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Gulf War I. Energy Wars Grassroots attack on energy sources and uses Grassroots attack on energy sources and uses  Demand for less environmental degradation.

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Presentation on theme: "Gulf War I. Energy Wars Grassroots attack on energy sources and uses Grassroots attack on energy sources and uses  Demand for less environmental degradation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gulf War I

2 Energy Wars Grassroots attack on energy sources and uses Grassroots attack on energy sources and uses  Demand for less environmental degradation  Demand for less dangerous methods Counterattack on Environmentalists Counterattack on Environmentalists  attack via reduced enforcement, legislation, terror & intimidation  continuing push to exploit ALL resources War in Gulf (1990 - 1991, 1998?) War in Gulf (1990 - 1991, 1998?)  Historical Background (See "Why War?" art.)  Saddam Hussain’s motivations  George Bush Sr. (et. al.) motivations  War, media and aftermath

3 Historical Background: the long run - I  Persian Gulf countries boundries and governments arranged by colonial powers  Ottoman Empire ruled much of region  WWI ended Ottoman Empire, Iraq became League of Nations mandate territory  1922 British drew national boundaries, seized piece of Kurdistan for Iraq, kept Kuwait separate, limited Iraq access to Gulf  1932 Iraq independent, 1958 nationalist Revolution  Repeated Iraqi demands to reintegrate Kuwait failed  1953 CIA overthrow of Mossedegh in Iran for cheap oil, rising wages and the Keynesian auto economy

4 Historial Background II: the long run - II 1958 nationalist revolution 1958 nationalist revolution Saddam Hussein member of opposition Ba’ath party, tried coup, fled to Egypt Saddam Hussein member of opposition Ba’ath party, tried coup, fled to Egypt 1968 Ba’ath Party seized power, Hussein returned to Iraq, played ever greater role 1968 Ba’ath Party seized power, Hussein returned to Iraq, played ever greater role 1973-4 OPEC achieves 4X increase in price of oil w/US support 1973-4 OPEC achieves 4X increase in price of oil w/US support 1979 Hussein becomes head of Ba’ath Party and of Iraq 1979 Hussein becomes head of Ba’ath Party and of Iraq 1978-9 Iranian Revolution overthrows Shah (put and maintained in power by US) becomes Islamic 1978-9 Iranian Revolution overthrows Shah (put and maintained in power by US) becomes Islamic 1980 Hussein invades Iran, with tacit US support, war: 1980- 88, US et al support Iraq w/military equipment and force 1980 Hussein invades Iran, with tacit US support, war: 1980- 88, US et al support Iraq w/military equipment and force 1978-81 Carter-Reagan-Volcker Depression drops oil price and triggers international debt crisis 1978-81 Carter-Reagan-Volcker Depression drops oil price and triggers international debt crisis

5 Historical Background: the long run - III During Iraq – Iran war US helped both sides, Iraq was funded by Arab states fearful of Islamic fundamentalist regime in Teheran During Iraq – Iran war US helped both sides, Iraq was funded by Arab states fearful of Islamic fundamentalist regime in Teheran Kuwait essentially an expanded town, run by a single ruling family (the Sabah) with whom the British had cut deals Kuwait essentially an expanded town, run by a single ruling family (the Sabah) with whom the British had cut deals Oil gave that family power and command over foreign labor (80+% of labor force) Oil gave that family power and command over foreign labor (80+% of labor force) Limited citizenship and even more limited rights, only men could vote, etc. Limited citizenship and even more limited rights, only men could vote, etc. Kuwait major funder of Iraq during Iraq – Iran war Kuwait major funder of Iraq during Iraq – Iran war

6 Historical Background: the short run Regional conflicts over relative power: Regional conflicts over relative power:  Iraq – Yemen – Lebanon – PLO – Jordan  Saudi Arabia – Egypt – Syria – Libya  UAE – Iran OPEC prices undermined by over production, Iraq sees economic warfare OPEC prices undermined by over production, Iraq sees economic warfare April 1, 1990: Hussein speech threatens actions against overproducers April 1, 1990: Hussein speech threatens actions against overproducers Speech also threatens CBW response to Israeli nuclear and chemical threat, calls for nuke-CBW free zone in Middle East Speech also threatens CBW response to Israeli nuclear and chemical threat, calls for nuke-CBW free zone in Middle East

7 Gulf War I – Hussein’ Motivations Saddam Hussain invaded and conquered Kuwait, Bush counterattacks Saddam Hussain invaded and conquered Kuwait, Bush counterattacks Hussein’s motivations: Hussein’s motivations:  Expand his power: seize territory long claimed and the Rumaila Oil fields that cross the border  Reduce his costs: eliminate debt to Kuwait incurred during Iraq-Iran war  Increase income: reduce oil production to raise prices

8 Gulf War I – Bush Motivations Bush motivations? - I: Bush motivations? - I:  Principled resistance to international aggression? Inconsistent w/US govt support for similar aggressions Inconsistent w/US govt support for similar aggressions  High-priced oil? Invasion spiked prices, blockade reduced supplies & supported prices More resources for hard-pressed allies? More resources for hard-pressed allies? Increased competitiveness vs Europe as in ’73-4? Increased competitiveness vs Europe as in ’73-4? OPEC as continuing financial intermediary? OPEC as continuing financial intermediary? Excuse to push revitalization of nuclear power? Excuse to push revitalization of nuclear power? Excuse to bypass constraints on oil drilling? Excuse to bypass constraints on oil drilling? More resources for Russia? More resources for Russia? Austerity for Eastern Europe? Austerity for Eastern Europe? Increased profits for American producers? Banks? Increased profits for American producers? Banks?

9 Bush Motivations - II  Containment of Hussein, regional balance of power Bush Sr. vision: balance of power Bush Sr. vision: balance of power  as in post-Shah Gulf & +Iraq-Iran war Was Saddam suckered? Glaspie-Hussein exchange Was Saddam suckered? Glaspie-Hussein exchange Did Hussein overstep the admissible bounds of his power? Did Hussein overstep the admissible bounds of his power?  Militarization of Gulf, permanent US presence Repression of local instability in oil communities? Repression of local instability in oil communities?  From Palestinians to foreign workers (who are often Palestinian as well as Yemeni, etc.) Excuse for further military-industrial expansion? Excuse for further military-industrial expansion? Excuse to further cut social expenditures? Excuse to further cut social expenditures?  Recession? Depressing effect of war consistent with Fed restrictionary “zero-inflation” monetary policy Depressing effect of war consistent with Fed restrictionary “zero-inflation” monetary policy

10 Media & the War Media was completely contained by Pentagon, virtually all news vetted by military Media was completely contained by Pentagon, virtually all news vetted by military  TV images of smart bombs were only of hits Media accepted this censorship and in process became extension of Pentagon public relations Media accepted this censorship and in process became extension of Pentagon public relations Chomsky on how US media ignored history of US – Security Council Relations Chomsky on how US media ignored history of US – Security Council Relations Also ignored history of US invasions: Grenada, Panama Also ignored history of US invasions: Grenada, Panama Also ignored history of how US ignored (Chinese of Tibet) or backed (Indonesian of East Timor) invasions of other countries. Or quietly negotiated (South Africa of Namibia) Also ignored history of how US ignored (Chinese of Tibet) or backed (Indonesian of East Timor) invasions of other countries. Or quietly negotiated (South Africa of Namibia) See Kellner’s Persian Gulf TV War, 1992. See Kellner’s Persian Gulf TV War, 1992.

11 Aftermath Ecological disaster in Gulf Ecological disaster in Gulf  From burning oil wells  From widespread depleted uranium, toxins Destruction of social infrastructure: electricity, food and water supplies Destruction of social infrastructure: electricity, food and water supplies  Causes widespread suffering and death Blockade of Iraqi oil exports Blockade of Iraqi oil exports  Reduction of export revenues  Reduction of food supplies  Reduction of medical supplies  All adds up to thousands of deaths a year No fly-zones and repeated bombing No fly-zones and repeated bombing Partitioning of Iraq w/creation of Kurdish zone Partitioning of Iraq w/creation of Kurdish zone

12 - End of Phase One -


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