< < < Date > > > | < < < Thread > > >

on THIRD WORLD WAR/Kosovo antecedents in GULF WAR [long 1991 essay with table of contents]

        May 20, 1991
                      THIRD WORLD WAR:
                Andre Gunder Frank
                 University of Amsterdam
   H. Bosmansstraat 57                TEL Home:   31-20-664 6607
   1077 XG Amsterdam, Holland       FAX Office: 31-20-620 3226
        T a b l e  o f    C o n t e n t s
   Foreign Oil 
     Domestic Recession  
   The World Recession of the 1990s
     West-West Competition 
   East-West, North-South
     Using Military Strength to Compensate for Economic
   Political Economies of Escalation 
   Public Iraq-Kuwait Disputes and Secret Kuwaiti-US Agreements
   Setting the American Trap for Hussein 
   Springing the Trap on Hussein by Foreclosing Diplomatic Outs
   Planning Mr. Bush's War 
   The Casualties of Direct Hits and "Collateral Damage"
Other Human Costs 
Ecological Costs 
   Setting Up and Blackmailing Congress  
Free Press Censorship, Self-censorship & Orwellian New
The Violation of Participant Democracy in Civil Society
   The Peace Dividend Cancelled
Perversion of the United Nations Peace Mission for War
NATO Redirected Southward 
The Middle East Convulsed 
   The Gulf War may be termed THIRD WORLD WAR in two senses of
   this title: First, this war aligned the rich North, the rich
   oil emirates or kingdoms, and some bribed regional oligarchies
   against a poor Third World country. In that sense, the Gulf
   War was a THIRD WORLD WAR by the North against the South. It
   was massively so perceived throughout the Third World South,
   not only in Arab and Muslim countries but also elsewhere in
   Asia, Africa and Latin America. Masses of people in the Third
   World manifested their opposition to this war and the North,
   even if it meant taking sides with the dictator Saddam
   Hussein, for whom little love was lost. Indeed, the popular
   expressions of racism and xenophobia in the North also were
   manifestations of this same perception that this was a war
   between "us" in the North and "them" in the Third World South.
   The second sense of THIRD WORLD WAR is that the Gulf War may
   dangerously mark the brutal beginning of a THIRD WORLD WAR,
   following upon the First and Second World Wars. Not only was
   the tonnage of bombs dropped on Iraq of world war proportions.
   The Gulf War and the New World Order it was meant to launch
   signify the renewed recourse by a world wide "coalition of
   allies" to mass destruction of infrastructure and mass
   annihilation of human beings. The allies led by the United
   States chose to wage a major destructive, brutal and
   unnecessary war and renounced dialogue and negotiation as
   their preferred instrument to settle a relatively minor
   international dispute. In so doing moreover, they clearly
   signalled their threat to build the New World Order on
   repeated recourse to this same military force and annihilation
   against any other recalcitrant country or peoples -- as long
   as they are  poor, weak, and in the Third World South. 
   With the conclusion of the cold war, the Third World [Hot] War
   is not to be fought between East and West, or West and West,
   but between the North and the South. Since the Second World
   War, West-West wars have been obviated, and the East-West cold
   war has been fought out in regional hot wars in Korea,
   Vietnam, Angola, Nicaragua, and other parts of the Third
   World. Now, West-West cold conflicts are also to be
   transmuted, as in the Gulf War against Iraq, into the ever
   existing North-South conflict and into Third World War at the
   expense of Third World peoples on Third World soil. Of course,
   the North-South gap and conflict itself is also becoming ever
   acuter. The Gulf War signals that in the New World Order the
   North reserves the right and threat to turn any Old World
   Order North-South cold conflict into a North-South hot war at
   the expense of Third World people on Southern soil at any time
   of Northern choosing. Therefore, the world is threatened with
   This essay examines the Gulf War and the New World Order in
   this global context. However, it also concentrates on the
   political economic motives, actions and their consequences of
   the major actors in the unfolding of this tragic drama. THE
   major actor in the Gulf War for a New World Order certainly
   was President George Bush. However, he has never told the
   truth about his reasons, actions, or purposes in promoting and
   fighting the Gulf War.  Indeed, George Bush deceived the
   American public and the world already earlier on. To go no
   further, the dominant theme in his election campaign to the
   American presidency was READ MY LIPS!. He promised the
   American people and in effect the world "NO NEW TAXES" and "A
   KINDER, GENTLER PRESIDENCY." Instead, what we got from
   President Bush is his New World Order War in the Gulf. Poor
   American people and Poor World!  They did not listen when
   Bush's Democratic Party rival Michael Dukakis explicitly
   warned us all that George Bush was making false promises. The
   Bush campaign also featured promises to be "The Education
   President" at home and "To Take Care of the Environment." 
   Once elected, President Bush first raised new taxes, which
   will have to rise further with recession and war. Then he
   neglected education and the environment, which will also
   suffer more for the war. 
   President Bush made this war, and in order to make the war he
   gave us THE BIG LIE both about the war and about his NEW WORLD
   ORDER. Therefore, it takes some inquiry to unravel the
   immediate economic and more underlying geopolitical economic
   reasons; the economic buildup, political escalation,
   belligerent pursuit and the human and material damages; and
   the domestic and international costs of this Gulf War for New
   World Order. Finally, we may inquire into the resulting place
   of the United States in this New World Order. The purpose here
   is to contribute to the clarification and answer of these
   important questions.
   Therefore, this essay concentrates on the actions and
   responsibility of the Bush Administration in the United States
   in the Gulf War. This essay consolidates, amplifies, documents
   and updates the author's four earlier writings and
   publications on the Gulf crisis and war, which are listed
   below. One of these earlier essays still included "a curse on
   both your houses" in its title, because then it still seemed
   important to stress and critique the responsibility of both
   sides to this conflict. However, more recently it has become
   both absolutely and relatively more important to analyze and
   help expose the American Bush administration's much greater
   [ir]responsibility in the tragic unfolding of events. In the
   meantime also, much more evidence on the same has also become
   publicly available. I draw on the relatively limited amount of
   this evidence made available abroad, primarily through the
   International Herald Tribune [IHT].  In any case, the actions
   of the United States and its allies carry much more weight and
   importance than those of any country or its leader in the
   Third World. Therefore, the analysis below concentrates on the
   world shaking actions and consequences of the major actors in
   this drama and on their responsibilities in and significance
   for the "new world order." 
   The violation of international law through the invasion and
   occupation of Kuwait by Iraq under the presidency of Saddam
   Hussein is beyond dispute. However, the allegation that the
   Gulf War was to protect the "principle" of world order,
   international law and the Charter of the United Nations from
   lawless might-is-right violation is a lie. Indeed, this
   pretext is the height of cynicism, especially by President
   Bush, but also by his Western allies and others who supported
   him in the United Nations.
   Many similar aggressions and violations of both the UN Charter
   and UN resolutions have gone without any such response, or
   often even without any notice. Indonesia invaded and ravaged
   East Timor and Irian Jaya with genocide without having the
   world take hardly any notice. Apartheid in South Africa, but
   less so its continual aggressions against its neighboring
   Front Line States in Southern Africa, led to embargoes by the
   UN and its members; but no one ever suggested going to war
   against South Africa. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
   merited condemnation and opposition, albeit of course not by
   the Security Council; but certainly no counter invasion of the
   Soviet Union. The Iraqi invasion of Iran received, but did not
   merit, de facto political and even military support by the
   same coalition of allies, which then waged war against Iraq's
   invasion of Kuwait. 
   Indeed, among the very same states who allied themselves in a
   coalition to "liberate Kuwait" from aggression and occupation
   by Iraq several engaged in similar aggression and still today
   maintain their military occupation of others' territory:
   Israel invaded and still occupies the Golan Heights, West
   Bank, and the Gaza Strip in violation of UN Resolution 242.
   Israel also invaded Lebanon and de facto still exercises
   miliary control over southern Lebanon. Syria invaded and still
   exercises military control over parts of northern Lebanon.
   Turkey invaded Cypress in 1974 and still occupies part of it
   militarily. Morocco invaded and took over the Western Sahara.
   Only recently, the United States waged war on Nicaragua for a
   decade through the "contras," invaded and still occupies
   Grenada, and invaded and still exercises military occupation
   over Panama. Thus, the coalition allies included at least a
   half dozen states [not to mention France in Africa and the
   South Pacific and Britain in the South Atlantic] who
   themselves recently subjected other UN member states to
   military invasion and still occupy them or parts of their
   territory. This dirty half dozen clearly did not "defend
   Kuwait" to defend the international law that they were and
   still are breaking themselves. Like the other coalition
   members and demonstrably the mortal enemies Syria and the
   United States, they allied themselves with each other each for
   their own sordid realpolitik reasons. As the foreign minister
   of Australia, whose hands are not so clean either, explained,
   "the world is littered with examples of acquisition by force."
   Significantly however, hardly anyone except some Latin
   Americans - not even President Hussein and certainly not
   President Bush - has made the obvious linkage of the Iraqi
   occupation of Kuwait with the American one of Panama. Only
   eight months before President Hussein invaded Kuwait,
   President Bush himself invaded Panama  The US foreign invasion
   of sovereign Panama cost 4,000 to 7,000 lives [far more than
   the simultaneous domestic violence in Romania], used armed
   brutalization of part of the population, caused wanton
   destruction of property for which no amends have ever been
   made. Moreover, Panama is still "governed" by a "president"
   and two "vice-presidents" solemnly installed by the United
   States on an American military base and under effective US
   military occupation and rule to this day! 
   President Bush's "Just Cause" for his invasion of Panama with
   27,000 troops to catch one drug trafficker was a cynical lie.
   So much so that a year later in Panama the drug trade remains
   business as usual (IHT April 20-21, 1991 ), and in the United
   States President Bush's Justice Department has been unable to
   unearth a single shred of documentary evidence to use in court
   against General Noriega. Indeed, he may never get to court,
   not the least because Noriega himself probably has evidence on
   George Bush since their days of friendly collaboration no so
   long ago. The real reasons for President Bush's invasion of
   Panama have still not been revealed. Noriega's defense lawyer
   now claims that the real issue in the US-Norigea falling out
   was not reported drug dealing but Noreiga's late 1980s
   refusal, despite CIA threats, to help the CIA backed contras
   invade Nicaragua (IHT May 17,l991). Another reason for the
   invasion may have been the need to replace the no longer
   usable bogey of the Soviet evil empire with  a new one in the
   personalized form of a narco-terrorist in the Isthmus -- until
   a better bogey became available in the Gulf. However, more
   material incentives have also been suggested: In the short
   run, to forestall a deal with Japan, which was a threat
   because of Panama's accession to a majority on the Canal
   Commission on January 1,l990. There is also increasing
   evidence that a longer run reason for the U.S. invasion and
   continued occupation of Panama is to maintain control over the
   Canal by forestalling the execution of the Carter-Torrijos
   Treaty.  It stipulates the American handover of all of the
   Canal and its "Zone" to Panama on January 1, 2000. What limit
   then is there to cynicism when President Bush can now appeal
   to God, morality, and international law to condemn President
   Hussein's invasion and occupation of Kuwait, when he himself
   did and still does the same in Panama? 
   Unfortunately, lying cynicism is not limited to Presidents
   Hussein or Bush and their immediate supporters. No Security
   Council resolutions were passed, or even proposed, to protect 
   President Bush's new world order from his own violation of the
   sovereignty of Panama. On the contrary, President Bush
   received only acquiescence or even outright support for his
   violation of international law and human right in Panama. So
   had President Reagan when he invaded and occupied sovereign
   Grenada [which also is still administered by the United
   States]. Indeed, the entire European Community, not to mention
   the United States, also already supported Prime Minister
   Thatcher when she escalated her war against Argentina and its
   military junta [notwithstanding that she literally torpedoed
   on the ocean all efforts in Lima to defuse the situation and
   prevent war in the South Atlantic, and that she threatened to
   nuke the Argentine city of Cordoba]. The Malvinas/Falkland War
   was the first major war of all the West against a single Third
   World country. The latter received no support of any kind from
   any other country in the North, and only moral support
   regardless of political ideology from its regional partners in
   Latin America.  Therefore, it cannot be credible  that today
   the same old Western NATO allies -- and now the ex Warsaw Pact
   foes and new allies to boot -  appeal to God and justice from
   their high moral horses to condemn another violation of
   international law and to band together to wage war against a
   Third World country for the same. There must be other -- even
   more cynical? -- reasons at work. 
   Foreign Oil 
   The most obvious economic reason for the war has been oil.
   The real price of oil had again declined, especially with the
   renewed decline of the dollar in which oil is priced. Iraq had
   some legitimate demands, both on its own behalf against Kuwait
   and on behalf of other Arab states and oil producers. In
   pressing these demands by resort to invasion, Saddam Hussein
   threatened some other oil interests, clients of the United
   States, and the success of its "divide et impera" policy. 
   President Hussein invaded Kuwait for political economic
   reasons: to shore up his political capital at home and in the
   region in the face of increased debts from the Iraq-Iran War
   and declining earnings from oil revenues with which to settle
   these debts. 
   Time (August 20) observed that "the uneven distribution of
   wealth-producing resources -- the gap between haves and have-
   nots -- is fuelling a regional crisis, a struggle with severe
   implications for the entire world's standard of living." 
   The same issue of Time Magazine also quoted an advisor to
   President Bush: "this has been an easy call. Even a dolt
   understands the principle. We need the oil. It's nice to talk
   about standing up for freedom, but Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are
   not exactly democracies, and if their principal export were
   oranges...we would have closed Washington down for August.
   There is nothing to waver about here."  Later, placards
   carried in street demonstrations around the world expressed
   the same still more simply NO BLOOD FOR OIL. 
   That world renowned moral authority, Richard Nixon, aptly
   summed up both the recessionary and the oil reason, and to
   boot he managed to do so under the title "Bush Has it Right:
   America's Commitment in the Gulf Is Moral."   Nixon wrote 
     When Senator Bob Dole said we were in the Gulf for oil
        and Secretary of State James Baker said we were there for
        jobs, they were criticized for justifying our actions on
        purely selfish grounds. We should not apologize for
        defending our vital economic interests. Had America not
        intervened, an international outlaw would today control
        more than 40 percent of the world's oil....[However] it
        will not be just a war about oil. It will not be a war
        about a tyrant's cruelty. It will not be a war about
        democracy. It will be a war about peace....That is why
        our commitment in the Gulf is a highly moral enterprise
        (IHT Jan. 7, l991).
   It is hardly necessary to recall that before this same Richard
   Nixon resigned the US presidency to evade congressional
   impeachment for fraud and deceit, he directed a war to bomb
   Vietnam "back into the stone age."  It was said that "we had
   to destroy it to save it." 
   Domestic Recession 
   Another immediate economic reason for going to war was to
   counter domestic recession or at least its political
   consequences at home, as Secretary of State Baker suggested.
   Indeed, both presidents Hussein and Bush started this war to
   manage their own domestic political economic problems in the
   face of a new world economic recession. There was also recent
   precedent for the same. During the last world recession, both
   General Galtieri in Argentina and Prime Minister Thatcher in
   Britain started and escalated the Malvinas/Falklands War in
   l982. The reasons was that they both faced political problems
   at home, which were generated by the world economic recession.
   Only one of them could win the war gamble and thereby assure
   his/her political survival. Significantly, that war already
   pitched the entire West [and its nuclear arsenal] against a
   single country in the South.
   Why was American reaction against Iraq's invasion of Kuwait so
   strong? The United States went far beyond what most initially
   considered appropriate, likely or possible, indeed beyond what
   most people deemed desireable before it took place, as we will
   observe below. So why this reaction here and now and not, for
   instance, when Iraq attacked Iran or when Israel invaded
   Lebanon, not to mention its continued occupation of Arab
   territories? Part of the explanation of course lies in the
   differences in American interests among their clients and
   However, the timing of this American response abroad also is
   immediately related to economic needs and political conflicts
   at home. President Bush's failure to deliver on his electoral
   promises of a domestic renewal program were eating into his
   popularity ratings, and the oncoming recession reduced them 
   further. The recession, the growing budget deficit and the end
   of the cold war fed Congressional threats to the Bush-Cheney
   Pentagon budget. President Bush reacted with much historical
   precedent. We may note that the incumbent administration in
   the United States, whether Republican or Democratic, had
   already escalated incidents or opportunities to gear up the
   war machine in response to all previous recessions since World
   War II. 
   Truman's massive response in the Korean War in l950 followed
   postwar demobilization and the first recession in l949, which
   many feared might replay the depression of the 1930s. During
   the l953-54 recession, the United States intervened in the
   military overthrow of the constitutionally elected Arbenz
   government in Guatemala.  The l957-58 recession was followed
   by Eisenhower's intervention in Lebanon in l958. The l967
   recession was important in Germany and Japan and only
   incipient in the United States; because the latter avoided it
   through President Johnson's massive escalation to war in
   Vietnam. Yet Vice President and Democratic candidate Johnson
   had run and won his 1964 electoral campaign against the
   Republican Goldwater on the promise against war in Vietnam.
   The 1968 Vietnamese Tet offensive and the l969-70 recession
   were followed by renewed American escalation in Indochina,
   including Cambodia. The l973-75 recession also resulted in
   further escalation of the war in Vietnam.
   The 1979 recession and Democratic President Jimmy Carter
   initiated the Second Cold War.  The two track decision to
   install cruise missiles in Europe and to negotiate with the
   Soviet Union from strength as well as the 3 percent yearly
   increase in NATO budgets came before the Soviet Union invaded
   Afghanistan in December 1979. The unexpected strong American
   response, which was not expected by the Soviets or perhaps
   anyone else, followed not only the invasion but also the 1979
   recession. The 1981-82 recession brought on Reagan's military
   Keynesianism and massive arms build up, not to mention his
   Nicaraguan Contras policy and perhaps his over-reaction in
   Grenada. As already noted above, Margaret Thatcher also over-
   reacted analogously and received a new lease on her political
   life in the Falklands/Malvinas War when economic recession and
   political  demise threatened her government in l982. 
