[Marxism] US military BOASTS of killing 300 in Najaf asfightingspreads

M. Junaid Alam junaidalam at msalam.net
Sat Aug 7 11:38:55 MDT 2004

I am not sure that I share Jose's assessment of the situation. The 
Marine forward base put out a figure of 300 militia killed in two days. 
Now if this is true, frankly, Sadr's militia forces got their asses 
kicked pretty hard, and I wouldn't quickly discount this possibility. 
Sadr's forces aren't anywhere near as skilled or trained as those led by 
former intelligence and Ba'athists in Fallujah. They are a bunch of 
young unemployed men toting around small arms and RPG with little to no 
training, but fanatically committed to Sadr.  At least, that is what one 
can glean from reports over the past few months.

Earlier, Sadr had the initiative, because he built up his militia under 
Bremer's nose and brought it to bear during a wave of popular resentment 
of the IGC and CPA and because of attempts to shut down his paper. But 
it doesn't really appear that he has any kind of coherent strategy now. 
On the one hand he calls the US "the forces of Satan" and on the other 
hand he simultaneously calls for a resumption of the tenuous ceasefire. 
If he was maneuvering for elections, didn't Allawi grant him the option?

At any rate, it's possible the US instructed Allawi that is not an 
option, and began an operation to destroy Sadr. Obviously the Iraqi 
police couldn't do it themselves, so the Marines, who've replaced 
previous Army troops, have come in to do the job. I find the fact that 
Sistani conveniently hops on a plane to the UK during all this to be 
more than a little fishy. Hospital reports about any massive civilian 
casualties so far are lacking, so the US figure could still be 
remarkable bullshit. A "Health Ministry" official, whom I suppose is 
from the puppet government, said city hospitals reported only 21 people 
killed in Najaf.

At any rate, judging from Fisk's reports, the US and their forces have 
very little control over most of the major cities in the center of the 
country. Security and stability is non-existent outside the Green Zone.

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