Bush's "Plan for Victory" Part I:
Ethnic Cleansing and Stone Age Bombing
Revolution #026, December 12, 2005, posted at revcom.us
Public anger over the brutal and bloody U.S. occupation of Iraq continues to grow. Ruling class voices clamor for a plan that will deal with the current quagmire and potential disaster for the U.S. military.
Under fire and lashing back, Bush presented Part I of his "Plan for Victory" at yet another military base on November 30. Part I of Bush's speech addresses his critics with a plan to "Iraqi-ize" the war. This has two key elements:
- Further unleashing ethnic cleansing, torture, and wholesale terror against Iraq's Sunni population on the ground.
- Massive, indiscriminate bombing from the air.
U.S. Orchestrated Ethnic Cleansing
In his "Victory" speech Part I, Bush admits that "by far the largest group" of those he has deemed "the enemy" are "ordinary Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs." Think about the implications of this. By far the largest group of people Bush calls "the enemy" are--according to Bush himself--"ordinary Iraqis."
"As we fight the terrorists" (note how "ordinary Iraqis" have become "the terrorists"), Bush says, "we're working to build capable and effective Iraqi security forces so they can take the lead in the fight--and eventually take responsibility for the safety and security of their citizens without major foreign assistance."
Bush's claims about the effectiveness of these puppet troops are, as his ruling class critics charge, highly exaggerated. But that's not the problem. What Bush is talking about here is U.S.-orchestrated ethnic cleansing, bringing down indiscriminate terror and murder on Sunnis and provoking the very sectarian violence that apologists of all stripes for U.S. occupation claim is a reason why the U.S. cannot leave Iraq.
An American Army officer who took part in the recent assault on Tal Afar--an operation that Bush upholds as a model in his speech--told the New Yorker magazine's Seymour Hersh that Shiite militias were "rounding up any Sunnis on the basis of whatever a Shiite said to them." The officer went on, "They were killing Sunnis on behalf of the Shiites."And Hersh reported this was all with the "active participation of a militia unit led by a retired American Special Forces soldier."
Writing in the New York Times, Dexter Filkins reported from Baghdad (11/29/05) that
"Hundreds of accounts of killings and abductions have emerged in recent weeks, most of them brought forward by Sunni civilians, who claim that their relatives have been taken away by Iraqi men in uniform without warrant or explanation." He adds, "Some Sunni males have been found dead in ditches and fields, with bullet holes in their temples, acid burns on their skin, and holes in their bodies apparently made by electric drills."
Death from the Air
For all Bush goes on in his speech about turning Iraq's internal stability over to puppet troops (mainly Shiite militia), nobody really believes these forces will do much fighting without a secret weapon that is not mentioned in Bush's speech.
"Were not planning to diminish the war," a military expert who reflects the views of those around Vice-President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, told Hersh. "We just want to change the mix of the forces doing the fighting--Iraqi infantry with American support and greater use of airpower. "
And Hersh reports:
"The American air war inside Iraq today is perhaps the most significant--and underreported--aspect of the fight against the insurgency. The military authorities in Baghdad and Washington do not provide the press with a daily accounting of missions that Air Force, Navy, and Marine units fly or of the tonnage they drop, as was routinely done during the Vietnam War. One insight into the scope of the bombing in Iraq was supplied by the Marine Corps during the height of the siege of Fallujah in the fall of 2004. 'With a massive Marine air and ground offensive under way,' a Marine press release said, ...'the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing alone had dropped more than five hundred thousand tons of ordnance.'"
That's more than one ton of bombs dropped per person in Falljua. And U.S. bombing is intensifying.
"In recent months, the tempo of American bombing seems to have increased. Most of the targets appear to be in the hostile, predominantly Sunni provinces that surround Baghdad and along the Syrian border."
With appropriate gangster terminology, a U.S. military planner told Hersh, "We are just whacking targets--it's a reversion to the Stone Age."
Ordained By and Accountable only to "God"
Whether Bush actually thinks it or not, he has sent out the message repeatedly that he believes he is divinely ordained to carry out his agenda in Iraq (and a larger agenda as well). Lt. Gen. William "Jerry" Boykin tours the country ranting that, in a war against Muslim forces in Somalia "my God was bigger than his." And that in the "war on terror," "The enemy is a guy called Satan." After this, Bush promoted Boykin to deputy undersecretary of defense.
On the one hand, this puts out the message that public opinion or dissent in the halls of power be damned, Bush is determined to push through his agenda. Nonbelievers can go to hell. The other side of this is that Bush has got a lot of people who do believe he's infallible. And again, whether or not Bush actually believes this "ordained by God" stuff, the fact that he is putting this out tells you a lot about what he's planning to do, who he's appealing to, and on what basis. That this is the person who controls the largest, most deadly and horrible cache of weapons (including--as he would put it--"nucular" weapons) ever assembled, and is the President of the world's sole superpower, is a stark and revolting expression of what's wrong with the world.
The Challenge to the People
As Bush unfolds more of his "strategy for victory," Revolution will continue to analyze and expose it. But Part I alone reveals that the U.S. is waging a genocidal war against the Iraqi people. It brings to mind the infamous statement by a U.S. general in the Vietnam war, that U.S. forces had to "destroy a village in order to save it." Such is the nature of the utterly unjust war the U.S. is waging against Iraq. And such is the essence of the U.S. "war on terror." In the face of all this, how is it conscionable for anyone to adapt themselves to the terms of a debate over "the best way to win" a war like this? The issue cannot be how to win a war like this, but how to end it! And to do this in the context of fully confronting and taking responsibility for the need to drive the Bush Regime from office, and to take its program with it. Because, truly, the world can't wait!