Stan Goff

Stan Goff


* Marxist activist
* Speaker for Veterans Teaching Peace in Schools
* Member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosovic
* Affiliated with The Freedom Road Socialist Organization
* Was a Communist Party USA member and recruiter

Military Career

Stan Goff was born on November 12, 1951 in San Diego, California. In January 1970, he began a 26-year career of service in the U.S. military.

  • Goff’s first military assignment was to Vietnam, with the 173rd Airborne Brigade.
  • Goff was subsequently assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division and then went on reserve status for three years while he attended college and, as he would put it in an interview many years later, “generally debauched myself until I married my first wife.”
  • In 1977 he enlisted again, this time as a Private First Class.
  • After two years as a Cavalry Scout in the 4th Infantry, Goff volunteered for Ranger School and assignment to the Ranger Battalions. His first Ranger assignment was with the 2nd Ranger Battalion in Fort Lewis, Washington, where he served stints both as a Sergeant and a Staff Sergeant.
  • His next assignment was a one-year stint as an instructor at the Jungle Operations Training Center in Fort Sherman, Panama.
  • Goff then spent nearly four years as an assaulter and a sniper with the Army’s special-operations Delta Force. While with Delta, he serveed as an advisor in South Korea and worked on classified operations in Guatemala and El Salvador. He also participated in what he described as “the colossal Special Operations blunder known as the [1983] Grenada invasion.”
  • When he left Delta, Goff went to West Point to teach military science, develop the Ranger Orientation Program, and run the Bayonet Assault Committee for Cadet Basic Training.
  • He then left the service for a period of more than 18 months, during which he trained SWAT teams for the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons facilities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
  • Next, Goff re-entered the service and spent a year as a platoon sergeant with the 1st Ranger Battalion at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia.
  • He then joined the 7th Special Forces Group, where he advised and assisted foreign national troops in Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru.
  • After that, Goff took a position as a Special Operations medical sergeant attached to the 75th Ranger Regiment, where, as he would later put it, “I was attached to the ill-fated Task Force Ranger that was defeated by the Somali National Alliance in October 1993.”
  • Goff was then assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, an assignment that led him to participate in Operation Uphold Democracy, the 1994 U.S. invasion of Haiti.
  • Goff retired from the Army on February 1, 1996.

New Career as Leftwing Activist & Writer

After finishing his military career, Goff became a leftwing activist, author, and blogger.

Embracing Marxism & Joining the Communist Party

Soon after leaving the military, Goff began to study Marxism and he joined the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) for a brief period. He left the party soon thereafter, however because of: (a) what he described as its demand for “ideological conformity,” and (b) his belief that the party was hostile to any form of feminism whose analysis of womens issues was not confined solely to economistic considerations.

On February 21, 1996, Goff spoke at a Carolina Socialist Forum presentation titled “Haiti and Cuba: Imperialism and Independence in the Caribbean.”

While living in North Carolina in 1998, Goff served as secretary of the Hosea Hudson Club, the local component of the CPUSA.

Goff appeared in a May Day greeting directed to the readers of a Special May Day 1999 Supplement of the CPUSA’s People’s Weekly World.

In 2004, Goff candidly declared his support for “the struggle for Marxism” and “the goal of a classless society.” Aiming to erase all distinctions not only between separate economic classes, but also between male and female, he identified himself as “a gender communist.”

“The struggle for Marxism

Defender of Slobodan Milosevic

Goff protested the Bosnian and Serbian Wars in the mid-1990s, and he served as a member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosovic, the president of Serbia from 1989-1997. Claiming that the entire U.S. campaign to depose President Milosovic was unjustified, Goff argued that: (a) the Srebenica massacre of 1995 was a “giant hoax” concocted by the U.S. government as a form of economic warfare; (b) “Milosevic is no war criminal” nor “a dictator”; and (c) there “was never any coordinated campaign of genocide or ethnic cleansing by Serbs, no massacres at either Racek or Srebrenica, and never any such thing as Serbian ‘rape camps.’”

Hideous Dream

In 2000, Goff wrote and published a book titled Hideous Dream: A Soldier’s Memoir of the U.S. Invasion of Haiti. In this book, he describes his attempt to align himself with the pro-Socialist revolution of the Lavala Party while serving as an Army Ranger in Haiti in 1994. “Not only did I openly declare my sympathy for Lavalas and the stated goals of the Aristide government,” writes Goff. “… Not only did I openly declare my apathy for the direction of U.S. foreign policy past and present, I ruled the team with an iron fist, and tried to bend them to the task of supporting a genuine change in Haiti.”

