Progressive Politics Research and Commentary by Janette Rainwater
 
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Afghanistan, "Terrorism" and Blowback: A Chronology
by
Janette Rainwater, Ph.D.

                                p11

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

January 16, 1991    Operation Desert Storm begins as the US-led allied forces start the Persian Gulf War with an air offensive against Iraqi installations in Iraq and Kuwait.

January 26, 1991    I00,000 march in Washington demanding an end to the war against Iraq, a protest that is ignored by most of the media.

February 24, 1991    The US-led alliance begins the ground war to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

February 26, 1991    Its forces virtually surrounded by General Schwartzkopf's "Hail Mary" surprise maneuver, Iraq announces it is withdrawing from Kuwait. Washington says it will continue the war. [Thousands of Iraqi soldiers are buried alive as the US First Mechanized Infantry Division, using plows mounted on tanks and combat earthmovers, seals over the men and equipment in 70 miles of trenches. Los Angeles Times, September 12, 1991. In the final hours of the "Hundred Hour War" American pilots bombed and strafed the lines of defeated Iraqis straggling toward Baghdad. They made comments for reporters such as: "a turkey shoot," "like shooting fish in a barrel" and "they were sitting ducks." These callous remarks made the rounds in the Middle East. American "doves" were horrified by the slaughter; the "hawks" were enraged that the troops had not been allowed to roll on to Bagdad and capture Saddam Hussein. Los Angeles Times, February 27, 1991. A1. ]

February 27, 1991    After an even 100 hours of ground war, Bush declares victory over Iraq, says Kuwait is liberated and orders allied combat to cease at midnight. A permanent cease-fire will depend on Iraq's release of all prisoners and Kuwaitis detained in Iraq and compliance with all the UN resolutions on Kuwait including acceptance of responsibility to pay compensation for war damages. [Over 200,000 Iraqis were killed, and 300 American lives were lost. 25% of all US deaths and 15% of the injuries in Operation Desert Storm were due to "friendly fire" (a rather cynical oxymoron)-- this is the highest figure for any US war and is attributed to the inability to identify friendly vehicles in the haze and smoke of the desert. Los Angeles Times, August 14, 1991. As of 1996, the US was spending $50 billion a year to maintain a military presence in the Persian Gulf (including the newly-created Fifth Fleet) and to enforce the blockade of Iraq.]

March 16, 1991    The much-quoted story of the 312 premature Kuwaiti babies who died because their incubators were taken away by Iraqi soldiers is declared to be "untrue" and "propaganda" by the director of the Kuwaiti maternity hospital. Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1991, A8.

May 17, 1991    A Harvard University study estimates that 170,000 Iraqi children will die from disease and malnutrition due to Allied bombing and destruction of the infrastructure--- electricity, sewage treatment plants, water, etc. [A much later study estimated that more than half a million Iraqi children had died as a result of the sanctions against Iraq.]

1991    Usama bin Laden and several of his faithful lieutenants move the operation of al-Qaida to Khartoum, Sudan. He increases his fortune with shrewd investments in agriculture and banking. Bin Laden directs operations aimed at de-stabilizing the not-sufficiently-Islamic governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Algeria. He is particularly incensed that the "infidels" (American soldiers) continue to occupy the "land of the two holy mosques" (Saudi Arabia). Cooley, pp. 120-121.

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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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