Hold Your Head High, You Are In Fallujah!
By Amer Jubran
April 9, 2004
The Chinese military philosopher Sun Tzu once said: “To win a war, you must know yourself, then your enemy.” Apparently, the US does not know either itself or its enemy. Blinded with the arrogance of racism and military superiority, Uncle Sam is being subjected to a severe beating by the Iraqi resistance. It is absolutely sensational to watch the outnumbered and poorly equipped Iraqi volunteers, without a central command or logistics supply lines, fight back with their thin bodies, after fourteen years of sanctions, the most powerful empire in the history of humankind.
The military adventure of Uncle Sam in Iraq --“Operation Iraqi Freedom” -- has given the world a lesson in geography as towns such as Baquba, Ramadi, and Abu-Gharib are making headlines more than Washington DC or London. When superior militaries attack those who have only bravery and determination with which to defend themselves, they only add to that special list of legendary battles which includes the Paris Commune, Stalingrad, Beirut, Jenin, and Gaza. On the 9th of April, 2004, one year after the supposed fall of Baghdad, Fallujah was added to the list
After 14 years of searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the US finally managed to discover huge caches in Fallujah. This discovery was of an unconventional weapon called popular resistance whose destructive capacity caught Uncle Sam completely by surprise. The well- armed, and well-trained , “the Few, the Proud, the Marines,” who were dispatched to Fallujah, reacted with fear, confusion, and panic. These mercenaries were told that they were signing up for a turkey shoot, a cakewalk, and would get in return a job, a scholarship, a home loan, adventure, world travel, and a safe return to the US. The crash course on Iraq offered by the US military to new cadets failed to mention that Iraqis are human beings who have integrity, sovereignty, and freedom. There should have been a prerequisite course on Vietnam offered to these killers-in-training. Like the Vietnamese, Uncle Sam failed to gauge the determination of the Iraqi people to fight back.
The weapons used by the Iraqi resistance today are not made in high-tech factories, imported from abroad, or bought in defense contractor trade shows. What makes up this resistance is very hard for Uncle Sam, poisoned as he is with power, to analyze. The cold-faced invaders from cowboyland must learn a lesson about Iraq’s weapons. These are weapons of daring, gallantry, valor, and heroism -- none of which are possessed by the invader.
Different explanations are being given as to why the US is attacking Fallujah now. The explanations are that the US is seeking those who mutilated four US “civilians” in early April, that the US is avenging the attempt to assassinate top US military commander John Abizaid in Fallujah in mid-March, and that the Bush administration is manufacturing war in order to divert increasing criticism about the economy and September 11.
• Four “civilians.”
The US government issues color-coded security alerts on a daily basis to citizens living in New York, Boston, Los Angles, Houston, Chicago, and other cities. Could US civilians have missed security alerts in Iraq? Could these civilians be a solidarity group from the US opposing the war on Iraq? If so, why would they be traveling armed, in armored sport utility vehicles accompanied by so called “Iraqi Police”? Why did they have sophisticated communication devices? Why were maps of the city in the vehicles?
If these civilians were contractors, as the US State Department has claimed, then they were working for the occupation, which makes them a legitimate target. What kind of contracts are being given by the occupation in Fallujah? Housing development? Infrastructure projects? Highly unlikely. These civilians were undercover mercenaries and military planning operatives of the US forces, gathering intelligence on the resistance in Fallujah. The State Department would not tell us what military rank these men had or what they were doing. The initial US reaction of denial and confusion, then anger about their numbers and nationalities, suggests that the resistance hit the jackpot.
The question for the US is to answer is, if these were civilians, why did it need to kill over six hundred, and injure over a thousand Fallujah civilians residents using cluster bombs in response? Do these bombs distinguish between the individuals wanted by the US, and children? In Fallujah, families of over twenty members were completely wiped out by bombs dropped from F-18’s. It is still fresh in the memories of the Afghanis when US planes dropped five ton bombs over the heads of families celebrating their weddings two years ago.
• The attempt to assassinate John Abizaid
Did General Abizaid think that if he led a horde of killers to occupy, kill, steal from, humiliate, and obliterate defenseless people 10,000 miles away from his home he would be welcomed with roses? The resistance attempt to assassinate this killer was fully justified. Abizaid needs to know that his aggression justified any attempts on his life. Being of Arabic background, Abizaid is guilty of both war crimes and collaboration.
• Diversion from failure in Iraq, US economy, and the September 11 investigation.
It is moving to see that the Iraqis are resisting with such heroism after 24 years of bleeding from direct and indirect US war policies against them. The latest addition of the Shi’ites to the resisting bloc has plunged the US deeper into the Iraqi swamp. Far from diverting the domestic population from its failure in Iraq, the US rulers have only multiplied and brought more attention to that failure.
Uncle Sam has repeatedly manufactured wars to divert the attention of its domestic population. In 2002 and 2003, in the midst of the Enron and World Com scandals, the failing economy, and rising unemployment, the public was led by the media into an obsession with weapons of mass destruction, the invasion of Iraq last March, the details of that invasion, and on and on.
