American public doesn’t have to see the consequences of the actions of its leadership? And even for those not wounded, and not officially handed a PTSD diagnosis, how smooth a transition back into civil society can reasonably be expected from those who have been ordered to perpetrate atrocities – or bear silent witness to them? How many lives and souls will we squander as a nation before the madness ends? — Daily Kos [Ed Note: Kos was a cannon cocker in the Army, shouldn’t he be bright enough to know this story is bullshit?]

Keys personal crisis is also the crisis of his nation. – The Age, Australia

An exceptionally clear sighted and brave testimony. – Bokavisen, Norway

Stark and compelling…it caused me to re-assess my notions of duty…The Deserters Tale ought to be required reading for soldiers heading overseas. – The Globe and Mail

Destined to become part of the literature of the Iraq War…a substantial contribution to history. – the LA Times

Scenes of Apocalypse Now insanity [Ed Note: I know I was chanting “The Horror, The Horror” just reading this crap]…Key does the math, as should the reader: if this is what one soldier saw in seven months, imagine the sub total of the inhumanity being perpetrated in Iraq. – The Toronto Star.

Explain to me again why we pay these people to give us their opinions….

The must see Ballad of Joshua Key;

Category: Politics

Comments (88)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Hawkeye says:

    So how come no one has gone and devastated his Wiki page?

    It seems to me that refuting his claims WITH citations would be the best way to start to get the facts out in the mainstream public rather than just telling each other.

    TSO Wrote: That sir, is an excellent question. My only answer is that I am a luddite. I would be Amish, but I don’t like beards. I have enough problem posting stuff, but someone should go over there and point out that some of the book is militarily innaccurate, and some of the stuff has even been “myth busted”. Again, an excellent thing you bring up.

  2. J3 says:

    GI JANE!
    Just a salute to you!! God bless you for that letter.
    You have more cojones than all the IVAWs combined. In a figure of speech of course.
    Maybe you subconsciously nicknamed yourself after the mighty Jayne Cobb ;o)
    Anyway – as Julie said up there, please go by Amazon and leave a review for the book. I enjoyed doing so.

    and INJUN :
    heh heh… catch ’em downrange, eh?
    “Mr. Keys, sir, would you stand here and hold this little funny shaped piece of paper? You only need hold it for a minute… a little higher. Higher. There! Now… smile!!”

  3. airborne injun says:

    G.I. Jane….You are proof that our military is still the best quality in the world dispite the left wing attempts to cut the legs off of us. My only satisfaction is knowing that Hell isnt half full yet. Dirt bags like keys will die one day but our service and sacrafice are forever. My war bonnet is off to you. J3…Fire for effect!

  4. UpNorth says:

    G.I. Jane, well said, thanks for saying it so well. Let us know if those limp wristed reviewers at the LAT respond?

  5. WOTN says:

    One of the most important lessons learned from the Viet Nam War is that we can’t let the kooks stand in the streets shouting their lies without response.

    Fortunately, our Viet Nam era Brothers, the very ones most harmed by the kooks of the 70’s, for whom no one stood up, were the first to stand up for todays Veterans.

    Fortunately, organizations such as the VFF, MAF, Gathering of Eagles and others stood up to remind Americans that the whackos didn’t speak for all Americans.

    And wisely, in self-preservation, our Current Conflict generation of Veterans took to the blogs, to the forums, and to every medium available and exposed the outrageous lies perpetuated by attention starved idiots trying to become the future Kerry’s or make a buck by breaking one off in the backs of true heroes that they could never be.

    But Claymore: Until you’ve earned the Expert badge on the 300 meter Bayonet Throwing Course using the alternate Mess Kit Knife and fast roped out of the SR-71 on 550 cord, into a sea kayak in the middle of the Pacific for an insertion into the Hindu Kush carrying only a MK-19 and 1000 rds of ammunition, a Swiss Army knife and your own wit, well, you’re just the average Black Ops guy, a wannabe Ack Ops kinda guy. ‘ell, even Kerry was a Navy Seal.

  6. j3 says:

    WOTN –
    RE your last paragraph-
    LMAO… BUT in the interest of accuracy…

    Kerry was removed from the last portions of SEAL training because his garter belt kept slipping down his muscular, well-oiled legs and interferign with his climbing skills. They gave him a honorary title just to get him away from the other guys, who all refused to go the latrines when he was lurking around there with his ‘come hither’ smile and his repeated invitations to ‘see my war wound’.

  7. WOTN says:

    That can’t be right. I remember sitting in a barber shop reading an article on the Seal/Senator turned Presidential Candidate. I was in complete awe of the Triple Purple Heart/Silver Star man who finished two tours of duty in 4 months while single handedly saving each man under his command from the Viet Cong hordes.

    It was clearly only the partisanship of the presidency that prevented him from getting a Medal of Honor in the action where he mowed down with the .50 cal, the 16 year old that had retreated at the mere sight of Seal Kerry.

    On the other hand, it has been said that many Black Ops teams sent to snuff out the whistle blower Kerry, met their demise when he stripped them of their automatic laser weapons and using only his bare hands literally ripped their hearts out.

    The only reason these stories are not better known is the great modesty of the Senator and the embarrassment of the government at their inability to take him out.

  8. j3 says:

    Ah – I stoop corrected! Maybe I was thinking of Joshua “Braveheart” Key!

  9. WOTN says:

    Surely Key has submitted himself for the MoH, the Freedom Medal, and more!

    If he ain’t yet a member of the IVAW, they should give him honorary membership and the MacBeth award for excellence in fiction. Or perhaps the Beauchamp award for imagination.

