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YES, THE WAR NEWS FROM IRAQ IS GRIM, BUT THE WAR NEWS FROM WASHINGTON IS GRIMER
by alfred johnson
Email: alfredjohnson34 (nospam) comcast.com
16 Dec 2006
NO TROOP ESCALATION
THE TROOPS ARE NOT COMING HOME FOR THIS CHRISTMAS OR ANY CHRISTMAS SOON! NO TROOP ESCALATION IN IRAQ!
FORGET DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS AND GREENS- BUILD A WORKERS PARTY THAT FIGHTS FOR A WORKERS GOVERNMENT
Yes, the subject is Iraq, again. Yes, I have been something of a Johnny-one note on the subject since last spring. But hear me out. Every time I try to move away from the subject and onto more satisfying matters like a book review on some revolutionary struggle something unpleasant happens in Washington to upset my well laid plans. This time it is the apparent ‘victory’ of the “hawks” among the military brass and the neo-cons for the willing ear of George W. Bush over future Iraq War strategy. What we are prepared to get in that direction is not troop withdrawal but escalation. Moreover, there is serious talk in military circles of going after Sadr’s Madhi Army. This by the way is the army that has bloodied the American Army in the past, especially in Fallujah. If the Madhi Army’s backs are again the wall who knows what hell is in store.
Moreover, as Sadr is a major prop of the current wholly owned American puppet Iraqi government, such as it is, the smell of ‘regime change’ in Iraq is also in the air. Apparently the smell of ‘victory’ has once again gotten the better of rationality in Washington. Christ, will this madness never stop. I have noted, a little sarcastically, more than once before that in the quest for ‘stability’ in Iraq the grandchildren of the troops fighting in Iraq now will be joining grandfather and mother over there. With the current news I may not be that far off the mark.
In the wake of the publication of the Iraq Study Group Report (remember that surefire little plan) I have been raked over the coals by my liberal friends for being rather mean-spirited about the recommendations, or rather the chances of implementation. I have even, half-jokingly, stated that they will probably find President Bush’s copy of this document under some couch in the White House when he leaves office. Well, those liberal friends have had a whole week to savor their victory. Apparently I am not so far off on the eventual fate of that plan. It has been found under the couch already.
And if one thinks about it why would the Bush Administration render more than lip service to that report. First, it was congressionally-mandated and not a doctored job coming from the administration. Second, it came from “Poppy’s” crowd. Third, it makes ugly reading for any President six years into his term who is concerned with his place in history. Fourth, and this is the kicker, this is George W. Bush we are talking about. When he says he wants victory in Iraq, that he wants to ‘stay the course’ that is what he means. So grow up, please! Moreover, his place in history is already being etched in stone as one of the most dim-witted experiments bourgeois democracy has faced in its long and shady presidential history. However, unlike Lyndon Johnson and the effect of the Vietnam War escalations he faces no more elections. So why the hell not throw the dice for ‘victory’. After all they are HIS troops. What is the use of being Commander-in-Chief of American imperialism’s military forces if you cannot make sure that the troops are gainfully employed? Anti-war activists better know this and act, and I do mean act, accordingly. The only escalation we want is whatever number of troop transport drivers, humvee drivers, airplane pilots and seaman are necessary for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal from Iraq.
Below I am reposting a blog, written in the week of September 18, 2006 which more fully addresses the question of troop escalation. I stand by its political thrust today.
THE TROOPS ARE NOT COMING HOME FOR THIS CHRISTMAS OR ANY CHRISTMAS SOON!
IRAQ LOOKS MORE AND MORE LIKE VIETNAM EVERY DAY-IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF ALL UNITED STATES/ALLIED TROOPS!
