Saturday, January 22, 2011

LOFTUS, but 1st: Bush defends Gulf War Massacre as ‘moral;’ -- insisted on War

Twenty years after, Bush defends Gulf War as 'moral;' Record indicates
Bush insisted on War and rejected peace

January 21, 2011

Newly released files confirm Saddam Hussein tried to broker a
last-minute peace deal in 1991 , blocked by President Bush who feared
negotiations might defuse the Iraq-Kuwait crisis and prevent the Gulf

Investigative reporter Robert Parry adds further details. The
[peace] offer, relayed via Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Nizar
Hamdoon, reached Washington on August 9 [1990]. According to a
confidential Congressional summary, it represented the views of Saddam
Hussein and other Iraqi leaders. On August 10, the proposal was
brought to the National Security Council, which rejected it as
"already moving against policy," according to the retired Army officer
who arranged the meeting. Former CIA chief Richard Helms attempted to
carry the initiative further, but got nowhere.

Former President George H.W. Bush's recent comments seem more an
exercise in comedy attempting to sanitize history than a reflection of
an honest statesman.

From NBC News and news services

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Former President George H.W. Bush defended
the decision to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in the first Gulf
War on Thursday and said his own adviser's criticism of his son's
policies and invasion of Iraq in 2003 didn't bother him.

Bush said disagreements on policies "go with the territory" as president.

Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser under the
elder Bush, maintained in the run-up to the invasion that it wasn't
clear that Hussein was part of the global terrorism network.

"You can't worry about that," Bush told NBC News anchor Brian Williams
in a roundtable discussion on the 20th anniversary of the start of the
war. "You can't worry about the differences. They're bound to happen,
bound to take place."

Former President George H.W. Bush, Scowcroft and and other key members
of his foreign policy team gathered at Texas A&M University before an
expected audience of several thousand people, including Gulf War
veterans, to discuss the conflict, which started Jan. 17, 1991.

Asked about the selling of the war, and the opinions of some that it
was about protecting oil supplies, Bush told NBC News it was a moral

Morality of war

"I think (economics) was vitally important, but I don't think that was
the whole message by a longshot," Bush said. "It was the immorality of
a big country — with the fourth-largest army in the world — taking
over a member state of the U.N., just brutally taking it over."

James Baker, secretary of state under Bush, said it was "appropriate
to use all the arguments" in favor of the war. "We were doing the
right thing," he said.


The Bush-Rockefeller-Dulles-Harriman Nazi scandal by John Loftus
Federal Prosecutor

This is a must-read, something you will never be able to read in your
historical books something you must teach yourself to your children so
that they could learn about the true cause of wars so that when they
become adult, they won't be so gullible about their political leaders
when they would ask them to go to war for supposedly patriotic or
humanistic reasons. Politicians and Dictators have always been
working, willingly or manipulated to work for the interest of the
World Bankers who finance the weapons merchants.

Extract from "Former Federal Prosecutor John Loftus confirms the
Bush-Nazi scandal" published on October 31. 2003

"These long buried US government files demonstrate that the Bush
family stayed on the corporate boards of Nazi front groups even after
they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that they were helping the
financial cause of the Third Reich. It was all about the money. Nazi
Germany is where the Bush family fortune came from, and where the
Harrimans, and the Rockefellers increased their fortunes to obscene

Of course some of them were quite rich to begin with. The Harriman
railroad monopoly helped create the Rockefeller oil monopoly in the
1800's. Their despicable price fixing schemes earned them the press
label "the Robber Barons." My favorite Republican Teddy Roosevelt
ruined their rapacious profits with his anti-monopoly and anti-trust

The Robber Barons bribed Congress (it happens) into passing a
loophole, the Web-Pomerene Act of 1918 which legalized cartels and
monopolies outside the borders of the United States. This loophole law
let the Robber Barons loose to prey on a helpless world already
ravaged by the human and and financial cost of WWI.

Averil Harriman (patriarch of the famous Democratic family) promptly
broke another American law by secretly financing the Bolsheviks while
American, British and White Russian troops were still fighting against
the infant communist revolution. (The FBI "ARCOS" files on Harriman's
connections with the Soviets are quite a read). Harriman bribed Lenin
into letting him take over the Czar's cartels, which exported
managanese, iron ore and other raw materials. Harriman shipped the
Russian raw materials to his German partners, the Thyssens, who had
been secretly bought out by the Rockefellers.

The Rockefeller's lawyers, the Dulles Brothers, had deliberately and
systematically bankrupted the German economy with the Versaille
Treaty. German currency was almost worthless after WWI, and so the
Dulles brother's favorite clients, the Rockefellers, were able to buy
the stock of nearly every German company for a song. The great sucking
sound that preceeded the Great Depression was the whistling of Wall
Street money out of America into Germany, Russia (and as a side deal,
Saudi Arabia). Two generations later, we are still paying for it.

The Robber Barons did not call it an international crime. They called
it synergy. Harriman's Soviet cartels would deliver the raw materials,
Rockfeller's high-tech German companies (the Thyssens) would process
the manganese into steel for Harriman's railroads. To save
transportation costs, the Robber Barons looked for a middle ground in
eastern Poland for a future factory site. It had to be in the coal
fields of Silesia, on the banks of the Vistula river, where a canal
could be dug to ship materials in cheaply from Russia. The Polish town
was named Oswieczim, later known to the world by its German name:

It was not a killing factory then, although slave labor was always
contemplated for the maximum profit factor. Auschwitz was designed to
process Silesian coal into tar additives necessary for Russian
aviation fuel. It was a high tech German chemical factory built to
balance out Harriman's Russian-to-Germany export trade.

Nazi Nexus: America's Corporate Connections to Hitler's Holocaust

The Rockefeller-Harriman front company that financed Auschwitz was
called Brown Brothers Harriman. It is still around today. Our
President's great granfather, Herbert Walker, founded the company, and
appointed his impecunious son-in-law Prescott Bush to the boards of
several holding companies, all of which became Nazi fronts. The
Walkers and Bushes never really liked the Nazis, anymore than Harriman
liked the communists. To the robber barons, they were just dogs on a
leash. One day the dogs broke their chains, and Hitler and Stalin got
loose. Fifty million people died as a result of a bad investment.

The Robber Barons saw it coming. Their lawyers, the Dulles brothers,
had a contingency plan. They had established three banks, one in
Germany, one in Holland, and one in New York (the Union Banking
Corporation, headed by the ever-useful son-in-law Prescott Bush). No
matter who won World war II, the corporate stocks would be shifted
around to whichever bank was in a neutral country when the war was

After WW II, the Dulles brothers' shell game deceived a gullible and
war-weary world. The "neutral" Dutch bank reclaimed their German
assetts as "stolen" by the Nazis, and the whole merry fraud continued.
Prescott Bush got his Union Bank back from the US Government in 1951,
despite its seizure in 1942 as a Nazi front. Prescott Bush and
father-in-law Walker were paid two shares worth about $1.5 million in
1951 dollars. It was a petty payoff for a job well done.

Nearly 4,000 shares (98% of the Union Bank holdings) were held by
Roland Harriman in trust for the Rockefellers. That's about three
billion in 1951 dollars, more than 30 billion dollars in todays money.
Most of it was reinvested in post-war Germany where they made even
more obscene profits. After all, Germany was just as cash starved
after World War II as they were after World War I. It was just another
cycle in the Robber Baron's spreadsheet. Everyone made money off the
Holocaust, except of course the Jews and the Allied soldiers.

A few decades later things had quited down and all the Nazi money
finally came home to Wall Street. By 1972, one of Rockfeller's
assetts, the Chase Manhattan bank in New York, secretly owned 38% of
the Thyssen company, according to internal Thyssen records in my
custody. Not a bad payoff for the Robber Barons. The Auschwitz
investment paid off handsomely. The Thyssen-Krupp corporation is now
the wealthiest conglomerate in Europe. WWII is over. The Germans won.

Also in the 1970's, Brown Brothers Harriman, perhaps coincidentally,
convinced the ever pliant New York State Banking Commision to issue a
regulation permitting them to shred all their records for the Nazi
period. The Robber Barons, unlike the Swiss bankers, knew how to cover
their tracks.

There were, of course, exceptions. Von Kouewenhoven, director of the
Dutch Bank, discovered the secret Thyssen-Nazi connection after the
war, and foolishly went to New York to warn his old friend Prescott
Bush. His body was found two weeks later. It was reported with a
straight face that he died of a heart attack."

==== end of intermission ===

Bush said there was never a thought of extending the war by going into
Baghdad after Hussein, and no one in leadership advocated it.

"We had an objective. The objective was to kick this guy out of Kuwait
and we did it. And we formed a coalition to help conceive that. It
didn't enter my mind that we should do more."

Colin Powell, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
under the elder Bush and secretary of state under George W. Bush, said
the attacks on 9-11 "fundamentally changed the calculus by which you
measure Saddam Hussein and what capabilities he might have."

"From my perspective I looked at Saddam Hussein differently after 9-11
and before 9-11," reiterated Dick Cheney, defense secretary during
Gulf War I and vice president during Gulf War II. "I was bound and
determined as was the president for whom I worked, that that was never
going to happen again on our watch."

New documents detailing conversations former Iraqi leader Saddam
Hussein had with members of his inner circle as the ground assault
began on Feb. 24, 1991, were released Thursday by the National Defense
University in Washington.

Hussein called Bush 'enemy of God'
The transcripts released for the 20th anniversary show Hussein tried
to broker a last minute peace deal with the help of former Soviet
leader Mikhail Gorbachev but at the same time remaining defiant,
calling the coalition forces "treacherous and cowardly" and describing
Bush as "the enemy of God and humanity."

Along with Bush, the reunion included former Vice President Dan
Quayle, then-Defense Secretary Cheney, former Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman Powell, former Secretary of State Baker and then-National
Security Advisor Scowcroft.

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the coalition forces, will not
be there for health reasons.

The war was prompted by Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, its
small, oil-rich neighbor. The Kuwaiti dignitaries expected at the
event Thursday include the emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber

The United States Security Council warned Iraq that if it didn't
withdraw its troops from Kuwait by Jan. 15, 1991, a U.S.-led coalition
would be authorized to drive them out. The Gulf War, also known as
Operation Desert Storm, began two days later with air attacks against
Iraqi targets.

