[Marxism] Not a dime's difference

Philip Ferguson philip.ferguson at canterbury.ac.nz
Tue Dec 5 20:22:06 MST 2006

>From New York Times, Dec 5:
>Even before the Iraq war, Mr. Rumsfeld opposed sending large numbers of
troops to Iraq, arguing that a large and lengthy presence would put the
United States in the position of doing things that the Iraqis should be
doing for themselves. He outlined his view shortly before the war in a
speech in New York called "Beyond Nation Building", and it was reflected
in his criticism of Gen. Eric Shinseki, the Army chief of staff at the
time, who cautioned that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed
in postwar Iraq.

Turns out Shinseki was right.

Rumsfeld thoroughly underestimated what would be required in Iraq.  The
"plan", to the extent there was one, seems to have been based mainly on
what forces would be required to defeat Saddam Hussein and not on any
serious appreciation of what Iraq would be like afterwards.

Unfortunately, of course, it is the population of Iraq that is bearing
the cost of this.  The imperialists have basically destroyed the country
and unleashed what looks like a fairly horrendous sectarian conflict.
The imperialists can't withdraw but their presence can't solve the
problem either, since they themselves are at its root.


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