further on Stan Goff

Daru Rateau darurateau at doramail.com
Fri Aug 1 08:51:43 MDT 2003

Mark Lause writes:

>>In all honesty, your position that the US wanted a regime change there is inconsistent with his essential description of a US invasion.  In the end, this seems to be a quarrel over who better understands the intentions of ruling class characters. <<

In all honesty, I'm not really sure to what you refer or what is inconsistent with what. If I'm disagreeing with Goff then I'm disagreeing, and I suppose disagreement could be seen as inconsistent. How could anyone read Senate correspondence from 1998 on and not think that the national security state was focussed on stepping up the ongoing war against Iraq? Would you like them posted here again or would you like to use your search functions to refresh your memory?

The question for the senators and president concerned the use of US troops, not the other forms of violence such as aerial bombing and covert ops. In other words, the issue was when to start overt operations with ground troops. Even someone as arrogant as Bush knew he would have to go to Congress and get approval for an all-out ground war. The post 9-11 disarray made it all the easier, but he was talking about it in September 2000, in January 2001, and in March 2001, and so on.

 Also, I'm not sure what you think is 'essential' about Goff's description. And if his theory is wrong, what does it say about his 'expertise' on military matters? I've read many arguments that went off the deep end about how the war in Afghanistan was all about oil, then about gas, and these often got married with arguments that I've heard from Goff and others that Afghanistan was step one for Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld in the 'master plan'. Another analysis would say that the national security state is reeling and improvising madly, which is an opportunity, however desperate things might seem.

I think there are important points worth analyzing here rather than saying, Afghanistan first or Iraq first, it makes no matter. I think it does matter. It clearly does if you want to understand what the US government is doing.

ML continues:

>>Fine, but you are as willing as the Republicans
to think that it "must somehow be tied" to support for the government.<<

No, as I've said, it must be untied and honesty must be used in dealing with enlisted personnel just as honesty must be used in dealing with citizens who are not on active duty who still say they support Bush. They are more important because they have more freedom than active duty personnel.

I'm reminded of various left fronts that were actually fronts for the government. Their actual nature would reveal itself once 'patriotism' became the issue, so we have to be very careful not to fall for this sort of language.

So are we saying we dare not criticize the troops for fear of appearing unpatriotic? So we have to say things like 'We support our troops'. I am not even sure what it is supposed to mean. Am I supposed to tie a red ribbon around my old oak tree instead of yellow one?

>>Insofar as war required the facade of a coalition, don't
you think U.S. efforts in the U.N. made it a legitimate focus?<<

Evidently it didn't. The Bush position was if it could get the key allies to go with it, fine. If not, then so be it. So it was. Besides, I think I was saying it wasn't a major focus of the peace movements. Yes, common people are that cynical. The problem is if we stand by and say nothing while that cynicism is twisted and manipulated into populist nationalism that changes nothing.

Thanks for the exchange Mark. I'm starting to understand where you are coming from. Now can we accept that there might well be minority opinions about things like language that says 'Support our Troops'? And move on?


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