Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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     Minus Button which collapses the expandable menu Afghanistan, "Terrorism," and Blowback
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Afghanistan, "Terrorism" and Blowback: A Chronology
by
Janette Rainwater, Ph.D.

                                p10

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

February 15, 1989    The last Soviet soldier crosses the Amu Darya River bridge and leaves Afghanistan on the promised day. [The departure of the Soviet army left Najibullah's government weak and unprotected. The Mujaheddin, now under the command of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, but still funded by the United States, started shelling all the major cities, killing many thousands of civilians.]

July 25, 1990    Ambassador April Glaspie meets with President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. [According to a transcript released by Iraq in September, she told Hussein that the United States had "no opinion" about his quarrel with Kuwait over its alleged slant oil-drilling into an Iraqi oil reserve, and that it was a longstanding policy of the US not to take sides in Arab boundary disputes. At no time did she warn him not to invade Kuwait or to threaten US retaliation for such a venture.]

August 2, 1990    Iraqi forces invade Kuwait in a ten-hour blitzkrieg and set up a provisional government.

August 8, 1990    The first detachments of United States soldiers arrive in Saudi Arabia ostensibly to defend the country against a supposedly imminent invasion from Iraq. Critics point out that Saddam Hussein has no dispute with the Saudis and most of his troops are deployed along the border with Iran. [Ever since FDR's historic meeting in February, 1945 with King Ibn Saud there has been an unwritten agreement that the United States will have access to Saudi Arabia's oil in return for protection of the kingdom from its enemies, external and internal, an arrangement respected by all subsequent presidential administrations. Yergin, Daniel, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power (1991) pp, 403-405; Klare, Michael T., "The Geopolitics of War", The Nation, November 5, 2001.]

September 11, 1990    Addressing a joint session of Congress, President George Bush says: "In the early morning hours of August 2, following negotiations and promises by Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein not to use force, a powerful Iraqi army invaded its trusting and much weaker neighbor, Kuwait. Within three days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then I decided to act to check that aggression." [Yet, according to a story researched by reporter Jean Heller, experts who examined satellite photos of the area taken on that same day were unable to find evidence of such troop concentration: no tent cities, no congregation of tanks, only a deserted air base and deep deposits of wind-blown sand on all roads leading from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia. In November Commander-in-Chief Bush doubled the number of US troops in Saudi Arabia. St. Petersburg [Fla.] Times, January 6, 1991.]

November 29, 1990    The UN Security Council votes 12-2 to authorize the use of force against Iraq unless it withdraws from Kuwait by January 15th.

January 12, 1991    Thousands of protesters march in European cities in protest against the portending war in the Persian Gulf: 100,000 in Paris, 100,000 in Rome, also London and 70 cities in Germany.

January 12, 1991    Congress, after an historic debate over whether to give sanctions time to work as opposed to authorizing the use of force, votes to go to war with Iraq, 250-183 (House) and 52-47 (Senate). [Never before has Congress been so divided over a vote for war or "authorization of force." 42% of the House and 47% of the Senate were opposed; whereas for World War II there was one dissenting vote and in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Gulf of Tonkin, 8 and 2 dissenting votes respectively.]

January 15, 1991    24-hour vigils are held in cities throughout the United States to protest against the US attack on Iraq.

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This site was last changed November 28, 2001. It was created on March 20, 1997.

© Janette Rainwater 1997-2001

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