[Marxism] Herman: "We Had To Destroy Fallujah in Order to Save It"
jcparks5550 at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 11 20:42:21 MST 2004
November 08, 2004
We Had To Destroy Fallujah in Order to Save It
By Edward Herman
""The similarities between the Vietnam and Iraq wars become more marked with
each passing week.We are now told that the U.S. forces have surrounded
Fallujah and are about to unleash a full-scale attack to recover it from the
insurgents. They are already bombarding the town with howitzers and
missiles, so we can be fairly certain that the town will be destroyed and
that civilian casualties will be very heavy. Fallujah must be destroyed in
order to save it from control by a resistance to the
U.S.-invasion/occupation and U.S. control, as was the case with Ben Tre in
Vietnam, about whose destruction the famous phrase "We had to destroy the
town in order to save it" was coined by a U.S. officer implementing the
destruction. Then as now the U.S. right to invade and destroy in order to
shape the politics of a distant country was taken as a given by the media
and ready-access intellectuals.
In both cases there was this ready willingness to use advanced weaponry on
relatively defenseless peoples, with heavy civilian casualties entirely
acceptable, and of course kept under the rug as much as possible, with media
assistance. There were no body counts of civilians in Vietnam, and U.S.
leaders like Colin Powell and General Tommy Franks have been explicit that
such counts as regards Iraqi civilians are not an interesting subject and in
fact "We don't do body counts" (Franks). In Vietnam, U.S. legal personnel
even coined the phrase "the mere gook rule," to describe the attitude toward
the locals we were allegedly saving. In Iraq the natives are referred to as
hajis by the invaders, a term of derogation that is matched by actions in
raiding homes, dealing with prisoners, and once again the lavish use of high
tech weapons in civilian-heavy locales with heavy civilian costs (heavy
bombs, cluster bombs, DU ammunition).
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