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The two Gulf Wars - Was it really to help the people escape a tyrant or just for revenge and oil.
1990-91 Desert Shield/Desert Storm and 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom
In the beginning Britain and USA were minor suppliers to Iraq in the sense of conventional weaponry. Russia was the primary supplier of tanks, aircraft and other light to medium arms. Numerically, Iraq had respectable armed forces, but most of the equipment was outdated and/or deliberately kept short of essential spares and upgrades.
From the start Donald Rumsfeld was in discussions with Hussein and Aziz in Baghdad and Iraqi arms dealers and diplomats were actively on a buying spree in Western Europe. In Washington, Ronald Reagan was highly impressed by the Iraqi Chargé d’affaires, Nizar Hamdoon, who proved to be a skilful lobbyist, particularly with the American Jewish community.
Whilst the USA did not appear to be supplying conventional arms to Iraq, as I mentioned previously, they were supplying billions of dollars in credits, military intelligence/advice and were closely monitoring third country arms sales to Iraq to ensure they had what they needed. In addition the Reagan administration was “turning a blind eye” to chemical precursors and steel tubes. Following the 1991 Gulf war, the UN weapons inspectors, found chemicals, missile components and computers from US companies such as Union Carbide and Honeywell, all being used for military purposes.
At the start of the more recent conflict, Iraq, although still smarting from the 1991 Gulf War, had re-built a capability to fight a guerrilla type war against superior forces (their officers were taught well at Sandhurst !) However, its air force was impotent due primarily to lack of spares and outdated avionics. Its main battle tanks were T-55 or T-72, both hopelessly outdated and useless against anything other than small arms fire. Iraq’s army was composed mainly of unwilling conscripts or psychopathic fanatics, scared of their fate should they lose.
To pit such an army against state of the art aircraft, tanks, missiles and well trained soldiers would be, not only suicidal but would have resulted in slaughter of biblical proportions.
So, we had to thrash them significantly enough to sate the contrived revenge bloodlust of the American people, while at the same time appearing to free an oppressed people and justify Blair’s saviour act of the weak campaign. Ok, so cynical, greedy Governments play these sorts of games – but the clever ones play and win. They cover every angle and eventuality they have in place an immediately executable plan to replace the deposed Government of Hussein with an acceptable interim Government. Bush and Blair did not, neither did they listen to their military and diplomatic advisors, all they apparently saw was the glory.
As you may know, behind the scenes in both the USA and UK (and Russia for that matter) are a “grey” group of experienced men and women, whose prime task is to protect the world from the excesses of our political masters. They operate without the need for sanction from the President or Prime Minister and their identity is both protected and denied. To save the world from an Islamic backlash and protect the lives of the innocent a war within a war was fought.
We could divide the Iraqi opposition roughly into three camps:
- Ruling Baarth party officials, members and Special Forces.
- Mercenaries from the Arab world – Syrian Baarth Party forces, Egyptian and Palestinian terrorists.
- Regular military forces made up primarily of forced conscripts.
We knew the plan would be to use the worst of their forces and the rubbish T-55’s to initially counter the first strike from the South. The intention was to force the West to expend valuable ammunition on pretty much defenceless armour and to tie up our forward troops with massive numbers of POWs who would surrender at the first opportunity. As the advance encountered better opposition the Iraqi commanding officers would be contacted by Special Forces and offered large bribes to disperse. For the price of a few cruise missiles this strategy proved very successful. Time and again before each major battle was expected to start our forces found the regular army had gone and their targets were 1 and 2 above. The UK army and Special Forces have a wealth of experience in dealing with terrorists in their own back yard and they tended to employ rather savage termination tactics rather than bribery.
Having completed the “liberation” by use of these tactics and a rather unnecessary show of force, Bush and Blair needed to finish the job – but they showed themselves to be totally clueless and inadequate. Quite frankly those who followed have been little better being driven by the greed for oil.
The West had been given an unbelievable chance to show the Islamic world how we can live and work together but these two clowns will walk away from the mess and make a fortune on the speech circuit while leaving others to make the best of it.
What is your view of the Gulf Wars
© 2012 Peter Geekie