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imperialism & war

U.S. OCCUPATION OF IRAQ - The anti-U.S. insurgency grows

Shortly after the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime, we [International Socialist Review] argued that though the U.S. might achieve quick military successes, it would encounter increasing difficulties as more and more Iraqis rejected the occupation. This has been borne out by events quicker than anyone could have predicted.
get ready for a Vietnam-style imperialist slaughter on both sides
get ready for a Vietnam-style imperialist slaughter on both sides
Bush declared major combat in Iraq over on May 1. As of the writing of this editorial (July 6), 68 U.S. servicemen-about one per day-have died in numerous ambushes, sniper-attacks and accidents. And the attacks are getting bolder and more organizated. For example, as many as 50 resistance fighters ambushed a U.S. military patrol, and another group wounded at least 17 soldiers in a mortar strike on an American base on July 4.

The Bush administration is trying to deny the scale of the guerrilla resistance, arguing that it consists of isolated remnants of Saddam "loyalists," and that a series of "mopping up" operations will take care of the problem. "The reason I don't use the phrase 'guerrilla war,' Rumsfeld explained, "is because there isn't one, and it would be a misunderstanding and a miscommunication."

When asked if the U.S. was getting mired in a Vietnam-style "quagmire," Rusmfeld shot back: "There are so many cartoons where people, press people, are saying, 'Is it Vietnam yet?' hoping it is and wondering if it is. And it isn't. It's a different time. It's a different era. It's a different place."

The truth is that the guerrilla actions are not only increasing in intensity, but they appear to have widespread support. And no wonder. Mass unemployment is growing as Iraqi industry collapses under the weight of cheaper imports, hundreds of thousands of state employees, from soldiers to civil servants, also remain jobless and haven't been paid for months. Electricity is still, at best, sporadic, as summer temperatures soar. Clean water and decent food remain scarce commodities. American and British troops go house to house, kicking down doors and routinely humiliating, roughing up, arresting and shooting at Iraqis. The American intruders have the final say on every policy question, from who gets released from jail to who gets appointed mayor of a town, to who controls Iraq's most important industries. To add insult to injury, the occupiers are increasingly turning to former Baathist policemen and bureaucrats to reestablish order in the country.

The reaction to this situation is best understood quoting a description of a scene in Basra- a Shia enclave, where it is impossible to blame resistance on Saddam loyalists- by a London Mirror reporter:

"Former Iraqi soldier Najab fingered his pistol and glared at two British soldiers trying to calm an angry crowd protesting at crippling shortages. Speaking outside one of Saddam Hussein's old palaces just 50 yards from the British HQ in Basra, he said: 'Our patience has run out. We've no money to feed ourselves, we haven't been paid for six months and we're fed up with broken promises. We've told the British today that if we're not paid by Friday, we'll arm ourselves with guns again and start killing every foreigner we see in Iraq.'"

While Bush administration officials play down the level of resistance in Iraq, others have a different take. Charles Heyman, editor of Jane's World Armies and a former British Army major, is calling Iraq "the beginning of a classic counterinsurgency campaign." And Kenneth Allard, senior associate at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies asks, "Are we facing the prospect of a guerrilla war? The answer to the question is yes."

Heyman concedes that "there is quite obviously a large groundswell of support among ordinary people for operations against the coalition.... Mao Tse-Tung said the guerrilla is the fish that swims in the sea of the people, and you have got to have a sea of people for the guerrilla to swim in."

Ironically, Heyman's solution to this growing insurgency- "there aren't enough troops on the ground"-sounds a lot like the solution to the intractable guerrilla war against U.S. military presence in Vietnam. Simply send in more firepower until the movement is obliterated. That will mean an increasingly more violent and brutal occupation, which in turn will fuel higher levels of anger and willingness on the part of the Iraqi people to join the resistance. The U.S. could find itself pouring more troops in, only to find itself "stalemated" at higher and higher levels of commitment.

U.S. soldiers' morale has begun to slip in the face of this mounting popular rejection of their presence. An officer from the the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq told the Christian Science Monitor that "the level of morale for most soldiers that I've seen has hit rock bottom." There is open grumbling among the troops and a number have written letters to Congress requesting they be sent home. The Monitor continues:

"Security threats, heat, harsh living conditions and, for some soldiers, waiting and boredom have gradually eroded spirits... In one Army unit, an officer described the mentality of troops. "They vent to anyone who will listen. They write letters, they cry, they yell. Many of them walk around looking visibly tired and depressed.... We feel like pawns in a game that we have no voice [in]."