Democracy South

From 1996-2001, Goff was the organizing director of Democracy South, a Chapel Hill, North Carolina-based “progressive network” that promoted leftwing agendas in 12 Southern states.

North Carolina Alliance for Democracy

In 2001 Goff was an organizer with the North Carolina Alliance for Democracy.

Anti-War Activist Allied with Radical Groups

After the al Qaeda terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Goff was in great demand as a public speaker at leftwing rallies and anti-war events.

In October 2001, he told an audience at North Carolina State University that the real reason why the U.S. military had invaded Afghanistan after 9/11 was because: (a) America’s political leaders wanted to build an oil pipeline from the Aral Sea to the Indian Ocean, and (b) “the CIA needs the heroin from Afghanistan to fund its global operation.”

Also in the period just after 9/11, Goff became a prominent member of both the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Veterans Teaching Peace in Schools.

In a 2002 speech, Goff publicly professed his belief that the Bush administration had planned prior to 9/11 to launch its War on Terror as part of a strategy to steal oil from Afghanistan and Iraq. “I can’t help but conclude that the actions we are seeing put in motion now are part of a pre-September 11th agenda,” he said. “I’m absolutely sure of it, in fact…. This administration is lying about this whole thing being a ‘reaction’ to September 11th.”

Goff became a coordinating committee member of Bring Them Home Now!, a anti-Iraq War campaign of active and retired military personnel and their families, on August 13, 2003, when the campaign was first launched.

By 2004, Goff was also involved in the anti-war activities of Military Families Speak Out.

In an August 2004 interview with CounterPunch, Goff said the following about the Iraq War and the “U.S. occupation” of Iraq:

“The post-9/11 drive to expand the power of the security state domestically and to accelerate the international plan to restructure the global accumulation regime by military force set off alarm bells among [liberals and leftists], then the build-up to the March 2003 ground offensive against Iraq became the catalyst for a very big tactical alliance that we started referring to as an anti-war movement. But all the distinctions–and they are pretty heavy distinctions–within that polyglot remained. I’m not anti-war and neither are a lot of other people in this movement. We are anti-imperialist. I don’t oppose the war in Iraq. I oppose the US occupation. To say I simply oppose the war- as war- is to deny the Iraqi’s the right of resistance…. As long as there is a U.S. occupation, I must defend the Iraqi’s right, even duty, to resist.”

In a December 2004 interview with, a self-described “radical youth journal,” Goff offered his thoughts regarding the U.S. war in Iraq, its negative consequences, and his efforts to encourage the enlisted men and women in the U.S. military to either defect or disobey the battlefield orders of their superiors. Some notable remarks by Goff:

  • “Almost from day one, contrary to all the hype from the Pentagon about ‘winning the war and losing the peace,’ and a ‘great tactical victory,’ the US forces, and to a lesser extent the British forces, lost the initiative — that is, the ability to choose the time and place and manner of combat engagements. They want to swallow this fact up and regurgitate it to the public as ‘fog of war,’ which is plain bureaucratic bullshit. They are losing, and they have been losing in some sense from the very beginning, as some of us were pointing out by April 2003.”
  • “The intent of this invasion was to establish a permanent military presence in the region, and to gain complete control over the Iraqi economy. Apparently, these are still the objectives among the inner circle around George W. These guys are a little like Slim Pickens in the final scene of Dr. Strangelove.”
  • “Another goal of the invasion was to demonstrate US military invincibility to the rest of the world. The reality has accomplished exactly the opposite. There is no more significant outcome of this war than that.”
  • “If the decision is finally taken to get out, and there is a real chance that this could happen if the resistance continues to refine its tactics and strengthen its popular bases, it will not be a decision taken coolly, but one forced on whichever administration we have here by the Iraqi resistance. That’s not an exit strategy. That’s getting kicked out.”
  • “Our contacts with the GI Rights Hotline, Quaker House, the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force, and the military families network are very sensitive barometers to the morale and discipline inside the armed services, and all of them are reporting dramatic spikes in requests for assistance of all kinds, from filing for conscientious objector status to asking about the risks of intentional AWOL to wanting to know what agreements the US has with Canada that might force their repatriation. The little mutinies in the ranks do not constitute questioning the war or its reasons, but it’s a beginning. When someone is willing to refuse an order to stick his or her neck out, that’s a very strong indication that they have already determined that this war is not about protecting the US. […] For the most part, these folks are patriotic in their own chauvinistic, uninformed way. So refusal to do something demonstrates a nascent level of consciousness that we have to build on.”


