Marines forced to call up reserves for Iraq

The Marine Corps announced Aug. 22 that it would begin calling up troops from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) on an involuntary basis. The Marine Corps says the IRR has a pool of 34,000 soldiers, but President George W. Bush’s order limits the call-ups to 2,500 at a time.

This announcement comes a little over a month after Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister of the puppet government in Iraq, addressed the U.S. Congress asking for more money and more troops. At that time, the number of U.S. occupying troops in Iraq was at 127,000. Currently, the number stands at 138,000.

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Many of the people being called back into active duty have already been to Iraq two or three times. The Army says it has called up 5,000 people from the ready reserve and has issued “stop loss” orders for several thousand more. Since the second half of last year, an average of 13,178 soldiers have been in Iraq for an extended amount of time via stop loss.

Since the appearance by al-Maliki, at a time when more and more people are growing tired of this capitalist adventure, the Army has issued a stop loss order for a Stryker Brigade out of Alaska and has called up forward troops from nearby Kuwait. The Army now has 2,200 IRR soldiers in Iraq; over 1,800 are there involuntarily.

According to the Aug. 23 Los Angeles Times, “When its involuntary call-ups began in 2004, the Army encountered problems when some mobilized ready reserve members failed to appear and others were disqualified from service for medical reasons.”

This latest maneuver by the Marines, an outfit that prides itself as an all-volunteer, highly trained force that is “the first to fight,” is a signal that the latest “pacification” of Iraq is failing.

The call up of more soldiers will not be able to stop the resistance. The numerous operations in Baghdad are failing, as they are across the country, and now the puppet Iraqi regime’s army and the U.S. military are both, once again, embroiled in a fight with Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

The Mahdi Army fought U.S. forces to a standstill twice in 2004. Al-Sadr’s party is now a part of the Iraqi puppet government, but the U.S. occupiers still consider him to be an opponent.

The resistance in Iraq has been resilient. Each time someone from either of the capitalist parties in the U.S. makes a statement about the successes of the imperialist war in Iraq, the resistance grows stronger and throws it back in their faces. This has happened even though the Iraqi resistance itself is not united throughout the country.

Contrary to what is being said, the situation in Iraq is becoming more tenuous for the occupiers, and will increasingly become more so. The world has seen how the resistance fighters in Lebanon repelled the Zionist invaders. The Arab world is emboldened and this will show in Iraq.

The only way to keep more young men and women, whether Iraqis or the soldiers sent to fight them, from being destroyed because of the greed of a few is for the people in the U.S. to step up their demands for an immediate end to the war.


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