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The Legacy of War

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Abstract

The 1991 Gulf War, fought between the US-contrived Coalition forces and the armies of Saddam Hussein, followed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990. It followed also the period during which Kuwait was part of the Ottoman vilayet of Basra and the Uqair Conference at which Sir Percy Cox, High Commissioner under the (British-controlled) Indian Army for Mesopotamia, wishing to cut through ‘impossible arguments and ridiculous claims’, resolved with a cavalier flourish of his hand what would constitute the frontiers of Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. And it followed the 1930 judgement of the British High Commissioner in Baghdad ‘that Britain should encourage the gradual absorption of Kuwait into Iraq’, with representatives of the British government contending ‘that Kuwait was a small and expendable state which could be sacrificed without too much concern if the power struggles of the period demanded if’.2

Keywords

Security Council Atomic Energy Authority Infant Milk Formula Civilian Casualty Deplete Uranium 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Quoted by Dr Fadia Faqir, ‘Tales of war: Arab women in the eye of the storm’, in Victoria Brittain (ed.), The Gulf Between Us: The Gulf War and Beyond (London: Virago Press, 1991) pp. 85–6; Faqir points out that some Vietnamese witnesses to the horrors of the Vietnam War suffered a psychologically induced blindness.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. V. F. Winstone and Zahra Freeth, Kuwait: Prospect and Reality (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1972) p. 111.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Transcript of House Subcommittee Hearing on US-Iraqi Relations, in James Ridgeway (ed. and Introduction), The March to War (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1991) pp. 47–9.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ridgeway, ibid., p. 30.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    I have considered in detail the events leading up to the 1991 Gulf War — including Iraq’s grievances, the US ‘green light’, Western support for Saddam, and US manipulation of the United Nations — in Geoff Simons, Iraq: From Sumer to Saddam (London: Macmillan, 1994).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    When Saddam Hussein commented to UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar that the UN resolutions were in reality American resolutions, ‘not what the Security Council wants’, Perez de Cuellar said: ‘I agree with you’ (The Independent, London, 12 December 1991).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    US and Its Allies’ Crimes and Violations of Human Rights in Iraq. A Report on Part I: Crimes of the Military Aggression Against Iraq, Part II: The Blockade and Its Violations, prepared by a panel of international law experts in Iraq, The International Symposium, Baghdad, 5–8 February 1994, p. 13.Google Scholar
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    Incendiary Weapons, a SITPRO (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) monograph (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1975) pp. 153–4.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Colonel Richard White, US pilot, quoted in The Independent, London, 6 February 1991.Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    The Washington Post, 16 and 17 February 1991; Robert Lifton, ‘The US fantasy of kicking ass’, The Guardian, London, 20 June 1991.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Reuter pool report, ‘Apache pilots in ground attack shooting gallery’, The Independent, London, 25 February 1991.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    Paul Rogers, ‘Myth of a clean war buried in the sand’, The Guardian, London, 19 September 1991.Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    See, for example, John R. MacArthur, Second Front, Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War (New York: Hill and Wang, 1992) pp. 146–98.Google Scholar
  14. 15.
    Dilip Hiro, Desert Shield to Desert Storm: The Second Gulf War (London: Paladin, 1992) p. 389.Google Scholar
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    Newsweek, 11 March 1991, quoted in Philip M. Taylor, War and the Media: Propaganda and Persuasion in the Gulf War (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992) p. 251.Google Scholar
  16. 17.
    Quoted by Taylor, ibid., p. 253.Google Scholar
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  18. 19.
    Michael Kelly, ‘Carnage on a forgotten road’, The Guardian, London, 11 April 1991.Google Scholar
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  20. 26.
    Patrick Sloyan, ‘Iraqi troops buried alive say American officers’, The Guardian, London, 13 September 1991.Google Scholar
  21. 27.
    Quoted in MacArthur, Second Front, op. cit., p. 105.Google Scholar
  22. 28.
