Review: The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm
reviewed by Stephen Hewitt, 17 March 2003
The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm, produced by Gerard Ungerman, Audrey Brohy, 2000
This brief review will be expanded later. However at a time when the political leaders of the United States and other countries are doing their utmost to prosecute another war on the basis of a tissue of lies, it seems urgent for all of us to study, and never forget, how they lied last time. For that purpose, The Hidden Wars of Desert Storm makes a good start.
There is a wealth of material here, covering many topics. It contains interviews with Douglas Rokke, Dennis Halliday, Ramsey Clark, Scott Ritter, Norman Schwarzkopf, soldiers who served in the 1991 Gulf war, a US State Department official called David Welch, an lawyers representing Gulf war veterans, doctors in Iraqi hospitals, and more.
This review will start with the last topic of the film, because it is the most important. This is the topic of so-called "depeleted" uranium. Of all the aspects of the Gulf war, the deliberate exposure of their own troops to, and the permanent contamination of Iraq with, dangerous radioactive waste is the act that reveals most unambiguously the criminal nature of the people now in positions of authority within British, American and other political and military establishments.
The film presents astonishing figures for American veterans: of the 696,628 who served, 186,629 have filed for disability and 9,592 have died.
This is a lawyer representing veterans in the USA:
"[unclear] military there are early reports on this issue -you know - this is one from July 1990 they say the most exposed individuals are soldiers who went on the battlefield after D.U rounds are shot - saying that civilians and soldiers may er suffer health effects from the inhalation and ingestion of DU dust and even saying that once people realise the health and environmental effects of this weapon, there may be a move to ban it. And this is July 1990. And this is just six months or so [unclear] at war. So you're not going to wonder why no warnings were ever disseminated to the ground forces prior to the war. Even if its just to say stay away from the vehicles that have been hit. Don't go climbing on the [unclear]."
In an interview a US veteran says:
"Because we didn't know about the radioactive waste being used as ammunition, people were just picking up things in the desert whatever they could find, [unclear] and I think if they would have known, they wouldn't have touched it"
To be continued. Some additional notes that will be included in an expanded review are at hidden_notes.html
Where to get it
The review copy was bought at a public meeting of Voices in Wilderness in London, but a swift search reveals what seems to be the producers website at http://www.hiddenwars.com .
There was a public showing of this film by Campeace in Cambridge on 9 February 2003.
(Note that neither I nor anyone else at Clarion has any financial interest in sales of this video)
- Uranium toxicity in The Merck Index The Merck Index, ELEVENTH EDITION, (MERCK & CO., INC. RAHWAY N.J., 1989) page 1551
- Private Eye article: DU: A BURNING ISSUE Private Eye, No. 1056, 14 June - 27 June 2002, p26
- The Observer article: Gulf veteran babies 'risk deformities' Nic Fleming and Mark Townsend, The Observer, Sunday 11 August 2002
- The Globe and Mail article: Iraqi MDs blame U.S. for deformities Timothy Appleby, The Globe and Mail, 13 March 2002