[Marxism] Fwd: Anthony Arnove: Will Obama End the War?

Ruthless Critic of All that Exists ok.president+marxml at gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 00:27:54 MDT 2008


*Will Obama stop the war?*

June 4, 2008 | Issue 673 <http://socialistworker.org/issue/673>

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Anthony Arnove is the author of *Iraq: The Logic of

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*BARACK OBAMA presents himself as a candidate who will end the U.S. war on
Iraq. Knowing the details of what he proposes, is it accurate to say that
he'll end the war?*

PEOPLE WHO believe Barack Obama will end the occupation of Iraq are likely
in for a rude awakening. Despite talking about withdrawal from Iraq, his
plan would keep troops in the country for years to come, likely well beyond
his potential first term.

Obama has also left open the possibility that if he reduces the overall
troop levels in Iraq--something that from a military standpoint is very
likely, given how overstretched the United States is now--he would increase
the number of mercenaries in Iraq.

Writing in the *Nation* magazine, journalist Jeremy Scahill
"A senior foreign policy adviser to leading Democratic presidential
candidate Barack Obama has told the *Nation* that if elected Obama will not
'rule out' using private security companies like Blackwater Worldwide in

Obama says that he will "have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within
16 months." But "combat brigades" only make up about half the troops in

In addition to the mercenaries and private contractors, that would leave
tens of thousands of troops involved in so-called counterinsurgency
operations. That's the same rationale the Bush administration uses for
keeping troops in Iraq. Other troops would stay for "training" operations.
This, too, is the Bush argument: we'll stand down as the Iraqis stand up.

But there's no way the Iraqi police or security forces will ever have any
legitimacy as long as they are seen as collaborating with an unwanted
foreign occupation. That's why "Iraqization" of the conflict is leading in
the same direction that "Vietnamization" led during the U.S. war against
Vietnam: prolonging the disaster.

Other troops will remain for "force protection." That's a complete oxymoron.
If the U.S. wasn't in Iraq as an occupying power, if it didn't have military
bases, if it wasn't building in Baghdad the largest embassy of any
government in the world, there would be no need for such troops.

This is also the reasoning given for why we need so many mercenaries in
Iraq--and may need more. As Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for
management, told James Risen of the *New York
"If the contractors were removed, we would have to leave Iraq."


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