The ground assault that started about a month later lasted only 100
hours. Kuwait was liberated and Iraqi troops were driven back to their
home country. Of the more than 540,000 Americans deployed at the peak
of the fighting, 148 were killed and 467 were wounded.
The documents released Thursday showed that as coalition troops began
their ground assault, Hussein was exchanging letters with Gorbachev,
asking the former Soviet leader to help broker a peace agreement.
Gorbachev had apparently been able to get Iraq to agree to withdraw
its troops from Kuwait within 21 days.

Appeal to Gorbachev
"Even though we will keep our promise, Mr. President, we do know that
the Americans, especially their president, have no honor and we do not
trust them; therefore, we are working only with your peace proposal,"
Hussein wrote to Gorbachev.

Gorbachev replied that Bush had not agreed to the proposal, having
been upset by Iraq's burning of oil fields in Kuwait. Gorbachev urged
Hussein to write to Bush directly and promise to withdraw his troops
not in 21 days, but in nine or 10.

By that point, however, the ground attack had begun. The documents
show Hussein's frustration at Gorbachev.

Bush said this week he has no regrets about his administration's
handling of the war, including the decision to pull out American
forces and leave Hussein in power.

The Iraqi leader was ousted in 2003 during the Iraq war, which started
under Bush's son, former President George W. Bush. After being
convicted of crimes against humanity, Hussein was hanged in December

Texas A&M is about 100 miles northwest of Houston and home to Bush's
presidential library


"What We Say Goes": The Middle East in the New World Order
Noam Chomsky
Z Magazine, May, 1991
With the Gulf war officially over, broader questions come to the fore:
What are the likely contours of the New World Order, specifically, for
the Middle East? What do we learn about the victors, whose power is at
least temporarily enhanced?

A standard response is that we live in "an era full of promise," "one
of those rare transforming moments in history" (James Baker). The
United States "has a new credibility," the President announced, and
dictators and tyrants everywhere know "that what we say goes." George
Bush is "at the height of his powers" and "has made very clear that he
wants to breathe light into that hypothetical creature, the Middle
East peace process" (Anthony Lewis). So things are looking up.1

Others see a different picture. A Catholic weekly in Rome, close to
the Vatican, writes that Bush is the "surly master of the world," who
deserves "the Nobel War Prize" for ignoring opportunities for peace in
the Gulf. Bush "had the very concrete possibility of a just peace and
he chose war." He "didn't give a damn" about the many peace appeals of
Pope John Paul II and proposals of others, never veering from his
objective of a murderous war (Il Sabato).

The Times of India described Bush's curt dismissal of Iraq's February
15 offer to withdraw from Kuwait as a "horrible mistake," which showed
that the West sought a "regional Yalta where the powerful nations
agree among themselves to a share of Arab spoils.... [The West's]
conduct throughout this one month has revealed the seamiest sides of
Western civilisation: its unrestricted appetite for dominance, its
morbid fascination for hi-tech military might, its insensitivity to
`alien' cultures, its appalling jingoism...." A leading Third World
monthly condemned "The most cowardly war ever fought on this planet."
The foreign editor of Brazil's major daily wrote that "What is being
practiced in the Gulf is pure barbarism -- ironically, committed in
the name of civilization. Bush is as responsible as Saddam.... Both,
with their inflexibility, consider only the cold logic of geopolitical
interests [and] show an absolute scorn for human life." The "Business
Magazine of the Developing World" predicts that the Arab states will
"in effect...become vassal states," losing such control as they once
had over their resources (South, London).2

All of this was before the glorious "turkey shoot" in the desert and
the "euphoria" and unconcealed bloodlust it evoked until the news
managers thought better of the project and suddenly called it off.

Outside the West, such perceptions are common. One experienced British
journalist observes that "Despite the claims by President Bush that
Desert Storm is supported by `the whole world', there can be little
doubt about which side has won the contest for the hearts and minds of
the masses of the Third World; it is not the US" (Geoffrey Jansen).
Commenting on the world's "moral unease" as the air war began, John
Lloyd noted in the London Financial Times that the US and Britain are
a "tiny minority in the world" in their war policy. South concludes
that the French, Italians and Turks joined the US-British war only "to
secure a slice of the pie in the form of lucrative reconstruction and
defence contracts in a post-war Gulf or in the form of aid and credits
or both." Reports from the Third World, including most of the
neighboring countries, indicated substantial, often overwhelming,
popular opposition to the US-UK war, barely controlled by the
US-backed tyrannies. The Iraqi democratic opposition publicly opposed
the war, and even the most pro-American Iraqi exiles condemned the
"wanton quality of the violence" in Bush's "dirty and excessively
destructive war" (Samir al-Khalil).3

Before evaluating such conflicting perceptions, we have to settle a
methodological question. There are two ways to proceed. One is to rely
on the rhetoric of power: George Bush has "made it clear" that he is
going to "breathe light" into the problems of suffering humanity; that
settles the matter. Perhaps there are some blemishes on our record,
but we have undergone another of those miraculous changes of course
that occur at convenient moments, so we need not trouble ourselves
with the documentary record, the events of past and present history,
and their institutional roots. That is the easy way, and the path to
respectability and privilege. Another approach, lacking these
advantages, is to consider the facts. Not surprisingly, these
approaches commonly yield quite different conclusions.
"The Surly Master of the World"

Adopting the second approach, we face some obvious questions. Consider
the President's proud boast that dictators and tyrants know "that what
we say goes." It is beyond dispute that the US has no problem with
dictators and tyrants if they serve US interests, and will attack and
destroy committed democrats if they depart from their service
function. The correct reading of Bush's words, then, is: "What we say
goes," whoever you may be.

Continuing on this course, we find no grounds to expect George Bush to
"breathe light" into the Middle East peace process, or any other
problem. In fact, why is the peace process a "hypothetical creature"?
Though inexpressible in polite company, the answer is not obscure: the
US has kept it that way. Washington has barred the way to a diplomatic
settlement of the Arab-Israel conflict since February 1971
(coincidentally, just as George Bush appeared on the national scene as
UN Ambassador), when Kissinger backed Israel's rejection of Egyptian
President Sadat's proposal for a peace settlement in terms virtually
identical to official US policy, without even a gesture towards the
Palestinians. The US has regularly rejected other peace proposals,
vetoed Security Council resolutions, and voted against General
Assembly resolutions calling for a political settlement. In December
1990, the General Assembly voted 144-2 (US and Israel) to call an
international conference. A year before, the Assembly voted 151-3 (US,
Israel, Dominica) for a settlement incorporating the wording of UN
Resolution 242, along with "the right to self-determination" for the
Palestinians.4 The NATO allies, the USSR, the Arab states, and the
nonaligned countries have been united for years in seeking a political
settlement along these lines, but the US will not permit it, so the
peace process remains "hypothetical."

In part for similar reasons, reduction of armaments has been a
"hypothetical creature." In April 1990, Bush flatly rejected a
proposal from his friend Saddam Hussein to eliminate weapons of mass
destruction from the Middle East. One way to direct petrodollars to
the US economy has been to encourage arms sales. Currently, Bush is
proposing to sell $18 billion worth of arms to his Middle East allies,
with the Export-Import Bank underwriting purchases, at below-market
rates if necessary, a hidden tax to benefit major sectors of industry.
Military victories by the US and its Israeli client have long been
used as an export-promotion device. Corporations may hire showrooms to
display their goods; the government hires the Sinai and Iraqi

There are no plausible grounds for optimistic expectations now that
the great power that has kept the peace process "hypothetical" and has
helped keep the region armed to the teeth is in an even stronger
position than before to tell the world that "what we say goes."

The Administration has in fact taken pains to present itself as "surly
master of the world." As the ground campaign opened, New York Times
correspondent Maureen Dowd quoted a leaked section of a National
Security Policy Review from the first months of the Bush presidency,
dealing with "third world threats." It reads: "In cases where the U.S.
confronts much weaker enemies, our challenge will be not simply to
defeat them, but to defeat them decisively and rapidly." Any other
outcome would be "embarrassing" and might "undercut political

"Much weaker enemies" pose only one threat to the United States: the
threat of independence, always intolerable. For many years, it was
possible to disguise the war against Third World nationalism with Cold
War illusions, but that game is over and the real story is bright and
clear: the primary target has always been Third World independence,
called "radical nationalism" or "ultranationalism" in the internal
planning record, a "virus" that must be eradicated.

The Times report makes no reference to peaceful means. That too is
standard. As understood on all sides, in its confrontations with Third
World threats, the US is "politically weak"; its demands will not gain
public support, so diplomacy is a dangerous exercise. That is why the
US has so commonly sought to keep diplomatic processes "hypothetical"
in the Middle East, Central America, Indochina, and on other issues,
and why it has regularly undermined the United Nations. Furthermore,
political support at home is understood to be very thin. Naturally,
one does not want to confront enemies that can fight back, but even
much weaker enemies must be destroyed quickly, given the weakness of
the domestic base and the lessons that are to be taught.

These lessons are directed to several audiences. For the Third World,
the message is simple: Don't raise your heads. A "much weaker"
opponent will not merely be defeated, but pulverized. The central
lesson of World Order is: "What we say goes"; we are the masters, you
shine our shoes, and don't ever forget it. Others too are to
understand that the world is to be ruled by force, the arena in which
the US reigns supreme, though with its domestic decline, others will
have to pay the bills.
The Lessons at Home

There is also a lesson for the domestic audience. They must be
terrorized by images of a menacing force about to overwhelm us --
though in fact "much weaker" and defenseless. The monster can then be
miraculously slain, "decisively and rapidly," while the frightened
population celebrates its deliverance from imminent disaster, praising
the heroism of the Great Leader who has come to the rescue just in the
nick of time.

