[Marxism] Re: Iraq is a scene from hell
Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Wed Aug 4 21:23:17 MDT 2004
There are 200,000 troops and civilian contractors in Iraq, a country
the geographic size of California--the population is 24 million, while
California's is 35 million. In relative numbers, the troops occupying
Iraq are only 50 percent greater than the number of cops policing New
York City. Soldiers, of course, can never be as integrated into
society as the police, who have their own problems vis-a-vis the
citizenry. For those who were there, picture the National Guard in
Chicago in 1968 (or any other urban area where the National Guard has
been called out to control the population), with somewhat better
training, but not speaking the native language.
Even in Vietnam, the U.S. troops had a native ally (although weak and
compromised), developed over a period of years, whose personnel of
course spoke the native language.
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 populace broadly considered. The
police are able to go home, sleep with their families, get together
with neighbors, attend church or other social institutions, go
shopping, etc. To some extent they are "fish in the water."
But in Iraq, when not on duty, the occupation forces retreat to the
Green Zone of Bagdad or other military bases. Who controls or, better
stated, who can operate freely in 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. As the foreign occupation goes on, the
resistance will become stronger--more experienced, more flexible in
their strategy and tactics, with greater links to the population, and
stronger organizational ties with each other.
Again to summarize: relative size of the policing force, invasion of
foreigners (would apply even to other Arab forces), do not speak
language, troops instead of local police, turnover of troops, no local
allies, and the strengthening of the opposition over time.
For U.S. soldiers, it is indeed a "scene from hell."
from Brian Shannon
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