FORGET DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS AND GREENS- BUILD A WORKERS PARTY
This writer for a long time has resisted the facile task route of comparing the situation in Iraq today to the Vietnam of some forty years ago. But it is getting harder and harder to do so. On the face of it the differences are obvious. In Vietnam revolutionary leftist forces were attempting to unify into one state that which by international diplomacy abetted by previous bouts of international Stalinist treachery had been artificial split. Furthermore, the defining concept behind the revolutionary forces there to resolve the agrarian question and the fight for what those forces conceived to be the road to socialism. Today in Iraq there are nationalist/sectarian forces which want to take revenge on the results of the European- derived Treaty of Versailles after World War I and divide this artificially created state-gun in hands. The fact that in Kurdish-controlled areas only the Kurdish flag can fly really says it all. Additionally, as far as this writer can tell, from the little known about murky underworld of radical Islamic politics there are no forces fighting for anything like a secular- democratic much less socialist solution to the problems there. Rather something like an Islamic Republic under repressive and anti-women Sharia law appears to be the favored political solution. However, those differences between the domestic forces in Iraq and Vietnam aside the real way Iraq today looks like Vietnam is the similarities in the role of American imperialism on the ground. The latest news this week, the week of September 18, 2006, coming from the central military command is there will be no draw down of troops any time soon. LET ME REPEAT- THERE WILL NOT BE ANY DRAW DOWN ANY TIME SOON. All those who foolishly believed that draw down would occur and did not take the Bush Administration at its word when it declared empathically that troops would not be withdrawn as long as it drew breathe should ponder this. More on this below.
There are starting to be voices heard, dormant for a while, spearheaded by the editors of National Review and other neo-con sources that the lesson to be learned from Iraq is that to really win in Iraq the Americans must sent in more troops. How much such sentiments are worth from these previous supporters of a quick and cheap airpower strategy is beside the point. What is noteworthy is that this premise is not an isolated sentiment even among alleged opponents of the war. And that, in a nutshell, is where the comparison to Vietnam comes into play. The hubris which led the Bush Administration into the quagmire of Iraq is still very much in play. The notion that in order rectify the original mistake of invasion more mistakes, such as increased troop levels, can solve the problem and bring victory where none is possible is the same mentality that led to all the escalations of the Vietnam era. Against all reason the Bushies of America and the world cannot believe that the situation is lost. Well, hell that is their problem. Militant leftists have other problems like organizing the opposition to worry over.
Additionally, President Bush himself is getting a little testy at the Prime Minister of Iraq. He cannot believe that at this late stage the wholly-owned American puppet government in Iraq hasn’t stepped up to its tasks of creating domestic tranquility. One should remember the names Diem and Thieu from Vietnamese history who got the same kinds of dressing-downs from previous American administrations. With that thought in mind let me ask this question. Is there anyone today on the planet outside the immediate Bush family that believes that the writ of the Iraqi government runs outside the Green Zone (and even that premise might be shaky)? These guys (and they are overwhelmingly men) never led anything, went into exile under Saddam rather than go underground and build a resistance movement and represent no one but themselves.
But, enough of that. The real question is what are we anti-war, anti-imperialist activists going to do about the situation. President Bush has been rightly accused of upping the security alerts during election time to highlight the security question that he has (successfully) used as a trump card to swing the electoral balance in his favor. The least well-known fact is that during the fall of election years, including this year, the leaderships of the reformist anti-war movements close down the nationally- centered demonstrations campaign which are the lynchpins of their politics. It is no secret that this is done to help so-called anti-war Democratic politicians or at least not be a source of embarrassment to their weak parliamentary opposition to the war. In a blog written this summer I wrote an open letter to the troops in Iraq. The thrust of the letter was that the conventional politicians, their own military leadership and the anti-war movement had left the troops in Iraq hanging in the wind. As we enter the fall electoral campaign this is truer than ever. I will repeat here what I stated there- if the troops are to withdraw from Iraq it will have to be on their own hook. Start forming the soldiers and sailors committees now. Militant leftists here must support those efforts. Unfortunately today there is no other way to end the war. FORWARD.
THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF ARTICLES OF COMMENTARY ON THE 2006-2008 ELECTION CYCLE UNDER THE HEADLINE- FORGET THE DONKEYS, ELEPHANTS, GREENS-BUILD A WORKERS PARTY!
FOR MORE POLITICAL COMMENTARY AND BOOKS REVIEWS CHECK MY BLOG AT- Http://markinbookreview.blogspot.com/
This work is in the public domain