   Threats of recession and military budget cuts also prompted
   President Bush already to over-react massively in Panama. Even
   greater recessionary threats, decline of his popularity over
   the tax/deficit issue, and military budget cuts then drove him
   to over-react again even more against Iraq. Reports in the
   American press suggest that the Democrats have to shelve much
   of their proposed Congressional "peace dividend" cuts to the
   Pentagon budget. Of course, hardware and logistics for U.S.
   intervention in the Third World will receive an additional
   The World Recession of the 1990s
   The discussion by the US administration and press about
   whether the Gulf crisis brought on the recession or not is
   totally turned around; for both the timing and the causation
   were the other way around. For the recession of l989-l990-19??
   began months before Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and led first to
   President Bush's "Just Cause" invasion of Panama and then to
   the Crisis and War in the Gulf. As Richard Nixon noted, even
   Secretary of State Baker let on undiplomatically that the
   American stance in the Gulf was to maintain jobs at home; and
   The Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers,
   Michael Boskin, was quoted by the International Herald Tribune
   (Jan. 3, l99l) to say that the American economy would have
   been even worse off if military  operations in the Gulf had
   not helped stabilize it. 
   The recession began with the renewed cyclical decline in the
   rate of profits in l989, which continued in l990. The
   recession became evident in l990 -- some time before the Gulf
   Crisis and War. A very small sampling of newspaper headlines
   and some text [mostly from the International Herald Tribune]
   from l990 sets the tone: "U.S. Profits: Sign of a Slump [for
   second year in a row]," "1.3% Fall Forecast for U.S. [3.4 %
   annual rate in the last quarter of 1990]," "Amid Signs of a
   U.S. Recession, Bankruptcies Hit a Record," "U.S. Firms' Debt
   Service Burden Grows,"  "U.S. [corporate and municipal] Debt
   Downgrades Hit a Record in 1990," "Portfolios of U.S. Banks
   are Shakiest in 15 Years," "20 Big Banks Head for Failure.
   U.S. Agency Says Many Will Need Bailouts," "U.S. Deposit
   Insurance [of bank accounts] is 'At a Low'," "1991 Bank
   Failures Threaten U.S. Fund. Most Large Institutions Are on
   Verge of Insolvency, Congress Study Says,"  "This Is a Rescue?
   The S&L bailout is faltering - and the meter keeps running,"
   "No End in Sight. Politicians Hurl blame as the U.S. savings
   and loan crisis races out of control" -- but not only at the
   S&Ls, and not only in the USA. 
   The recession is already world wide: Canada and Australia are
   in severe recession. "U.K. Slump Worse Than Expected." 
   France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, even
   Switzerland ["bank profits down"] have reduced or negative
   growth rates. Africa is in depression. In Latin America, GNP
   declined  0.5 per cent and per capita 2.4 per cent in l990, on
   top of a 10 per cent decline in the l980s.  Now it is the turn
   of Eastern Europe with an over all 20 percent economic decline
   in 1990, and of the Soviet Union. Also "China  Sees Threats to
   Growth" and so does India, whom the crisis largely bypassed in
   the l980s. 
   Are Japan and Germany exceptions? Can and will they be the
   replacement locomotives for the world economy during the early
   1990s? "Without World Recovery, Bonn [Germany] Fears a
   Slowdown." "Germany's East: Bleaker Yet." "Economy Feels
   Strains as Price of Unity Mounts." "German Trade: No Moscow
   Miracles Foreseen" to restore exports and jobs lost.
   Bundesbank President Karl Otto Phl declared the economic
   consequences of German unification a "catastrophe" and drove
   the D-Mark down several cents the next day.
   In Japan, as well as in Korea and Taiwan, growth rates have
   also declined already. The Japanese speculative bubble has
   burst. "Japan's Big Banks Brace for Bad Results."  The stock
   market declined 40 percent in l990; real estate prices
   plummeted; and Japanese investors and speculators transferred
   funds inward from abroad to help them cover their losses at
   home. That is also why in l990,  for the first time since 1986
   and now that the United States needs it most, the net flow of
   Japanese capital was out from the United States to Japan. The
   prospects for a severe recession in Japan and the East Asian
   NICs are quite real. Either way, the prospects for economic
   cooperation instead of competition by Japan in the world
   economy are quite dim. "G-7 Aides Disagree on Policy;" "G-7,
   by Default, Gives Japan Go-Ahead on Loans to China." If Japan
   primes the pump or steams up its locomotive at all, it is
   likely to do so in its own region in Asia, as Germany would if
   at all in Europe.
   Thus, the threat that world recession in the early 1990s will
   be even more severe than in the early 1980s is quite real. As
   I wrote in l989 about "Blocking the Black Debt Hole in the
     The question is less one of a soft or hard landing than
        whether the world economy has already bottomed out, or
        whether the next recession will be still deeper once
        again. This is a serious danger, because the next
        recession threatens to exacerbate all these imbalances
        and to accelerate their resolution by sucking the world
        economy into the black hole of debt (to use the
        expression of MIT economist Lester Thurow). The
        accumulation of domestic and foreign debt in many parts
        of the world is likely to inhibit further domestic
        reflationary finance (call it Gramm-Rudman in the United
        States) to combat recession just when it is most needed
        in the next recession. That would be among other things
        to forestall the bankruptcies of junk bond financed
        corporations and banks dependent on interbank loans. Both
        US and Japanese monetary policies would be damned if they
        do and damned if they don't....
     The continuing world economic crisis is exacerbating the
        accumulated regional and sectoral imbalances especially
        among the world's major trading regions of America,
        Europe, Japan, and their Third World and Socialist
        trading partners. They will find it ever more difficult
        to manage the growing conflicts between financial debt
        speculation and real economic productive investment,
        through the already conflicting monetary, fiscal,
        exchange rate, trade, security and other policies.
        Therefore, another (again more severe?) recession
        threatens also to spark another (also more acute?) crisis
        within the crisis. More of the same muddling through is
        likely to become impossible. Any possibility of
        reimposition of the old American dominance (or an
        alternative Japanese new dominance) in a multilateral
        world economic and financial system  or its coordinated
        management by the G7, G5 or G3 is improbable in such a
        recession. (A, US bomb and Japanese yen based Pacific
        basin political economic consortium is possible but
        rather unlikely, and one including Europe even less
        likely). The most likely possible alternative resolution
        will therefore be increasingly neo-mercantilist
        regionalization of the world economy into American
        dollar, Japanese yen and German led European ECU / D mark
        zones and/or trading (and political?) blocs (Frank
   West-West Competition
   Additional underlying reasons for the belligerent American
   stance  leading to the Gulf War was the defense of American
   economic and geopolitical interests world wide. The primary
   threats to these American interests are competition from Japan
   and Germany, or from a Japanese led Asia and a German led
   Europe -- all the more so now that the Soviet "threat" is
   virtually eliminated. As we observed, the cold war is over -
   and Japan and German have won!  The Reaganomics of the l980s
   helped eliminate the Soviet Union from the running but at the
   cost of mortgaging the American economy and even its
   government's budget to the Japanese and the Europeans. The
   United States is now economically dependent on continued
   capital inflows from its principal economic rivals, which the
   Japanese already began to withdraw. In response to even deeper
   recession and/or with greater deliberation, the Japanese now
   threaten to pull the financial rug out from under the United
   States and its dollar altogether. At the same time, trade and
   other economic disputes grow ever deeper at various points
   including the GATT Uruguay rounds. Japan was distinctly
   uncooperative, and Europe refused to budge more than a few
   percent on the issue of agricultural subsidies. The road to
   "Europe 1992" was made more difficult by the 1989-90 events in
   Eastern Europe and by Britain's intransigent foot dragging.
   The July 1990 Houston Summit of the G [Group of] 7 industrial
   countries confirmed the live-and-let-live "Sinatra doctrine":
   Each one does it "my way," and the others nod approval, as
   long as they have no other choice. At that Summit, Prime
   Minister Kaifu of Japan announced a large scale program of
   loans to China, and Chancellor Kohl of Germany a similar state
   guaranteed loan of 5 billion DM to the Soviet Union. President
   Bush reiterated his "Enterprise for the Americas Initiative"
   for a free trade zone from Alaska to Patagonia [and $ 7
   billion remission of debts out of the over $ 420 billion!],
   which he had already hurried to announce a week earlier.  In
   each case, the other two listened, acknowledged, and did
   nothing either to participate or to stop it. Thus, they
   consecrated what the Soviet spokesman Gennadi Gerasimov had in
   another context baptized as "the Sinatra Doctrine." 
   Germany's first priority was and is reunification. The
   economic and social costs are enormous, and they are borne
   mostly by the people and their government(s). So far private
   industry in the West of Germany has been very slow to invest
   in the East of Germany - and much less even in the East of
   Europe. How long it will take Germany to get up the steam to
   put its locomotive in motion remains to be seen -- in Central
   and Eastern Europe. Little of this locomotive power is likely
   to be visible in the world economy elsewhere. On the contrary,
   as an economy that has been very dependent on exports to the
   world market, Germany itself has already suffered from
   declining export markets due to the recession elsewhere in the
   world economy. 
   In June 1990, the former editor of the American foreign policy
   establishment's Foreign Affairs, James Chace, wrote in
   International Management. Europe's Business Magazine
     AUF WIEDERSEHEN USA. There will be a European
        challenge.... Europe has ... turned Servan-Schreiber's
        thesis on its head. Today it is the United States that is
        fearful of Europe's economic strength and worried about
        its own relative economic decline....Approaching
        1992...if there are severe economic dislocations or, let
        us not forget, a global recession, there is no telling
        how the new Europe will react....From this prospect
        arises the even more frightening specter, to Americans at
        least, of a Fortress Europe dominated by great industrial
        groups that could freeze all competitors out of its
        market. If this should happen, the risks to the United
        States would be huge.... The likelihood that the
        Europeans will eventually form a pan-European security
        system of their own will further reduce U.S. power and
        influence.....Washington is almost desperately eager to
        remain in Europe. "The United States should remain a
        European power in the broadest sense, politically,
        militarily and economically," said U.S. President Bush in
        a speech last month.
   Two months later, Saddam Hussein offered President Bush an
   opportunity to meet the European challenge. 
   Using Military Strength to Compensate for Economic Weakness
   BRAVO FOR AMERICAN POWER celebrated the "serious" London paper
   Sunday Telegraph (Jan. 20, l991) in a five column editorial:
   "bliss is it in this dawn to be alive; but to be an old
   reactionary is very heaven.... Who matter are not the Germans
   or the Japanese or the Russians but the Americans. Happy days
   are here again." The same paper added farther down the page,
   "this is not going to be a multi-polar world. If there is to
   be a new world order, it will be based on US military power
   with Britain playing a key role. Saddam's scalp will be its
   first trophy."  Thus the London Telegraph also makes its own
   the observation of the aptly named American National Interest:
   "The fact [is] that the military power of the United States
   was the only thing capable of mounting an effective riposte -
   when the economic power of a Japan or a Germany was virtually
   irrelevant." Since World War II, the United States has not
   been able to use its military might against Japan and Germany;
   and it can no longer do much for them either, now that the
   Soviet military threat is waning. However, the United States
   still can - indeed without Soviet encumbrance now all the
   moreso - use its military might in and against countries in
   the Third World. In other words, the Gulf Crisis offered
   President Bush a black golden opportunity to try to redress
   declining American hegemony against its principal economic
   rivals in Japan and Germany by playing the only - that is
   military - ace he still has up his sleeve. Of course, at the
   cost of Iraq and the Third World, where this war was "played"
   out.  Without exception, all East-West wars since 1945 were
   fought on Third World soil. Now the West-West competition is
   to be fought out in the South as well.
   East-West, North-South
   Oft used labels aligned the old world order along East-West
   and North-South axes and conflicts. In recent years, however,
   the East-West ones have waned while the North-South ones have
   waxed ever more. So have, albeit to a lesser degree, West-West
   conflicts among North America, Western Europe, and East Asia
   led by Japan. Thus, recent history was marked by "Political
   Ironies in the World Economy" (Frank 1984/1987). Since l945,
   world economic conditions were shaping international and
   national politics and social movements. In particular, the
   economic conflicts and opportunities generated by the world
   economic crisis since 1967 would prove more important in
   shaping international relations and domestic policy than the
   ideological and political cold war between the United States
   and the Soviet Union. Many East-West conflicts were a sham and
   largely a cover for the always real North-South
   contradictions. None of the 14 "revolutions" in the South
   since 1974 was what it appeared to be or would turn out as was
   hoped or feared.  
     These observations among others suggest the further irony
        that much of the East-West conflict, especially between
        Washington and Moscow, is a smoke screen cover for North-
        South conflicts.... The world economic and technological
        development that is now passing through a crisis of
        regeneration, is perhaps, again ironically, likely
        further to diminish if not eliminate the importance of
        the East-West political division of the world much more
        than the North-South economic division, which it is
        likely to accentuate still further (Frank 1984/1987). 
   Under the title The European Challenge (Frank 1983/84), I also
   argued that world economic conflicts made greater "Pan-
   European Entente" [as per my subtitle] politically both
   possible and desireable, all state policies and obstacles of
   political blocs and their ideological inclinations
   notwithstanding. This inefficacy of "voluntarist" state policy
   and politics, especially for "national development" in a world
   economy, was also the basis for the rise to greater importance
   of alternative social movements in the West, South and also in
   the East (Frank and Fuentes 1989,1990). In the meantime, all
   of these and related analyses and forecasts, which seemed
   unrealistic in the ideological climate of their time, have
   become hard reality. However, these "ironical" turns and
   consequences are only logical repercussions of the changing
   world economic conditions. Now the cold war is over, and
   Germany and Japan have won!  However, the United States still
   has the military power and the political ambitions to try to
   defend its place in the world order -- now all the more so at
   the expense of the Third World South. 
   Political Economies of Escalation
   The escalation of the Gulf crisis was marked by three
   important new departures in recent international political
   economic relations:
   1. The energetic American response in the Gulf was visibly
   over a political economic issue. The issue is oil without any
   cold war ideological overtones. The conflict about oil and the
   massive American response was barely masked behind appeals to
   the "defense" of small states in international "law."
   2. This mobilization was entirely against (a part of) the
   South without any pretense of an East-West ideological cover.
   Popular reaction in the United States - and some physical
   attacks and threats against innocent neighbors - was directed
   against the Arab bogey. Not for nothing are the image of the
   Arab and of the "terrorist" often identified in the popular
   mind. The end of the cold war and of the Soviet Union and its
   Warsaw Pact as a credible enemy require the legitimation of
   another target. Actually, much of the ostensible East-West
   conflict had always been a convenient cover for the underlying 
   North/West-South conflict. Now, there is little alternative
   other than to bring that North-South conflict out into the
   open. Private enterprise drug traffic and individual terrorism
   are useful but limited alternative targets. They are better
   targets if it is possible to make a state sponsorship
   connection, as (wrongly) claimed about Libya. In Panama, the
   ostensible "enemy" was narco-terrorism. The two were combined
   and personalized by General Noriega and served as readily
   available ideological replacements for the no longer operative
   red menace/ Soviet bogey. Significantly of course, the target
   was also (in) the Third World. It is even more useful now to
   be able to mobilize for real war against a bigger Third World
   state and its supposed threat.  
   3. The third major departure in the Gulf is the near unanimity
   and alliance in the North against the South. The lineup
   against Iraq from West to East, includes the United States,
   Western and Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, China and Japan,
   as well as American client states and governments whose arms
   are easily twisted, as in Egypt and Pakistan. That new
   alignment is a major difference, new departure, and ominous
   threat for the future of "international" relations. Time
   Magazine commented on "the astonishing unanimity of
   purpose.... It is rare that a victim's fortunes are so
   directly tied to the health of the Western economies."  In
   view of the same, British Prime Minister Thatcher commented "I
   cannot remember a time when we had the world so strongly
   together." By "world" she means the "North," which is what
   counts. Yet, as Time quotes a Bush aide who watched his boss
   calculate, "he knew that to be effective, the lineup against
   Saddam had to be perceived as more than just the rich West
   against a poor Arab." This lineup was prepared with care and
   Public Iraq-Kuwait Disputes and Secret Kuwaiti-US Agreements 
   The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was not an unexpected bolt of
   lightening out of the blue. Its utilization as a pretext by
   the United States to launch its new world order through the
   most destructive war since World War II appears increasingly
   as malice aforethought.
     Stealing Kuwait was not simple greed or national hatred.
        Theft on a national scale [of what had been Iraqi before
        the British created Kuwait]  had become the only possible
        access for war-devastated Iraq to ... the modern standard
        of living that Western nations and small oil-producing
        emirates of the Gulf enjoy today as a matter of right....
        The strength of this almost suicidal  drive to emerge
        from poverty and backwardness ... was the motor (Jim
        Hoagland, IHT March 5).
   Iraqi grievances against Kuwait were an old inheritance from
   colonial times, which was newly aggravated by Kuwaiti action
   and perhaps provocation. The disputed border between Iraq and
   Kuwait was arbitrarily drawn through the old Mesopotamian sand
   by the British before they had to abandon their colonial
   empire. However, the British deliberately did so to deny
   Kuwait's oil and access to the sea to the populous Iraqis and
   to reserve them to a rich emirate, which would be more subject
   to Western influence.
   Indeed, the resulting division among Arabs in Iraq and Kuwait
   was only one example of their division into six large and
   populous but poor countries and six artificially created
   smaller states with oil reserves ruled mostly by emirs. These
   have scarcely shared their oil derived riches with their poor
   Arab "brothers" and have preferred to use them to flaunt their
   luxury at home and invest their surplus funds abroad in the
   Iraq never quite resigned itself to this colonial and neo-
   colonial arrangement and its borders with Kuwait. In
   particular, Iraq claimed two small off-coast islands, which
   would increase its access to the sea and tanker born exports
   of its own oil.
