[Marxism] Fallujah: No Pasarán

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at bellsouth.net
Sun May 2 10:57:23 MDT 2004

David Walters writes, responding to my post arguing that the U.S.
suffered a major defeat in Fallujah: "There is no question that from a
military point of view, the US can obliterate Fallujah in about one
hour. It can kill most or all of it's inhabitants and occupy the

I think David's view of the war is mistaken. War is the continuation of
politics by "other means" but it is, at bottom, a political exercise. It
is said by right-wingers in the U.S. that the Americans won all the
battles in Vietnam but lost the war, and that the reason it lost the war
was internal treason.

What that shows is that these people do not understand the nature of the
Vietnam conflict, just as they do not understand the nature of the Iraqi
conflict. Victory in this kind of war is not just the ability to run
roughshod over the country, but to make it function and produce for you,
to be able to organize and govern it. 

It is this last specific aspect of matters that the Pentagon chicken
hawk faction completely misunderstand. They view war as an exercise in
destructive technique and technology. The point in war is not to destroy
the enemy but to bend them to your will.

Therein lies the essence of the U.S. defeat in Fallujah. Like Gandalf
before the Balrog in the caves of Moria, the resistance said to the
Marines at the gates of Fallujah: "You shall not pass." And they did

The resonance of the phrase to the mid-20th Century public is
unavoidable and Tolkien would have been aware of it. "No Pasarán" is
perhaps the most famous battle cry of the anti-fascists in the Spanish
Civil War.


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