Critique of U.S. Imperialist Aims in the Gulf War (November, 1990)

by Grover Furr

Originally published in The Montclarion, student newspaper of Montclair State College (now University), New Jersey, Thursday November 1, 1990, p. 14.

As war comes nearer, facts that expose the Bush administration's lies about the Mid-East build-up continue to come to light.

1. It was logical for Saddam Hussein to believe Pres. Bush was telling him there would be no U.S. intervention if he invaded Kuwait.

On July 25, 9 days before Iraq invaded Kuwait, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie told Saddam Hussein "we (the Bush administration) have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait"(N. Y. Times, 9/25). The day before, a State Department spokesperson had stated the U.S. did "not have any defense treaties with Kuwait, and there are no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait." (p.l8). Three days before the invasion, Bush opposed a Congressional attempt to curtail U.S. grain sales to Iraq.

2. The Bush administration probably wanted Iraq to invade Kuwait, as an excuse to win Saudi and Egyptian support for basing a large force in the Mid-East permanently-something several U.S. administrations have wanted for over a decade.

King Hussein of Jordan told the New York Times (Oct. 16) that: (I)on August 2, the day of the invasion, Saudi King Fahd blamed Kuwait, not Iraq, for the entire affair; (2) the same day Bush promised King Hussein 48 hours to secure Iraqi withdrawal; on Aug. 3 King Hussein flew to Baghdad and received Saddam Hussein's agreements to withdraw from Kuwait, provided the Arab League did not condemn him or call for foreign intervention. When he returned home, Egypt and the Saudis had already condemned Iraq-probably at Bush's request, since "Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had told him during a meeting-that the U.S. troops were 'halfway to Saudi Arabia' before they were formally requested.' The King said he had confirmed this later through..his own sources."

Suspicions that the U.S. engineered the whole Mid-East build-up are supported by the fact that the Joint Chiefs of Staff had U.S. military plans directed against Iraq instead of the USSR "months before Iraqi tanks rumbled into Kuwait."( Wall St.. Journal, Oct. 15)

Many Americans will be unwilling to believe that 'their" government could be so dishonest. But history shows that the U.S. government virtually always lies, especially to the American people-after all, we are the most likely to believe these lies. In this century, the U.S. has lied to justify virtually every war. These wars were always begun from economic motives-never to stop aggression" or "defend freedom"

For example, the Bush Administration had been spreading the idea that the build-up is really to "stop Saddam Hussein from getting nuclear weapons." This, of course, is nonsense; Iraq was no closer to having the A-bomb in July than it was in August. A long article in the New York Times (Aug. 13) showed how the U.S. supported Iraq for all the years when Hussein was supposedly building up his A-bomb capabilities.

3. The U.S. is in the Middle East to fight for higher oil prices, not lower ones.

Bush must pretend the U.S. is fighting for lower oil prices. But when Saddam Hussein told U.S. Ambassador Glaspie on July 23 that "we do not want too high prices for oil," Glaspie replied, "we have many Americans who weld like to see the price go above S25 because they come from oil-producing states." Bush is a Texas oil man. It was under Reagan that U.S. programs for oil conservation, begun under Ford and Carter, were scrapped.

It is the embargo and U.S. war threat, not Iraqi control, that keeps prices high. On Oct. 2 1 the price of crude oil dropped drastically on reports that a Saudi prince had told Iraq the Saudis wanted to work everything out peacefully. Bush spent 8 years under Reagan doing everything he could to take money from the working and middle classes. This is thoroughly documented in the recent, best-selling work Politics of Rich and Poor by conservative Republican political advisor Kevin Phillips.

Saddam Hussein is a petty Hitler. But Bush and Co. are the "Hitlers" that are the most dangerous to you and me. Bush will squander tens of thousands of American lives -- and many more Arab lives -- to make billions for Big Oil. Defense Secretary Richard Cheney dismissed Air Force Chief General Dugan in mid-September for publicly exposing the U.S.'s plans to terror-bomb civilian cities (New York Times. Sept. 18). Nuclear war is threatened, not by Iraq but by the U.S. -- the only country ever to use such weapons in a war -- and by Israel, whose ruling elite push fascist-style nationalism and racism, and which has over 100 A-bombs.

The lessons are clear. We must abandon the crippling patriotism that we have all been indoctrinated with, and squarely face the truth. In a world full of enemies of working people, our greatest enemy is our own government It represents big business and the wealthy, not us. We have no obligation whatever to support it. We must oppose the U.S. government's criminal policies, which art a shotgun aimed at the interests of all working-and middle-class people.

I urge all MSC students, staff, and faculty to join with those of us who art building a movement to oppose the war. Contact S.T.A.N.D., or myself, and let us discuss what we must do.

Grover Furr, English Dept.

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