   Moreover, the border between Iraq and Kuwait obliged them to
   share the Rumaila oil field beneath. Iraq accused Kuwait of
   surreptitiously siphoning off increasingly more than its fair
   share of oil from this common field while Iraq was occupied by
   its war with Iran. This war left Iraq undercapitalized and in
   US $ 30 billion debt to its rich neighbors. Therefore, Iraq
   asked its rich Arab neighbors, including Kuwait, to forgive
   this debt and supply it with another $ 30 billion. They
   tentatively offered $ 10 billion each, but then reduced their
   offer to an insulting 
   $ 500 million instead.  Moreover, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia had
   started to add injury to insult by increasing their own
   production of oil and thereby driving down the price of oil on
   which Kuwait depended to recoup its wartime losses. Long
   before its recourse to the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq repeatedly
   denounced and demanded relief from all these measures, which
   it regarded as injurious affronts to itself. To no avail.
   On the contrary, information is emerging both quite publicly
   and less so that the overproduction of oil by Kuwait and Saudi
   Arabia to drive the price of oil down was a deliberate attempt
   to weaken Iraq. "The Kuwaiti government was acting
   aggressively - it was economic warfare" according to Henry
   Schuler, the Director of the energy security program at the
   Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies,
   which has often been linked to the CIA.
   Saddam Hussein and other Iraqis repeatedly complained about
   this economic warfare against them and demanded better and
   fairer treatment from their Arab neighbors instead. To this
   end, Hussein convoked an Arab summit in Baghdad in May 1990
   and complained of "economic warfare," but to no avail. In his
   Revolution Day speech on July 19, President Hussein called the
   oil price policy by Kuwait and the other Emirates "a poisoned
   dagger" thrust into the back of Iraq, which was left alone as
   the only real defender of Arab interests.
   King Hussein of Jordan was an intermediary in negotiations
   between Iraq, Kuwait and other Arab states. Michael Emery,
   writing in the New York Village Voice cites King Hussein as
   his source to make the following statements among others:
     Parties to the Arab negotiations say the Kuwaitis ... had
        enthusiastically participated in a behind-the-scenes
        economic campaign inspired by Western intelligence
        agencies against Iraqi interests. The Kuwaities even went
        so far as to dump oil for less than the agreed upon OPEC
        price ... which undercut the oil revenues essential to
        cash hungry Baghdad.
     The evidence shows that President George Bush, British
        prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Egyptian president
        Hosni Mubarak, and other Arab leaders secretly cooperated
        on a number of occasions, beginning August 1988, to deny
        Saddam Hussein the economic help he demanded for the
        reconstruction of his nation.... However, Washington and
        London encouraged the Kuwaitis in their intransigent
        insistence (Village Voice March 5, 1991 reprinted in Open
        Magazine Pamphlet Series No. 9 and also cited in
        International Viewpoint, April 15, l991). The Iraqi foreign
        ministry has distributed the translation of a supposedly top
        secret report to the Kuwaiti Minister of the Interior by his
        Director General of State Security. It is dated 22 November
        1989, informs of a meeting with the Director of the CIA in
        Washington, and reads in part: 
     We agreed with the American side about the importance of
        exploiting the deterioration of Iraq's economic situation
        in order to put pressure on the Iraqi government to
        consent to the delimitation of the borders. The CIA
        offered its own ideas about how these pressures might be
        exercised through extensive cooperation between the CIA
        and ourselves and that the coordination of these
        activities be established at a high level....The American
        side offers us a private telephone line to facilitate the
        rapid exchange of information (cited in part by Emery
   Emery also reports on a July 30 meeting between King Hussein
   and the foreign minister of Kuwait, who is the brother of its
   Emir. Emery notes that "despite Saddam's army on their border,
   the Kuwaitis were in no mood to listen." Emery asks
     Why were the rulers of this tiny city-state sure of
        themselves? Apparently, the Kuwaities thought the knew
        something the Iraqis didn't. In their July 30 meeting...
        [Kuwaiti foreign minister] Sheik Sabeh shocked the
        Jordanian delegation by saying: "We are not going to
        respond to [Iraq].... If they don't like it, let them
        occupy our territory...we are going to bring in the
     (Emery, ibid.).
   The Kuwaiti Crown Prince had told his senior military officers
   that they would have to hold off any Iraqi invading force for
   24 hours and the "American and foreign forces would land in
   Kuwait and expel them" (Emery, ibid.).
   Setting the American Trap for Hussein
   "The Americans were determined to go to war from the start,"
   and Saddam Hussein "walked into a trap" according to the
   former French foreign minister Claude Cheysson (IHT March 11).
   "State Department officials...led Saddam Hussein to think he
   could get away with grabbing Kuwait....Bush and Co. gave him
   no reason to think otherwise" (New York Daily News Sept. 29).
   The Former White House Press Secretary Pierre Salinger has
   written at length about how this trap was set [but
   unfortunately I have not yet had access to this
   documentation]. Bits and pieces of the jigsaw puzzle trap are
   also emerging elsewhere, however; and some may be summarily
   put together here. The belatedly publicized July 25 interview
   between President Hussain and American Ambassador April
   Glaspie is literally only the tip of the largely submerged
   iceberg of this trap setting story.
   Evidence is emerging to suggest that the Persian Gulf war is
   the result of a long process of preparation, much more so than
   the Tonkin Gulf one in Vietnam. For a decade during the Iran-
   Iraq war, Saddam Hussein's Iraq had enjoyed US and Western
   military,  political and economic support, including $ 1.5 
   billion of sales approved by the U.S. government. George Bush
   had been a key figure in the Reagan Administration's support
   for Iraq. After the conclusion of Iraq's war with Iran and the
   accession of George Bush to the American presidency, US policy
   towards Iraq became increasingly confusing at best and/or the
   product of a downright Machiavellian strategy to deceive Iraq
   and set a trap for Hussein.
   In March 1990, the "U.S. Bungled Chance to Oust Hussein,
   Report Says" (IHT May 4-5,l991). According to a belated U.S.
   Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff report, rebellious
   Iraqi military officers had sent out feelers asking Washington
   for support for a coup against Saddam Hussein. However, the
   Bush adminstration rebuffed them, and they desisted.  
   The [forced?] resignation and the testimony to Congress of 
   former Undersecretary of Commerce for Export Administration
   Dennis Kloske revealed that in April 1990 he recommended "at
   the highest levels" the reduction of high tech sales to Iraq.
   He himself sought to delay these exports by tying them up in
   red tape to compensate for the lack of such action by the Bush
   administration. Still during the last week of July, the Bush
   administration approved the sale of 3.4 million in computers
   to Iraq.  The day before the invasion of Kuwait on August 1,
   the US approved the sale of $ 695,000 of advanced data
   transmission devices  (IHT March 12).  As Kloske later
   testified, "The State Department adamantly opposed my
   position, choosing instead to advocate the maintenance of
   diplomatic relations with Iraq" (IHT, April 11).
   A month later in May l990, the National Security Council [NSC]
   submitted a white paper to President Bush "in which Iraq and
   Saddam Hussein are described as 'the optimum contenders to
   replace the Warsaw Pact' as the rationale for continuing cold
   war ilitary spending and for putting an end to the 'peace
   dividend'." Yet the same NSC toned down an April 30 speech by
   Vice President Dan Quayle adding "emphasis on Iraq misplaced
   given U.S. policy, other issues" [John Pilger, The New
   Statesman Feb. 8]. 
   At the State Department, Secretary James Baker had promoted
   John Kelly to Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern
   Affairs. Kelly visited Baghdad in February, "the records of
   which he is desperately trying to deep-six [bury]" (William
   Safire, IHT March 26,1191]. However, it has been revealed that
   Kelly told President Hussein that "President Bush wants good
   relations with Iraq, relations built on confidence and trust."
   Moreover, Kelly then rebuked the Voice of America and
   countermanded the Defense Department on statements, which he
   considered too unfriendly to Iraq. On April 26, Kelly
   testified to Congress that Bush administration policy towards
   Iraq remained the same and praised Saddam Hussein for "talking
   about a new constitution and an expansion of participatory
   democracy." Still on July 31, two days before the August 2
   invasion of Kuwait, Kelly again testified to a Congressional
   sub-committee "we have no defense treaty with any Gulf
   Kelly had sent the same message to President Hussein through
   the U.S. American Ambassador April Glaspie. In the July 25
   interview with President Saddam Hussein, she told him that "we
   have no opinion on ...conflicts like your border dispute with
   Kuwait...I have direct instruction from the President...
   Secretary of State James Baker has directed our official
   spokesman to emphasize this 
   instruction."  "Mr. President [Hussein], not only do I want to
   tell you that President Bush wants better and closer relations
   with Iraq, but also that he wants Iraq to contribute to peace
   and prosperity in the Near East. President Bush is an
   intelligent man. He is not going to declare economic war
   against Iraq."  In her testimony to Congress, which the State
   Department deliberately delayed until after the end of the
   war, Ambassador Glaspie was asked "did you ever tell Saddam
   Hussein...if you go across that line into Kuwait, we're going
   to fight?" Ambassador Glaspie replied "No, I did not." 
   In the meantime on July 19, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney told
   the press that the US was committed to defend Kuwait if
   attacked. However, his own press spokesman Pete Williams
   immediately repudiated Cheney's statement as spoken "with some
   liberty," and the White House told the Defense Secretary that
   from then on he was to leave making statements to itself and
   the State Department. On July 24, Iraq moved two divisions to
   the Kuwaiti border, and on July 25, the same day as the
   Hussein-Glaspie interview, a Kuwaiti military attache working
   in the Basra consulate informed the government of Kuwait that
   Iraq would invade on August 2. Two days later the director of
   the CIA warned President Bush of the likelihood of coming
   invasion. On July 31, "a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst,
   Pat Lang, bluntly warned in a memo that Saddam Hussein
   intended to invade. Mr. Lang intended his memo as 'a
   thunderclap' to top policy makers ... but it drew virtually no
   reaction" (IHT May 3, l991 citing Bob Woodward). On August 1,
   Secretary of State Baker told his colleague Soviet Foreign
   Minister Sheverdnaze, as the latter waited till March 1991 in
   turn to tell Moscow News, that the United States "has proof
   that aggression is possible" by Iraq. Yet, time and again,
   President Hussein was and continued to be reassured and
   emboldened by the Bush administration and its Department of
   State, as well as by the US Senate minority leader Bob Dole,
   who also went to visit him. Little wonder, that many observers
   in Washington and elsewhere concluded that the Bush
   Administration [deliberately?] gave Saddam Hussein the green
   light to invade Kuwait. Moreover as the Village Voice (January
   22,l991) also revealed, since then US intelligence sources
   also learned from their "assets" in Iraq that President
   Hussein was personally informed of the American reactions,
   took each to be yet another sign of Bush administration
   acquiescence with his intentions, and then seemed genuinely
   surprised at the very different and belligerent American
   reaction to his move into Kuwait.
   President Hussein also may have had additional reasons for his
   move beyond the immediate ones of his oil related grievances
   with Kuwait. The stalemate in his war with Iran incited him to
   try for a realignment of the regional balance of power once
   again. It is useful to recall that Mesopotamia [Iraq], Persia
   [Iran], and Egypt always, and occasionally the Arabian
   peninsula also, have disputed but never achieved hegemonial
   regional overlordship for long since the Sumerian Sargon tried
   around 2,500 BC! 
   Immanuel Wallerstein (Economic and Political Weekly, April 27,
   1991) suggests four reason that may have made the time
   ripe for Hussein to make another move to that effect: 1. The
   world debt crisis for which seizing Kuwaiti assets offered
   some relief at least to Iraq; 2. Israel's recent foreclosure
   of peace talks and increased intransigence with the
   Palestinians, to whom Hussein's move seemed to pose no further
   loss and might enhance their bargaining power; 3. The end of
   the cold war and the crisis in the Soviet Union deprived him
   of their support but thereby also of American fears of the
   same; and 4. the collapse of the ideology of national
   development through domestic efforts suggested the need for
   more drastic measures. These included seizing Kuwait first as
   a bargaining chip, and when that failed, then as Iraq's 19th
   province. The likelihood of much adverse response must have
   seemed remote, particularly in view of the repeated green
   lights by the Bush administration.
   Springing the Trap on Hussein by Foreclosing any Diplomatic
   Way Out 
   Between the Iraqi invasion on August 2, 1990 and the start of
   American bombing on January 17, l991, President Hussein gave 
   clear indications of his willingness to negotiate an Iraqi
   withdrawal on at least six separate occasions.  Three times,
   he  unilaterally took steps, which could have led to
   withdrawal. President Hussein made repeated statements
   indicating that he was serious about withdrawal, which would
   include Iraqi "sacrifices" for a negotiated package deal. On
   more than one occasion, President Hussein and his foreign
   Minister Tariq Azis also told UN Secretary General of their
   desire for a negotiated solution. All these Iraqi and other
   initiatives came to naught, because the American Bush
   administration wanted and arranged for them to fail. We
   briefly review only some of these initiatives to avoid the
   Gulf War, which the Bush administration in the United States
   insisted on fighting.
   British Prime Minister Thatcher was in Washington in early
   August and egged President Bush on to take a completely
   intransigent hard stand to deny Saddam Hussein any step back
   or way out. We should recall that President Hussein himself
   first claimed he was only helping a rival government in
   Kuwait, which had asked for his help. Only after the first
   still not clear international response, did he take the next
   steps to complete military occupation, then to annexation, and
   finally to making Kuwait the 19th province of Iraq. In the
   meantime on August 3, the day after the invasion, the
   inveterate Jordanian mediator King Hussein got Saddam Hussein
   to agree to attend another hastily convened Arab summit on
   August 5 and then to begin to withdraw from Kuwait again on
   condition that there should be no condemnation of Iraq.
   Nonetheless, under pressure by Washington and London
   especially on Egyptian President Mubarak who received a call
   from President Bush, by the evening of August 3 a majority of
   the Arab League had already issued a condemnation at the
   urging of Mubarak. He immediately received the remission of
   the US $ 7 billion Egypt owed the United States. It was a
   deliberate and ultimately successful drive to scuttle all
   attempts at a negotiated diplomatic settlement of the Iraqi
   claims, which many people even in Washington considered
   reasonable and negotiable. 
   US troops "to defend Saudi Arabia" arrived there on August 7,
   after several days delay. However this delay was only
   necessary to overcome the resistance thereto of the Saudi
   government who felt no danger of any possible attack by Iraq.
   It appears that the Pentagon then duped the Saudis with
   allegations that US satellite pictures showed Iraqi troops
   massing on the Saudi border ready to invade.  Later Soviet
   satellite pictures examined by American exports showed Iraqi
   troops in Kuwait that numbered not "even 20 percent the size
   the [US] administration claimed. We don't see any
   congregations of tanks, or troop concentrations. The main
   Kuwait air base appears deserted" (St. Petersburg Florida
   Times cited in War Report No. 6/7, March 23, 1991).
   However, Emery comments again
     But Saddam's intentions were actually less critical at
        this juncture than Western intentions. In another
        conversation King Hussein had around this time, with then
        prime minister Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady let it
        slip that "troops were halfway to their destination
        before the request came for them to come [International
        Viewpoint April 15, l991, 
     p. 21]. 
   Indeed, Iraq sent another proposal to negotiate, which was
   received on August 9 in Washington. The next day, the NSC
   recommended its rejection as "already moving against [our]
   policy."  Former CIA director Richard Helms tried to find
   consideration for the Iraqi initiative, which a State
   Department Middle East staffer called both "serious" and
   "negotiable." However, it was not so considered by the Bush
   administration, where Helms found no one and "nothing in this
   that interested the US government." On August 12, Iraq again
   proposed its own withdrawal from Kuwait linked to the
   withdrawal from their occupied territories by Syria and
   Israel. The US, of course, rejected all "linkage," and Iraq
   then dropped this negotiating demand according to Yasser
   Arafat. Two weeks later, Iraq made still another offer of
   withdrawal linked to some settlement  of its old demands about
   the two islands, the Rumaila oil field,  and oil production.
   The offer reached the Bush administration on August 23 but was
   rejected out of hand. Indeed, as the New York Times diplomatic
   correspondent noted on August 22, any and all such Iraqi
   initiatives with "a few token gains for Iraq...[like] a
   Kuwaiti island or minor border adjustments" had to be blocked
   lest they might "defuse the crisis."   
   Therefore also, Iraq's "serious prenegotiation position" was
   again dismissed by the United States on January 2, l991. The
   US and UK also threatened to veto the French proposal on
   January 14 to avert the start of bombing after the January 15
   UN deadline  for Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. The February 15
   Iraqi offer to withdraw was again dismissed as "linked" to the
   Israeli-Palestine problem. The February 20-22 Soviet
   initiative to preclude the ground war was rejected, etc.
   Indeed countless further Iraqi, Irani, Jordanian, Algerian,
   French, Soviet, and other initiatives, including those by the
   UN Secretary General, to negotiate a peaceful settlement of
   the crisis had to be and were effectively blocked by the Bush
   administration. It wanted and  planned its NEW WORLD ORDER WAR
   instead. Far from "going an extra mile for peace," President
   Bush deliberately deceived one and all with his and Secretary
   Baker's "negotiations" instead to camouflage his own war plan,
   to be reviewed below.
   The Jordanian King Hussein remarked "I've been convinced for a
   while that there was no effort to dialogue, there was no
   effort to reach for a diplomatic solution, and there was
   preparation  from the word go for war" (Emery, ibid.)
