Additional notes: The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm
Stephen Hewitt, last updated 16 March 2003
These additional notes will be included into the review in due course.
The film starts by briefly reviewing the history of US involvement in the Middle East, which is motivated by oil. It notes that Saddam Hussein was put in power in Iraq by the US government.
It presents the hypothesis, with evidence, that the American government deliberately provoked the Iraqis into invading Kuwait. One commentator said "It's a trap and unfortunately Iraq fell into it."
If this is true, it follows a recurrent pattern of American wars, the most notorious example being the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor , which is so meticulously documented by Robert Stinnett in his book "Day of Deceit" (2000, Constable). It would seem that there are many days of deceit in modern history.
Next the film presents evidence that the American government deceived the Saudi Arabians into believing that an Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia was imminent. The object was to station American troops in Saudi Arabia. On the latter point you don't need this documentary to see some of the evidence: American troops remain in Saudi Arabia to this day, even though the ostensible reason for their deployment was to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait, something that was accomplished over ten years ago.
One particular piece of deceit that isn't mentioned here is the lies about Iraqis throwing babies out of incubators in a hospital in Kuwait. These lies were told to a US congressional committee by the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US while she was pretending to be a nurse from Kuwait. The company Hill and Knowlton coached her in this. See Phillip Knightley, The Guardian, Thursday October 4, 2001 It was also mentioned by George Galloway in Cambridge last year. Also not mentioned is a border dispute with Kuwait.
The documentary next turns its attention to the suspicious decision to halt the war when the American forces could easily have advanced to Bahgdad. This allowed Saddam Hussein to put down extensive rebellions which had broken out against him.
It includes an extensive section on economic sanctions, the continuing aerial bombardment of Iraq by British and US aircraft, UNSCOM, (the UN weapons inspections)
A German journalist from Bildzeitung tells us "On 17 January 1993, Bush sent 42 missiles on Baghdad. One of them hit Arisheem hotel when I was there".
It includes an extensive section on economic sanctions, It mentions a statement made by US State Secretary Madeleine Albright broadcast on The Sixty Minute Show, 12 May 1996 . On this show, she was asked about the deaths of Iraqi children as the result of economic sanctions. She replied "the price is worth it". The film tells us that it has since been "censored by CBS under political pressure". What exactly that means is not explained, but it seems to mean that there is no film of Albright saying these words because CBS refused to give it to them. (Ironically for CBS, this act of refusal is more useful to us than the video clip would have been, because although we already know about Madeleine Albright, this tells us something important about CBS).
The final part deals with so-called "depleted" uranium. In this war the US military used munitions made from radioactive waste for the first time. It mentions contamination with plutonium in passing, but does not investigate the significance of this. For some reason Doug Rokke is described as a "Fmr contractor".