For full chapter see here
The Gulf Warby Jim Huck
- Kuwait: The Corporate State
- Bush Goes to War
- Hussein's Reasons for Invading Kuwait
- The Truth of the Gulf War
- The Gulf War Syndrome
- Bush's New World Order
- Works Cited
Since its inception in the mid-1700s, Kuwait has operated as a multi-national corporate and despotic state. The Sabahs hold hundreds of billions of dollars in investments in the United States. In 1971 it was calculated that the Sabah family controlled over 90 percent of the nation's wealth abroad. These investments were controlled by 18 families. In 1990 Kuwaiti foreign investments totaled $41 billion and earned an annual interest of approximately $20 million. The royal family owns a large chunk of the banking firms of Citicorp, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan, and Chase Manhattan. The Sabahs also own stock in General Electric, Texaco, IBM, and several defense contractor firms. They own approximately $50 billion in U.S. bonds and Treasury bills which could be liquidated at any time, and would have a major adverse impact on the American economy.
A 1982 Congressional bill would have made it public knowledge to divulge the amounts of investments in the United States by foreigners. It was vetoed by Reagan presumably since it could have created national fervor over the large investments by foreigners in the United States.
The Sabah family owns Santa Fe International, an American corporation. The entire firm was purchased in 1981. The board of directors include: Gerald Ford; Brett Scowcraft, Ford's Chief of Staff and Bush's National Security adviser; and Carla Smith, wife of Ford's HUD director and currently on the Federal Trade Commission. Santa Fe International has 275 oil and gas leases on 2,000 acres of government land in the United States. Their total 1989 revenues were $450 million. George Shultz worked as a member of four cabinets and helped to open relations with the People's Republic of China. He was on the board of directors of Boeing and is a CEO of Bechtel. In 1989 Kuwait was the eleventh largest foreign investor in the United States.
The Sabahs investments in corporations, where they owned over 10 percent of the stock, includes:
- Santa Fe International (oil exploration) - 100 percent - $2.5 billion
- Georgetown Industries (conglomerate) - 92 percent - $850 million
- Galleria Dallas and Houston (hotels, malls) - 30-70 percent - $500 million
- Phoenician Resort (hotel) - 49 percent - $200 million
- Atlanta Hilton (hotel) - 100 percent - $185 million
- Great Western Resources (oil) - 29.8 percent - $100 million
It is estimated that Kuwaiti investments in the United States totaled:
- 1980 - $ 335,000,000
- 1981 - 2,994,000,000
- 1982 - 3,567,000,000
- 1983 - 3,606,000,000
- 1984 - 4,333,000,000
- 1985 - 3,968,000,000
- 1986 - 3,771,000,000
- 1987 - 3,919,000,000
- 1988 - 3,852,000,000
- 1989 - 4,197,000,000
The issues of democracy or human rights in Kuwait have always been ignored. The Sabah family has never allowed free elections except for its elite parliament. Those elections were suspended in the 1980s. According to Amnesty International, its human rights records were as bad as that of Iraq and Syria.
While the United States assumed tremendous losses from the Iraqis, American corporations profited from sales to Kuwait. In 1989 United States companies sold Kuwait $975 million in goods and services, $933 million of which was oil related.
In order to lessen its dependence on Soviet arms, Iraq tried to diversify its sources of armaments by turning to Western Europe and even to the United States. Perhaps a broader reason for the redirection of Iraq's foreign policy was Hussein's perception of the Middle East situation after the downfall of the Shah of Iran and Egypt's isolation in the Arab world which followed the Camp David accords and the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty.
After the overthrow of the Shah, Hussein hoped to fill the power vacuum and to assume Arab leadership. Since the creation of the Israeli state in 1948, that leadership had been exercised by Egypt until Camp David, by Iran until 1979, and by Syria. Iraq's credentials for Arab leadership were quite impressive: a rich oil-producing country with a solid industrial and agricultural base, a literate population, a well-equipped army and a pan-Arab ideology.
First, Hussein sought to link together the Arab world in this post-colonial era and to make Islam a common bond among the Arab countries. As charismatic leader of the Arab world, he hoped to replace Assad or Mubarak in the struggle for pan-Arabism. Hussein sought to control Middle Eastern resources in an area where 6 percent of the people control 50 percent of the wealth.