   Planning Mr. Bush's War
     According to a reconstruction of major internal
        deliberations and decisions by President George Bush and
        his senior advisors ... offensive military planning began
        in earnest in September, and on Oct. 30, a week before
        congressional elections, Mr. Bush secretly approved a
        timetable for launching an air war against Iraq in mid-
        January and a large-scale ground offensive late in
        February that would strike deep into Iraqi territory to
        encircle President Saddam Hussein's army....General
        Schwarzkopf had introduced the concept of offense from
        the very beginning. ... The dimension of the planned
        military buildup were closely held by Mr. Bush and his
        inner circle.... The plan  required almost doubling  the
        200,000 U.S. forces in the Gulf.... That critical
        decision increased U.S. troops from 230,000 to more than
        500,000.... Mr. Bush showed no hesitation in making the
        decision to increase troop strength, but decided to keep
        it secret until Nov. 8. Why? 'Nov. 8 was a very important
        date because it was  after Nov. 6' a White House official
        said, referring to the election. ... In the two hour
        meeting [on October 30], Mr. Bush made two fundamental
        decisions: first, to set in motion the machinery for a
        midwinter war against the Iraqi Army and, second, to win
        a UN mandate for that war. To that end, he dispatched Mr.
        Baker on a round-the-world tour to round up support for a
        Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force"
        ( Thomas Friedman and Patrick Tyler, IHT March 4, 1991). 
   Yet two days after this important war plan meeting, on
   November 1 "Bush Denies He Prepares U.S. For a Gulf War. Says
   He Wants to Refocus Attention on Hostage Plight" (IHT Nov. 2,
   l990).Later President Bush would repeat again and again that
   "no one wanted war less than I did."  But did he ever tell the
     Mr. Bush's decision to use military power was opposed by
        a bewilderingly mixed bag of radical Democrats, moderate
        and conservative Democrats, conservative Republicans and
        Republican right-wingers. The strongest intellectual
        cases against going beyond sanctions were made by
        Republocrats like Zbigniew Brzeznski, James Schlesinger
        and Paul Nitze. All are staunch conservatives; all are
        renowned advocates of a muscular U.S. national security
        policy. Then there was Edward Luttwack, the mother of all
        conservative strategists ... [and] Pat Buchanon. 
     Eight of nine recent secretaries of defense favored
        staying with sanctions. This group included none other
        than [President Reagan's Secretary of Defense] Casper
        Weinberger. Two recent chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of
        Staff, Admiral William Crowe and General David Jones,
        were even more reluctant to use force than Mr.
        Weinberger. This unique brew of Bush critics was joined
        by probably 90 percent of American and European experts
        on Arab affairs" [Leslie Gelb, IHT March 11, 1991].
     This is becoming one man's war. It is George Bush's War;
        the only thing that matters is what he thinks. In
        Washington, people who know Mr. Bush say he is a man
        obsessed. There is no point in arguing with him about
        this matter, but men very close to the president say
        privately that anyone who tries to disagree is risking
        access and position.... What does the President want?
        More war, less talk. As commander-in-chief, he is
        operating like a medieval king. This chief seems to be in
        command alone, with technical advice from his military
        leaders" [Richard Reeves IHT Feb. 26, 1991 my emphasis,
   In this context, it is even more revealing then to find from
   Bob Woodward's later expose that 
     last fall, General Colin L. Powell, chairman of the Joint
        Chiefs of Staff, had serious reservations about the Bush
        administration's shift toward an offensive military
        strategy in the Gulf and repeatedly suggested
        "containment" of Iraq...short of war.... He finally
        raised the issue with Mr. Bush.... Mr, Bush, according to
        Mr. Woodward's account, answered "I don't think there's
        time politically for that strategy." The book does not
        elaborate on the president's political considerations. 
        After that meeting, General Powell felt he had gone as
        far as he could (IHT May 3, l991) -- without, perhaps, risking
        his access and position!
   The ultraconservative American columnist Charles Krauthammer
   notes in the IHT, March 5, 1991: 
     Remember how roundly, and correctly, Mr. Bush was
        criticized for being unable to articulate the justness of
        the cause.... So he did it, as they say in the Middle
        East, by creating facts. Four times since Aug. 2 he made
        unilateral decisions that were bold and generally
        unpopular. Yet each action reshaped the debate.... Fact
        1, Aug. 7: the initial U.S. troop deployment ... found 56
        percent [of polled Americans] opposed.  Announcement of
        the deployment, framed as a defense of Saudi Arabia, drew
        immediate, 81 percent approval....
     Fact 2, Nov. 8: doubling the ground troops. That put the
        United States on a war footing and created a great wave
        of Democratic opposition. But there was little the
        Democrats could do. Mr. Bush had used his power as
        commander in chief to create a political fact.... Fact 3,
        the launching of the war itself. But here, too, Mr. Bush
        had constrained the debate with more facts, in this case
        the already established United Nations deadline....
        Having prepared the battlefield, as the military briefers
        like to say, Mr. Bush won. By a hair, but he won. Then
        Fact 4, the ground war.... Ten days before the ground
        war, the CBS/New York Times Poll found only 11 percent of
        Americans in favor of launching one. When asked again
        after the ground war started, 75 percent approved.... My
        point is merely to note the magnitude of his political
        achievement and the most unusual way in which he 
     did it: not with language but with action [Charles
        Krauthammer, IHT March 5, 1991].
   Two propaganda blitzes dominated the war: one was that it was
   valiantly waged against "the world's fourth largest army" with
   a highly trained "elite Republican Guard." The other one was
   that therefore the coalition forces had to put on history's
   first  high tech "Nitendo" like electronic war with "smart
   bombs" - at least curtesy of US and UK military command video
   taped briefings for CNN and other TV networks around the
   world. Hardly anyone then noticed that these two features of
   the war were mutually contradictory in principle, and
   empirically false in practice.
   However, former French Foreign Minister Claude Cheysson
     I categorically reject notions about avoiding unnecessary
        damage. The allied goal of annihilating Iraq's economy
        was bound to involve civilian casualties.... 200,000 - a
        massacre, with a terrifying impact.... Why don't you ask
        why the air war lasted 40 days instead of the 15 as
        planned" (IHT March 11, 1991).
   Only after it was all over, did a bit of the truth emerge
   about what finally the International Herald Tribune headlined
   "Desert Mirages: In the War, Things Weren't Always What they
   Seemed. U.S. Overestimated Size and Ability of Iraq's Armed
   Forces." It did so deliberately to help justify the carpet and
   terror bombing of both the military and civilian "assets"  of
   this Third World country with a population of only 17 million
   souls. The Pentagon presented sanitized images of a new kind
   of high tech war between machines, not men. We saw videos of
   outgoing Patriot[ic] American missiles impacting on incoming
   Iraqi Scud missiles. However, we only learned later in the war
   that the Patriots only hit the Scud propulsors and did not
   destroy their warheads, which still hit buildings and killed
   people. We also were not shown that both missiles fell back to
   the ground to cause damage. Indeed only on April 18 did the
   IHT reveal that "the Patriot may have caused as much damage as
   it prevented." 
   The military commands also released many videos of precision
   guided smart bombs taking out hard targets in Iraq. However,
   they neglected to show the that these bombs still were not
   smart enough not to miss 10 percent of their targets. Still
   less did they mention that the smart bombs accounted for only
   7 per cent of the tonnage dropped. Of these, the 3 percent of
   the total dropped by the new Stealth bombers accounted for 40
   percent of the target hits, which included roads, bridges,
   power plants, irrigation works -- indeed "the works."  The New
   York Times editorialized a bit late on March 25,l991 [IHT
     The bulk of the damage found by the  UN team was not
        accidental or "collateral," but the intended consequence
        of the successful air campaign to destroy Iraq's war
        machine by attacking its industrial base and urban
        infrastructure. The findings raise questions about how
        much of that bombing was needed, or justified. That
        debate will go on....
   The Times and other "responsible" media, however, did precious
   little to start the debate before or during that bombing, when
   it should have been avoided, limited or stopped.  When the
   American targeters hit first the only powdered milk and infant
   formula factory in the country and then a civilian air raid
   bunker / shelter, the Pentagon insisted that they had
   correctly hit military targets.  CNN and its Peter Arnett was
   hounded as a traitor to the cause for sowing doubts after
   having loyally already aired hundreds of hours of war
   propaganda. In the pot calling the kettle black, the US
   Commanding General Schwarzkopf said "I did resent CNN aiding
   and abetting an enemy who was violating the Geneva Convention"
   (IHT March 28, l991). 
   Nonetheless it was later revealed that only 60 percent of the
   laser guided bombs hit their intended targets and the other 40
   percent missed (Boston Globe Jan. 29, l991). Moreover, we may
   ask what happened to the 97 percent of bombs that were not
   from Stealths or the 93 percent of the bombs which were not
   smart enough to get on TV? Answer:  75 percent of them missed
   their assigned targets and did only "collateral" damage. In
   English, they carpet bombed and terrorized both the civilian
   population and its conscripted sons in the Iraqi army. Indeed,
   that was of course the deliberate purpose of using squadrons
   of Vietnam age B52s and their notoriously inaccurate high
   altitude bomb runs. Indeed, some bombs were so big that they
   would not fit into the B52s and had to be carried in and
   shoved out of even bigger transport planes.  
   The United States again used Vietnam fame napalm and cluster
   "anti-personnel" [not anti- person/s?] bombs and fuel
   explosion bombs. These bombs suck oxygen out of their target
   area and wantonly asphyxiate their victims of mass
   destruction, if they did not kill them through the concussion
   waves of their explosion. The Los Angeles Times (Feb. 24,
   l991) also reported on the first wartime use of more
   "efficient" new anti-personnel weapons: "Improved conventional
   munitions [ICM] can kill four times as many soldiers."  Adam
   and Bouncing Betty bombs bounce off the ground to detonate at
   the more lethal groin level. The Beehive is "perhaps the
   ultimate concept in improved fragmentation...[and] spins at
   high velocity, spitting out 8,000 flechettes -- tiny darts
   with razor edges capable of causing deep wounds."  The
   fragments of white phosphorous howitzer shells "can continue
   to burn hours after they have penetrated a soldier's body,
   creating deep lesions." According to the propaganda, the
   "Hitler" Hussein had and threatened to use fuel explosive and
   chemical "poor man's atom bombs." However, Iraq never used any
   such weapons. The Americans did not threaten. They not only
   used their tried and true old napalm and other anti-personnel
   weapons. The Americans also used their first opportunity, of
   course in the Third World, to try out their new weapons of
   mass destruction and annihilation on their poor defenseless
   Iraqi victims. The Iraqis never fought back. Except for the
   Western propaganda value scud missiles, the Iraqis were never
   reported to have even tried to drop a single bomb or shell on
   allied troop formations.
   The United States also violated United Nations International
   Energy Commission regulations to which it had agreed not to
   bomb nuclear facilities, because of the danger of
   uncontrollable contamination. Despite this ban and danger,
   American bombs were dropped on Iraqi nuclear facilities
   anyway. "In one of these cases, the bombardment resulted in
   what Iraq described as 'radiation contamination of the
   region'.... Thousands of Iraqi weapons have been described by
   Baghdad as buried beneath the contaminated debris of Iraqi
   storage sites and production factories" (IHT May 2, l991).
   Contrary to Allied assurances as well, bombs also damaged
   ancient archeological treasures from Sumerian and Assyrian
   times (IHT May 6, 1991). 
   The Casualties of Direct Hits and "Collateral Damage"
   No one knows, or probably ever will know, the resulting number
   of Iraqi casualties in an unnecessary war that could and
   should have been avoided. The world's "fourth largest army"
   from a population less than 50 percent bigger than New York
   City had been decimated without any means of self defense from
   the air before the long heralded but only 100 hour allied long
   ground offensive even started.  Only after the war, several
   press sources repeatedly reported American military and CIA
   estimates between 100,000 and 250,000 Iraqi primarily military
   dead. In his televised interview with David Frost, the
   American commanding general Norman Schwarzkopf referred to
   "50,000 or 100,000 0r 150,000 or whatever of them to be
   killed." A Saudi military commander told CNN of 100,000 Iraqi
   troops dead and 200,000 wounded. A French military
   intelligence source told the Nouvelle Observateur that 200,000
   were killed. The Muslim Institute referred to "up to 500,000
   Iraqi civilians killed or injured by Allied bombs" in the
   April 12 IHT. The eleventh hour or last minute destruction of
   the two convoys, one 38 Km long with 5000 vehicles, retreating
   out of Kuwait, whose  grisly remains were televised around the
   world, cost the totally unnecessary and unjustifiable death of
   further countless thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians,
   as well as of Kuwaiti hostages. Pilots later said that the
   retreating Iraqis were "basically just sitting ducks" and "it
   was like shooting fish in a barrel" (Washington Post Feb. 27,
   l991). The British Independent (Feb. 28, l991) fond it
   "sickening to witness a routed army being shot in the back."
   Otherwise, hardly any protest was murmured, and even that was
   rejected by on high.
   At war's end in Iraq, a United Nations commission of inquiry
   found a country in "near apocalyptic" conditions of
   catastrophe with its economy, society and people bombed back
   into the pre-industrial age. The civilian economic
   infrastructure had been deliberately destroyed. There is no
   more electric power to treat urban sewage, to provide drinking
   water or to irrigate agricultural land. US President Bush
   wants "not one dime" spent on Iraqi reconstruction and,
   instead, had the Security Council adopt a cease fire
   resolution to force poor Iraq to use some of its future oil
   earnings to pay for the reconstruction of rich Kuwait. The
   Emirate, in turn, has reserved and assigned over 70 percent of
   its reconstruction contracts for American companies like the
   Bethel construction company, which sacrificed itself to supply
   the Secretaries of State and Defense to the previous
   administration !
   That is, "The New Way of War is to Bomb Now and Kill Later,"
   as the April 17, l991 IHT headlines a column in the Washington
   Post  by the vice president of the World Resources Institute,
   Jessica Mathews. As a direct result of carpet bombing Iraq's
   infrastructure back into a pre-industrial age
     the International Committee of the Red Cross, which
        normally expresses itself in the most understated
        language it can devise, warned last week of the seeds of
        a "public health catastrophe of immense proportions."  It
        was referring not to the plight of the 1.5 million Kurds
        but to that of the other 14 million Iraqis. The principal
        threat is contaminated water and lack of sanitation....
        Dr. Jack H. Geiger, president of Physicians for Human
        Rights, who has just returned from Iraq, says he would
        not be surprised if the nationwide toll may soon reach
        "many tens of thousands." ... The [UN] secretary
        general's mission expects "a catastrophe...at any time."
     Food is scarce....The June harvest is questionable, with
        no electricity to run irrigation pumps and no gasoline
        for harvesting combines. Food now available cannot be
        stored because of lack of refrigeration. Seeds for next
        season's crop were destroyed. Famine is in imminent
     The extent of present and anticipated human suffering
        demands some clear answers to these questions. With whom
        were the allied at war, Saddam Hussein or all Iraqis? If
        not all Iraqis, which?... How far does America's and
        other coalition members' responsibility extend for
        Iraqi's suffering? If Iraq cannot pay for what its people
        need while also paying reparations, what should be done?
        Finally, unavoidably: Was it worth it?
   In answer, Gulf War US Commander in Chief General "Stormin"
   Norman Schwarzkopf declared 
     I have a great feeling of a great victory. Anyone who
        dares even imply that we did not achieve a great victory
        obviously doesn't know what the hell he is talking about
        [IHT April 13-14]
   The same General Schwarzkopf had also declared that if there
   ever were any conflict between his ethics and his duty, he
   would of course chose his ethics above his duty. ln l983
   already, he valiantly used 6,000 troops to conquer mighty
   Grenada and its unarmed Cuban construction workers at the cost
   of still untold casualties. Early on in the Gulf conflict, he
   had given public assurances that anyone evacuating Kuwait
   would of course be guaranteed safe passage, for otherwise it
   would be unreasonable to expect them to leave. Then, he killed
   every last member of the 5,000 vehicle retreating convoy. Now,
   General Schwarzkopf also says "never say never" to the well
   earned proposals of a nomination to the presidency of the
   United States. In the meantime, Stormin Norman intends to
   retire with "multimillion dollar book offers" for his memoirs
   and/or a multimedia book and film deal [IHT 13-14 April]. For
   the victory euphoria among some people in the United States
   seems to know no bounds. 
   So it was certainly "worth it" for them, since President Bush
   aptly noted that "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome
   once and for all."  Vietnam had been "bombed back into the
   stone age," but the humiliated  Americans were forced to
   withdraw in defeat anyway. Now the "great victory" over Iraq
   is the corner stone of America's "new world order."
   Other Human Costs
   There were already been many other important casualties even
   before the first shot was fired: The millions of refugees in
   the Gulf region; the millions of people who lost sources of
   their livelihood from the occupation of Kuwait and the embargo
   against Iraq. The many Third World countries from which the
   guest workers came lost the remittances of foreign exchange
   from these workers. Moreover, they now return home penniless
   to augment the masses of the unemployed. The price of
   petroleum temporarily skyrocketed for the old Third World
   countries in the South and the new Third World countries in
   Eastern Europe. Hundreds of millions of people around the
   world saw their most urgent problems [like renewed famine in
   Africa] even more neglected by the attention, which was
   focussed on the Gulf. All of these suffer from President
   Hussein's occupation of Kuwait and President Bush's escalation
   of the same into a major war. Post war refugees by the
   millions were also forseeable. As in all occupation and war,
   the rape of women multiplied. All of these casualties were
   bound to multiply again in the course of the war itself and
   even after the "liberation" of Kuwait. Yet only some of these
   costs and casualties merited little concern at best, and then
   only when it was necessary in order to tie some regional
   governments into the alliance, like Turkey and Syria, or
   maintain them neutral, like Jordan and Iran.  Most of these
   momentous problems and their literally untold costs to
   countless millions of people have received no, or virtually
   no, attention from the "responsible" presidents, their allied
   prime ministers, their governments, the United Nations, or the
   mostly warmongering media. The direct financial costs of the
   war to the coalition allies, from which the United States
   seems to be making a net profit, are better considered in the
   discussion below of the American New World Order.
