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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #159 - 5 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. BBC News Eyewitness: Smoke and corpses (Alison Klevnas)
   2. Reuters Keep govt line on Falluja, Iraq media body says (Alison Klevnas)
   3. "Humanitarian aid to city blocked by US military cordon", FT (12 Nov. 2004) (Colin Rowat)
   4. Eyewitness Iraq Tour, NVDA and latest briefing (Voices in the Wilderness (UK))
   5. Mechanism of Progressive Resistance (John Churchilly)


Message: 1
Cc: "Ghazi-Tabatabai, Yousef (FID)" <>
Subject:  BBC News Eyewitness: Smoke and corpses
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 11:13:46 +0000
From: "Alison Klevnas" <>

Eyewitness: Smoke and corpses

US troops, backed by Iraqi forces, are locked in a fierce fight to wrest
the city of Falluja from rebel control. The BBC News website spoke by
phone to Fadhil Badrani, an Iraqi journalist and resident of Falluja who
reports regularly for Reuters and the BBC World Service in Arabic.

We are publishing his and other eyewitness accounts from the city in
order to provide the fullest possible range of perspectives from those
who are there:

A row of palm trees used to run along the street outside my house - now
only the trunks are left.

The upper half of each tree has vanished, blown away by mortar fire.

From my window, I can also make out that the minarets of several mosques
have been toppled.

There are more and more dead bodies on the streets and the stench is

Smoke is everywhere.

Sleeping through bombardment

A house some doors from mine was hit during the bombardment on Wednesday
night. A 13-year-old boy was killed. His name was Ghazi.

I tried to flee the city last night but I could not get very far. It was
too dangerous.

I am getting used to the bombardment. I have learnt to sleep through the
noise - the smaller bombs no longer bother me.

Without water and electricity, we feel completely cut off from everyone

I only found out Yasser Arafat had died because the BBC rang me.

It is hard to know how much people outside Falluja are aware of what is
going on here.

I want them to know about conditions inside this city - there are dead
women and children lying on the streets.

People are getting weaker from hunger. Many are dying from their
injuries because there is no medical help left in the city whatsoever.

Some families have started burying their dead in their gardens.

Iraqi soldiers

There has been a lot of resistance in Jolan.

The Americans have taken over several high-rise buildings overlooking
the district.

But the height has not helped them control the area because the streets
of Jolan are very narrow and you cannot fire into them directly.

The US military moves along the main roads and avoids the side-streets.
The soldiers do not leave their armoured vehicles and tanks.

If they get fired on, they fire back from their tanks or call in

I saw some Iraqi government soldiers on the ground earlier.

I don't know which part of the country these soldiers are from. They are
definitely not from any of the western provinces such as al-Anbar.

I have heard people say they are from Kurdistan.

They are well co-ordinated. When the US forces pull back from an area,
the Iraqi soldiers will take over there.

Other interviews with Fadhil Badrani:

Translation from Arabic by Shukri Shewayish of
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/11/11 22:21:15 GMT


Message: 2
Subject: Reuters Keep govt line on Falluja, Iraq media body says
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 12:38:30 +0000
From: "Alison Klevnas" <>