Second, no border settlement had ever been reached between Iraq and Kuwait. Iraq's southern border with Kuwait dates back to an agreement with Turkey in 1913 which was never ratified. Kuwait was the administrative subdistrict of the Iraqi province of Basra. Iraq was declared independent in 1932 and came under the control of the Hashemite family who also ruled Jordan. In 1961, Kuwait was given its independence. Iraqi troops invaded but left soon after British troops returned in 1961. Again in 1973, Iraqi troops crossed into Kuwait but again withdrew after occupying a Kuwaiti fort for a short time. Much of the disputed area included the Neutral Zone which consisted of 2,000 square miles was negotiated in 1969. Both nations agreed not to lay claim to this oil-rich area.
Third, Iraq had claims to Kuwaiti oil during the Iran-Iraq War. Iraq spent $150 billion and close to one million lives were lost. During the 1980-88 war, Kuwait had increased its oil production by one million barrels per day in violation of OPEC. Kuwait robbed Iraq of part of this pool of oil, thus depressing the price of oil by increased production.
Fourth, Kuwait drilled laterally into the Rumaila oilfield of which 90 percent is located within Iraqi territory. Prior to the invasion Kuwait had extracted approximately ten million barrels of oil from Rumaila. This was 0.5 percent of its total production of 2 million barrels per day and amounted to approximately $2.4 billion during the eight year war.
Fifth, Kuwait violated OPEC quotas. At the Baghdad summit on May 30, 1990, Iraq claimed that the Gulf countries in early 1990 produced more than the OPEC limits as agreed upon. Oil prices dropped as much as $7 per barrel, although the OPEC countries agreed upon $18 per barrel. Hussein claimed that each one dollar drop in a barrel amounted to a loss of $1 billion per year.
Sixth, Iraq sought access to the Persian Gulf. In 1973, Iraq pressed Kuwait to lease the uninhabited islands of Warba and Bubiyan. Iraq had only 15 miles of shoreline which it was unable to use because of marshy land. In addition, a northeast Kuwaiti Gulf estuary fell 10 miles short of Basra. Even Kuwait had subsidized the digging of a deep water port for Iraq.
Seventh, Kuwait claimed that it had floated a "loan" of $17 billion to Iraq in the eight year Iran-Iraq War. Hussein believed that in this process he had protected Kuwait from an Iranian invasion. In 1988, he proposed to meet with Kuwaitis. When they refused to negotiate, Hussein attempted to bring in Saudi Arabia as a mediator but negotiations collapsed.
Eighth, Kuwait refused to negotiate with Iraq On three occasions in the latter part of the Iran-Iraq War, Jordan's King Hussein attempted to resolve the oil dispute and $17 billion loan. Each time it failed. King Hussein was finally told: "It is in Iraq's interest to have this as part of their national debt." King Hussein then flew to Kuwait to ask the Sabahs to soften their position toward Iraq, but this mission ended in a failure. In May 1990 Saddam Hussein not only asked for the forgiveness of the $17 billion loan but for an additional $30 billion from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. At the July 1990 meeting, Kuwaiti foreign minister Sabah began making sarcastic remarks about the 100,000 Iraqis who were lined up at the Kuwaiti border. At the next day's meeting, the Kuwaitis offered Iraqi vice-president Ibrahim $500,000. Neither the border dispute nor the disputed oil field issue was discussed.
Saddam Hussein had ample cause to purchase military weapons. In 1980, war broke out with Iran. In this period of eight years he looked to the United States which was an ardent supporter of his in his bid to unseat Iran as the power broker in the Middle East. Hundreds of villages were destroyed and one million lives were lost. The White House could not have been more pleased in supplying Iraq with a variety of weapons.
The primary cause of the Iran-Iraq War revolved around Shatt-al-Arab which separated the two countries. In 1937, a treaty between Iraq and Iran gave Iraq full control of the Shatt. Then in 1969, Iran declared these 1937 provisions void and sent naval craft up the Shatt to restate its claims. All naval craft along the Shatt-al-Arab flew the Iraqi flag with navigation fees paid to Iraq. In 1975, Iraq abandoned its claims to the center of the waterway as part of the Algiers Agreement on March 6. In return for this shared sovereignty, the Shah terminated Iranian aid to the Kurdish rebels in the north. A few days before the 1980 war, Iraq abrogated this treaty, claiming full sovereignty. There were claims that Iraq violated the Algiers Agreement 187 times, with border skirmishes between 1975 and 1980.
