[Marxism] Workers World assessment of Fallujah battle, Iraq war

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Dec 5 22:11:36 MST 2004


  

A public humiliation to U.S. imperialism


>From a talk by WWP Secretariat member Sara Flounders to the Nov. 13-14
National Fightback Conference. 

The U.S. siege of Falluja represents in the starkest and the most brutal
terms the problems of U.S. imperialism and the potential for mobilized
people's resistance in this period.

The U.S. war machine makes it clear that they have the massive high-tech
firepower to overwhelm any possible opponent. Yet their own think tanks
are telling them that they cannot win the continuing war in Iraq.

This does not mean U.S. imperialism can or will decide to leave Iraq any
time soon. These are the irrational and unsolvable contradictions that
can tear the imperialist ruling class apart and inflame a global
movement.

Falluja was to be an example of how the 22 other cities the occupation
has lost control of would be reconquered in order to orchestrate an
election. The offensive there began with the destruction of two
hospitals and occupation of the largest hospital. Al Jazeera and other
Arab news media were shut down to try to control images of destruction
comparable to the Nazi bombing of Guernica in Spain or the Warsaw Ghetto
in Poland.

The media have reported use of white phosphorous, napalm, depleted
uranium rounds, giant bunker busters and even poison gas. Based on the
U.S. claim that mosques were a center of resistance, over 60 mosques
were directly targeted. The destruction is horrendous.

But the U.S. military machine is facing guerrilla warfare tactics that
have taken a page from Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, from Che Guevara and
Hezbollah in Lebanon, and adapted them to an urban and desert setting.

Pentagon spokespeople are bragging that Falluja is under control and the
resistance is defeated. Yet U.S. forces continue to suffer daily
casualties.

Meanwhile hundreds of armed resisters have regained control of Ramadi.
In Mosul, the major city of north Iraq, they stormed a half-dozen police
stations. The U.S.-trained Iraqi police disappeared. Stations were
stripped of weapons, ammunition, body armor, uniforms and even
generators.

Whole sections of Baghdad are totally out of U.S. control for the first
time since U.S. occupation forces rolled in April 2003. 

Iraqi Railway workers have announced they will refuse to move all
supplies to U.S. troops. They will only carry United Nations food for
Iraqi people.

The coalition of collaborators is in a meltdown. The only Sunni
political party and the Association of Muslim Scholars have just
announced an official boycott of the January elections.

Planning for people's resistance

>From Iraq three weeks before the U.S. invasion began, I reported in the
pages of Workers World newspaper about the public training of the entire
Iraqi adult population--both men and women--in urban warfare tactics. It
was no secret. Weapons, ammunition and months of food supplies were
publicly distributed to the entire population. Images of the heroic
Palestinian resistance reminded the Iraqis that it is possible for a
whole people to resist for more than 50 years against overwhelming
force.

The shock and awe of massive bombing was calculated to totally overwhelm
and demoralize the entire population. But the Pentagon, Rumsfeld, the
whole U.S. ruling class made a historic miscalculation. They are so
drunk with the power of their high-tech weapons that they don't consider
that this higher technical level is now a world phenomenon.

Their weapons are only one aspect of high tech. Millions of workers who
make this technology also must be trained to understand and use it. The
technology enters the capitalist marketplace in the form of millions of
cheap gadgets.

No isolated, illiterate peasantry, the Iraqi workers are technically
sophisticated and conscious of the aims of colonial occupation. They are
well aware of the massive world movement that mobilized in the streets
to oppose the U.S. war.

Thousands of engineers, scientists, technicians, and mechanics are able
to rig thousands of cell phones and remote-control doorbells to set off
ambushes and booby traps.

The working class today, as Marx predicted 150 years ago, is educated,
technically sophisticated and truly a world class. When millions of jobs
and work days are configured around global time zones, workers
themselves begin to understand this.

The whole world is watching

U.S. imperialism's biggest problem--greater than an insurgency that they
can't seem to defeat--is that this is happening in a floodlight of world
attention.

Instant information and communication seems so powerful when marines can
call in deadly strikes via satellite phones to jets far overhead. But
instant communication is an entirely different political phenomenon when
throughout the Arab world, and in Pakistan, the Philippines, Venezuela
and South Korea, workers can go into an Internet café and scroll through
thousands of images of Iraqi resistance fighters.

Instant communication takes on a different character when a U.S.
platoon, which refused a direct military order to drive a convoy of
trucks, was able to contact their families and contact the media in
Jackson, Miss., before the top brass in the Green Zone had even heard of
the mutiny.

Officers now worry that GIs can record and photograph illegal orders and
war crimes with their cell phones.

All of this technology takes on a different character when you can
google in the words "rights in the military" or "anti-war" or "struggle
against racism" or "Mumia" or hundreds of other resistance words and web
sites that activists have connected to us or that we help to maintain
pop up.

All of these web sites, like all of our printed literature, have a
consistent theme of resistance to imperialist war and racism, solidarity
with all peoples under attack, and promoting the power of working people
when they organize.

A generation ago there was a song: "The revolution will not be
televised." Maybe it still won't be televised, but we can be sure to
catch it on the Internet. 


Reprinted from the Dec. 2, 2004, issue of Workers World newspaper

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