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Irak - USA er ved at miste den politiske kamp
U.S. losing political battle for Iraq, too
John Catalinotto, 13. august 2005
Præsident George W. Bush har elegant bestræbt sig på at afværge politiske implikationer af den amerikansk ledede alliances "besættelse" af Irak. For amerikanerne og for resten af verden har den modstand, som alliancen møder ført til en gradvist voksende politisk afstandtagen blandt irakere fra specielt USA.
In the wake of a multiple land-mine strike that killed 14 Marines from an Ohio-based reserve unit outside Haditha, Iraq, in early August, President George W. Bush and his top officials tried to divert attention to the occupation’s political aspects. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claimed on Time magazine’s web site that she believes the Iraqi “insurgency” - that’s the word U.S. officials use for the heroic resistance fighters - is “losing steam” politically.
In the early stages of the war and occupation, Washington was only too happy to concentrate on the Pentagon’s military prowess. Now that the U.S. population is watching the casualty figures closely, “political progress” is supposed to take center stage. An evaluation of political developments on both sides of Iraq’s war for liberation is in order.
For a start, consider the nature of the battle the Marines were engaged in. Its name was “Operation New Market.” It was aimed at clearing resistance fighters from the region in Anbar Province, northwest of Baghdad, where the liberation struggle is strongest.
“New Market” is meant to recall a Civil War battle in which cadets from Virginia Military Institute performed bravely - on the side of the Confederacy, a government of slave owners. Thus the name fit the politics of reaction: The U.S. Marines are attempting to put Iraqis in colonial slavery.
Then there is the confusion of messages from U.S. strategists. Some Republican leaders and some top generals are emphasizing the possibility that U.S. troop levels will be reduced in 2006. This depends, they say, on their ability to train Iraqi troops to take their place.
Decrease or increase U.S. troops?
Gen. John Abizaid, U.S. commander in the Middle East, has a plan to remove up to 30,000 U.S. troops by next spring. Of course, conditions will have to allow it. Abizaid plans to increase U.S. troop levels from 138,000 to 160,000 for the December elections.
Lawrence Di Rita, spokesperson for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, told reporters Aug. 8 that it is likely troop levels will be raised for the December election just as they were in January. The Pentagon may have to extend Iraq tours beyond 12 months or send over additional units based in the United States to achieve this increase.
Still, Abizaid’s mentioning the possibility of troop removal has given the Repub licans an opportunity to claim that this ever more unpopular war is winding down. This is another Big Lie, to add to the multiple Big Lies the Bush gang told to justify U.S. aggression in the first place. This lie is aimed at preventing a disaster for the Republicans in the 2006 midterm elections, and at softening the growing anti-war mood in the United States.
The Democratic Party leadership, instead of appealing for a rapid end to the war, has been providing an alternative strategy aimed at crushing the Iraqis. Sen. Joseph Biden, pointing to the lack of trained Iraqi troops in the U.S.-backed regime’s army, has called for sending even more U.S. soldiers and marines to Iraq.
Biden told Fox News Aug. 7 that the United States should announce that it wants no permanent bases in Iraq and “won’t deal in” Iraqi oil. His problem is that U.S. imperialism has coveted both the bases and the oil—and everyone in Iraq knows it.
Neither the Republicans’ lies nor Biden’s idea will prevent a defeat for U.S. imperialism in Iraq. Neither has a strategy to recruit new youths to the U.S. armed forces. What Biden’s comments do show, however, is that the Democratic Party leadership gives priority to rescuing U.S. imperialism over serving the needs of the people to quickly end the war.
Newspaper and television interviews of parents and other relatives of the Marines killed in “Operation New Market” focused on those who were most patriotic and those who wanted to believe their children or siblings had not died in vain. But even those reports referred to other people who held “a different opinion.”
It seems that the population here is about to make a breakthrough. They may begin to realize that their youths are dying in the interest of a handful of oil billionaires, bankers, top politicians and generals. An appropriate reaction is not just sorrow but anger—and anger not at the Iraqis fighting for their homeland, but at the real enemy, in the war rooms and the board rooms here.
Bush’s nightmare was that parents of soldiers and marines killed in Iraq would speak out publicly against the war and get the attention of the entire United States.
On Aug. 7 Bush’s nightmare came true. Cindy Sheehan, whose son, GI Casey Sheehan, was killed in Iraq in 2004, had been speaking out against the war for a year. This time, she did it accompanied by 50 other people in Crawford, Texas, on her way to demand a meeting with Bush at his vacation ranch.
Reporters were all over the place with not much else to report. And it was only days after the heavy casualties of the Ohio marines.
Sheehan vows to stay there until Bush meets with her and explains why her son died. Rice and Rumsfeld are scheduled to visit Bush in Texas on Aug. 11. Perhaps they will have more to say on the primacy of the political battle for Iraq.
Iraqi liberation front?
There is an important and legitimate point that Rice made with her comment. In most historical experience it has been almost impossible for a resistance battle to go on indefinitely if those fighting are unable to unite behind a political program. In Vietnam, in Algeria, in earlier days in Iraq, in the Portuguese colonies in Africa, for example, there were always liberation fronts and in most cases with a united leadership.
Thus it was an optimistic sign for the Iraqi liberation struggle that the “Beirut Symposium” held its second gathering in Beirut, Lebanon, July 25-28. According to a report from its organizers, “108 Iraqi patriots (with about 40 Ph.D. holders, and about half of the attendees came directly from Iraq) participated in the second symposium. They represented a wide spectrum of political parties, religious societies and independents. Their common denominator was their complete and unequivocal support for the Iraqi Resistance, the firm rejection of the occupiers’ agenda for Iraq and the refusal” to accept the “sham elections” of February 2005, the so-called constitution or the puppet regime.
The Symposium ended with “a call to the Iraqi people and all its patriotic forces for the formation of the Iraqi National Front for Liberation and Democratic reconstruction (INFLD).” It was signed by 50 Iraqis who live both inside and outside the country.
While this is still an early stage in the formation of a national front, the indications are that on both military and political levels, the Iraqi resistance is progressing. Meanwhile political support for the U.S. occupation is collapsing.
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