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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Iraq, A People's War

What is the People"s War? According to the wikipedia it is a military-political strategy invented by Chairman Mao Zedong.
In its original formulation by Chairman Mao, people's war exploits the few advantages that a small revolutionary movement has-- broad-based popular support can be one of them-- against a state's power with a large and well-equipped army. People's war strategically avoids decisive battles, since a tiny force of a few dozen soldiers would easily be routed in an all-out confrontation with the state. Instead, it favours the strategy of protracted warfare, with carefully chosen battles that can realistically be won. As it grows in power, it establishes other revolutionary base areas and spreads its influence through the surrounding countryside, where it may become the governing power and gain popular support through some programmes.

Generally speaking, people's war has some characterristics:
1. It's the war between two sides, one side is very strong and another side is very weak.
2. The weak side can always get strong support from local residents (people) for political, economical, religious or any other reasons. On the contratry, the other side is more powerful, but cannot get support from local people.
3. The weak side has a central command center that defines the strategies and principle tasks. But all of its groups fight independently, flexibly, but in serving those strategies and tasks directly or indirectly.
4. The weak side fight by small units. They avoid the main or decisive battles. The aim of each battle is small, such as small casualties of enemy, some logistic supply, etc. But the accumulated harm on enemy could be huge in long run.
5. The the stronger side in aggression, the weak side retreat to other places since they can still get support from local people or hide themselves among those people.
6. The weak side becomes stronger and stronger and will win the war in the end.

Basically, people's war does not mean the fighting by massive people. It actually means the strong and decisive support from people.

In the world war II, China's KMT party fought in the frontline against Japanese troops, while the Red Army led by Communist Party fought in the areas KMT army lost and then occupied by Japanese. In 8 years, the Red Army had 125,000 battles against Japanese, killed or wounded 520,000 Japanese soldiers. The area controlled by Red Army expanded to 1 million square killometers (around 1/10 th of all China)with more than 100 million population (around 1/4 the of all China's population). The Red Army itself expanded to more than 1 million. (Source)

Lets back to Iraq. Even US said it invaded Iraq for kicking out Saddam regime. For the Iraq people that's a occupation by the force of outsiders who has different religion. No matter what, American invasion is not welcomed by Iraq majority.
It is now clear to everyone - apart from Donald Rumsfeld and his cronies - that, far from being a rump of Saddamist malcontents, the resistance enjoys broad based support among the Sunnis and increasingly the Shias too. The old truths are alive and well. People do not want to be ruled by an alien power from thousands of miles away whose interests are self-serving. The resistance in Iraq bears all the hallmarks of a people's war for self-determination.
(source)That's why US is till fighting Iraq rebellions after 3 years at cost of almost 2,500 American soldiers and thousands of Iraqi lives. (Source) In fact, there is a people's war in Iraq now.

History is a mirror for today. It would be very difficult for US to win the war if US continues its todays middle east and Iraqi policies. The most important thing US should do is winning support from Iraqi people and Muslim communities. US should call its troops back if it cannot get that precious support.

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