The Gulf War:
Overreaction & Excessiveness
By Hassan A El-Najjar
Amazone Press, 2001
The Root of Subsequent US Invasion of the Middle East
America was dragged into conflict
with the Arab and Muslim worlds
THE GULF WAR
The 1990 crisis that led to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and
the 1991 Gulf War that followed was not purely regional. Western
interests contributed to that crisis through competition for the
region's resources, particularly oil and its revenues. The West also
supported Kurdish separatism, which contributed to the Iran-Iraq war.
Finally, after its war with Iran, the West had perceived Iraq as a
regional threat that should be eliminated. This chapter starts with
explaining how that Western hegemony developed, particularly British
and American oil interests in the area. This is followed by an
investigation of how the Kurdish rebellion contributed to the
Iran-Iraq war. An important part of the chapter is about the
relationship between militarism and war. In particular, there is an
examination of the influence of the world military industry on the
development of war in the Middle East.
Britain played a major role in shaping inter-Arab and
international relations in the Middle East in late 19th century and
early 20th century (Chapter I). In conducting their policies in the
region, the British represented an industrial core power dealing with
its peripheral clientele entities. More commonly known as
"protectorates," these entities were created to assist their
protectors in their endeavors. When Western European powers succeeded
in weakening the Ottoman Empire before World War I and dismembering it
after the war, new Western-supported entities emerged. Kuwait became
one of these in 1899, as a result of the protection agreement between
Britain and the ruler, Mubarak Al-Sabah.
According to the world-system theory,
the world is divided into three main groups. The first represents the
"core" developed industrial societies, mainly Western
Europe, North America, and Japan. The Second represents the
"peripheral" underdeveloped societies in Africa, Asia, and
Latin America. The third group represents the
"semi-peripheral" societies, which try to get rid of their
peripheral status, such as Russia, Eastern Europe, and East Asian
The core industrial societies have
maintained their control over the underdeveloped periphery. The
objective is to guarantee the procurement of raw materials at the
cheapest possible prices, use them in manufacturing finished products,
then sell these products back for the highest possible profits. The
end outcome has been that as the core continues to develop the
periphery remains underdeveloped.
The core has been successful, so far, in its endeavor to keep the
periphery underdeveloped. This has been facilitated by the creation
and protection of local capitalist classes that have collaborated with
the core business interests.
This explains the dependency of these peripheral clientele classes on
their core capitalist protectors. It also helps explain the close
relationships Britain has kept with the ruling families of Arabia
since the beginning of the 20th century.
Consequently, it may be argued that
there was much at stake for the West to intervene and force Iraq out
of Kuwait. It was not just safeguarding the flow of the world supply
of oil or liberating a country from the occupation of its neighbor.
If that were the case, the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories
would have been addressed first. Israel has been occupying the Arab
territories since 1967. The U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and
338 have called for the Israeli withdrawal. Resolution 425 called for
the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon, which was occupied in 1982.
However, the Western powers have never contemplated the notion of
forcing Israel out of the Arab territories. Actually, Western
interests in Arab oil and its revenues represented one of the major
factors that led to the war against Iraq. The oil-exporting Arab
states have become more a source of wealth for the ruling classes in
the Western core societies than mere a source of oil for Western
societies, as usually claimed. The surplus of Arab oil revenues has
been systematically transferred to the West in the form of
investments, for decades. By 1980, half of the Arab financial
surpluses were invested in the U.S.A. and the U.K. In the U.S. alone,
Arab investments reached about $100 billion from Saudi Arabia, $55
billion from Kuwait, and $40 billion from the United Arab Emirates.
By 1990, the Kuwaiti investments in the West reached about $100
The ruling elites in these Arab
states are conscious of their dependency on the West. Therefore, they
are more than willing to invest their surplus wealth there rather than
in their own neighborhood. During the 1990 crisis, the Kuwaiti
investments in the West, for example, enabled the exiled Al-Sabah
ruling family to pay for the expenses of the government, Kuwaiti
refugees, and a large proportion of the war costs. However, much of
Al-Sabah's survival was due to their teamwork and their active
leadership of the Kuwaiti ruling elite. The same applies to the Saudi
royal family, which is unrivaled among the area's ruling elites, in
both numbers and organization.
Prince Khaled Bin-Sultan provides a
gripping testimony about the strength of the Saudi royal network
during the Gulf crisis of 1990-91. He describes how closely related,
integrated, and coordinated were the efforts and activities of members
of the Saudi royal family. His description is a tantamount to
describing a perfectly organized clandestine political party. He said
"Few countries, and none in the
Arab Middle East, can boast of a ruling elite to match that of the
Kingdom ... Although the King gave (him) the job of managing the
coalition, (he) was a member of a Saudi royal family team, and by no
means its most senior member. In the crisis, the royal family acted in
unison, displaying a considerable variety of talents under the overall
direction of the King. Prominent members of the family -- such as
Crown Prince Abdallah, the Ministers of Defense and Interior and their
deputies, the Governor of Riyadh, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and
those members of the family serving as provincial governors, heads of
Royal Commissions, ambassadors, members of national security
committees, officers in the armed services and so on -- all had
important roles to play in the crisis. The royal network proved
flexible and effective and, with the support of many non-members of
the royal family in government, the professions and business, the
Kingdom looked more solid -- internationally, regionally and
domestically -- than any of its neighbors."
With reference to Iraq, relations
between the monarchy and Britain were similar to those linking other
Arabian monarchies to their British protectors. After the 1958
revolution, Iraq adopted an independent policy similar to the Arab
nationalist policies of Egypt and Syria at that time. However, the
1980-88 Iran-Iraq war brought the country back to dependency on the
West in general, and on France in particular. The huge quantities of
military-industrial equipment that Iraq bought from the core
industrial societies set the country back into a long-term
client-patron relationship. Bin-Sultan did not miss the opportunity to
state that in its trading relationship with France, Iraq was similar
to the Gulf states in their trading relationship with Britain, and the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in its trading relationship with the United
Mail and Trade Interests
The British became interested in Kuwait and the Arabian
(Persian) Gulf as a result of their need to secure mail and trade
routes to India. They inherited these interests from the Portuguese
and the Dutch who preceded them in the Gulf area. Initially, Basrah
was the main residence of European merchants on the west coast of the
Gulf. However, several historical events forced the British to
consider Kuwait as a substitute. The first event was in April 1776
when the Persians occupied Basrah following a dispute between Karim
Khan, the Shah of Iran, and the Pasha of Baghdad. The Shah accused the
Pasha of maltreating Persian merchants and pilgrims. As a result, the
British East India Company made Kuwait the southeastern destination of
its land mail route instead of Basrah between 1776 and 1779. The
company again moved its offices from Basrah to Kuwait between 1792 and
1794, during the Basrah disturbances.
In December 1821, the British
Resident in Basra moved his offices to the Kuwaiti island of Failakah,
following disputes with the Ottoman authorities there. Although Kuwait
functioned as a substitute to Basrah during these times, the British
became more involved in the politics of Arabia as a result of the
Egyptian presence there. After the Egyptian ruler, Muhammed Ali, had
destroyed the Wahabi Saudis, he kept his troops in Arabia. He also
appointed a representative in Kuwait and signed a treaty with Bahrain.
The British were unhappy about these Egyptian activities. Therefore,
they forced Muhammed Ali to sign the 1841 London agreement according
to which Egypt had to withdraw from the Arabian Peninsula, the Gulf,
and Syria. The British also became more active in establishing
themselves in the Gulf area as a result of the European rivalry on
exploiting resources of the Ottoman Empire. In 1872, the Germans
proposed their imperialist project of Berlin-Baghdad railroad. In
response, a committee in the British House of Commons suggested
building a railroad linking Kuwait with Iskenderon, on the Eastern
Mediterranean coast. However, the opening of the Suez Canal and the
British military occupation of Egypt, in 1882, made the railroad
proposals less vital. Finally, as a result of the protection agreement
of 1899 and the Iraqi attempts to restore Kuwait at the turn of the
century, Britain felt it necessary to confirm its special relations
with Kuwait. Thus, in 1903, the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, visited
Kuwait and the other Arab shaikhdoms in the Gulf. The visit resulted
in appointing S.G. Knox as the first British Political Resident in
Kuwait. Shaikh Mubarak was granted a monthly salary of 100,000 rupees
and 500 bags of rice. In return, he agreed in 1904 to limit the mail
services to the British authorities. In 1912, he further agreed to
allow the British to build a station for telegraph services.
and British Oil Interests
1913, Shaikh Mubarak agreed to show the representative of the British
government, admiral Slade, sites of oil in the Burqan area. He also
agreed not to give oil concessions to any persons or countries of whom
Britain did not approve (Appendix V.A). But, it was his grandson,
Shaikh Ahmed Al-Jaber (1921-1950), who signed the final agreement on
the actual drilling for oil, in 1934. Four years later, in 1938, oil
was discovered but the wells were capped during World War II. In 1946,
Kuwait exported about 5.9 million barrels of oil that were sold for
Oil exports and oil revenues have been increasing ever since with a
climax between mid-1970s and mid 1980s (Chapter IV).
The story of oil in Kuwait is an example of the competition and the relentless efforts of the core developed societies to procure cheap raw materials from peripheral underdeveloped societies. The British government became seriously interested in oil explorations in the Middle East in 1913. The British Navy Secretary, Winston Churchill, announced that the Royal Navy intended to own or control oil production in the area in order to guarantee continuous supplies of oil to the British ships. In 1914, the British government bought fifty-one percent of the shares owned by the Anglo-Iranian oil company.