   Ecological Costs
   The Ecological costs of the war have been enormous, but so has
   been their western propaganda use to extend and intensify the
   war. That way, the ecological costs were increased still
   The oil spills in the Gulf were blamed on the Iraqis by the
   Pentagon. The media showed heart rendering images of oil
   stricken birds. As it turned out, these pictures were taken
   during earlier oil spills elsewhere. The purpose, of course,
   was to whip up even more anti-Hussein sentiment to justify the
   escalation of the war. After all the propaganda, the
   ecological damage turned out to be less than advertised.
   Wildlife conservationists now estimate that 1/2 of 1 percent
   of the birds in the area were affected. The percentage of
   Iraqi people killed was very much higher, but their pictures
   did not go around the world. As to the oil slicks themselves,
   Claude-Marie Vadrot of the Paris Journal de Dimanche (Feb. 3)
   writes "none of the existing slick in the Gulf have resulted
   from voluntary action or piracy, and four out of five are the
   responsibility of allied forces." The first one was from the
   January 19 allied bombardment of three oil tankers. The second
   one from the January 20 bombing by French and British planes.
   The third one can be attributed to Iraqi bombardment.  The
   fourth is due to  allied bombardment of Al Ahmadi, and the
   fifth oil spill if from the bombing of Boubyane Island by
   British planes. 
   The 500 Kuwaiti burning oil wells were indeed set afire by the
   Iraqis, who had announced from the very beginning that they
   would have to use this measure. It was one of the few
   available to them to defend themselves from superior force in
   general and from threatened amphibious attacks across the Gulf
   waters in particular. Moreover, having been incited into this
   war by Kuwaiti oil competition and duplicity, Iraq now assured
   itself of a long respite from this competition by setting fire
   to the Iraqi oil wells.  The resulting man-made environmental
   damage from smoke is unprecedented, at least in its regional
   impact. However, this damage also is much less than was
   advertised, and it has been noted that the same oil would
   eventually be burned one way or another somewhere else anyway.
   Less has been said of the ravages to the desert environment by
   over a million troops with their heavy equipment and its
   destruction. However, the responsibility for the wanton
   disregard of all this environmental threat and damage must be
   shared if not carried by the coalition allies and their
   American leadership, who pushed ahead with their war plans in
   total disregard of this problem. So much for the promises and
   commitment of President Bush and others to safeguard the
   environmental future of wo/mankind. 
   The Gulf War fought against a ruthless dictator in the South
   by the great democracies in the West violated or subverted the
   most important bases and institutions of democracy. The United
   States Congress, other Parliaments, and the will of the vast
   majority of the people in the West were violated. Freedom of
   the Press was actively censored, and the Free Press guardian
   of democracy self-censured itself. As much by omission as by
   commission, the media deliberately misled the public.
   Participant democracy in civil society and its organization
   through social movements were bypassed and neutralized or
   sterilized. On the other hand, racism and chauvinism
   flourished and were used to aid and abet the war effort on the
   home front. The Gulf War was falsely fought in the name of
   "democracy." The war witnessed one of the sorriest days for
   real democracy in the West, not to mention the newly
   democratic East.
   Setting Up and Blackmailing Congress 
   Another major institutional casualties of the Gulf War were
   the American Congress and other parliaments.  The
   constitutional mandate of Congress to keep the President in
   check and balance, and especially to exercise its authority to
   declare war for good cause were subverted.  President Bush
   skillfully manuevered Congress with deceit and blackmail
   reminiscent of and functionally analogous to the Tonkin Gulf
   affair. [That was when President Johnson faked a Vietnamese
   attack in the Tonkin Gulf to deceive Congress into authorizing
   escalation in Vietnam in l964].  All through the autumn, the
   American Congress and public were against a US war in the
   Gulf. However, President Bush manuevered and blackmailed
   Congress to back him up to go to War in the Gulf by adept and
   deceitful timing.  
   Congress would surely have refused to vote Mr. Bush war powers
   in November or perhaps even in December. That is surely also
   why President Bush did not send his war resolution to Congress
   before he had crossed so many Rubicons, that Congress could
   hardly deny its support to the American men and women, whom
   President Bush had sent to the battle front. A crucial step by 
   President Bush was to double the number of troops in Saudi
   Arabia by bringing in 200,000 more American NATO troops from
   Germany in November. He brought them, not as initially
   announced to rotate them with, but now to add them to, those
   already there.  Thereby also, the mission of the American
   troops was changed from the supposed defense of Saudi Arabia
   against a possible attack by Iraq to the "liberation" of
   Kuwait through the planned American attack of Iraq itself and
   to the defeat of its military forces. In view of this
   commitment by President Bush, the ever astute Henry Kissinger
   then observed that any withdrawal without victory now  "would
   lead to a collapse of American credibility, not only in the
   area but in most parts of the world" (quoted in the
   International Herald Tribune Jan. 17, 1991).
   These far reaching decisions were made before the November 6
   American congressional elections. However, they were
   deliberately withheld from the public and Congress before the
   elections and only implemented thereafter.  The same day of
   the above cited eventful meeting at the White House,
     on Oct. 30, Mr. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker
        briefed congressional leaders but said nothing explicit
        about the president's war policy. Later that day Mr. 
        Bush doubled U.S. troop levels -- a decision not
        disclosed to the public until the election was past (New
        York Times editorial "Bush the Warrior" in IHT May
   Neither the American public, nor the American Congress, would
   have agreed to this deliberate escalation towards war by
   President Bush if they had been given a choice. That is why
   President Bush gave them no choice, but instead deceived them
   and pursued his covert policy of faits accomplis.  
   Then, President Bush deliberately delayed seeking
   authorization of his war plans from Congress until January,
   because he knew he would be refused until he could put
   together a strong enough foreign hand to finesse and blackmail
   an ever patriotic domestic Congress. In the meantime, Bush and
   Baker used diplomacy to build up an international coalition
   for the Gulf. Especially crucial was UN Resolution 678 to set
   a January 15 deadline for Iraq and for Bush to use the over
   half a million armed forces he had sent to the Gulf. Some
   American commentators remarked on the irony that President
   Bush was able to get the authorization for going to war in the
   Gulf from the United Nations, which he was unable to get from
   his own American Congress.  Then, of course, he used the one
   in his faits accomplis policy to get the other as well. 
   Thus, President Bush used the powers of his office first to
   overcome congressional and popular opposition, then to get
   reluctant approval, and finally to achieve jingoistic
   enthusiasm for his war. President Bush had already made over
   400,000 American troops ready for battle in the Gulf, which in
   itself exerted pressure on Congress now to accept this fait
   accompli and to authorize their use.  Moreover, President Bush
   threatened to give the order to send them into war with or
   without the approval of Congress, to whom the Constitution
   reserves the right to declare war [which it never did in
   Vietnam]. Even so, in its pre-deadline resolution nearly half
   the Senate still dared to oppose or at least to delay the use
   of these troops for war. However, President Bush's war
   resolution passed, the January 15 UN deadline came and went;
   and the US Commander in Chief gave the order to fire. Then, of
   course, Congress - the Senate voted 98-0 - and the American
   people were faced with President Bush's [so far] final fait
   accompli, which now oblige them to rally around their troops,
   their flag and their President. 
   President Bush's strategy to blackmail the American Congress
   was particularly effective through its use at the eleventh
   hour before going to war. Another conservative commentator
   asks us to
     recall the circumstances of the key congressional vote on
        Jan. 12, four days before Mr. Bush launched the air
        war.... Some number of legislators - quite possibly the
        number that tipped the balance - made their decision not
        on the basis that war had become necessary and feasible.
        No,...they felt that a vote to authorize force offered
        the only chance remaining to squeeze Saddam into backing
        off. In short, whatever the president and his advisors
        may have thought, the vote in Congress was finally
        carried not by those who had determined that war was
        inevitable and who were ready for it, but by those that
        hoped that war was still avoidable. At that moment,
        moreover, there was little awareness evident anywhere in
        Congress that the United States and its allies were going
        to wage the sort of fantastic high-intensity military
        campaign, air and ground, that materialized" (Stephen
        Rosenfeld IHT March 11, 1991).
   Thus, President Bush won. The American Congress was denied its
   constitutional mandate to exercise checks and balances on the
   President, and especially on his ability to wage war. Through
   all this deceit by President Bush, the two major institutional
   safeguards against war, the United Nations and the United
   States Congress,  became major casualties of President Bush
   and those who supported him before the first shot was even
   fired in the Gulf War. 
   Other parliaments in the West were also bypassed and/or
   bamboozled into supporting and paying for a war whose real
   reason and purpose was never explained to them or their voter
   constituencies.  The easiest task was perhaps in Britain,
   where all substantive discussion of the matter in the House of
   Commons was avoided, and attention was focussed on the change
   of parliamentary and government leadership. President Bush's
   most enthusiastic foreign support did come from Britain, first
   under the leadership of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and
   then under that of her successor John Major. The London
   Telegraph (January 20,1991) offers an interpretation in a
   column entitled "TO THE POINT" : "Britain goes up in the
   world" again thanks to its support for President Bush in the
   Gulf, which "suggests that Britain, not Germany, is the more
   natural leader for a Europe aspiring to greater political
   unity." In support of this thesis, the same paper also cites
   "so influential an American organ of opinion" as the Wall
   Street Journal. Moreover, by February 14, the International
   Herald Tribune would report that "Britain has a new
   credibility within the EC that has been bolstered, for the
   time being at least, by the Gulf crisis, officials said."
   Unmentioned but perhaps not irrelevant is the consideration
   that the recession ridden British economy and the London
   financial "City" still need the continued financial support of
   the Kuwaiti and other oil sheiks and that in this same
   recession the unpopular Tory government was in dire need of a
   political boost. A jingoist war in the Gulf offerred both.
   In Japan, in Germany and even in France the heads of
   government had more trouble bypassing their parliaments and/or
   twisting their arms to exact support for Mr. Bush's war. All
   in turn were subject to blackmail and arm twisting from
   Washington, also ironically  exercised through Secretary of
   State Baker's trip around the world to pass the hat for
   financial contributions to the "common cause." Considerable
   powers of persuasion by the governments of the United States
   and their allies were necessary and exercised, because the
   people and their elected representatives in these countries
   had much trouble understanding just what they were supposed to
   contribute their taxes for, or why.
   Free Press Censorship, Self-censorship and Orwellian New Speak
   The Gulf War was accompanied and indeed prepared by the
   biggest media blitz in world history. However, when war breaks
   out, the first casualty is the truth -- it was said already
   during the Crimean War 130 years ago. Poor Joseph Gbbels.
   Hitler's minister who made the management of racist and
   totalitarian war propaganda synonymous with his name, would
   have had to start again in Kindergarten to learn today's high-
   tech news management of Orwellian New Speak to brainwash a
   global population via instant satellite TV. If democracy
   relies on informed people, all semblance of democratic
   procedures were thrown to the wolves. They clad themselves in
   sheeps' clothing not to misinform Little Red Ridinghood but
   supposedly educated responsible adult citizens and voters.
   "Managing the news was seen as part of the war-winning effort"
   as the TV reporter Geoff Meade observed from his posting in
   Saudi Arabia. Indeed.
   The Pentagon managed press [sess?] pool was the most
   successful military weapon used in the war. The pool was
   designed to permit a military monopoly on gathering,
   assembling, and disseminating  information through commission
   and especially omission. Far from denying military secrets to
   the military enemy in Iraq, however, the pool was intended to
   and did operate to create secrets for and foreclose or
   neutralize potential civilian enemies of the war on the home
   front.  The military command not only prescribed and
   administered sanitized news drop by drop for its dissemination 
   by an obedient medical corps of news doctors. The Pentagon
   news pool also prevented unlicensed practitioners to operate
   on or near the battle field. Moreover, woe was to any
   independent free-lance or indeed network newsman or woman who
   dared to ask "anti-military" questions about the patient or to
   see him outside of established visiting hours and places, or
   to disseminate any medicine not prescribed by the Pentagon's
   team of news doctors. Big Brother Pentagon immediately
   blacklisted these undesirable newspeople and denied them
   access to the socialized medicine of the military blood news
   bank. An information pamphlet was also circulated to US troops
   in Saudi Arabia urging them to avoid any mention to newspeople
   and others of 19 different topics ranging from American good
   relations with Israel to questionable ones with some Arabs. 
   Therefore, there were the severest penalties for filming,
   writing, speaking, editing, publishing or otherwise
   broadcasting any news or any ever so mild critique of the real
   or video shooting war, which  was not to the Pentagon's
   complete liking. Newspeople were threatened not only with de-
   accreditation, but also with deportation from Saudi Arabia and
   environs.  Very few took the risk or left on their own
   account, as a CNN reporter apparently did rather than
   forsaking her integrity. 
   The self-censorship by the press at home probably exceeded
   even the military's blackout of battlefield news and its
   analysis, which might have fed the patient at home with even a
   modicum of the information he might have used to question the
   aims and prosecution of this war. Fairness & Accuracy in
   Reporting (FAIR) for instance summarizes "Eight (Self-
   )Censored Stories National Media Ignored" in the United
     1. Secret U.S. arms shipments to Iraq during the Reagan
        Administration; 2. The diplomatic scandal of Ambassador
        Glaspie's signal that the U.S. would not oppose Iraqi
        invasion; 3. The Kuwait connection of its financial clout
        in the U.S. and the conflict of interest of National
        Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft; 4. Racism and bigotry
        in the U.S. military; 5. Slave labor in the Gulf; 6. The
        true cost of the war including interest and veterans'
        benefits could be more than 10 times the official
        estimate; 7. The army that wasn't there poised to invade
        Saudi Arabia; and 8. Bush's family ties in the Gulf
        (quoted and paraphrased from Extra, May 1991, p. 16).
   These and many other stories were deliberately ignored,
   because their airing by the media might have sown some doubts
   in the public mind about the justification of this war and
   thereby reduced home front support for the same. Instead, the
   news were managed to rally home front support for the war
   before, during, and after its bloody prosecution in Iraq - and
   to manage public perception of the political, military and
   missile/bomb aims and victims of the war. They were sanitized
   through newly mounted video cameras accompanied by comments in
   Orwellian Military NewSpeak. It covered the whole gambit from
   the poisoned alphabet soup of new acronyms for military
   technology and terminology to the sanitized verbs used to
   "soften up," "degrade," "suppress," "take out," "down,"
   "cleanse," "neutralize" and "eliminate" mention of killing
   real people by the hundreds of thousands. The famous
   "collateral damage" was not limited to the "target rich
   environment" of Iraq, but was worldwide -- or was all of that
   damage to informed public opinion and democracy deliberate as
   well?  If so, the media blitz war was successful -- and not
   For the evidence is that on the home front itself there was
   still much dissatisfaction with the press -- for failing to
   contribute enough to the war effort!  Once the shooting
   started, barrages of letters, phone-ins, interviews, and
   public opinion polls in the US and UK  at least gave vent to
   public demand for even more sanitized news censorship and
   management of their own brainwashed opinion. 80 percent of
   Americans supported the restrictions on the press and 60
   percent wanted even more military control over the press and
   information (IHT Feb. 1,l991). So where then was the denial of
   democracy? Was it in managing public opinion less than it
   wanted? Or was the abrogation of democracy to be found in the
   brainwashing of people who for the whole second half of 1990
   knew neither what such a war should be fought for, nor wanted
   it to be fought to begin with -- that is before the missile
   and video shooting started?  
   Little wonder that Anthony Lewis could belatedly summarize in
   the New York Times under the title "Docile Media Hawked the
   Official View of the War":
     Most of the press was not a detached observer of the war,
        much less a critical one. It was a claque applauding the
        American generals and politicians in charge. In the press
        I include television, its most powerful component now and
        the most egregious lapdog during the war. For the most
        part the networks simply transmitted official images of
        neat, painless war. Or worse: put a gloss of independent
        corroboration  on those false images. And they were
        false.... Perhaps the most dangerous shortcoming of the
        press was its failure to keep asking whether the war was
        necessary or wise. Once the bombing started  that
        fundamental political question was mostly put aside....
     The May issue of Harper's Magazine ... [carried an
        article] by the editor, Lewis H. Lapham and is entitled
        "trained seals and sitting ducks" [which observed that]
        the administration well understood ... that it could rely
        on the media's complicity in almost any deception dressed
        up in patriotic costume" (IHT May 7, l991).
   The Violation of Participant Democracy in Civil Society
   The London Sunday Telegraph (January 20, l991) offered good
   advice to Western and other governments: 
     Not that the danger from the peace movement has wholly
        passed....If things start going wrong in the Gulf, we may
        need to have recourse to jingoism, if only to combat the
        fire and fervour of the peace movement.... For so long as
        primitive, irrational pacifism can continue to cloud the
        minds of men - as it can and does as never before - so
        long will it be necessary for there to be an equally
        strong emotional antidote on the other side.... It would
        be a foolish Western leader who threw this indispensable,
        if ancient and primitive, psychological weapon [of
        jingoism] onto the scrap-heap before victory was assured.
   The London Telegraph must be proud to have such attentive and
   obedient readers in Downing Street and the Mother of
   Parliaments, in the White House and Capitol Hill, and of
   course in Baghdad and all over the Arab and Islamic world too.
   The decisions and faits accomplis to go to war were made at
   the highest national and international levels. These
   governmental leaders not only failed to consult their
   populations and voters. As we noted above, President Bush
   deliberately even avoided putting the issue to the people's
   elected representatives in Congress until long after the
   Congressional elections and his subsequent doubling of
   American Gulf troops in November l990. In so doing, these
   government leaders also pulled the rug out from under the
   social movements in civil society both in the United Sates and
   Western Europe, after these movements had already been
   bypassed in Eastern Europe. The mobilization of civil society
   around a myriad of local, national, and international issues
   of gender relations, environmental issues, and the peace
   movement itself received a brutal blow. Even the director of
   that old cold war think tank, the International Institute for
   Strategic Studies, observed in the International Herald
   Tribune (February 11, 1991) "the current collapse of pacifist
   movements in Western countries, not the least Germany, is one
   of the notable features of the war."  