The second cause of the Iran-Iraq War centered around three Persian Gulf islands which both countries claimed. Since 1971 Iran had occupied three uninhabited islands, two of which were Greater and Lesser Tunb. During the war, Hussein used chemical weapons in the Iraqi city of Halabja in Kurdistan province. 5,000 civilians were killed, and 200,000 total casualties were incurred.
Beginning in 1984, United Nations teams investigated and determine that mustard and nerve gases were used. However, no sanctions were brought against Iraq.
As early as the 1982, Iraq became one of the biggest buyers of American rice and wheat, purchasing $5.5 billion in crops and livestock with federally guaranteed loans, subsidies, and hard currency. Iraq also received $270 million in credit to purchase other American goods, despite the fact that it was defaulting on loans. By the end of the decade, over 40 percent of Iraq's food was imported from the United States, and the Hussein government received one billion in loan assurances.
The United States also sold military equipment and technology to Iraq, as well as to other countries which passed them on to the Hussein regime. This series of illegal actions, carried out by the Reagan-Bush administration, became known as Iraqgate. In addition, the State Department provided Iraq with intelligence reports in its eight-year war with Iran. In 1986, Bush acted as an intermediary when he sent strategic military advice to Hussein during a critical point of the Iran-Iraq War. According to White House officials, he used Egyptian President Mubarak to relay the information to Baghdad.
When an Iraqi Exorcet missile inadvertently killed 38 Americans on the USS Stark, the White House immediately blamed Iran, not Iraq, for the tragedy. The State Department was also aware of Iraq's use of chemical weapons. In addition, the White House knew of Iraq's ties to Palestinian extremist terrorists. One such terrorist was Abul Abbas who was accused of hijacking the Achille Lauro in 1986 and then killing an American passenger. Another terrorist activity linked to Iraq involved the 1986 of a TWA plane in Athens where four Americans were killed.
Nevertheless, the United States continued to aid the Hussein regime. The Commerce Department granted licenses for the export of military trucks to Iraq, but the military reference was deleted when the information was provided to Congress. The United States sold civilian helicopters to Hussein, but they were transferred to the military in violation of promises.
The Reagan and Bush administrations secretly allowed Saudi Arabia to provide American-made weapons to the Iraqi regime over a period of nearly ten years. 18 American corporations provided Hussein with military hardware. According to the General Accounting Office in 1986 the United States sold an undisclosed number of TOW anti-tank missiles. In return, the Saudis then sold 1,500 bombs to Iraq. These included 300 MK-84 2,000 pound bombs. This was a direct violation of the Arms Export Control Act which prohibited the transfer of American weapons to other nations without written approval from Washington.
Billions of dollars in fraudulent loans were made by the Atlanta branch of an Italian bank to help provide Iraq with weapons for the Gulf War. As much as $5.5 billion in loans were ignored by the American government. Italian Bank (Banca Nazionale del Lavoro) in Atlanta illegally sent these funds to Iraq for the purchase of military weapons. In October 1989, FBI agents raided the Atlanta bank and found evidence of over $5 billion in loans guaranteed by the Agricultural department through its Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to promote American farm exports. Investigators found that food was being replaced for weapons. Even Bush admitted that American materials had been sold to Iraq for commercial purposes and then illegally switched for military uses.
Shortly after the Iran-Iraq War ended in 1988, Vice-president Bush met several times with Iraqi officials to continue to play up to Hussein's government. Bush sought to influence the Exchange-Import Bank to provide loans to Iraq. On March 23, 1989, Secretary of State Baker stated, "As part of its approach to the United States, Iraq has in the last year given favorable deals to United States oil companies; oil exports to the United States have soared to around 500,000 barrels per day." In another statement the same day, Baker met with Iraqi diplomat Nizar Hamdoon and was told that Iraq was harboring Palestinian terrorists and that the Hussein regime was "working hard at chemical and biological weapons and new missiles."
In the summer of 1989, the attitude of the United States towards Iraq began to take on a different form. In June the Defense Intelligence Agency warned high level administration officials in the White House that "Iraq had developed a major European procurement network in defense industries." On September 3, Secretary of State Baker issued a top secret warning to Bush. He stated that Iraq was procuring nuclear weapons technology to "counter perceived military threats from Israel and Iran." Baker's report included such items as sophisticated computers and X-ray machines."
The next day, the CIA issued a report that Iraq was serious in its bid to build nuclear weapons. Despite these repeated warnings about Iraq's arms build-up, Bush pushed forward with his own agenda to provide more weapons and credits to Iraq. Despite these warnings to Bush by American intelligence groups, just two days later Bush granted Iraq $1 billion in agricultural credits.