American interest in the area started as early as the beginning of the
20th century. The Arab Mission of the American Reform Church reached
Kuwait in 1910. The Mission completed building a general hospital in
1914. Then, it built a hospital for women, and two schools. The
objective was to have a presence in this potentially oil rich area.
By 1920, the American oil companies became interested in the Middle
Eastern oil. This interest developed as a result of three main
factors. First, the American oil reserves were diminishing. Second,
costs of American oil production were high. Third, the American oil
companies began to fear that the Anglo-German monopoly over the old
world oil production might limit their opportunities in the future.
So, in 1922, the largest seven American oil companies started
negotiations with the Turkish Oil Company in order to buy some of its
concessions. In 1928, the American oil companies became full partners
with the Anglo-French oil company, which had a monopolistic oil
concession in Iran. The American oil companies then created the Near
Eastern Development Company (NEDC) to represent their own interests.
At the beginning, the British resisted allowing them to enter the
Middle East oil market but after reminding them of America's support
during World War I, they conceded. In 1929, British resistance to the
U.S. oil interests appeared again on the Bahraini concession but the
British backed down for the second time. In 1930, the American
Standard Oil Company of California was given an oil concession in
Bahrain, which facilitated obtaining other oil concessions in Saudi
Arabia and Kuwait, later.
According to the 1899 Anglo-Kuwaiti
protection agreement, Kuwait could not give any oil concessions to any
company without British approval. In 1930, the British Anglo-Iranian
oil company entered negotiations with Shaikh Ahmed Al-Jaber in order
to obtain an oil concession in Kuwait. The company was supported and
recommended by the British government. At the same time, an American
company, known as the Eastern Gulf Oil Company (EGOC), entered
negotiations with the Shaikh for the same purposes. However, EGOC
could not proceed without obtaining support from the American
government to counterbalance the official British support for its
When the United States government intervened, in 1933, the British government allowed the Shaikh to give an oil concession to EGOC. The two rivals then established an Anglo-American company to exploit the Kuwaiti oil. The new company became known as the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), which was equally owned by the two companies. The 75-year KOC concession covered the whole territory of Kuwait together with its nearby islands. In return, the KOC agreed to pay the Shaikh an initial payment of $142,000, an annual rent of $28,000, and an annual sales tax (royalty) of three rupees ($1) per ton of crude oil. All in all, the agreement was an example of the core monopolistic exploitation of weak peripheral societies. The company had the right to stop or slow down production without reference to the market needs. This explains why large quantities of oil were not exported until 1951, though production started in 1946.
In 1951, the agreement was changed to
give the Shaikh 50 percent of the KOC profits. This was in response to
the influence of the revolutionary Musadaq government in Iran. In
1976, the Kuwaiti government gained complete control over the
remaining shares of the American and British companies in the KOC.
This was made possible by the financial and political strength that
OPEC members had from the huge oil revenues that they reaped following
the oil embargo of 1973/74. This action, however, did not end the
relationship between Kuwait and its Western patrons, the U.S. and
Britain. The need for a regular flow of oil continued to be a
strategic Western goal. Therefore, in 1987, the United States sent its
naval escorts to protect the Kuwaiti tankers from the Iranian attacks.
In 1988, the U.S. also agreed to sell Kuwait 40 F18 advanced fighter
aircraft, missiles, and other weapons at $1.9 billion. After all, the
U.S. government knows that while the U.S. had only about 3.8 percent
of world oil reserves, the Gulf area contained about 62 percent of
these reserves with an estimated lifespan of more than 100 years.
Thus, the Western oil interests enhanced the status of shaiks (rulers)
of the Gulf states, including Kuwait.
Pearl-fishing industry in Kuwait and other Arab Gulf states
collapsed in mid 1930s due to the depression in the Western
industrialized countries and the development of cultured pearl
industry in Japan. As a result, pearl fishing was supplemented by
smuggling gold to India, a practice that was conducted by merchants
along the whole Arab Gulf coast. During this period, merchants and
boat owners enjoyed a higher social status than shaikhs. The
relationship between sailors and divers, on the one hand, and
merchants and boat owners, on the other, was more like a partnership
than a profit-making capitalist enterprise. Fishermen, sailors, and
divers were more bonded to merchants and boat owners than to shaikhs,
who, nevertheless, benefited from these economic activities through
the collection of taxes and tariffs. Only after oil had been exported
in the late 1940s, shaikhs became more important than merchants and
boat owners. Because of their exclusive access to oil revenues, they
became better off and more capable of patronizing people.
Thus, it was the British colonial
policy of giving them protection and exclusive access to oil revenues
that elevated shaikhs to the patriarchal status they started to
occupy. Shaikhs used to receive people in daily public audience
meetings, called majlis. But when they became super rich, they became
less accessible to people.
This led to the public demand for popular representation in the
Kuwaiti government. So, after the political independence in 1961, a
constitution was written in 1962 and a National Assembly (parliament)
was elected in 1963. However, it was suspended twice, in 1976 an 1986,
when some representatives dared to criticize members of the ruling
But despite the strong relationship between the major Western powers
and the ruling elites in the Gulf states, the West did not go to war
just to evict Iraq out of Kuwait. Rather, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
was an opportunity for the military establishments in the West to
enhance their positions in their societies.
The 1991 Gulf War was mainly a Western campaign to destroy the
military machine that Iraq had bought and built during the preceding
fifteen years. The military and industrial equipment that Iraq used in
developing its conventional and strategic weapon systems was legally
purchased from more than 445 Western companies.
Indeed, during the Iran-Iraq war, 1980-1988, Western governments
promoted the carnage by encouraging business arms deals. When the war
was over in 1988, however, the Western policy makers were a bit
uncomfortable with all these weapon systems in Iraq. They were
perceived as a potential threat to the security of Israel and to the
Western interests in the Middle East.
The Gulf War has represented a
striking example of the historical hegemonic pattern of action that
the "core" Western societies have been conducting towards
Third World "peripheral" societies.
Moreover, the world military industry has been exceedingly
aggressive in promoting its products in the region. Western
governments have become the official protectors of the region's
autocratic and dictatorial regimes. These are easily persuaded to buy
weapons to protect themselves from their internal and external
opponents. Stockpiling of weapons and expanding military budgets have
led to more influence for the military in society (militarism) in the
West and the Middle East alike. A major negative consequence of
militarism is that the process of militarization deprives
underdeveloped societies of the financial resources that are badly
needed for development. Even in such developed societies as the United
States, the federal government sinks in debt while the
military-industrial complex is allotted huge amounts of money as a
result of military spending.
In his Farewell Address in 1961,
President Eisenhower warned that the combination of a large permanent
military establishment and an immense military-industrial complex may
threaten democratic government and the pursuit of world peace. The
military-industrial complex may become an independent power in setting
priorities in domestic and foreign relations. Funds may be diverted
from social programs in order to support the arms build up. With
billions of dollars in profits and thousands of jobs at stake, the
complex would have a vested interest in world conflict rather than
peace. Eisenhower's fears became reality.
Even in 1992, when the Cold War was
over, about 44 percent of the federal tax revenues were spent on the
military establishment. This amounted to about $419 billion out of the
$944 billion of taxes collected by the federal government.
Although direct military spending has started to decrease, it is still
claiming the highest percentage of the federal budget. In 1996, out of
a total U.S. budget of 1.5 trillion dollars, over 17 percent, or 261
billion dollars, was earmarked for military spending. In comparison,
roughly 1.5 percent is allotted for Aid to Families with Dependent
Children, and another 14 percent is paid as interest on the national
The previously bought weapons are
destroyed or become outdated when new weapons are developed and
manufactured. This opens the door for buying new generations of weapon
systems. The purchasing policies of the Pentagon inspired Chuck
Spinney to write a Department of Defense brochure titled,
"Welcome to the Pentagon." Chuck revealed that the amount of
mismatch between President Reagan's spending plans and funding from
Congress was about $500 billion. The proposed Reagan defense buildup
was going to cost about $500 billion more than Congress and the public
had been told. One explanation of these huge extra costs was that:
developers, when given a choice, always go for the complex, elaborate
solution at the expense of the simple one. Complexity leads to higher
costs--purchase costs, operations costs, and maintenance costs."
Higher military costs ultimately lead to more national debt.
Before President Reagan had taken office, the U.S. national debt was
about $900 billion. During his two terms, he increased it to more than
$3 trillion. That is why Reagan is adorned by the military-industrial
Adopting the same borrow-and-spend policies, President Bush added
about $1.2 trillion more to the debt.
The U.S. direct military spending during the Reagan and Bush
administrations (1981-1993) amounted to about $3.95 trillion, which
demonstrates the close relationship between military spending and the
national debt. The U.S. military spending to win the Cold War
(1945-1991) cost the American people about $12.8 trillion (Table V.1).
It represented about 46.2 percent of the personal income of the
American taxpayers during these years.
While the Cold War and its national debt offspring have been a bonanza
for the wealthy and the powerful in the military-industrial complex,
they represented a huge burden on taxpayers and meant less spending on
Between 1977 and 1992, the top 1 percent of Americans received
91 percent more income. The top one-fifth of the population increased
their income by 28 percent. However, the bottom 40 percent of
Americans suffered a decrease of their income. There was actually a 17
percent decrease in the income of the poorest 20 percent of American
families. The next poorest fifth of families experienced a 7 percent
decrease in their income, during the same period.
