Iraq Roundup Today

So, things continue in Iraq. We have a very good report from Andrea Schmidt in Baghdad. Please check it out. Rahul is blogging as usual, no less analytical for being right on the scene. Fisk has a new one that should be up on the ZNet site shortly. In that, you will find this:

“What good this will do “new” Iraq is anyone’s guess. Vast concrete walls have been lowered across the road and military vehicles have been used to chase away civilians trying to by-pass them. A prolonged series of Israeli-style house raids are now apparently planned for the people of Fallujah to seek out he gunmen who first attacked the four Americans – whose corpses were later stripped, mutilated and hanged.”

“The helicopter attacks in Shoula – by ghastly coincidence the very same Shoula suburb in which civilians were slaughtered by an American aircraft during last year’s invasion – looked like a copy-cat of every Israeli raid on the West Bank and Gaza. Indeed, Iraqis are well aware that the US military asked for – and received – Israel’s “rules of engagement” from the Sharon government. America’s losses these past 24 hours – at least 12 dead and many soldiers wounded – have come nowhere near Iraq’s but their enemies may soon outnumber them.”

And there is more…

A story in the Washington Post, by Thomas E. Ricks, describes the kinds of atrocities that one ought to expect from an occupation — “an allegation that U.S. troops killed an Iraqi detainee when they forced him and another man to jump from a bridge into the Tigris River.” This is something the Vietnamese would remember. Or the Chileans, under Pinochet.

Fallujah has been sealed off. I haven’t been able to get figures for Iraqis killed, but everyone is sure they are high: US soldiers have been counted, and two more were killed today according to Reuters.

What is all this about? Again, both Fisk and Rahul have described these as ‘stupid’ on the part of the US. Indeed, Fisk has gone so far as to say they are playing into as-Sadr’s hands. Again, I can’t agree with him. It is too convenient to have the big, dumb, USA playing into the hands of clever, ruthless Arabs in the colonies. It might be an interesting way to reach people, but I don’t think it’s the case. It’s the empire that provokes the violence it needs to do what it does, not the reverse.

UTS, while disagreeing with me about what the motives of that provocation might be, agree that the US is provoking all this. They just think that Bush is counting on the media to cover up the chaos that will be happening underneath the surface, and are wrecking more in order to keep the contracting/rebuilding shell game going.

Fair enough. The electoral motive Naomi suggested wasn’t really the point I wanted to emphasize, though I think it’s as compelling as the two reasons suggested by Jessica via Brian — just that chaos is the intended outcome , in virtually every intervention the US has made since at least 1999 — maybe before — as opposed to some evolved authoritarian dictatorship.

More soon… but I there is other chaos to report on…

Justin Podur

Author: Justin Podur

Author of Siegebreakers. Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.