[Marxism] Re: Iraq is a scene from hell
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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