19:50 11Nov2004 RTRS-Keep govt line on Falluja, Iraq media body says

    By Lin Noueihed
    BAGHDAD, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Iraq's media regulator warned news
    organisations on Thursday to stick to the government line on the
    U.S.-led offensive in Falluja or face legal action.
    Invoking a 60-day state of emergency declared by Iraq's interim
    government ahead of the assault that began on Monday, Iraq's Media
    High Commission urged media to distinguish between insurgents and
    ordinary residents of the Sunni Muslim city.
    The authority, set up by the former U.S. governor of Iraq, is
    intended to be independent of the government to encourage investment
    in the media and deter state meddling after decades of strict
    control under Saddam Hussein.
    The commission statement sent to Reuters on Thursday bore the
    letterhead of the Iraqi prime minister's office.
    It said all media organisations operating in Iraq should
    "differentiate between the innocent Falluja residents who are not
    targeted by military operations and terrorist groups that
    infiltrated the city and held its people hostage under the pretext
    of resistance and jihad".
    It said news organisations should "guide correspondents in Falluja
    ... not to promote unrealistic positions or project nationalist tags
    on terrorist gangs of criminals and killers".
    It also asked media to "set aside space in your news coverage to
    make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the
    aspirations of most Iraqis, clear".
    "We hope you comply ... otherwise we regret we will be forced to
    take all the legal measures to guarantee higher national interests,"
    the statement said, without elaborating.
    The state of emergency, which covers all of Iraq except the Kurdish
    north, gives the prime minister extra powers to try to crush the
    insurgency ahead of elections due in January.
    The media commission has not previously issued a call for media to
    take a certain line and it was not clear what provoked Thursday's
    But some media organisations have in the past fallen foul of Iraq's
    interim government, which officially took over sovereignty in June.
    Al Jazeera said in August it had been asked to close its Baghdad
    office for one month for backing "criminals and gangsters" by airing
    parts of videotapes from groups claiming to have seized or killed
    foreign hostages.
    A month later it said that ban had been extended indefinitely.
    Until Saddam's fall last year, an Information Ministry ran a state
    news agency, radio and television, its employees staffed the
    newspapers, and its "minders" kept foreign journalists on a tight
    Newspapers, magazines and radio stations have mushroomed since
    Saddam's fall and operate without any official license.
     ((Editing by Ross Colvin))


Message: 3
From: "Colin Rowat" <>
To: <>
Subject: "Humanitarian aid to city blocked by US military cordon", FT (12 Nov. 2004)
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 19:47:39 -0000

Humanitarian aid to city blocked by US military cordon

By Steve Negus, Financial Times, 12 November 2004

Falluja's remaining civilian population has lacked humanitarian aid since
the beginning of the assault on their town on Monday, relief groups in
Baghdad said yesterday.

Iraq's Red Crescent says at least 157 families, or 1,000 people, remain
inside the embattled town without electricity, water, or medical care,
although there may be many more.

Most of the town's population of up to 300,000 people are thought to have
fled before the US-led offensive. The Muslim Scholars' Board, an influential
group of Sunni clergy, has estimated that between 60,000 and 150,000 people
remain within the city, but has not said how it came by that number.

With land lines and mobile telephone services cut and satellite phones rare
because of insurgent fears that they can be used for espionage, precise
information on the number and condition of those remaining is hard to come

Communications received by the Red Crescent, relayed by refugees contacted
by satellite phone by their relatives inside the besieged city, tell of food
shortages and wounded dying for lack of medical care.

After one of the town's main hospitals was seized by US troops, and another
destroyed, doctors set up a makeshift field station in one of the town's
mosques, says Firdous al-Ubadi, Red Crescent spokeswoman.

In the absence of medical supplies, one local doctor was forced to sterilise
his surgical tools in boiling water to remove a bullet from the back of a
12-year-old girl, she says.

Another boy died from a snakebite that would easily have been treatable, she
says, while a pregnant woman in a camp outside Falluja miscarried and died
because there was no doctor available.

The Red Crescent has assembled stocks of food and medical supplies, but has
not yet been able to get a convoy through the tight US cordon around the
city. The Muslim Scholars' Board also organised a convoy yesterday morning,
but representatives of the organisation were yesterday uncertain whether it
had arrived.

Refugees who fled before the attack are also living in poor conditions,
short of food, water, shelter and blankets. While some have rented houses in
Baghdad, and others have been taken in by neighbouring communities,
thousands are sleeping on the streets or squatting in abandoned buildings.

Some 300 families are living in sheds or tanks in an abandoned military base
near Habbaniya, south-west of-Baghdad, while others are sleeping in shelters
made of cardboard in Falluja's outskirts, said Ms Ubadi.


Message: 4
Reply-To: <>
From: "Voices in the Wilderness \(UK\)" <>
To: "Voices UK" <>
Subject: Eyewitness Iraq Tour, NVDA and latest briefing
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 02:38:13 -0000

[A] 13-21 November: EYEWITNESS IRAQ SPEAKING TOUR with veteran US activist
Peggy Gish: Colchester, Southend, Haverhill, Bristol, Dorset, Slough,
London, Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Northampton & Reading.

