Operation Desert Storm was the beginning of perpetual war
by Bob Livingston
At 6:28 p.m. EST on Jan. 16, 1991, the U.S. launched the beginning of perpetual war when it attacked military targets in Iraq — specifically around Baghdad — and Kuwait with helicopters, warplanes and Tomahawk missiles to begin Operation Desert Storm.
The invasion followed months of buildup, “coalition building” and propagandizing by George H.W. Bush about how Iraq’s supposedly vaunted army would pose a formidable challenge to U.S. military power. It was designed to drive Iraqi forces from Kuwait, and Bush repeatedly emphasized that removing Saddam Hussein from power was not the objective.
Saddam’s forces had invaded Kuwait because that country was stealing Iraqi oil using a method of horizontal drilling and because Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates were flouting OPEC production quotas, which was driving down the cost of oil.
U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie told Saddam, “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” Saddam, who was America’s agent of opposition against Iran during the 1980s and on the CIA’s payroll, saw this as a green light to deploy his U.S- and NATO-supplied, trained and funded military against Kuwait, which had no military to speak of.
A cease-fire was ordered by Bush on Feb. 28 after the Iraqi army was decimated on the Highway of Death.
On Feb. 24, the CIA-operated Voice of Free Iraq radio station began encouraging Iraqis to topple Saddam with the implication that the U.S. would help their efforts. The Shiite population and the Kurds took the message to heart. But they were outgunned because many of Saddam’s attack helicopters, tanks and artillery pieces had survived U.S. bombardment. The opposition was no match for the Iraqi helicopters and tanks, and Bush turned his back on the insurgents when they asked for help.
The U.S. government and others claimed Iraq forces used chemical agents on the rebels around Basra and Karbala to quell the uprising, but the U.N. found no evidence that had occurred.
For the next 12 years, U.S. troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; and U.S. and NATO planes flew thousands of sorties over Iraq in a constant state of war. Conventional wisdom tells us that the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia was the reason for the 9/11 attack.
George W. Bush, or Bush the younger, used 9/11 as an excuse to attack Iraq once again in 2003.
With U.S. drones still bombing sites in Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq (among other places) and U.S. troops and U.S.-paid mercenaries fighting in several of them, the U.S. has been at war in the Middle East for 24 years straight with no end in sight.