  10. airborne injun says:

    O.K. Troops, lay off this little fella! The gut wrenching trauma of being away from his mommy and having to have a pair ,obviously caused him to snap.WOTN,please warm up a glass of milk,J3, you can tuck him in,and Roaul can read him a nice bed time story.while you guys take care of that,Ill get the trip wire and antihandling device for the claymore ready in case he needs to get up to go pee-pee during the night.

  11. WOTN says:

    I just came across a new book that *finally* addresses the Truth about Gitmo:

    For once, we can actually buy a book about Gitmo without funding the fables and fictionwriters. I’m sure we’ll all want to pick this one up.

  12. So quick to judge says:

    Just started reading the book. Seems good. But it wont do anything for you narrowminded racist homeloving peoplehating egocentric worldpolice like you think you are. You know who you are. Its not like he is trying to feed you some joke here. Its WAR. And YOU are a PART OF IT. SO DEAL WITH IT!

    Jonn wrote: Thank you for keeping an open mind and not being judgmental. Dick.

  13. Southern Democrat says:

    Don’t let them keep ya down brother!

  14. OtrockO says:

    Claymore (post#2),
    …You owe me a new keyboard…lol…thanks.

  15. streetsweeper says:

    “But Claymore: Until you’ve earned the Expert badge on the 300 meter Bayonet Throwing Course using the alternate Mess Kit Knife and fast roped out of the SR-71 on 550 cord, into a sea kayak in the middle of the Pacific for an insertion into the Hindu Kush carrying only a MK-19 and 1000 rds of ammunition, a Swiss Army knife and your own wit, well, you’re just the average Black Ops guy, a wannabe Ack Ops kinda guy. ‘ell, even Kerry was a Navy Seal.”

    HAHAHA! Yea, Kerry sho’ nuff clapped his lips long and loud enough!! HEHEHE!

    And then there’s GI Jane….“People with even a modicum of integrity don’t feel the need to wear medals and decorations they haven’t earned, make false claims, and accuse others of ‘war crimes’ that were never committed. In other words, they’re frauds. These fine examples of hypocrisy enlisted after 9/11.”

    Mac down time! LOL.


  16. Claymore says:

    In my defense, I was sick on 300-mike bayonet chunkin’ day. But, I was able to make up for it by performing this sweet HALO insertion while wearing local costume and warming up a batch of mre’s stapped to my inner thigh. I don’t care what TSO says, that brown boxed chicken parm tastes like…victory.

  17. Irishsquid says:

    For what it’s worth, Mr. Key’s Wiki article has been edited, slightly. Don’t know how long it will last, but the first words are now, “Joshua Key is author of a militarily inaccurate book. Also, I have spent a great deal of time in Iraq, and I never saw the things he speaks of. I will not presume to say that he never saw what he claims to have seen, except to say that publicly available records will show that the unit he claims to have been a part of was NOWHERE near Fallujah during the invasion. Do with that information what you will”

    TSO Wrote: looks the same to me, maybe someone got to it? Clearly a supporter wrote it because it brings up 1 error that ROK Drop made in reporting it, and not the NUMEROUS errors in the book, including ones which violate the laws of physics.

    WIKI Page

  18. mikehawc1 says:

    Greetings all;

    A bit of a late post on this subj but since I am new to this site hopefully it will still have meaning…to J3 and all who share opinions on freaks like Keys who run with thier tails between thier legs to MY country; please know that the majority of Canadians do not share thier views nor want them in our country. 123 of my fellow brothers and sisters in arms have died in the service of peace in Afghanistan, some alongside American heroes. My countrymen and women have much to learn from you in how they honour those that serve. As a 27 yr veteran who is about to depart for Afghanistan, I and the soldiers I serve with, are looking forward with great anticipation to serving alongside our US allies and others in the fight to preserve all of our rights and for those who don’t have the ability to protect themselves.

    Capt Mike TK

  19. OldTrooper says:

    Capt Mike: Be safe, brother, and good hunting!

  20. 1stCavRVN11B says:

    Get some Capt Mike! Proud of you and your fellow brothers and sisters in Arms. Be safe.

  21. Josh Keys(note the "s") says:

    Dude fucked things up for me from the start, I went to basic in leonard wood in ’05, and got hell for my name. Ended up reclassing to artillery(where there are gunnery sergeants, not a rank but a title…sorry to the guy that said there are no gunnys in the army…there are, but it’s an artillery thing. Guy needs to get his jobs straight). Anyway bottom line is that this guy made life hell for me just because we have almost identical names. We did some dumb shit in the army for sure, some of it maybe shady at best, but the crap he’s talking about is just that, crap.

  22. krank says:

    I there with him

  23. krank says:

    Im sorry,

    I was there with him–I took his place after he left!!!

  24. Green Thumb says:

    Is this the old RL? That used to like the beer and the burger for the buck?

  25. anonymous says:


  26. anonymous says:

    Josh key is a liar. He deserted because his then wife was screwing around on him and told him not to go back. I have proof if the editor of this site wants to let me know how to reach him/her in private.
    Everyone should look him up on Facebook and post about him or post to all of his friends with automatic accepts.

  27. Hondo says:

    anonymous: click on the “contact us” part of the page’s header. That tells you how to contact the site’s owner.

  28. Kim says:

    Keep digging. Comments like these just makes the rest of the world keep hating you.

  29. Hondo says:

    Ya know, “Kim” – I really don’t think most folks here give a damn what a ditz posting from Sweden thinks. That’s a country which collaborated with Nazi Germany at the national level (by supplying Germany the iron ore it needed to wage World War II) in exchange for not being invaded and occupied like Norway.

    But I guess I could be wrong. Maybe a few readers here do care what you think.

  30. Ex-PH2 says:

    I don’t care what Kim thinks. I had a horse named Kim who was smarter than that.