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"Beyond Desert Storm"

My 'book report' on the History Channel programs tonight.

I guess I have to start by mentioning that my knowledge of history from about 1960-1995 is pretty shoddy. In my history classes in high school we never seemed to get past WWII, and, well, up until around 95 I never really paid attention to the news. So I really appreciated these programs for the historical information. The rest was just... scary, but one of those things you can't turn away from.

One of the shows was about the weapons SH is assumed to have... thousands of gallons of serin and related chemicals, launchers, warheads... all the things the wonderful UN team simply wasn't able to account for in the 90s (although I must say, I have a smidgen more respect for them after watching this, except for that Ritter guy). They showed pictures from Iranian hospitals where people are still suffering and dying from the gas he used in the Iran-Iraq war, and pictures of the Kurds. God, those were horrible, not just the men, women and children who died then and there, but the recent video of people with hideous tumors, birth defects, and terrible neurological diseases... a people whose DNA itself has been ravaged.

The second show was about the weapons the US has in its disposal to use against Iraq, if it comes to that. They talked about the stealth technology of the B2s, the F171s, the chemical and biological weapons training that troops are given and the special suits that they wear, the tanks and the light armored vehicles and the pin-point laser and GPS guided missile systems. They say that we could probably have control of the city in a matter of days. But when they brought up the 'Black Hawk Down' tragedy... man, none of that made me feel any better. It kind of became a situation where it was like... how to reconcile everything we were shown in the first program with everything in the second.

The third and final show (each of these was an hour long; nice way to spend an afternoon, eh?) was about the man himself. Dad died before he was born, mom tried to abort (sounds familiar...) stepdad introduced him to a life of crime... first murder at age 20, one coup attempt after another... all boiling down to the fact that he's a paranoid, egocentric control freak who wants to be seen as the great unifier of the Arab region. His profile isn't going to change, and neither is his MO. And I found I couldn't listen to this, about the various forms of torture, acid baths, gouging out the eyes of the children or grandchildren of those being interrogated, hiring professional rapists to go after suspected traitors or the people they love, without thinking that we have to do something. It upsets me that this monster is still in power. It upsets me that we didn't even try to get him in 95 when we might have had the chance.

(And it doesn't have a Goddamn thing to do with oil.)
  • Current Mood: determined determined
Re: The Great Unifier
But don't they realize that Saddam Hussein is an atheist?

Heck, I didn't know that, and I live in a country where the media isn't under the thumb of the man himself. But yeah, part of the History Channel program was talking about the visual and media propaganda that Saddam uses... the huge murals of himself on every corner, dozens of roadways and hospitals and schools named after him, his face on the front page of every newspaper and during the first report of every 'news' broadcast... Saddam the lover of children, Saddam the soldier, Saddam the sex symbol (*retch*), etc etc.

And forget the Brits... the ones who are on my list right now are the French. The thing is, even with what they say, they're still providing ground support to American troops -- they just don't want to have anything to do with an actual war so that, when the dust settles, they look better to the Arab world. And the Germans are whining about a war being too "dangerous". Well no shit. But frankly, I'd rather get Saddam out of power before he completely rebuilds his arsenal, or finds a way to put together a nuclear weapon. That'd be a damn slight more "dangerous", if you ask me