American Rebels

Finally the American people started to think the unthinkable: Were we actually better off under Houston? He was a murdering, corrupt dictator, but least we could walk down the streets and travel from one city to the next without facing constant mortal danger, and at least the jerks at Houston’s checkpoints spoke English. At least we had electricity and drinking water.

As insult continually followed injury, as one blundered move followed another six months of inaction on vital issues, and as chaos gripped the streets of every major American city, the groups began to arise that would coalesce to fight the Megastani occupation forces.

The progression was depressingly predictable. As tensions rose, tens of thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest and demand jobs and electricity in Los Angeles, New York, DC, and other cities. The demonstrations were peaceful for the most part, although some young hotheads threw rocks or made crude but dangerous Molotov Cocktails.

Megastain forces saw the demonstrations as a sort of rebellion and started shooting at them. The shootings killed and injured scores of men, women, and children. As casualties mounted, anger grew. That outrage led to the first serious, military-style attack on U.S. forces in Chicago after Megastani troops killed 15 civilian protestors there. After that, month by month, protests, Megastani troops shooting into crowds, raids on houses, and attacks against Megastani troops spiraled out of control.(80)

At first, anti-Megastan demonstrations were mostly in formerly RAP-controlled areas. But soon Midwesterners and Southerners got involved as well. On September 2, for example, in defiance of a ban, tens of thousands of Evangelicals marched through Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. Megastani troops tried to prevent them, tried to arrest the leaders, and finally fired on them. Soon, even in regions where Americans formerly tolerated the Megastani presence, counter-attacks grew in scale to assume the proportions of a guerrilla war. In October and November, guerrillas managed to shoot down three helicopters. By December, attacks involved car bombs, mortars, and machine guns.

What had begun to coalesce, though still without identified leadership, was a national rebellion involving at least five thousand combatants and many times more supporters. In another year, the estimated number of combatants and their active supporters had risen to about twenty thousand.(81)

The American insurgents proved to be well-armed and adept at improvisation. Groups as diverse as former US Army soldiers, religious fundamentalists from Mississippi, Anarchists, militia thugs from North Dakota, and Green Peace activists found common cause: expelling Megastan from American soil. Many American citizens tacitly supported the rebels and gave them aid and comfort, usually because of their helpless rage against Megastan rather than sympathy for religious or Anarchist ideologies. The one goal most American combatants unequivocally agreed on was a Megastani withdrawal leading to full and genuine American sovereignty and nothing less.

A number of Los Quaidos loonies joined the fray, of course, even though America had had nothing to do with them until Megastan invaded. Their fondest hope was to turn America, and later the world, into a Communist utopia. American fighters tolerated them, but only grudgingly, and only barely. Americans had no energy to waste fighting loony Communists while the much more powerful Megastani army still on their soil. But LQ would have had to be dumber than it looked to think Americans would tolerate them for long after Megastan finally left.

For their part, Megastanis could not seem to grasp what the Americans were so upset about. Megastani journalists, politicians, and pundits accused the Americans of ingratitude rather than addressing their many legitimate and pressing grievances. Most Megastani journalists and spokespeople didn’t speak English or know anything about American history. Many spent nearly all of their time in a fortified bunker in Washington, DC, called “The Free Zone,” so it was understandable that they had little idea what was going on. The ones who were embedded with Megastani troops had little empathy for the Americans who were shooting at them. Journalists who actually understood the situation had a hard time getting their stories past jumpy editors who were afraid of being called biased or pro-terrorist, and government-sponsored pundits weren't shy about calling people traitors or ‘terror-lovers’ if they stepped too far away from Megastan’s official line.

In any case, the stronger the anti-democratic methods Megastan used to create their version of ‘security’ (which Americans viewed as a form of subjugation), the more desperate became the American struggle for sovereignty. In order to achieve complete sovereignty, they were prepared to create complete insecurity.