In addition to his anti-war activism, Goff in 2003 served as what he said was “the field organizer for an environmental group concerned about nuclear energy risks.”

Characterizing America as Nation with a Long History of Racism & Oppression

In a July 2003 interview, Goff was asked, “Do you think this war [The Iraq War] is race-based?” He replied: “…Let’s get this straight right now. Our entire system was constructed from day one on the subjugation, exploitation, or extermination of whole peoples. There has to be a cover story about that kind of practice, a justification. Racism provides that justification. Frontal racism, like slavery and Jim Crow, and implicit racism like ‘white man’s burden’ and ‘exporting democracy.’ In that sense, not only this war, but this entire society, is race-based.”

Goff’s Thoughts on Gender, Class, & Masculinity

In an August 2004 interview with CounterPunch, Goff articulated some of the themes which he was planning to discuss in his forthcoming 2006 book, Sex & War:

“My own hypothesis is that gender is a class war.

“Just as racism in the US, for example, is contradictory as hell, until you get your head around it as a national-colonial question, it’s hard to see how it articulates with class struggle in the production process until you see it as a national question.

“Gender is a violent class system. It has adapted and been adapted to social evolution. It is difficult to see as a class struggle because, in a sense, it is a class struggle that runs perpendicular to the class struggle in the production dimension of society. The classes are the predominant biological sexes, men and women, conditioned and disciplined by gender. There are other struggles related to this struggle, particularly now queer liberation–an extremely important arena of struggle–but the system is fundamentally designed to exploit and subjugate women. It’s the policing of this gender order that gives rise to homophobia.

“Masculinity and femininity are the behavioral expectations of this class order, a class order that operates both inside and outside the productive process, particularly in social reproduction, in the so-called domestic sphere.

“I don’t argue for a new masculinity, or a kinder gentler masculinity. I argue for the abolition of masculinity, whereupon femininity will also disappear because it is defined in relation to masculinity. I argue for the goal of a classless society. I’m a gender communist.

“The struggle for Marxism and feminism is to take these perpendicular struggles and get them on parallel. […]

“Returning to masculinity, gender is policed through fear, often profoundly primal and irrational fear. It is inculcated almost from birth, and gender norms are particularly good at disguising themselves as natural; gender is reified.

“With the combination of fear and absolutist conviction, there is always the potential for violence. The policing of gender is extremely violent… look at domestic violence statistics, at rape and the threat of rape as a social intimidator, at gay-bashing, at the incredibly cruelty of adolescents to ensure gender conformity, and you begin to appreciate how entrenched and hegemonic gender is, and therefore how important it is as an arena of struggle. I myself am now convinced that the full social emancipation of women is not a task of the revolution after we take power, but a precondition for effectively taking and holding power.”

In the same interview, Goff expressed the intellectual debt that he, as the author of Sex & War, owed to the writings and insights of such scholars as bell hooks, Joy James, Nancy Hartsock, Chandra Mohanty, Catharine MacKinnon, Gloria Anzaldua, and Maria Mies.

Alleging That 9/11 May Have Been an “Inside Job”

Goff was one of 100 “prominent Americans” who signed an October 26 2004 statement circulated by exhorting the U.S. government to investigate the possibility that 9/11 may have been an “inside job” planned and/or facilitated by the George W. Bush administration. Among the other signatories were such notables as Ed Asner, Medea Benjamin, Kevin Danaher, Richard Falk, Randy Hayes, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Michael Levine, Cynthia McKinney, Mark Crispin Miller, Ralph Nader, and Howard Zinn.

Deriding America’s Effort to Develop a Missile Defense System

In a December 2004 interview with, Goff derided the “strategic missile defense thing” as “another one of [the many] jillion dollar toys” that keep the “guys … on the Pentagon gravy train” swimming in a proverbial sea of money. Gloating over the fact that the latest iteration of the missile defense system had “failed to launch” in a recent trial, he compared its developers unfavorably to the “hobby stores right down the road from where I live that sell rockets that 12-year-old kids can make launch.”

Goff’s Books

Goff has authored a number of books over the course of his activist career, including: Hideous Dream (2000); Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century (2004); Sex & War (2006); Energy War: Exterminism for the 21st Century (2006); Capitalism & Christianity: a Series of Christian Reflections (2013); Borderline (2015); Smitten Gate (2017); Mammon’s Ecology (2018); and Tough Gynes: Violent Women in Film as Honorary Men (2019).

Democratic Socialists of America

Goff has been a longtime member of the Huron Valley, Michigan chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.

© Copyright 2024,