[Marxism] What now? was Mahdi Army pulls out

g.maclennan at qut.edu.au g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Tue Apr 13 21:20:26 MDT 2004



Fred Wrote:

To some extent time is on the side of the rebellion -- almost 
whatever happens, including a US military "victory."  They 
can well afford to postpone a showdown in a way that can help 
spread the movement in such important cities as Basra, which 
have not played much part publicly so
far.

Gary Wrote:

I agree with this Fred. The maneuverings inside the Shia are 
complex.  I think the idea that the Shia would suddenly join 
the Sunni and sweep the Americans & British and their running 
dogs away was a bit wishful.  Not that it could not have 
happened.  It was a very real political and military 
possibility.

What is happening I think is that Al Sistani's basic strategy 
which has not altered for over a year, is being shown to be 
untenable. He has called upon the Shia to sit on the fence 
and wait their moment, after the Americans had crushed the 
Sunni.  But the Americans, such as Rumsfeld, said early on 
they do not want a Shi'ite Republic.  It is not going to 
happen. 

So Sistani has to lead a fight at some stage. Yet he 
hesitates, threatens and then retreats.  It is this weakness 
that the Americans rely on.  But like Al Sadr, Al Sistani may 
have no recourse but to get up on the tiger's back and that's 
a wild place to be.

An attack on Najaf would presumably trigger that.

Fred wrote:

On the other hand, the US is under high pressure to act now, 
although the political and military costs will be substantial 
and continuing.


Gary wrote:

The resistance is being very astute in terms of its targets.  
It is tapping into the central weakness of the Americans.  
The latter have adapted the Israeli strategy of hiding in 
their bases and only emerging to shock and awe and to seek 
blood.

I think that is how the brutal madness of the Fallujah 
massacre has to be understood.  The idea was and I quote 
to "kill a lot of the bad guys".

But Bremer and co have no idea what to do with Fallujah after 
they have done that.

Presumably they will retreat to their bases.  However if Iraq 
is made ungovernable through the targeted assassination of 
collaborators, and unreconstuctible through hostage taking, 
and if the supply routes between the bases are rendered 
unsafe through ambushes, then the Americans have to come out 
and are as a consequence exposed.

That seems to be what is happening at present.

We on this list have been saying for a year now that the war 
on Iraq was a disaster for the American Imperialists.  We 
have been proved very correct indeed.

regards

Gary




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