Stan Goff's real page

David McDonald dbmcdonald at
Wed Jul 23 08:21:13 MDT 2003

Jose wrote:

>The more interesting thing is why the barest beginnings of some motion
among rank-and-file soldiers immediately brings up a cry to string up
anyone who does not stick to direct quotations from State and

David McDonald responds:

Indeed. Families of soldiers reworking slogans to make them comfortable is a
good sign, not a bad sign, unless the content is somehow seriously changed,
which I do not believe is the case here.

When the support the troops, bring them home now signs began to appear in
Seattle, I was initially queasy because I feared some form of accomodation
to the war was about to be launched akin to voting for war credits by the
SPD in 1914. Ditto with the all-American red, white and blue colors of the
basic No Iraq War sign with little stars in it. Ditto with the peace is
patriotic signs.

On reflection, I believe these formulations actually represent regular
people refusing to accept the Bush line that opposition to the war means
you're against America. That is, these people are halfway home: they're
opposed to the war, but they are not, like many of us, revolutionaries who
understand that it is all of one piece and that ultimately different classes
will have to take power to stop US wars.

So what is our job? Our job is to welcome them into our midst and get them
to become part of the organizing force to build demonstrations and other
actions against the war. So people are not prepared to give up altogether on
patriotism before marching against the war. Well, try to build an antiwar
movement based solely on people who understand that the US really IS the
great Satan and see how far you get. The key, I believe, is to understand
the difference between motion toward your position and motion away from your

I also happen to be in the middle of re-reading Out Now (seemed to be a good
thing to do) and have found several places where Fred Halstead comments
uncritically on formulations like Support the Troops, Bring Them Home Now or
says something like "We want to support the troops by bringing them home
now." I don't gather quotes as I read anymore, so please don't make me find
them in this 800 page book...

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