Iraq resistance grows under U.S. provocations
Published May 26, 2005 5:17 PM
The Pentagon war to annex Iraq as a
profitable region of U.S. capital’s empire is still raging, long after the
fragile pretexts for invasion have torn like tissue. The sheer brutality and
colonial-style character of the occupation have unleashed a firestorm of
resistance that enjoys widespread support in the Iraqi population.
many people here—in what Vietnam-era anti-imperialist activists referred
to as the “belly of the beast”—are seeing the reality of life
for Iraqis and GIs on TV news or in newspapers.
A Los Angeles Times survey
examined the war coverage of six major newspapers and two news magazines from
Sept. 1, 2004 to Feb. 28, 2005. The results revealed that although 559 U.S.
troops and other West ern “Coalition” soldiers died during that
period, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Washing
ton Post and Atlanta Journal-Constitution did not run a single photo of a dead
War correspondents in Iraq are either
“embedded”—stenographers for the military brass—or their
lives are in danger. Newspaper Guild President Linda Foley said May 20 that the
U.S. military is deliberately killing reporters, particularly Arab journalists,
Her statement in St. Louis was reminiscent of CNN executive Eason
Jordan’s statement at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos,
Switzerland. Jordan said that U.S. troops had specifically targeted some of the
63 journalists who had been killed at that point in Iraq. He was forced to
resign soon after; Foley is already under political siege.
In an April 15
report on its website, the Newspaper Guild charges that on April 8, 2003, troops
from the Pentagon’s Third Infantry Tank division fired an incendiary shell
at the Palestine Hotel where two journalists—Jose Couso and Taras Prots
yuk—were standing on a balcony. Both journalists were killed.
24, two unions—the News paper Guild-Communications Workers and the
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—sent official letters
to the White House asking the Bush administration to “heed the requests
from journalists around the world for an independent investigation into the
record number of deaths.”
The Guild represents 35,000 reporters and
other media workers in the United States and Canada. AFTRA represents close to
80,000 news media employees.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, based
in the United States, is demanding that the United States and its puppet forces
reveal where at least eight Iraqi reporters have been held since they were
detained in March.
War rages, without being televised
the cameras are rolling or not, furious battles are still joined between GIs,
increasingly weary of being foot soldiers for the imperial legion, and Iraqi
resistance forces determined to oust the occupation through military and
Abul Waleed, commander of a brutal U.S.-trained police
commando unit, boasted as he introduced a new music video to viewers on Iraqi
“state-run” television May 23, “We will cut off the arms of
insurgents.” However, the resistance appears to have strong limbs that
reach deep into the population.
Using car bombs, insurgents killed three
U.S. troops on May 24 in two attacks in Mosul. The same day, in Samarra, two
suicide combatants detonated themselves outside a Pentagon military base,
wounding four U.S. soldiers.
The day before, three separate insurgent
bombings had injured a total of three U.S. soldiers in Samarra. Three U.S.
troops were also killed and one wounded when resistance fighters rained mortar
fire at a joint army/police base in Samarra. In Tikrit, one GI was killed and
two others wounded in a bomb assault.
U.S. military forces, leading
battalions of Iraqi puppet forces to help do their dirty work, have carried out
a terror sweep dub bed “Operation Squeeze Play.” In Baghdad
neighborhoods adjacent to the U.S. prison at Abu Ghraib, and near the road that
runs from downtown to the main airport, hundreds of Iraqis have been trapped in
a dragnet of mass arrests.
This offensive in the western part of the
capital is a Pentagon attempt to quell ongoing attacks on the U.S.-run dungeon.
The insurgents exert strong control over the six-mile stretch of paved road to
the airport, now ruefully characterized by GIs as the “highway of
The bloody operation itself demonstrates that, no matter how
the Iraqis are outgunned by U.S. capital’s high-tech weaponry, sheer force
alone is not subjugating the population.
Who profits from
‘divide & conquer’?
The motive of some
other bombing attacks is less clear. Faced with a population that wants the U.S.
force to leave their country, Washington stands to gain from what is often
vaguely reported in the U.S. mass media as “sectarian
The big-business media is aiding and abetting imperialist
efforts to drive a wedge between Sunnis and Shias. Although some dispute these
figures, they say the Sunnis make up some 20 percent of the population and that
they held greater political power in the Ba’athist government; thus the
U.S. media treats them as the “bad guys.”
On May 22 Associated
Press writer Paul Garwood wrote, “The Sunni fall from grace is regarded by
many as a key source of Iraq’s raging insurgency, which claimed more
victims Sunday, including Trade Ministry official Ali Moussa and his
What’s missing? No mention of the im per ialist
occupation fueling the resistance.
This AP report’s approach is just
the visible tip of the iceberg of Washington’s attempts to pit Sunnis and
Shias and Kurds against each other. It’s an effort to keep the entire
population divided in order to steal Iraq’s natural wealth and defeat the
fight against the occupation.
But the insurgency is so tenacious and so
strong that even some of the brass hats themselves are, well, down.
years and many more troops are the best that even the most optimistic of the
“unnamed” officials are willing to venture it would take to
“stabilize” Iraq. By stable, they mean winning enough class peace to
plunder Iraq’s vast resources.
But the insurgency has claimed the
lives of an estimated hundreds of mercenaries and contractors working for the
Pentagon. As a result, a big chunk of those billions of dollars earmarked to
build the infrastructure—necessary, for example, to funnel out
Iraq’s vast oil reserves—is being channeled instead into military
For the people of Iraq, after enduring two years
of life under occupation, most of the 27-million-strong population is still
without adequate electricity, sewage disposal, clean water or other essential
Conditions like these, and the military boot heel of the
occupation, drive the Iraqi people’s determination to resist the
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