Bring the Troops Home Now/Support the Troops

DMS dmschanoes at
Thu Jul 24 04:31:24 MDT 2003

The main point has always been the content of such a slogan
and the historical results when that slogan was applied. I
provided the very briefest and sketchiest of outlines of
what happened when bringing the troops home was accomplished.

1. The anti-war movement neither precipitated the withdrawal
of US troops nor did it shorten the war in Vietnam.  Self-
aggrandizing delusion is a narcissistic disorder.  The
precipitating force behind the anti-war movement's leap
in popularity, the opening of the Paris peace talks, the
suspension of bombing, LBJ's withdrawal from the election,
disengagement of US ground forces was simply that the US

Despite the physical destruction of NLF/PRG forces,
a destruction that took years to recover from, the TET
offensive was the watershed event as it proved that
loss of control of the battlefield.  Coupled with the
siege of Khe Sanh (I don't want no damn Dienbienphu, said LBJ)
the battle of Hue, and the extended combat in the
Cholon district of Saigon, the TET offensive made very
clear just who had the initiative and who could withstand
the costs of combat.

2. BTTHN was the slogan of recuperation for US capitalism as
it said more than nothing about the class nature of the war,
smothering instead any such discussion in sympathy, patriotism,
sharing the pain of "our troops."

3. The significance of the anti-war movement, its importance,
was certainly not achieved in BTTHN as the war raged on with
a staggering human toll.  That is a historical fact. The
significance of the anti-war movement, as with all protest
movements, is in WHAT IT MIGHT HAVE BECOME. What it might have
become requires posing the issue in class terms, devoid of
a shred of patriotism.  Individual sympathies are perfectly
appropriate for individuals in discussion about individuals
in distress.  That doesn't change the class origins of the
distress and what the tactical, strategic, programmatic
response must be to relieve the distress collectively.

4. Would anyone here who supports "Support OUR Troops, Bring
Them Home Now" advocate that slogan for the British Army in
Ireland?  For the British Army in the Malvinas?  For the US
SOGs in Colombia, Venezuela, Jordan, Iran?  Support our
terrorists, bring them home now... so what?  So they can teach
at the school of the Americas?  IF the response is that there
is a difference between the SOGs and the rank and file of the
infantry, what is that difference?  It's a class difference
and so we ought to speak clearly to those class distinctions
and avoid all obsuring notions of patriotism, etc.


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