[B] Resist the assault on Iraq's cities: NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION WORKSHOP

[C] ONSLAUGHT: THE ATTACK ON FALLUJAH, latest JNV briefing, 11 November


Veteran US activist Peggy Gish will be in the UK from 13-21 November,
speaking to groups around the country about her recent experiences working
with the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq. The CPT have been on the
ground in Iraq since October 2002 and have been focussing on the issue of
Iraqi detainees since July 2003. Peggy - a veteran of the civil rights,
anti-Vietnam war, and Central America peace movements - has herself spent 1=
of the last 24 months in Iraq.
See below for list of a list of her talks or visit for more info. and background=

* Saturday 13th November: HAVERHILL, 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall,
Camps Road. Organised by Haverhill and District Peace Group. Contact

* Sunday 14th November:
- COLCHESTER, 2pm, Colchester Friends Meeting House, Church Street,
(near Colchester Arts Centre). Organised by Colchester Peace Campaign
- SOUTHEND, 7.30pm, Friends Meeting House, 18 Dundonald Drive, Lee-on-Sea.
Contact 01702 345 860.

* Monday 15th November: BRISTOL. 7.30pm, Broadmead Baptist Church, The
Horsefair, Bristol. Organised by the Sedgemoor Peace Group and the Bristol

* Tuesday 16th November: DORSET, 8pm, Methodist United Reformed Church Hall=
Cheap Street, Sherborne. Contact: 01300 345 109.

* Wednesday 17th: SLOUGH, 7.30pm, Slough Friends Meeting House (Quakers)
74 Ragstone Road. With Milan Rai. Contact 07910 332684
At 6pm there is a launch party for the exhibition "The Other Way" - it's a
series of woodcuts made by Israeli children - Arab and Jewish, reflecting
their responses to the conflict. The exhibition and launch are at St Mary's
Church, Slough, just around
the corner from where the talk is taking place.

* Thursday 18th November: LONDON, 7.30pm, Friends House, 173-177 Euston
Road. Also with Jo Wilding (activist in Fallujah during the April 2004 US
assault on the city) and Philip Pritchard (B52two). Org. by CPT-UK, Quaker
Peace and Social Witness and Voices.

* Friday 19th November:
- BRADFORD, 1-3pm, Peace Studies Department Dept, University of Bradford.
Contact 01274 235 171
- LEEDS, 7pm, All Hallows Church, 24 Regent Terrace, Leeds LS6 1NP. Contact
0113 242 2205 (Ray Gaston).

* Saturday 20th November: MANCHESTER. 2.30 - 5pm, Sacred Trinity Church,
Chapel Street, Salford. Contact 0161 232 8685.

* Sunday 21st November:
- NORTHAMPTON, 12 =96 2pm, Friends Meeting House, Wellington St
- READING, 7pm, Friends Meeting House, 2 Church Street. Contact 0118 967


Sunday 14th November, 11am - 4pm, 7a Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (nearest
tubes Whitechapel and Shadwell).

As the horror of the US assault on Iraq's cities continues in (see [C]
below) we in the anti-war movement need to escalate our resistance. Civil
disobedience and direct action should be a vital component of such a
response (see for some
recent inspiring examples). If you would like to take part in (or organise)
some direct action or civil disobedience but feel that you lack the
confidence, the skills or the knowledge necessary then this is the workshop
for you!

The aim of the NVDA workshop is to give you the chance to explore issues an=
techniques that will help build confidence in new and more experienced
activists alike. This workshop will look at practical techniques to deal
with confrontational situations nonviolently, hold an effective blockade or
sit down protest, and make decisions quickly and democratically in an actio=
situation. It'll also look at the support roles that are vital to making
actions happen. There will also be a full briefing on your legal rights and
what happens should you get arrested.

The workshop is a largely practical one, so come prepared for some physical
exercises. Don't worry if there are limits to your physical mobility - we
can accommodate everyone, just let the workshop leaders know when you get
there. Please wear loose, sturdy and comfortable clothes.

Organised by Voices UK.  0845 458 2564.

If your group would like to attend the workshop but can't make it into
London then Seeds for Change  (, 0845 458 4776 )
run excellent workshops on these and other topics and - provided you can
cover their travel expenses - are prepared to travel the length and breadth
of the country to come to you. Use them!