    Barton Gellman, ‘Allied air war struck broadly in Iraq: officials acknowledge strategy went beyond purely military targets’, The Washington Post, 23 June 1991.Google Scholar
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  24. 30.
    Amy Kasslow, ‘Shifting fortunes in the Arab world’, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 June 1991, p. 7.Google Scholar
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    War Crimes: A Report on United States War Crimes Against Iraq, Reports to the Commission of Inquiry for the International War Crimes Tribunal and the Tribunal’s Final Judgement (Washington, D.C.: Maisonneuve Press, 1992) p. 15.Google Scholar
  26. 32.
  27. 36.
    Bob Woodward, The Commanders (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991) p. 291.Google Scholar
  28. 37.
    Andre Petersen, ‘Archaeological sites a forgotten casualty of war’, letter, The Guardian, London, 4 February 1991.Google Scholar
  29. 38.
    Patrick Cockburn, ‘Iraq’s ancient treasures are the hidden casualties of war’, The Independent, London, 15 July 1991.Google Scholar
  30. 39.
    Muayad S. Damirji, editorial, Akkad, Department of Antiquities and Heritage, Baghdad, Number 2 (December 1994).Google Scholar
  31. 41.
    Isabel Boucher (‘The haemorrhage of looted art continues’, The Art Newspaper, Number 47, April 1995) describes the commercial flood of archaeological artefacts from Iraq, caused by the Gulf War. The British School of Archaeology in Iraq has published a 153-page document (Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq’s Regional Museums) listing the thousands of archaeological artefacts — amulets, arrowheads, beads, bottles, bowls, bracelets, cups, figurines, goblets, jars, necklaces, rings, seals, statues, tumblers, vases, etc. — looted from Iraq following the war.Google Scholar
  32. 42.
    Christopher Bellamy, ‘Arithmetic of death in wake of Gulf conflict’, The Guardian, London, 1 March 1991.Google Scholar
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    Simon Jones, ‘US demographer sacked for exposing Iraqi civilian deaths’, The Independent, London, 23 April 1992.Google Scholar
  34. 44.
    Robert Lifton, ‘Last refuge of a hi-tech nation’, The Guardian, London, 12 March 1991.Google Scholar
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    Lee Hockstadter, ‘Health crisis looms in Baghdad’, The Guardian, London, 5 March 1991.Google Scholar
  36. 46.
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  37. 47.
    Richard Norton-Taylor, ‘Gulf war allies had nuclear option, claims officer’, The Guardian, London, 28 September 1991.Google Scholar
  38. 48.
    Mohamed Heikal, Illusions of Triumph: An Arab View of the Gulf War (London: HarperCollins, 1992) p. 289.Google Scholar
  39. 49.
    Nick Cohen, ‘Radioactive waste left in Gulf by allies’, The Independent on Sunday, London, 10 November 1991.Google Scholar
  40. 50.
  41. 51.
    Nick Cohen and Tom Wilkie, ‘Gulf teams not told of risk from uranium’, The Independent on Sunday, London, 10 November 1991.Google Scholar
  42. 52.
    Greg Philo and Greg McLaughlin, ‘The first casualties of war’, New Statesman and Society, London, 29 January 1993.Google Scholar
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  44. 54.
    Felicity Arbuthnot, ‘Allies’ shells leave deadly radiation’, Scotland on Sunday, 18 March 1993.Google Scholar
  45. 55.
    David Albright, ‘The desert glows — with propaganda’, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, May 1993, pp. 11–12, 46.Google Scholar
  46. 57.
    The International Scientific Symposium on Post War Environmental Problems in Iraq, editors: Layth F. Al-Kassab, Ph.D., Sami R. Al-Araji, Ph.D., Walid G. Al-Tawil, Ph.D., Muna Al-Jubori, Ph.D., Adil A. Al-Khafaji, Ph.D., and Khidher A. Putrus, M.Sc, Iraqi Society for Environmental Protection and Improvement (ISEPI), Baghdad, 10–12 December 1994.Google Scholar
  47. 58.
    Ibid., pp. 16–18.Google Scholar
  48. 59.
    From ibid., pp. 28–9. Table compiled by Dr Arsien Abdul-Karim Hana, B.Sc., Ph.D. (Birmingham University, UK).Google Scholar
  49. 60.
    The Impact of War on Iraq, Report to the Secretary-General on humanitarian needs in Iraq in the immediate post-crisis environment by a mission to the area led by Mr Martti Ahtisaari, Under-Secretary-General for Administration and Management, United Nations, New York, 20 March 1991.Google Scholar
  50. 61.
  51. 62.
  52. 63.
  53. 64.
    Peter Jenkins, ‘War continues by other means’, The Independent, London, 24 April 1991.Google Scholar
  54. 65.
    Louise Cainkar, ‘Desert sin: a post-war journey through Iraq’, in Phillis Bennis and Michel Moushabeck (eds), Beyond the Storm: A Gulf Crisis Reader (London: Canongate, 1992) pp. 335–55.Google Scholar
  55. 66.
    Patrick E. Tyler, ‘Bush links ending of trading ban to Hussein exit’, The New York Times, 21 May 1991.Google Scholar
  56. 67.
    Cainkar, ‘Desert sin’, op. cit., p. 340.Google Scholar

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© Geoff Simons 1996

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