The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

For mighty U.S. superpower, Iraq is becoming a new Viet Nam

Nov 8, 2004

The U.S. military is preparing to unleash a new offensive to break the opposition to its occupation in Iraq. Just outside Fallujah, which is 40 miles north of Baghdad, over 10,000 U.S. troops are massed, along with armored troop carriers, heavy Abrams M-1 tanks, attack Cobra-helicopters, howitzers – that is, all the equipment the mightiest imperialist power on earth intends to use against a nearly defenseless civilian population.

It appears that a massive U.S. assault on the city is imminent. Over the last days, the U.S. military has been dropping leaflets warning women and children to flee. Meanwhile, U.S. forces are carrying out military probes into the outskirts of the city that usually precede a major assault.

The U.S. military has prepared for this attack for a long time. Every day for the last three months F-16s have been bombing and shelling this city, that used to have a population of 300,000, to "soften it up." In the last couple of weeks, reports are that the bombings have intensified, going on constantly day and night. Of course, the U.S. spokesmen always report that the jets are carrying out "surgical" and "precision" strikes on "terrorist" and "insurgent" strongholds. But according to independent reports, big parts of the city have been reduced to rubble. One Fallujah resident recently told the London Times, "Whoever looks around Fallujah now can only feel sadness. The damage is so heavy the suburbs look like they were hit by an earthquake."

Obviously the purpose of the massive bombings is to demonstrate incredible U.S. power and to terrorize the population, not just in Fallujah but all over the country. The bombings have killed and wounded countless numbers of people – way up in the thousands. Most of the rest of the population have been driven out. They are now refugees, often trying to take shelter in the hulks of destroyed buildings, under deplorable sanitary conditions with little food or drinkable water.

This is not the first U.S. offensive against Fallujah. Last April, U.S. forces had carried out a massive attack on the city. But after U.S. forces met fierce Iraqi resistance, outrage against the U.S. attack sparked insurrections in many other Iraqi cities. So the U.S. military retreated, leaving Fallujah what the U.S. considered to be a "no-go" zone, that is one of many areas that the U.S. military could not venture into.

That first U.S. offensive against Fallujah had already taken an awful toll. News photos showed the morgues and hospitals overflowing with Iraqi dead, and hundreds more bodies of young and old stacked up in the local stadium, waiting to be buried. Throughout the country and the Middle East, Fallujah became a symbol not just of Iraqi resistance, but of the barbarism and terror of the mighty U.S. imperialist forces.

Today, as this is being written, as the U.S. prepares to once again assault Fallujah, in many other parts of the country, there have been organized and coordinated attacks against the U.S., as well as its puppet Iraqi police and army units that the U.S. has formed.

These Iraqi guerrilla attacks against U.S. forces began in Samarra. The insurgent forces carried out several attacks throughout one day against two Iraqi police stations, as well as government buildings that house the hated Interior Ministry. They also took place in a city where only a month ago the U.S. had declared it "cleaned out" all insurgent forces in a massive assault that was supposed to serve as a model for U.S. operations in other cities. Obviously, within days of the U.S. having "secured" Samarra, the Iraqi insurgent forces had moved right back in, right under the nose of the U.S. occupiers.

Besides Samarra, Iraqi guerrillas also attacked U.S. and Iraqi puppet forces in West Baghdad, Ramadi, Haditha, Haqplaniyah. According to news reports, the purpose of these insurgent attacks is to take some of the U.S. pressure off of Fallujah. But obviously, the ability of the guerrillas to carry out so many well-coordinated attacks demonstrates not only an increasing level of sophistication and skill. It also demonstrates that most likely the guerrilla insurgency is growing and that it is having growing support from the population.

The latest reports say that in reaction to one more growing upsurge, the Iraqi government has declared a state of emergency throughout all parts of the country, except the Kurdish region in the north. Of course, the term "state of emergency" has little meaning in a country that is already engulfed by war. But it obviously portends new crackdowns and violence against the population – as the violence emanating from the U.S. occupation spirals into an even more deadly and murderous phase.

Here in the U.S., the news of the U.S. war in Iraq is still accompanied by ridiculous statements of the need to have "elections" there at the end of January and bring "democracy" to the country – and the need to pacify the country before then to make elections possible. The elections, if held, might as well take place in a morgue.

Up until now, despite the terrible toll, the Iraqi people have shown that they will not bow down to the U.S. occupiers. So it is the mighty U.S. superpower, which dominates the world both economically and militarily, that is bogged down in Iraq. It is the Iraqi people who have turned their country into a new quagmire for the mighty U.S. superpower, a new Viet Nam – if not worse.