[C] ONSLAUGHT: The Attack On Fallujah
JNV Anti-War Briefing 69 (11 Nov. 2004)

The long-feared US ground assault on Fallujah began on Mon. 8 Nov., with
air and artillery attacks, including the dropping of eight 2,000-pound
bombs. =93Usually we keep the gloves on,=94 said the head of the US 1st
Infantry Division=92s Task Force 2-2 tactical operations command center. =
this operation, we took the gloves off.=94 =91Some artillery guns fired whi=
phosphorous rounds that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished
with water. Insurgents reported being attacked with a substance that
melted their skin.=92 (Washington Post, 10 Nov., p. A01) =91White phosphoru=
shells lit up the sky as armour drove through the breach and sent flaming
material on to suspect insurgent haunts.=92 (Telegraph, 9 Nov., p. 1)

Jackie Spinner of the Post visited a US unit with two M109A6 Paladin
155mm howitzers. =91The Paladin fires rocket-assisted shells that can
travel up to 22 miles and regular shells that can cover 13 miles. The shell=
typically strike within about five yards of their target and are likely to
anyone within 55 yards of the point of impact.=92 Sgt. Fladymir Napoleon, 2=
=93It=92s a great thing blowing stuff up. We=92re getting the city free...=

Paladin crew chief, Brian Blakey patted a 155mm round: =93Three of these,
and I can take out a whole building.=94 Just this one unit=92s two artiller=
=91fired more than 300 rounds in the first three days of the battle.=92

=91At the other gun a short distance away, Spec. John Kennedy, 26, of
Dallas, asked [ Sgt. 1st Class Johnny] Dotson about the rounds his crew had
fired that morning. =93What were we shooting at?=94 he asked. =93Did we get=
Yes, Dotson told him. They hit the mosque. Twenty confirmed killed.
=93We really get no glory,=94 said Staff Sgt. Jason Moye, 25, of Phoenix.=
(Washington Post, 11 Nov., p. A33)

=91The American military has been using novel and devastating methods to
clear Fallujahs=92 streets.=92 Including the rocket-fired 350-foot-long str=
plastic explosives known as Miclic, which can clear a lane through a
8 meters wide and 100 meters long. =91The Miclic is normally designed for
open spaces because it generates tremendous pressure, setting off mines
over a large area. In Fallujah the Miclic, fired from 300 to 400 metres, is
to detonate roadside bombs and car bombs. It is highly effective but also
indiscriminate, and not normally considered suitable for an urban
environment.=92 (Times, 10 Nov., p. 9; Miclic details from globalsecurity.o=

=91After seven months in Iraq=92s Sunni triangle, for many American soldier=
s the
opportunity to avenge dead friends by taking a life was a moment of sheer
exhilaration. As they approached their =93holding position=94, from where
hours later they would advance into the city, they picked off insurgents on
the rooftops and in windows.=92 After calling in mortar fire on a suspected
insurgent site, Sgt James Anyett shouted: =93Battle Damage Assesment =96
nothing. Building=92s gone. I got my kills. I=92m coming down. I just
love my job.=94 (Telegraph, 9 Nov., p. 4)

In April, a senior British officer serving in Iraq said of the US attitude
the local people, =91They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. T=
view them as untermenschen. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss
of life in the way the British are. Their attitude towards the Iraqis is
it's awful.=92 The Sunday Telegraph: =91The phrase untermenschen=97literall=
"under-people"=97was brought to prominence by Adolf Hitler in his book
Mein Kampf, published in 1925. He used the term to describe those he
regarded as racially inferior: Jews, Slaves and gipsies.=92 (11 Apr.)