   That, of course, is one front in which the media played out
   their assigned roles. A few thousand Western hostages in
   luxury hotels merited banner headlines and major TV coverage,
   while several hundreds of thousands of destitute Third World
   refugees from Kuwait and Iraq went virtually unmentioned.
   Saddam Hussein's retention of Westerners as his "guests"
   unfortunately facilitated the further popular image equation
   with the hostage syndrome.  In the United States early on
   already, popular reaction  - and some physical attacks and
   threats against innocent neighbors - was directed against the
   Arab bogey. Not for nothing were the image of the Arab and of
   the "terrorist" often identified in the popular mind. When
   Hussein launched his Scud missiles against Israel, he helped
   rally widespread sympathy and media support around the world
   for Jews and the war in defense of Israel. For that reason,
   many Jews themselves already supported the war against Iraq
   since [before] the beginning. Hussein intended his attack on
   Israel to mobilize support for him among Arabs and other
   Muslims; but its effect was to was rally much more support for
   the war against him elsewhere. The same Saddam Hussein who had
   received scant media and popular attention when he gassed his
   Kurdish citizens was then vilified as a new "Hitler," who had
   to be fought like the old one. Critique of this false
   comparison and the western war aims was then unjustly branded
   and dismissed as "Anti Semitism."
   In Europe, the media confronted people with a choice between
   the Iraqi Saddam Hussein and the American George Bush.  With
   that choice, the man in the street and in front of his TV set
   chose the white American. More women, fortunately or wisely,
   refused that false Hobson's choice and opted for peace
   instead. Nonetheless, European civil society rapidly became
   shot through with rabid racism and chauvinism directed against
   any and all Arabs and Turks -- in total disregard of the fact
   that many governments of Arabian countries and Turkey [which
   also has its eye on some Iraqi petroleum producing territory]
   were loyal and active members of the allied coalition of the
   Americans and Europeans. Thereby, these West Europeans may
   also have  demonstrated a preference for replacing cheap non-
   European labor from the South by the newly available source of
   European cheap labor from the East. Perhaps it was not
   altogether accidental that half a dozen countries in Western
   Europe chose that time to lift visa requirements for entry by
   Poles, who came by the train and busloads to look for work.   
   Nonetheless and very significantly so, western people in
   Europe, and of course in the United States as well,
   demonstrated that they were not entirely duped by the myths
   that their leaders and the beholden media propagated about
   this war and the supposed "principles" for which it was
   fought. Instead, these people in the North demonstrate through
   their own belligerent action against colored immigrants or
   workers from the South on the streets at home that they feel
   and understand the War in the Gulf was between their North and
   the South. In the ex-East, especially in Central and Eastern
   Europe, people as well as their governments sought advantage
   by siding with the Western powers in the Gulf War. They vented
   their spirits against Third World workers and students brought
   into and still residing in their societies and neighborhoods
   by the previous regimes.
   At the same time, the people in the South felt and understood
   the same thing about this war. That is why all around the
   equator not only Arabs and not only Muslims, but all kinds of
   other people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America demonstrated
   against the United States and its war against the Third World.
   They also demonstrated in support of Saddam Hussein who,
   however cynically, has been cast in the role of defender of
   the South. The cruel fact is that in popular perception and
   feeling in the North as well as in the South, this was a WAR
   BETWEEN "US" AND "THEM"!  Alarmingly, this terrible war was
   also fought out in the streets, schools, and institutions of
   civil society around the world. What's more it continues to be
   fought there long after the allied bombing stopped in Iraq. 
   Thus, another one of the major political, social, and cultural
   costs and damages of this war has been to feed aggression and
   pitch neighbor against neighbor in civil society neighborhoods
   West, East, and South.  Many people experienced and some
   testified to heightened tension and agressiveness on Western
   city streets during the war. Soon after the war, serious
   racial disturbances broke out in the American capital,
   Washington, and in the European "capital" Brussells. Moreover,
   the war and its macho imagery on TV meant another big step to
   the [re] masculinization of society everywhere. The war and
   the world appeared [probably accurately] run by men. Women
   were portayed in their roles to keep the home fires burning on
   or near military bases in the United States while waiting for
   their men to return from heroic duty in the war. Western TV
   prominently featured only two women in male settings, the
   American soldier made prisoner by the Iraqis and the BBC
   reporter Kate Adie. Thus, the war and its TV rendition also
   set back women's position in society and their demands and
   struggle for more equal rights.
   Thus deliberately or not, the Gulf War bypassed, undermined,
   violated, subverted, and otherwise seriously damaged the most
   precious democratic institutions and processes in the very
   democracies who supposedly went to war to defend democracy
   against tyranny. This violation and sacrifice of democracy, in
   addition to the negation of peace and threat of future wars,
   are a terrible price to pay for the new world order.
   The Peace Dividend Cancelled
   The most important and most obvious international political
   cost of the war is to peace. This sacrifice of peace, however,
   has several dimensions, not all of which have received the
   attention they merit. Perhaps the most significant one is the
   [deliberate?] cancellation of the "peace dividend" in its
   broadest sense, which was perhaps naively expected from the
   end of the cold war. The hoped for peace dividend was not
   limited to the conversion of military production to civilian
   use or the diversion of military budgets to social needs. 
   More importantly, the peace dividend promised a transition
   from cold war and its associated hot wars in the Third World
   to a new era of peace, such as that which broke out in several
   Third World countries in 1988-89. Then, the United Nations
   successfully intervened to that effect in Afghanistan, Angola,
   Cambodia, Iran-Iraq, Namibia, if not Nicaragua; and its blue
   helmets were awarded the Noble Prize for Peace. The end of the
   cold war and its associated stalemate between the superpowers
   in the Security Council held out [vain?] hopes that the UN
   could finally begin to meet its chartered responsibilities to
   keep the peace. Most important perhaps however,  the peace
   dividend was to be the de facto renunciation of war as an
   instrument of foreign policy in the settlement of
   international disputes, as enshrined 45 years ago in the
   United Nations Charter.  
   The Gulf war has dashed all of these peace dividend hopes.
   Most important and most dangerous as a post cold war precedent
   for the "new" world "order" is the renewed resort to war, this
   time by a coalition of allied Western powers with some
   southern and eastern support. They waged war without any
   clearly defined cause against a solitary small Third World
   country.  This war clearly announces that military might is
   right in all senses of the word.  Ominously, this war also
   threatens the repeated resort to similar wars in the future.
   The linkage of this war to a supposed "new world order" is
   serious, because it demonstrates for all to see that this
   "new" "order" is being initiated and constructed, and then is
   to be maintained, through the wanton destruction of the weak
   by the military force of the powerful.  To do so moreover, 
   the Western allies pervert, divert, and subvert the world's
   and their own most precious institutions. The world's United
   Nations institution is perverted. The Western allies own
   "defensive" military  NATO institution is diverted or
   converted into an offensive instrument against the Third World
   South. Western parliamentary institutions are subverted to
   lend anti-democratic after the fact blessings to the war.
   Civil society is bypassed west, east and south, except to use
   the emergence of inflamed racism and virulent chauvinism to
   support the war. In the recently "liberated" East, the first
   international policy decisions by the newly "democratizing"
   governments are to support a war against the South in hopes of
   thereby meriting a few crumbs from the Western table.  Several
   Third World and Arab governments are literally bought and paid
   for to lend their support and coverup of this charade against
   one of their own. The media around the world are coopted,
   censored, and self-censored to present the whole package as
   the beginnings of a just peaceful new world order!  We may
   proceed to examine some of this new world order blueprint and
   construction a bit more carefully.
   Perversion of the United Nations Peace Mission for War
   The first and most major institutional sacrifice and cost to
   peace was the perversion of the United Nations. Secretary
   General of the United Nations Javier Perez de Cuellar has
   declared outright that "this is a US war, not a UN war" and
   "the Security Council is controlled by the United States,
   Britain and France." 
   The conservative American columnist William Safire wrote under
   the title "Consider These White Lies And the Truths they
     This is not a UN enforcement action; that part of the UN
        Charter has never been invoked. Instead this is a
        collective defense authorized by the Security Council,
        similar to the Korean defense, which means that the
        resolutions ... cannot be revoked without American
        concurrence.... America shows obeisance to the UN, but
        obedience is a white lie: The fighting coalition
        determines ... (William Safire IHT Feb. 26).
   President Bush and his Secretary of State Baker put together a
   coalition in the Security Council first to condemn Iraq, then
   to impose an embargo, then to authorize military teeth to
   enforce it, and finally to legitimize recourse to war. In all,
   they got twelve UN resolutions in their pocket, as President
   Bush and Mr. Baker never tired to point out. However, they do
   not say how much their diplomacy paid, bribed, blackmailed or
   strongarmed some member governments to do their bidding. Most
   significantly, President Bush maneuvered the United Nations
   into legitimizing his actions, without revealing that each
   step of the way would be irreversible nor how it would lead on
   to the next step to war. Yet the Washington Post
   (International Herald Tribune Jan. 17,l991) quotes a senior
   official and long time aide to President Bush to the effect
   that he has been prepared for war since August. The London 
   Sunday Telegraph (Jan. 20,l91) agrees: "President Bush and Mrs
   Thatcher took the decision to go to war long before there was
   any hope of getting UN sanction, and they did so with a
   justifiable clear conscience." President Bush "always knew
   what he was going to do and has now done it in his own good
   time in the most favorable diplomatic and military
   The United Nations surely did not know, and certainly was not
   told by President Bush. The UN is not likely to have given him
   its support for the purpose President Bush had known and
   prepared for "in good conscience" since August.  The UN is not
   likely to have voted the same way after the shooting started,
   if it had the choice. But it did not. Indeed, the Security
   Council was never again convened on the Iraq war until it
   ended. Only then was the Security Council again convened by
   the United States to legitimize its demands for unconditional
   Iraqi surrender -- and by implication the entire war and
   devastation, to which the United States and its coalition
   allies had subjected the people of Iraq.
   The Security Council violated the United Nations Charter on
   several counts in particular and shirked its general
   responsibility to the world to keep the peace. Instead, the
   Security Council and the United Nations institution and
   prestige was perverted to "legitimate" war.
   Under the UN Charter, the Security Council mandate is to
   preserve the peace, not to authorize or legitimize war.
   Moreover, the Charter enjoins or bars the resort to war under
   Article 42 until the Security Council [not the President of
   the United States] determines under Article 41 that all
   peaceful means to resolve a dispute have been exhausted. 
   Clearly, this was not done before this war. Then again, the
   Security Council, and not President Bush, is supposed to
   decide what to do next with the means at its disposal, not
   those of the United States and its coalition allies. Moreover,
   under Article 42 the forces to be used are those of the United
   Nations, which can "include"  those of member states. The
   armed forces used in the Gulf war, however,  were not the UN
   blue helmets, and the coalition allies did not even, as in
   Korea, fight under the UN flag. Resolution 678 stipulated that
   "all necessary means" could be used to evict the Iraqis from
   Kuwait if they did not leave on their own by January 15. Of
   course under the Charter again, what "all necessary means" may
   be is to be determined by the Security Council and not by the
   United States. Finally, of course, all the political and
   military decisions were made by the American President and
   military commander. For their own reasons and purposes and
   with out any advice or consent from the United Nations, the
   American led coalition clearly used far more deadly means than
   As observed above, the United Nations Security Council was
   never again convened or consulted during the course of the
   war. Its pursuit therefore was condemned only in their own
   names by the Secretariat staff of the United Nations! 
   In fact however, even the procedural legality of the Security
   Council resolutions is in doubt on several counts under the UN
   Charter. One of these is that under the Charter's Article 27,
   Clause 3, all five permanent members of the Security Council
   must cast an affirmative vote for a decision to be valid.
   However, China did not vote affirmatively, but abstained on
   the crucial Resolution 678 to use "all necessary means" after
   the January 15 deadline for Iraq to get out of Kuwait.  Only
   by convention, but not by the Charter, is an abstention not
   counted as a veto. [The United States used the same sort of
   convention to marshall UN support for its war in Korea, while
   the Soviet Union was temporarily boycotting the UN and China
   was denied its seat]. Thus by all counts, this war was not a
   United Nations war. However, the war was falsely presented as
   being sanctioned by the United Nations and the 12 resolutions,
   which the United States exacted from the Security Council to
   use in flouting and deceiving public opinion in the world. In
   so doing and in the service of its own questionable motives to
   say the least, the United States deliberately subverted the
   institution and prestige of the United Nations. 
   The imposition of the January 15 deadline and the commitment
   of military forces to the Gulf war by other countries were
   other ineluctable steps on the road to war.  These steps were
   (deliberately)  made necessary by the foregoing ones to begin
   with. That is, both presidents Hussein and Bush built up
   military forces and political positions, which made further
   escalation necessary. The American military forces and perhaps
   the coalition alliance could not be maintained in the Gulf
   without further escalation. In particular, it was realized
   that the military forces could not continue to sit on their
   hands indefinitely and especially not after the onset of the
   sandstorms in the Spring. Then and during the Islamic holy
   month of Ramadan, these forces also could no longer go on the
   offensive. Therefore, it became necessary to get an earlier
   deadline for them to be put into action. Better sooner than
   later, and the Security Council obliged with a January 15
   deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait. 
   Of course, the United States had the enthusiastic
   collaboration of the United Kingdom, the reluctant cooperation
   of France, the silent acquiescence of the Soviet Union, and
   the abstention of China among the permanent members with veto
   powers on the Security Council.  They and some other members
   of the Security Council lent their votes and/or their silence
   to this perversion of the Charter and this hijacking of the
   name and prestige of the United Nations for this sordid war.
   Instead of preserving the peace, the United Nations was used
   to further an illegitimate and unnecessary war. The cost of
   this precedent to the people and peace of the world could not
   be higher.  It will have to continue to be paid for years to
   come. American begnine neglect and payments arrears in the UN
   were less damaging than US [mis]use of the UN to further its
   own imperial ambitions. The United Nations itself became the
   first major casualty of the Gulf War.
   Indeed, "the diplomatic activity of the UN was impeded from
   the very beginning" and "The US and the United Kingdom,
   mainly, was opposed to the Secretary General's involvement"
   according to the Yemeni Ambassador to the UN and its
   representative on the Security Council, Abdallah al-Ashtal
   (MERIP, March-April 1991, p. 9).  UN Secretary General Javier
   Perez de Cuellar himself said that his hands were tied and he
   was powerless. Why did he,  like Soviet Foreign Minister
   Sheverdnaze or French Defense Minister Chevennement, not
   resign? At least that way he could have helped to dramatize
   and expose or perhaps even stop the charade of using a United
   Nations cover for a United States war!  
   NATO Redirected Southward
   The diversion and redirection of the NATO alliance and
   institution by President Bush from East-West conflicts to
   North-South ones portends a most serious precedent for the
   world as a whole. Indeed de facto, President Bush already set
   a very serious  precedent in November, when he sent to the
   Gulf the American NATO troop contingents, which had been
   stationed under American NATO command in Germany. De facto
   also, President Bush used NATO facilities and American
   supplied military hardware - and no doubt software also - for
   deployment to the Gulf and asked his NATO allies in Europe to
   step into their place with their own. This quiet diplomacy and
   de facto policy of faits accompli by President Bush to
   transform the function and direction of NATO threatens to
   become one of the most dangerous legacies of the Gulf War for
   the rest of the world.  Thus, the integrity of NATO and the
   peace dividend from the end of the cold war were another major
   casualty of President Bush's Gulf War policy even before the
   first shot was fired.
   NATO was also used to blackmail a reluctant Germany into
   active miliary support for the Gulf War. Germany is
   preoccupied with its own unification and is scarcely
   interested in direct support for President Bush's war policies
   in the Gulf. So President Bush found a round about way to
   involve Germany too. Fellow NATO country Turkey shares a
   border with Iraq. Its government has been an American client
   all through the cold war, and still is. Thus, it was not too
   difficult for President Bush and Mr. Baker to bring Turkey
   first into the embargo and then into the alliance against
   Iraq. That exposed Turkey to a potential threat from Iraq.
   Therefore, why not have Turkey call on its NATO allies for
   protection against this real or imagined threat by Iraq. Still
   better, Turkey could make a direct appeal to fellow NATO
   member Germany. It did, and Germany was obliged by NATO rules
   to send at least a squadron of military aircraft to Turkey.
   Germany, like Japan, is prohibited by its American imposed
   constitution from sending its military forces abroad, except
   in its own defense. However, it is permitted to so dispatch
   its military within the framework of NATO. 
   Thus, President Bush managed to divert both Germany and NATO
   from their regional concerns and potentially to engage them in
   his war against a Third World country in the Gulf. Turkey
   agreed to permit the use of its soil for American military
   aircraft to attack Iraq. [First the announcement was withheld;
   then the American flights were called "training missions;"
   finally it turned out they had been flying bombing missions
   every six hours for three days before the announcement]. That
   is another one of President Bush's faits accomplis. It opened
   a second front against Iraq in the north and exposed Turkey to
   retaliation by Iraq. The latter, however, was constrained by
   what would have been an attack by a country that is not a
   member against one that is a member of NATO - and therefore on
   NATO itself. This NATO alliance includes Germany as its most
   reluctant member country, which would thereby have been
   dragged into Mr. Bush's war as well.  
