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Losing hearts, minds and battles in Iraq

Published Jun 3, 2005 11:08 PM

U.S. imperialism has already lost its criminal adventure in Iraq. The remaining question is when the Iraqi people, with help from anti-war forces all over the world, will overcome the tremendous disadvantages they face and drive out the occupation troops to liberate Iraq.

No one questions the Pentagon’s ability to inflict suffering on Iraqis. The U.S. occupation has already created conditions of over 50-percent unemployment, of electricity on only one-third of the day in the heat of an Iraqi summer, of insecurity and danger lurking in every street.

The military strategy promoted by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld counted on a quick victory over the former Iraqi army and government, plus no more than another month to stabilize Iraq and start exploiting its resources. The U.S. military was supposed to be ready for its next intervention against Iran or Syria or North Korea within two months of the invasion of Iraq.

It’s now over two years later. There are 150,000 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of mercenaries and CIA agents in Iraq—and no stability in sight.

In addition, the Pentagon is less and less able to attract volunteers to the Army, Reserves and National Guard and even the Marines.

The last weekend in May saw a new U.S. strategy to bring even more misery to the 5.5 million people living in Baghdad. According to the Iraqi puppet government that recently managed to take office after its “election” last January, some 40,000 Iraqi troops backed by U.S. forces were to set up 675 “checkpoints” within Baghdad.

Within the neighborhoods, they would do house-to-house searches for alleged “insurgents.” They will round up every male between the ages of 15 and 55 and sort them out later.

Resistance continues

Iraqis suspect the 40,000 number is an exaggeration, as there are many fewer puppet troops trained for such an exercise. Ordinary Iraqis in Baghdad call members of the Iraqi National Guard the “dogs of the Americans.”

So far the military noose around Baghdad has set off a new wave of resistance attacks on the ING and the occupation forces. Dozens of soldiers and police have been killed with roadside explosives, car bombs and even in protracted gun battles, according to resistance reports and those from independent news sources. The U.S. corporate media report an Italian helicopter crash with four killed and some deaths of U.S. soldiers as well as those of more Iraqis.

U.S. military sources exaggerate their “success” in eliminating what they call “insurgents”—that is, resistance fighters. Evidence is beginning to appear that the Pentagon also under-reports U.S. casualties.

The following comment appeared in an editorial in the New York-based Spanish-language daily newspaper El Diario/La Prensa on May 29:

“The official U.S. toll of soldiers killed in Iraq is 1,649. But El Diario/La Prensa’s review of military documents provided to the government of Puerto Rico indicates that the death toll is actually much higher, at 4,076.”

Amnesty International

Not only is U.S. imperialism losing control of Iraq and exposing its military weakness. It has completely lost its ability to successfully present itself as bringing democracy and human rights with military intervention, as it did during its bloody air war against Yugoslavia in 1999.

Amnesty International was a useful U.S. ally during the Cold War against the USSR. Now AI has turned its verbal fire on U.S. policies toward prisoners.

On May 25, Amnesty International USA urged foreign governments to use international law to investigate Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA Director George Tenet, Vice President Dick Cheney and other U.S. “architects of torture” at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and other similar prisons.

“If those investigations support prosecution, the governments should arrest any official who enters their territory and begin legal proceedings against them,” said William Shulz, executive director of the U.S. branch of AI. Schulz said there is no statute of limitations on crimes such as torture. So for years to come, the director warned, “the apparent high-level architects of torture should think twice before planning their next vacation to places like Acapulco or the French Riviera.”

The United States has lost the support of all but a handful of Iraqis, it has lost the morale of its military, and it has lost the propaganda war before the world.