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News ::
PENTAGON FACED WITH NEW QUAGMIRES (english)
12 Jun 2003
AS U.S. CASUALTIES RISE: PENTAGON FACED WITH NEW QUAGMIRES
Resistance to Domination Flares in Middle East

By Deirdre Griswold
AS U.S. CASUALTIES RISE: PENTAGON FACED WITH NEW QUAGMIRES
Resistance to Domination Flares in Middle East

By Deirdre Griswold

The Pentagon said on June 10 that 205 U.S. military personnel have
died in Iraq since the war on that country officially began on March
20. Right now, the deaths are running about one a day. The government
count of U.S. wounded is now 627.

These figures are low compared to the large number of Iraqi people
killed and wounded. Iraqi civilian deaths alone number in the many
thousands. Their homes have been bombed, children have been blown

apart, whole families have died. U.S. forces have also fired on crowds
of unarmed demonstrators.

On June 10, in what was described as the largest combat operation
since the U.S. declared the war over, "more than 3,000 soldiers backed
by fighter jets, armored vehicles and patrol boats" surrounded a
30-square- mile peninsula north of Baghdad called Thuluiya. (New York
Times, June 11)

In a scene that could have been a Vietnamese village 35 years ago, or
a German-occupied town in Czechoslovakia during World War II, they
made a "sweep" of the area, arresting almost 400 people as possible
resisters. The people there told reporters the troops handcuffed women
and children, and beat to death at least one man during the roundup.

Just as during the Vietnam War, young people are being turned into
brutal occupiers and killers by the Pentagon. They are put in a
situation where they fear for their lives and are quick to pull the
trigger. Later on, they find out that they killed a child or a

pregnant woman, and many are scarred emotionally for the rest of their
lives.

The Pentagon is worried about U.S. casualties, and for good reason.
The troops, who have been wrenched from their families and spend their
days in intense desert heat, are beginning to find out that their
lives have been put on the line for a very different purpose than what
was told them in orientation sessions.

The Iraqi people don't want them there. They are not welcome
"liberators." The opposition to them ranges from sullen to fierce all
over the country, in the Shiite south, the Kurdish north, and the
Sunni central region. The Iraqis know that a military occupation
cannot be called liberation. People in all walks of life say again and
again to any reporter listening that they want the U.S. out, and that
the troops are there to take their oil for U.S. corporations.

The other excuse for the war--besides "liberating" Iraq--was that the
Saddam Hussein government had "weapons of mass destruction" that

endangered the world. None have been found. That lie is now so
thoroughly discredited that it has come close to bringing down the
Tony Blair government in Britain and is being discussed openly, even
by some in the U.S. capitalist political establishment, as the basis
to impeach George W. Bush.

This falling out among those who supported the war reflects fear of
the tremendous mass anger all over the world at the U.S. colonial
occupation, which continues to be resisted tenaciously and
courageously within Iraq.

At the same time, U.S. troops have been sent to the Philippines. There
are at least 37,000 stationed in South Korea. Some are still in
Afghanistan, where fighting continues and casualties continue to
mount. They are fighting a revolutionary insurgency in Colombia.

GI'S TO PALESTINE?

And now there is even talk that GIs may be needed to implement Bush's
alleged "road map to peace" in Israel and Palestine. Martin Indyk, a
former U.S. ambassador to Israel now associated with the Brookings
Institution, suggested as much after the virtual collapse of the
agreement that the Bush administration had cobbled together between
the new Palestinian prime minister hand-picked by Washington, Mahmoud
Abbas, and the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon. (Washington Post,
June 11)

As he has done so often in the past, Sharon pretended to go along with
the process, but had his helicopter gunships launch a major missile
attack June 10 on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza in an attempt to
assassinate a leading resistance leader, Abdul Aziz Rantisi of Hamas.
The aim was to provoke retaliation that would blow up the accord and
any move toward recognition of a Palestinian state, no matter how
limited.

At least three Palestinian groups--Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic
Jihad-- have refused to go along with the road map. The attack on
Hamas was sure to provoke new acts of Palestinian resistance, as
happened in Jerusalem the next day, when a suicide bomber killed 16
Israelis. Israel immediately launched another missile attack that
killed Hamas leader Tito Massaoud, along with five other Palestinians.

In general, Palestinian casualties have been running about three times
those of Israelis, but most get little publicity.

The Bush administration acts surprised by Sharon's actions, but it
should know better. The U.S. created this monster and has unleashed
him on the Palestinian people many times before, all in pursuit of its
geopolitical goals in the oil-rich Middle East. Washington foots the
bill for Sharon's military and keeps Israel's artificial economy from
falling apart.

There is no peace in any of these areas around the world where U.S.
big business has been trying to run the show for decades. There can be
no peace as long as the people there are deprived of their land, their
sovereignty and their resources. As more and more working-class youth

in uniform, so many of them people of color who get a raw deal here,
are sent abroad to revive the flagging profits of the transnational
corporations, the only certainty is that their desire to come home
will grow along with the resistance of the occupied peoples.

- END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to copy and
distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not
allowed. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY,
NY 10011; via e-mail: ww (at) wwpublish.com. Subscribe wwnews-
on (at) wwpublish.com. Unsubscribe wwnews-off (at) wwpublish.com. Support the
voice of resistance http://www.workers.org/orders/donate.php)


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