On September 2, Bush issued National Security Directive 26. This stated that "the United States government should propose economic and political incentives for Iraq to moderate its behavior and to increase our influence with Iraq." Among the incentives for expanded trade with Iraq included non-lethal military assistance. Bush insisted that he never "knowingly" helped Hussein develop nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. However, both Baker and National Security adviser Brent Scowcraft admitted that they had seen several memorandums which warned the administration of Hussein's bid to proliferate its military arsenal. Nevertheless, NSD 26 was Bush's official stamp of approval on his Iraq policy. Four days later, Baker met with Foreign Minister Aziz and, according to the minutes, informed him that the White House would not restrict the sale of high technology equipment to Iraq.
The State Department disclosed that between 1986 and 1989, 73 transactions took place with Iraq. Items included bacteria cultures, advanced computers, and equipment to repair jet engines and rockets. Even after the Gulf War erupted, American corporations illegally sold technology to Iraq. For example, Delft Instruments in New York sold night-vision equipment to both Iraq and Jordan four months after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in December 1991. It was disclosed in 1989 that XYZ Options, an Alabama firm which manufactured carbide tools, was part of Iraq's nuclear capability market. They furnished valves for nuclear weapons. In addition a $40 million brass-casting factory and a $26 million ductile-pipe plant sold materials to Iraq.
Bush attempted to use the CIA to squelch an investigation of Iraqgate in the House of Representatives by Congressman Henry Gonzalez of Texas. In a series of speeches, Gonzalez documented how American policy helped Iraq develop weapons of mass destruction before the Gulf War. Gonzalez believed Bush was using the CIA to taint the Iraqgate investigation. Bush asked the CIA to investigate Gonzalez for revealing allegedly secret intelligence information which it claimed harmed American national security interests.
The House Judiciary Committee, after several hearings, considered the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate Iraqgate. However, the investigation merely revolved around the fact that the Commerce Department allegedly altered information on 66 export licenses for Iraq which were turned over to congressional investigators. The export licenses were simply changed from "Vehicles designed for military use" to "Commercial utility cargo trucks." The House Judiciary Committee ultimately agreed that it was too "vague" to justify an independent counsel. As a result, no further investigations into Iraqgate were conducted.
Middle East oil was originally controlled by France and Britain as a result of the Red Line agreement in 1928. After World War II, the United States emerged as a superpower, and its guiding policy revolved around Middle East oil: "Oil should be under the control of the United States, its allies, and its oil corporations, while the intervention of any foreign country should not be tolerated." And Kuwait had oil.
On July 25, just one week prior to the American deployment of troops to Kuwait, the American ambassador, April Glaspie, was summoned to meet Hussein in Baghdad. When Hussein asked her about the America's position on the unsettled Iraq-Kuwait border dispute, she replied that it was an "Arab-to-Arab problem." Glaspie told Hussein that Bush desired friendship with Iraq and hoped that the dispute with Kuwait could be settled peacefully. On the same day Secretary of State James Baker stated, "While we take no position on the border delineation issue raised by Iraq with respect to Kuwait . . . Iraqi statements suggest an intention to resolve outstanding disagreements by the use of force, an approach which is contrary to United Nations Charter principles." Three days later Bush himself conveyed the same sentiment in a message to Hussein.
Nearly a year later in March 1991, Glaspie stated that the Iraqi transcripts of the meeting did not accurately reflect her warning that the United States would not tolerate an Iraqi invasion. Did the State department refuse to publicly release a summary of the July 1990 meeting, since diplomatic confidentiality could not have been a reason after Hussein entered Kuwait? Additionally, did the State department not bother to deny the validity of Iraq's transcripts of the Hussein-Glaspie meeting when the American ambassador denied that the border dispute was an issue? Other top level administration leaders also stated that the United States had no interest in the border dispute. These statements were made by White House spokesperson Margaret Tutwider at a press conference; by Undersecretary of State John Kelly; and by Senator Robert Dole when he visited Baghdad on April 12, 1990.
The Arab League was split over the condemnation of Iraq. On August 10, 1990, 12 of the 21 dissented and did not vote against Hussein. Those who did not vote stated that they opposed the presence of the United States in the Middle East and that they supported Hussein's desire to link the Gulf crisis to the Palestinian question. Furthermore, they supported Hussein's grievances and opposed Kuwait's insensitivity. In addition, the majority of Arab League nations opposed the socio-economic disparity between the wealthy and the poor in Kuwaiti society.
