[Marxism] Re: Random thoughts on Fred's contribution on Fallujah
ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Nov 15 11:30:41 MST 2004
I think Dave was confused by my comments about the Fallujah battle
partly because one of my sentences rambled and was also incomplete.
Clearly, the resistance forces decided not to stage an urban battle of
the Stalingrad-Warsaw Ghetto -- Khorramshahr -- Hue type. Except for
Hue, these were backs-against-the-wall battles by forces who faced utter
defeat and destruction if they could not hold the line. I was pointing
to the gravity of the battle they did fight.
One question I asked was whether any of the battles in the three Iraq
wars so far produced a comparable US death toll, let alone the injuries.
I don't think so. I think this is the most costly battle yet for the US
forces, that is, since the Gulf war of 91.
Dave said the Pentagon can accept 38 dead. The Pentagon can accept
100,000 US dead, or even a million. Maybe more than that, as long as
its not them that's dying.
The problem is what can the home front accept. I don't think the home
front will not tolerate 38 dead a week, I believe, or not for very long.
The public tolerance is lower, not higher or equal to the casulaltie
rates in Vietnam. For this reason, the entire methods of US warmaking
have been reorganized to prevent excessive casualties.
The US resistance to Vietnam led to a more advanced technology and
skillful organization of mass murder just as the proletarian struggle
for shorter hours and higher wages forces mechanization,
computerization, and so on of industry. The Rumsfeld reorganization is
built around the political limits imposed by the anti-Vietnam war
movement and the defeat in Indochina.
>From a political standpoint, 36 or 38 (the number is still rising for
some reason although the fighting has largely ended) is a very costly
price for a battle, and not one they will rush to repeat next week in
Mosul or wherever.
And the resistance has clearly gotten better at targeting GI'S than
they were in previous battles such as Najaf. Thirty-eight is a high
death toll, and its impact on the US public is going to be carefully
buried for as long as possible.
And the fighters were able to wage this gigantic (though not
world-historic scale) urban battle, and still take over Mosul and some
other cities. This seems to mark a shift in favor of the resistance in
the overall combat situation.
And yes, I suspect the US may for now -- precisely to stop the stream of
US dead -- be living with a significant degree of resistance strength IN
FALLUJAH, aside from the thousands who appear to have left to fight
another day somewhere else.
Overall, this seems to be neither a clear military victory for the
United States (aside from in the heavily propagandized US, which the
battle was substantially aimed at), nor a defeat or even a setback for
the national resistance, which seems to have become better organized
(more united?) and more effective militarily relative to the US-"Iraqi"
The low casualty rate among "Iraqi" government troops should be seen as
evidence that they carried little of the burden of fighting.
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