cj#493> re: Gulf War


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996
Sender: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#487> re: Cuba

John Lowry wrote, re: "Cuba & saber rattling":
>...I am aware that the Kwaitis were
>taking more than their share of oil from a common well and would not stop,
>even when asked repeatedly to please stop taking Iraqui oil.  What else was
>he [Saddadm] to do?  Why does no one else see that side?

Not only that, but people forget (or never bother to find out) that Kuwait is
a modern invention of the Ottoman and British empires, created after
WWI...prior to the Ottoman Empire taking over centuries before, what is now
Kuwait used to be part of Iraq.  The British government set up British
Petroleum to run the new, oil-rich country (with convenient access to the
Gulf), because they didn't want Iraq controlling the oil rich territories to
the south...

>>        War             Incident
>>        ^^^^^^^^^^^^^   ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>>        Mexican         border conflict in Texas (caused by belligerent U.S.
>>                        scouting parties)
>>        Civil           Fort Sumter shelling
>>        WWII            Pearl Harbor (forced by FDR oil blockade)
>>        Vietnam         Gulf of Tonkin (provocative U.S. Navy maneouvers)
>>        Grenada         an assassination (facilitated by the CIA)
>>        Panama          shooting of a GI (wandering where it was inevitable)
>>        Iraq            invasion of Kuwait (invited by Sec'y State)
>How 'bout the capture of the 'Liberty' - one of J. Hancock's smuggling fleet
>as a start to the 1776 thing.

Ironically, I'm just now reading a book about the beginning of the American
Revolution, where this is discussed....it happened in the late 1760's...the
immediate result was increased defiance of the tax laws, more open smuggling,
and increased agitation by the Sons of Liberty and their supporters against
the Tories of Boston...which lead to British troops being stationed in
Boston...which then lead to the "Boston Massacre"....


Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996
From: "•••@••.•••" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: cj#484> re: [Iraq] & saber rattling

John Lowry recently said:
> I have a question -- regarding the Gulf War.  I know of no one else who
> believes as I do, that Saddam was completely justified in his actions...
>  What else was he [Saddam] to do?  Why does no one else see that side?

Others probably do see that side, John, for about 10 seconds, after which
it shrinks from a `side' to a factor and then to a shabby half-pretext.
What made that well "common" was the simple fact that it straddled a border;
Iraq did not recognize this border, because it viewed Kuwait _per se_ as an
artificial entity carved from its own flesh by the British for typical
reasons of empire.

The spat over the well (actually a sizable oil field) was a "casus belli,"
a mere enabler of vastly larger motives and their implementation, as when
dozens of mechanized divisions poured into Poland in 1939 to avenge one
modest cross-border raid on a German radio station.  The initially affected
region of Poland was a piece of Germany ceded to her by the victors of WWI,
and I suggest that Saddam was following an analogous script.

Unless Saddam lived in total delusion, he must have known that the taking
of Kuwait would set off a political earthquake of global proportions,
as would _any_ unilateral action that shakes established arrangements in
the world's prime oil region.

In all his actions, Saddam is fronting for a highly competent and ambitious
class of Baghdad businessmen that wishes much of the Arab world for itself.
Factors like the alleged baiting maneuver by Ambassador April Glaspie,
setting Saddam up for a calculated fall, will be the stuff of books and
theses for the next generation.

Fancy a man stalking and shooting his ex-wife while she's taking a tour
of the White House, and then claiming that he had no wider intention;
that's the approximate stance you grant Saddam.  Few would ever buy it.

                                                           Occupied America

         "The executive of the modern State is but a committee
          for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie"

                                                       -- Karl Marx  (1847)


rkm to valis,

        Interesting analysis, you seem to have been thinking about this
one.  As regards:
   > Unless Saddam lived in total delusion, he must have known that the taking
   > of Kuwait would set off a political earthquake of global proportions"

        I suggest that you consider the more recent invasion of northern
Iraq by Turkish troops.  Here too, a bit of an international furor was
raised, and the U.S. could have easily run to the U.N with an angry case
against Turkish aggression (if they'd wanted to), and probably gotten
widespread support.

        But the Turks had been briefed in advance that the action was
welcomed by the U.S. -- it fulfilled a "desirable" regional "policing"
function.  Similarly, Saddham felt he was acting as the designated regional
"policing agency" (having stood off the Iran "fundamentalist threat" for a
decade!), and that he had gotten the U.S. nod for a go-ahead.

        So I'd say Saddham was guilty of an error of judgement, likely
accentuated by wishful thinking and bravado, but that his judgement was
within the norm of "professional political practice", such as it is.



 Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
       Cyberlib - WWW | FTP --> ftp://ftp.iol.ie/users/rkmoore