In September 1990, Bush invited the Soviet Union to provide land troops as part of multi-national forces in Saudi Arabia. Then in October the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution providing for a land trade embargo. The vote was 13-0 with Yemen and Cuba abstaining. The United States and Saudis agreed that there would be joint control of a ground invasion of Kuwait and Iraq and that the American military would command the air strikes. With China and Cuba abstaining, the Security Council voted 12-2 to condone a military invasion after January 15, 1991.
However, Bush flip-flopped on the issue of economic sanctions, presumably because he was predetermined to go to war no matter how successful they may have been.
- On August 10 Bush stated: "I'd love to see economic sanctions to be so successful that the (American) forces could be withdrawn."
- Five days later he stated: "Sanctions are working."
- On September 11, Bush said: "Sanctions will take time to have their full intended effect."
- Bush reversed himself on December 3: "There is no guarantee that sanctions will force him out of Kuwait."
- The next day he said: "I've not been one who is convinced that sanctions alone will bring him to his senses."
- And the following day Bush stated: "Nobody can tell you that sanctions alone will ever be able to get him to withdraw."
Bush not only refused to consider or to even acknowledge Hussein's claims to Kuwait, but he stated that Iraq showed no interest in a negotiated settlement. This was a lie since the total reverse was true. It was Bush who refused to negotiate with Hussein and who demanded an unconditional surrender of Iraq. Bush gave several reasons for the American invasion of Iraq.
One was to insure human rights in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Middle East. Yet, other Arab neighbors were just as guilty. For example, the Saudis stoned to death women on charges of adultery. In Kuwait itself democratic councils were frequently scrapped and dissident officials imprisoned.
Bush maintained that another reason for the American invasion was to uphold the United Nations commitment to defend member states against aggression. Yet both Syria and Israel invaded Lebanon and never returned territory; Turkey took half of Cyprus; Morocco waged war against Western Sahara; and Indonesia annexed East Timor at a cost of nearly a million lives.
After helping Iraq build its war machine, Bush decided to deploy troops to Kuwait in August 1990. Bush gave a wide variety of reasons for sending Americans to Kuwait. He claimed that troops were sent to free American hostages held in Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait. In addition, Bush stated that America's mission was to liberate Kuwait, but nothing was said about its deplorable human rights record.
Bush also stated that the United States was preventing Iraq from monopolizing "all the world's great oil reserves." Yet it is impossible for any single producer to control the oil market, let alone the 13-member OPEC. Bush also claimed that Iraq was posing a nuclear threat. Yet he denied any responsibility in Iraqgate, failing to mention that the United States helped to build up Hussein's war machine.
In November 1990, Baker stated that intervention would safeguard American jobs at home. Yet this was the first time that the Republican administration showed concerned for the nation's work force, particularly at the expense of massacring thousands of Middle Easterners.
Then Bush over committed himself by making a January 15 ultimatum, preventing any room for negotiating or maneuvering for a peaceful settlement. He lost all bargaining power by making this unilateral demand instead of exploring peace.
At the onset of the war, Bush stated that the goal was to remove Iraqi soldiers and to prevent Hussein from using his air force as well as chemical weapons against rebel forces. Again Bush vacillated on his justification for the war and chose to land American troops in northern Iraq to give support to the Kurds.
Bush continued to deny that oil was the reason for American intervention. Numerous times he stated that troops were deployed because the United States would not tolerate "naked aggressiveness" and that Hussein was "another Hitler." Yet Bush warned that the world could not allow Hussein to control oil. Bush also spoke of restoring stability to the Middle East. However, he did not mention the fact that Kuwait was a despotic corporate state. Presumably Bush hoped to restore the Middle East to the pre-1979 Shah era, when the United States could control the key nations with its CIA payments and military hardware.
The American military was to block an Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia. Yet nothing was said about an American invasion of Iraq. Hussein did not have the industrial capacity to launch an offensive because of both Israel and Saudi Arabia's military superiority, as well as Iraq's failure to defeat Iran. Bush remained silent on Syria which was Hussein's primary enemy. The Hussein-Feud over control of the Ba'athist Party and the issue of pan-Arabism since Saddam gained power were paramount issues. Syria's Assad built a powerful military machine which was far superior to that of the Iraqis. Finally, neighboring Iran continued to menace Hussein since the termination of their eight-year war.