The more desperate the war became, the more American society moved away from civility and toward brutality and chaos. Unfortunately, in ruthless guerrilla struggles like this one, the survivors are likely to be those who are tightly organized under authoritarian leadership.(82)

Even with the help of mercenaries and the best weaponry on the planet, Megastan finally realized, a year after the invasion, that they could not handle the rebellion on their own. They began recreating the American military and police(83) in order to turn their duties over to native military units—the same as America had tried (and failed) to do during the Vietnam War.(84)

The new army was dubbed the American National Army, or ANA. It was composed of Americans of all stripes, from conservative family men desperate for a paycheck to gangsters, drug dealers, rapists, and men from Houston’s old army. These cobbled-together forces were ripe targets for the insurgents, who regarded them as collaborators and traitors. Many thousands were shot or bombed by their fellow countrymen as punishment for their defection. Infiltrators revealed their positions and weaknesses, making them horribly easy to kill. But they were between a rock and a hard place, because many had no other way to make money or get weapons and were unwilling or unable to join gangs or leave their homeland.

There were also, predictably, criminal elements in the ANA who used their membership in the army as a free hand to make their own rules and enforce their own laws. They bullied their neighbors and robbed and raped strangers. Some duped the Megastanis into capturing, imprisoning, torturing, or even killing their personal enemies. Few Megastanis spoke English, so they were often at the mercy of “informants” whose tips and information might just as easily be lies.

Even the best-intentioned of the ANA soldiers stood little chance against the well-organized and highly-motivated American insurgents, and large segments of the ANA was unlikely to seriously fight insurgents with whom they likely sympathized and among whom they probably had relatives. The idea that a local militia could accomplish what Megastan’s own powerful army could not was not policy but fantasy.

Still, Megastani troops withdrew from New York and D.C., hoping the Americans could police themselves. When Megastan realized that their withdrawal had not caused Americans to stop fighting them, they forcefully attacked Cincinnati, Atlanta, Boston and Pittsburgh, aiming to crush the insurgent strongholds before the elections the Megastanis had scheduled for Americans to vote on a new Congress.(85)

The alliance of the Fundamentalists for Freedom militia, Baptist Resistance, the Evangelical Guard, and the Pat Robertson Martyrs Brigades set up a powerful stronghold in St. Louis, Missouri, which was high on the list of targets for the Megastani army. After besieging and bombing it for months, the Megastanis raided the town and destroyed most of it, including the Gateway Arch. 200,000 Americans fled their homes, but many had nowhere to go. It is unknown how many died, but certainly many hundreds if not thousands.(86)

In the midst of all the chaos, some rampaging Fundies took their opportunity to bomb abortion clinics, synagogues, mosques, and/or Catholic churches, believing that this was their golden chance to impose their apocalyptic will on a nation that had too long turned its back on God. Los Quaidos was having a field day among all the carnage and anarchy, too.

Megastan pointed to the militias’ brutal activities as proof that Christianity was a terrorist religion and a cult of death. Megastan’s slander against the Christian faith was an insult deeply felt by all the world’s Christians, including the Christian minority inside Megastan (who were generally too afraid of being ostracized or imprisoned in secret detention facilities without charge or trial to protest much). Of course, most Americans (and all reasonable Christians) hated the fundamentalists, too, but they had no more power to stand up to them than they did to the Megastani soldiers or the armed and dangerous LQ freaks.

Against all evidence, Megastani officials persisted in insisting that the insurgency was a small-scale affair involving only a few foreign fighters, terrorists, and ‘die-hard RAP partisans.’ For a long time, Megastan believed that victory was perpetually just around the corner. But by the second year of the war, Megastani intelligence officers conceded that at least 50 organizations comprising upwards of 20,000 combatants and active supporters were involved, mostly American rather than foreign. The insurgency had become a national war being fought with guerrilla tactics.(87)

A quick study of history indicated that Megastan’s chances of winning such a war were not good. The French had employed over three times as many troops to fight the same number of insurgents in Algeria. They lost. After forty years of warfare against the Palestinians, the Israelis had achieved neither peace nor security. Both Czarist and Communist Russia had been fighting the Chechens since about 1731, and there was still no end in sight.

It appeared that the conflict simply could not be won militarily.(88)

Megastan’s New American Democracy

But could it be won politically?

