[Marxism] Replying to David was: The U.S. defeat in Fallujah

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at comcast.net
Sun May 2 00:31:33 MDT 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: <g.maclennan at qut.edu.au>
> My comment: Hi David, If the retreat from Fallujah is not a
> military defeat what is it? You say it cannot be a military
> defeat, beacuse the Americans cannot be defeated militarily.
> Your reference here to the American capacity to totally
> destroy Fallujah and Iraq is only partially correct,
> however.  You could add to that their capacity to destroy the
> entire planet. But war to coin a cliche is just politics by
> another means.

The war aim of the US is not to depopulate Iraq.  The war aim of the US is
to profitably exploit Iraq (both in the immediate sense of profiting from
Iraqi oil and Iraqi labor, and in the geopolitical senses (using Iraq as a
military base, controlling the region, controlling the world's oil supply,
etc.)).  To do that, they have to stabilize Iraq.  To do that, they have to
somehow break the will of the resistance.

Four weeks ago, the US boldly announced what they planned to do in Fallujah:
they were going to re-establish control, go into Fallujah, destroy the
'gangs' of 'insurgents', and arrest or kill the people who killed the four
mercenaries.  Today, after over a thousand Iraqi deaths, after inspiring
Shi'i/Sunni unity, after everything that has happened that we and the whole
world have seen and talked about, they are pulling back and they do not even
have the assurance that they are going to 'get' the people who killed the
four mercenaries!  The resistance fighters are apparently rejoicing that
they held off the US and that their courage has been rewarded!  That alone
makes it a victory.

Four weeks ago, the US generals were saying, "We are going to make an
example of Fallujah, we are going to make it a Lidice, so that in every part
of Iraq, people who are thinking of killing mercenaries or otherwise
resisting the occupation will have second thoughts and say, 'but the US will
just do what they did in Fallujah.  It's impossible to really resist.'"  But
now in fact, in every part of Iraq, those people will think, "We can do what
they did in Fallujah!  It is possible to really resist!"  Anger and outrage
start the fires of resistance, but the actual experience of winning a battle
is the ultimate accelerant.

As Carroll pointed out, the Tet offensive in Viet Nam was thrown back
militarily by the US.  The US recaptured Hue.  They didn't have to withdraw
from Hue and turn it over to some other force!

As for this "Fallujah Protective Army" which is supposed to be patrolling
Fallujah, I am going to reserve judgment about them being a "third lot of
quislings" until I see what they actually do.  Are they going to seize the
heavy weapons that the Marines were trying to make the resistance surrender?
Are they going to do the job that the US Marines couldn't do?  Composed
largely of former Republican Guard according to the reports, are they going
to be better servants than Bremer's own sepoys?  Or are they part of a
complex 'dual power' situation?  And whatever they are today, what will they
be in a week or a month?  Do the mercenaries have the assurance that they
can go into Fallujah in complete safety under the protection of the
"Protective Army"?

Add to this the political effects of the revelations of the Nazi-style
atrocities (Iraq has now not only had a Tet offensive, it has now had a My
Lai), and anything becomes possible.  We are all very fortunate to be on the
side we are on.

Lou Paulsen

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