As a result of Bush's decision to go to war, the American government took a loss of over $2 billion in loans, money which Iraq was loaned to purchase American grain. Among the hardest hit were American rice growers who had exported 25 percent of their 1989 harvest to Iraq for $143 million. Before the invasion Iraq was buying $350 million worth of wheat, corn, barley, and soybeans from American farmers. In addition, Japan took a loss of $5 billion in unpaid Iraqi bills.
Bush Buys a Coalition. To gather support for the American invasion, Bush bought the support of several Middle Eastern nations:
The Gulf War ended seven months of Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, and the emir immediately rebuilt his lavish palace and restored everything which was destroyed or damaged by the Iraqis. He promised democratic reforms which included an elected parliament. This assembly was last abolished by the crown in 1985. The opposition was awarded 35 token seats in the house. However, they were not given positions in the cabinet which overseas foreign, domestic, and financial affairs. Still only males, who could trace their ancestry back to 1920, were allowed to vote. After the Gulf War, thousands of Palestinians were imprisoned or exiled, and the remaining ones still did not have suffrage rights. Thus, this limited the electorate to a mere 81,500 men.
The exodus of tens of thousands of Palestinians created a vacuum in Kuwait's financial sector, education system, and power plants and communications systems. All these segments relied on the pre-war population of approximately 280,000 highly skilled Palestinians.
From the very beginning of the liberation of Kuwait, major human rights violations were documented. Initially the State Department denied that the newly restored regime violated human rights. On March 8, spokesperson Richard Boucher stated, "There are reports of people getting a hard time at checkpoints. We do not have information on beatings and killings." Then on the following day American ambassador Edward Gnehm was asked about human rights abuses. He replied, "We have not had nearly the difficulties that people anticipated." On April 18, Amnesty International reported that hundreds of residents were being arbitrarily arrested, "many brutally tortured by Kuwaiti armed forces and members of 'resistance' groups." The reply from the State Department was that "the situation by most accounts in Kuwait is very much improved over what existed some weeks ago."
On April 22, Secretary of State Baker directly acknowledged violations when he said, "The Crown Prince made clear that there were human rights abuses following the early days of liberation." In May State Department spokesperson Margaret Tutwiler stated that the Kuwaiti embassy had urged the emir "to have open trials; they were open. We also urged that the defendants have a right to counsel; they did." However, she ignored the facts that the lawyers did not meet with their defendants, did not read any of the prosecution's evidence, and did not cross-examine witnesses. Only later did the State Department softly concede that the United States "was concerned by allegations that due process may not have been fully served." Kuwait chopped its pre-war population of 2.3 million people, citizens as well as non-citizens, in half. The Bush administration adroitly controlled the media during the Gulf War. All visual and audio recordings of personnel in agony or severe shock were not authorized by the White House. Any imagery of patients suffering from severe disfiguration or undergoing plastic surgery treatments was not authorized. Interviews with or imagery of patients undergoing psychiatric treatment were forbidden. All interviews with military personnel were censored. The Pentagon set up 80 media pools for the dissemination of military briefings. No media personnel were allowed to travel independently, as they were taken to different areas by the American military.
Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark helped establish the Commission of Inquiry for an International War Crimes Tribunal. Its purpose was to determine whether war crimes had been committed by the United States. At the final judgment in New York City, 22 judges from 18 nations concluded that the United States and leading government officials were guilty on all 19 charges.
Bush himself was charged with 19 war crimes, including the breaking of laws of the Hague, the Geneva Conventions, and the Nuremberg Charter. The commission also found him guilty of violating the United States Constitution and the United Nations Charter.
88,000 tons were dropped by 1,760 American and allied warplanes. Iraq's nuclear, biological, and weapons programs were not destroyed by precision bombing, as Pentagon briefings stated. After the war only minimal damage to these facilities was observed.
Nearly one-third of the civilian fatalities were a direct result of allied bombing missions which could have been avoided had the allies adhered to international standards. International law required that all possible precautions be taken to avoid civilian harm. A series of attacks occurred on Iraqi targets in commercial areas in the middle of the day when civilians were present. In addition, the attack on Baghdad's air raid shelter violated the legal requirement that a warning be given before attacking civilian structures. This resulted in the death of 200 to 300 civilians.