President Eisenhower summarized it all, on April 18, 1953, when he
gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired
signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are
not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is
not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
the genius of its scientists, and the hopes of its children. The cost
of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than
During the ten-year period extending
between 1984 and 1993, the U.S. spent about $3.1 trillion on the
military. At the same time, the U.S. other two major Western allies
spent about $825 billion for the same purpose (the U.K. about $408
billion and France about $417 billion). Thus, the U.S. spent about 3.7
times more on the military than did Britain and France together.
This huge military spending has affected the Third World, particularly
oil-exporting countries. Instead of spending their oil wealth on
social and economic development, the wealthy states in the Middle East
found themselves in competition for the acquisition of weapons. This
resulted in the delay of economic development and the accumulation of
Between 1986 and 1995, the Middle
East imported $78.5 billion worth of conventional weapons out of the
total $321.1 billion of the world trade. This represented about 24.5
percent of the total world imports of these weapons (Table V.2).
Europe and North America exported about $186.2 billion worth of
conventional weapons during the same decade. This represented about 58
percent of the world trade in conventional weapons (Table V.3). Russia
(previously USSR) exported about $91.5 billion of conventional
weapons. During the same period, the world's major four
weapon-producing countries (the U.S., Russia, Britain, and France)
exported $243.4 billion worth of weapons. This represented about 76
percent of the world arms market.
The Middle Eastern states have also
competed in their military spending. In particular, there were three
major factors that influenced armament in the region. The first was
the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Arab territories. To maintain its
military occupation of these territories, Israel spent about $72.4
billion during the period extending from 1984 and 1994 thus
outspending its neighbors altogether. Egypt spent $25.59 billion,
Jordan spent $3.66 billion, and Syria spent $31 billion on their
military establishments (Table V.4). The Iranian policies represented
the second major factor that contributed to tensions in the region,
consequently to armament. The Shah's government bought huge quantities
of weapons that were used in threatening its neighboring Arab states
and occupying Arab islands in the Gulf. Iran's support for Kurdish
separatists had left Iraq with little choice but to arm itself to
fight the rebels and preserve the unity of the country. Both countries
continued to buy weapons to combat each other throughout the long
1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. Between 1984 and 1994, the Iranian military
spending reached about $139 billion and the Iraqi military spending
reached more than $85 billion. The Iran-Iraq war and its consequences
represented the third factor that led to a new cycle of military
spending in the region. Fearing the outcome of the war, the Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) states spent about $257.4 billion on their
military during the same period, 1984-1995. Saudi Arabia took the lead,
spending about $187 billion, followed by Kuwait $31.2 billion, Oman
$17.5 billion, the United Arab Emirates 17, and Bahrain $2.3 billion.
If military spending is added in all the Middle Eastern countries
(including Israel), it amounts to about $622.8 billion (Table V.4).
The military spending in the Middle
East represented about 21 percent of government budget and 17 percent
of the general domestic products (GDP). National debt in the region,
as a result of military spending, represented 35 percent of exports,
in 1981. However, it increased to 113 percent in 1991.
All these amounts of money are wasted in efforts and hardware that is
of no use for anything except destruction of achievements of the
previous generations. Because of this huge military spending, the
Middle Eastern region has been deprived of a golden opportunity to
catch up in development with the other regions of the world. Moreover,
majority of these countries are sinking in debt just like the United
States, despite the huge Arab oil wealth.
Islamic countries generally, and Arab states in particular,
have been blessed with a huge oil wealth most of which is still stored
underground. The total proven Arab oil reserves amount to about 592
billion barrels (bb). According to EIA,
Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves (259 bb), followed by Iraq (100
bb), UAE (96.5 bb), Kuwait (94 bb), Libya (29.5), Algeria (9.2 bb),
and Qatar (3.7 bb). Using the beginning of the year 2000 oil prices of
about $25 per barrel, the Arab oil wealth may be estimated at about
$14.8 trillion. However, this figure is expected to be much higher
because oil prices are more likely to increase throughout the 21st
century. Because oil is a finite resource, it becomes scarcer with
more use. Therefore, its prices are more likely to become higher. If
the world consumption of oil continues according to the rates of the
1990s, oil-exporting countries may provide the world with this source
of energy for most of the 21st century. However, Saudi Arabia may be
the only source of the "black gold" in the 22nd century.
During the 1985-1995 decade (1986
excluded), the major oil-exporting Arab states had about $755 billion
of oil revenues. Saudi Arabia was the leader by earning about $310
billion, followed by Kuwait $77.5 billion, U.A.E. $114 billion, Libya
$84 billion, Algeria $83 billion, Iraq $58 billion, and Qatar $28
billion. If the Iranian oil revenues ($137 billion) for the same
period were added, the Middle Eastern earnings as a whole would reach
about $892 billion.
It is troubling to observe that about
62 percent of what the Arabs and Iranians earned from oil sales, in
the same period, was wasted on the military spending ($550 b/$8932 b).
The Arab-Israeli arms race, the two Gulf wars, and the military
spending in general left every single Arab state in debt. From the
total Arab foreign debt of about $304 billion, war-hit states had
about 80 percent of that debt.
By 1995, Iraq accumulated about $95 billion of debt. The states that
confronted Israel (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria) were $65.9
billion in debt. The Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation
have suffered the lowest per capita income in the area (about $1,192).
Even the super rich six Gulf states had about $44.7 billion of debts.
A major consequence was the inability of the oil-rich Arab states to
extend their hands with real assistance to other Arab states. As a
result, the 241 million people who live in the 22 Arab states do not
share much of the oil wealth. In 1995, the gross domestic product per
capita income (GPD pc), which is an indicator of a nation's wealth,
was so diverse in the Arab states that it is hard to accurately
classify these states into groups. In general, three groups emerge in
terms of wealth. First, the six Gulf states had an average GDP pc of
$13,582. Second, a group of ten other states had an average GDP pc of
$3,553. Finally, an impoverished group, that had an average GDP pc of
$838. Clearly large gaps of wealth exist between the three groups.
Using the 1995 gross domestic product per capita income (GDP pc), the
Arab states may be divided into three major groups. The first group is
composed of the six Gulf states with an average GDP pc of $13,582. It
was $7,104 in Bahrain, $16,900 in Kuwait, $4,680 in Oman, $20,820 in
Qatar, $9,510 in Saudi Arabia, and $22,480 in the U.A.E.
The second group includes ten other
Arab states with an average GDP pc of $3,553. It was $1,634 in
Algeria, $2,490 in Egypt, $2,000 in Iraq, $4,280 in Jordan, $4,360 in
Lebanon, $6,510 in Libya, $3,060 in Morocco, $5,000 in Syria, $4,250
in Tunisia, and $1,955 in Yemen.
The third group is composed of the
impoverished states of Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritania, Palestine,
Somalia, and Sudan. These had a GDP pc of $700, $1,200, $569, $1,192,
$500, and $870, respectively. The average GDP pc in these states was
The Kurds have played a major role in creating the atmosphere
that led to the 1990 crisis and the 1991 Gulf War that followed. Their
aspirations for independence coincided with the Iranian and Western
attempts to weaken Iraq and keep it diverted from Israel.
By 1990, Kurds were about 26 millions, most of them lived in Turkey
(13.7 million), Iran (6.6 million), and Iraq (4.4 million). They
revolted against these three countries in different times throughout
the 20th century trying to get their independence. The Kurdish problem
started at the end of World War I. The Western allies heightened their
expectations when they promised them autonomy, according to the Treaty
of Sevres in 1920. However, they ignored Kurdish aspirations in the
Treaty of Loazanne in 1923.
The Soviet Union supported the
Iranian Kurds in establishing a Kurdish republic for less than a year,
in 1946. Kurds were used as a bargaining chip to pressure the Iranian
government to grant the Soviets some oil concessions. When it did, the
Soviets reciprocated by allowing it to crush the Kurdish revolt.
The Iraqi Kurds revolted against the
Iraqi government six times in 1922-23, 1931-32, 1943, 1961-75, the
1980s, and 1991. Just like what Mubarak Al-Sabah did in southern Iraq,
Abdul-Salam Barzani did in the north in support for the British
military efforts during World War I. He sent his brother Mustafa to
attack the town of Uqrah. The Ottomans sent a force that arrested him
and he was executed. His brother, Ahmed, became the tribal chief after
him. As a reward for their anti-Ottoman activities, Britain allowed
Barzanis to expand their influence in the area, starting from 1918. In
1922, the Barzanis were prompted by the British to revolt in an
attempt to exert pressure on the Iraqi government to accept the
British mandate. They were prompted to revolt again in 1931 to
influence the Iraqi government to accept the defense agreement with
Britain, which was signed in 1932. The Iraqi government then tried to
extend its rule to the north but was faced with Kurdish resistance. In
response, the government sent a military campaign that defeated the
rebels, most of whom fled to Turkey, including their leaders Ahmed and
Mustafa Barzani. However, the government offered them amnesty and they
returned, in 1933.
Following the 1941 Iraqi uprising
against the British occupation, the British officer Shooter instructed
Mustafa Barzani to revolt in an attempt to keep the Iraqi army busy
with the Kurds instead of resisting the British. The revolt started in
1943 but it was crushed by the government. When Al-Sa’id new
pro-British Iraqi government took office, the British ambassador in
Baghdad sent a letter to Mustafa asking him to end the rebellion. In
his reply, Barzani told the ambassador that he would obey his orders
"as a child obeys orders of his merciful father."
Then, the Barzani forces crossed the borders to Iran to assist in the
Kurdish rebellion there. When Tehran restored its rule over the area
at the end of 1946, Barzani left to the Soviet Union. He stayed there
until 1958 when the Iraqi President, Qassem, welcomed him back home.
Directly after the 1958 revolution,
President Qassem angered the West generally, and Britain in
particular, by his claims to Kuwait and Arabistan (Khuzistan),
and by Iraq's withdrawal from the pro-Western Baghdad Pact. Moreover,
the Iraqi government passed the Law No. 80 which restored to the state
all the territories not used by Western oil companies. Although Iran
played a major role in assisting the Kurdish revolt, Barzani benefited
this time from the support given to him by the British and by the
Kurdish feudal lords. They were angry with the government because
their lands had been confiscated and distributed among Kurdish
peasants, according to the 1958 Land Reform Law. Thus, in September
1961, Barzani led a new Kurdish revolt that continued until March
1975. The revolt was stopped for a little while in 1963, when the
Iraqi government offered autonomy to the Kurdish region. Barzani
rejected it because it did not include the oil-rich area around Kirkuk.
During this stage, the Kurdish rebels received military
assistance from the United States and Israel through Iran. The Soviet
Union also cooperated with the United States, despite the Cold War, in
supporting the Kurds and imposing an arms embargo on Iraq.
These foreign pressures led the Iraqi government to reach an agreement
with the Iranian government in 1975, in an attempt to end the Kurdish
rebellion. The Iraqi Vice President at that time, Saddam Hussain,
signed the agreement with the Shah of Iran in Algiers on March 6,
1975. The Iranian government agreed to stop its military assistance to
the Kurds and to return the border areas of Zain Al-Qows and Saif
Sa'ad, which were occupied during the 1974 clashes. In return, the
Iraqi government agreed to stop assistance to the Iranian dissidents,
including Arabs of Khuzistan. It also recognized the Iranian
sovereignty over the disputed border territory in Shatt Al-Arab. The
Agreement established the Thalweg as the new boundary between the two
Within weeks, the Kurdish rebellion was over. The 1975 Algiers Accord
bound the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), led by Mustafa Barzani, to
stop fighting against the Iraqi government. This prompted a hardline
faction, led by Jalal Talibani, to dissent and break away under the
name of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), in opposition to the
Accord. The PUK engaged the Iraqi government with a low-level
guerrilla fighting from 1975 to 1980 when the war broke out with Iran.
This gave other Kurdish groups the opportunity to join in the fight
against the Iraqi government.
At the beginning of the Iran-Iraq
War, between 1982 and 1984, Jalal Talibani led the PUK in fighting
against the government, thus assisting the Iranian military effort.
The Kurdish Coalition (KDP and other organizations), led by Masaud
Barzani, also assisted the Iranian forces in their attacks on Haj
Omran in 1983, on Mawt in 1987, and on Halabjeh in 1988.
The most recent stage of the Kurdish
rebellion was at the end of the Gulf War when President George Bush
and Prime Minister John Major called for the overthrow of the Iraqi
President. In response, the Iraqi Kurds revolted in March 1991. The
Kurdish leaders expected Western assistance and were encouraged by the
high desertion rates among the 200,000 Kurdish soldiers in the Iraqi
army. However, the new rebellion was crushed in few days. Most Kurdish
fighters fled to Turkey and Iran leaving their leaders, Masaud Barzani
and Jalal Talibani, almost alone with only bodyguards. On April 10,
1991, President Bush warned Iraq to cease military activities north of
the 36th Parallel. The area became known as the Kurdish "Safe
On April 18, 1991, the Iraqi president visited Arbil and declared
amnesty to those who participated in the uprising. As a result, the
PUK and the KDP started talks with the Iraqi government to implement
the Autonomy Law. The talks were suspended because Talabani insisted
on controlling the oil-rich area of Kirkuk. The government expressed
its disapproval of the Kurdish demands by withdrawing its employees.
Then, the Kurdish eight-party coalition challenged the government by
holding illegal elections on May 19, 1992 under the American and
British protection. The KDP won 45.4 percent and the PUK won 43.9
percent of the votes. On June 4, 1992, the elected "Kurdistan
National Assembly" (KNA) held its first meeting in Arbil. On
October 4, 1992, the KNA approved a motion calling for the creation of
a "federal state within a democratic pluralist Iraq." This
was perceived by the neighboring countries as an alarming secessionist
step. Therefore, foreign ministers of Iran, Syria, and Turkey met in
Ankara to condemn it.
and American Assistance to the Kurds
Like other independent Arab states, Iraq entered the 1948 war on the side of the Palestinian people. However, unlike these states, it did not sign an armistice agreement to end the state of hostilities with Israel after the war. The Israelis supported the Kurdish rebellion in an attempt to weaken Iraq and pressure it to accept the status quo. The Kurds were also used to assist in the effort of helping Iraqi Jews immigrate to Israel. Finally, Israel was looking for oil concessions in northern Iraq in case the Kurdish rebellion would become successful.
The first Israeli contacts with
Barzani were in 1962 when Shimon Peres met in Geneva with his
representative, Kameran Ali Badirkhan, during the International
Socialist Convention. In 1963, two Israeli military officers arrived
at northern Iraq to train Kurdish rebels. In 1965, the first group of
Kurdish officers arrived at Israel for training and Israeli arms
supplies started to arrive to the Barzani forces. At the end of 1966,
the Israeli Deputy Minister of Finance, Arieh Eliav, visited Barzani
in northern Iraq with an Israeli military and civilian delegation.
In gratitude for that assistance, Barzani sent a cable to the Israeli
leaders in 1967 congratulating them on their victory over the Arabs.
Actually, the Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin admitted that
Barzani assisted the Israeli war efforts. He launched a large-scale
offensive during the 1967 War in an attempt to prevent the Iraqi
troops from supporting the Syrians and Jordanians.
Then, Barzani visited Israel for the first time, in 1968.
There, he met several Israeli leaders such as Levi Ashkol, Abba Iban,
Moshe Dayan, Shimon Peres, Golda Meier, and Menachem Begin. He also
met with the editors-in-chief of Israeli newspapers. The meeting was
secret in the sense that the editors were allowed to know about the
Israeli support for the Kurdish rebellion but were not authorized to
write about the visit itself, at that time.
In 1971, the head of the Mossad, Zevi Zamir, visited Barzani to
arrange smuggling more Iraqi Jews out of Iraq. When Barzani visited
Israel for the second time in 1973, he also met with major Israeli
leaders: Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yigal Allon, Menachem Begin, and the
Mossad chief, Zevi Zamir.
In addition to military aid and training, Barzani personally received
an Israeli monthly subsidy of $50,000.
Between 1970 and 1973, Masaud Barzani
helped about five thousand Iraqi Jews immigrate to Israel through
Iran. In 1973, his father Mustafa announced that if he would control
the oil fields in Kirkuk, he would ask an American company to operate
them. He died in 1979, two years after coming to America. When he
first arrived in 1977, he received Stephen Solarz, member of the U.S.
House of Representative from New York. Barzani expressed to him his
gratitude to Israel and asked him to convey the message to the Israeli
The American involvement in the Iraqi
internal affairs came as a reinforcement of the Israeli-Iranian
efforts to weaken Iraq. At the beginning of the 1961 rebellion,
Barzani took refuge in Iran. There, he received a radio station, a
printing facility, intelligence, weapons, training, and military
advice. Iran also functioned as a bridge for passing Israeli and
American assistance to the Kurdish rebels. Barzani received a $14
million from the United States, in 1969. The objective was encouraging
him to continue his revolt in order to keep the Iraqis occupied, away
from threatening the U.S. allies in the region. However, the U.S. did
not want the Kurds to prevail either, just to sap the resources of
Iraq. If they succeeded, they would threaten the stability of Iran and
The U.S. renewed its assistance to
the Kurds following the Iraqi nationalization of the oil industry. The
Nixon administration hoped that the Kurdish rebellion might contribute
to changing the Iraqi regime into another one that may allow the
return of the U.S. oil companies to the country.
In 1972, the Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, visited Iran to
coordinate the Iranian-Israeli policies towards Iraq. Few days later,
President Richard Nixon visited Iran after his meeting with the Soviet
leader, Leonid Brezhnev, in Moscow. Nixon agreed with the Shah that it
was necessary to keep Iraq busy with the Kurdish problem for two
reasons. First, this would enable Iran to play the policeman role in
the Gulf area. Second, it would weaken Iraq enough so that it could
not support other Arab states in their attempts to liberate their
territories from the Israeli occupation. When President Nixon came
back to Washington, he sent the Secretary of the Treasury, John
Connally, to Tehran carrying with him $16 million to Barzani. This was
followed by a visit to Washington by a Kurdish delegation to negotiate
the types of assistance the rebels needed. The American involvement in
the Kurdish problem continued after that through correspondence
between Barzani and the U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger.