These techniques, which have familiar precedents, were employed
through the 1980s, for sound reasons. The population was opposed to
the major Reagan policies, largely an extension of Carter plans. It
was therefore necessary to divert attention to ensure that democratic
processes would remain as "hypothetical" as the peace process.
Propaganda campaigns created awesome chimeras: international
terrorists, Sandinistas marching on Texas, narcotraffickers, crazed
Arabs. Even Grenada was portrayed as a mortal threat, with fevered
tales of an air base that would be used to attack the continent, huge
Soviet military stores, and the threat to Caribbean sea lanes. Only a
year ago, Noriega -- a minor thug by international standards -- was
elevated to the status of Genghis Khan as the US prepared to invade
Panama to restore the rule of the 10% white minority and to ensure
that the Canal Treaty, or some remnant of it, will not interfere with
US control over the Canal and the military bases there.
Government-media Agitprop has had some success. The tourism industry
in Europe repeatedly collapsed while Americans cower in terror, afraid
to travel to European cities where they would be 100 times as safe as
they are at home, eliciting much derision in the right-wing European

In the Old World Order, the Soviet threat was skillfully deployed to
mobilize public support for intervention abroad and for subsidies to
high tech industry at home. These basic institutional requirements
remain a policy guide, and they have their consequences. During Bush's
two years in office, real wages continued to decline, falling to the
level of the late 1950s for non-supervisory workers (about 2/3 of the
work force). Three million more children crossed the poverty line.
Over a million people lost their homes. Infant mortality increased
beyond its already scandalous levels. Federal spending dropped for
education and for non-military R&D. Government, corporate and
household debt continued to rise, in part concealed with various
budgetary scams. Financial institutions drowned in red ink, following
the S&Ls, set on their course by the Deregulation Task Force headed by
George Bush. The gap between rich and poor grew to postwar record
levels. Civic services collapsed further while the US took a healthy
lead worldwide in prison population per capita, doubling the figure
during the Reagan-Bush years, with black males now four times as
likely to be in prison as in South Africa. And the "third deficit" of
unmet social and economic needs (repairing infrastructure, etc.) is
calculated at some $130 billion annually, omitting the S&Ls.7

As inspection of its domestic programs makes clear, the Administration
has no intention of addressing such problems; rightly, from its point
of view. Any serious measures would infringe upon the prerogatives of
its constituency. For the executives of a transnational corporation or
other privileged sectors, it is important for the world to be properly
disciplined, for advanced industry to be subsidized, and for the
wealthy to be guaranteed security. It does not matter much if public
education and health deteriorate, the useless population rots in urban
concentrations or prisons, and the basis for a livable society
collapses for the public at large.

For such reasons, it is important to distract the domestic population.
They must join their betters in admiring "the stark and vivid
definition of principle...baked into [George Bush] during his years at
Andover and Yale, that honor and duty compels you to punch the bully
in the face" -- the words of the awe-struck reporter who released the
Policy Review explaining how to deal with "much weaker enemies."8

The principle that you punch the bully in the face -- when you are
sure that he is securely bound and beaten to a pulp -- is a natural
one for advocates of the rule of force. It teaches the right lessons
to the world. And at home, cheap victories deflect the attention of a
frightened population from domestic disasters while the state pursues
its tasks as global enforcer, serving the interests of the wealthy.
Meanwhile, the country continues its march towards a two-tiered
society with striking Third World features.

The same Times reporter goes on to quote the gallant champion himself:
"By God, we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all." The
second national newspaper joined in, applauding the "spiritual and
intellectual" triumph in the Gulf: "Martial values that had fallen
into disrepute were revitalized," and "Presidential authority, under
assault since Vietnam, was strengthened." With barely a gesture
towards the dangers of overexuberance, the ultraliberal Boston Globe
hailed the "victory for the psyche" and the new "sense of nationhood
and projected power" under the leadership of a man who is "one tough
son of a bitch," a man with "the guts to risk all for a cause" and a
"burning sense of duty," who showed "the depth and steely core of his
convictions" and his faith that "we are a select people, with a
righteous mission in this earth," the latest in a line of
"noble-minded missionaries" going back to his hero Teddy Roosevelt --
who was going to "show those Dagos that they will have to behave
decently" and to teach proper lessons to the "wild and ignorant
people" standing in the way of "the dominant world races." Liberal
columnists praised "the magnitude of Bush's triumph" over a much
weaker enemy, dismissing the "uninformed garbage" of those who carp in
dark corners (Thomas Oliphant). The open admiration for fascist values
is a matter of some interest.9

For 20 years, there have been vigorous efforts to "kick the Vietnam
syndrome," defined by Reaganite intellectual Norman Podhoretz as "the
sickly inhibitions against the use of military force." He thought the
disease was cured when we were "standing tall" after our astounding
victory in Grenada. Perhaps that triumph of martial virtues was not
enough, but now, at last, we have kicked these sickly inhibitions, the
President exults. "Bush's leadership has transformed the Vietnam
Syndrome into a Gulf Syndrome, where `Out Now!' is a slogan directed
at aggressors, not at us" (Thomas Oliphant); we were the injured party
in Vietnam, defending ourselves from the Vietnamese aggressors, from
"internal aggression" as Adlai Stevenson explained in 1964. Having
overcome the Vietnam syndrome, we now observe "the worthy and
demanding standard that aggression must be opposed, in exceptional
cases by force," Oliphant continues -- but, somehow, we are not to
march on Jakarta, Tel Aviv, Damascus, Washington, Ankara, and a long
series of other capitals.10

The ground had been well prepared for overcoming this grave malady,
including dedicated labors to ensure that the Vietnam war is properly
understood -- as a "noble cause," not a violent assault against South
Vietnam, then all of Indochina. When the President proclaims that we
will no longer fight with one hand tied behind our backs, respectable
opinion asks only whether we were indeed too restrained in Indochina,
or whether our defense of freedom was always a "lost cause" and a
"mistake." It is "clear," the New York Times reports, that "the lesson
of Vietnam was a sense of the limits of United States power"; in
contrast, the lesson of Afghanistan is not a sense of the limits of
Soviet power. Reviewing the "heroic tale" of a Vietnamese collaborator
with the French colonialists and their American successors, the Times
describes the methods he devised in 1962 to destroy the "political
organization" of the South Vietnamese revolutionaries. The most
successful device was to send "counter-terror teams to track down and
capture or kill recalcitrant Vietcong officials" -- counter-terror
teams, because it was the US and its clients who were assassinating
civilians to undermine an indigenous political organization that far
surpassed anything the US could construct, as fully conceded.11

So effectively has history been rewritten that an informed journalist
at the left-liberal extreme can report that "the US military's
distrust of cease-fires seems to stem from the Vietnam War," when the
Communist enemy -- but not, apparently, the US invaders -- "used the
opportunity [of a bombing pause] to recover and fight on" (Fred
Kaplan). Near the dissident extreme of scholarship, the chairman of
the Center for European Studies at Harvard can inform us that Nixon's
Christmas bombing of Hanoi in 1972 "brought the North Vietnamese back
to the conference table" (Stanley Hoffmann). Such fables, long ago
demolished, are alive and well, as the propaganda system has elegantly
recovered; no real problem among the educated classes, who had rarely
strayed from the Party Line. Americans generally estimate Vietnamese
deaths at about 100,000, a recent academic study reveals. Its authors
ask what conclusions we would draw about the political culture of
Germany if the public estimated Holocaust deaths at 300,000, while
declaring their righteousness. A question we might ponder.12
The Leader and his Teachings

George Bush's career as a "public servant" also has its lessons
concerning the New World Order. He is the one head of state who stands
condemned by the World Court for "the unlawful use of force"; in
direct defiance of the Court, he persisted in the terror and illegal
economic warfare against Nicaragua to prevent a free election in
February 1990, then withheld aid from his chosen government because of
its refusal to drop the World Court suit. Bush dismisses with contempt
the Court's call for reparations for these particular crimes (others
are far beyond reach), while he and his sycophants solemnly demand
reparations from Iraq, confident that respectable opinion will see no
problem here.

Or in the fact that in March 1991, the Administration once again
contested World Court jurisdiction over claims resulting from its
crimes; in this case, Iran's request that the Court order reparations
for the downing of an Iranian civilian airliner in July 1988 by the US
warship Vincennes, part of the naval squadron sent by Reagan and Bush
to support Iraq's aggression. The airbus was shot down in a commercial
corridor off the coast of Iran with 290 people killed -- out of "a
need to prove the viability of Aegis," its high tech missile system,
in the judgment of US Navy commander David Carlson, who "wondered
aloud in disbelief" as he monitored the events from his nearby vessel.
Bush further sharpened our understanding of the sacred Rule of Law in
April 1990, when he conferred the Legion of Merit award upon the
commander of the Vincennes (along with the officer in charge of
anti-air warfare) for "exceptionally meritorious conduct in the
performance of outstanding service" in the Gulf and for the "calm and
professional atmosphere" under his command during the period when the
airliner was shot down. "The tragedy isn't mentioned in the texts of
the citations," AP reported. The media kept a dutiful silence -- at
home, that is. In the less disciplined Third World, the facts were
reported in reviews of US terrorism and "U.S. imperial policy"

Bush opened the post-Cold War era with the murderous invasion of
Panama. Since he became UN Ambassador in 1971, the US is far in the
lead in vetoing Security Council resolutions and blocking the UN
peacekeeping function, followed by Britain -- "our lieutenant (the
fashionable word is partner)," in the words of a senior Kennedy
advisor.14 Bush took part in the Reaganite campaign to undermine the
UN, adding further blows during the Gulf crisis. With threats and
bribery, the US pressured the Security Council to wash its hands of
the crisis, authorizing individual states to proceed as they wished,
including the use of force (UN Resolution 678). The Council thus
seriously violated the UN Charter, which bars any use of force until
the Council determines that peaceful means have been exhausted (which,
transparently, they had not, so no such determination was even
considered), and requires further that the Security Council -- not
George Bush -- will determine what further means may be necessary.
Having once again subverted the UN, the US compelled the Security
Council to violate its rules by refusing repeated requests by members
for meetings to deal with the mounting crisis, rules that the US had
angrily insisted were "mandatory" when it objected to brief delays in
earlier years. In further contempt for the UN, the US bombed Iraqi
nuclear facilities, proudly announcing the triumph shortly after the
General Assembly reaffirmed the long-standing ban against such attacks
and called upon the Security Council "to act immediately" if such a
violation occurs; the vote was 144-1, the US in splendid isolation as
usual (Dec. 4, 1990).15

Bush was called to head the CIA in 1975, just in time to support
near-genocide in East Timor, a policy that continues with critical
US-UK support for General Suharto, whose achievements even dim the
lustre of Saddam Hussein. Meanwhile, exhibiting his refined taste for
international law, Bush looks the other way as his Australian ally
arranges with the Indonesian conqueror to exploit Timorese oil,
rejecting Portugal's protest to the World Court on the grounds that
"There is no binding legal obligation not to recognize acquisition of
territory by force" (Foreign Minister Gareth Evans). Furthermore,
Evans explains, "The world is a pretty unfair place, littered with
examples of acquisition by force..."; and in the same breath,
following the US-UK lead, he bans all official contacts with the PLO
with proper indignation because of its "consistently defending and
associating itself with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait." Recognizing that
the monumental cynicism might disrupt the posturing about
international law and the crime of aggression, the ideological
institutions have protected the public from such undesirable facts,
keeping them in the shadows along with a new Indonesian military
offensive in Timor under the cover of the Gulf crisis, and the
Western-backed Indonesian operations that may wipe out a million
tribal people in Irian Jaya, with thousands of victims of chemical
weapons among the perhaps 300,000 already killed, according to human
rights activists and the few observers.16

The attention of the civilized West is to be focused, laser-like, on
the crimes of the official enemy, not on those we could readily
mitigate or eliminate, without tens of thousands of tons of bombs.