   To short cut or indeed altogether to eliminate such problems
   the next time around, the Dutch now propose to restructure
   their NATO contingent armed forces for rapid intervention more
   in North-South than East-West conflicts. NATO itself is now
   more seriously discussing already previously tabled proposals
   to redirect its political attention and military organization
   to intervene in North-South conflicts. "NATO Military
   Commanders Agree To Work for a Rapid Reaction Corps," which
   would  number 70,000 to 100,000 troops from various European
   countries with US air support for "maximum flexibility" (IHT
   April 13-14, l991).  For his part, the European Commission
   President Jacques Delors has proposed that the European
   Community also needs a transnational rapid intervention force
   to forge a military capacity and establish political authority
   to participate in the next conflict in its area of interest in
   the South or East. Again, the Gulf War's legacy of future
   danger to the Third World South [soon to include parts of
   formerly Eastern Europe} could not be greater as the West now
   redirects its political and military institutions better and
   more forcefully to intervene there.
   The Middle East Convulsed
   Far from settling any of the longstanding political problems
   in the Middle East, the Gulf war first exacerbated them, and
   then made them even more difficult to address and solve. The
   strengthened recalcitrance in and by Israel through its "non"
   participation in the Gulf War and the political weakening of
   the PLO leadership, as well as of the Jordanian King Hussein,
   are only the most visible and interrelated iceberg tips. So
   are the postwar Shiite and Kurdish rebellions in Iraq. Even
   the mildest success of the Iranian supported Shiites is not at
   all in the interests of America and its European or Arab
   allies, for whom the mullahs in Iran are more than enough.
   Therefore, the Iraqi Shiite opposition has received neither
   western or other allied support nor publicity. However, Iraqi
   Kurdish demands for autonomy also threaten Turkey and Iran.
   Therefore, their demands for autonomy, or God forbid
   independence, cannot be tolerated either, and they are at best
   publicized and manipulated only as long as they can be used
   for ulterior allied motives in northern Iraq. "For Exiles, the
   Bitter Truth is that No One Wanted them to Win" (IHT April 12,
   1991). That includes the democratic opposition forces in and
   exiles from Iraq. Who in the world except them and their
   people would want a democratic Iraq? No one, of course,
   especially if a democratic example in Iraq were to become
   contagious among its neighbors. Better to leave Iraq with
   weakened but still adequate military forces to continue the
   Baathist military regime, without Saddam Hussein if possible
   but with him if necessary, to maintain the integrity and
   control of the Iraqi state. For Iraq is still needed as a
   linchpin to maintain stability in the region, which in the
   aftermath of the Gulf War is now threatened ever more than
   For many Arab governments are threatened to become further
   casualties of the Gulf War. Some were at risk already before
   the fighting started. Now the autocratic Arab governments that
   sided with and/or were bought off by President Bush have
   thereby sacrificed what little popular support and legitimacy
   they still had. They have further cemented their dependence on
   the United States, and the United States is now obliged to
   prop them up politically and subsidize them economically
   [which it can ill afford] even more than before. Popular
   uprisings, if not military coups or splits, are now likely in
   one country in the Middle East after another. That is why the
   Israeli ex-minister Isaac Rabin recommends that the wealthy
   Gulf countries contribute their oil riches especially to Egypt
   and Syria "to stabilize the moderate regimes in the
   international coalition so that they can maintain themselves
   in the face of the zero sympathy of their citizens" (interview
   in El Pais, February 10, l991).  
   In these circumstances, it was another sham for President Bush
   to have promised to bring the American troops back home just
   as soon as possible after completing their job in Iraq. For
   President Bush knowingly committed American troops to
   "stabilize" the Middle East for a long time to come.  Now the 
     U.S. Weighs Command Post in Bahrain and Keeping Troops
        With Saudis... [which] has been a goal sought by the
        Pentagon for years, but was resisted by leaders of Gulf
        nations.... General Powell says 'We have always been
        anxious too have a forward headquarters in the region,
        and I think we may be able to get one this time'" (IHT
        March 26, l991).  
   With the help of their "special relationship" with Britain and
   her sycophant governments and press, the United States already
   achieved major political coups in Western Europe beyond
   getting its support for the war itself. President Bush
   successfully bluffed or finessed all of the West Europeans to
   line up behind him -- and to fall out among each other.  Mrs.
   Thatcher lost the battle and her job, but she won her war both
   in Iraq and in Europe!  The Gulf crisis and war would
   exacerbate the political and economic conflicts of policy
   within Europe, on which she made her stand against a more
   united Western Europe. 
   In the Gulf crisis, the West Europeans gave up all pretense at
   a unified and independent European foreign policy. In
   particular, the relatively more constructive and progressive
   European policy towards, and good will in, the Middle East was
   sacrificed. European intervention in favor of a more
   reasonable settlement of the Palestine-Israeli issue receded
   beyond the visible horizon. Israel's all purpose ex-minister,
   Isaac Rabin, recently declared that Israel has no use for
   Europe or the United Nations. For the time being, the
   American-Israeli line is unchallenged, except by the for now
   weakened Arabs themselves.  
   Another coup is the already observed transformation and
   diversion of NATO. Far from constructing a stronger post cold
   war [West] European pillar in NATO, let alone an alternative
   European security system, the West Europeans have now acceded
   to an already earlier American pressure, which they previously
   resisted: To turn the NATO thrust southeastward to intervene
   in the Middle East in particular, and in North-South conflicts
   in general. American troops, bases, material, and logistics,
   but also those of several European countries' NATO contingents
   were diverted from the defense of Western Europe against the
   Soviet Union to the attack against Iraq in the Middle East!
   They even took their central European AirLand battle plans
   with them to the Arabian desert.  
   Moreover, the Europeans not only paid their own but also many
   of the American costs of this diversion. Europeans  even paid
   for the fuel that American B 52 bombers used when they took
   off from and were refueled at bases in Europe. The "Socialist"
   government of Felipe Gonzalez in Spain even tried to keep this
   take off secret, if only because it had won an earlier
   referendum to keep Spain in NATO with the quid-pro-que offer
   to voters to maintain Spain free from the NATO military
   command structure and related military commitments. Since he
   now activated secret commitments to the United States to use
   Spanish air bases in case of "need," he also kept the whole
   sordid business secret, until the American press inadvertently
   let the cat out of the bag!
   Thus, West Europeans supported President Bush's war
   politically, militarily, and financially, even with
   significant financial contributions from Germany. Beyond that,
   the European Economic Community finally also caved in on the
   issue of agricultural price supports, its biggest
   protectionist measure, which had scuttled the last meeting of
   GATT.  Symbolically, the last deadline for GATT
   reconsideration was the same January 15, 1991 set by the
   United Nations for Iraq to get out of Kuwait -- and for the
   United States to go to war!
   For their part, the East Europeans did all they could to
   scramble onto the Western victory train, and Czechoslovakia
   even sent troops to Saudi Arabia. However it is doubtful that
   the rewards of any amount of kowtowing to the West in the Gulf
   War can compensate Central and East Europe for the major
   political and economic losses, which this war represents for
   them. Indirectly, the Gulf War certainly diverted western
   political and economic attention and funds at the worst
   possible moment from reconstruction in Europe to destruction
   in the Middle East.  More directly, the temporary rise in the
   price of oil cost East Europeans dearly during the autumn and
   winter cold precisely when they had to start paying hard cash
   instead of [non]convertible rubles to pay for Soviet oil. 
   Additionally, they had to import more oil from other areas. At
   the same time moreover, they lost the previously agreed
   repayment of Iraq's debt to them through Iraqi oil exports to
   Eastern Europe. They were supposed to be stepped up to repay
   these debts, but instead they were cancelled by the embargo
   against Iraq.  Thus, the Gulf War came at bad time for and
   gave a bad time to Central and Eastern Europe.
   The Gulf War participation in and consequences for the Soviet
   Union are less clear, but for that perhaps even more
   No less but more significantly than in Central and Eastern
   Europe, Gorbachev's government in the Soviet Union sought to
   be on its best behavior and caved in and/or sold out to the
   United States and its Western allies. This concession, of
   course, was essential to construct the charade of the United
   Nations cover for the American war plan. Even an opportune
   Soviet abstention, not to mention a veto, at the Security
   Council would itself have tipped the balance and would
   probably have changed the votes of China and France as well.
   However, President Gorbachev went along with President Bush,
   except for his and his envoy Primakov's vain  effort to shore
   up the waning Soviet role in the area. As it turned out, its
   role in the Gulf War sacrificed Soviet influence over its Arab
   friends;  the war further increased sympathy among its own
   Muslim population with their Islamic brethren abroad; and
   Soviet military leaders had to witness the miserable defeat of
   the Soviet weapons systems and their military strategy of its
   client army in Iraq.  Of course, the Soviet Union also faces
   more serious domestic problems. 
   If and when these Soviet problems result in a replacement of
   the regime or even of the government however, Gorbachev's
   concessions and Soviet losses in the Middle East through the
   Gulf War may contribute to strengthening the hand of military
   and other conservative forces who demand some return to the
   past and/or Soviet or even Russian play with their only
   remaining strong, that is the military, card. After all, the
   intended Gulf War lesson that the threat and use of military
   power gets results must be making school in the Soviet Union
   as well. At the same time, the military-industrial complex may
   also play its strengthened hand in the United States, which
   itself also has none other left to play in the world at large.
   Secretary of Defense Cheney already declared on TV that if US-
   Soviet tensions do not continue to decline he would have to
   tell President Bush "I am sorry, but we cannot carry arms
   reductions as far and fast as we had originally thought" (El
   Dia Latinoamericano, April 29, 1991, p. 17). In that case, the
   beginning of a Third Cold War cannot be excluded; and the Gulf
   War would have done its bit to promote that additional
   disaster for the world and its "new order" as well.
   The same already quoted editorial of the London  Telegraph
   (January 20,l991) also clarifies why President Bush chose to
   flaunt American power against Iraq in the Gulf War:  
     [It] does sound cynical. But it also goes to the heart of
        the matter. For there is a clash of interest between the
        First World and the Third World, and no international
        order satisfactory to the former should rely on the say-
        so of an institution [like the United Nations] dominated
        numerically by the latter.... Sooner or later the Third
        World will throw up other challenges.  But if the Gulf
        war ends as it has begun, there can be no doubt who are
        the masters now - at any rate for another generation....
        Not only will our arms have prevailed in a most
        spectacular fashion. So also will our ideals" (Emphasis
        in the original, Amen). 
   Here we have the real significance of the Gulf War, which was
   promoted and led by the "ideals" of President George Bush, the
   Commander in Chief of the world's greatest military power, who
   wants to use this war to initiate his NEW WORLD ORDER.  
   Beyond being a war between the North and the South, perhaps
   the clearest gulf in this War is between the rich on one side
   and the poor on the other. Obviously, the Western powers in
   this war represent above all the interests of the rich in the
   world. Perhaps the Texans, President Bush and Secretary of
   State Baker, also represent the rich Texas oil interests more
   than they would like to admit. However, the Saudi Arabs [the
   original dispatch of troops was for their protection!], the
   Emirates and the Kuwaitis are also among the oil rich, who are
   reputed to have placed some US $ 670 billion worth of
   investments abroad (Peter Custers in Economic and Political
   Weekly, Jan. 5-12, 1991). Sukumar Muralidharan suggests that 
     the need to safeguard oil sources is only the stated
        agenda behind the assault on Iraq. The far more
        fundamental concern is the need to protect the West's
        pre-emptive claim on the financial surpluses of the Arab
        world. These are vital for underwriting the political
        stability of the US and the UK, which are today in
        irretrievable industrial decline, and desperately need
        the rentier incomes arising from the recycling of these
        surpluses.... The pathological character of the hate
        campaign launched against President Saddam Hussein ...
        speaks of a desperate vendetta against a man who has
        dared to challenge the financial hegemony of the west
        (Economic and Political Weekly, March 30, l991, p. 838).
   The Kuwaitis and its ruling Al Sabah family alone have some US
   $ 200 billion of investments overseas, many of them in
   commercial and political joint ventures in the United States
   and Britain.  Of course, these investments and relations also
   afford the Kuwaitis continued income and political influence
   in there even without drawing up another drop of oil at home.
   Suffice it to ask whether the rich West would have sent over
   half a million troops to defend any poor country or people
   elsewhere in Africa or anywhere else. The other Arabs in the
   coalition are the American client governments also
   representing the rich in their respective countries. The poor
   populations of these same Arab countries were massively on the
   other side of this conflict in support of Iraq, whose
   President Hussein opportunistically declared himself their and
   the poor Palestinians' and other Muslims' spokesman. As we
   observed above, throughout the Third World South masses of the
   people understood that this Gulf War was designed and executed
   to put them in their place in Mr. Bush's "new" world order.
   The deadly threat of mass destruction of anyone who might wish
   to take exception to or even rebel against this world "order"
   was pressed home demonstrably by the bombs launched against
   the innocent people of Iraq and their ideological cover up at
   the "United" Nations, the "coalition" of the Western allies,
   their controlling interest in the "free" press media, etc. 
   It is no joke that the April first cover of Time Magazine
   took the trouble to send its reporters around the Third World
   and elsewhere to ask how people view the "New World Order."
   The introductory summary of Time's findings in cover story on
   the "Global Beat" is that
     Critics protest that Bush's proclaimed new world order
        conjures up misty and dangerous visions of a militaristic
        American Globo-cop on the march...
     [A huge placard depicting a dozen skulls surrounding the
        words "THE NEW WORLD ORDER" is subtitled] AN INTENSELY
        SKEPTICAL WORLD. Despite Bush's view of America as "the
        last, best hope of mankind, " people around the globe -
        along with New York City protesters - fear that the U.S.
        plans to exercise naked power to secure dominance. Even
        sympathizers with Bush's ideal wonder whether it can
        remedy the causes of war.
     Said the President: "the victory over Iraq was not waged
        as 'a war to end all wars.' Even the new world order
        cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace." Far from it:
        the new order, such as it is, cannot even guarantee that
        national  interests will ever again converge as they did
        in the gulf war.
     By itself, Bush's successful "first test" of the new
        world order carried the seeds of future disaster....
     What Bush's vision has also failed to take into account
        is a sense in many developing countries that the old
        world order was preferable. For all its nuclear terrors
        and proxy conflicts, the cold war balance-of-power
        architecture was a place that came to feel like home.
   As if to rub in the point, in early April the Chairman of the
   Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, declared in
     we hope that in this New World Order conflicts will be
        solved through negotiations and not through acts of war,
        so that there need be no repetition of what happened in
        the Gulf. But if it is necessary to defend freedom, it
        can be done (El Dia Latinoamericano, May 13, l991,
        retranslated from Spanish by AGF).
   In the meantime, the annual American military exercises with
   nuclear weapons in Korea began a month earlier and ended a
   month later than usual, and North Korea denounced them to the
   United Nations as a trial invasion of that country. Assistant
   Secretary of State Richard Solomon in turn denounced North
   Korea, and spokesmen in the American press have already called
   North Korea "a potential Iraq" (El Dia Latinoamericano, May
   13, l991). Many more people of course, now fear renewed
   American threats against Cuba.
   Nonetheless, President Bush finds ever newer words to describe
   his new world order, which
     really describes a responsibility imposed by our success.
        It refers to new ways of working with other nations to
        deter aggression and to achieve stability, to achieve
        prosperity, and above all, to achieve peace. It springs
        from hopes based on a shared commitment ...[for] peaceful
        settlement of disputes, solidarity against aggression,
        reduced and controlled arsenals, and just treatment of
        all peoples. [That is] the quest for a new world order
        (IHT April 15, l991).
   The translation into plain english or "into Christian" as
   Spanish speaking people say is to be found in a myriad of
   publications and statements from South Asia to South America.
   All testify to learning the first lesson in Mr. Bush's war
   school for the Third World in his new world order: Dare once
   again to lift your head against the "national interest" of the
   United States, whatever that may be, and you expose your
   country to being returned to the stone age and your population
   to annihilation from on high. North-South political and
   economic polarization is to continue apace, and no Southern
   political economic challenges thereto  will be tolerated. 
   That is the THIRD WORLD WAR against the South! Is it also to
   be waged by another Third Reich ?
   However, there is also a message for America's economic
   competitors and political allies in the West [and perhaps for
   any rivals in what remains of the East]: Military power can be
   used and of use as an alternative to economic strength,
   especially when the latter is lacking. For military power is
   the only thing the United States has left, and it is the only
   thing it is capable of still flaunting to maintain any
   political power in the face of the "virtually irrelevant"
   growing economic power of Japan and Germany, "no matter" the
   Fortunately, there are some reasons to doubt the American
   capacity, albeit not its intentions, for the United States to
   rely only on its military power to carry out this role of
   global cop in the Third World and powerful bully on the block
   among its allies in the West.  Time refers to  the "pre-
   eminent apostle of realpolitik" Henry Kissinger who observed
   that the alliance and war against Iraq was "an almost
   accidental combination of circumstances unlikely to be
   repeated in the future."  Indeed, the original deployment of
   American and other troops and equipment was "to defend Saudi
   Arabia" from possible, albeit never threatened, attack by
   Iraq. However, there was at least one other reason for the
   choice of Saudi Arabia as the site for the massive buildup:
   During more than a decade after the debacle with Iran, the
   United States had built up Saudi Arabia as its client regional
   military power in the Middle East, next to Israel. The United
   States sold Saudi Arabia US $ 50 billions of arms [in support
   of its own industry and balance of payments] and built up a
   whole network of naval and air bases, which Saudi Arabia
   pledged to make available to the United States for use in case
   of an emergency in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein's invasion
   of Kuwait provided that emergency. Then, the United States
   shipped half a million troops and their supporting naval and
   air forces to Saudi Arabia, which is the only place that has
   the necessary ground facilities ready to receive them! 
   Even so, the allies had over 5 months time to put their
   offensive capacities in place there. Therefore, the deputy
   commander of the U.S. Military Transportation command observed
   that "we ought to keep in perspective that we've had the
   luxury of time -- 161 days to land all that stuff without
   anybody firing a shot."  Moreover, "47 percent of it came from
   foreign ships, which might not be available in the next
   emergency." These facts, argues the Washington Post, "make
   Operation Desert Storm an inadequate test of the U.S.
   military's usefulness in forging what President Bush called 'a
   new world order,' according to military analysts"
   (International Herald Tribune February 11, 1991). 