On March 11, 1974, the Iraqi
government passed the Autonomy Law, which was rejected by Barzani
within two weeks. He was advised to do so by American and Iranian
Instead of accepting autonomy, he led about 100,000 men in attacking
the government posts and the pro-government Kurdish tribes. The
government responded by a counter-attack but quickly realized that the
rebels were better trained and equipped than before. This led the
Iraqi leaders to come to the conclusion that an understanding with
Iran was becoming the only way to end the Kurdish rebellion.
Consequently, the Algiers agreement between Iran and Iraq was signed
on March 6, 1975. Two days later, the government forces started a
campaign that continued for a week resulting in putting an end to the
Kurdish rebellion. Barzani realized that he was just a bargaining chip
in the hands of the Iranians to pressure Iraq for concessions in Shatt
Al-Arab and the Gulf area. He accepted cease-fire on March 21 after
the withdrawal of the Iranian regiment, which participated in the
fighting alongside his forces. The Iranian military assistance stopped
and Radio Kurdistan, which was broadcasting from Iran, went off the
air. Finally, he crossed the border to Iran together with some members
of his family and aids. The Iraqi government fulfilled its promise of
the Kurdish autonomous rule in northern Iraq and several KDP leaders
served as members of the Kurdish cabinet.
As a result of the 1975 Algiers Accord, Iraq began to be
perceived by the United States as a friendly country. This was
reinforced by the Iraqi increased opposition to the Soviet influence
in the region. Iraq criticized the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan at
its early stages in December 1979. Iraq also supported Saudi Arabia in
its dispute with the socialist government of South Yemen, in March
1980. When the Iranian-Iraqi relations started to deteriorate, in July
1980, the Iraqis communicated their position to the American
administration during a high-level meeting held in Amman, Jordan,
between Zbigniew Brezezinski and a high-ranking Iraqi official.
It was important for the Iraqis to let the Americans know about the
Iranian violations of the 1975 Algiers agreement because they did not
want to be perceived as the aggressor, later on. As a result,
Brezezinsky expressed America's understanding of the Iraqi position.
In general, the American-Iraqi
positions towards major issues of stability in the Middle East were
not in conflict. However, a main disagreement between the two
countries was about the Iraqi position from the Camp David Accords. In
November, 1978, the ninth Arab Summit Conference was held in Baghdad
during which Iraq led the Arab states in condemning the
Egyptian-Israeli agreement because it was perceived as compromising
Arab rights. Nevertheless, throughout most of the 1980s, Iraq was
still classified as a friendly country. By the end of the Iran-Iraq
war in 1988, the American position had changed to considering Iraq as
a regional threat. Developments of the war and the way it ended may
explain the change in the American policy towards Iraq.
Relations between Iran and Iraq
started to deteriorate as soon as the Islamic Republic was declared in
February 1979, according to the former Iranian President Abu Al-Hassan
The revolution started new ideological, territorial, strategic,
political, and personal disputes with Iraq.
Imam Khomeini was still bitter because of the position of the Iraqi
government towards him in 1978. He arrived at Iraq in 1964 after his
expulsion from Iran because of his opposition to the Shah's
government. He agreed not to do any activities that may be perceived
by the Iranian government as an intervention in the Iranian internal
affairs. However, at the climax of the Iranian revolution in 1978, he
was identified as its leader. The Iraqi government could not afford
violating the 1975 agreement with Iran, which ended the
fourteen-year-long Kurdish rebellion. Therefore, Khomeini was asked to
stop his activities or leave Iraq. He chose to leave to France where
he could lead the revolution freely. When he returned to Iran as the
leader of the revolution in 1979, he was still bitter towards Iraq.
When the Iraqi President, Ahmed Hassan El-Bakr, sent him a cable
congratulating him on the success of the revolution, Khomeini sent
back a hostile reply. This was followed by the Revolutionary Guards'
demonstrations in front of the Iraqi Embassy in Tehran. The Iraqi
Consulate in Khorramshahr was attacked four times by demonstrators in
October and November 1979. Finally, the Iranians sacked the Consulate,
confiscated its diplomatic documents, and deported its employees. Iraq
reciprocated by closing the Iranian Consulates in Basrah and Karbala.
The Iraqi schools in Iran and the Iranian schools in Iraq were also
closed as an escalation of the conflict between the two countries.
Then, a wave of hostile statements started to be heard from the
Iranian officials that expressed their intentions to export the
revolution to the neighboring Arab states.
In December 1979, Abu Al-Hassan Bani
Sadr, then Iranian Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, attacked
Arab nationalism describing it as un-Islamic. On March 1980, he
declared that the Arab Gulf states were not independent. Therefore,
Iran would not return the three islands of Abu Mussa, Tunb Al-Kubra,
and Tunb Al-Sughra to the United Arab Emirates.
On March 31, 1980 Imam Khomeini declared, in a speech read by his son,
Ahmed, that Iranians had to do whatever they could to export the
revolution to other parts of the world.
On April, 2, 1980, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Sa'dun Hammadi,
protested against these statements in two letters sent to Fidel
Castro, President of the Sixth Conference of the Non-aligned
Countries, and Curt Valdheim, the Secretary-General of the United
Nations Organization. However, the anti-Iraqi campaign continued in
the Iranian government-controlled media.
On April 8, 1980, the Iranian Foreign
Minister, Sadeq Qutub Zadeh, stated that both Aden and Baghdad
belonged to Persia. Imam Khomeini mentioned, in the same day, that
Iran would demand the restoration of its sovereignty over Baghdad if
Iraq continued its demands of the Iranian withdrawal from the three
Arab Gulf islands. Then, he ended his speech by calling upon the
Iraqis to revolt and overthrow their government. His Foreign Minister
reiterated on the following day, April 9, that his government decided
to overthrow the Iraqi regime. On April 15 and 18, Ayatollah Sadeq
Rouhani warned Iraq and other Arab states to stop their demands of an
Iranian withdrawal from the Arab islands otherwise Iran would demand
sovereignty over Bahrain. On April 30, Zadeh even included all Arab
states on the western coast of the Gulf as historically Iranian
Iranian anti-Iraqi campaign was not conducted in the media only but
was also echoed by some hostile actions inside Iraq. On April 1, 1980,
an Iranian-backed Iraqi opposition group, Al-Da'wa Party, planted a
bomb in the Baghdad University of Mustansiriyah. The bomb was
targeting Tariq Aziz, member of the Revolutionary Command Council and
the Deputy Prime Minister. The investigation showed that Al-Da'wa
Party had enough money and weapons to destabilize the country. The
Iraqi government responded by deporting the Iranians out of Iraq. On
April 12, another member of Al-Da'wa Party attempted to assassinate
the Iraqi Minister of Culture and Media, Latif Nassif Jassem.
Tensions on the borders between the
two countries escalated, too. Between February 23, 1979 and July 26,
1980, the Iranian forces conducted 244 land, air, and naval violations
and attacks against Iraq. These included shelling Iraqi border posts,
capturing border guards, intercepting civilian aircraft, and attacking
foreign and Iraqi ships and boats in Shatt Al-Arab. The Iraqi
authorities sent 240 memoranda to the Iranian government, through the
Iranian embassy in Baghdad, recording these violations and their
consequences. Similar memoranda were sent to the regional
organizations of the Arab League and the Islamic Conference
Organization. Nevertheless, fighting escalated across the borders. On
July 28, the Iranian attack on the Iraqi Sheeb border post was massive
and caused unprecedented damages. By August 27, 1980, there were real
battles in most border posts, in which Iran used land-land missiles
for the first time. On September 4-16, several air and naval battles
broke out when the Iranian artillery shelled the Iraqi cities of
Khaniqin, Zirbatiyeh, and Montheriyeh together with the facilities of
Khana Oil and the junctions of Mendali and Mustafa Al-Wand. The Iraqi
forces bombed the Iranian cities of Qasr Shirin and Mahran and
occupied the territories of Zain Al-Qows and Saif Sa'ad, which Iran
had not yet returned to Iraq, according to the 1975 agreement. The
battles resulted in many deaths, injuries, and damages in both sides.
In an emergency session of the Iraqi
National Assembly (the Parliament) to discuss the border battles on
September 17, 1980, the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussain, announced
Iraq's abrogation of the 1975 treaty with Iran. In particular, he
mentioned that Iran violated the treaty first by its intervention in
the Iraqi internal affairs, its support for the Iraqi opposition Da'wa
Party, and not returning the Iraqi territories of Zain Al-Qows and
Saif Sa'ad, as stated in the treaty. More important was that the 1980
border battles, which broke out along the borders, represented a
striking violation of the treaty.
In fact, Iraqis perceived the treaty
with the Shah's government as a sort of blackmailing. The Iraqi
government had to give up sovereignty over half of Shatt Al-Arab in
return for stopping the Iranian support for the Kurdish rebels
(Appendix V.B). Thus, the first consequence of canceling the treaty
was considering all Shatt Al-Arab waterway again as an Iraqi
territory. This required ships to fly the Iraqi flags. When that
happened, it triggered Iranian attacks and Iraqi counter attacks.
of the War
The Iran-Iraq war passed through four main stages. The first
stage extended from September 1980 to June 1982. Iraq was on the
offensive and Iran was on the defensive. Iraq occupied about 5,400
square miles of the Iranian territory, including the country's most
important port, Khurramshahr. Iran demanded the unconditional Iraqi
withdrawal and compensation for civilian and military costs. A U.N.
resolution was passed calling for a cease-fire but not for a
withdrawal. Iran did not accept it and continued the war despite
efforts of the Algerian mediator, Muhammed Bin-Yahya, who lost his
life in a plane crash over Turkey during negotiations. Imam Khomeini
insisted that there could be no peace or compromise with Iraq. When
Iran recaptured Khurramshahr on May 24, 1982, Iraq announced a
unilateral withdrawal from the Iranian territories. The Iranian
leaders responded by calling openly for the invasion of Iraq.
