March 22, 2006

Forget about that third anniversary thing.

You know, that marking of the third anniversary of the Iraq war by many of us here in the US [including this magpie at our other roost], dating it to Dubya's invasion of Iraq in 2003.

We were all wrong, says Joshua Holland. He says that the real date slipped by us in January — Jan 17, to be exact; the fifteenth anniversary of the beginning of the 'first' Gulf war under the administration of Dubya's daddy. Holland suggests that the earlier war and the current one are really the same extended conflict, which he suggests we call the 'Persian Gulf war.'

Because seeing George W. Bush's war as distinct from that of his father is a luxury only Americans can afford. For the Iraqis, it has been fifteen years of hell at the hands of the world's Great Powers, with the U.S. in the lead.

In the twelve years between what we like to think of as the first and second Gulf Wars, coalition aircraft -- mostly American and British, but also French and Turkish in the early stages -- flew over 115,000 combat missions over Iraq. They bombed targets about every other day.

Two major bombing campaigns occurred during the war's twelve-year lull: Operation Desert strike in 1996 and Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Another intensive air campaign, Operation Southern Focus, began in June of 2002 to "soften up" Iraq's defenses prior to the re-escalation of the war in March of 2003.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died (PDF) between 1991 and 2003 under the most punitive sanctions regime in history.

Holland suggests that there is an important commonality between the 'first' war and the current one that links them: The stated reasons for each war were lies.

Holland's piece is very much worth your time. Read it here.

Via The Gadflyer.

Posted by Magpie at March 22, 2006 12:19 AM | Iraq | TrackBack(0) | Technorati links |