Iraq - USA

[A] _Preface_

I.) Albert Einstein

"Es g├Ąbe genug Geld, genug Arbeit, genug zu essen, wenn wir die Reicht├╝mer der Welt richtig verteilen w├╝rden, statt uns zu Sklaven starrer Wirtschaftsdoktrinen oder - traditionen zu machen. Vor allem aber d├╝rfen wir nicht zulassen, dass unsere Gedanken und Bem├╝hungen von konstruktiver Arbeit abgehalten und f├╝r die Vorbereitung eines neuen Krieges mi├čbraucht werden. Ich bin der gleichen Meinung wie der gro├če Amerikaner Benjamin Franklin, der sagte: es hat niemals einen guten Krieg und niemals einen schlechten Frieden gegeben." [1]

Albert Einstein

II.) Introduction

During the last century, the Middle East has developed to a melting pot of people and states with totally different religions and beliefs. Because of this fact many conflicts, like the Iran - Iraq war and the crises which concerned Israel, ended up in violence and destroyed all visions of a peaceful coexistence in this region. Although there have been quite a number of Middle East internal conflicts none of them required the rest of the world to take part as much as the Gulf war in 1991 did.
This war, which took place from January until March 1991, was fought between Iraq and the allies with the USA as their leader. Like a lot of other conflicts in the Gulf region before, this one has also been based on religious differences between the states, although the economic intentions behind the war were obvious. Saddam Hussein, Iraq's Head of State, was always supporting the idea of rising the oil prices, an idea which wasn’t accepted by the highly industrialised nations in the so called "West". In this case nearly the whole industrialised world would have entered a new energy - crises like some of us already experienced
them in 1973 and 1979. Then the oil price multiplied itself by four within a
few months. This had lasting effects on the world economy, especially on the oil - based economy of the West. In Saddam's view the United States together with the so called "West" are using the Middle East as a cheap and easy to be controlled source of unlimited energy.
Although the United Nations succeeded with their peace process and helped to end the 8 years of war between Iran and Iraq, they did not manage to solve the middle east conflict at all. One of the main conflicts in the gulf region is the matter depending the oil fields and connected with that the often heard accusation of oil overproduction. In case of oil overproduction the oil - prize would go down, and as the export of oil is the biggest and most important source of money for nearly each country in the middle east, this would ruin many of the poorer and less industrialised nations like Iraq. Kuwait, a small but very rich country at Iraq’s southern border is still not accepted by many countries in this region because of its wealthy and "west - orientated" citizens. On July 17th1990 Saddam Hussein accused Kuwait of oil overproduction and theft of oil from the Rumailia Oil Field, an oil field which is located on Saddam's ground. That was nothing special, nobody in the world cared very much about the made accusations. April Glaspie, US Ambassador, 25thof July: "The Iraq/Kuwait dispute is an Arab matter, not one that affects the United States." [2]It is still not clear why exactly the following actions took place, but perhaps this comment was one of the initialising phrases that reasoned Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait on August 2nd.

[B] _ The Gulf War _

I.) The United States of America and Iraq - two countries with two strong leaders

The main conflict in the following War was the conflict between the United States with George Bush as their head of state, and Saddam Hussein with his countrymen behind him.

George Herbert Walker Bush was born on June 12th1924 in Milton, MA. He is married, has five children and is member of the Episcopalian Church.

"While in high school, George Bush and his classmates were lectured on the horrors of appeasement by Henry Stimson, who eventually became Roosevelt's Secretary of War. George Bush remembered this lesson and became the youngest Navy pilot in the Pacific while his classmates were at college. These lessons he learned about war and appeasement are certain to be shaping his current Gulf policy. Faced with the toughest test of his life, President Bush has performed virtually without flaw in the Persian Gulf Crisis. Although some fault him for ignoring problems at home, his personal diplomacy has aligned the world in its opposition to Saddam Hussein." [3]

George Bush entered the U.S. Navy in 1942 and received three Air Medals before he started his studies at Yale University in 1948. His political career began in 1954 when he was member of the U.S. House of Representatives and later became U.S. Ambassador. In 1976 he was Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and later on he ran for the presidential elections in 1980. After eight years George Bush became president of the United States of America until Bill Clinton took over his office in 1992.

Saddam Hussein was born in 1937 in Takrit, Iraq. He seems to be married to a Miss Tofa ( not validated ) and is known to have at least one mistress. He is father of four children.

"Saddam Hussein's life has been marked by violence. Beginning in the 1950's, Hussein was an active player in the coups and countercoups that took place in Iraq. He established Iraq's secret police force and has used it effectively to eliminate political opposition to Baath party rule. Soon after acceding to the Presidency, he invaded Iran and began a bloody war that killed untold thousands and ended in stalemate eight years later. He then turned his military against his own people, the rebellious Kurds, by indiscriminately dropping chemical weapons on civilians. In August of 1990, he once again flexed his military muscle by invading Kuwait and systematically destroying that country." [4]

Saddam Hussein studied at the Cairo University in Egypt before he moved to the Al - Mustansariyah University in Baghdad. He was sentenced to death for attempted assassination of General Kassem, member of the 4th Regional Congress and 6th National Congress what gave him the power and possibilities to play a leading role in the July 1968 Revolution. After being Vice - President of the Revolutionary Command Council in November 1969 he attained rank of a general in January 1976. Saddam Hussein is the President of the Republic of Iraq since 1979, which are 20 years now.

II.) Economic Background of the war

The involvement of the world’s economically strongest country, the United States of America, in a war which was fought in an area where great sources of energy and connected with that an immense potential of money is located caused this affair to grow to a world depending affair and "forced" many other countries to intervene in the upcoming conflict. Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Saudi - Arabia, France, Germany and Italy, but also more unimportant countries like Czechoslovakia and Bangladesh sent their troops to the middle east. But with 540,000 soldiers the United States Army played the major role in the war. The Iraqi army at this time was one of the strongest in the world, with the best weapons and technology from all over the world - because of this it seemed to be necessary to show strength to Saddam. During the years of the Iran - Iraq war the western governments simply closed their eyes whenever there was a sign of Iraq getting too powerful. Companies, under the protection of their governments were only interested in making money by selling their technology to Saddam who was willing to pay a high price, and it was quite a lot of money they made during the years. Saddam Hussein for his part was able to pay for all the equipment because he had built up his own " (...) verdecktes, weitverzweigtes Finanzimperium"[5]

. By holding back about 5 percent of the proceeds of the sale of Iraqi oil for himself he was said to have (and probably still has) accounts all over the world and to hold stocks of different companies. It is obvious that this could only have worked by operating under cover, which means that the firms he used were not really existing. Those companies, when they were real at all, were in most cases totally controlled by Saddam Hussein's friends or relatives.

The former Soviet Union, for example, provided Iraq with Scud missiles and since it was a short - range missile, the former GDR (German Democratic Republic) contributed the technology which made the missiles reach even more distant targets like Israel and Saudi - Arabia, two of Iraq's main enemies. A lot of nuclear, biological and chemical warfare technology was built up by West Germany, whereas France supplied Saddam Hussein with antiship and antitank missiles. Italy also participated in building up the nuclear and chemical war machine of Iraq, while Great Britain constructed hangars for fighter planes. Germany played an important but still not decisive role in that war game called "Make - Quick - Money - By - Providing - A - Weak - Country - With - Important - Military - Equipment".[6] France, Italy, Britain and other Western nations flooded Iraq with $13.4 billion worth of military equipment between 1982 and 1989. This resulted in a quite ironic situation: The United Nations with their troops had to fight the Iraqi Army with the same technology they used themselves.
The allies could be roughly divided into two groups: the ones who mainly supported the rest with money or logistic equipment and did not send troops to Iraq, like Germany and Japan and the others who actively
took part in the battle and fought side by side with the USA in the name of the UN, like Britain, France and Saudi - Arabia. Saudi - Arabia, however, was an exception in that case because it both paid, together with Kuwait, a large amount of money and fought in the war by sending soldiers to Iraq as well as permitting the allies to land their fighter planes at airports in Saudi - Arabia.
Although all the allied governments and the UN pointed out that aggression from one government to another was something to be punished and this was their declared aim, it became clear very quickly that those words were only said to hide the real intentions behind the war - the economic thoughts depending the oil fields.

III.) The time before the invasion

The tension between Iraq and the West actually started much earlier. It has always been obvious that Israel was harmonising with the West, and Saddam Hussein with his anti - west politics always had a serious problem with that. The situation between Israel and Iraq has been quite critical for a long time because of the cultural and religious differences between both countries. In 1981, for example, Israel attacked a nuclear power station in the south of Baghdad because Israel was afraid of Saddam Hussein’s plans to build the nuclear bomb. As revenge several journalists from Israel who worked in Iraq were killed by Saddam's secret police force.[7] Additionally several intelligence actions from both countries took place and rose the tensions between them and killed hundreds of civilians during the years. On April 1st1990 Saddam held a speech in which he was talking about the destructive power of his chemical and biological weapons. He accused Israel of secret intelligence actions in his country: "Der Westen wird einem Irrtum erliegen, wenn er meint, er k├Ânne Israel Deckung geben, wenn es herkommt und losschl├Ągt (...). Ich schw├Âre bei Gott, unser Feuer wird halb Israel verschlingen, wenn es versucht, irgend etwas gegen Irak zu unternehmen." [8] The reaction of the US State Department was antagonistic: "It is not the time to talk about the use of chemical or biological weapons. It is not the time, to increase the tensions in the middle east. The United States of America represents the opinion that Saddam Hussein has not to speak out such accusations during a time when the peace process is about to establish" (translated by the author).[9] Only one week later Saddam reacted and told the United States that he would attack Israel if it will be necessary. George Bush became nervous after hearing about Saddam's reaction. "Why the hell is he telling this to everybody, if he does not want to attack at all?" (translated by the author)[10] Everybody in the White House became nervous, the NSA (National Security Agency) and the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) were instructed to start collecting information about Saddam's plans - Saddam was sure that Israel together with the west was building up a conspiracy, at least it seemed that he was sure of it. There has always been the plan to assassinate him with the help of the CIA, but Saddam's location was top secret. Even his closest friends and his family were not allowed to know where he was.
At the same time when the Israeli conflict became more difficult Kuwait rose his oil production, which caused the prices to go down. It is important to know that Kuwait was part of Iraq until 1961, when the British gave them their independence, but Saddam Hussein never accepted the separation of Kuwait. Only a few weeks after Kuwait caused the oil prices to go down, on July 19thabout 35,000 soldiers were moved to the southern border of Iraq, about 50 miles north of Kuwait. First it seemed like Iraq wanted to show strength, and connected with that to force Kuwait to decrease its oil production, but during the next days the number of Iraqi soldiers at Kuwait’s borders became more than 100,000. But again, the world closed its eyes. April Glaspie, US Ambassador, 25thof July: "The Iraq/Kuwait dispute is an Arab matter, not one that affects the United States." [11] (see Preface)

IV.) Operation Desert Storm

On August 2nd1990 Iraq attacked Kuwait. After the information about the invasion was validated, President Bush freezed the Iraqi assets. The United Nations called Hussein to withdraw, but Saddam refused. Four days later economic sanctions were authorised against Iraq, and on August 7thSaudi - Arabia requested military assistance. Saddam annexed Kuwait, but the UN declared his request as invalid. Saddam's special police force started to destroy oil fields on Kuwaiti ground, and his troops stormed several diplomatic missions in Kuwait City. He threatened to attack Israel and to destroy all oil fields which are located on Kuwaiti ground (that are about 10 percent of the worlds oil resources). President Bush together with the United Nations were giving Saddam Hussein the 15thof January as deadline, if he will not withdraw until this date, the Operation Desert Storm will start, which means an attack on Iraq by the United Nations. But instead of reacting to this threat, he still ordered to destroy more oil fields by burning them down and positioned his troops on all his borders. Israel prepared for an attack.
Several aircraft carriers and more than 400,000 troops were now in the gulf region and waiting for their orders. Most of the ground troops were located in Saudi - Arabia, while nearly all of the aircraft support was launched on the carriers. Saddam still refused to withdraw on January 14th, and one day later the deadline was reached: Operation Desert Storm started as U.S. airplanes attack Baghdad and other targets in Iraq and Kuwait.