The second stage of the war extended
from July 1982 to January 1984. Iran was on the offensive adopting
"human-wave" tactics to occupy Iraqi territories. However,
the Iranian offensive failed to occupy major territories or to
destabilize the Iraqi government. In October 1982, Iran rejected a
U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire accompanied
by a mutual withdrawal. The Iranian leaders demanded the unconditional
surrender of Iraq and the punishment of the Iraqi leaders.
The third stage of the war extended
from February 1984 to February 1987. Each party inflicted heavy
casualties and losses on the other but without an apparent victor.
Therefore, this stage may be described as a stalemate. The Iranian
human-wave offensives continued resulting in the occupation of parts
of southern Iraq but without seriously affecting the Iraqi military
capabilities. Iraq had the upper hand in the air and sea. Iraq
launched more missile attacks on the Iranian cities and caused more
damages to Iranian ships and tankers carrying Iranian oil, in the
Gulf. Iran responded by attacking Kuwaiti tankers, as Kuwait was an
ally to Iraq. Kuwait reacted by asking the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. for
protection from these attacks. The Soviets leased three of their
tankers to Kuwait and the U.S. agreed to reflag and escort eleven
Kuwaiti tankers. To end the stalemate, Iran tried to acquire new
weapons from the U.S. The climax of the American-Iranian negotiations
was during a visit by Robert McFarlane, President Reagan's National
Security Advisor, to Tehran in May 1986. This resulted in the
arms-for-hostages deal that became more known as the Iran-Contra
The fourth and final stage of the war
extended from March 1987 to July 1988, when Iran accepted the U.N.
cease-fire resolution. In this stage, the United States, Soviet Union,
and many European countries became directly involved in the efforts to
end the war and minimize its effects on the Gulf oil supplies. Iran
responded to the American escorting of Kuwaiti tankers by sowing the
Gulf with mines. As a result, the U.S. and other European countries
became more involved in mine-sweeping. In July 1987, the U.S. led the
U.N. Security Council to pass Resolution 598, which called on Iran and
Iraq to begin negotiating a peaceful settlement. The resolution was
binding with a mechanism to impose sanctions on the party that would
reject it. The peace plan was to be implemented in eight steps
beginning with a cease-fire. While Iraq accepted the resolution as it
was, the Iranian response was neither acceptance nor rejection.
Instead, Iran announced that it needed more time to study the order of
the eight steps. In particular, Iran called for the simultaneous
implementation of the first step (cease-fire) and the sixth step
(establishment of a committee to determine which country had started
the war). The Iranian reluctance to accept the resolution triggered an
Iraqi escalation of the war. Starting from February 1988, Iraq used
hundreds of missiles that reached the main Iranian cities, including
Tehran. In the battlefront, Iraq intensified the use of chemical
weapons. The missile attacks and the chemical weapons demoralized
civilians as well as armed forces. When Iraq launched its ground
offensive, the Iranians abandoned their positions en masse.
West and the Iran-Iraq War
The Western countries did not like the Iranian revolution from
the beginning. It overthrew the pro-Western Shah government and
identified itself as anti-Israel.
Iraq also was anti-Israel as it led the Arab states in rejecting the
1978 American-brokered peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Thus,
when the war broke out between Iran and Iraq in 1980, the West looked
at it as a war involving two of its enemies. The American credo
towards the war was "neither victor nor vanquished." This
meant leaving the two countries engaged in a devastating war for about
eight years. In spite of some efforts to reach a cease-fire in the
United Nations, the genuine Western position was selling arms to both
The eight-year Iran-Iraq war was a
bonanza for the world military industries, particularly in the West.
About thirty-nine countries sold arms to both sides. The arms brokers
and weapon manufacturers made sure that both countries were getting
enough bullets, bombs, mines, and rockets. Iran received weapons from
Israel, Italy and Britain as early as the start of the war. This
allowed the Iranians to launch their counter attack during the second
stage of the war. The United States started selling Iraq weapons at
the early stages of the war, as well. The Lebanese broker Sarkis
Soghenalian mediated a helicopter deal. At the end of 1983, Iraq
received the French-made Super-Etendard planes. These were used in
attacking the oil tankers in Iran's oil terminal, Kharg Island. Then,
Iraq began to receive loan guarantees to buy American agricultural
products, particularly wheat and rice. In 1983, Saheeb Al-Haddad of
Nashville, Tennessee, exported variety of commodities to Iraq,
including those used in manufacturing chemical weapons. In December
1983, Iraq attacked the Iranian troops occupying parts of Southern
Iraq with Mustard gas, which contributed to the Iranian defeat there.
In 1984, Iraq used poison gas again to liberate the Majnoon Islands,
Southeast of Basrah, from the Iranian troops.
During the third stage of the war,
Iran occupied the Iraqi Faw Peninsula, in 1986. Moreover, in December
1986 and January 1987, the Iranians attacked Iraq again in what they
called "the Karbala Offensive." This attack was made
possible by the American and other Western arms that Iran received
(directly or through Israel) in return for releasing the Western
hostages in Lebanon. During the final stage of the war, Iraq used
missiles and chemical weapons to force Iran to accept the U.N.
cease-fire resolution. Starting from February 29, 1988, Iraq launched
189 ballistic missiles against Tehran and five other Iranian cities.
The missile attacks brought the war to the Iranian hinterland thus
contributing to ending the war. The Iraqi surprise attack on the
Iranian troops occupying the Faw Peninsula also contributed to ending
the war. The Iraqis used their new nine-ton bomb, called "Nassr."
The blast was so powerful that the Iranians thought that it was an
atomic bomb. Moreover, they bombarded the Iranian troops with chemical
artillery shells, which led to the Iranian acceptance of the U.N.
cease-fire resolution, in July 1988.
The Iraqi losses reached about 150,000 deaths and about 250,000
injuries. The economy lost two decades of development, one for the war
and another for reconstruction. War damages in the Iraqi
infrastructure were estimated between $200 billion and $500 billion.
Iran suffered even more deaths and injuries and about $200 billion of
property damages. The Iraqi debt reached about $95 billion, $35
billion of which was to the Arab Gulf states.
However, some experts estimated the number of casualties on both sides
as high as one million deaths and three million injuries. In addition,
the war resulted in tens of thousands of prisoners of war, millions of
the homeless, and inestimable human suffering.
The long war also led to the
absorption of Arab wealth and to the decline in oil prices, which
reached as low as $8 per barrel in 1986. That decline, by turn, led to
overproduction then to more decline in prices thus reaching the crisis
stage of 1990. Concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, the war
distracted Iraq away from the conflict and made the Iranian desire to
support Arabs unrealistic. At the same time, it gave Israel the
opportunity and resources to develop its nuclear research and arsenal.
Further, it allowed Israel to enter the space age by participation in
Eurica and SDI projects. Finally, it allowed Israel to perform seven
cuts on its defense budget and to channel resources to research and
manufacturing of the Lavi aidcraft, the Merkava tank, and the Saar
Threat to Western Interests
By the time the war stopped in 1988, Iraq had assembled a huge
war machine that included conventional, chemical, and biological
weapons. In addition, there was a potential for developing nuclear
capabilities. This represented a threat to the Western military
interests. The region's societies may not be interested in buying new
weapons, as the perceived Iranian danger was no longer there.
Moreover, the Iraqi military industry together with the Egyptian
military industry have reached a level of development that may satisfy
the regional needs for some weapon systems. This meant an emerging
Arab military industry that the Western military industries,
particularly the French, could not afford to ignore.
Between 1975 and 1990, Iraq bought
about $20 billion worth of French weapons. During the war, France
became the major arms supplier to Iraq. Therefore, after the war, it
was unhappy to see the country trying to develop its own weapon
systems. When General Maurice Schmidt, the French Chief-of-Staff,
visited Baghdad during the Arms Fair of 1989, he saw several Iraqi
weapons developed out of French weapons. He commented on that publicly
later on, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He said that it was
there, at the Baghdad Arms Fair, that he first began to wonder whether
France had gone a bit too far with Iraq. He added that his country
"had better begin paying closer attention to what the Iraqis were
developing in the way of armament."
By 1990, the Western countries became
worried about how Iraq was going to conduct itself after its war with
Iran. The Iraqi armed forces came out of the war intact. However, the
country was heavily burdened with debts. One possibility was that Iraq
might start exporting arms, as a way out of its financial crisis. The
Arab Middle Eastern countries may prefer to buy some of the military
equipment they need from Iraq, a fellow Arab state, rather than from
foreign countries. Moreover, the Western countries were worried about
an Iraqi regional hegemony in which Iraq may dominate the Arab Middle
East and threaten Israel. For all these reasons, the Western military
establishments did not like these developments in Iraq.
Soon, the country was officially portrayed by the Western military
leaders as the new source of danger after the Soviet danger had
weathered away. It was during this period, when the American Central
Command pointed to Iraq as the new regional enemy and began to draw
its strategic planning accordingly.
