The 'Vietnam Syndrome' and the Gulf War On Tuesday we discussed Robert D. Heinl's article, "The Collapse of the Armed Forces," and I spent some time discussing the Gulf War with you as an example of a war which, in my view, cannot be understood unless one takes into account class contradictions within American society. In other words, and like the Vietnam War, it cannot be understood from the perspective of "we", when "we" is understood to be "the United States". Conflicting interests are at work. I outlined to you the conference between U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, at which the U.S. Ambassador, speaking for the Administration of President George Bush, gave the "green light" to Hussein to settle his differences with Kuwait amongst themselves. This is a fascinating topic, and I am still planning on putting the transcript of the entire conference, which was reprinted in the New York Times, on the web for you soon. However, I've discovered a pretty good web page on this issue already. It is "Operation Desert Storm: Outright Disinformation Scheme". Please read this page carefully, including the selections from the transcript. The selections omit the interesting statement by Glaspie that important figures in the U.S. would prefer higher oil prices. This is in the full text of the transcript, and I'll put a link to it as soon as I can find it in my files and put it up. After studying this page carefully, please write an analysis of 300 words. Don't talk about whether you "believe" or "do not believe" this; that's not analysis. Instead, please discuss: * the issue of the class contradictions within the US: Whom does American foreign policy benefit, and whom does it hurt? * in the case of Vietnam? * in the case of the Gulf War? * reread the Butler piece which you have also read (you may go to it here . Butler also discusses class contraditions -- American foreign policy as serving the rich but not the majority. How similar is the situation Butler describes to the Vietnam or Gulf Wars? Please email your 300 word analysis to your group, and to me.