US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf

Just two days later, on January 17thIraq launched the first SCUD Missile attack on Israel. Several civilians died and the world was shocked and indignant about the attack on Israel. Saddam always threatened Israel with his SCUD Missiles. Launched either from fixed or mobile launchers, Iraqi missiles were certain to cause problems for the troops in Desert Storm. It was feared that he may use this weapon with a chemical or biological warheads against US forces and even Israeli civilians. Saddam did kill thousands of Kurds during the Iran - Iraq war with biological and chemical weapons, so there was great danger of a repetition. After attacking Israel he also used his missiles against Saudi - Arabia, but he was only causing minimal damage. The SCUD missiles can be compared with the V1 and V2 in the second world war, they caused fear in the peoples minds, but were not very effective. US Patriot missiles have intercepted the SCUD attacks on many occasions, but due to the large size of a SCUD (about 15 meters) many pieces of debris have fallen to earth and caused damage to buildings and people. The basic SCUD technology was bought in the Soviet Union, but without the help of the former GDR Saddam would not have been able to reach Israel with his missiles, only the advanced range technology made it possible to attack civil targets there. The most serious damage came when a SCUD exploded on a barrack full of American serviceman, killing 28 and wounding nearly 100. The war became more complex, several new nations started to intervene in the conflict by sending troops and materials or by supporting the others with large amounts of money. At the end of January more than 500,000 US troops were positioned in Iraq. The task of the Air Force in Operation Desert Storm was to obtain air superiority, provide air support for the ground troops and strike enemy targets in Kuwait and Iraq. When Operation Desert Storm was launched,
"it was the Air Force that conducted most of the raids against the Iraqi military". [12]From air bases in Saudi - Arabia, Turkey, England and Egypt the planes started to bomb down Saddam, to force him to withdraw. The success of the Air Force was enormous, what is probably the reason that the ground war only lasted some days. Iraq was
US aircraft attacking Iraqi ground target down before the troops were used for
the final attack. Additionally to the air attacks, the cruise missile attacks were one important point of the gulf war strategy. "The cruise missile was designed to deliver nuclear weapons into the soviet union. With its high subsonic speed and a flying altitude below 200 feet it is nearly indestructible."[13] Some of the first hits on Baghdad were cruise missiles
launched from US ships in the Persian Gulf. Until the end of the gulf war 288 cruise missiles were launched from US planes and ships, while only eight of them missed their target. Because of the great success of the gulf mission nearly the whole world was supporting
the United Nations with the United States of America as their leader. But
US Destroyer launching a cruise missile on February 13th1991 US airplanes bombed down a building with Iraqi civilians inside, and nearly 300 died (see picture). Saddam was using this as propaganda against the United States, several other attacks on buildings in Baghdad which were strictly military were shown as destroyed civil buildings like hospitals and schools. Nobody denies that many civilians had to die during the attacks on Baghdad, but the Iraqi Newspaper were writing about an obvious attack on civilians, which never was the case. Saddam Hussein realised that he had no chance to win the conflict anymore, so he tried to keep his
countrymen behind him. In one of his speeches he rejected the idea of surrender and criticised the allied forces for seeking to destroy Iraq.[14] The allies did not stop their attack although Iraq had no chance at all because a good percentage of the Iraqi military machine would be allowed to retreat and saved for another day.[15] Although the
United Nation made clear that the liberation of Kuwait is the main goal,
American commanders had made no secret of the fact that the destruction of Iraq's military is necessary for this to be achieved.[16]At the
end of the military conflict "only" 125 soldiers were killed on the allied side, while nearly 4000 Iraqi tanks, 3000 Iraqi artillery, 140 Iraqi aircraft were destroyed and about 300,000 soldiers and civilians were killed on
Saddam's side. Saddam Hussein lost the war in every way possible, but his countrymen were still behind him, and he was still dangerous!

Destroyed buildings in central
Baghdad, where about 300
civilians were killed.

V.) The role of the media in the war

The Gulfwar was also a war of the media and a war against censure. Due to the fact that in 1991 an own satellite connection still was something very special, and due to the high military presence in the middle east region it was quite hard for CNN and its competition to send their own pictures. Only after the US military allowed and supported CNN with a special satellite connection to the United States it was possible for CNN to send live pictures, those pictures we all remember.

It was the military which selected the material we saw on our screens, the war seemed to be clean and unbloody. The destruction of Iraqi targets from the air, the hit of a cruise missile on a secret police force building near Baghdad - everything seemed to be perfect, no dead bodies, no crying women and suffering children. The United States did not want to repeat the disaster of Vietnam, which was the first war that was directly sent into the living rooms of the US citizens. And it worked, the whole world was paralysed in front of their screens, fascination and fear are feelings we all remember when we think about the weapon technologies which have been used and tested during the weeks of Desert Storm.
The Internet also played an important role in this case. One has to keep in mind that in 1991 the Internet played a less important role in the peoples' heads than today. However, in the United States more people than in Europe in this times were using the Internet as first source of information. It was also a "Web - War"[17], CNN updated its homepage several times a day, to always present the user the newest and hottest pictures from the crisis.
At the end one can say that we only saw what the military wanted us to see, without realising what happened to us. We were manipulated by some high rank propaganda officials who held their protecting hands over all transmissions from the middle east. Nobody can deny, and that is also what I summarise out of the given facts, that this is a dangerous development which will occur even more in the future due to the fast development of technology in this area.

VI.) Chronology: Important Events

1990 Hussein accuses Kuwait on July 17thof oil overproduction and theft of oil from the Rumailia Oil Field.
1990 On July 25thApril Glaspie tells Hussein that Iraq/Kuwait dispute is an Arab matter, not one that affects the United States
1990 Hussein invades Kuwait on August 2nd. President George Bush freezes the Iraqi assets. The United Nations calls Hussein to withdraw, but he refuses.
1990 On August 6theconomic sanctions against Iraq are authorised.
Aug 8, 1990 Iraq annexes Kuwait.
Aug 9, 1990 The UN declares Iraq's annexation as invalid.
Aug 12, 1990 The United States of America announces interdiction program of Iraqi shipping.
Aug 22, 1990 President George Bush authorises call up of reserves.
Aug 25, 1990 Military interdiction authorised by the United Nations.
Sep 14, 1990 Iraqi forces storm a number of diplomatic missions in Kuwait City.
Nov 8, 1990 Bush orders additional deployments to give "offensive options"[18] to US forces.
Nov 22, 1990 President Bush visits the troops for Thanksgiving.
Nov 29, 1990 United Nations Security Council authorises force if Iraq does not withdraw from Kuwait by midnight EST[19].
Jan 12, 1991 Congress votes to allow US troops to be used in offensive operations.
Jan 15, 1991 The deadline set by the United Nations Resolution for Iraq to withdraw is broken. Saddam refuses.
Jan 16, 1991 First US government statement of Operation Desert Storm are made. Marlin Fitzwater[20] announces: "The liberation of Kuwait has begun (...)"[21] United Nations warplanes attack Baghdad and Iraqi targets both on Iraqi and Kuwaiti ground.
Jan 17, 1991 Iraq launches its first SCUD missile attack.
Jan 30, 1991 US forces in the Gulf exceed 500,000.
Feb 13, 1991 US Bombers destroy a bunker complex in Baghdad with several hundred citizens inside.  Nearly 300 die.
Feb 22, 1991 President Bush issues an ultimatum of February 23th for Iraqi troops to withdraw from Kuwait.
Feb 23, 1991 Ground war begins with Marines, Army and Arab forces moving into Iraq and Kuwait.
Feb 25, 1991 Iraqi SCUD missile hits a US barracks in Saudi Arabia killing 28 soldiers.
Feb 26, 1991 Kuwaiti resistance leaders declare they are in control of Kuwait City.
Feb 27, 1991 President Bush orders a cease fire effective at midnight Kuwaiti time.
Mar 3, 1991 Iraqi leaders formally accept cease fire terms.
Mar 8, 1991 First US combat forces return home.

Dates & Happenings compiled from various sources like www.desert - & and Bob Woodward's "Die Befehlshaber" 1991 Kiepenheuer & Witsch, K├Âln

[C] _The time after the war_

After Iraq surrendered on March 3rd, General Schwartzkopf, the head of operation Desert Storm, sat down with his defeated counterparts and told them the terms of a cease fire: Allied forces would remain in defensive positions in the area of Iraq. Iraqi forces would be allowed to leave this area, but could not take any of their equipment or supplies with them. In addition, no aircraft were allowed to operate in an area near the U.S. forces and other flights were strictly limited.[22] Iraq followed those given terms.
But one has to know that it was not Saddam Hussein who accepted the terms, but his army, who was in unbelievable bad shape during the conflict, and had no confidence left to win this war. The thousands of deaths on the Iraqi side, the six weeks of air attacks on Baghdad made it impossible for the Iraqi military to resist. But Saddam was still talking about his holy war against the West, and his people were still behind him, at least those who did not go over to the allies during the fighting took place. Many of the Iraqi soldiers who surrendered were hungry and were not supporting the SCUD attacks on Israel and Saudi Arabia. They surrendered with American flags in their hands. One can not find out if they just said and did these things to have a better treatment on the allied side, or because they really represented this opinion, but fact is that over 50,000 Iraqi soldiers surrendered before the official end of the war.

I.) Economic and political consequences

After the successful liberation of Kuwait, it came apparent that most of its infrastructure and communication network had been destroyed mainly by retreating Iraqi troops. The costs of the reconstruction of Kuwait were estimated at about $100 billion, it was said to be the biggest investment program since World War II. Many firms from the West saw their chance to make big money by rebuilding Kuwait, by extinguishing the burning oil fields and by helping Saddam to rebuild his military force (Yes, that is real irony).
The costs of the war on the allied side were estimated at an average of one billion US Dollars a day, which means a total amount of about $65 billion. Nobody can deny that the war was increasing the economic strength of the involved countries on the allied side, especially the United States. They had the chance to test their new warfare technologies like cruise missiles and their economy made a great profit of it.
Europe just played a minor role in the military intervention. The United States showed the world that there is only one super - power left, that the United States of America can act on their own, which can be also seen later on in Operation Desert Fox. One has to keep in mind that this presentation of power displayed by the US was only possible because of the decay of the Soviet Union. The UDSSR has always seen Iraq as a part of the communistic world, as part of their ideology and economy. It would not have been possible to threaten Iraq with military actions if the Soviet Union still had existed.
Another point is that the United States were able to show strength to the rest of the world, especially to critical regions like China, India, Pakistan and Iran. All those countries are about to build nuclear weapons or are threatening to use it against their enemies. It was a great chance for the United States to show that they are not accepting their plans of attacking their neighbours or of becoming to strong to be controlled by the USA. Not validated information says that China for example was supporting the Iraq with money during Operation Desert Storm, and it seems like Pakistan did send more than 100 battle tanks to protect Saddam's palaces.[23] Saddam was and still is a man with much influence in the middle east, with one of the strongest non - nuclear armies in the world and is owning a large amount of the world's oil resources. Some countries seem to be interested to have Saddam on their side.

