< < <
Date Index
> > >
Re: Support Our Troops
by GlobalCirclenet
23 March 2003 05:44 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >
I think Stan Goff just put an end to that "support the troops" idiocy.

--paul, webmaster http://globalcircle.net
peace and liberty, sustainability and justice

get daily Global NetNews Summary - email to:
OR globalnetnews-summary-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

Supporting the Troops- by Stan Goff

...This hasn't been an easy time for Bush and his killer clowns. It 
hasn't been an easy time for a lot of so-called liberals either. An 
anti-war movement came onto the scene, and not just any anti-war 
movement. It is now the fastest and broadest international movement 
of its type in history. It involves anarcho-kids, olde tyme lefties, 
and pacifists to be sure, but it also involves soccer moms, Black 
preachers, Italian dock workers, women who write books, nerds, 
doctors, Indian garment workers, Nigerian intellectuals, Brazilian 
coffee pickers, Japanese students, Haitian peasants, Filipino street 
cleaners...every damn body!

And that's not all. Lots of them are picking up bad language. When I 
hear a 60-year-old middle school teacher using words like 
"imperialism,"...[I know] that something is going on, and those who 
wanted every one of the rest of us to just go along with the program, 
including weak-kneed red-baiting liberals, have become alarmed. 
There's a very dangerous consciousness that is emerging in the face 
of our would-be fascists.

So now they have pulled out the last trick in the bag, the one that 
is supposed to silence us for good, by jingo! We have to support the 
troops. This is the mother of all social policing strategies to 
stifle criticism of our naked emperors.

It goes, we must close ranks and support our president, who is after 
all the commander-in-chief of the armed forces (our sons and 
daughters, our sisters and brothers, our spouses and sweethearts), 
because without that support, our (enter name of your loved one in 
the military) will not be adequately filled with our spirit of 
support to effectively defend themselves, whereupon lack of said 
spirit will result in American casualties, which makes all of us who 
withhold said spirit complicit in killing and wounding American 
troops, and therefore traitors.

Let me explain something, by way of a war story.

In 1983, I took part in the invasion of Grenada. Aside from being an 
incompetent operation, it was also one that no one in the United 
States even knew about until it was pretty much over. Hey -- it 
doesn't take long to conquer a nation that is on a ten-mile-wide 
island with fewer than 90,000 people...even if it was planned by 

When America was informed that its treasure and youth were being 
risked to secure the global nutmeg supply, over 99 percent of the 
country couldn't tell you where Grenada was. We who conducted the 
operation had committed it to memory less than 40 hours earlier.

The invasion was ordered in part to take advantage of internal 
turmoil in Grenada to install a new pro-US government. Mainly, 
however, its aim was to flex a little American muscle after 258 
Marines were killed by a car bomb only days earlier in Beirut, 
whereupon the US expeditionary force in Lebanon was unceremoniously 

Like a bully that gets his tail kicked, Reagan & Co. had to beat 
someone smaller down to save face.

The whole thing suddenly became a "rescue mission" when someone 
stumbled over a low-rent offshore medical diploma mill full of 
American students and Reagan's staff cranked up the propaganda 
machine. None of us involved in Operation Urgent Fury (not 
joking...it was called that) had even known the damn thing was there.

The first hour of the operation was an old-fashioned country 
ass-whuppin'. We were on the receiving end.

We were forced to defend ourselves. But we didn't have the "support" 
spirit of the American people, because as far as they knew, we were 
all still home, cheating on our spouses in Fayetteville, North 
Carolina. America woke up scratching its head, trying to figure out 
why Ronald Reagan had just invaded a Spanish city named after a Ford 

When the helicopter I was riding on with 15 other people reached the 
island, we were greeted with small arms fire before we even crossed 
over the first mangrove swamp, and it got worse fast. By the time we 
reached out "target," Richmond Hill Prison, where we were gong to 
"liberate" prisoners that weren't there, we already had four people 
shot. As we hovered over the prison, deciding whether or not to slide 
down ropes into Grenada's drunk tank, machine gun fire poured through 
both doors and stitched up the belly of the fuselage from below. By 
the time we left, having decided not to put up with this any longer, 
seven members of our group were shot, and most of the rest of us were 
having our clothes shot off.

In all this mayhem and confusion, while we (the Army's most elite, 
whitest forces) were being spanked by skinny Black folk from Grenada 
and equally dark Cuban construction workers, I can honestly say that 
I didn't give a flying fuck about what anyone in the United States 
might be thinking, or how much supportive spirit they might be 
psychically channeling my way to cuddle up against.

I didn't stop to consider that many of my countrymen and countrywomen 
made jokes about our commander-in-chief once co-starring with a 
chimpanzee, or how that might seem...unsupportive.

I was extremely busy using a K-bar knife to cut the jammed harness 
off a wounded door gunner to lay his pale, shocky ass on the 
helicopter floor while I commandeered his portside machine gun to 
hose down some of our most persistent assailants across the valley.

Nothing I did would have changed one iota, even had the entire 
population of the United States gathered naked at Stonehenge to chant 
supportive mantras out to our precise geographic coordinates.

Nothing we do or don't do here will have any impact on what the 
troops do in Iraq in the coming days either. The support the troops 
thing is a mystifying old red herring. What our new fascists really 
want us to do is shut the fuck up. What we really want is for the 
troops to come home.

And shutting up is exactly what I'm not going to do.

What if I'd have been cut down in Grenada at the ripe old age of 32? 
Would it have accomplished a damn thing worthwhile? In retrospect, I 
have had the opportunity -- an opportunity associated with my ability 
to breathe -- to learn just how cynical these military adventures are.

The best thing we can do for our sons and daughters and sisters and 
brothers and spouses and sweethearts...is to tell the damn truth. 
What is endangering them is a right-wing, racist, military/security 
state -- including Uncle Tom and Aunt Thomasina -- that is attempting 
to protect the power of the powerful by plundering other people, and 
using soldiers to do it.

Goddamn George W. Bush and everyone like him! I will not be a 
chauvinist who advocates victory in an illegal war where our people 
and the people of Iraq are the cannon fodder and the victims. I do 
not want our children to die. And I do not want them to kill other 
people's children. This is not a fucking football game.

If we want to support troops, we'll do it by encouraging them to 
think, and when necessary, disobey. Since Freedom Road talked me into 
doing this column, we have heard from soldiers and their families. 
They are thinking. They are asking questions. Many are beginning to 
suspect they've been had, and that behind all this high-flown 
mendacity coming out of the White House briefing room is a gangster's 
errand of plunder with our children as its unwitting tools. If we 
want to support the real troops, the real people, instead of the 
abstraction, we'll keep connecting the dots for them, as this column 
attempts to do, and as the anti-war movement needs to do.

If we start to send care packages full of books to the troops, that 
would be supportive. They need something to fill the long, boring 
days ahead, after the current mess is made. I can think of many 
titles. I'm sure others can, too.


Stan Goff -- Master Sergeant, US Army, Special Forces (Ret.) -- is 
the author of _Hideous Dream: A Soldier's Memoir of the US Invasion 
of Haiti_: 

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >