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

     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.
with Iraq?