Brandon Hocking was 24 years old when he died of injures from a roadside bomb attack in southern Iraq. It happened just days after the eighth anniversary of the US-led invasion and occupation and days before he was scheduled to return home.
Death, though tragic, occurs for all. More significant is how one lived. Hocking lived and died in service to imperialism. He played his role in an aggressive war: a war resulting in over a million Iraqi deaths and the displacement of tens of millions more; one to usurp any independent national sovereignty from the Iraqi people. Hocking traveled over 100,000 kilometers from his home to enforce and maintain US hegemony in the Middle East. Hocking’s death should not be mourned, as his life was spent as an oppressor.
Some will be deeply outraged by these words, yet it is these people who deserve the most scorn. They are the “loved ones” who supported his actions and decisions, and the decadent, militarist society which bore him. And, of course, many who consider themselves ‘left-wing.’
Let’s face it: one either supports US imperialism or opposes it. There is no middle ground on the terrain of global class struggle. I say ‘Fuck the Troops’ (with any number of words and actions) specifically to withdraw my support from US militarism and imperialism which ravages the world’s people and is destroying the planet.
US militarism and imperialism won’t be beat by ‘passive resistance’ and non-violence on the part of oppressed people. Nor will it be seriously challenged from within by ‘supporting the troops,’ even ‘critically’ from so-called opponents.
Brandon Hawking made it clear what side he stood on. So too did the people who planted the bomb which ended his life. Where the First World ‘left’ stands is a far more open question.