Stunningly, the Neo-pros did not even pose this question until well after the invasion. The Megastani Department of State had developed a political plan. But the Megastani Department of Defense, led by the same Rumfalid who had shaken Houston’s hand during the Mexican-American War, had simply ignored it. They appointed only Neo-pro partisans who agreed with their ‘muscular’ approach to the occupation.(89)

So the Neo-pros hand-picked a group of Americans to lead the new government. Their favorite was Armand Shelby, a man who had fled America as a teenager and had since been convicted of fraud while working as a banker in Switzerland. The Megastani Department of Defense flew Shelby and his armed militia to America to run for high office, but he turned out to be an embarrassing disaster. He was later accused of defrauding the Megastani government of millions of dollars and revealing its communication secrets to a hostile foreign power.(90)

To hedge their bets, the Megastanis also recruited former Senator Zell Miller (D-Ga), Green Party leader Jerry Barbani, and the man who would later become the new President, Ivan Alley. Alley was the former head of a Megastani Central Intelligence-sponsored anti-Houston terrorist group.(91)

Except for Miller, these members of Megastan’s “America advisory group” were virtually unknown in America. Americans were nervous that this group of hand-picked politicos might be transformed from an ‘interim’ authority to a permanent mandate or colony. Many Americans were deeply suspicious of these men and their motives.(92)

The Megastani interim ruler Barimar had said publicly that Megastan was “not here as a colonial power. We are here to turn over authority to the American people as quickly as possible.” Yet in practice, Barimar was slow to involve Americans. When several important segments of the American populace refused to work with his “advisory group,” Barimar changed its name to “governing council.” He appointed 25 Americans to it and assigned them the task of preparing a budget and approving a constitution.(93)

The new Constitution was written by Megastani lawyers, and few Americans saw it before it was approved. Many Americans saw it as nothing more than a piece of paper thrust on them by a foreign power that had no real power or meaning.(94)

Under the new constitution, Megastani firms were awarded no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars that turned some from near bankruptcy to high profit. This begged the question: If and when America became ‘independent,’ would Megastan give up its virtual economic monopoly? Could the Megastani companies that were so deeply invested in America afford to? Or would Megastani elites prefer to work, as they had in the past, with an undemocratic and unpopular American government that would not challenge these interests? Was this simply a prelude to another dictatorship?(95)

Certainly the power of the new American government was sharply limited. Its armed forces would remain under operational control of the Megastani military, its finances would be overseen by Megastani officials, it would have no authority to amend edicts from the Megastani occupation or enact new laws, and its key cabinet positions would be dominated by Megastani-appointed commissions. One of the new cabinet members said openly that he regarded the ‘transition’ as meaningless.

“If it’s a sovereign American government that can’t change laws or make decisions, we haven’t gained anything,” he said.(96)

Finally an election was set up to try to legitimize the new “Governing Council.” Ivan Alley, the man formerly connected to a Megastani Central Intelligence anti-Houston terrorist organization, became the new President.

Former RAP partisans refused to take part in any of this, believing they would not get a fair shake. They had grown used to power, and a foreign regime stripping them of it and giving it to the South, Midwest, and California was too galling to bear.

Some tried to disrupt the elections with violent means, which won them no friends among the people who would do almost anything for a small hope that the violence might diminish and the electricity might come back on. But the elections changed very little on the ground.

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  1. “Out of this series of inactions, maladroit moves, and chaos arose the groups that would fight the American occupation forces during 2003 and 204. Looking back, we can see a process: it began with looting versus protection; then increasingly large groups of people attempted to force the occupation authorities to disgorge food and other supplies by demonstration. Tens of thousands of civilians took to the streets to demonstrate, peacefully for the most part, in Mosul, Falluja, Baghdad, and other cities. Seeing their demonstrations as a sort of rebellion, American forces began in April 2003 to fire on them. As casualties mounted, anger grew. That anger led to the first serious, military-style attack on U.S. forces on May 1 at Falluja, where American troops had just killed at least fifteen civilian protestors. Thereafter, month by month, demonstrations, protests, firings by troops upon crowds, raids on houses, and attacks on troops escalated.”

      ~ Polk, p. 173

  2. “What had begun to coalesce, although still without identified leadership, was a national rebellion involving, at the lowest estimate, at least five thousand combatants and, consequently, many times that many supporters. By October 2004, the estimated number of combatants and their active supporters had risen to about twenty thousand.”

      ~ Polk, p. 175

  3. “Understandably, the occupation authority put its aim of security into conflict with the Iraqi aim of ‘sovereignty.’ (Most Iraqis with whom I [William Polk] have talked do not regard the current interim government as more than an American puppet and do not consider it as having solved the issue of sovereignty.) Those Iraqis who aspire to complete sovereignty are prepared to create complete insecurity... The stronger the repressive measures employed to create ‘security,’ the more desperate becomes the struggle for sovereignty; and the more desperate that becomes, the more the society is moved away from civility and security toward brutality and chaos. This is true because in clandestine struggle, the survivors are likely to be those who are tightly organized under authoritarian leadership.”