   We need note only in passing how these analysts and publicists
   also take it for granted that "The New World Order" is to be
   "forged" by U.S. military intervention in one "emergency"
   after another. But at what political and economic cost, and
   can the United States afford them? In the case of the Gulf War
   against Iraq, the answer is yes, but perhaps also under
   "circumstances unlikely to be repeated in the future." For the
   direct out-of- pocket [and off-budget!] expenses of the war
   for United States have been variously estimated from US$ 30 to
   57 billion. Yet, the United States already received pledges,
   and in many cases payments, of direct foreign financial
   contributions totalling over $54 billion: Saudi Arabia $ 17
   billion, Kuwait $ 16 billion, The United Arab Emirates $ 4
   billion, Germany over $ 6 billion, Japan almost $ 11 billion,
   and even South Korea $ 385 million. Unnamed other countries
   pledged additional $ 15 billion. By early May 1990 all but $
   18 billion had already been paid out (IHT May 11-12, 1991). 
   This war, therefore, was profitable business for the Wild West
   style gun for hire American mercenary forces, whose motto in
   the new world order could be "have [only] gun, will travel." 
   Over and above these direct payments, of course, predominantly
   American construction and other firms, private and public
   including the US Army Corps of Engineers, are running away
   with the lion's share of Kuwaiti and other contracts to
   reconstruct the destruction caused by this war, at least where
   there is money to pay for this reconstruction. 
   Finally, the Pentagon and its associated military-industrial
   complex has already announced a major campaign of tens of
   billions of new arms sales for the wholesale replenishment and
   extension of military arsenals in the Middle East. First the
   Americans and their European allies armed the Shah of Iran to
   the teeth. Then they sold their arms to President Hussein to
   cut Iran's successor regime down to size. Then the same allies
   bombed Hussein's war machine to smithereens. Now they propose
   to provide more arms to their next client in the region. It is
   living dangerously indeed to be an American client state in
   the Middle East [or for that matter in Panama and Central
   America], but to build them up and then abandon them is also
   profitable for the United States, indeed.
   The old world order make work schemes in the Great Depression
   of paying workers to dig holes and fill them up again, or
   paying farmers to grow and then bury crops, were small
   potatoes compared to the destruction/reconstruction nice
   cop/bad cop schemes of the new world order. Some progress!
   Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski has made
   his balance sheet of the "principal benefits and debits of the
   U.S.- led triumph":
     The benefits are undeniably impressive. First, a blatant
        act of aggression was rebuffed and punished. An important
        political and even legal point, central to international
        decency, was reaffirmed.... Second, U.S. military power
        is henceforth likely to be taken more seriously...[and]
        is bound to have a chilling effect even as far away as
        North Korea.... Third, the Middle East and the Gulf
        region are now clearly an American sphere of
        preponderance. Pro-American  Arab regimes feel more
        secure; so does Israel. U.S. access to oil is now not in
        jeopardy. Fourth, the Soviet Union ...
     has been reduced largely to the status of a spectator
        (IHT April 22, l991).
   However, Brzezinski also finds some negative consequences on
   the scales: Iraq's defeat benefits Iran in the region; its
   ethnic, religious and tribal animosities are intensified and
   threaten 'Lebanonization;' Arabs may conclude from their
   bombardment that Americans view them as worthless; "and that
   raises the moral question of the proportionality of the
   response ... especially given the idea of the 'just war'
   Nevertheless though Brzezenski does not explicitly say so,
   little doubt can remain then that the main purpose and result
   of President Bush's American led the Gulf War was another last
   ditch attempt to make former President Reagan's promise come
   true to "make America Number One Again." As we observed,
   President Reagan tried and failed to do so through the
   economic means of military Keynesianism and spent the United
   States into economic and social bankruptcy. President Bush is
   trying to change the global rules of the game from economic
   competition, in which America is losing, to military
   competition in which it still has a near monopoly of power.
   The Gulf War was designed and used by President Bush to flaunt
   this power both against the Third World in the South [and
   East] and against his own economically more powerful allies in
   the West. Thus this Gulf War by a pack of wolves in the West
   against poor sacrificial lambs in the South was used to try to
   turn the political economic tables among the hungry wolves
   themselves.  The conservative American columnist Charles
   Krauthammer observes that
     if we Americans want relative stability in the world we
        are going to have to work for it. It will come neither of
        itself or as a gift from the Security Council. It will
        only come from a U.S. foreign policy of "robust and
        difficult interventionism."...We have entered a period of
        Pax Americana. Why deny it. Every other nations would
        like to be in America's position. Why be embarrassed by
        it? (IHT March 23-24, l991).
   Lest there be any disbelief, we may appeal to the authority of
   President Bush and the American people themselves. President
     We saved Europe, cured polio, went to the moon and lit
        the world with our culture. Now we are on the verge of a
     century, and what country's name will it bear? I say it
        will be another American century.
   The same August 1 issue of Time observes that
     Some of Washington's closest European allies wonder
        whether the scheme is not just an exercise in nostalgia -
        a wishful excursion back into the 1950s, when America has
        both the will and the wallet to dictate to the rest of
        the planet.
   However, that is precisely what both President Bush and the
   American people are doing. For the two most important reasons
   and explanations for the American flag waving and yellow
   ribbon chauvinistic popular enthusiasm for the war [once it
   started] and the victory were precisely:  1. The Gulf War
   offered Americans the opportunity to "lick the Vietnam
   syndrome" of defeat by a poor Third World country.  2. A Gulf
   War victory could assuage their deep down feelings of shame
   for being economically bested by the Japanese and other Asians
   - abroad and at home! By "taking [it] out" on and
   "neutralizing" or "eliminating" a half million poor Iraqis,
   these proud Americans could also eliminate their self doubts
   and again be "proud to be an American" in "God's Country"!
   The opposite side of the same coin is displayed by John Lewis
   Gaddis in Foreign Affairs, published by the American
   establishment's Council of Foreign Affairs:
     A kind of division of labor has developed within the
        international community, in which the United States
        contributes the troops and weapons needed to sustain the
        balance of power while its allies finance the budgetary,
        energy and trade deficits American incur through their
        unwillingness to make even minimal sacrifices ... of
        life-style and pocketbook" (quoted by Jim Hoagland, IHT
        April 23, l991).
   In plain English, of course, this "balance" is to keep the 
   otherwise rambunctious Third World peoples in their place in
   the South, which is assigned to them in both the Old and New
   World Order.
   However, over the short run even the Europeans and Japanese
   also sat up and took notice of America's military business
   success in the Gulf War. In world markets, foreign interest in
   America revived to share its victory bonanza. Stock markets
   and the dollar shot up. Political and economic negotiators
   began to knuckle under the Americans, for instance regarding
   the above mentioned European and Japanese agricultural price
   supports and other obstacles to the American way in the GATT
   Uruguay round negotiations. Also, there is "For U.S., New
   Clout in OPEC." "I think we are going to see a closer
   relationship between the Gulf oil producers and ourselves. We
   had been laying the foundations for some time, and the house
   was built very quickly when the war came" observes the US
   Assistant Secretary of Energy (IHT March 6,l991).  Moreover,
   "Gulf states are much more open to military cooperation with
   the United States now than before the Gulf War" (IHT May 11-
   12, l991). American control of the Middle Eastern oil on which
   Europe and Japan are dependent could come in useful as a
   bargaining chip to extract future political economic
   concessions from them on a myriad of other potential conflicts
   of interest. 
   So how long will or can this second Western honeymoon and this
   new Middle Eastern house, both made in heaven over Iraq, last?
   Only time will tell.  Or is even that honeymoon an illusion? 
   The Chairman of the US Senate Commerce Committee writes under
   the title "Trade Wars: Time for an America That Can Say No":
     Last year we won the Cold War. This year we won the Gulf
        war. Now it is time to win the war that really matters
        for America's future: the trade war -- the no-holds-
        barred struggle among nations for market share and
        standard of living in a largely zero-sum world market
        place (IHT March 27, l991).
   The perhaps ironic question remains whether in the long run
   this North-South War in the Gulf will recoup American hegemony
   or help destroy it. President Bush is well aware of this major
   question. He devoted much of his January l991 State of the
   Union Message to the Gulf War and gave his answer directly to
   this question and perhaps indirectly to why he went to war
   against Iraq in the first place: America's responsibility to
   "defend freedom" is greater than ever and therein its golden
   age lies not behind, but before it. The 21st century too will
   be an American century, he said. President Bush may not be
   deliberately bluffing when he says so; but does he have the
   political economic cards in his hand to make his prediction
   come true? Or may the ultimate economic irony be that this
   gamble at prolonging the American century through yet another
   war will cost the United States so much as to become its last
   Indian summer Swan song? 
   The longer term question remains whether the BRAVO FOR BRAVADO
   of  President Bush's NEW WORLD ORDER will really save the
   United States or even himself.  Or will President Bush's
   adventurism bankrupt and sink the United States even further
   than his mentor Ronald Reagan, who promised to make "America
   Number One Again" and nearly bankrupted the United States
   instead? It well may, especially in face of the new world
   economic recession and the "virtually irrelevant economic
   power of Japan and Germany" to whom President Bush had to send
   Secretary of State Baker hat in hand to help finance his war
   in the Gulf.  
   This recession/war is not likely to turn out like previous
   ones. World War II pulled the United States out of the
   Depression and made it hegemonic. The Korean War pulled the
   United States out of the recession of l949 and launched  the
   military Keynesianism, which helped ward off the feared
   economic stagnation. The Vietnam War was enough for the United
   States to avoid the recession, which hit Germany and Japan in
   l967. It was not enough to prevent the recession of l970, and
   certainly not to ward off the first severe post war recession
   of l973-75. On the contrary, The Vietnam War already weakened
   the United States relative to its Japanese and German rivals.
   The costs of that war obliged the United States to abandon the
   fixed exchange rates and the institutional mechanisms
   established at Bretton Woods, and then to devalue the dollar. 
   For American economic power, it has been downhill ever since.
   President Reagan's recklessness and "Reaganomics" [which in
   good time George Bush himself baptized as "Voodoo Economics"]
   put the American economy at the mercy of Japanese bankers and
   German industrialists. It is even more at their mercy for
   financial and political support during the new recession,
   which began in l989-90 before the crisis in the Gulf, and then
   during the war in the Gulf itself.  Any severe and prolonged
   recession would still sink the American economy and President
   Bush. Unfortunately, the President would take many innocent
   people - and a few of his not so innocent sycophants - down
   with him. 
   At home in the United States, the Gulf War distracted
   attention from the deepening recession. That may have been
   another one of its purposes, particularly in distracting
   public opinion from increasing bankruptcies and unemployment. 
   However on the policy making level, this diversion of needed
   attention from the recession may have been a short sighted or
   even ostrich policy. It can become can become costly in the
   middle run, if it lets the recession get all the moreso out of
   hand. Moreso, because even without the distraction of the war,
   the U.S. government and Federal Reserve have scarce anti-
   cyclical economic policy instruments left to combat recession.
   Most measures to stem the recessionary tide at home, like
   lowering the rate of interest as the Fed did in early l991,
   only open the floodgates even more to a lower dollar and
   reduce or reverse the capital flows from abroad, which the
   American economy also needs to remain afloat.  The debates
   about how war and victory affect domestic consumer confidence
   or spending and therefore the outlook for recession or
   recovery are largely beside the point. They are largely
   attempts to blame the recession on the war, while if there is
   any such causation, it is the other way around from the
   recession to the war. The main recessionary forces were both
   prior to and independent of the war; and, as observed above,
   they may have given President Bush an additional impulse to go
   to war. 
   Probably more important than the wartime or postwar confidence
   of consumers at home in the United States, is the confidence
   of international capital and of allied governments elsewhere
   in the West.  The more important effects of the recession and
   war will play themselves out via the reactions of private
   capital and the decisions by governments and central banks in
   Europe and Japan. Still during the war, the German [Central]
   Bundesbank, and following it per force the Dutch and some
   others, already followed the US interest rate decline by
   raising their own rates of interest, to the dismay of the more
   recession ridden United States, Britain and France. The fixed
   exchange rates within the European Monetary System were
   brought under pressure, the dollar immediately plunged, and
   capital was attracted to Germany.  As usual, the intervention
   of the central banks to shore up the dollar was to no avail.
   The Bundesbank president defended his decision by saying that
   he was contributing to "stability" in fighting against
   inflation in Germany, which is Europe's most important -- but
   also still most healthy - economy. Let the Devil take the
   hindmost!  True, the dollar rose again against the mark after
   the American victory in the war and the revelation of the
   costs of German unification. And then the dollar began to
   decline again. Its and American fortunes remain unstable at
   So, how long will the Japanese and the Europeans, other than
   the British with their "special relationship" but most
   depressed economy, continue to lend a helping hand of private
   and public funds to support the American War in the Gulf and
   the American economy at home? That is the question.  For
   without foreign active political and material economic
   support, the United States no longer has the domestic economic
   base even to finance this war, let alone to build a "New World
   Order" of its own design.
   "A Victor in War, U.S. Is Pinned Down on Economic Front" is
   the front page headline, whose story quotes a British diplomat
     There's no question after, the Gulf war, that the U.S. is
        the only superpower in the world.  It is also clear,
        however, that there are limits to that power,
        particularly in the economic arena (IHT, April 22, l991).
   After another week of American-German disputes about interest
   rates and other economic policies
     a final lesson of the week's events is the vivid contrast
        between the leverage America still has in high politics
        of war and peace, compared to its deepening impotence to
        dictate economic policy. In the Gulf conflict, the United
        States was able not only to win broad support from its
        allies ... but when Washington needed allied support for
        its economic strategy, it was politely but firmly
        rebuffed (Robert Kuttner, IHT May 3, l991). 
   Walter Russell Mead correctly observed in the International
   Herald Tribune (Feb 7,l991):
     At a time of diminishing national resources and power, 
        the United States has not lowered its foreign policy
        horizons, it has universalized them. The mirage of
        universal alliance against instability, led but not paid
        for by America is potentially the most dangerous idea in
        U.S. foreign policy in the last generation. It raises
        expectations that cannot be met....It tempts American to
        take on responsibilities beyond their resources.  While
        they want the post- Cold War 
     order to evolve in [New World Order] ways that defend
        American primacy, America's associates want it to
   There is the rub! The Soviet Union never had the economic
   clout to support its claim to being a super power. Now it is
   being downgraded into the position of an over-armed Third
   world/rate power. The United States was long obsessed with its
   political and ideological security in [successfully] defeating
   the Soviet Union in the cold war. In so doing, the United
   States neglected to maintain its real economic base in
   competition with its real competitors in Japan and Europe. So
   now the United States no longer has sufficient economic clout
   to be a super power either.
   Yet with President Bush waiving the American flag, the United
   States rushed in where angels fear to tread. It rushed into
   War in the Gulf in a probably vain attempt to shore up its
   declining power on the world stage one last time by the only
   means it has left and knows how to use - its military power.
   However, without an adequate economic base, military power is
   insufficient to  keep a great super power afloat. On the
   contrary, the foolish use of its military power may instead
   sink that power. It is not for nothing that Paul Kennedy
   became a best seller [apparently not in the Bush White House
   or the Pentagon] when he wrote that foolish military
   overextension beyond the economy's means to support it is the
   basis of The Rise and FALL of the Great Powers. 
   Beyond the people directly cited in the text, for this
   consolidation and extension of my four earlier essays on the
   Gulf War cited below, I benefited by reading Praful Bidwai,
   Noam Chomsky, Craig Hulet, Holly Sklar, and Joe Stork. I
   gleaned general information and some data from them, which is
   not exclusive to them or did not seem specific enough to cite
   or ascribe to them directly. Marta Fuentes and Barry Gills
   helped me by critiquing an earlier draft.   
   A.G. Frank earlier writings on the Gulf crisis and war 
   used to prepare the present essay. The previous essays were
   published in several languages; but where English was among
   them, only that version is mentioned here.
     Economic and Political Weekly, Bombay, September 15,l990
     Jornal fr Entwicklungspolitik, Wien,No.1, March 1991 
        (in english)
     February 13, l991
     Das Argument, Berlin, March l991 (german)
        La Breche, Lausanne, Vol. 21, No. 467, Mars 8, 1991
     El Dia Latinoamericano,Ao 1,No.45,April 1,l991,
   Other A. G. Frank publications cited
   l983 & 4. The European Challenge. Nottingham: England,
   Spokesman   Press and Westbury Conn.,USA: Lawrence Hill
   1984/87 "Political Ironies in the World Economy"
     Studies in Political Economy, Ottawa, Canada, No. 15,
        Fall 1984, pp. 119-149.    Reprinted in
     America's Changing Role in the World-System
     Terry Boswell and Albert Bergesen, Eds.
     New York, Praeger  Publishers l987 (pp.25-55).
   1990a. "Revolution in Eastern Europe: Lessons for Democratic 
     Socialist Movements (and Socialists)" in The Future of
        Socialism: Perspectives from the Left. William K. Tabb,
        Ed. New York: Monthly Review Press 1990, pp. 87-105. Also
     Third World Quarterly (London) XII, 2, April l990,pp.36-
   1990c. "Blocking the Black Debt Hole in the l990s" 
     Futures Research Quarterly Special Issue, Vol. 6, No. 1, 
     Spring l990, pp. 42-45. 
   Frank, A.G. and Fuentes, M. 1990. "Social Movements in World 
     History"  in S.Amin, G. Arrighi, A.G. Frank & I.
     Transforming the Revolution. Social Movements and the
        World-System. New York: Monthly Review Press.

< < < Date > > > | < < < Thread > > > | Home