The frustration is also affecting the spouses of troops. An Army colonel recently had to be escorted from a session in Fort Stewart, Ga. with 800 angry army spouses who were demanding their husbands be sent home. According to a witness, the women "were crying, cussing, yelling and screaming for their men to come back."

A July 4 New York Times article reports that the "signs of discomfort seem to be growing beyond the military bases.... [T]he number of respondents who think the war is going well has dropped, from 86 percent in May to 70 percent a month ago to 56 percent."

Bush's cakewalk has turned into a protracted war that is sapping the morale of U.S. troops and raising serious questions at home. The doubts are fuelled by the fact that the excuses offered for the war (liberation and stopping Saddam's weapons of mass destruction) now seem completely hollow. The more the occupation of Iraq unravels, the more difficulty the Bush Administration will have at home, and the more difficult it will be for the U.S. to pursue its imperial plans abroad. That is why we must welcome the strengthening of the resistance in Iraq until it becomes strong enough to compel the U.S. to get out of Iraq.

no this is not vietnam 13.Jul.2003 07:06

no this can't be vietnam

don't believe the hype

here's some serious analysis:

1.there is no way to independently confirm the news about attacks on us military in iraq

2.even if said alleged attacks were true,there is no way to independently confirm who's behind them

3.cui prodest? who's benefiting from such alleged attacks or the hype about them?

only the bush oil/defense/reconstruction war profiteers and thugs.

indeed without such attacks blamed on the alleged saddam redivivus bush and his henchmen would long since have had to fuck off from iraq,having run out of excuses to stay and occupy on.

but since they are making zillions out of the iraqi war,who wants stabilization peace and handover when you can make a lot more money from infinite war?

but perpetual war needs perpetual enemies.

therefore I tend to deem it more plausible that the alleged attacks on americans in iraq either are false news spread by the propaganda machine or if they are real they are provoked or even directly performed by the same govt terrorist who gave us 911:


consider history:

an authentic popular resistance style ho chi min or the italian or french partisans against the nazis only surfaced when the angloamericans started to seriously kick some german ass and help sponsoring the freedom fighters.

the same goes for vietnam who was backed by russia and china.

but the alleged iraqi resistance is not backed by anyone that I can possibly think of...

so where do they get the money to buy rpgs,guns,ammunition,safe houses,logistics etc?

it is just not plausible that a bunch or iraqi ho chi mins would have survived 200,000 angloamericans for so long.

think it over people:

why does bush never capture osama?

or mullah omar?

or why does sharon never target hamas leader yassin for assassination,full knowing yassin's address?

money money money deals deals deals...

don't believe the hype hey chuck don't.

*Hype?* Iraqis are starving - you'd fight too 13.Jul.2003 18:02


All it takes is for a few Iraqis to decide they are sick of starving and not getting paid. The reason for the resistance is because they aren't growing any food, their jobs have been destroyed along with their infrastructure, and they are dependant on the occupiers for food. Your points about why Osama and Saddam are not found are well taken, but it is because they were not the objects of these wars to begin with. Pipelines, lucrative rebuilding contracts, oil and gas were why these wars were fought, and they have them now. True, "total war" is the stated goal of the state department, and the military must fire ammunition/missiles in order for the arms industry to get contracts to make replacement ammunition/missiles. It is also true that the US has often played both sides of many a conflict. But Iraqis are still hungry, so they will kill those who are slowly starving them. During the 12 and a half year sanctions, there was no one to shoot at - but now US occupiers are there in Iraq itself, and the Iraqis know they have food. Regardless who is supplying the resistance, there is a resistance (like Vietnam). Civilians are dying far more than combatants (just like Vietnam) and the resistance is getting more popular as the occupiers get more brutal and cold (like Vietnam).

gringo wrong 14.Jul.2003 07:28

gringo wrong

>>Regardless who is supplying the resistance, there is a resistance (like Vietnam). >>:

unsubstantiated allegation.

stariving peolple cannot fight.

fighters need to eat first,they need rpgs safe houses ammo etc - money,sponsors.

again:no popular resistance in history ever made without strong outside help - italy 43,vietnam etc.

her's there's none to be seriously considered except the rogue state terrorist us govt itself.