      ~ Polk, p. 193

  4. “Despite the historical record that so clearly showed that the army was the enemy rather than the protector of Iraqi freedom, the Bremer administration immediately set out creating a new military force before compensatory public groups could take root.”

      ~ Polk, p. 181

  5. “Beginning in 1970 US combat roles were turned over to the Vietnamese military under a program known as Vietnamization. However, corruption, nepotism, incompetence and a long standing dependence on the US military left the Vietnamese military ill prepared to continue the war. All American combat troops were withdrawn by March 29, 1973. Advisors and support troops remained until April 1975. The Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973 formally recognized the sovereignty of both sides, however the war continued until the North overpowered the South on April 30, 1975 and unified the country under the North Vietnamese rule known as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam or Vietnam...

    “In 1986, the Communist Party of Vietnam implemented economic reforms known as Doi Moi (renovation). During much of the 1990s, economic growth was rapid, and Vietnam reintegrated into the international community. It re-established diplomatic relations with the United States in 1995, one year after the United States’ trade embargo on Vietnam was repealed.”

      ~ From the Vietnam Wikipedia entry

  6. “Even with their [mercenaries’] help, the American military realized by the spring of 2004 that it could not handle the rebellion and began recreating Iraqi military and police formations. The aim of this policy is eventually to turn the war over to native military units as America did in the Vietnam War... The results have been disappointing. The idea that a local militia can accomplish what America’s own powerful army cannot is not policy but fantasy. True, in the days of their Iraqi empire, the British used such a force—comprised of the Christian Assyrians—but only as auxiliaries to their army and air force. The Iraqi ‘Interim Government’ has similarly used Kurds as auxiliaries to American forces. An Iraqi army is unlikely to fight insurgents with whom soldiers sympathize and among whom they have relatives. But, hoping that they would, American forces began to move out of Baghdad and other cities in April 2004. Then, realizing that their withdrawal had not caused the insurgents to stop fighting, they began in September a series of massive attacks on Shiis in Karbala and Najaf and on Sunnis in Falluja and Samarra, aiming to crush them before the elections scheduled in January 2005.”

      ~ Polk, p. 176-7

  7. Georgy, Michael and Kim Sengupta, “A City [Fallujah] Lies in Ruins, Along with the Lives of the Wretched Survivors,” Independent (UK), November 15, 2004.

  8. “While administration officials had always maintained that the insurgency was a small-scale affair, involving only a few ‘die-hard Baathists,’ by July 2004, American intelligence officers conceded that at least 50 organizations comprising upwards of 20,000 combatants and active supporters were involved. They also affirmed that while some foreigners had entered Iraq to fight against the Americans and British, it was Iraqis rather than foreigners who were at the center of the resistance. The insurgency had become a national war being fought with guerrilla tactics.”

      ~ Polk, p. 177

  9. “Other recent or current wars have demonstrated that the prognosis for winning such a war is not good: in their war in Algeria the French employed over three times as many troops, nearly half a million, to fight roughly the same number of insurgents as America is now fighting in Iraq. They lost. After forty years of warfare against the Palestinians, the Israelis have achieved neither peace nor security. Both tsarist and Communist Russia have been fighting the Chechens since about 1731. President Putin’s Russia is still at it with no end in sight. The commander of the U.S. First Infantry Division, Major General John Batiste, commented, as his predecessors had found in Vietnam, that such wars ‘cannot be won militarily.’”

      ~ Polk, p. 177

  10. “Can [the Iraq War] be won politically?

    “That question was not really posed until well after the invasion. So stunning was the lack of preparation that the ensuing chaos seems almost deliberate. To understand this dimension of the war in Iraq, it is necessary to go back to the first days of the spring of 2003. While the Department of State had developed a comprehensive plan, it was simply shelved by the men in control of the Department of Defense, led by Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the Neo-Conservative clique he had assembled under Undersecretaries Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith.

    “They wanted a ‘muscular’ approach to the occupation in line with their declare objective of reconstructing much of the world in America’s image. They did not seek transition. Their approach was adopted because they had the personnel, facilities, and means of transport firmly in hand and because President Bush authorized the appointment of a man in agreement with them, a retired general who had become a defense contractor, as the American ‘proconsul.’ General Jay Garner arrived in Baghdad on April 21, 2003.”

