Donald Rumsfeld continued his bloody onslaught on civilian enclaves this weekend by laying siege to the Iraqi city of Sadah. Most of the 2,000 desperately poor residents of the town have already been evacuated, leaving the city vulnerable to the vast and predictable devastation that always accompanies these unprovoked attacks. Judging by the appalling results we 've seen in Qaim, Falluja and Tal Afar, we can expect that water lines, electrical power and sewage will be laid to waist as a form of collective punishment against the townspeople. The ultimate purpose of the assault is to break the back of the Sunni-dominated resistance by demolishing the "sea in which they swim "; in this case the entire Sunni heartland. In the process, the military is trying to erase whatever vestiges of Iraqi culture still exist in the cities. By sweeping away the landmarks and icons of national identity, the Pentagon hopes to assert the values of the dominant culture by force. This is the main thrust of a plan to remake Iraqi society into a "free market " economy.
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