Finally, the collapse of the Soviet
Union and the Warso Pact threatened to end the Cold War bonanza that
the Western military industries enjoyed for about half a century. They
were desperate to show once more that the world was not yet a safe
place to live in without strong defense systems. The 1990
Iraqi-Kuwaiti dispute provided Western politicians with a golden
opportunity to rally behind these military industries. The Iraqi
invasion of Kuwait was used to convince public opinion that it was a
dangerous conflict with global dimensions. The 1991 war that followed
led to the use and destruction of huge quantities of weapons. This
gave defense departments in the West the justification for the
continuation of the military spending. Thus, the 1991 Gulf War
injected new life in the Western military industries and guaranteed
that they would still be thriving for many years to come. The Cold War
I is over but the Cold War military spending is not, and the
relentless effort to find Cold War II may continue for some time to
The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I led to the
division of the Arab homeland among the victorious Western allies. As
a result, the Western economic control over the area followed the
European military occupation. It was first expressed by British and
American oil concessions in the 1930s, then by linking the economies
of Arab states to Western economies. The dependency of local ruling
elites on their Western protectors led them to invest most of the oil
revenues in the West. This has kept the region underdeveloped and the
gap growing larger between the "haves" and the
The core industrial societies were
not content to just receive Arab oil revenue surpluses in the form of
investments. In addition to that, they received more of the oil
revenues in the form of weapon purchases and services. Military
spending in the industrial societies since the early 1980s led to
burdening these societies with debt and depriving the working classes
of the fruits of their labor. It also hurt underdeveloped societies of
the Middle East by forcing them to buy unnecessary weapon systems
instead of investing oil revenues in their economies.
Iraq is an example of what happened
to other Arab states. Successive Iraqi governments were pushed from
one war to another throughout the 20th century. The Kurdish rebellion
kept the Iraqi governments involved in military campaigns and peace
initiatives to end it. Iranian militarism, under the Shah, was induced
by the American encouragement for Iran to play the role of the
policeman in the Gulf area. Israeli military strategy led to the
cooperation with Iran in providing assistance to the Kurdish rebels in
an attempt to keep Iraq away from the Arab-Israeli conflict. This
assistance forced Iraq finally to accept the 1975 agreement with Iran,
in which it gave up its sovereignty over half of Shatt Al-Arab. The
Iranian attempt to export the revolution to Iraq led to the Iraqi
abrogation of the 1975 agreement and the 1980-88 war between the two
countries. When, finally, the Iran-Iraq war was over, Iraqis looked up
to their Arab neighbors for assistance in reconstruction. However, a
new dispute developed between Iraq and Kuwait and that led to the 1990
crisis (Chapter VI) and the devastating 1991 Gulf War that followed.
Thus, throughout the 20th century,
the Iraqis were forced to spend most of their resources, particularly
oil revenues, on the military in order to combat the Kurdish rebels
and their Iranian supporters. Western interests, as expressed by oil
concessions, oil revenues, military spending, and protection of local
allies, played a major role in these developments in the region.
Appendix V. A
of Shaikh of Kuwait for Britain
I have cordially received your letter dated on the 26th of Dhul
Qi'da, 1331 (October 27, 1913),** in which you referred to our
conversation of yesterday. It is desirable that you inform the British
Government that we approve of the coming of His Excellency the
Admiral. If the Admiral honors (arrives at) our country, I will send
one of my sons to accompany him, to be in his service, and to guide
him to the oil site in Burqan and other places. If they decide to
obtain oil from there, we will not grant any concession in this matter
to any person other than whoever is appointed by the British
government. We found that (writing this letter) necessary. I hope that
you will continue caring for us and may God protect you.
Shaikh Mubarak Al-Sabah
Qida 26, 1331.
(October 27, 1913)
The Arabic original copy of the agreement was published
in Al-Shamlan (1959: 326-27).
The Gregorian date is added.
Appendix V. B
Background to the 1975 Iran-Iraq Agreement
In his address to the Iraqi National Assembly on September 17,
1980, the Iraqi President, Saddam Hussain, told the story of signing
the 1975 treaty between Iran and Iraq. He mentioned that there were
two major factors that led Iraq to reach and sign that agreement.
First, the Iraqi government concluded that Iran had played a major
role in assisting the 1974/75 Kurdish rebellion. In order for Iraq to
end the rebellion completely Iran had to be neutralized. Second, there
was an earlier need to reach an agreement with Iran. Iran also had to
be neutralized if Iraq would actively participate in defending the
Arab homeland against the Israeli expansionist policies.
The battle to end the Kurdish
rebellion lasted about twelve months between March 1974 and March
1975. The Iraqi losses were more than sixteen thousand casualties and
injuries. The civilian losses exceeded forty-four thousand casualties
and injuries. The Iranian forces played an important role in assisting
the rebels. Sometimes, they participated in fighting beside them,
other times they conducted military exercises along the borders with
Iraq in an attempt to distract the Iraqi forces from the battles
against them. Throughout the fighting, they provided a continuous
supply of weapons to the rebels. At the same time, the Iraqi equipment
and ammunition started to decrease dramatically to the extent that
heavy artillery ammunition were about to finish and there were only
three heavy aircraft bombs.
When Egypt and Syria started the October 6, 1973 war to
liberate their occupied territories, Iraq was caught by surprise.
Otherwise, it would have sent its forces to the front earlier.
However, Iraq could not afford being a spectator. In order for its
forces to leave to Syria while the borders with Iran are safeguarded
Iran had to be neutralized. Therefore, the Iraqi Revolutionary Command
Council issued a statement on October 7, 1973 offering Iraq's
readiness to resolve its problems with Iran peacefully. The statement
eventually expressed Iraq's readiness to consider Iran's demands in
Shatt Al-Arab. The Iraqi troops then moved to Syria and participated
actively in defending Damascus and stopping the Israeli counter
attack. In 1975, the Algerian President Hawari Boumedian mediated
between Iran and Iraq in order to resolve their problems through
direct negotiations. The negotiations ended by singing the agreement
on March 6, 1975. Iraq agreed to concede half of Shatt Al-Arab to Iran
by expanding the Iranian borders to reach the Thalweg line. In return,
Iran agreed to return the Iraqi territories of Zain Al-Qows and Saif
Sa'ad. Iran also agreed to stop its support for the rebels in the
north who ended their rebellion and surrendered immediately. The
leaders of the rebels, the Barzani family, left for the United States
to stay there. In 1979, the new Iranian government invited them to
come to Iran. They accepted the invitation and made headquarters in
Iran, which was a major violation of the 1975 agreement (Al-Farzali,
MILITARY SPENDING, 1945-1995
1995 US$ BILLIONS)
220.2 1964 290.9
OF THE 1948-1991 COLD WAR: $12,800,000,000,000.
Center for Defense Information (1996: 17).
OF IMPORTS OF MAJOR CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS
1995 $US BILLIONS)
SIPRI Yearbook 1996: Armaments, Disarmaments, and International
OF EXPORTS OF MAJOR CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS
1995 US$ BILLIONS)
YEAR WORLD TOTAL NORTH AMERICA & EU % OF THE TOTAL
SIPRI Yearbook 1996: Armaments, Disarmaments, and
SPENDING IN MAJOR MIDDLE EASTERN STATES
1995 US$ BILLIONS)
YEAR AL* KT OM SA UAE EG** JR SR IRN IRQ ISR
2.2 3.60 .40
2.2 3.60 .45
2.1 3.25 .50
1.6 2.75 .50
1.6 2.25 .46
1.6 1.75 .35
1.5 1.75 .30
1.0 11.0 1.4
1.75 .40 2.8
1.4 1.75 .30
1.3 1.75 ---
--- 1.75 ---
SIPRI Yearbook 1996: Armaments, Disarmaments, and
International Security (Except for
--- No data.
* AL (Algeria), KT (Kuwait), OM
(Oman), SA (Saudi
Arabia), UAE (United Arab Emirates),
JR (Jordan), SR (Syria), IRN (Iran),
** The years 1992-1994 of the
spending are estimates.
 Ismael (1993: 1-14).
A living example of how the developed core societies continue to
keep the peripheral societies underdeveloped is Saudi Arabia's
attempts to sell its petro-chemical products to Western European
societies. Saudi Arabia has built an advanced petro-chemical
industry in order to diversify its revenues and utilize its wasted
natural gas which is otherwise burnt during oil production. By 1983,
the Saudis could not enter the European markets because Europeans
imposed high import taxes on Saudi chemicals that reached 13 to 19
percent in order to protect their equivalent industries. Saudi
Arabia never imposed import-taxes on European products before and
was in vain expecting a reciprocal treatment (Mackey, 1987: 352).
Amin (1976); Cardoso (1972); Frank (1967); Poulantzas (1974).
Arabia here refers to the Arabian Peninsula which is surrounded by
the Red Sea from the West, the Arabian (Persian) Gulf from the East,
the Indian Ocean and the Arab Sea from the South and the Fertile
Crescent from the North. Thus, Arabia includes, in an alphabetical
order, the present-day Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
and Yemen. The Fertile Crescent includes Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon,
Palestine, and Syria. While Jordan is the only monarchy in the
Fertile Crescent, Yemen is the only republic in Arabia.
 Aspin (1991).
Huwaidi (1981: 706-708).
While there may be few hundred (male) shaikhs in Al-Sabah family,
Al-Saud princes may be several thousands.
 Bin-Sultan (1995: 217-218).
 Bin-Sultan (1995: 267-68).
 Dickson (1956: 115-16).
