U.S. Cease-Fire Negotiating Team Heading to Baghdad?

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Wed Mar 26 10:57:01 MST 2003


Jay asks: "Why do you say a U.S. victory's 'inevitable'?"

I think the U.S. "victory" is inevitable in this sense and to this extent:

The U.S. will succeed in completing the military occupation of the country
and dismantling the current government apparatus. This does NOT necessarily
mean an end to organized resistance, but it does mean the resistance would
eventually be from an underground battling the occupying forces, not from a
government which is in control of part of the national territory. This
doesn't assume military brilliance on the Anglo-American part, but, of
course, the U.S. must not have an irrationally suicidal military strategy.

This does not mean Iraq could not become a "new Vietnam." Compared to
Vietnam, though, the situation Iraq faces is qualitatively harder, in that
a) there is no socialist bloc or other source of weaponry or other supplies;
b) there's no "rearguard" for the Iraqis, a place where the imperialists
land forces can't go for geopolitical considerations. This world is
"unipolar" that one was "bipolar."

I don't think, even assuming top morale and the best leadership on their
side and mediocre ones on the other, that the Iraqis have military units
that can possibly stand up to the U.S. units in conventional warfare. This
means they cannot, in the end, hold territory, but will be forced to give
way. Moreover, because of their inferior equipment and firepower, lack of
air, etc., any attempt to hold a regular front would have to be paid for
dearly by sacrificing their existing equipment, which they cannot replace.
And even assuming a "good" ratio of, say, Iraqi tanks to American tanks and
attack helicopters in terms of kills on both sides, the United States can
get more and Iraq can't.

And this is in reality an understatement. The Anglo-American force is
qualitatively superior in equipment, firepower, mobility and intelligence
(information, not "smarts."). This does not mean they can't be fought or
can't be defeated, but it does mean Iraq can't do so in conventional warfare
whose objective is to seize or hold territory. To hold territory they must
fight conventionally, create a front, a defensive line and seek to hold the
enemy there (or break through the enemy's similar formation). In *that* kind
of fighting, Iraq can't win, not in a million years.

This assumes the country is small enough so that the current U.S. armed
forces (including a number of units not yet there or that could be sent)
with a division or two from the Brits can both occupy much or most of it and
continue offensive operations. It is my gut feeling that this is clearly
true of Iraq and clearly false of, say, Russia or China or India, assuming
determined resistance.

Occupation would not necessarily be the end of all Iraqi resistance, not at
all; nor does it necessarily imply the disappearance of the figures
associated with the current regime; they might continue to use their current
titles as an underground or in-exile government. An underground resistance
could well continue to exist and, if the people of Iraq were combative and
well-led, I believe they would eventually succeed in making the cost of the
ongoing occupation impossibly high for the imperialists. In this a big role
would be played by the demoralization of the imperialist army.

In fact, I anticipate something like this is what will happen if the United
States insists on running the country indefinitely through an occupation.
That's what Tony Blair is coming to tell Bush, according to news reports.
They need UN or Arab League cover, and quislings, they must have them.

But my opinion is that without some gigantic political shift, there simply
isn't, before the *initial* occupation can be completed, anywhere near
enough time for the kind of demoralization that would make the US army
ineffective as a ground force to become generalized.

José

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jay Moore" <pieinsky at igc.org>
To: "Marxism List" <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 11:29 AM
Subject: U.S. Cease-Fire Negotiating Team Heading to Baghdad?


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