Thoughts On The Gulf War

I recently did a Political Science Assignment on The Gulf War and I thought I’d share my thoughts with all you lovely people. What follows is a copy of the short essay I produced for the assignment. As always comments and alternative opinions are appreciated.

For the purpose of this paper I will discuss what I believe are the most important consequences of the Persian Gulf War. The three long term consequences that I will examine are 9/11, The Iraq War, and the demonization of Arabs and Islam in the popular discourse. This war, though little discussed in Canadian classrooms, was and is a major event that continues to shape the interactions between Western and Eastern countries on a daily basis.

The first major political consequence that I will be discussing is the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This attack was seen by the American population as an attack on the country as a whole and a declaration of war. Al-Qaeda, the group supposedly responsible, and their leader, Osama Bin Laden, were painted as insane Muslim terrorists by the media and the United States Government. The general population was lead to believe that this was an unprovoked attack on an innocent nation. This falsified, propaganda fuelled interpretation could not have been more untrue.

Committing a suicide bombing mission and killing hundreds of innocent civilians is a horrible thing to do, it pales in comparison to the horror caused by the American military during the Gulf War or any of their other conflicts. Why do I bring this up? I bring it up because without the Gulf War 9/11 may have never have happened. In taking responsibility for 9/11 Al-Qaeda leaders listed several Gulf War actions as their reasons for committing the attack. One of which was the construction of permanent U.S. Military bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in contradiction to America’s previous promise to its Arab allies not to do so. Another factor was the conduct of American soldiers towards retreating Iraqi troops such as in the Highway Of Death incident. If the United States had not engaged in the Gulf War many of the actions that supposedly provoked the 9/11 attacks might never have happened.

This brings me to the next major consequence of the Gulf war, the 2003 American invasion of Iraq colloquially referred to as the Iraq War or The War In Iraq. In respect to the Gulf War there are two ways of seeing this conflict: one, as the continuation of a conflict that never really ended or two, as a sequel to a previous conflict. Regardless of what view one takes it is clear to me that without the Gulf War the Iraq would not have happened or not in the same way. Much like in the Gulf War the United States created a nice sounding reason for why they were going to intervene/invade another country. When they went into the Gulf War it was to supposedly to protect Kuwait’s sovereignty. When they went into the Iraq War it was because Iraq’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction threatened their security. It eventually came to light that the U.S. had for the sovereignty of any state except their own and that there were no weapons of mass destruction.

Finally, the result of both these wars and the propaganda that fuelled them has been the demonization of Arabs and Islam in popular culture. While it’s true that Arabs were discriminated against and caricaturized before 9/11 the Western propaganda machine worked overtime in the wake of the attack to ramp up negative stereotypes and hated towards “those Arabs”. Some have argued that when the Cold War ended a new enemy was needed to rally against. Since the enemy could no longer be the Communists or the Russians/Soviets the creation of a new enemy was needed. This brings us to the current trope of “Muslim/Islamist Terrorist” that has helped garner support for wars and endanger the lives of Arabs and Muslims living in Western countries.

In conclusion, the Gulf War is a rarely discussed conflict that has shaped international relations on an immense scale and helped to cause the 9/11 attacks which moved most Western countries to tighten their security to an alarming degree, the Iraq War which in many cases can be as a continuation of a previous conflict, and the demonizing of Arabs and Muslims in popular culture.

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts On The Gulf War

  1. “..When they went into the Iraq War it was because Iraq’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction threatened their security….”

    Or to put it another way Blair/ Bush relentlessly promoted the unfounded THEORY that Saddam was CONSPIRING with is military to manufacture and hide WMD’s and use them against the west.

    This CONSPIRACY THEORY was later proven to be a lie, making it arguably the most dangerous conspiracy theory promoted in modern times. Believe in (or acceptance of) this conspiracy theory has led to the murder of a million people, and catastrophic environmental, social and financial devastation.

    According to my mac’s dictionary…

    Terrorism
    noun
    the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

    That would include the behaviour of all governments, and not just when waging wars, but all the time. Every political policy from wealth redistribution at home to world war three is founded and enabled only by the government’s use of violence and intimidation.

