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George Jr.'s Band is swinging satellite photos and testimonies from transfuges to convince the US and the world that there is a justification for attacking Iraq, already a victim of Western genocide. It would be good to not lose sight of history. I am posting a couple of texts, written at or around the time of the first US war against Iraq, show how that war was prepared and how the peoples of the world misled. They are simply to refresh our memories of how we got into this mess. Today we can use the power of historical precedence. TITLE: How Washington manufactured a war crisis* AUTHOR: Huda M. al-Yassiri DATE: 8/5/1996 PUBLISHER: The Baghdad Observer CONTENTS: (...) Late in January, Channel 4 of the British TV broadcast a documentary showing how American news consumers were dazzled and deluded by manipulators of satellite photos of Kuwait taken five weeks after August 1990 to justify the deployment of US troops to Saudi Arabia, al-Jumhuriya daily newspaper reported. (...) The article, "Public doesn't get picture with Gulf satellite photos," said when president George Bush began his massive deployment of American troops to the Gulf in August 1990, he claimed that Iraq, which had just entered Kuwait, had set its sights on Saudi Arabia. On September 11, 1990, Bush addressed a joint session of Congress, saying, "We gather tonight witness to events in the Gulf as significant as they are tragic. 120.000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia". On January 6, 1991, however, Jean Heller reported in the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times that satellite photos taken the same day that president Bush addressed Congress failed to back up his claim of an imminent Iraqi threat. In fact, there was no sign of a massive Iraqi troops buildup in Kuwait. Heller told "In These Times," The troops that were said to be massing on the Saudi border and that constituted the possible threat to Saudi Arabia that justified the US sending of troops do not show up in these photographs. And when the Department of Defense was asked to provide evidence that would contradict our satellite evidence, it refused to do it". (...) Heller said in her story that Soviet satellite photos taken five weeks after August 2, 1990 suggest that the Bush administration might have exaggerated the scope of Iraq's military threat to Saudi Arabia at the time. The photos are not conclusive proof that the administration overestimated Iraq's buildup along the Saudi border, a buildup that was cited as a justification for the deployment of US troops. But two American satellite imaging experts who examined the photos could find no evidence of a massive Iraqi presence in Kuwait in September 1990. (...) A Soviet commercial satellite took a photo of Saudi Arabia on September 11, 1990 and a photo of Kuwait on September 13. At the time, the Defense Department was estimating there were as many as 250.000 Iraqi troops and 1.500 tanks in Kuwait. The photos were obtained by the St. Petersburg Times in late December 1990. (...) The mystery surrounding the numbers of Iraqi troops first surfaced in November, 1990, after ABC News purchased several Soviet satellite photos of Kuwait taken on September 13, 1990 and could find no evidence of large numbers of Iraqi troops. (...) The Times bought the missing photos of Kuwait, as well as a photo of part of Saudi Arabia, from Soyuz-Karta, a Soviet commercial satellite agency that sells pictures worldwide for such purposes as geological studies and energy exploration. The cost was $ 1.500 a photo. The Times retained two satellite image specialists to interpret the photos: Zimmerman, a nuclear physicist who now is a professor of engineering at George Washington University in Washington D.C, and a former image specialist for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) who asked not to be named because of the classified nature of his work. While Iraqi troops cannot be seen, it is easy to spot the extensive American military presence at the Dhahran Airport in Saudi Arabia. "We could see five C-141s one C5A and four smaller transport aircraft, probably C-130s," said Zimmerman. "There is also a long line of fighters, F-111s or F-15s on the ground. In the middle of the airfield are what could be camouflaged staging areas. "We did not find anything of that sort anywhere in Kuwait. We do not see any tent cities, we do not see congregations of tanks, we do not see troops concentrations, and the main kuwaiti air base appears deserted. It's five weeks after August 2, 1990, and what we can see, the Iraqi air force has not flown a single fighter to the most strategic air base in Kuwait. There is no infrastructure to support large numbers of (military) people. They have to use toilets, or the functional equivalent. They have to have food. They have to have water at the rate of several gallons per man per day. They have to have shelter. But where is it?". (...) The troops could have been so well camouflaged that they were hidden from the Soviet cameras. However, Zimmerman said that would be a departure from Iraq's strategy during its war with Iran in the 1980s when virtually no effort was made to hide military positions. Both analysts recall seeing Iraqi troops deployments during that war on poorer images from the French SPOT satellite. It's also possible that the troops were so widely dispersed that the satellite could not "See" them because its cameras could not resolve images smaller than five meters, or about 16 feet, across. Or it might be that glare from the sun on the Kuwaiti sand smudged out troops images, although images taken over Saudi Arabia appear unaffected by glare. (...) On September 18, 1990 only days after the Soviet photos were taken, the Pentagon said Iraqi forces in and around Kuwait had grown to 360.000 men and 2.800 tanks, a move of troops and equipment sizable enough to leave telltale marks on the landscape that should be visible by satellite. (...) A satellite photo of the same area of kuwait on August 8, just a few days after Iraqi troops entered Kuwait, shows some sand cover on the roads, Zimmerman said, and the cover appeared to be less extensive, suggesting that it continued to build up over the next month. "It certainly indicates that nobody's been driving over them and that the (Iragi) military has not bothered to clear them for traffic, he said". Asked if the Defense Department officials could dispel the mystery created by the Soviet photos, Pentagon spokesman Hall replied: "There is no mystery as far as we are concerned. They (the Iraqi troops) are there. We would like it to remain a mystery what our intelligence capabilities are. We are not going to make our intelligence public". _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk