by Enver Masud ©1992 Enver Masud
Are you ready for another Gulf Victory Celebration? Just look at what we accomplished.
On January 16, 1991 the United States and its allies began the systematic destruction of a tiny nation. In the next forty-three days the guardians of the "civilized world" would kill a hundred thousand men, women, and children, wound a million more, and destroy $200 billion worth of property in the cradle of civilization.
Their cause was "just." They were after the new Hitler. Never mind that until August 1990, this Hitler was their ally in the war with Iran. Never mind that President Saddam Hussein, by no means admired by many of his own people, was not nearly the worst of his breed.
And, of course, oil, Israel, and the intractable problems at home had nothing to do with it. President George Bush proclaimed a New World Order. Or was it merely old world colonialism? Divide, conquer, plunder, and keep the natives in their place.
The invasion of Kuwait was wrong. Iraq should have settled its dispute with Kuwait peacefully. But was the nature and scale of the United States' response (sanctioned by a United Nations bullied and bribed into submission) proportionate to the atrocities committed by Iraq?
Having stalemated the United Nations for years, the United States in its newly found zeal, led the western crusade to rid the world of Saddam Hussein.
Never mind that it was silent when Israel bombed Iraq in 1981. Never mind the twenty three years occupation by Israel of the West Bank. Never mind all the other atrocities which Amnesty International has reported year after year. Saddam Hussein became the monster which had to be beheaded.
The vast majority in the western world applauded, as they viewed the real life Nintendo game on their television screens. Never mind that lost in the fog of precision laser bombing were thousands of innocent men, women and children.
Never mind that the United Nations resolution called only for removing Iraq from Kuwait. While babies in Iraq went without milk, the armchair Rambos, comfortably ensconced before their television screens, smelled blood. They howled for going all the way to Baghdad.
They were comforted by an American president who assured them that the United States had no gripe with the Iraqi people. They were only after that new Hitler. Tell that to those Iraqi people who will live with the wounds of war for generations to come.
But a brave minority kept alive the flame of freedom and justice. For upholding the right to free speech, and protesting President Bush's relentless rush to war, they were labeled unpatriotic. This minority did not forget the principles of the founding fathers, and the siren song of freedom that brought their forefathers past the Statue of Liberty.
Soon our euphoria over the unprecedented victory in the Gulf, was dampened by the plight of the Kurds - hungry and cold in refugee camps. But we soon tired of the reruns on TV, and turned to the drama unfolding in the Soviet Union and to our problems at home.
And some even felt a twinge of remorse when they saw pictures of our merciless bombing of the retreating Iraqi army, and learned of the Iraqi soldiers we buried alive in the sands of Kuwait.
But we continue to humiliate Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction, while Iraq's neighbor, Israel, continues to build its nuclear arsenal. This double standard troubles few Americans, and receives remarkably little attention by the media.
We bombed Iraq into the pre-industrial age, reported the United Nations inspection teams. And while we continue our economic embargo of Iraq, the deaths of thousands of Iraqi innocents continues from lack of medicine and clean water. Conditioned as we are to accepting violence and death daily on TV, we are barely aroused. We have found other TV channels and other shows to entertain us.
President Bush's New World Order, has turned into a new world disorder. And now as we approach the anniversary of our victory in the Gulf, how do we celebrate the holocaust in Iraq?