    Statism is Dead – Part 5 – Terrorism, 9/11 and Politics

    As for 9/11 specifically, (deep breath) this may make no sense at first, but please bear with me…

    9/11 is a date, not a crime. What was the crime? To establish the crime we obviously need to look at the evidence to determine what happened.

    We cannot determine what happened by theorising about who did it. Note the phrase: who did ‘it’…….. Who did WHAT? D’you see? We have not determined what ‘it’ is yet.

    Only when we have a clear and detailed understanding of WHAT the crime actually was (as per the evidence), can we even begin to tentatively attempt to put this crime in any sort of social/ political/ geopolitical context.

    Make sense? I hope so! 🙂

    Discovering WHAT actually happened on 9/11 is pretty mind blowing. For example did you know that…

    – 1400 cars were ‘toasted’ in bizarre ways (some even missing engine blocks) and that some of these cars were several blocks from the WTC complex
    – 14 people survived inside the core of the North Tower on the second floor. When the dust cleared they looked up and saw blue sky above them and they walked out by themselves.
    – the Twin Tower debris was no higher than the lobby, and some vehicles parked beside the towers were not even clobbered or buried by debris.
    – WTC 3 (the 22 story Marriott hotel) almost completely disappeared – as did most of WTC 4.
    – WTC 1 and 2 (500,000 tons each) and WTC 7 (230,000 tons) hardly registered any seismic impact, and the fragile ‘bathtub’ (AKA slurry wall) which kept out the Hudson river was also not damaged.
    – (this one is a strange observation, discovered along the way…..) A category 3 hurricane (Erin) was parked just off the coast of NY on the morning of 9/11. It had been heading straight for NY for four days, yet it was hardly mentioned in the media at all, neither before, during or after 9/11 Hardly anyone is aware it ever existed.
    – Banker’s Trust (about 30 stories tall) was quite badly damaged on 9/11 and was repaired in the years after, but as soon as the repairs were complete it was totally dismantled piece by piece over the following few years and it appeared to be suffering from a case of rapid ‘rustification’.
    – The majority of the twin towers were turned to dust in mid air (dust which enveloped Manhattan and blocked out 100% of the sun for a few minutes), and this dust continued to break down for months afterwards (to the size of red blood cells), creating a continuous ‘fuming’ and ‘haze’ at ground zero. This dust became so fine it was carried into the upper atmosphere.
    – Only one file cabinet was recovered from the towers, and it came from the Ben and Jerry’s store in the basement (in the mall). No doorknobs, phones, doors, desks, chairs, computers, carpets, steel floor pans, vending machines, catering equipment or any fixtures and fittings were ever found…… yet all the paper survived intact and unburned.
    – Not a single toilet or fragment of porcelain was found out of at least 3000.
    – The marble facade around the entrance to the WFC across the street vanished, yet the rest of the wall was relatively undamaged.
    – The rubble pile of WTC7 (47 stories tall) was so neatly piled up following its demise at 5:20 pm on 9/11 that it did not even spill across the street.

    Any theory about ‘who did 9/11’ must be able to coherently account for this evidence, otherwise the theory is not addressing reality, but is merely a theory about an imaginary event. And so regardless of whether someone is accusing Bin Laden or Bush, they must be able to explain how the perpetrators produced each piece of evidence.

    And if the crime remains unsolved (ie the evidence remains unexplained) then no one can logically say they know who is guilty of committing that crime.

    “I cannot explain the evidence, but I know this man is guilty!” (this would not stand up in court!).

    The remarkable scientist who gathered and compiled this evidence (and much more) is interviewed in the following link. She has been personally attacked (most heavily by those who are promoting various unscientific ‘conspiracy theories’), but to date no one has been able to refute any of the evidence she presents. In 2006 she sued two of NIST’s contractors for science fraud.

    LINK

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  2. Victorm

    Sth like subj:
    History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. (c)Martin Luther King, Jr. [url=”http://idipic.com/idioms_quotes/phrases-about-success”]url[/url]

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  3. Pingback: A Poem For The Fallen | The Mischief Mistress

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