The White House deliberately overestimated the number of Iraqi soldiers as a pretext to rally the American public behind the war effort. Americans were told that the Iraqis amassed a massive army of 500,000 soldiers. However, the House Armed Services Committee determined that the true count was as low as 183,000. The committee also reported that the 42 Iraqi divisions assigned to southern Iraq were severely undermanned. In addition, the committee's 89-page study affirmed that there were serious deficiencies such as late and inaccurate battlefield intelligence and poor communications which led to "friendly fire" casualties.
Nearly 170,000 Iraqi children died as a result of the devastation to the country's infrastructure. The United States military destroyed much of Iraq's power, water, and sewage installations, and thus created an invitation for such diseases as cholera.
In the spring of 1991, Bill Moyers reported on Frontline that government sources released information that 70 percent of American bombs missed their targets and that only 7 percent of those dropped were smart bombs. This disputed the daily reports released by Pentagon generals and colonels. Throughout the war they continually reported on the success of the bombing missions, that only military Iraqi targets were almost always being hit, and that very little damage was done to the infrastructure of the country.
Americans daily flew sorties northward across the Iraq desert in what became known as the "Highway of Death." Even though the government denied that "turkey shoots" occurred, one Army analyst stated that "as many as 25,000 Iraqis were killed" in their convoys as they retreated back to Baghdad.
The Pentagon acknowledged that the new Patriot missile was not as unerringly successful against Iraqi Scuds as first claimed. Two former Israeli officials, Moshe Arens and General Dan Shomron, stated that the Patriot was a dud. On February 11, 1991, Arens told Bush that the Patriots were "intercepting only about 20 per cent of incoming Scuds." Yet four days later Bush reiterated the near perfect success of the Patriot.
In July 1996, the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congress' investigatory arm, declassified a 250 page analysis on weapons used in the Gulf War. The GAO acknowledged that the accuracy of most of the weapons used in the Gulf War were"overstated, misleading, inconsistent with the best available data or unverifiable." The GAO stated that the performance of the F-117 stealth fighter, cruise missiles, and laser-guided bombs were grossly overrated and that they functioned effectively in optimal conditions. The GAO reported that infrared, electro-optical and laser systems, which were used for guiding weapons to their targets, were all "seriously degraded" by rain, clouds, smoke, fog, and humidity.
Just prior to the deployment of troops to Kuwait, the media were full of reports of atrocities carried out by the Iraqis. In December 1990, it was reported that "300 premature babies were reported to have died after Iraqi soldiers removed them from incubators, which were then looted." An unnamed Kuwaiti doctor at Maternity Hospital in al-Sabah Medical Complex stated that 312 babies died when they were taken from their incubators and that he personally buried 72 of them in al-Rigga cemetery. Immediately after the Gulf War, "60 Minutes" broadcast a segment on this issue, and a teenager corroborated the story.
However, it soon became evident that these allegations were fabricated. Soon after the 60 Minutes program aired, the girl was identified as the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, and she subsequently recanted her statement. In addition, one of New York City's largest maternity hospitals is Columbian Presbyterian; it has only 36 incubators. Kuwaiti doctors and nurses in exile stated that about 20 babies were in Maternity Hospital. The highest estimate by Kuwaiti officials was 80 incubators.
During Iraq's occupation of Kuwait, The Middle East Watch estimated that between 500 and 700 Kuwaitis were killed by Iraqi soldiers. The official report of the Kuwaiti government was that 2,000 were killed.
After numerous veterans of the Gulf War complained of a wide variety of diseases, the Pentagon spent $10 million on a 50 page study of 10,000 veterans of Desert Storm in 1995. While the Pentagon placed the number at 10,000 veterans, between 80,000 and 90,000 believe that they are suffering from Gulf War disease. The Pentagon concluded that there was no evidence of any "Gulf War disease." Then in December 1996, the Presidential Advisory Committee reported that the Pentagon had not acted credibly.
Tens of thousands of Gulf War veterans have complained of fatigue, joint pain, headaches, sleep disorders, depression, and other ailments. The Committee of the Institute of Medicine studied the Pentagon's findings and concluded, "If indeed there were a new, unique Persian Gulf related illness that could cause serious disability in a high proportion of veterans at risk, it would probably be detected in a population of 10,020 patients." The report continued by stating that it was "likely that at least a few. . . patients have developed illnesses that are directly related to the Persian Gulf service."
Some estimates are that as many as 65 percent of Gulf War veterans suffer physically and/or psychologically. At least ten babies, children of Gulf War veterans, died of heart defects, liver cancer, and one had no spleen.
