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Iraq Morass Gets Deeper And Bloodier
NEARLY FOUR out of five Iraqis have little or no confidence in the occupying US and British forces, says a new survey. That's hardly surprising - the occupation forces have stepped up their fight against the people of Iraq to reach the ferocity of a new war.
On 30 November the US military claimed that its troops had killed 54 "attackers" - ie Iraqi guerrillas. They claimed they had carried out a double ambush against a US convoy in Samarra which turned into a running gun battle.
But where are the bodies? The US claimed there were 54 'gunmen' but there were only eight bodies in the local morgue. The exaggerations brought to mind many US claims of 'enemy dead' in the Vietnam war.
However many people died, most local people blame the Americans for what happened, showing the media a hole in a cemetery wall that looked like a shell from a US Abrams tank had hit it.
The US blamed members of Saddam Hussein's fedayeen paramilitary force, basing their claims largely on the dead fighters' clothing which is like the clothing of many young Arabs. Iraqis claim that the US troops fired randomly at times, and that there were no uniformed Iraqi fighters amongst them.
106 troops were killed in attacks in the last month, the bloodiest period since the war officially ended.
Spanish intelligence agents and Japanese diplomats have recently been attacked. The conflict is reaching ever-wider areas. Support for the war and occupation has fallen dramatically in countries such as Spain although Prime Minister Aznar says Spain will keep its 1,300 troops on the ground.
US politicians don't want Iraq to be a modern-day Vietnam but the US forces are already in danger of becoming bogged down in close quarter fighting which they were anxious to avoid.
The political consequences of this disastrous and ill-considered war are coming home to people in the US, Britain and other countries which are allies of the US.
In order to win genuine democracy and freedom in Iraq, an anti-imperialist struggle needs to be linked to a socialist mass movement of Iraqi workers and poor, backed by mass movements of the working class internationally.
In The Socialist 6 December 2003: