[Marxism] General claims Fallujah outcome has broken back of insurgency

g.maclennan at qut.edu.au g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Thu Nov 18 21:20:07 MST 2004


The loss of a no-go area is always a blow to insurgents, 
surely?  

But it is far from clear that Fallujah is lost to the 
Resistance.  Once the Marines pack up and go, the Resistance 
will come back.  The Iraqis who are left to patrol will have 
to pay a price for their loyalty to the Americans.  Besides 
the only reliable allies that the USA have got are the Kurds.

If the Marines stay in Fallujah then that means they will be 
not be somewhere else -simple.  The dominant imperative 
remains that the Americans have too few soldiers on the 
ground to secure the Occupation.  The brunt of that truth 
will be borne by the collaborators of course.

As to the elections, that was always a deeply crazy 
justification for destroying Fallujah.  Whether there is a 
boycott or not, the fact remains that the USA have only got a 
base of support among the Kurds and there are definite 
political limits to the use of that support.

regards

Gary
---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 19:46:03 -0500
>From: "Fred Feldman" <ffeldman at bellatlantic.net>  
>Subject: [Marxism] General claims Fallujah outcome has 
broken back of insurgency  
>To: "'mxmail'" <marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu>, "'snews'" 
<snow-news at lists.riseup.net>
>
>Iraq insurgency 'broken,' general says
>Commander: Loss of Fallujah has scattered, disrupted rebels
>IMAGE: U.S. MARINE PATROL IN FALLUJAH
>Patrick Baz / AFP - Getty Images
>A U.S. Marine Humvee passes a badly damaged building in 
Fallujah on
>Thursday.
>	
>MSNBC News Services
>Updated: 4:55 p.m. ET Nov. 18, 2004
>
>BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. offensive in Fallujah has "broken 
the back of
>the insurgency" in Iraq, disrupting rebel operations across 
the country,
>a senior U.S. commander said on Thursday.
>
>advertisement
>Lt. Gen. John Sattler, commander of the 1st Marine 
Expeditionary Force
>at Fallujah, said the all-out assault on the city, which had 
been a
>stronghold for Iraqi insurgents who rose up after last 
year's ouster of
>President Saddam Hussein, had flushed the rebels out of 
their lair and
>scattered them.
>
>The comments by the top Marine commander in Iraq came as 
insurgents in
>Mosul attacked the governor's office and amid bloodshed 
elsewhere in the
>north, while U.S. forces and allied Iraqi government troops 
continued
>house-to-house sweeps to find remaining insurgents in 
Fallujah.
>
>"We feel right now that we have . broken the back of the 
insurgency and
>we've taken away the safe haven," Sattler said in a briefing 
from
>outside Fallujah monitored at the Pentagon.
>
>  
>Sattler, citing records captured from rebel positions inside 
Fallujah,
>said insurgents had lost its "means for command and control" 
and "the
>turf where you're operating, the town that you feel 
comfortable moving
>about in, where you know your way about."
>
>'Now you are scattered'
>Speaking as if he were addressing the insurgents, he 
added, "Now you are
>scattered. . You've been flushed from your hide-out. You 
have no friends
>in the area you move into. You must make new contacts."
>
>"Each and every time we can force these individuals to go to 
new
>locations, expand their circle of friends - if you want to 
call it that
>- to include some that they don't know and they don't trust, 
they'll
>bring in rookies, more junior people that will, in fact, 
make mistakes,"
>Sattler added.
>
>"And that's why I mentioned that this has disrupted them, I 
believe - my
>personal belief - across the country. This is going to make 
it very hard
>for them to operate. And I'm hoping that we'll continue to 
breathe down
>their neck," Sattler said.
>
>Sattler said 51 U.S. troops had been killed in the offensive 
and 425
>wounded. He said eight Iraqi government troops had been 
killed and 43
>wounded. He said about 1,200 insurgents had been killed, and 
U.S. forces
>hold about 1,025 prisoners.
>
>Sattler spoke as U.S. troops continued to mop up pockets of 
resistance
>in Fallujah, occasionally coming under heavy fire.
>
>Other action
>In other action Thursday:
>
>    * U.S. and Iraqi forces arrested 104 suspected 
guerrillas in an
>insurgent neighborhood in central Baghdad, including nine 
who are
>believed to have fled Fallujah, Interior Ministry spokesman 
Sabah Khadim
>said. Most were Iraqis, although Syrians and non-Iraqi Arabs 
were among
>the group, he said.
>    * Insurgents detonated a car bomb near a U.S. military 
convoy in
>Baghdad and a roadside bomb exploded at a job recruiting 
center in the
>northern city of Kirkuk in attacks that killed a total of 
four people
>and wounded eight, police and officials said. Insurgents 
also fired 10
>mortar rounds at the provincial administration offices in 
the northern
>city of Mosul, wounding four of the governor's guards, 
authorities said.
>    * Gov. Duraid Kashmoula was unhurt in the attack, 
spokesman Lt. Col.
>Paul Hastings said. The rest of Mosul, Iraq's third-largest 
city, with
>more than 1 million residents, remained calm for a second 
day since the
>U.S.-led offensive operation began Tuesday to wrest control 
of the
>western part of the city from insurgents.
>    * The Iraqi government warned that Islamic clerics who 
incite
>violence will be considered to be "participating in 
terrorism," and it
>said a number of them already have been arrested. Thair al-
Naqeeb, a
>spokesman for Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, did not specify 
how many
>clerics have been detained.
>
>Assessment is more optimistic
>Sattler's assessment of the impact of the offensive on 
Fallujah was
>markedly more optimistic than those offered recently by other
>commanders.
>
>Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, the top U.S. military officer, 
last week
>said it was "never our hope" that the offensive would end the
>insurgency.
>
>U.S. commanders previously have made pronouncements that 
turned out to
>be premature about crippling the insurgency only to have the 
rebels
>intensify their campaign of violence aimed at chasing U.S. 
and other
>foreign troops from Iraq and undermining the American-backed 
interim
>government.
>
>Army Maj. Gen. Raymond Odierno said on Jan. 22 that Iraq's 
insurgents
>"have been brought to their knees" and reduced to "a 
fractured, sporadic
>threat."
>
>The timing of the latest assault was partly driven by the 
need to reduce
>violence ahead of elections planned in January.
>
>Relief organizations estimate up to 250,000 Iraqis have fled 
Fallujah to
>nearby villages and Baghdad, but the groups have not been 
able to assess
>the refugees' needs because of fighting around the former 
insurgent
>bastion, a U.N. official said Thursday.
>
>Astrid van Genderen Stort, spokeswoman for the U.N. High 
Commission for
>Refugees in Amman, Jordan, said Thursday that there didn't 
appear to be
>an immediate threat of a lack of food because most of those 
who fled
>either took supplies with them or are being fed by their 
hosts. But she
>worried that the increased population may be overwhelming 
water and
>sanitation facilities in some areas.
>
>"We hope that we can access these people soon to know what 
the exact
>needs are and to make sure that these needs are met," van 
Genderen Stort
>said. "The access is very difficult. You just can't give the 
support you
>would give in an ordinary refugee crisis."
> C 2004 MSNBC Interactive
>
>
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