U.S.-run Baghdad regime can't last
By ERIC MARGOLIS
The Pentagon's strategic plan for Iraq calls for four major air bases from which U.S. mobile, rapid-reaction units and air power will permanently control Iraq and the entire oil-rich Mideast. Imperial Britain once followed the same strategy in Iraq.
Some 200,000 U.S.-led Iraqi "sepoys" (native troops) and police will keep order in urban areas, backed by a powerful secret police force.
Everything depends on the Pentagon's ability to field reliable Iraqi security forces to defend the U.S.-guided regime. Otherwise, even a partial U.S. withdrawal will be impossible.
We are watching the continuation of Saddam's much-derided Mother of All Battles. When Saddam saw the U.S. invasion was inevitable, his Baath Party distributed huge quantities of arms and munitions and created thousands of weapons caches around the country. Entire Republican Guard divisions and commando units were ordered to melt away before the U.S. advance and begin guerrilla war.
Today, the resistance may involve up to 200,000 active members, not the 20,000 claimed by the White House. U.S. forces in Iraq number around 135,000. Experience from the twentieth century's colonial wars suggests occupying power needs a 10:1 troop superiority to defeat insurgents. The U.S. can barely control the 15,000 Iraqi prisoners it now holds.
Iraq's former intelligence services have gone underground. They have infiltrated the U.S.-led Iraqi regime and its security forces. As in Vietnam, every U.S. military operation is telegraphed well in advance to the resistance by double agents.
As anti-war sentiment grows in America, Iraqis serving the U.S. occupation are hedging their bets by collaborating with the resistance -- a pattern common in all recent colonial wars.
The regime's only effective Iraqi units are death squads, composed of former Baath regime toughs, outcasts, and released criminals.
... U.S. forces will have to remain indefinitely in Iraq to prop up the isolated, embattled pro-American regime -- just what's happening in that other failed war in Afghanistan.
George Bush's two wars cost $6.5 billion US monthly -- about the same cost as during Vietnam. Growing numbers of Republican moderates want out of Iraq. But neoconservatives are determined to hold onto Iraq and the Mideast at all costs.
Presumably this is the optimistic scenario.
And what's a 'Republican moderate', someone who joined because you couldn't get a good job without belonging?