II.) From Desert Storm to Desert Fox

After the Iraqi army surrendered, a program was established to certify that no further development of biological, chemical or even nuclear weapons on Iraqi ground will be possible in the future and to make sure that Saddam does not become too strong again. Oil exports to the rest of the world were largely banned by the UN sanctions in 1991. One has to keep in mind, that Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world, after Saudi - Arabia, and that this economic sanction hits Iraq very hard.

The so called UN Inspections were part of the "peace process", consisting of different inspectors of different nations. Their aim was to control the thousands of secret military areas, were most of the Iraqi warfare was located. Saddam refused to have American UN workers on his ground, and he also seemed to still protect several of his top secret weapons facilities. In these buildings the United Nations supposed Saddam to have saved much of his high technology weapons, like the SCUD missiles and its launch platforms, and some ingredients for biological and chemical weapons. It was also clear that Iraq did not stop its secret nuclear weapon program, but moved it more into the underground, so that it was quite hard for the United Nations to take control over it.

"In an age when instructions for building weapons of mass destruction can be found on the Internet and a toxin of lethal germs can be mixed in a bathtub, mass terror is exportable"[24] If Saddam will succeed to build up a weapon of mass destruction, and if he were cruel enough to use it against his enemies, thousands of people would die, and nobody would be able to control him anymore. The Intention of the UN Inspections was to prevent this. "(...) paranoid about his enemies (...) Saddam launches a SCUD missile tipped with lethal chemicals into downtown Tel Aviv, killing thousands of Israelis. Israel retaliates - as it almost surely would - by dropping a nuclear bomb on Baghdad."[25] This vision may be exaggerated, but it is exactly the main thought the responsible people for the UN Inspections had.

Following the end of Desert Storm in March 1991 a Kurdish insurrection broke out, but was defeated by the elite Iraqi Republican Guard. The United States, Great Britain and France create a safe area for the Kurds north of the 36th parallel and ban Iraqi aircraft from this area.

In August the United Nations establishes a no - fly - zone along the 32nd parallel after Iraq again launches new attacks against the Kurds. The United States and its allies begin patrolling the no - fly - zone. In December a United States aircraft shoot down an Iraqi plane that violated the no - fly - zone. Later on several attacks on missile launchers which were illegally moved through Iraq were attacked by the United States.

In 1994 Saddam Hussein again moves troops to the Kuwaiti border, it is obvious that this is only a provocative action, but the United States act and deploy a carrier group, warplanes and about 50,000 troops in the Persian Gulf region.

After attacking a city in northern Iraq which is known as the unofficial headquarter of the Kurds, US ships and airplanes attack military targets in Iraq to punish the Iraqi military. The southern no - fly zone is extended just to the south of Baghdad. Everybody knows that this will cause a new conflict, Saddam is not accepting the new ban.

In early 1997 Saddam started to complicate the work of the inspectors by denying access to buildings were the UN was supposing Saddam to hide his weapons. Additionally, he forced American inspectors to leave Iraq. Richard Butler, the chairman of the Inspections, decided to pull all of them out safely.[26] They seemed to be closing in on a secret cache of ingredients and equipment to build weapons of mass destruction, and the immediate provocation followed from Saddam was the decision to deport them out of Iraq.[27]
However, later in November, Iraq announces it will not allow inspectors access to sites designated as "palaces and official residences."[28] UN officials protest, having long suspected that such sites were being used to conceal possible weapons of mass destruction. It was impossible for the United Nations to be sure that Saddam Hussein is not dangerous anymore. After the gulf war, the Iraqis admitted that they had 75 SCUD missiles with biological and chemical warheads (nobody really knows why Saddam did not use them, but everybody should be happy about it), 30 of them have been destroyed by the UN teams, Iraq claims it destroyed the other 45.
The tensions that began in October 1997 continue. In February 1998, UN secretary - general Kofi Annan works out an agreement with Iraq that resumes weapons inspections. In turn, Iraq receives promises the United Nations will consider removing its economic sanctions. Kofi Annan was talking to Saddam later in 1998, to understand his means and strategies: "The Iraqis are very keen to get rid of the sanctions. I made it very clear to him that the only way to do that is to co - operate with the UN Special Commission and get the job done expeditiously so that it is in their hands. Without their co - operation, it is not going to happen. They built the nation and had it destroyed and rebuilt it. So I asked him whether he wanted to destroy all these wonderful edifices, because that is what will happen."[29]
Inspections continue into August, when Iraq cuts ties with weapons inspectors, claiming it has seen no UN move toward lifting sanctions. Richard Butler, chairman of the UN Special Commission responsible for disarming Iraq (UNSCOM), specified that while progress has been achieved by UNSCOM, Iraqi officials continue to obstruct the work of the
Commission and that this non - co - operation endangers the safety of UN officials.[30]The situation did not change in the following months, the United States together with Great Britain were threatening with a new attack on Baghdad if Iraq will not stop to complicate the work of the inspectors. But this time nearly nobody stood behind the United States, only Great Britain was supporting the idea of a new attack. Russia and China were absolutely against a new
military intervention, and the rest of the world wanted to solve the conflict in a peaceful way. But all this did not prevent a new violent conflict. Operation "Desert Fox" started.

