The Spark

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

Will the U.S. be "many years" in Iraq?

May 23, 2005

General John P. Abizaid, head of the U.S. military's Central Command in Iraq, recently admitted that U.S. troops would have to be in Iraq longer, although he did not say how much longer.

An "unidentified" general in Iraq filled in the blanks. He told reporters that troops could be there "years, many years."

This may be big news to the news media, but it's no news at all to the working class – not after all the casualties, all the pictures, letters and e-mails from troops to their families.

If recruiting for the army has fallen off, so much so that the army raises signing bonuses and lowers the enlisting qualifications, it's simply a sign that the working class is awake to the reality of this endless war. In refusing to sign up, workers are beginning to refuse to pay the price.

In fact, the troops won't necessarily have to occupy Iraq for the general's "years, many years." Already, some GIs have decided that it's not worth getting killed. As more troops make that decision, the top brass can find themselves isolated in Iraq. Then, sounding the retreat will be merely a formality.