On becoming Vice-President, Bush travelled to Manila to pay his
respects to another fine killer and torturer, Ferdinand Marcos,
praising him as a man "pledged to democracy" who had performed great
"service to freedom," and adding that "we love your adherence to
democratic principle and to the democratic processes." He lent his
talents to the war against the Church and other deviants committed to
"the preferential option for the poor" in Central America, now
littered with tortured and mutilated bodies, perhaps devastated beyond
recovery. In the Middle East, Bush supported Israel's harsh
occupations, its savage invasion of Lebanon, and its refusal to honor
Security Council Resolution 425 calling for its immediate withdrawal
from Lebanon (March 1978, one of several). The plea was renewed by the
government of Lebanon in February 1991,17 ignored as usual while the
US client terrorizes the occupied region and bombs elsewhere at will,
and the rest of Lebanon is taken over by Bush's new friend Hafez
el-Assad, a clone of Saddam Hussein.

Another friend, Turkish president Turgut Ozal, was authorized to
intensify Turkey's repression of Kurds in partial payment for his
services as "a protector of peace," in Bush's words, joining those who
"stand up for civilized values around the world" against Saddam
Hussein. While making some gestures towards his own Kurdish population
and attempting to split them from Iraqi Kurds, Ozal continues to
preside over "the world's worst place to be Kurdish" (Vera Saeedpour,
director of the New York-based program that monitors Kurdish human
rights). Journalists, the Human Rights Association in the Kurdish
regions, and lawyers report that this protector of civilized values
has made use of his new prestige to have his security forces expel
50,000 people from 300 villages, burning homes and possessions so that
the people will not return, and fire on anti-war demonstrators, while
continuing the torture that is standard procedure in all state
security cases. The Frankfurt relief organization Medico International
reported in late January that hundreds of thousands of Kurds were in
flight from cities near the Iraqi frontier, with women, children and
old people trying to survive the cold winter in holes in the ground or
animal sheds while the government bars any help or provisions, the
army is destroying fields with flame throwers, and jet planes are
bombing Kurdish villages. Human Rights Watch reports that in
mid-August, Turkey officially suspended the European Convention on
Human Rights for the Kurdish provinces, eliminating these marginal
protections with no protest from any Western government, while the
army "stepped up the village burnings and deportations." Censorship is
so extreme that the facts remain obscure, and lacking ideological
utility, are of no interest in any event.18

Plainly, we have here a man who can be expected to "breathe light"
into the problems of the Middle East. If we prefer the facts, we may
derive further conclusions about the New World Order.
The Background to the War

Prior to August 2, 1990, the US and its allies found Saddam Hussein an
attractive partner. In 1980, they helped prevent UN reaction to Iraq's
attack on Iran, which they supported throughout. At the time, Iraq was
a Soviet client, but Reagan, Thatcher and Bush recognized Saddam
Hussein as "our kind of guy" and induced him to switch sides. In 1982,
Reagan removed Iraq from the list of states that sponsor terror,
permitting it to receive enormous credits for the purchase of US
exports while the US became a major market for its oil. By 1987, Iraq
praised Washington for its "positive efforts" in the Gulf while
expressing disappointment over Soviet refusal to join the tilt towards
Iraq (Tariq Aziz). US intervention was instrumental in enabling Iraq
to gain the upper hand in the war. Western corporations took an active
role in building up Iraq's military strength, notably its weapons of
mass destruction. Reagan and Bush regularly intervened to block
congressional censure of their friend's atrocious human rights record,
strenuously opposing any actions that might interfere with profits for
US corporations or with Iraq's military build-up.19

Britain was no different. When Saddam was reported to have gassed
thousands of Kurds at Halabja, the White House intervened to block any
serious congressional reaction and not one member of the governing
Conservative Party was willing to join a left-labor condemnation in
Parliament. Both governments now profess outrage over the crime, and
denounce those who did protest for appeasing their former comrade,
while basking in media praise for their high principle.20 It was, of
course, understood that Saddam Hussein was one of the world's most
savage tyrants. But he was "our gangster," joining a club in which he
could find congenial associates. Repeating a familiar formula,
Geoffrey Kemp, head of the Middle East section in the National
Security Council under Reagan, observed that "We weren't really that
naive. We knew that he was an SOB, but he was our SOB."

By mid-July 1990, our SOB was openly moving troops towards Kuwait and
waving a fist at his neighbors. Relations with Washington remained
warm. Bush intervened once again to block congressional efforts to
deny loan guarantees to Iraq. On August 1, while intelligence warned
of the impending invasion, Bush approved the sale of advanced data
transmission equipment to his friendly SOB. In the preceding two
weeks, licenses had been approved for $4.8 million in advanced
technology products, including computers for the Ministry of Industry
and Military Industrialization, for the Saad 16 research center that
was later destroyed by bombing on grounds that it was developing
rockets and poison gas, and for another plant that was repeatedly
bombed as a chemical weapons factory. The State Department indicated
to Saddam that it had no serious objection to his rectifying border
disputes with Kuwait, or intimidating other oil producers to raise the
oil price to $25 a barrel or more. For reasons that remain
unexplained, Kuwait's response to Iraqi pressures and initiatives was
defiant and contemptuous.21

The available evidence can be read in various ways. The most
conservative (and, in my view, most plausible) reading is that Saddam
misunderstood the signals as a "green light" to take all of Kuwait,
possibly with the intention of setting up a puppet government behind
which he would keep effective power (on the model of the US in Panama
and many other cases), possibly as a bargaining chip to achieve
narrower ends, possibly with broader goals. That was unacceptable: no
independent force is permitted to gain significant control over the
world's major energy reserves, which are to be in the hands of the US
and its clients.

Saddam's record was already so sordid that the conquest of Kuwait
added little to it, but that action was a crime that matters: the
crime of independence. Torture, tyranny, aggression, slaughter of
civilians are all acceptable by US-UK standards, but not stepping on
our toes. The standard policies were then set into motion.
Deterring Iraqi Democracy

Throughout these years, Iraqi democratic forces opposing Bush's
comrade were rebuffed by the White House, once again in February 1990,
when they sought support for a call for parliamentary democracy. In
the same month, the British Foreign Office impeded their efforts to
condemn Iraqi terror, for fear that they might harm Anglo-Iraqi
relations. Two months later, after the execution of London Observer
correspondent Farzad Bazoft and other Iraqi atrocities, Foreign
Secretary Douglas Hurd reiterated the need to maintain good relations
with Iraq. Iraqi Kurds received the same treatment. In mid-August,
Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani flew to Washington to seek support for
guerrilla operations against Saddam's regime. Neither Pentagon nor
State Department officials would speak to him, even though such
operations would surely have weakened Iraq's forces in Kuwait; he was
rebuffed again in March 1991. The reason, presumably, was concern over
the sensibilities of the Turkish "defender of civilized values," who
looked askance at Kurdish resistance.22

It is a very revealing fact that the Iraqi democratic opposition was
not only ignored by Washington but also scrupulously excluded from the
media, throughout the Gulf crisis. That is easily explained when we
hear what they had to say.

On the eve of the air war, the German press published a statement of
the "Iraqi Democratic Group," conservative in orientation ("liberal,"
in the European sense), reiterating its call for the overthrow of
Saddam Hussein but also opposing "any foreign intervention in the Near
East," criticizing US "policies of aggression" in the Third World and
its intention to control Middle East oil, and rejecting UN resolutions
"that had as their goal the starvation of our people." The statement
called for the withdrawal of US-UK troops, withdrawal of Iraqi troops
from Kuwait, self-determination for the Kuwaiti people, "a peaceful
settlement of the Kuwait problem, democracy for Iraq, and autonomy for
Iraq-Kurdistan." A similar stand was taken by the Teheran-based
Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (in a communiqu
from Beirut); the Iraqi Communist Party; Mas'ud Barzani, the leader of
the Kurdistan Democratic Party; and other prominent opponents of the
Iraqi regime, many of whom had suffered bitterly from Saddam's
atrocities. Falih `Abd al-Jabbar, an Iraqi journalist in exile in
London, commented: "Although the Iraqi opposition parties have neither
given up their demand for an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait nor their
hope of displacing Saddam some time in the future, they believe that
they will lose the moral right to oppose the present regime if they do
not side with Iraq against the war." They called for reliance on
sanctions, which, they argued, would prove effective. "All the
opposition parties are agreed in calling for an immediate withdrawal
of Iraqi forces from Kuwait," British journalist Edward Mortimer
reports, "but most are very unhappy about the military onslaught by
the US-led coalition" and prefer economic and political sanctions.
They also condemned the murderous bombing.23

A delegation of the Kuwaiti democratic opposition in Amman in December
took the same position, opposing any Western assault against Iraq. On
British television, anti-Saddam Arab intellectuals in London,
including the prominent Kuwaiti opposition leader Dr. Ahmed al-Khatib,
were unanimous in calling for a cease-fire and for serious
consideration of Saddam's February 15 peace offer. In October 1990,
Dr. al-Khatib had stated that Kuwaitis "do not want a military
solution" with its enormous costs for Kuwait, and strenuously opposed
any military action.24

The silence here was deafening, and most instructive. Unlike Bush and
his associates, the peace movement and Iraqi democratic opposition had
always opposed Saddam Hussein. But they also opposed the quick resort
to violence to undercut a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Such an
outcome would have avoided the slaughter of tens of thousands of
people, the destruction of two countries, harsh reprisals, an
environmental catastrophe, further slaughter by the Iraqi government
and the likely emergence of another murderous US-backed tyranny there.
But it would not have taught the crucial lessons, already reviewed.
With the mission accomplished, the disdain for Iraqi democrats
continues unchanged. A European diplomat observes that "The Americans
would prefer to have another Assad, or better yet, another Mubarak in
Baghdad," referring to their "military-backed regimes" (dictatorships,
that of Assad being particularly odious). "This may account for the
fact that thus far, the administration has refused to meet with Iraqi
opposition leaders in exile," Jane Friedman reports in the Christian
Science Monitor. A diplomat from the US-run coalition says that "we
will accept Saddam in Baghdad in order to have Iraq as one state,"
which might be interpreted as meaning: to prevent Iraqi democracy.25