=91Randy Gangle, a retired US marine colonel recently returned from the
coalition base outside Falluja, said... the US military expected [civilian
to number in the hundreds, not thousands.=92 (Guardian, 9 Nov., p. 2)

In order to manage perceptions of the human cost of the attack, the first
objective was Fallujah=92s main hospital. =91One unnamed senior American of=
also admitted that the hospital had become a =93centre of propaganda,=94
reflecting the military=92s frustration at the high death toll doctors
announce after American bombing raids. It was accounts of the hundreds
killed during the first assault on Falluja in April that brought the
operation to
a rapid halt.=92 (Guardian, 9 Nov., p. 3)

=91Sami al-Jumaili, a doctor at the main Falluja hospital who escaped arres=
when it was taken on Monday, said the city was running out of supplies and
only a few clinics remained open. =93There is not a single surgeon in Fallu=
We had one ambulance hit by US fire and a doctor wounded. There are
scores of injured civilians in their homes whom we can=92t move.=94 (FT, 10
Nov., p. 9) Having destroyed one clinic before the assault (Observer, 7
p. 2), US forces reportedly destroyed an emergency hospital after taking th=
main hospital: =91Twenty Iraqi doctors and dozens of civilians were
killed in a US airstrike that hit a clinic in Fallujah, according to an
doctor who said he survived the strike.=92. (Independent, 11 Nov., p. 4)

Estimates of civilians remaining in Fallujah on 7 Nov. varied from 100,000
(US military, FT, 9 Nov., p. 10) to 60,000 (Sunni group, Independent, 10
p. 5). Estimates for the number of fighters left in Falluja before the
varied =91from 600 to 6,000,=92 meaning that the overwhelming majority of
people in Fallujah were thought to be non-combatants. It was reported that
=91Anyone still in the city will be regarded as a potential insurgent.=92
(Observer, 7 Nov., p. 18) A threat to kill every human being in Fallujah.

At a hospital in Baghdad, the families of civilian victims evacuated from
Fallujah =91claimed that US forces were bombing outlying villages where
refugees have regrouped as well as the city.=92 (Times, 11 Nov., p. 9)

=93From a humanitarian point of view, it is a disaster, there is no other
way to describe it,=94 Firdoos al-Ubaidi, of the Red Crescent, said on 10 N=
=93We have asked for permission from the Americans to go into the city and
help the people there but we haven=92t heard anything back from them.
There=92s no medicine, no water, no electricity.=94 =92 (Times, 11 Nov., p.=

Fadel al-Badrani, the only unembedded Western reporter in Falluja, reported
the fate of Ghaith Abboud for Reuters: =91Mohammed Abboud said he
watched his nine-year-old son bleed to death at their Falluja home
yesterday, unable to take him to hospital as fighting raged in the
streets and bombs rained down. =93My son got shrapnel in his stomach
when our house was hit at dawn, but we couldn=92t take him for treatment,=
said Mr Abboud, a teacher.=92 (Guardian, 11 Nov. 2004, p. 4)

=91In two months =96 if the elections go ahead =96 Mohammed Abboud will be
able to play a part in what they call democracy. Today, with his remaining
family, he sits in a house damaged by the bomb that killed his child. He
=93We just bandaged his stomach and gave him water, but he was losing a lot
of blood. He died this afternoon.=94 It was the highest price of all to pay
the right to vote.=92 (Independent, 10 Nov., p. 5)

The assault on Fallujah was justified as necessary to create the conditions
elections due in Jan. 2005. But as Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the
UN, pointed out in a secret letter to Mr Bush and Mr Blair, a major militar=
assault leading to an escalation in violence =93could be very disruptive fo=
political transition=94, and is =93likely=94 to have a =93negative impact..=
. on the
prospects for encouraging a broader participation by Iraqis in the politica=
process, including in the elections.=94 (Washington Post, 6 Nov., p. A19)
Predictably, the assault led immediately to a call by the influential Musli=
Clerics Association for Sunnis to boycott the elections, which would be hel=
=93over the corpses of those killed in Fallujah=94. (Telegraph, 10 Nov., p.=

Another justification was the need to break the hold of =91the terrorists=
=92 in
Fallujah. However, in Oct., =91local insurgent leaders voted overwhelmingly
to accept broad conditions set by the Iraqi government,
including demands that they eject foreign fighters from the city, turn over
heavy weapons, dismantle illegal checkpoints and allow the Iraqi National
Guard to enter the city. In turn, the insurgents set their own conditions,
which included a halt to U.S. attacks on the city and acknowledgment by the
military that women and children have been among the casualties in U.S.
strikes.=92 (Washington Post, 28 Oct., p. A21) Rejected.

