11/16/03

Operation: Iraqification?

By Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

With the Iraqi Resistance now causing U.S. helicopters
to plummet to earth, with casualties now exceeding 400, the
U.S. has announced both an exit strategy and a proposed
date for the exit.

The strategy? What the White House calls the "Iraqification"
of the armed forces.

The date? Around June of 2004; when it's hand-picked
'Council' will stage some sort of electoral process.

As one who remembers the 1960s, the term "Iraqification"
stirred up a host of memories of the Vietnam War. When U.S.
forces suffered heavy losses from Vietnamese nationalists,
and after the dramatic (and unexpected) Tet Offensive, the
White House called for a 'draw-down' of U.S. forces, and
promoted a process called the "Vietnamization" of the war.

What this meant in theory was U.S. support and arming of
the South Vietnamese Army, who would fight (and die) against
their North Vietnamese adversaries. In fact, this meant
political support for the Vietnam War was falling so quickly
that the Administration needed to adopt a stop-gap measure:
a "war" with few (or no!) U.S. casualties! It was the nearest
the White House came to proclaiming: "We're tired of our
guys dying for you Vietnamese; now, it's your turn."

They didn't say this publicly, of course.

In the latter days of the (Richard) Nixon Regime, John
Calkins, the head of a U.S. congressional committee, toured
Vietnam, and reported:

"The South Vietnamese Army shows every sign of
being an effective and spirited security force...."
[Zinn, H. *A People's History of the United States*,
p. 537].

Of course, they crumbled in the face of their northern
opponents, and "Vietnamization" was revealed as a smoke
screen for U.S. defeat and imminent withdrawal.

What does "Iraqification" mean now? That the costs of
'nation-building' is too high? That "Democratization" means
the erection of rump, unrepresentative (yet, friendly to western
businesses!) governments (like the so-called 'Council')?

We don't have to be in Baghdad to know that, no matter
what the so-called 'Council' says, the vote of one man, the
American 'Administrator' Paul Bremer, overrules them all.

"Iraqification," like "Vietnamization," is a political measure
designed to diminish the upsurges of opposition to the War back
home. It isn't about Iraqis (about whom the average American
could care less); it's about the American desire to stem the tide
of U.S. casualties in a "War", that was supposedly over *months*
ago. It's about falling polls, and upcoming elections.

Ultimately, it's about power ... and wealth.

The forces that set all wars in motion.

 

Mumia Abu-Jamal is the author of four books:

  • Faith of our fathers:
    An examination of the spiritual life of African and African American People
  • Live from Death Row
  • Death Blossoms
  • All Things Censored.

Write to Mumia directly at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370