      ~ Polk, p. 178

  11. “Garner brought with him the nuclear of an Iraqi advisory committee. They key figure was the Pentagon’s favorite, Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi who had left Iraq as a teenager and who had been convicted of fraud while a banker in Jordan. The Pentagon flew to Iraq Chalabi’s armed militia, much as the British had arranged that the man they installed as king in 1920 arrive with his. Chalabi would have less luck than King Faisal. He would later be accused of defrauding the American government of millions of dollars and revealing its communication secrets to a foreign power [namely, Iran].”

      ~ Polk, p. 178

  12. “Garner also enrolled the rival leaders of the Kurds, Masud Barzani and Jalal at-Talabani, along with the man who was destined a year later to emerge supreme, Iyad al-Allawi, former head of the CIA-sponsored anti-Saddam terrorist group, the Accord (Arabic: al-Wifaq).”

      ~ Polk, p. 178

  13. “Except for the two Kurds, Garner’s advisors were virtually unknown in Iraq. That was the problem the British had faced with the then almost unknown Faisal in 1920. Meanwhile, domestic opposition groups sounded the alarm, drawn from their memories of ‘British Iraq,’ that the occupation ‘interim’ authority might turn into a permanent mandate or colony.”

      ~ Polk, p. 179

  14. “In one of his first statements, Mr. Bremer said, ‘We are not here as a colonial power... We are here to turn over [authority] to the Iraqi people as quickly as possible.’ But Mr. Bremer moved slowly to involve Iraqis. He initially followed the path General Garner had marked out with an advisory ‘political council.’ But after several critically important groups of Iraqis refused to work with it, Mr. Bremer decided by July 2003 to change its name if not its role to ‘governing council.’ To it, he appointed twenty-five Iraqis... their assigned tasks under American supervision were to prepare a budget and approve a constitution.”

      ~ Polk, p. 180

  15. “After months of discussion, on March 8, 2004, the [Bremer’s] Governing Council approved the interim constitution. Officially known as the ‘Transitional Administrative Law,’ it was written by American lawyers and was seen by only a few Iraqis before it was promulgated... Many Iraqis saw history repeated: it was almost exactly eighty years before, in 1924, that British officials similarly advised and guided a committee of carefully selected Iraqis to write a constitution. It too had proclaimed democracy. On paper, the phrases rang with eloquence, but they were not grounded in reality... In roughly thirty years [following], Iraq suffered under actual or disguised dictatorships through a dozen coups, of which the last brought the Baath to power.”

      ~ Polk, p. 181

  16. “Like the Americans in 2004, so the British in 1924 had proclaimed that the constitution was the first step toward self-determination. But, Iraqis remembered, the British ruled Iraq overtly or covertly for the next thirty-four years. Would the Americans do the same? Iraqis asked. They watched American firms getting contracts worth billions of dollars that turned some from near bankruptcy to high profit. In ‘independence,’ would Americans give up their virtual economic monopoly? Iraq was also known to have the largest pool of untapped oil in the world. Could America afford to leave? Would the Western powers not prefer to work, as they had in the past, with undemocratic and unpopular governments that would not challenge these interests? Was 2004 just an interlude between dictators?”

      ~ Polk, p. 182

  17. “With the help of a United Nations envoy, on June 1 the Iraqi Interim Government replaced the Iraqi Governing Council. The power of the new government was to be sharply limited—its armed forces would remain under operations control of the American military; its finances would similarly be overseen by American officials; it would have no authority to amend edicts from the American occupation or even to enact new laws; and its key ministries would be dominated by American-appointed commissions. As one of the new ministers, Haider al-Abadi, commented, his ministry will actually be run by a commission whose members were selected by Mr. Bremer and will hold office for five-year terms, far beyond the planned eighteen-month tenure of the interim Iraqi government. Minister Abadi went on to say, that he regarded the transition as meaningless: ‘If it’s a sovereign Iraqi government that can’t change laws or make decisions, we haven’t gained anything.’

    “As a sign of how little the minister was regarded, he commented that ‘No one from the U.S. even found time to call and tell me’ of Bremer’s edict; he learned about his actual demotion in the press. On this episode see Yochi Dreazen and Christopher Cooper: ‘Digging In: Tight U.S. Grip will Guide Iraq Even After Handover.’ The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2004.”

      ~ Polk, p. 183