[Marxism] Stan Goff comments on Fahrenheit 9/11 critiques

Craven, Jim JCraven at clark.edu
Thu Jul 8 14:55:52 MDT 2004


 
[...]
 This
fawning over "our troops", as Michael Moore does, who are also 
personally responsible for signing up to become tools/dupes of U.S. 
imperialism in order to finance their college educations and/or find 
work has to be exposed--as I have done in my own case as a former dupe 
and tool of U.S. imperialism and as Bob Jensen did in his critique. 
This notion that anyone in the U.S. military is fighting for any kind 
of "freedom", other than for the "freedom" of U.S. imperialism to 
plunder and rape the world, needs to be exposed; I for one am sick and 
tired of seeing some opportunism and sycophancy--among elements of the 
U.S. left--in pandering to some of the obvious illusions that many in 
the U.S. military have about what they are really doing and for whom 
they are doing it--no matter what the class backgrounds and reasons 
for joining of some in the military.

  He wasn't fawning over the troops. 
He showed how young Americans (many barely adults)
put their lives at risk for the ruling elite. He looked at how factors, 
like  race and class, play into this. And apart from the false belief  
expressed by many of the soldiers in the interviews as to the 
righteousness of the cause, I didn't see Moore suggesting AT ALL 
that the troops were fighting for freedom. 

Obviously, when you're interviewing a group of U.S. soliders in Iraq, 
you are not going to start lecturing them about being tools of 
imperialism.

DOQ


Why not? Obviously, some, or even many, originally thought they would be
involved in relatively risk-free Reserve and Guard activities in order
to finance their college educations before the reality--and fine print
on their contracts--has now come home to roost. Even the recruiting
posters play to the usual mercenary reasons why folks join up: finance
college education, jobs, training, status, be a "somebody"--for those
with low self-esteem ( "Airborne all the Way", "Army of One", "The Few,
the Proud the Marines") etc. Many who signed up, and even initially
wanted to go to the Gulf (hard to get a CIB or "war credentials/medals"
necessary for real advancement these days) are now whining about the
realities coming home to roost. As products of an
"I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-now" culture, many simply wanted the
goodies, perks and advancement without the risks of coming home in a
body bag or as a double-amputee and now they are finding out--imagine
that--that they were lied to and were always seen as mere disposable
tools and instruments of U.S. imperial power projection. WE now see
mothers, who once had bumper stickers proudly proclaiming themselves to
be parents of someone in uniform now wailing and crying that there kid
is now dead (no mention of how many innocents their dead kid may have
killed personally). This is nothing but a replay of Vietnam when the
right-wing hardhats and farmers in Podunk, Nebraska (where everybody
knows everybody) started turing against the war their their own kids
starting coming home in body bags--nothing new, but their opposition to
this and other wars is largely personal, opportunistic and
self-centered.

Jim Craven




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