Dates & Happenings compiled from various sources like, the official US Pentagon site and Saddam's Dark Threat, Newsweek, November 24, 1997.

III.) Operation Desert Fox

On October 31st Iraq cuts off all work by the United Nations. The United States and Great Britain warn Saddam of possible military strikes to force him to withdraw and follow the sanctions. The first time after Desert Storm the military forces in the Persian Gulf exceed 100,000. Saddam again refuses to follow the instructions, the United Nations Security Council condemns Iraq for violation agreements signed after the end of the gulf war, and withdraws most of its staff from Iraq.[31]

Due to the fact that December 19th 1998 was the start of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan the United States of America and Great Britain started their attack on December 16th. This gave them enough time to destroy all targets, at least that is what they told the UN.

The strikes were mainly divided into two waves. The first wave included up to 200 cruise missiles launched from cruisers and other ships in the Gulf region. They were mainly launched by night, what gave the United States even more advantages. A second wave of aircraft launched from US carriers attacked the headquarters of Iraqi Security Police, one of the presidential Palaces of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters and other targets

around Iraq. Saddam claimed that the attacks also included the house of his daughter and that several industrial facilities being destroyed. "However it is possible some of these buildings were struck by falling anti - aircraft missiles, as was the case during the Gulf War."[32]

Although the holy month of Ramadan began on December 19th, the attacks by the USA and Great Britiain were incomplete and continued. Mainly targets that were not completely destroyed in the first waves were attacked a second time, and some air - to - air fights destroyed several Iraqi aircraft. In the evening Secretary Cohen announced that more cruise missiles have been used in this attack than in all of the Gulf War. The Pentagon also released a detailed target list. Even more than in Operation Desert Storm, Desert Fox was a public war, everybody was well informed about the happenings, about targets and the situation in Baghdad. The United States together with Great Britain completely controlled the picture material that was transmitted from the gulf region, and if necessary, cut it.

In the early morning of December 20th the first time British aircraft came into play launching air strikes against Iraq from bases in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Some hours later, Operation Desert Fox was successfully finished.

Again, nearly no injuries on the side of the United States, and thousands of deaths on Iraqi side. The world was divided into two groups, those who asked themselves if the new attack really was necessary, if it really helped to weaken Saddam by killing thousands of civilians during the attacks on military targets, and those who were supporting the idea of military strikes against Iraq. However, the supporting side was only consisting of Germany and France, and even those two highly industrialised countries were not accepting all actions by the United States and Great Britain.

IV.) Desert Storm and Desert Fox - necessary reactions to a crazy dictator or just senseless violence?
Iraq is a country marked by violence. During the last 20 years it stumbled from one war into another. Saddam Hussein with his Republican Guard killed millions of people during the 20 years of his dictatorship, political enemies, Kurds, civilians in Iran, Israel, Kuwait and even in his own country. One can say without a doubt, that Saddam Hussein is one of the bloodiest and cruellest dictators in history, and unfortunately also one of the most dangerous. While the world was supporting Operation Desert Storm, the opinions separated during the time of Desert Fox. The Question whether a new "war" (if one can call these 4 days of cruise missile attacks on Baghdad as a war) against Iraq was necessary can not be answered in one sentence.
First of all it has always been obvious that destroying targets in Baghdad mainly endangers the life of many civilians. One cannot deny that an exploding cruise missile with a destructive power of 200 kilogram TNT is a precise weapon, perhaps for the Americans, but not for innocent people in an area of 300 meters around the explosion center. Saddam still is strong, and 5 more attacks against his capital will still let him appear strong. It does not help to bomb down Baghdad or any other city in Iraq, the only result of such actions is that Saddam even becomes stronger, because of the rising support in the gulf region. Pictures of destroyed schools or hospitals (no matter if they are faked or not) are bad propaganda for the United States in Arabia. The fact that the real important military targets in Iraq are too well protected, and the fact that biological and chemical warfare can be built in a living room, makes the new attacks of Desert Fox appear senseless.
I am not sure whether the argument of preventing Saddam to become too strong again is indisputable. The vision of a Saddam with biological weapons, chemical warfare and a nuclear bomb behind his anti - west politics may be exaggerated, but if this becomes real, this may cause a new world wide war, a war where even well protected countries like Germany will suffer, or even will be involved. Maybe this is why one has to strike Iraq, maybe this is the justification for thousands of innocent deaths. It is a matter of principles!
If Saddam succeeds with his violent politics, if Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait successfully in 1991, other similar dictators would have taken this as an example and perhaps would have also invaded their neighbours, killed thousands of peoples and destroyed nearly 2 percent of the worlds oil resources in just some days, and that because they would be sure nobody punishes them for their behaviour. It is a matter of principles to show the world that people like Saddam have no chance at all. The aim of the UN is to "unite the Nations". This is only possible when violence is not accepted in any way. Perhaps you now think that it was also the UN who supported the violent conflict against Iraq in 1991, but just keep in mind: It was Saddam Hussein who invaded Kuwait and started to use violence.
I am convinced that the attacks against Iraq are justified, even if the economic backgrounds in this case are also obvious. It is mainly the cruelty of Saddam's dictatorship that caused the situation to escalate.

