'Stars and Stripes" covers Bring Troops Home Now protest

Zak McGregor zak at mighty.co.za
Mon Aug 18 00:56:37 MDT 2003

On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 16:36:58 +1000
"Tom O'Lincoln" <suarsos at alphalink.com.au> wrote:

> >>Why on earth do we want to support the troops?
> Fred isn't saying he supports the troops, he's quoting a story about army
> families. For them to get this far is a huge step forward, even though
> their consciousness is still contradictory.

Yes, I realise that Fred wasn't saying that - however it has been part of the
debate around BTTHN from the beginning.

> >>Guys, this is by and large a volunteer army. They volunteered to do the
> bidding of their masters. They
> volunteered to put aside all independent thought and blindly follow
> orders.<<
> Not really. A lot of them probably just wanted a job. And under capitalism,
> the boss gives the orders - military or civilian.

You cannot equate civilian orders to military ones, sorry. Yes there are
superficial similarities, but that's about it.

Just wanting a job I can understand, but really can we still want to try to
garner support from such an institution? Why not see them as the instruments of
imperialism that they are? Perhaps if there was enough hate for the armed forces
and those serving in them it might be a more difficult career choice.

> >>They volunteered to massacre women and children.<<
> Not at all. Very few people initially realise the US military does that;
> when they find themselves confronted with it, the seeds of rebellion are
> sown. We need to welcome the seeds.

Except more often than not they seem to enjoy it; to relish it. It's part of
their training to, is it not?

> >>They volunteered to kill, destroy, rape and pillage. Fuck them.<<
> Firstly, it's not just them, it's their families too. Secondly, very few of
> them are the monsters you describe. But thirdly, whatever we think of them,
> we need to drive a wedge between the enemy forces wherever we can. These
> developments are starting to do that. We have to think strategically, not
> just say "fuck them".

Their families need to see their children's decision to go and serve in the army
as the tragic event (in their terms) that it is. Why allow this option even the
thinnest veneer of respectability? Drive a wedge in the appropriate place I say,
even if it is possibly a tougher task.

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