Here’s an important message to CounterPunch readers from Chris Hedges….
Chris Hedges calls CounterPunch “the most fearless, intellectually rigorous and important publication in the United States.” Who are we to argue? But the only way we can continue to “dissect the evils of empire” and the “psychosis of permanent war” is with your financial support. Please donate.
Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
Don’t want to donate through PayPal?
Then click here to donate through our secure server.
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Fallujah: the Hue of Iraq
It’s amazing how history gets twisted or forgotten.
As the Marines prepare for the brutal fight to capture Fallujah, we read in the Associated Press that Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent, the top enlisted Marine in Iraq, has told his massed troops that they are fighting a battle like the one Marines and soldiers fought to recapture Hue, the ancient imperial capital of Vietnam, overrun and captured by the Viet Cong in the Tet Offensive of 1968.
One should certainly hope, for the sake of Marines and the Iraqi people of Fallujah, that Sgt. Maj. Kent is wrong.
Hue was a colossal disaster for the U.S. The retaking of that once beautiful city not only produced some of the highest casualties of the war for the U.S., it also led to the slaughter of thousands of innocent Vietnamese civilians–including many women and children.
It was also the beginning of the end for the US war in Vietnam. Once the American public realized that the Viet Cong had the power to capture one of Vietnam’s largest cities, and that they were actually welcomed by the people when they did so, it was the turning point in terms of public support for the war effort at home.
After that it was all downhill, though it took years for the bloodshed to end.
Unfortunately, Kent may be right in drawing this parallel, though certainly not in the way he intends.
No doubt, the U.S. military will recapture Fallujah–most likely because the bulk of the insurgents will, as in the case of Hue, simply melt away.
Already, the Sunni clerics have told the people of Iraq that they are bound to help the insurgents to escape, and reports suggest that most of them already have done so.
The popular masses of Iraq are rooting for the insurgents.
The U.S. will use the most brutal power at its disposal, as it is already doing–2000 lb. bombs, helicopter gunships and larger turboprop gunships, and massive bombardments by tanks and howitzers.
Most of the city will be leveled.
Already, we read that the U.S. military has attacked hospitals, indeed invaded hospitals. Ambulances are targeted deliberately. Can the mosques be far behind?
In the end, the U.S. will be universally reviled even as it captures the pile of rubble that will be what is left of the City of Mosques.
And what will be gained by this battle the Bush administration cynically postponed until after Election Day (not having the courage to let the electorate see the casualties it would inevitably cause)?
Very little, if anything.
The insurgency will still survive, most of its fighters already having left the city, leaving a martyr contingent willing to stay and fight to the death, inflicting as many casualties on American troops as they can.
The American army will have further alienated itself from Iraqis–those few who may still have wished the occupation well. The government of Ayad Allawi will be further compromised, seen as the puppet regime it is for endorsing an attack that is totally unnecessary, even as offers were being made to resolve the conflict peacefully.
It is as though the insurgents had read Ho Chi Minh’s brilliant playbook, and were working through the chapters, while the Pentagon and Donald Rumsfeld are stuck with General Westmoreland’s stupid plan.
No wonder American troops are holding revival meetings, getting baptized and anointed with holy oil. Led by martinets who do the bidding of a craven regime, they have nowhere else to turn for solace and protection.
Those who die will have achieved nothing.
Those who survive will have little to celebrate.
As Secretary Colin Powell and many of the generals have already said, this war is being lost. As with the battle to recapture Hue, it’s just a delay of the inevitable.
DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled "This Can’t be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org