 Joudah (1964: 42-47, 71-79).
 Al-Yahya (1993: 6).
 Joudah (1964: 69-70); Assiri (1990: 6).
 Joudah (1964: 152-164).
 EIU (1990: 53-54, 82).
 Lienhardt (1993: 92-104).
 EIU (1990).
 Timmerman (1991: 397).
Hess, Markson, and Stein (1996: 347-348).
In 1992, the federal military spending included $295 billion as
direct military spending, $33 billion in Veteran’s benefits, $7
billion for military foreign aid (mainly to Israel and Egypt), $5
billion for military NASA and Coast Guard costs, and $79 billion for
the military’s share of interest payments due to past borrowings (Marullo,
 Hess, Markson, and Stein (1996: 347-348).
Burton (1993: 41, 9, 31, 76, 274).
The military-industrial complex includes those who benefit directly
or indirectly from increasing military spending. On top of these are
owners and workers of the military industries, weapon systems,
contractors, researchers, professors and journalists who receive
direct or indirect funding from the military industry.
 Stevenson (1996: 7).
 Center for Defense Information (1996).
 U.S. News and World Report (January 22, 1996).
Center for Defense Information (1996).
Actually, these SIPRI (1996) figures for the American military
spending are very conservative. The CDI figures reach about $3.4
trillion (Table V.1).
 SIPRI (1996).
 SIPRI (1996).
 Peres (1993: 88-89).
 EIA (1997).
Although the calculations include Libyan revenues, they do not
include Libyan military spending. The calculations also include oil
revenues of the Gulf states and military spending of both the Gulf
and states neighboring to Israel because the Gulf states finance
major portions of the military spending in these states, too.
 While Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria were involved in regional wars, Algeria and Sudan are still involved in civil wars. By 1995, Iraq accumulated about $95 billion of debt. It was followed by Egypt $34.6 billion, Algeria $33.5 billion, Saudi Arabia $22.4 billion, Syria $22.2 billion, Morocco $22 billion, Sudan $17 billion, Tunisia $9.9 billion, Kuwait $9 billion, Yemen $8.9 billion, Jordan $5.9 billion, Libya $4.3 billion, Qatar $3.9 billion, the U.A.E. $3.9 billion, Lebanon $3.2 billion, Bahrain $2.8 billion, Oman 2.7 billion, Somalia $2.5 billion, Mauritania $2.3 billion, Djibouti $225 million, and Comoros $189 million (EIU, 1996; Table IV.2).
 EIU (1996).
 In 1973, a cable was sent by an American official in Iran to Washington. In that cable, he said that “only a few Kurdish leaders knew that until recently they had our support for their military resistance because it diverted Iraq from Israel.” From an article by William Safire of the New York Times, February 12, 1976, cited in Gareeb (1981: 144).
 Yassin (1995: 37, 49-51).
 Yassin (1995: 64-65, 109, 203); Gareeb (1981: 12).
 Al-Barrak (1989: 27-37, 63-85); Gareeb (1981: 32-33).
 Al-Barrak (1989: 98-105).
Al-Barrak (1989: 135-151); Yassin (1995: 208-219).
The Iranian region of Kuzistan is informally referred to as
Arabistan because it is still a predominantly Arab area. It was an
Arab chiefdom ruled by Shaikh Khaz'al Bin-Merdaw until 1925 when it
was annexed by Iran. Muhammerah (Khurramshahr), the capital of
Arabistan, has been a thriving Arab trade center for centuries.
Al-Barrak (1989: 169-178); O'Ballance (1996: 94); Ghareeb (1981: 43,
Timmerman (1991: 17-19).
 The borders between Iran and Iraq in Shatt Al-Arab water way were initially drawn in 1913 and 1914. According to the protocols exchanged then, Iran agreed that its borders would start at the eastern shore of the 120-mile waterway. In 1937, Iraq agreed that the borders would change accross from the two Iranian ports of Abadan and Khurramshahr. The borders became at the Thalweg (the line that divides the waterway in the middle) rather than the shore at these two areas. In 1975, Iran demanded to change the borders again. Iraq agreed that the new borders would be at the Thalweg in all the waterway, not just accross from Abadan and Khurramshahr (Ghareeb, 1990: 26-29; Al-Farzali, 1982: 229-246; U.S. Senate, 1987: 7).
 For a comprehensive review of the Kurdish problem, see Ghareeb (1981).
Al-Barrak (1989: 269-70); O'Ballance (1996: 123, 134-135).
While the British referred to their efforts to enforce the safe
haven as "Operation Provide Comfort," Americans referred
to theirs as "Operation Poised Hammer" (O'Ballance, 1996:
O'Ballance (1996: 185-202).
 Ghareeb (1981: 142) mentioned that it was the Israeli member of Parliament, Luba Eliav, who headed the delegation, in 1966.
Ghareeb (1981: 142).
 In its November 9, 1987 issue, the Israeli newspaper, Ma'ariv, reported on Barzani's first visit to Israel in 1968. The visit was official in order to strengthen the relationship between the Kurdish separatist movement and Israel. However, Barzani spent some time in Tiberias with his old Jewish Kurdish friend, David Ganai who immigrated to Israel in 1951. Khaja (Mr.) Ghannu, as he was referred to by Barzani, told the Kurdish leader that there was evidence of gold in Kurdistan. Barzani added that there was evidence of oil, silver, copper, iron, and coal. "But we need to establish our state first before we can use these resources," Barzani answered him.
During the second visit (in 1973), Barzani went to Tiberias where he spent the night in his old friend's house. Israeli Kurds came to see Barzani. They danced and sang for him and for Kurdistan. The Kurdish leader told David that he intended to give a golden necklace as a present to Moshe Dayan for his marriage to Rachel. He asked David whether it was appropriate to give him money, too. David told him that it was unnecessary (Al-Barrak, 1989: 290, 300-301).
 Al-Bazzaz (1989: 136, 147-48); Al-Barrak (1989: 205-253).
 Ghareeb (1981: 143).
 Al-Barrak (1989: 205-253).
 Ghareeb (1981: 138-140).
 Ghareeb (1981: 140-141).
Al-Barrak (1989: 205-253); O'Ballance (1996: 93); Ghareeb (1981:
 Barzani later regretted his decision to reject the 1974 Autonomy Law on basis of the American advisement. He said: "Were it not for American promises, we would never have become trapped and involved to such an extent" (McDowall, David. 1985. "The Kurds." Minority Rights Group, Report No. 23, London: Minortity Rights Group). A U.S. House of Representatives analysis of the Kurdish defeat attributed it to "groundless promises of American assistance and the deviousness of the Shah." Both were cited in O'Ballance (1996: 95, 103).
 O'Ballance (1996: 95-100).
 Timmerman (1991: 74-76).
 Le Monde, Semptember 19, 1980, cited in Al-Farzali (1982: 27).
Ghareeb (1990: 29).
 These three Arab islands were occupied by the Iranian forces in 1971 following the British withdrawal from the area. While the Iranians convinced the the Shaikh of Sharjeh to allow them lease the Island of Abu Mussa for ninety-nine years, they could not convince Shaikh Saqer Al-Qassimi of Ras Al-Khaimeh to do so. Instead, he ordered the small Arab garrison of Tunb Al-Kubra to fight the invaders. When they did, a Yemeni soldier was killed and several other Arab soldiers were injured. They knew that they could not stop the Iranian invasion but they wanted the world to know that they resisted it (Bani Sadr's declaration was mentioned in two interviews published in the Lebanese newspaper, Al-Nahar on December 23, 1979 and the International and Arab Al-Nahar magazine on March 24, 1980, and were cited in Al-Farzali, 1982: 34).
 In a January 17, 2000 interview with Al-Jazira Arabic Satellite TV station, “Ziyara Khassa,” (Private Visit), Bani Sadr confirmed that Khomeini wanted to establish an Islamic empire that would include Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
Al-Farzali (1982: 23-43); Ghareeb (1990: 31-32).
 According to the fourth article of the treaty, the violation of any other article violates the spirit of the treaty as a whole and renders it null and void (Al-Farzali, 1982: 229-246; Ghareeb, 1990: 34).
Al-Farzali (1982: 123-133).
 The former Iranian President, Bani Sadr, mentioned that the contacts between Khomeini and Reagan started in 1980, even before the presidential elections. Khomeini agreed with representatives of the Reagan-Bush team to delay releasing the American hostages until after elections. In return, he got the Reagan-Bush cooperation in selling American arms to Iran through Israel (From a January 17, 2000, interview with Al-Jazira Arabic Satellite TV station, “Ziyara Khassa,” A Private Visit).
 Hooglund (1990: 39-58); Marr (1990: 59-74); Kechichian
 Ghareeb (1990: 30).
Timmerman (1991: 122-38, 166, 174, 141-43, 214).
 McKnight (1992: 175) mentions that the Iraqi missiles
fired on Tehran in
1988 were 203, not 189 as Timmerman (1991) reported.
 Timmerman (1991: 228-29, 244-45, 287-89, 293-95).
 Joyner (1990: 8); Marr (1990: 59-74); Timmerman (1991:
 Ghareeb (1990: 23).
 Al-Bazzaz (1989: 233).
 Timmerman (1991: 334).
 Timmerman (1991: 367).
 Schwarzkopf (1992).
Table of Contents, Gulf War: Overreaction & Excessiveness, By Hassan A El-Najjar