In mid-March, Iraqi opposition leaders alleged that the US favors a
military dictatorship, insisting that "changes in the regime must come
from within, from people already in power" (Leith Kubba, head of the
London-based Iraqi Democratic Reform Movement). Banker Ahmed Chalabi,
another prominent opposition activist, said that "the United States,
covered by the fig leaf of non-interference in Iraqi affairs, is
waiting for Saddam to butcher the insurgents in the hope that he can
be overthrown later by a suitable officer," an attitude rooted in the
US policy of "supporting dictatorships to maintain stability."
Official US spokesmen confirmed that the Bush administration had not
talked to any Iraqi opposition leaders and did not then intend to: "We
felt that political meetings with them...would not be appropriate for
our policy at this time," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher
stated on March 14.26

These judgments were confirmed in the following weeks. Bush had openly
encouraged uprisings against Saddam Hussein, and, according to
intelligence sources, had authorized the CIA in January to aid rebels
-- secretly, perhaps to avoid offending his Turkish and Saudi friends.
But he stood by quietly as Saddam slaughtered Shi'ites and Kurds,
tacitly approving the use of helicopter gunships to massacre
civilians, refusing to impede the terror or even to provide
humanitarian aid to the victims. Fleeing refugees bitterly asked
journalists "Where is George Bush," probably not knowing the answer:
he was fishing in Florida. Turkey was accused by Kurdish leaders of
blocking food shipments to starving Kurds, and later closed its
borders to most of those in flight. US forces turned back people
fleeing the terror in the South, and refused even to provide food and
water to those who had escaped, Reuters reported, though individual
soldiers did so. A senior Pentagon official said: "The bottom line
here is, if you're suggesting we would stay purely for a purpose of
protecting the refugees, we won't." "We are under no obligation to
them," another added. Our job is to destroy, nothing more. The US and
Britain barred efforts to have the UN Security Council condemn the
massacre, let alone act in any way, until it was too late to matter.27

So profound is Bush's commitment to the principle of noninterference
that he also could lend no support to Kuwaiti democrats. His delicacy
barred mention of the word "democracy" even in private communications
to the Emir, officials explained. "You can't pick out one country to
lean on over another," one said; never will you find the US "leaning
on" Nicaragua or Cuba, for example, or moving beyond the narrowest
interpretation of international law and UN initiatives.28

Those who find any of this strange are simply unacquainted with
standard procedures and the reasons for them.
Blocking the Diplomatic Track

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait fell within the range of many other recent
atrocities. The regular response of the international community is
condemnation, followed by sanctions and diplomatic efforts. These
procedures rarely succeed, or even begin, because they are blocked by
the great powers, in the past several decades, primarily the United
States, with Britain second; these powers account for 80% of Security
Council vetoes in the 20 years of George Bush's national prominence.
Since the US and UK happened to oppose Iraq's aggression, sanctions
could be invoked, with unusually high prospects for success because of
their unprecedented severity and the fact that the usual violators --
the US, UK, and their allies -- would, for once, adhere to them. The
likelihood of success was stressed by virtually all witnesses at the
Nunn Senate Hearings (including former Defense Secretaries and
chairmen of the Joint Chiefs), as well as by academic specialists on
sanctions. The question whether sanctions would have worked may be
idle; quite possibly they already had worked by late December, perhaps
mid-August. That seems a reasonable interpretation of the Iraqi
withdrawal proposals confirmed or released by US officials.

Washington moved resolutely to bar the success of peaceful means.
Following the prescriptions of the National Security Policy Review, it
ensured that this "much weaker enemy" would be punished by force. On
August 22, New York Times chief diplomatic correspondent Thomas
Friedman outlined the Administration position: the "diplomatic track"
must be blocked, or negotiations might "defuse the crisis" at the cost
of "a few token gains" for Iraq, perhaps "a Kuwaiti island or minor
border adjustments." A week later, Knut Royce revealed in Newsday that
a proposal in just those terms had been offered by Iraq, but was
dismissed by the Administration (and suppressed by the Times, as it
quietly conceded). The proposal, regarded as "serious" and
"negotiable" by a State Department Mideast expert, called for Iraqi
withdrawal from Kuwait in exchange for access to the Gulf (meaning
control over two uninhabited mudflats that had been assigned to Kuwait
in the imperial settlement, leaving Iraq landlocked) and Iraqi control
of the Rumailah oil field, about 95% in Iraq, extending two miles into
Kuwait over an unsettled border.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry adds further details. The offer,
relayed via Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Nizar Hamdoon, reached
Washington on August 9. According to a confidential Congressional
summary, it represented the views of Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi
leaders. On August 10, the proposal was brought to the National
Security Council, which rejected it as "already moving against
policy," according to the retired Army officer who arranged the
meeting. Former CIA chief Richard Helms attempted to carry the
initiative further, but got nowhere. Further efforts by Hamdoon, the
Iraqi Embassy in Washington, and US interlocuters elicited no
response. "There was nothing in this [peace initiative] that
interested the US government," Helms said. A Congressional summary,
with an input from intelligence, concludes that a diplomatic solution
might have been possible at that time. That we will never know.
Washington feared that it was possible, and took no chances, for the
reasons expressed through the Times diplomatic correspondent.

From the outset, the US position was clear, unambiguous, and
unequivocal: no outcome will be tolerated other than capitulation to
force. Others continued to pursue diplomatic efforts. On January 2, US
officials disclosed an Iraqi proposal to withdraw in return for
agreement of an unspecified nature on the Palestinian problem and
weapons of mass destruction. US officials described the offer as
"interesting" because it mentioned no border issues, taking it to
"signal Iraqi interest in a negotiated settlement." A State Department
Mideast expert described it as a "serious prenegotiation position."
The facts were again reported by Knut Royce of Newsday, who observed
that Washington "immediately dismissed the proposal." A Times report
the next day suggested that mere statement by the Security Council of
an intention to deal with the two "linked" issues might have sufficed
for complete Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. Again, the US was taking no
chances, and quashed the threat at once.29 The story continued. On the
eve of the air war, the US and UK announced that they would veto a
French proposal for immediate Iraqi withdrawal in exchange for a
meaningless Security Council statement on a possible future
conference; Iraq then rejected the proposal as well. On February 15,
Iraq offered to withdraw completely from Kuwait, stating that the
withdrawal "should be linked" to Israeli withdrawal from the occupied
territories and Lebanon, in accord with UN resolutions. The Iraqi
Ambassador to the UN stated that the offer was unconditional, and that
the terms cited were "issues" that should be addressed, not
"conditions" involving "linkage." The State Department version,
published in the New York Times and elsewhere, mistranslated the Iraqi
offer, giving the wording: "Israel must withdraw..." Washington at
once rejected the offer, and the Ambassador's comments, which were
barely noted in the press, were ignored. The US insisted that Iraqi
withdrawal must precede a cease-fire; Iraqi forces must leave their
bunkers and be smashed to pieces, after which the US might consider a
cease-fire. The media seemed to consider this quite reasonable.30

Washington's plan was to launch the ground operation on February 23.
Problems arose when the Soviet Union, a day earlier, reached an
agreement with Iraq to withdraw if UN resolutions would then be
cancelled. The President, "having concluded that the Soviet diplomacy
was getting out of hand" (as the Times puts it), brusquely dismissed
the final Soviet-Iraq agreement, quickly changing the topic to the
charge of an Iraqi "scorched-earth policy." Again, the crucial
difference between the two positions had to do with timing: should
Iraq withdraw one day after a cease-fire, as the Soviet-Iraqi proposal
stated, or while the bombing continued, as the US demanded.31

Throughout, the media went along, with scarcely a false note.

The record strongly supports the judgment of Reagan insider James
Webb, former Navy Secretary, one of the few critics of the war to gain
a public forum. In the Wall Street Journal, he wrote that "this
administration has dealt in extremes," favoring "brute force" over
other means. Bush "relentlessly maneuvered our nation into a war" that
was unnecessary. He chose to turn the country into "the world's
Hessians," a mercenary state paid by others while "our society reels
from internal problems" that the administration refuses to address.32

This record is, again, highly informative. The possibility of a
negotiated settlement was excluded from the political and ideological
systems with remarkable efficiency. When Republican National Committee
Chairman Clayton Yeutter states that if a Democrat had been President,
Kuwait would not be liberated today, few if any Democrats can respond
by saying: If I had been President, Kuwait might well have been
liberated long before, perhaps by August, without the disastrous
consequences of your relentless drive for war. In the media, one will
search far for a hint that diplomatic options might have been pursued,
or even existed. The mainstream journals of opinion were no different.
Those few who felt a need to justify their support for the slaughter
carefully evaded these crucial issues, in Europe as well.

To evaluate the importance of this service to power, consider again
the situation just before the air war began. On January 9, a national
poll revealed that 2/3 of the US population favored a conference on
the Arab-Israeli conflict if that would lead to Iraqi withdrawal from
Kuwait. The question was framed to minimize a positive response,
stressing that the Bush administration opposed the idea.33 It is a
fair guess that each person who nevertheless advocated such a
settlement assumed that he or she was isolated in this opinion. Few if
any had heard any public advocacy of their position; the media had
been virtually uniform in following the Washington Party Line,
dismissing "linkage" (i.e., diplomacy) as an unspeakable crime, in
this unique case. It is hardly likely that respondents were aware that
an Iraqi proposal calling for a settlement in these terms had been
released a week earlier by US officials, who found it reasonable; or
that the Iraqi democratic forces, and most of the world, took the same

Suppose that the crucial facts had been known and the issues honestly
addressed. Then the 2/3 figure would doubtless have been far higher,
and it might have been possible to avoid the huge slaughter preferred
by the administration, with its useful consequences: the world learns
that it is to be ruled by force, the dominant role of the US in the
Gulf and its control over Middle East oil are secured, and the
population is diverted from the growing disaster around us. In brief,
the educated classes and the media did their duty.

