[Marxism] A must read: Former Marine stands strong against the war
M. Junaid Alam
mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Sun Mar 20 18:43:47 MST 2005
Great write-up about Hoffman. Though I'm not sure why the reporter
thinks every new sentence requires a new paragraph, this is a very
March 20th, 2005 6:36 pm/
Former Marine stands strong against the war
By John A. Zukowski / Express-Times
Mike Hoffman seems to be an unlikely anti-war leader.
He was a lance corporal in the Marines who invaded Iraq two years ago as
part of the "Shock and Awe" sweep into Iraq.
Hoffman doesn't have the background of an activist.
He was the son of a Bethlehem Steel worker.
He cheered on American troops in the first Gulf War.
He admired Lehigh Valley relatives and friends who served in the military.
And Hoffman didn't spend his time while attending Emmaus High School
going to peace rallies.
"I always grew up believing America would always do what was right," he
Hoffman's hangouts were diners, malls and going to screenings of "The
Rocky Horror Picture Show."
"When the last 'Rocky Horror' showing happened a few years ago at the
Lehigh Valley Mall, I had people mail the newspaper article about it to
me overseas," the former Marine says.
But he's now perhaps the Iraq War's most visible opponent.
The seeds of his activism started when he returned to his parent's home
in Macungie after being honorably discharged.
One night he went to a tavern in town.
Soon word got around.
The muscular guy in the bar had just served in Iraq.
People came over and slapped Hoffman on the back. Smiled at him. Told
him he did a great job.
Hoffman felt uncomfortable.
"I didn't think I did a great job," he says. "I didn't feel great about
what went on over there."
Hoffman was compelled to do something. That feeling was there after he
went to see Michael Moore's anti-Iraq War movie "Fahrenheit 911."
When the movie ended he was speechless.
Many images in the film triggered nightmares for him. One image, more so
than all the others, still haunts him.
An elderly Iraqi woman stood in front of a bombed-out home of a
relative, looked into the camera and cursed America.
"She may have been talking about me," he says. "Remember Shock and Awe?
When they talk about that, they're talking about me. I was Shock and Awe."
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