U.S. Army Baits Ambushers With Own Troops

David McDonald dbmcdonald at comcast.net
Thu Jul 10 10:14:32 MDT 2003

Before we get carried too far away on this one, I would like to say that
exposing one's own troops to attack in order to assess/trick/ambush is a
tactic used by all armies everywhere on the face of the earth since the
beginnings of armies. The idea is to expose a SMALL portion of one's force
in order to gain information about or tactical advantage over an opponent's
force. It is called a feint.

The fact that such tactics elicit outraged responses such as those posted
really is a function of the continued existence of the Vietnam syndrome: the
idea has gained currency that US troops must be able to engage in, from the
US side, essentially casualty-less combat, or something is deadly wrong.
Another expression of this sentiment is the fear (among ruling circles) of
the paper-thin tolerance Americans have for wars nowadays, support that
evaporates as soon as people realize that their kids, parents, brothers,
sisters are dying and will continue to die.

Among other things, the continued existence of the Vietnam syndrome is the
reason depleted uranium weapons are so loved by the US military: DU extends
the range of US weaponry, allowing the US troops to engage at distances
wholly beyond the range of enemy armaments. The alleged invincibility of US
troops is strictly a function of this technological advantage, but the
advantage evaporates in close combat or in occupation. I would expect that
this is the real reason for the plummeting of morale among US troops--they
know they are vulnerable and no officers have suggested how they can
continue to occupy the country of Iraq without actually being there.

I would need to go back to newspapers that I have no intention of going back
to, but I do believe that Baghdad is more dangerous to US troops today than
was Saigon during most of the US occupation of Vietnam. I recall occasional
big-time bombs in cafes and the like, but the everday attacks on US troops,
as I hazily recall them, seemed to come mostly outside Saigon. I know for a
fact that it was totally routine for US soldiers to hang out in Saigon, as
it manifestly is not today in Baghdad. One of the things that made the Tet
Offensive the greatest propaganda victory of all time was that it exposed
the myth that the Vietnam War was almost over, just a couple thousand more
troops and we'll mop 'er up...

David McDonald

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-marxism at lists.panix.com
[mailto:owner-marxism at lists.panix.com]On Behalf Of Walter Lippmann
Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2003 10:57 AM
To: marxism at lists.panix.com
Subject: Re: U.S. Army Baits Ambushers With Own Troops

Some enterprising anti-war groups should
take this article, complete, and make it up
into a leaflet which can be distributed at
US military bases, recruiting stations and
places where military personnel gather to
let those who haven't been as yet send to
occupation duty have some idea of what
they can look forward to.


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