Perhaps these pages can help to have a new point of view on the facts.

[D] _Appendix_

I.) Literature

- "Die Befehlshaber" by Bob Woodward, Kiepenheuer & Witsch 1991, K├Âln

- "Nuclear Battlefields - Global Links in the Arms Race" by William M.Akin & Richard W. Fieldhouse, Ballinger Publishing Company 1985, Cambridge, Massachusetts

- "Kriegsfolgen und Kriegsverh├╝tung" by Carl Friedrich von Weizs├Ącker, Carl Hanser Verlag 1971, M├╝nchen

- "Atommacht Israel - Das geheime Vernichtungspotential im Nahen Osten" by Seymour M. Hersh, Droemer Knaur 1991, M├╝nchen

- "├ťber eine neue Weltordnung" by Albert Einstein & Isaac Asimov, Diogenes Verlag 1996, Z├╝rich

- "├ťber die Pflicht zum Ungehorsam gegen den Staat" by Henry David Thoreau, Diogenes Verlag 1996, Z├╝rich

- Newsweek - The international Newsmagazine, Feb 4th, 1991

- Newsweek - The international Newsmagazine, Nov 24, 1997

- Der Spiegel, 15/1991

- Time Magazine 7thAnniversary Issue, March 9th, 1998

- Dierke Weltatlas, Westermann Verlag 1996

- www.desert -
- - fox
- www.washington - (photos)

"Ich versichere, dass ich die vorliegende Arbeit selbst├Ąndig verfasst und keine au├čer den angegebenen Hilfsmitteln verwendet habe."

_______________________ den ______________ __________________________________
Ort Datum Unterschrift

[1] "├ťber eine neue Weltordnung", Albert Einstein & Isaac Asimov, 1996 Diogenes Verlag Z├╝rich, p. 3
[2] www.desert - 28.11.98
[3] 12.12.98
[4] 12.12.98

5Der Spiegel 15/1991, p.125

6Hammer/Breslau, Newsweek, February 4, 1991. p. 57
[7] 12.1.99
[8] "Die Befehlshaber", Bob Woodward, 1991 Kiepenheuer & Wittsch K├Âln, p.263
[9] "Die Befehlshaber", Bob Woodward, 1991 Kiepenheuer & Wittsch K├Âln, p.263/264
[10] "Die Befehlshaber", Bob Woodward, 1991 Kiepenheuer & Wittsch K├Âln, p.267
[11] www.desert - 28.11.98
[12] 29.12.1998
[13] 30.12.1998
[14] 3.1.99
[15] 3.1.99
[16] 3.1.99
[17] 15.01.99
[18] "Die Befehlshaber", Bob Woodward, 1991 Kiepenheuer & Witsch K├Âln, p.457
[19] EST: European Standard Time
[20] Marlin Fitzwater: Speaker of the White House at that time
[21] 14.1.99
[22] - After Desert Storm - The Post War and beyond 12.1.99
[23] 12.1.99
[24] Saddam's Dark Threat, Newsweek, November 24, 1997, p.12
[25] Newsweek, November 24, 1997, p.12
[26] compare: Saddam's Dark Threat, Newsweek, November 24, 1997, p.15
[27] compare: Saddam's Dark Threat, Newsweek, November 24, 1997, p.13
[28] compare: Saddam's Dark Threat, Newsweek, November 24, 1997, p.13
[29] From: Time Magazine 75thAnniversary Issue March 9, 1998 "The World dealing with Saddam"
[30] From:
[31] Compare:
[32] official Statement of the White House on December 18th1998

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