Iraq invades Kuwait
When Iraq invaded Kuwait, the
United States government acted quickly. Ships were dispatched
to the Persian Gulf and oil prices shot up as an oil embargo
was placed against Iraq. The U.S. Government told us that
Saddam Hussein was poised to invade the neighboring countries,
including Saudi Arabia, and the worlds oil supply was
threatened. George Bush launched operation "Desert
Shield" in which a coalition of many nation's armies
gathered in the deserts of Saudi Arabia bordering Iraq and
Kuwait. We believed the threat to Iraq's other neighbors was
real and demanded immediate action!
Public support for "Desert
Shield" was tremendous. George Bush enjoyed some of his
highest popularity ratings. The threat of Iraq's army to the
world's oil supply was rarely questioned, though Russian spy
satellite photos contradicted the reported threat. The
cover-up of Russia's satellite photos was determined to be one
of the Most Censored News Stories of 1991 by Sonoma State
University in it's annual report on censorship. This was just
the beginning of U.S. deception surrounding the Gulf War.
U.S. warns of Iraqi weapons
Iraq boasted the worlds 4th
largest army, topped off with the fabled "Republican
Guard", Saddam Hussein's elite battle-hardened troops. It
was widely know that Iraq had used chemical weapons on Iran
during the Iran-Iraq war and had used them again to crush
uprisings among the Kurds of northern Iraq. Chemical weapons
"sensors" were installed at military bases in Saudi
Arabia. Troops, news people and Israelis drilled on what to do
in the event of a chemical weapons attack.
The hysteria surrounding the
threat of chemical weapons was contagious. The chemical
weapons "sensors" produced frequent false alarms,
that occasionally led to panic. Complete investigations of
the many false alarms failed to produce any evidence of
chemical weapons, but troops, news people and Israelis donned their
gas masks at every false alarm. It was believed that
Iraq's "SCUD" missiles might include chemical
weapons in addition to standard explosives, but no such
missiles were ever found.
- Why was Saddam holding back?
- Did he have missiles capable of
delivering chemical weapons? If he did, he managed to
keep them well hidden after the war. Not until June 10th,
1998 was there any evidence of missiles capable of carrying
chemical weapons. The evidence was found among the ruins
of weapons sites by inspectors, but no evidence has been
found of such weapons being used. Some Iraqi missiles may
have had VX nerve gas, a chemical deadly in even very
- Did he have an even more
insidious weapon, perhaps a biological weapon? If he did,
no evidence of such a weapon has been acknowledged by UN
weapons inspectors in Iraq. High ranking defectors from
Saddam's army claim that he was stockpiling Anthrax, a
deadly biological agent.
- Did he have nuclear weapons
capabilities? All the evidence to date indicates Iraq was
working on nuclear weapons, but did not have them yet.
Iraq's nuclear program has (hopefully) been completely
dismantled by UN inspectors.
The War Begins, "Desert
The coalition of national armies,
after assembling in Saudi Arabia, took a few shots from SCUD
missiles fired from Iraq. When troops started moving into Iraq
and Kuwait from Saudi Arabia, Saddam Hussein's
"army" turned tail and tried to get out of Kuwait
with everything they could carry. The Iraqi "Republican
Guard" stayed safely back, far from the fighting. Several
hundred U.S. troops died in the brief battle, and ten's of
thousands of Iraqis died. Many, if not most, of the U.S.
deaths were the result of "friendly fire".
Iraq's army may have been poised
to invade Saudi Arabia, but they were mostly Iraqi teenagers
recruited for the war, who simply surrendered if given the
opportunity. The worlds forth largest army stood no chance
against the United States, let alone the combined might of the
world. It turned out to be so easy, the U.S. actually made a
profit. Kuwait was safely restored to it's former government,
and it got a bunch of new oil fields in formerly disputed
border areas as well. The job may only have been easy in the
first gulf war because it was never satisfactorily completed.
Troops return home
With the worlds forth largest army
dissolved, and nothing between coalition troops and the Iraqi
capital, George Bush decided to end the war and bring the
troops home. UN weapons inspectors converged on Iraq and the
coalition armies dispersed. George Bush experienced his
highest ratings ever, perhaps the highest of any U.S.
President in history in the aftermath of the Gulf War.
Perhaps the most hyped war in
history was now over. It was almost certainly the war most
orchestrated for the media. All the troops had been drilled
for months in preparation for a tremendous battle and possibly
chemical and biological weapons. Suddenly it was over. They
were sent home and returned to their normal everyday lives.
Memories of the threat of chemical and biological weapons
Years pass before rumors begin to
surface - a veteran who suddenly died for no known cause - a
veteran who developed an enormous tumor - a veteran who's new
child is severely malformed. The threat of chemical and
biological weapons returns to everyone's waking memory. Perhaps
this is the cause of all these illnesses!
Gulf War Syndrome is Born!
The threat seemed real enough. If
it could be demonstrated that Gulf War veterans are suffering
from the effects of chemical or biological weapons, they might
have grounds for some restitution from the United States
government, or perhaps the Iraqi government. Organizations
began to form in response to rising concern over the plight of
Gulf War veterans.
Some place the number of U.S.
citizens who took part in the Gulf War at over 1 million.
Official Pentagon numbers only show a total of 697,000, but
they may not include non-military members. 45,000, about 6
percent of Gulf War veterans have reported an ailment they
believe is linked to their service. The Pentagon found that 85
percent had ailments or diseases with known causes not linked
to the Gulf War.
Further Defense Department
research is focusing on the 15 percent, slightly less than 1
percent of all Gulf War veterans, whose ailments could not be
diagnosed. Their problems included headache and memory loss,
fatigue, sleep disorders, and intestinal and respiratory
ailments. These have come to be known as the symptoms of Gulf
What should I do if I have Gulf
My advice: Reconsider. Don't let
the hype surrounding Gulf war Syndrome convince you that you
might actually have it. Take a look at the list of symptoms.
Ask yourself if you had these same, or similar symptoms before
you ever went to the Gulf War. If you're still certain you've
got it then:
The Pentagon has established two
treatment centers, one at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in
Washington, the other at the U.S. Air Force Medical Center and
Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, to
concentrate on the undiagnosed problems associated with Gulf
The American Legion asks that:
"Even if you do not have any
of these symptoms of Gulf War Illnesses, you should make
certain your name is on our DATABASE for Gulf War
Over 150,000 veterans have put their
names in the American Legion's database according to
spokesmen for the organization.
Is this a real disease?
Probably not. Make no mistake,
people are suffering from real illnesses with real symptoms.
Real suffering is going on in the world, but it cannot be
attributed to the Gulf War in any way whatsoever. Gulf War
Syndrome as a separate disease, or set of symptoms with a
common cause appears to be a myth. The New England Journal of
Medicine, so far, is one of the only publications that has
taken a stand against the Gulf War Syndrome advocates. In
November 1996 they published results disputing the existence of Gulf War Syndrome.
Gulf War Syndrome is, most likely,
an unfortunate bi-product of a combination of things.
- Tremendous media hype
surrounding the threat of chemical and biological weapons
during the First Gulf War.
- The litigious nature of our
- The fact that the United States
Government is a target for litigation with very deep
- Those with anti-war sentiments
would like to discredit and defame the United States and
the global war on terror.
Make no mistake about it, the
proponents of Gulf War Syndrome will stop at nothing less than
a large monetary settlement with the United States government,
at taxpayers expense; and an end to United States efforts to
liberate oppressed peoples of the world.
If Gulf War Syndrome were actually
caused by the release of chemical or biological weapons, the
situation would be quite different. The less than 1% of Gulf
War veterans complaining of symptoms were spread almost evenly
throughout the Gulf War theater. No particular platoon or
region shows any increased rate of occurrence characteristic of
the release of a real weapon. Even the accidental release of
real chemical weapons would not spread in this manner.
The symptoms are almost identical
to those of several other "mysterious" diseases not
associated with the Gulf War: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
(MCS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia. You
can read more about these three on the