[Marxism] Random thoughts on Fred's contribution on Fallujah

paul bunyan cutemdown2003 at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 15 16:09:56 MST 2004

dwalters at marxists.org wrote: 

>That officially 36 GIs died and a few hundred injured, even if it was 5 times 
>that number, historically, it's almost *free* from the Pentagon's point of 
>view in that from a strickly military perspective, such casulties would be 
>considered inconsequetial and a testament to great military planning, 
>intelligence, etc. IF one compares such casulty figures to any of the examples >cited by Fred above, this was, indeed, a military *freebee* for the 
>imperialists. Indeed, the whole of "1,000 plus" is for the entire campaign in 
>the last 18 months for this type of occupation is something the military, at 
>any rate, can live with virutually forever. During Vietnam we were talking 
>about 150 to 350 GIs killed every *week*...

the above mentioned weekly death toll in Vietnam, is about right. This compares to about 12-13 Americans killed weekly since 5/1/03 ("Mission Accomplished"), about 15 per week since the capture of Saddam Hussein, 12/13/03, and about the same since so-called "turnover" of late June. What is different from Vietnam  is that of the hostile fire casualties, about 10% are fatal, which is less than Vietnam. This is not without cost, as someone else on the list mentioned, soldiers are surviving head wounds that would have been fatal in Vietnam, but will have sufferred permanent brain damage. As previously mentioned amputations are higher.

It's not casualties, but morale that could be the US's undoing. For example in Vietnman there was no "stop loss". When your year was up you left. If your enlistment expired before serving a year in Vietnam, you left. In Iraq, there are soldiers/marines, on their second tour in Iraq before completing their initial 3/4 year enlistments. Even the lifers are doing second tours, within a period of less than 2 years. Not good for morale. And of course, all of us who are oppossed to this war/occupation have an obligation to build as strong of an anti-war anti-occupation movement as possible.

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