Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

September 16, 2010

The War is Over?

Filed under: Iraq — louisproyect @ 2:09 pm
NY Times September 15, 2010

Iraqi-U.S. Raid Near Falluja Leaves 7 Dead


BAGHDAD — Seven Iraqis were killed in a village near the city of Falluja on Wednesday during an early morning raid by American and Iraqi security forces on the house of a suspected insurgent leader, officials said.

Four of the dead were brothers between the ages of 10 and 18, according to the Iraqi police and residents of the area.

The United States military said in an e-mail on Wednesday afternoon that the Iraqi military had “planned and led” the “joint counterterrorism” operation. Yet, the raid underscored the continuing presence of American service members in security operations, even after the United States declared an official end to combat on Aug. 31.

Of the approximately 50,000 United States troops remaining in Iraq, about 4,500 are Special Operations troops who take part in raids with Iraqi units, pursuing insurgent leaders and suspected members of other armed groups.

It is not clear whether the dead were the targets of the raid or how they were killed. Four other people were wounded during the operation, the police said.

There were stark differences between the American military’s description of the raid and the one supplied by villagers.

Maj. Rob Phillips, a spokesman for the United States military in Iraq, said a joint Iraqi-American unit had been seeking a senior leader of an Iraqi insurgent group, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was believed responsible for a number of attacks in Sunni-dominated Anbar Province, in western Iraq. The major said the American forces were acting as advisers while the Iraqis tried to serve an arrest warrant.

The Iraqi police said the raid started about 1 a.m. Wednesday, with at least four American helicopters providing support. Major Phillips said the troops came under fire as they approached the suspect’s house and shot back, killing four suspected insurgents — he said he did not know their ages — and wounding three others. Two residents of the village who came out of their homes with weapons were also fatally shot by the troops, he added.

Major Phillips said he did not know whether the Americans fired their weapons or whether the suspected Qaeda leader was captured or killed, or had escaped. Officials in Iraq’s Ministry of Defense and in the prime minister’s office did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

In addition to the four brothers who were killed, police officials said that a man who had been a colonel in the Iraqi Army under Saddam Hussein had also died. The police officials said they believed that the man, whose identity was not released, might have been the original target of the raid.

Local residents described a far different scene, one of chaos and fear as American soldiers and Iraqi security officers moved through the area in the darkness. They accused the Iraqis of firing indiscriminately, often at people who represented no threat.

“I was sleeping when I was awakened by gunfire and explosions,” said a resident who would give only his first name, Muhammad, because he feared reprisal from Iraqi security. “I went out to see what was happening and they shot at me. They missed, but I went back inside and stayed there.”

Iraqi police officers, who said they had been barred from taking part in the raid but raced to the scene after it began, said the commandos took four of the seven bodies before they departed about 7 a.m.

Near the northern city of Mosul on Wednesday, nine Iraqi soldiers were killed and seven other people were wounded after the minibus carrying them struck a roadside bomb, the Iraqi police said.

Iraqi employees of The New York Times contributed reporting from Anbar and Nineveh Provinces.


  1. It makes me sad a Phil Ochs song from the early 1960s is still so relevant.

    Comment by ish — September 16, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

  2. i wasn’t anywhere near when Phil was here.

    listening to his best i can recall i liked few the most like, there’ll be no more song… and, Jim Dean of Indiana, one had something to do with classic music and….

    How i can comprehend his taking his own away don’t ask but, your existence after all and, few like you makes a difference for others too.

    came and visited site to express appreciation for pointing out the Azad related article that makes job for a couple of people that i know, with their culture not way off of Indians but with a population way downer than a tenth. So let’s see if they get into it or not but, why don’t you please firstly have Kasama post the Roy article beforehand to and give it a few months?

    But knowing some truth and, which side to stand, easier it is to comprehend instead of folk music words written by folks like Waters that with class and all variations I, “recognize myself in every stranger’s eyes”

    keep the good work and, unjust wars will be over only when Just wars are won.

    And unlike say, Russia and China’s revolutions having to do with being in parallel with World Wars they occurred, this century’s real revolutions that are way passed reformist nowadays in Latin American states will be more directly with more blunt and severe economical conditions and of course, learning from the past.

    Thanks again and, hopefully with all differences of age or knowledge, someday we stand in the same – not demonstration but, direct further actions to break the chains.

    hence Louis, signing as your Farsi Red cousin

    Comment by kasama Farsi speaker — September 16, 2010 @ 4:17 pm

  3. I only read your profile now, sorry:

    Re Trotskism my first major American friend used to belong to SWP USA, Earl Gilman who has contributed lots to not only Latin American movement but also to an extent recently to Communist Workers of Iran, a totally different sort of movement i believe that arose from recent last year election coup/conflict and, you could find their stuff at http://en.cwiran.com and, while my Trotskist friend has his own variation about say how Kronstadt was dealt with you may consider me undereducated but, while standing with Bukharin saying and later Lenin accepting that we won the civil war but lost proletariat, theoric acceptance of the mentioned site of Iran is an ideal hunger. at least in India, let them undo say Mao’s mistakes by making their thing with better Karma but, what the hell are we going to do in this belly of the beast.

    thanks for you time Louis
    Farsi cousin

    Comment by kasama Farsi speaker — September 16, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

  4. Hello,

    Hope all are well.

    What does this mean? “The major said the American forces were acting as advisers while the Iraqis tried to serve an arrest warrant.”

    I’m not a military person but I have a mind to think with. The abusrdity of that statement blows my mind. Are we to picture an American saying to an Iraqi soldier, “You over there shoot him!” while the American adviser calmly observes?


    John Kaniecki

    Comment by john kaniecki — September 16, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

  5. Ish, about an hour ago, I was saying the same thing about Pete Seeger’s “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy”.

    Comment by Will Shetterly — September 16, 2010 @ 6:06 pm

  6. Richard Shindell has a cover that I like better than Seeger’s:

    The song starts just over a minute in.

    Comment by Will Shetterly — September 16, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

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