October 23rd 2004

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Articles from this issue:

FEDERAL ELECTION 1: Behind Labor's landslide loss

FEDERAL ELECTION 2: Howard's opportunity, Labor's challenge

FEDERAL ELECTION 3: Kicking the ladders away

PRIMARY INDUSTRY: Subsidised imports threaten pork industry

PORNOGRAPHY: Internet encourages sexual deviancy: SA psychologist

THE MARRYING KIND: Men's attitudes to marriage

US ELECTIONS: Bush still ahead in Presidential race

CHINA: US, Japan concern over China's military build-up

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Your good health / Costly hospitals / Voter discontent in Germany and Switzerland

COMMENT: Why we went to war in Iraq

CLIMATE: Europe to pay Russia over Kyoto Protocol

CINEMA: The Corporation: 'Psychopathic' corporate soul laid bare

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Latest PC news flash - black child-killers absolutely OK

Cigarettes and marijuana (letter)

Lessons for Iraq in the Communist insurgencies (letter)

Contempt for the democratic process (letter)

BOOKS: God: The Interview, by Terry Lane

BOOKS: The Long March, by Roger Kimbal

Books promotion page

Lessons for Iraq in the Communist insurgencies (letter)

by Michael Gleeson

News Weekly, October 23, 2004

In relation to Iraq, the United States should examine the lessons of the insurgencies in South-East Asia in the 1960s.

The Communist victory in South Vietnam was obtained by the use of terror at village level.

During the three years, 1957 to 1959, the number of Government officials, their wives and children murdered by the communists were 200, 1,200 and 2,500.

In 1960, the figure soared to 4,000, and then went on rising, sometimes reaching more than 100 deaths each day.

Once this level of political murder is reached, it is almost impossible to get anyone to publicly oppose the insurgents at village or town level.

A large and well-armed police force, backed up by highly disciplined infantry troops and fast-moving heavy armour, is necessary to allow administrative officials to sleep in safety in the villages and towns.

During the Communist insurgency in Malaya, from 1948 to 1960, the strength of the police forces was raised from 9,000 to 60,000; and crack British troops, such as the Gordon Highlanders, as well as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment, were sent in to assist the police.

An excellent account of the defeat of the insurgency in Malaya in contained in The Long, Long War by Richard Clutterbuck (Cassell).

The lesson for Iraq is that we must expect the insurgency to employ terror as a means of intimidating the population, and to force the withdrawal of Coalition forces.

This challenge can be met through the use of sufficient military force, by attempting to separate the insurgents from their base of support, and through political reform which undermines the legitimacy of the insurgency.

This requires continued support from the people in Australia, America and Great Britain, until the back of the insurgency is broken.

Michael Gleeson,
Warrnambool, Vic

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