A later offer was put forward by a (mainly Sunni) coalition, including the
Muslim Clerics=92 Association, for =91a plan to establish the rule of law i=
areas through peaceful means=92, on the basis of six measures, =91including=
demand that U.S. forces remain confined to bases in the month before
balloting=92. This was =91a dramatic shift=92 by Sunni groups which had pre=
insisted that no election would be legitimate until Western troops left

=93This initiative is very significant,=94 said an official involved in
establishing the transitional government. =93They=92re no longer saying, =
not participating because the country is occupied.=92 They=92re saying, =91=
government is not right. The only way we can make it right is by elections.=
If you look at their demands, they=92re not impossible. They are things
that can be discussed.=94 Larry Diamond, who served in the U.S.-led
occupation authority, said =93If there=92s a chance that this could be the
beginning of political transformation that could change the
situation on the ground, I think we=92ve got to take it.=94 (Washington
Post, 6 Nov., p. A01) These offers have been brushed aside and erased from
the record. They might not have worked, but they were not tried.

These briefings are produced by Justice Not Vengeance. We are trying to
print and distribute
as many as possible. We would be grateful for any support you can give. If
you can make a
donations, please sent it to =91JNV=92, 29 Gensing Rd, St Leonards-on-Sea, =
Sussex TN38 0HE.
To receive e-briefings, visit
PLEASE SUPPORT JNV 0845 458 9571 <>

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Message: 5
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 03:04:34 -0800 (PST)
From: John Churchilly <>
Subject: Mechanism of Progressive Resistance

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]




Progressive Resistance

by John Peters

Shortly after declaring major combat operations complete, President Bush wa=
s faced with the reality that Iraqi resistance to =93liberation=94 was on t=
he rise.

Just wait until Saddam=92s sons are captured or killed, cautioned Bush, the=
n the resistance of the few diehards will end.  Uday and Qusay were dispatc=
hed in a six hour gun battle with U.S. forces, who utilized superior number=
s, attack aircraft, anti-tank weapons and assault vehicles. (Oh yes, Uday a=
nd Qusay had their own secret weapon =96 a fourteen year old boy.) Yet, the=
 resistance continued.

Next Bush promised that the capture of Saddam would end resistance as the f=
ew remaining Baath loyalists would surrender. Saddam was plucked from a spi=
der hole looking like a street beggar and went directly to jail. Still, the=
 resistance increased.  In a feeble attempt at being a tough guy, Bush taun=
ted the resistance with =93Bring =91em on.=94

The resistance accepted the Presidential invitation. Americans were being a=
ttacked and killed in ever increasing numbers. Then the resistance expanded=
 its reach to attack and destroy oil pipelines, international agencies, the=
 troops of other coalition nations, supply convoys, even Iraqis who were de=
sperate enough to cast their lot with their occupiers.

Bush counseled further patience.  He pointed out that it had been less than=
 one year since American forces entered Iraq . Americans could not expect t=
hat all would be quiet on the Middle Eastern front in that short time.

What Bush failed to recognize was that American forces were not the only on=
es disadvantaged by the short engagement.  Indigenous resistance had also h=
ad less than one year within which to organize and deploy.

As the Israelis learned painfully in their occupation of Lebanon , what app=
ears to be an insurmountable military and strategic advantage can almost im=
perceptibly slip away in the face of a determined resistance. One moment, I=
srael was using attack aircraft and howitzers to lay siege to Beirut with i=
mpunity. The next, its army was beating a hasty retreat across the southern=
 border. Did Lebanon develop a superior military? No. Israel =92s conventio=
nal military advantage was even greater when it evacuated Lebanon than when=
 it invaded. So, what happened?

Organizing a resistance takes time. Certain developments in warfare are axi=
omatic. As the superior military force learns about its opposition, its opp=
osition is equally busy learning the capacities and vulnerabilities of its =
attacker. Make no mistake about it, superior military forces also have vuln=

The superior conventional force often enters the battle with new tactics an=
d technology. These innovations usually catch their victims off-guard, prov=
ide tremendous advantage for the conventional force and extend the learning=
 curve for the indigenous force.  However, with each new technology comes a=
 corresponding weakness or vulnerability. Resistance forces eventually lear=
n how to counter or disable the edge. It takes much longer to develop new t=
echnology than it does to counter the existing technology. Also, the method=
s used to counter the technological edge are usually more primitive and ine=

