[Marxism] NY Times edit: More troops needed in Afghanistan

John Enyang x03002f at math.nagoya-u.ac.jp
Sun Jul 23 10:03:28 MDT 2006

> I've argued this from another perspective. The Mideast is crucial where
> Vietnam was not!
> The ruling class has been unified on this from before WW2: The U.S.
> _must_ exert hegemony over the Mideast oil, and given the geography that
> means having troops there. The present war began with the overthrow of
> Mossadegh. And given the stakes, _of course_ the ruling class can afford
> the cost!
> In battles which we _have_ to fight (and we certainly have to fight this
> collection of wars) but can NOT win we need to focus on using them to
> build for the future. This is one reason why the "single issue" slogan
> of the '60s is so pointless in the present context.
> Carrol

There is some truth to what you say, but don't you think we ought to
recognise that there exist actors besides the US ruling class that have
more than a minor supporting role in history? Crucial in the loss of the
Vietnam war was the nature of the Vietnamese resistance, and the backing
that they had from the former USSR and from Mao's China. The fact is that
the US army had turned into a rabble by the end of the war, and this
collapse in military discipline was not just due to lack of determination
on the part of the US ruling class to prosecute the war to the end, and
with all means available to them, but also to the criminal nature of the
war, and the firepower of the Vietnamese and allied forces arrayed
against the US.

Were the forces facing the US in Iraq sufficiently coherent that the US
was forced to to prosecute their current middle eastern adventure with an
army of conscripted US citizens, then Carrol would probably not need to be
making the arguments he is above. 'It' would really come home then.

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