October 22, 2011 Leave a comment
Another conflict brought about by the USA is about to end and the question is have we learned anything from these two engagements?
The first gulf war was about nothing but OIL of that there can be little doubt. This engagement was fought at a monetary cost of $60 billion of which the government of Saudi Arabia paid $36 billion or more than half. Within 100 hours a ceasefire was declared as the ill-equiped Iraq was no match for the aerial bombardment and ground forces mounted against them. It was a short lived conflict which occurred between August 2, 1990 and February 2, 1991.
Iraq had reasons economic and historical in regards to Kuwait as Kuwait was Iraqi territory prior to British Colonialism. They also had issues with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait who had helped to fund the Iraq war with Iran. You wonder how Saddam Hussein got some of those so-called weapons of mass destruction? The USA in seeing that Iraq was winning the conflict with Iran had begun to covertly supply Saddam Hussein in the early 1980’s as they wished to be on the winning side of this engagement
As with much of the Middle East and large chunks of Europe after World War I and II the superpowers America, Britain and Russia had arbitrarily carved up new nations and reduced others drastically. These little chess games of the superpowers have created many of the ongoing and past wars since with the oil rich Middle East suffering the most.
Britain which desperately tried to hold on to what little control it had the oil revenues being at the top of their list did not make matters any better. This little game of playing with the lives of other countries did not end in this arena until 1963. Still having governments accept new lines in their peoples nations does not mean that there will not be trouble later. As the British had attempted to strangle Iraq so that they could not compete with their oil and British dominance did not exactly make the Iraqi people trustworthy of outside occupiers.
So on August 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait and within 48 hours they had succeeded in taking the country which was once theirs prior to British Colonialism.
From the beginning the USA called for unilateral withdrawal by the Iraqi army disregarding the Arab League and it’s neighbors. Mostly this was all politically driven with some economics only important to the US thrown in.
As a foot note: This was also the time during which the USA had begun to amass on Saudi Arabian soil with airbases and troops. This would begin the birth of a new threat in coming years. Osama Bin Laden did not take kindly to American Imperialism as well as others.
Iraq made a number of proposals to the USA during this period one of which talked about Banning WMD’s in all of the Middle East. Of course the USA totally disregarded out of hand any negotiations. Even if these agreements or negotiations would benefit the entire world not just the USA. Again the US staunchly held it’s position towards Iraq leave Kuwait and then we might talk, that is when you have no leverage Saddam.
So even after multiple countries had proposed various agreements the British, USA and the Soviets had condemned them out of hand. As is shown again this first war was about nothing but OIL. Famine, drought and death in other countries was of little importance OIL ruled the day now as it did then.
There were also those False Pentagon satellite photos which showed a massive force of Iraqi military and tanks which were used to strengthen the call to arms, however again these proved to be lies. A newspaper publication acquired photos of the same time which showed nothing but an empty desert.
President George H Bush said, ““Within three days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then that I decided to act to check that aggression.”
Of course Kuwait got involved hiring a public relations firm in the USA to call for an armed intervention and many millions of dollars were spent on that angle.
There were also the concerns of Saddam’s use of WMD he had been at war with Iran for around 10 years during which the US had supplied him albeit covertly with weapons. So they would have probably had a good idea what they had sold him now wouldn’t they?
There was the meeting with the US Congress set up by the public relations firm with a group of Iraqis’ to push even harder for US intervention, was this by chance or carefully orchestrated propaganda to help sell a war to the American people as would be done in the future.
However it was latter found out that the most damming testimony given was nothing but a Lie the woman who gave the testimony was not even living in Kuwait at the time and was also a member of the Kuwait Royal Family. The American public had been duped again by their own government of course this was not to be a new phenomenon.
Of course this did not stop George H Bush from repeating these lies to the American public via Television, why would the American public not believe him.
The aerial bombardment began on January 17th 1991 with over 100,000 sorties and 88,500 tons of bombs. This of course destroyed much of Saddam’s military however it also destroyed leagues more of civilian Infrastructure all in the name of OIL. Most of these sorties originated from Saudi Arabia as US airbases which would become permanent in the ensuing years hosted them.
Iraq had declared with no ambiguity that if attacked it would commence SCUD missile attacks against Israel and of course it did. However the Israeli’s did not counterattack at the request of the USA. If they had this would have thrown a wrench in the works as other Arab nations would not have any part as being perceived as fighting along with the Israeli’s. For forty years the Israeli’s had a policy of retaliation yet that never occurred during this conflict only showing that the USA’s control of Israel during this period.
The ground battle during this first conflict were wholeheartedly in favor of the coalition another argument that the Pentagon’s intelligence photos were false there was little if any resistance.
On February 1991 the Iraqi’s were retreating en-mass as this had been guaranteed by the coalition that if retreating they would not be attacked. However contrary to the agreement the retreating Iraqi’s were obliterated on the, “Highway of Death”. While during the conflict the coalition had encountered little resistance and few causalities.
The war or engagement was over hostilities had ceased and the generals met the Iraqi’s and Kurds had been told to overthrow Saddam Hussein and to this end they were trying. An Iraqi General requested that they be allowed to use helicopters as much of their infrastructure had been destroyed. He went further and asked for Armed helicopters which amazingly was approved by a US General. The Iraqi’s then turned those Armed helicopters against their own people who were attempting to overthrow Saddam yet no help came.
In 1992 Dick Cheney made this quote;
I would guess if we had gone in there, we would still have forces in Baghdad today. We’d be running the country. We would not have been able to get everybody out and bring everybody home. And the final point that I think needs to be made is this question of casualties. I don’t think you could have done all of that without significant additional U.S. casualties, and while everybody was tremendously impressed with the low cost of the (1991) conflict, for the 146 Americans who were killed in action and for their families, it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question in my mind is, how many additional American casualties is Saddam (Hussein) worth? And the answer is, not that damned many. So, I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the President made the decision that we’d achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq.
Yet Millions of Kurds fled Iraq and over 400,000 were expelled and an untold number of deaths occurred. Even as radio broadcasts implored them to revolt against Saddam Hussein and overthrow the government via CIA run radio stations outside of the conflict. Where were we then where will we be the next time?
Did we enter this first Iraq engagement with false intelligence, Yes
Did our President make false statements to the American public, Yes
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.