Unexpectedly, former national security advisor Richard Clarke stepped out of line and told the truth about the extent to which the Bush Administration was warned about the possibility of an attack by bin Laden before September 11. This unexpected revelation makes the government complicit in the attacks. An escalation in Iraq would divert attention away from this sensitive topic, even if the cost were US soldiers returning in body bags.
But in seeking a diversion in Iraq, the US made two mistakes at the same time:
First, it underestimated the determination and capability of the Iraqi resistance to fight back. The US did not expect that the resistance in Fallujah would choose direct confrontation rather than the usual hit-and-run. The US marched into this city of 200,000 with the goal of flexing its muscle and having limited confrontation.
Second, the provocation of Muqtada al-Sadr, the rebellious Shi’ite cleric, spoiled the US strategy of “divide and conquer” between Sunni and Shi’ite in Iraq. This provocation became the straw that broke the camel’s back. Shi’ites are patriots of Iraq. But they are confused by a sell-out clergy that issues religious “Fatwa,” or calls for a peaceful resistance against the occupation. The choice by the US to mark al-Sadr an outlaw was fatal. Now Shi’ites are part of the fight. The resistance is very grateful to Uncle Sam’s stupidity.
One year after its armed invasion, the US has failed to win the hearts of the Iraqis by failing to restore order or provide security and economic prosperity. Also, it failed in benefiting from the black gold it seized from Iraq. Its only success was in playing to perfection the part of the occupying imperialist army.
The US’s biggest failure, however, was its inability to intimidate and terrorize the Iraqi resistance. This resistance chose its own time to declare itself after Bush announced in May of 2003, on the deck of a US Navy aircraft carrier, the end of all military operations in Iraq. Between then and now the resistance rolled like a snowball to cover all of the country. It progressed in its lethality and the quality of its operations to make the air and land of all Iraq unsafe for Uncle Sam. Fallujah was the beginning of this resistance, and is its center and backbone now.
The barbaric US assault on Fallujah is aimed at the heart of resistance against the US occupation of Iraq. The choice of the resistance to switch from hit and run guerrilla warfare to direct confrontation is one to be examined closely. This decision inspired the whole Iraqi population to take up arms. Groups of fighters in hundreds are forming and confronting the US army and its allies everywhere they find it. A huge front opened up from east to west, and from north to south of Iraq. It is Uncle Sam’s worst nightmare -- a total armed uprising.
Thankfully, this revolt saved the whole planet from a disgusting propaganda display scheduled for the anniversary of the proclaimed April 9 victory over Iraq a year ago. The whole world was spared from hearing Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, and Powell brag about how the Iraqis are free. The resistance spoiled the ceremony.
Perhaps Fallujah will not hold for long, and the toll of death and destruction will be great for the Iraqis, but the loser from this will always be the US, in the short run and in the long run. Lies about bringing freedom to the Iraqis are no longer acceptable, and US infiltration of regimes and clergies will no longer work to contain a brave and angry nation.
Developments in Iraq present a challenge, not only to the US government and its allied states, but also to the American public and its elements of opposition. Can the US people, so indulged in consuming beer and watching baseball, understand that it is complicit when supplying manpower and political support to Uncle Sam?
The debate during the Vietnam war was built around the question, “Can we win in Vietnam” rather than, “Why are we attacking a defenseless nation?” This time, in Iraq, if the debate admits the obvious moral question, “How are we freeing Iraqis by bombing them with cluster bombs?” then less excuses will be available to people like bin Laden to justify another September 11. If this doesn’t happen, then the American public need no longer ask “why do they hate us?” They will know why. At the very least, this public can demand to hear a clear statement from the so-called Democratic opposition candidate, John Kerry, that he opposes the war and would withdraw the forces from Iraq, as did the new Prime Minister of Spain?
As far as the progressive and radical elements of the US opposition, can they be brave and take the side of the victims of Uncle Sam? Can they build their argument on something more than expressing concern for the safety of US military personnel? Can they take their position further than opposing the war simply because of the horror of soldiers returning in body bags? Can they instead openly support the right of the Iraqis to resist?
This time, Rambo, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Hollywood will have to do a lot of acting and lying to restore the image of the American military hero and his adventures abroad.
The US can lie all it wants about those who are resisting in Iraq and about what is really happening, but one thing is for sure: Uncle Sam knows what kind of losses he is suffering. The bigger the lie, the harder the downfall will be.
The whole world owes Fallujah a tribute. Through the sacrifice of Iraqi fighters, the entire world has been shown the bloodsucking nature of US empire. The resistance in Fallujah is a lesson to all who choose to resist a life of oppression.
During a TV interview , one of the resistance members of Fallujah said: “We will fight until our last bullet, our last drop of blood. We hold our heads high in the sky, because we are in Al-Fallujah.”