The academic study of attitudes and beliefs cited earlier revealed
that the public overwhelmingly supports the use of force to reverse
illegal occupation and serious human rights abuses. But, like
journalists and others who proudly proclaim this "worthy standard,"
they do not call for force in a host of cases that at once come to
mind. They do not applaud Scud attacks on Tel Aviv, though Saddam's
sordid arguments compare well enough to those of his fellow-criminal
in Washington, if honestly considered; nor would they approve bombs in
Washington, a missile attack on Jakarta, etc.34 Why? Again, because of
the triumphs of the ideological system. The facts having been
consigned to their appropriate obscurity, the slogans can be
trumpeted, unchallenged.
Deterring US Democracy

Such examples, readily extended, illustrate the success in suppressing
democracy in the United States. The ideal, long sought by the business
community and the political class, is that the general population
should be marginalized, each person isolated, deprived of the kinds of
associations that might lead to independent thought and political
action. Each must sit alone in front of the tube, absorbing its
doctrinal message: trust in the Leader; ape the images of the "good
life" presented by the commercials and the sitcoms; be a spectator, a
consumer, a passive worker who follows orders, but not a participant
in the way the world works. To achieve this goal, it has been
necessary to destroy unions and other popular organizations, restrict
the political system to factions of the business party, and construct
a grand edifice of lies to conceal every relevant issue, whether it be
Indochina, Central America, the Middle East, terrorism, the Cold War,
domestic policy, ..., whatever -- so that the proper lessons are on
the shelf, ready when needed.

The methods have been refined over many years. The first state
propaganda agency was established by the Woodrow Wilson
administration. Within a few months, a largely pacifist population had
been turned into a mob of warmongers, raging to destroy everything
German and later backing the Wilson repression that demolished unions
and independent thought. The success impressed the business and
intellectual communities, leading to the doctrines of "manufacture of
consent" and the elaboration of methods to reduce the general public
to its proper spectator role. When the threat of popular democracy and
labor organizing arose again in the 1930s, business moved quickly to
destroy the virus, with great success. Labor's last real legislative
victory was in 1935, and the supporting culture has largely been swept
away. "Scientific methods of strike-breaking" rallied community
support against the disruptive elements that interfered with the
"harmony" to which "we" are devoted -- "we" being the corporate
executive, the honest sober worker, the housewife, the people united
in support of "Americanism." Huge media campaigns wielding vacuous
slogans to dispel the danger of thought are now a staple of the
ideological system. To derail concern over whether you should support
their policy, the PR system focuses attention on whether you support
our troops -- meaningless words, as empty as the question of whether
you support the people of Iowa. That, of course, is just the point: to
reduce the population to gibbering idiots, mouthing empty phrases and
patriotic slogans, waving ribbons, watching gladiatorial contests and
the models designed for them by the PR industry, but, crucially, not
thinking or acting. A few must be trained to think and act, if only to
serve the needs of the powerful; but they must be kept within the
rigid constraints of the ideological system. These are the tasks of
the media, journals of opinion, schools and universities.

They have been accomplished with much distinction. To approach any
serious question, it is first necessary to clear away mountains of
ideological rubble. But the triumph is far from complete, far less so
than a generation ago. Outside elite circles, the indoctrination is
thin, and often is cast aside with surprising ease if people have an
opportunity to think. Skepticism and disbelief are barely below the
surface. Where there are even fragments of organization, many have
been able to defend themselves from the ideological onslaught. The
famed "gender gap" is an example. The opportunities for association
and independent thought offered by the womens' movement have led to a
dramatic shift in attitudes -- or, perhaps, willingness to express
long-held attitudes -- over the past two decades. The same is true of
church groups, solidarity organizations, and others.

The political leadership and others who hail the martial virtues know
well that the domestic base for intervention in the traditional mode
has eroded: no more Marines chasing Sandino, or US forces marauding
for years in the Mekong Delta. Either proxy forces must be used, as in
the international terror networks of the Reagan-Bush years, or victory
must be "rapid and decisive." And a "much weaker enemy" can be
attacked only if it is first demonized and built to awesome dimensions
by vast propaganda campaigns. By the same token, those who hope to
narrow the options for violence and state terror must find ways to
clear away the rubble under which the reality of the world has been
buried. It is not an easy task, but the task of raising consciousness
never is, and it has been pursued effectively under circumstances that
most of us can barely imagine.
The War

The war followed the script laid out for confrontations with a "much
weaker enemy." A ground war was avoided. US combat casualties were on
the scale of Grenada, while Iraqi military deaths are estimated by the
US military at 1-200,000, killed from a safe distance. The victors
bulldozed corpses into mass graves, in violation of the Geneva
Conventions to which they appeal when some interest is served. But the
laws of war are as relevant as they were in earlier days, when the New
York Times cheerily described how helicopter gunships would attack the
"dazed and bleeding people" surrounding B-52 bomb craters in Vietnam
and "put them out of their misery," honoring the law that soldiers
unable to fight "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely."35

In a briefing, General Schwartzkopf observed that during the Grenada
invasion, the Cubans fought harder than expected -- referring to the
several dozen paramilitary construction workers who resisted the
assault of 6000 elite US forces after Washington had ignored Cuba's
announcement that they would not fire unless attacked, and its call
for a peaceful resolution. This time, the heroic General explained, we
would take no chances. The tactic was to pulverize the Third World
peasant army -- hiding in the sand, immobile, and defenseless -- after
months of disinformation about its artillery, sophisticated defenses,
chemical weapons, and other fantastic capacities, later conceded to be
largely fakery. When the enemy was utterly demoralized, US forces cut
off escape, the Air Force slaughtered those attempting to flee
(including Asian workers and Kuwaiti hostages, BBC reported),36 and
troops were sent it to pick up the pieces -- though elite Iraqi units
were allowed to move on to crush later revolts with savage terror, in
accord with the US aim of reconstructing something rather like the
friendly regime of the pre-August 1990 period, but now with firmer
guarantees of obedience to the master.

The air war had already reduced Iraq to a "pre-industrial age,"
creating "near apocalyptic" conditions, a UN survey reported. The air
attack was aimed at civilian targets, called "military" for the
purpose: water, sewage, and power systems, bridges and infrastructure
generally. The results, as expected, were the effective destruction of
the health system so that limbs have to be sawed off without
anesthesia among other harrowing scenes in what remains of hospitals;
mounting deaths from disease and lack of food and water, with huge
increase in infant diarrheal infections and other serious diseases;
water down to 5% of normal supply; food rations at 1000 calories with
further crises impending; and the likelihood of major epidemics from
what amounts to biological warfare. The Times reported that the US
opposes any "premature relaxation" of these conditions, insisting that
the civilian population be held hostage in the expectation that if
they suffer enough, they might remove Saddam Hussein. This is apart
from the tens of thousands of civilians killed, the destruction of
four hospitals, thousands of homes and other civilian structures by
bombing, and other goals readily -- and of course heroically --
achieved when the the "much weaker enemy" is entirely defenseless.37

Had the diplomatic track that Washington feared been successfully
pursued, Kuwait too would have been spared the war and the Iraqi
terror, which, according to reports, rapidly increased in the final
days. An environmental catastrophe would also have been averted. In
the small print, the Times noted that according to Pentagon officials,
"the burning of Kuwait's oil fields might have been a defensive action
by Iraq, which appeared to be anticipating imminent attack by allied
ground forces." While Iraq created the largest oil spill, the one that
threatened the desalination plant at Safaniya in Saudi Arabia probably
resulted from US bombing, US military officials said. A Pentagon
official added that the Iraqi oil spill might have been aimed at the
water sources for US troops, in retaliation for US destruction of
Kuwait's major desalination plant just before. The prime
responsibility for the Gulf tragedy lies on the shoulders of Saddam
Hussein; but he is not without his partners in crime, nor are his
crimes unique.38

Some commentators expressed qualms about the savagery of the final
slaughter, but a look at history should have relieved their surprise.
When violence is cost-free, all bars are down. During the Indochina
war, there were constraints on bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, or dikes
in North Vietnam, because of fear of a Chinese or Soviet reaction and
the political cost elsewhere. But in the southern sectors of North
Vietnam, or elsewhere in Indochina, no one important cared, and the
rule was that "anything goes." The Pentagon Papers reveal extensive
planning about the bombing of the North, because of potential costs to
the US; the far more devastating bombing of the South, begun years
earlier and including major war crimes, is passed over with little

The same was true of World War II. At the end, Japan was defenseless,
therefore demolished at will. Tokyo was removed from the list of atom
bomb targets because it was "practically rubble" so that an attack
would not demonstrate the bomb's power. Many believe that the war
ended with the atom bomb. Not so. In the official US Air Force
history, we read that General Arnold "wanted as big a finale as
possible," and, with management skills that compare to Stormin'
Norman's, assembled over 1000 planes to bomb Japan after Nagasaki,
killing thousands of people and dropping leaflets saying "Your
Government has surrendered. The war is over!" Truman announced Japan's
surrender before the last planes returned. Japan was prostrate, so why
not? As the Korean war ground on, the Air Force could locate no more
targets. Therefore, as an official US Air Force study records, it
attacked North Korean dams, leading to such stirring sights as a
"flash flood [that] scooped clean 27 miles of valley below," while 75%
of the water supply for rice production was wiped out and the enemy
suffered "the destruction of their chief sustenance -- rice." "The
Westerner can little conceive the awesome meaning which the loss of
this staple food commodity has for the Asian," the study explains:
"starvation and slow death, ...more feared than the deadliest plague.
Hence the show of rage, the flare of violent tempers, and the avowed
threats of reprisals when bombs fell on five irrigation dams." The
threats of reprisal were empty, and there were no political costs, so
these war crimes joined the long list of others compiled with impunity
by the powerful, who never fail to strike impressive poses as they
call for war crimes trials -- for others.40
The Political Culture

The published record tells us more about the political culture in the
United States and the West generally. As noted, the possibility of a
peaceful resolution was virtually banned from discussion. When George
Bush thundered that There Will Be No Negotiations, a hundred
editorials and news reports would laud him for "going the last mile
for peace" in "extraordinary efforts at diplomacy." Democratic forces
in Iraq, with their unwanted message, were also successfully barred.
Popular opposition to the war in most of the world was sporadically
reported, but primarily as a problem: Can the friendly dictatorships
control their populations while we gain our ends by force? Even among
those who did not exalt the "martial values," the totalitarian
commitments were scarcely below the surface.

In the US, dissident voices were effectively excluded from the
mainstream, as is the norm; and while the media elsewhere were far
more open, support for the war on the part of the educated classes in
the industrial democracies was so overwhelming that the effects were
slight. Strikingly, no concern was voiced over the glaringly obvious
fact that no official reason was ever offered for going to war -- no
reason, that is, that could not be instantly refuted by a literate
teenager. That is the very hallmark of a totalitarian political

The matter merits a closer look. After various failed efforts, one
single official reason was offered for war, repeated in a litany by
George Bush and his acolytes: "There can be no reward for aggression.
Nor will there by any negotiation. Principle cannot be compromised."41
Accordingly, there can be no diplomacy, merely an ultimatum --
capitulate or die -- followed by the quick resort to violence.

Presented with this argument, the educated classes did not collapse in
ridicule, but solemnly intoned the Party Line, expressing their awe
and admiration for Bush's high principles. One would have to search
far for the reaction that would be immediate on the part of any
rational and minimally informed person: True, principle cannot be
compromised, but since George Bush is a leading supporter of
aggression and always has been, the principle invoked is not his, or
his government's, or that of any other state. And it follows that no
reason has been given at all for rejecting negotiations in favor of

The specific words just quoted happen to be Bush's response to the
Iraqi withdrawal proposal released by US officials on January 2. But
the stance was maintained throughout. Intellectuals asked no
questions, finding nothing to challenge in the farcical official
pronouncements and the doctrine clearly implied: the world is to to be
ruled by force.

The conclusion is brilliantly clear: no official reason was offered
for the war, and the educated classes suppressed the fact with near
unanimity. We must look elsewhere to find the reasons for the war -- a
question of great significance for any citizen, though not for the
guardians of doctrinal purity, who must bar this quest.

The methods adopted were enlightening. Those who had the indecency to
demolish the official justifications were accused of demanding "moral
purity," opposing any response to Iraq's aggression by states that had
been "inconsistent" in the past (in fact, they had consistently
pursued their own interests, generally supporting aggression for this
reason). Returning to the realm of rational discourse, these
miscreants were pointing out that war without stated reason is a sign
of totalitarian values, and citizens who reject these values will have
to turn elsewhere to discover the real reasons. In the mainstream,
they would find very little.

Outside official circles, the standard justification for war was that
sanctions would not work and that it was unfair to allow the Kuwaitis
to suffer on. Some held that debate over sanctions was a standoff,
perhaps irresoluble. By the same logic, the bombing of numerous other
countries can at once be justified by mere assertion that nothing else
will put an end to aggression, annexation, and human rights abuses.
Transparently, all of this is nonsense, even if we ignore the evidence
that sanctions had already worked. Indisputably, the burden of proof
lies on those who call for the use of force, a heavy burden that was
never met, or even seriously faced.

One could not seriously argue that the suffering of the victims in
this case was more extreme than in numerous others for which force has
never been proposed. Nor is there any merit to the argument that this
case was different because of the annexation: putting aside the US-UK
response to other cases of annexation, no less horrifying, the drive
towards war continued unchanged after Iraqi withdrawal offers that the
US did not risk pursuing. The claim that a peaceful settlement would
not have destroyed Saddam's warmaking capacity is no more persuasive.
Apart from the broader consequences of such an argument if taken
seriously, the obvious procedure for eliminating this capacity would
have been to explore the possibilities for regional disarmament and
security arrangements (proposed by Iraq, rejected by the US, well
before the invasion of Kuwait); and after his negotiated withdrawal
from Kuwait, to refrain from providing Saddam with lavish high
technology assistance for his warmaking capacity, surely a possibility
if the West could overcome its greed in this sole instance. Other
arguments are equally weighty.

In one of the more serious efforts to address some of the questions,
Timothy Garton Ash asserts in the New York Review that while sanctions
were possible in dealing with South Africa or Communist East Europe,
Saddam Hussein is different. That concludes the argument. We now
understand why it was proper to pursue "quiet diplomacy" while our
South African friends caused over $60 billion in damage and 1.5
million deaths from 1980 to 1988 in the neighboring states -- putting
aside South Africa and Namibia, and the preceding decade. They are
basically decent folk, like us and the Communist tyrants. Why? No
answer is offered here, but a partial one is suggested by Nelson
Mandela, who condemns the hypocrisy and prejudice of the highly
selective response to the crimes of the "brown-skinned" Iraqis. The
same thought comes to mind when the New York Times assures us that
"the world" is united against Saddam Hussein, the most hated man in
"the world" -- the world, that is, minus its darker faces.42

The emergence of Western racism with such stunning clarity is worth
notice. It is an understandable consequence of the end of the Cold
War. For 70 years, it has been possible to disguise traditional
practices as "defense against the Soviets," generally a sham, now lost
as a pretext. We return, then, to earlier days when the New York press
explained that "we must go on slaughtering the natives in English
fashion, and taking what muddy glory lies in the wholesale killing til
they have learned to respect our arms. The more difficult task of
getting them to respect our intentions will follow."43 In fact,
deprived of the benefits of our form of civilization, they understood
our intentions well enough, and still do.
The Contours of the New World Order

Despite basic continuities, there have been changes in the
international system. It is by now a truism that the world is
economically "tripolar." The collapse of Soviet tyranny adds new
dimensions: much of Eastern Europe can be restored to its former
status as a quasi-colonial dependency of the West; new pretexts are
needed for intervention; there is no longer any deterrent to the use
of military force by the United States. But though it has a virtual
monopoly of military force, the US no longer has the economic base to
impose "order and stability" (meaning, a proper respect for the
masters) in the Third World. Therefore, as the business press has been
advising, the US must become a "mercenary state," paid for its
services by German-led continental Europe and Japan, and relying on
the flow of capital from Gulf oil production, which it will dominate.
The same is true of its British lieutenant, also facing serious
domestic problems, but with a "sturdy national character" and proper
tradition. John Keegan, a prominent British military historian and
defense commentator for the right-wing Daily Telegraph, outlines the
common view succinctly: "The British are used to over 200 years of
expeditionary forces going overseas, fighting the Africans, the
Chinese, the Indians, the Arabs. It's just something the British take
for granted," and the war in the Gulf "rings very, very familiar
imperial bells with the British."44

The financial editor of the conservative Chicago Tribune has been
stressing these themes with particular clarity. We must be "willing
mercenaries," paid for our ample services by our rivals, using our
"monopoly power" in the "security market" to maintain "our control
over the world economic system." We should run a global protection
racket, he advises, selling "protection" to other wealthy powers who
will pay us a "war premium." This is Chicago, where the words are
understood: if someone bothers you, you call on the mafia to break
their bones. And if you fall behind in your premium, your health may
suffer too.45

The use of force to control the Third World is only a last resort.
Economic weapons remain a more efficient instrument. Some of the newer
mechanisms can be seen in the Uruguay Round negotiations, now in
disarray because of conflicts among the rich, but sure to be revived
in one or another form. Western powers call for liberalization when
that is in their interest; and for enhanced protection of domestic
economic actors, when that is in their interest. The major concern of
the US in the GATT negotiations was not agricultural policy, as much
of the coverage suggested, but rather the "new themes," as they are
called: guarantees for "intellectual property rights" (ranging from
pop culture to software and patents), removal of constraints on
services and investment, and so on; a mixture of liberalization and
protectionism, determined by the interests of the powerful. The effect
of these measures would be to restrict Third World governments to a
police function to control their working classes and superfluous
population, while transnational corporations gain free access to their
resources and monopolize new technology and global investment and
production -- and of course are granted the central planning,
allocation, production and distribution functions denied to
governments, which suffer from the defect that they might fall under
the baleful influence of the rabble. These facts have not been lost on
Third World commentators, who have been protesting eloquently and
mightily. But their voices are as welcome here as those of Iraqi

The US will try to establish more firmly its own regional dominance,
exploiting "free trade" to secure super-cheap labor in Mexico, the
Caribbean, and other dependencies, while Canadian resources are taken
over and its industry and cultural independence decline. The press
failed to give Bush sufficient credit for his achievements in his Fall
1990 tour of Latin America. Mexico was induced to allow US oil
companies new access to its resources, a long-sought policy goal. US
companies will now be able "to help Mexico's nationalized oil
company," as the Wall Street Journal prefers to construe the matter.
Our fondest wish for many years has been to help our little brown
brothers, and at last the ignorant peons will allow us to cater to
their needs.47

The population at home must also be controlled, and diverted from the
growing domestic crises. The basic means have already been described,
including periodic campaigns against "much weaker enemies": Cuba is a
likely next target, perhaps in time for the next election, if illegal
economic warfare, terrorism, intimidation of others to bar normal
relations, and other devices can set the stage.

In the Middle East, the US is now well placed to impose its will. The
traditional strategic conception has been that the US and its British
lieutenant should maintain effective power but indirect control along
lines explained by Lord Curzon in the days of British dominance: it is
preferable to rule behind an "Arab facade," with "absorption" of the
quasi-colony "veiled by constitutional fictions as a protectorate, a
sphere of influence, a buffer State, and so on." But we must never run
the risk of "losing control," as John Foster Dulles and many others
warned.48 The local managers of Gulf oil riches are to be protected by
regional enforcers, preferably non-Arab: Turkey, Israel, Pakistan and
Iran, which perhaps can be restored to the fold. Bloody tyrants of the
Hafez el-Assad variety, with his minority-based dictatorship, may be
allowed to take part, possibly even Egypt if it can be purchased,
though the regime is not brutal enough to be reliable. US and British
force remain on call if needed, and can now be freely deployed, with
the Soviet deterrent gone. The US will seek some agreement among its
clients, and might even consider an international conference, if it
can be properly managed. As Henry Kissinger insisted, Europe and Japan
must be kept out of the diplomacy, but the USSR might be tolerated on
the assumption that it will be obedient in its current straits.

As for the Palestinians, the US can now move towards the solution
outlined by James Baker well before the Gulf crisis: Jordan is the
Palestinian state; the occupied territories are to be ruled in accord
with the basic guidelines of the Israeli government, with Palestinians
permitted to collect local taxes in Nablus; their political
representatives will be chosen for them, with the PLO excluded; and
"free elections" will be held under Israeli military control with the
Palestinian leadership in prison camps. The reality will be masked
behind such slogans as "territorial compromise" and "land for peace,"
interpreted in accord with traditional Labor Party rejectionism,
always favored by the US over the Likud variant: Israel will take what
it wants in the territories, leaving the surplus population stateless
or under Jordanian administration. New excuses will be devised for old
policies, which will be hailed as generous and forthcoming.

Economic development for the Palestinians had always been barred,
while their land and water were taken. The Labor Party leadership
advised that the Palestinians should be given the message: "You shall
continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes, may leave" (Moshe
Dayan, more pro-Palestinian than most).49 The advice was followed,
though the grim story was largely suppressed here. Palestinians had
been permitted to serve the Israeli economy as virtual slave labor,
but this interlude is passing. The recent curfew administered a
further blow to the Palestinian economy. The victors can now proceed
with the policy articulated in February 1989 by Yitzhak Rabin of the
Labor Party, then Defense Secretary, when he informed Peace Now
leaders of his satisfaction with the US-PLO dialogue, meaningless
discussions to divert attention while Israel suppresses the Intifada
by force. The Palestinians "will be broken," Rabin promised,
reiterating the prediction of Israeli Arabists 40 years earlier: the
Palestinians will "be crushed," will die or "turn into human dust and
the waste of society, and join the most impoverished classes in the
Arab countries." Or they will leave, while Russian Jews, now barred
from the US by policies designed to deny them a free choice, flock to
an expanded Israel, leaving the diplomatic issues moot, as the
Baker-Shamir-Peres plan envisaged.50

These are some of the contours of the planned New World Order that
come into view as the beguiling rhetoric is lifted away.