Military personnel may have contacted infectious diseases which were rare outside the Middle East, and psychological stress may have enhanced any physical and mental illnesses. First, the Pentagon failed to identify any of these illnesses. Second, this was not only a serious omission in their report, but the Pentagon only addressed the possible exposure to chemical and biological agents and not psychological factors. Third, the Pentagon study did not clarify comparisons made between personnel who had served in the Gulf War and those who were not in the Middle East. Finally, no health studies were conducted on other populations. With so many flaws in the Pentagon's report, President Clinton created an advisory panel in August 1995. Its goal was to study the results of the committee's findings.
Despite denials by the Pentagon, researchers have focused on the elements of a toxic "chemical soup" in the war zone. This includes insecticides, pesticides, various preventative medicines given experimentally to American soldiers, and the smoke from the burning oilfields in Iraq and Kuwait. Researchers also speculate that the Gulf War syndrome may be due to low levels of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents which were used during the war. According to a wide variety of sources, including Marine battlefield chronologies, widespread exposure to CBW agents occurred when American planes bombed Iraqi chemical facilities and also during direct attacks by the Iraqis.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Gulf veterans in Georgia, the Pentagon released 11 pages of previously classified nuclear, biological, and chemical incidents which covered only seven days of the war. These were documented by General Norman Scwartzkopf and revealed chemical injuries to American troops, the discovery of Iraqi chemical munitions dumps, fallout from American bombings on Iraqi chemical facilities, and chemical attacks on Saudi Arabia. One Marine Corps report confirmed the use of anthrax around King Khalid City in Saudi Arabia. Another report stated that Marine vehicles detected and identified the chemical nerve agent lewicite. Additionally, Army General Ronald Blanck, as well as VA doctors who treated veterans in the United States, strongly supported contentions that CBW agents were used in the Gulf War.
The cover-up was compounded by evidence which indicated that the military has harassed and mistreated veterans who claimed that they had been exposed to CBW agents. Additionally, some military records were "conveniently" lost or destroyed through incompetence or by design. Two months after declassified documents were about to be released, the military admitted destroying some logs. Two marines located at Camp Pendleton, California admitted to seeing hundreds of medical records from the Gulf War burned. Yet the Pentagon continued to deny that Gulf syndrome exists.
At first glance it seems strange that the United States would downplay CBW exposure, especially if this could be blamed on Iraq. Yet by admitting that chemical and biological weapons were used in the Gulf War, the Pentagon would be conceding that it is unable to protect its troops. In addition, this would prove very embarrassing to the government, since it directly and indirectly helped Saddam Hussein build up his war machine which included technology to manufacture CBW agents.
Finally, in the spring of 1997 -- six years after the Gulf War -- it was acknowledged that the CIA had knowledge that an Iraqi arsenal, containing chemical agents, had been destroyed by the United States. However, that information was never passed on to the Pentagon.
The "New World Order" is a global system of economic interdependence, interlocking throughout the world. It determines who gets what raw materials, who will control them when, and by what means. If a country does not cooperate, it may suffer effects such as when popularly elected presidents, who are frequently labeled as communists, have been overthrown in CIA orchestrated coups. These popularly elected presidents were then directly or indirectly replaced by right wing despots by the United States and designated as "democratically-elected" presidents.
Bush partially succeeded in seeking his "New World Order" in the Middle East. The United States weakened Iraq, so as to eliminate it as a significant competitor for the control of the Persian Gulf. He was able to make Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates permanently dependent upon American military power for their external and internal security. He hoped to force every local power, including Israel, to consult with the United States when making any significant military, political, or economic changes. Furthermore, he continued to deter any other power from challenging American hegemony over Middle East oil, even though smaller terrorist groups from time to time continue to ignore the perennial presence of the United States in that area.
Arms sales to the Middle East soared, as did corporate profits, after the Gulf War. One year after the war, the United States sold $8.5 billion in arms in that region, excluding sales to Israel and Egypt. As an example, American corporations sold Saudi Arabia 72 advanced F-15 fighters for $5 billion. Yet in the five year period, from 1985 to 1989, total arms sales to that entire area was a total of only $15.4 billion. Of that amount, $6.1 billion was to Israel, $5 billion to Saudi Arabia, and $2.9 billion to Egypt. Just before and after the Gulf War, between August 1990 and December 1991, Saudi Arabia received an unprecedented $14.8 billion in American arms.