[Marxism] Another Disgraceful Article from "The Militant"
altman_d at hotmail.com
Fri Apr 9 07:34:40 MDT 2004
>From the latest issue of "The Militant," (http://www.themilitant.com/), an
article more interesting for what it doesn't say than for what it does.
Barnes & Co. can't really say that there is no Iraqi Resistance anymore, so
they just walk aroiund the issue, talking about "protests" and so forth.
U.S. forces step up assaults
in occupied Iraqi cities
BY PATRICK ONEILL
U.S. occupation troops initiated a crackdown in early April in the city of
Fallujah and in two Baghdad neighborhoods where attacks on U.S.-led forces
had taken place.
Fallujah, a largely Sunni Muslim town north of the Iraqi capital, was sealed
off by U.S. forces in preparation for stepped-up military assaults. In
Baghdad, U.S. troops with tanks and other combat vehicles were sent into
Sadr City and other working-class neighborhoods where a Shiite Muslim group
has led protests against occupation forces. In both cities the U.S. forces
launched air strikes.
In Fallujah, local residents told reporters that several people had been
killed when a U.S. warplane dropped bombs on a working-class district after
U.S. officers said their troops had come under mortar fire from that area.
U.S. troops sealed off the town as a prelude to a military push called
Operation Vigilant Resolve involving 1,200 U.S. Marines and two battalions
of U.S.-trained Iraqi paramilitary forces. U.S. officers vowed to pacify
the town, where celebratory crowds had greeted the deaths on March 31 of
four armed guards under contract to the Pentagon.
In the Iraqi capital, up to 1,000 U.S. troops accompanied by a column of
tanks moved into and around Sadr City, a largely Shiite Muslim working-class
district that is home to 2 million people. U.S. soldiers opened fire on
people attending a funeral for compatriots killed the previous day by
occupation forces. Angry funeral-goers threw stones at the troops.
After a U.S. troop convoy entering the nearby Shuala district came under
attack, helicopter gunships strafed the areathe first reported air attack
on an area in Baghdad since the overthrow of Saddam Husseins government by
U.S. and British-led troops last year.
Over the previous two days, Sadr City had been a center of several protests
and armed actions directed against the occupation forces in a number of
cities and towns, from Basra in the south to Fallujah. Eight U.S. soldiers
and 22 Iraqis were killed in clashes in the Baghdad suburb between the U.S.
troops and members and supporters of a militia associated with Moktada
al-Sadr, a Shiite Muslim cleric who opposes the occupation. Twenty-four U.S.
troops and 85 Iraqis were wounded.
The fighting erupted after the U.S. proconsul of Iraq, Paul Bremer,
declared Sadr an outlaw and said the occupying force will not tolerate
attempts to supplant its authority, Reuters reported.
By the morning of April 5, U.S. forces had built earthen barricades across
all the entrances to Fallujah in preparation for a crackdown.
U.S. officers said they were targeting those responsible for the deaths of
the four guards, a privately hired component of the occupation forces. The
four were ambushed and killed as they drove through the city. An angry crowd
then gathered, some of whom set fire to the bodies, hanging two of them from
a bridge over the Euphrates River. The incident was played up by the U.S.
big-business media in a propaganda campaign to whip up patriotic sentiment
in U.S. bourgeois public opinion.
Referred to by U.S. officials as contract workers, the four guards were
highly paid employees of Blackwater U.S.A., a business founded in 1998 by
former Navy SEALs that provides hired guns for big-business and political
leaders. They are mostly former policemen and Special Forces.
Such mercenary outfits have been integrated into the U.S.-led occupation
forces. The New York Times reported that up to two dozen such companies are
fielding up to 15,000 hired soldiers in Iraq.
On April 4, during a street protest by 5,000 people in the Shiite city of
Najaf, south of Baghdad, supporters of Sadr reportedly opened fire on a
Spanish-run garrison. Spanish and Salvadoran troops fired back, sparking a
several-hour-long battle. Twenty-two Iraqis were killed and 200 wounded.
Among the occupation forces, a Salvadoran soldier was killed and several
other troops were wounded.
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