1 Baker, Address to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Oct. 29,
1990. Bush, Feb. 1; cited by Robert Parry, Nation, April 15, 1991.
Lewis, NYT, March 15, 1991.

2 Il Sabato, March 2 (AP, Feb. 26); Times of India, cited by William
Dalrymple (writing "on why the Iraqi dictator is the most popular
pin-up in India"), London Spectator, Feb. 23; Third World Resurgence
(Malaysia), No. 6, Feb.; cover, No. 7, March 1991; Folha de Sao Paulo,
Ken Silverstein, p.c.; South, Feb. 1991.

3 Jansen, Middle East International, Feb. 22; Lloyd, FT, Jan. 19-20;
Iraqi democrats, see below; al-Khalil, New York Review, March 18,
1991; South, Feb. 1991. Sources in Syria estimated that 80-90% of the
population opposed its participation in the war (Sarah Gauch,
Christian Science Monitor, March 28, 1991). Much the same was reported

4 Paul Lewis, NYT, Jan 12, 1991; UN Draft A/44/L.51, 6 Dec. 1989.

5 AP, April 13, 1990. Reuters, BG, April 14, 1990. FT, March 9; Clyde
Farnsworth, NYT, March 18, 1991.

6 NYT, Feb. 23, 1991.

7 Figures from Robert Reich, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 30; Joshua
Cohen, "Comments on the War," MIT, March 4; Erich Heinemann, CSM,
April 2, 1991. Prison population, Maurice Briggs, Chicago Sun-Times,
Jan. 9; Tom Wicker, NYT, Jan 9, 1991.

8 Maureen Dowd, NYT, March 2, 1991.

9 E.J. Dionne, WP Weekly, March 11; John Aloysius Farrell, BG
Magazine, March 31; Martin Nolan, BG, March 10; Oliphant, BG, Feb. 27,
199l. Roosevelt, see my Turning the Tide (South End, 1985), 61, 87.

10 Oliphant, op. cit.

11 Peter Applebome, NYT, March 1; Terrence Maitland, NYT Book Review,
Feb. 3, reviewing Zalin Grant, Facing the Phoenix.

12 Kaplan, BG, Feb. 23; Hoffmann, BG, Jan. 6, 1991. Sut Jhally, Justin
Lewis, & Michael Morgan, The Gulf War: A Study of the Media, Public
Opinion, & Public Knowledge, Department of Communications, U Mass.

13 Chicago Tribune, March 6, 1991; Carlson, U.S. Naval Institute
Proceedings, September 1989; Los Angeles Times, Sept. 3, 1989; AP,
April 23, 1990; Third World Resurgence, Oct. 1990.

14 Mike Mansfield, cited by Frank Costigliola, in Thomas Paterson,
ed., Kennedy's Quest for Victory (Oxford, 1989).

15 Michael Tomasky & Richard McKerrow, Village Voice, Feb. 26, 1991.

16 Reuters, Canberra, Feb. 24; Communique', International Court of
Justice, Feb. 22, 1991. Evans, Senate Daily Hansard, Nov. 1, 1989;
Indonesia News Service, Nov. 1, 1990; Greenleft mideast.gulf.346,
electronic communication, Feb. 18, 1991. ABC (Australia) radio,
"Background briefing; East Timor," Feb. 17, 1991. Robin Osborne,
Indonesia's Secret Wars (Allen & Unwin, 1985); George Monbiot,
Poisoned Arrows (Abacus, London, 1989); Anti-Slavery Society, West
Papua (London, 1990).

17 NYT, Feb. 19, 1991.

18 Reuters, Sept. 26, 1990. Saeedpour, Pacific News Service, March 11,
1991; John Murray Brown, Financial Times, Feb. 12, March 8, 1991; AP,
March 20, 1991; Michael Gunter, Kurdish Times, Fall 1990; Ray Moseley,
Chicago Tribune. Feb. 6, 1991. Medico International, Krieg und Flucht
in Kurdistan, Frankfurt, citing Tageszeitung, Jan. 28 and Frankfurter
Rundschau, Jan. 25, on the bombing. Human Rights Watch #1, Winter,

19 See my articles in Z magazine, March and October 1990, Feb. 1991,
and Deterring Democracy (Verso, forthcoming). For further reports
(lacking sources, hence difficult to evaluate), see Pierre Salinger
and Eric Laurent, Guerre du Golfe (Olivier Orban, Paris, 1991); Adel
Darwish and Gregory Alexander, Unholy Babylon (St. Martin's, 1991).
Also Don Oberdorfer, WP Weekly, Stuart Auerbach, WP Weekly, March
18-24; Michael Massing, New York Review, March 28; Helga Graham,
South, Feb. 1991.

20 Darwish, op. cit., 79; Tony Benn, et al., letter, Manchester
Guardian Weekly, March 31, 1991.

21 Auerbach, Salinger, Darwish, op. cit.

22 Sources in London-based Iraqi democratic opposition; Darwish, op.
cit. Talabani, Vera Saeedpour, Toward Freedom (Burlington, VT), March
1991; Stephen Hubbell, Nation, April 15, 1991.

23 "For a Peaceful Settlement," Gruppe Irakischer Demokraten,
Frankfurter Rundschau, Jan. 14; al-Jabbar, Manchester Guardian Weekly,
Feb. 3; Mortimer, FT, Jan. 21, 1991.

24 Lamis Andoni, FT, Dec. 6, 1990. David Pallister, Guardian (London)
Feb. 18, 1991. Khatib, Middle East Report, Jan/Feb. 1991, cited by
Mouin Rabbani, letter, New Statesman, March 22, 1991, replying to Fred
Halliday. The quote is from Khatib's interview with Halliday, who
advocated war, also claiming that it was supported by the populations
of the region, which is untrue, as far as we know, and hardly
relevant; no one, including Halliday, relies on regional attitudes to
justify the use of force against Israel to remove it from Lebanon and
the occupied territories.

25 CSM, March 20, 1990.

26 Mideast Mirror (London), March 15, 1991.

27 Jim Drinkard, AP, April 3; Geraldine Brooks, WSJ, April 3; Michael
Kranish, BG, April 4; Walter Robinson, BG, March 21; Paul Taylor,
Reuters, March 21 (Mideast Mirror, March 21); LA Times, April 2;
Christopher Marquis, BG, April 3; Paul Lewis, NYT, April 3, 1991.

28 Andrew Rosenthal, NYT, April 3, 1991.

29 See my articles in Z magazine, October 1990 and February 1991, for
details; and Parry, op. cit.

30 The translation by AP from Cyprus and by the BBC was accurate. AP,
BG, Feb. 16; BBC, FT, Feb. 16; State Dept. version, NYT, Feb. 16,
Time, Feb. 25. See also William Beeman, PNS, Feb. 18. Original
obtained by Edward Said. Iraqi Ambassador, NYT, Feb. 17, 1991, 100
words. John Cushman, "U.S. Insists Withdrawal Comes Before
Cease-Fire," NYT, Feb. 16, 1991.

31 Thomas Friedman and Patrick Tyler, NYT, March 3; Transcript of
Moscow Peace Proposal and Bush-Fitzwater statements, NYT, Feb. 23;
Patrick Tyler, NYT, Feb. 26, 1991.

32 Webb, WSJ, Jan. 31, 1991.

33 WP, Jan. 11, 1991.

34 See notes 12, 10.

35 Walter S. Mossberg and David Rogers, WSJ, March 22; Holly
Burkhalter, Washington director of Human Rights Watch, LAT, March 12;
News, Middle East Watch, March 7, 1991. Malcolm Browne, NYT, May 6,
1972; see E.S. Herman and N. Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent (Pantheon,
1988), 193, for longer quote and context.

36 BBC-1 TV news, 9 PM, March 5; BBC radio, cited by Christopher
Hitchens, Nation, April 8.

37 World Health Organization, WP, Feb. 26, NYT, Feb. 26, 1991.
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW),
AP, Feb. 28; David Nyhan, BG, March 3, 1991. Paul Lewis, NYT, March 2;
Trevor Rowe, BG, March 2, 1991. For a detailed accounting, see V.K.
Ramachandran, Frontline (India), March 30, 1991.

38 Andrew Rosenthal, NYT, Feb. 23; AP, BG, Feb. 9; Pamela Constable,
BG, Jan 27, 1991.

39 For a detailed review, see my For Reasons of State (Pantheon, 1973).

40 For details, see my American Power and the New Mandarins (Pantheon,
1969), 210-1; Towards a New Cold War (Pantheon, 1982), 112-3. On
Tokyo, see Barton Bernstein, International Security, Spring 1991.

41 AP, Jan. 14, 1991; George Bush's letter to Saddam Hussein, NYT,
Jan. 13, 1991.

42 Ash, "The Gulf in Europe," NYRB, March 7, 1991. "Inter-Agency Task
Force, Africa Recovery Program/Economic Commission, South African
Destabilization: the Economic Cost of Frontline Resistance to
Apartheid, NY, UN, 1989, 13, cited by Merle Bowen, Fletcher Forum,
Winter 1991. Mandela, AP, NYT, Nov. 8, 1990. Editorials, NYT, Feb. 23,
27, 1991.

43 See Turning the Tide, 162.

44 Richard Hudson, WSJ, Feb. 5, 1991.

45 William Neikirk, Chicago Tribune, Sept. 9, 1990; Jan. 27, 1991.

46 See particularly Chakravarthi Raghavan, Recolonization; Martin Khor
Kok Peng, The Uruguay Round and Third World Sovereignty (Third World
Network, Malaysia, 1990).

47 WSJ, Nov. 28, 1990.

48 William Stivers, Supremacy and Oil (Cornell, 1982), 28, 34;
America's Confrontation with Revolutionary Change in the Middle East
(St. Martin's, 1986), 20f.

49 Yossi Beilin, Mehiro shel Ihud (Revivim, 1985), reviewing internal
cabinet records.

50 For references, see my article in Z magazine, Jan. 1990, and
Deterring Democracy (the full book is in this blog here: Old,
but truely a MUST READ!

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