Recently, the United States fired over 40 cruise missiles into Iraq as an act of retribution towards Iraqi military incursion into the northern part of Iraqi territory. The U.S. action received only tepid support from its closest allies Britain and Canada, while most of the world protests or looks on in awkward silence.

    After the missile attack, the U.S. extended the "no fly" zone in southern Iraq to the 33rd parallel, which would include the suburbs of Baghdad. This unilateral decree on the part of the U.S. was designed to humiliate the Iraqi leader and put pressure on his government. No tactical reason was given for the extended restrictions.

    WHAT FOR? - The United States has claimed moral justification for its attack against Iraq, claiming humanitarian concern for the Kurds, but it has not justified its actions according to international law or convention. This is in departure from its recent custom of initiating and then bowing to U.N. mandates before committing such acts.

    HUMANITARIAN CONCERN A HOAX - The "humanitarian" concern is a withering fig leaf as one considers the sheer human tragedy of the Gulf War and its aftermath. Over half a million Iraqi children have starved to death as a direct result of U.N. sanctions, and countless others suffer from hunger or deprivation of some kind. The most basic necessities of life are rationed and extremely difficult to come by. Shortages have created inflation and social upheaval in Iraq, and all of this has combined to create an atmosphere of desperation among the general population. The U.S. has not even lifted a finger to relieve the humanitarian crisis in existence there.

    The Gulf War itself was marked by a savagery unbecoming civilized nations. A backward, poorly trained, third world army equipped with inferior Soviet-made weaponry was made the target of cutting edge Western technology. The Gulf War was the perfect proving grounds for the latest smart bombs, laser guided missiles, attack helicopters and stealth fighter bombers. It has been estimated that as many as 100,000 Iraqi soldiers died on the battlefield, many of whom were buried alive in their trenches by U.S. tanks equipped with earth moving blades.

    As the humanitarian motive of the United States appears to be in question, it would be good to examine what other motives might exist behind America's involvement in the Persian Gulf.

    TO DESTROY ARAB UNITY - Arabs are clannish, but also have their differences. The Gulf War put Arabs on opposing sides and effectively ended any chance of real Pan-Arab unity. This ensured Western control of the oil wealth.

    TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE - The Gulf War and the following subjugation of Iraq was opportunity for the Arabs and the rest of the world to see what would happen to them if they resisted the New World Order.

    TO TEST NEW WEAPONS - America is the world's leading weapons exporter and the price and prestige of America's weapons rose significantly during the Gulf War. A good portion of federal money that is poured into American universities is to promote research and development of technologies that were used in the war.

    TO SET A PRECEDENT - Iraq has been made the showcase of unprecedented outside manipulation of a nation's internal affairs. Control, not human rights, is the name of the game. Now that the mindless masses have accepted this new form of control, it may be applied to other countries as well, effectively eliminating the power of national governments over their own populations.

    Iraq's latest crime was to send its army to restore order in the northern part of its territory. This is no different from Abe Lincoln sending troops to put down a rebellion during the American Civil War. It is also no different from national guard troops being used by the U.S. during the unrest of the 60's, or the 80's, or the 90's.

    But, oh, this is America, and we're right.


Written 9/96


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