A weapon which will destroy a multi-million dollar plane or tank may cost l=
ess than one percent of the cost of the weapons platform it can destroy. A =
rocket-propelled grenade is inexpensive, easy to transport and conceal, and=
 simple to mass produce and supply. Its destructive capacity is out of prop=
ortion to its cost. The same is true of shoulder fired anti-aircraft missil=

When pressed by an overwhelmingly superior conventional force, resistance m=
ovements become very adaptive. If they do not, they perish. The human imper=
ative of survival drives battlefield innovation at a pace which out-strips =
that of a factory operating cozily in Silicon Valley . The car bomb or suic=
ide bomb is perhaps the crudest example of what can be accomplished with lo=
w grade weaponry and a desire to resist.

Near the end of its 15 year occupation of southern Lebanon , Israel experie=
nced the humiliation of losing one of its elite forces to an ambush by Leba=
nese resistance forces. The force =96 the equivalent of America =92s Delta =
Force =96 was attempting a sea-borne landing to kidnap a prominent Lebanese=
 resistance figure.  Despite extensive planning, the best technology and pr=
esumably deep intelligence assets, backed by air force, satellite and naval=
 support, the defenders were laying in wait when Israel =92s force made lan=
d. Surrounded, the Israeli force was destroyed. Even attempts to extract th=
em were unsuccessful.

How did a relatively small force of resistance fighters accomplish such a f=
eat against one of the world=92s most sophisticated military forces?

Over time, the conventional military edge enjoyed by the occupier gives way=
 to the natural advantages and counter measures of the resistance. A leader=
 of one Islamic resistance movement in Lebanon explained that his forces =
=96 never numbering more than a few thousand =96 patiently observed and doc=
umented every movement of the Israeli forces. They gained an understanding =
of Israeli tactics, transportation, supply and communication.  The rest was=
 relatively easy for a force which could exist in stealth among a friendly =
population and had access to basic weaponry.

While the Bush Administration publicly celebrates every apparent military v=
ictory,   the Iraqi resistance is in school. It has infiltrated Iraqi units=
 supposedly loyal to the American forces. It is studying the pattern of Ame=
rican operations. It is establishing its own networks of supply, informatio=
n and transport. It is developing coded communication.

With each heavy-handed display of American force, resistance ranks swell wi=
th angry citizens who have no jobs, have had their homes destroyed and thei=
r relatives jailed, maimed or murdered.  This improves the operating enviro=
nment and deprives the occupiers of assistance. Slowly, imperceptibly, the =
advantage is shifting away from the coalition forces.

Also unconsidered by the Administration is the history of occupation in Ira=
q and the Arab world generally. That history is important for what it porte=
nds. First, there has never been a successful occupation of Iraq either dir=
ectly or by proxy. Secondly, the Arabs have proven themselves extremely pat=
ient and enduring in the resistance mode. They fought the Crusaders for dec=
ades. Testimonials to the failure of the Crusades exist in the form of perf=
ectly preserved Crusader castles which dot the landscape of Syria .  Like t=
he U.S. in Iraq , the Crusaders were initially able to overwhelm the indige=
nous population with superior force and tactics, establishing fixed fortifi=
cations which crowned mountain tops and were impenetrable. The castles neve=
r crumbled, but the will of those who occupied them eventually did.

The Arabs endured Ottoman rule for almost five hundred years, before rising=
 to expel them in the tide of World War I.  A Turkish blockade on Syria led=
 to the starvation of tens of thousands. Yet, the resistance endured and gr=
ew. A leader of the Arab rebellion against the Turks, T.E. Lawrence, descri=
bed Arab resistance as being like waves crashing on the shore, slowly grind=
ing down and wearing away the obstacles in their path.

Iraqis fighting the U.S. occupation have endured nine years of war with Ira=
n , Operation Desert Storm, and 12 years of starvation-producing sanctions.=
 Despite the capture of Bush=92s deck of 52, the killing of Saddam=92s sons=
, his capture and the best forms of destruction that American taxpayers=92 =
money can buy, nothing has stemmed the rising tide of resistance in Iraq .

Nothing in history suggests that anything short of withdrawal will.


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