All indications show that what is going on in Iraq is a pre-planned attack from the coalition armies on Falluja, Sadr City, Shuhla, Adhamia, Kufa and other towns and cities in the centre and to the south, and was not a reaction to the mutilation of the four American security guards in Falluja or the speech of religious cleric Moqtada Sadr, in which he stated his support for Hezbollah and Hamas.
What is happening now is the mass killing of civilians including men, women and children of all ages in several districts and towns, in which the American army has used a range of sophisticated weapons including cluster bombs, Apache helicopter gunships and F16 fighter jets.
These were co-ordinated attacks which took place simultaneously while there were about 200,000 American soldiers on the ground in Iraq (135,000 of which have been around for a year, plus over 60,000 marines coming in to replace them). This is in addition to 35,000 from the other countries of the coalition including Britain, Italy, Spain etc, and around 40,000 foreign mercenaries brought in from all over the world, who have been employed by the Pentagon and American companies under the name of ‘security guards’ (which are now incidentally being investigated by a Senate committee).
The planning for these military tactics, which occurred during the replacement of the American solders, has been going on for some months, and is fulfilling part of the American political strategy to use force against the opposition.
It is becoming clear that the military operations against the Iraqi political patriotic parties is the backbone of the new American strategy to ensure the success of the new American plan signed on November 15, 2003, between the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and the Governing Council (GC), to continue the occupation "indirectly" under the so-called ‘transfer of sovereignty’ to the newly appointed, unelected and enlarged GC.
This plan has faced very widespread opposition within all sectors of Iraqi society. It is becoming apparent to everybody that this is no more than a ‘new face for the occupation’. The resistance to this new American strategy has come from different patriotic and religious parties, who have put forward real democratic plans based on free elections of a new parliament to take over from the occupying forces, instead of the so-called ‘Provisional Council’ that the occupiers would prefer.
In order for the new American policy to succeed, it will be necessary for them to "smash" all the opposition parties and movements opposed to such plans.
This would include the annihilation of all movements that have armed militia backing, including the Shia religious movement of Al-Sadr, which has the backing of tens of thousands of young and poor Iraqi Shia, who form part of the El-Mehdi army.
The closing of the Al-Hawza newspaper, the arrest of MustafÃ¡ Al Yacubi and other Mehdi leaders, and threats to destroy the resistance in the so-called ‘Sunni Triangle’ starting with Falluja, were only the first steps of this plan to use a military solution to the political crisis by destroying all opposition.
Many observers were surprised to see that these military attacks did not only occur in Falluja and Najaf but also included attacks on the Baghdad districts of Sadr City, Shuhla, Kadhemia, Adhamia and Gazalia, in addition to attacks on other towns such as Karbola, Nassiriya, Diwanah, Amarah and Basra in the south.
This military assault cannot be a justified as a response to the peaceful demonstrations that started in the majority of Iraqi cities and towns. In fact, these military attacks started with the slaughter of 22 Iraqi civilians and injuries to more than 150 in Najaf. Units of the American and Spanish armies and foreign mercenaries committed this act, at the same time as American helicopter gunships and tanks were attacking Sadr City and Shuhla district within greater Baghdad.
Concurrently, the American army using thousands of their soldiers, foreign mercenaries and so-called "Iraqi civil defence force" surrounded Falluja and commenced their heavy shelling and bombardments. This continues to this date.
Everybody was shocked to see such heavy-handedness regarding the use of such an organised simultaneous military response from the occupying forces against peaceful demonstrations, since this makes no sense, serving only to "unite" Shia and Sunni resistance to the occupation.
This American plan seems to have a lot of similarities with the Israeli line of attack against Palestinian towns and cities in the West bank and Gaza, but on a much larger scale.
The CPA refuses any negotiation for a peaceful outcome, insisting instead on the use of heavy-handed military tactics. It claims that the only way to end the military actions is the complete surrender of all arms and personnel from the El-Mehdi army and the resistance in Falluja.
The military attacks on the population of Falluja were just as vicious as those carried out by Saddam in Karbola in 1991 against the Shia uprising and the Israeli military attacks in Jenin.
It seems that the military planners thought that they would succeed with the same ease in this attack as they did in the toppling of Saddam’s regime on April 9, 2003, but what they did not plan for, nor expect, was the heroic resistance by the Iraqi people, which the military assault has tried to suppress.
The planners in Washington, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfield, head of the security advisory committee Condoleeza Rice and the president himself, have all admitted that this military response which aimed to destroy any opposition to their political plans is meeting unexpectedly heavy resistance.
Many American Senators from both the Democratic and the Republican parties have spoken out vehemently against this policy, which they say is leading to a new Vietnam for America.
It has now become obvious, after the deaths of over 800 Iraqis and 91 Americans in the past few days, that the only way for the Americans to get out of this ‘Iraqi quagmire’ and avoid a very bloody and costly war, which will eventually kill thousands of Americans, not to mention tens of thousands of civilians in Iraq, is to accept that such plans have failed.
Eventually, they will have to agree to negotiate with the real Iraqi political parties and movements, representing all sectors of the Iraqi society, in order to hand over power peacefully to a democratically elected representative of the people through free elections under the supervision of the United Nations.