[Marxism] Forwarded from Fred Feldman

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Aug 29 06:50:17 MDT 2004

(Fred, I clipped the articles cited below since they exceeded Marxmail 
byte limits. Comrades can read them by clicking the link below.)

Articles circulated by Prof. Mark Jensen on Seattle's antiwar Snow-News 

[Three articles about damage caused to Najaf by three weeks of fierce 
fighting between the U.S. troops and the Mahdi Army.  --

(1) The *Washington Post* reports that marines, connoisseurs of 
destruction, debated “which famously ruined wartime cityscape Najaf now 
resembles most.”  The *Post* said the devastation was due to “an 
American military doctrine that unites terrifying firepower with almost 
zero tolerance for casualties in its own ranks.  ‘If we take fire from 
it, we destroy the whole building,’ an Army commander said.” The *Post* 
reported that 11 U.S. soldiers had lost their lives in the fighting, 
along with “hundreds of militiamen and other people.”   --

(2) The  *New York Times*, in an article on the devastation, was more 
precise:  “As many as 1,000 guerrillas may have been killed since early 
August, American commanders say.”  --  The *Times* explained some of the 
factors that hopelessly overmatched the Mahdi Army fighters:  night 
vision goggles, effective body armors, and tanks and armored vehicles 
impervious to the militiamen’s most lethal weapons, so that “even direct 
hits did not seriously damage the American armor.”  --

American soldiers returned rifle fire from buildings by pouring in 
“bursts of 25-millimeter high-explosive shells, , essentially miniature 
grenades” but none of this daunted the Mahdi Amry. ‘They’re brave,’ said 
Specialist Mark Siapco, a soldier in the First Battalion, Fifth Cavalry, 
which has fought north of the shrine.  ‘They’re crazy.’ ”  --

(3) A report by Hannah Allam of Knight Ridder emphasized the social 
dimension of the catastrophe for a city that “only months ago was on the 
brink of a renaissance,” and concluded that Najaf had shown “the 
weaknesses of the secular interim government” and “the power of its 
opponents. ”  --Mark]


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