FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

In Fallujah, Freedom Isn’t Free

by RON JACOBS

 

Retina scans to get into your own home. Work details under armed guard. No cars. Military armor on every corner. All men to be shot on sight after curfew. No freedom of movement. These are just some of the details of the new order in Fallujah (and one assumes any other Iraqi city that the US destroys in the future). Somewhere between a concentration camp and what US troops called a strategic hamlet in Vietnam, this is the latest version of Washington’s freedom and democracy installation in Iraq. How much clearer does it have to become before the US media and its brainwashed audience admit to themselves that this whole adventure is about domination and control? If there are any arms caches left in Fallujah after the US military finishes its so-called security searches, one can guarantee that these draconian measures being put into place will insure that those weapons will be used against US forces.

Who the hell do the US forces think they are? No matter how many ID badges they make people wear and guns they point in their face, they will not gain the trust of these people. That moment passed months ago. The oil that Washington wants to control will never be under their control and neither will the people of Iraq. This latest plan-a plan that essentially turns the Iraqi cities into prison camps-acknowledges that the US has lost the battle for many Iraqis hearts and minds and that it can only hope to get its way via coercion and murder. One only has to look at France’s Algeria, Israel’s Palestine, or Washington’s Vietnam to realize the historical possibilities.

Yet, the historical ignorance and arrogance of Washington marches on. Donald Rumsfeld is on record as of December 6, 2004 as saying that he believes US troops will be gone from Iraq within four years. If I hadn’t heard about some kind of light at the end of some tunnel during the US war on Vietnam, perhaps I could believe the man. Unfortunately, I remember that light and that tunnel too well. Even Mr. Rumsfeld has some kind of recall of it. He did qualify his statement by saying that this US withdrawal would be based on the “progress” of the Iraqi government that Washington is attempting to create over there. That progress will be measured, of course, in the degree of compliance (nee servitude) said government has with Washington.

Indeed, the success of the plan for Fallujah is directly tied to Washington’s withdrawal. If the US troops are somehow much more successful in locking up all those Iraqis who despise their presence into strategic hamlets than they were in southern Vietnam, then the troops will able to leave when Donald Rumsfeld wants them to. If the lockdown of Fallujah and other rebellious Iraqi cities and towns is no more successful than Operation Phoenix was in Vietnam, then the US military will leave, but only because they have been driven out. Either way, thousands of Iraqis will be killed solely because they are in the Pentagon’s way.

Another, less-publicized aspect of the police state mechanisms that the US hopes to put in place in Fallujah is the creation of so-called work brigades that would essentially force male residents of Fallujah into forced labor battalions. I can almost see these men now-wearing khaki overalls with the flag of the US-created Baghdad regime sewn on the back and their name and address stitched onto the front breast pocket. Just like the chain gangs in the southern states of the US, these men will be working under armed guard. Perhaps they’ll even be forced to wear chains around their ankles as they rebuild the city their captors destroyed in the name of their freedom and liberty. I even have a design idea for the city’s entry gates. How about an archway with the Arab equivalent of the words “Arbeit Macht Frei?” I mean, what with the napalm our military dropped on the city during its most recent “liberation,” we’ve already provided them with the modern day equivalent of Nazi Germany’s ovens. Sure, the incineration of our fellow humans by napalm is not as methodical as that arranged by Adolf Eichmann and his cohorts, but that’s only because those who are doing the burning in our name don’t have instructions to be selective in whom they kill. After all, their commander has told these soldiers that the Iraqis deserve to die because they wear the face of satan.

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

 

 

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail