[Marxism] Re: Iraq is a scene from hell

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Tue Aug 3 19:55:16 MDT 2004

There are 200,000 troops and civilian contractors in Iraq, a country 
approximately the geographic size of California--the population is 24 
million, while California's is 35 million. Relative to the population 
of New York City, the number of troops is only 50 percent more than the 
number of cops policing New York City.   Soldiers can never be as 
integrated into society to the degree of the police forces, who of 
course have their own problems vis-a-vis the populace. For those who 
were there, picture the National Guard in Chicago in 1968.

And the soldiers in Iraq are foreigners who do not speak the language. 
Even in Vietnam, the U.S. troops had allies, however weak and 
compromised, who spoke Vietnamese.

In NYC, very few police live in difficult areas such as Harlem, East 
Harlem, or Bedford-Stuyvesant. Nonetheless, they do live in homes in 
various suburbs, i.e., among the population broadly considered. They 
are able to go home, sleep with their families, get together with 
neighbors, attend church or other social institutions, shop, etc.

But in Iraq, when not on duty they retreat to the Green Zone of Bagdad 
or other military bases. Who controls, or better put, who can operate 
freely in all the rest of Iraq (excluding the area controlled by the 
Kurds)? The Resistance, of course.

Even if the Resistance (seen only as the dedicated military and 
political opposition) doesn't yet--for the sake of argument--represent 
the majority of the population, there is little doubt that they can 
operate relatively freely. The longer the operation goes on, the 
stronger they will become.

Again to summarize: relative size of the policing force, foreigners 
(would apply even to other Arab forces), do not speak language, troops 
not soldiers, no local allies.

For U.S. soldiers, it is indeed a "scene from hell."

from Brian Shannon

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