I was very surprised by your program on the Gulf War. I was very interested to learn more about the conflict, other than what I was told on CNN. I think the program has many very good points. I think the program at least attempts to reveal the political, behind the scene manipulation of the American puplic. The most disappointing part of the program to me was that there was very little new information on the war. I feel that most of the events and topics have been previously discussed on other programs. I would very much like to learn more about the effects of the war, economic motivations. For example; nobody can say that oil did not play a major role in motivating the U.S. in the war. There are many related topics other than just "smart bombs" that are of the FRONTLINE viewer interest.
ME N PDX@aol.com
Although I watched your program with Great interest, I did find something sadly lacking...comments from women. I am now retired Navy, but I left my six month old daughter and two sons behind to serve on a supply ship that provided supplies to troops in the Red Sea. It seems that the issue of women serving anywhere is never of interest unless it is in some type of sexual situation. During my career I had more problems as a woman, than I did as an African American. I think it is shameful that you did not talk to any women who participated (outside of talking to Margaret Thatcher). If you want to provide a real service to women, please remember to include us. We were (and are) in the military too.
I just saw part 1 of your program on the Persian Gulf war. I just want to commend you on an excellent piece. My husband was deployed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from 12 August 1990 to 12 March 1991. I feel this program gave the general public an idea of what it was like to be on stand-by, as we were for four days before he left for Riyadh, not really knowing what was going to happen or how serious the problem was. Of course, at that time, we did not know where he was going, if it was going to be Kuwait or where. This really brought back a lot of memories, some of them not so pleasant at the time. I look forward to viewing the second half of this program.
099 Lime Valley St
Mankato, MN 56001
Hello PBS, I'm writing in response of the program that aired last night about the Gulf War...ABSOLUTLY INCREDIBLE!!! I was glued to the television last night for two hours during the program, which is very rare for me. I loved the approach you took in producing this documentary. It went step by step, day by day from the political decisions to the actual fighting, well done. I'm looking forward to seeing the conclusion of this program this evening(I think it's tonight). Finally, I LOVE the fact that you do not air commercials during your programs, it makes it so much easier to watch and more enjoyable. Well I know there are thousands to read so I'll cut it short, great job!
University of Kansas (Jayhawks #1)
I enjoyed your program on the Gulf War. I believe you did a good jobe of showing everything didn't go as smoothly as we were led to believe during the conflict.
I also wanted you to know that I take exception to some of the criticism that was thrown your way suggesting that your program was slanted in favor of the hawks. In particular the suggestion that a loss of 248 on one side to thousands on another does not constitute a war. Perhaps the writer would have perferred to see higher American casualties. The writer also failed to mention the many citizens of Kuwait that were killed by Iraq's military.
I do not care what reasons the US government had for kicking Iraq out of Kuwait. In my mind it had to be done for the sake of justice not oil. I believe Frontline has done a good job of proving my case.
I found your programing on the Gulf War outstanding. To think that Front Line had co-operation from so many important people from all over the World and brought their comments to Public television gives more than enough credit to the show. I don't beleive they would have had that much co-operation if it was in bad taste. I find it hard to beleive that some still don't aprove of our actions. Just as we are responsible as Americans for our Presidents actions the people of IRAQ should be held liable for Sadams. He caused some of the greatest destruction to the planet ever seen by man. His people have yet to condemn him for any of his actions. The consortium that controlled his destrution should all have the support of their people.
I have so far seen most of the first part (I think I missed the first ten minutes). Honestly, this is some of the best television I have ever seen. The interview material, which is quite well chosen, is very skillfully edited to produce an extremely coherrent "whole." This production is breathtakingly better than an equivalent doc on the History Channel.
There were some very interesting moments (which passed with out explicit comments). When Mubarik (sp?), Egypt's current dictator, described how taken aback he was by the Iraqi invasion it was quite interesting when he said that Sadam was his close personal friend. REALLY? Since Sadam Housein has demonstrated a truly barbaric nature (long before the Kuwait invasion), what does that say about Mubarik's character?
Another interesting point is about US strategy and the evaluation of our strengths and that of our potential enemies. All nations engaged is such evaluations (as history clearly shows) experience either too much pessimism or too much confidence (the disease of defeat or victory). Both Japan and Germany had this problem during the first thrid of WW2 (failing to exploit their lead to continue to improve weapons and techniques, fortunately) and we certainly went into Korea witha serious case of victory disease.
I think it is clear we went into Desert Storm with a serious case of defeat disease, and when we did so well against a country that couldn't even defeat Iran, we got a bad case of Victory Disease and became embroiled in Somalia (which was a complete disaster).
I also found Bush and his advisor's inability to identify and articulate our national interests in Kuwait (which had nothing to to with propping up a maedival sheikdom) as a truly telling moment (Reagan had a similar problem). This reminds me of a truly interesting principle, that "No man may be smaller than his professed ideas." Bush, and others, certainly had this problem. The choas that was evident at the highest levels of our government is a truly scary thing.
Well, in any event, GREAT work!
While your gulf war series is very informative, I think there are too many socialists in your script writing department. I realize that it's camp to be liberal, especially in the media, we Americans aren't exactly stupid. Your program resembles driving down a brand new freeway with the much too often pot-hole. In other words while giving facts, you add your or some other sidewalk supervisor's opinion that's usually heavily left-leaning. I believe that PBS, next to our country's public education system, is probably public enemies # 1 and #2. Why not stick to the facts instead of trying to create controversy and promote your silly ideas about how life really works. In all these years of your revisionist writing and history, your foolish ideas haven't worked and won't. Unfortunately people, such as yourselves, burn up huge amounts of time and funds spreading your wishful thinking; too bad you have no "rear view mirror" to see that it doesn't work! Oh well, I guess the bottom line is that it makes you all a good living--even if most of it is baloney.
Port Orchard WA
After viewing the special on the Gulf War and then reading the feedback, I have come to the conclusion that people think that the show should have been written particularly for them. They for get that programs are written for all viewers not just one group of people. I was in Desert Shield/Storm and for the first time I found out some information that I had not heard about. I have read countless videoes on the subject but found yours to be the most informational over all. I agree with some of the viewers that more information could have been given about the reasons why Kuiwait was taken, but again you can't please everyone all the time.
Dear FRONTLINE The show aired on kqed 9 seemed accurate and descriptive. I appreciated the candid interviews. Objective journalism relatively void of media sensationalism is welcomed. As a member of US forces in the Gulf and as a viewer of several other televised accounts of the Gulf conflict; this narration appeared to be more factual.
Please continue to provide accurate news reporting.
My compliments on the first segment of your documentary highlighting the Gulf War. I found the presentation to be informative and very educational.
Documentaries such as these serve as a reminder that all of us, including those elected or appointed to positions of public influence, must eventually face society with the truth. Political expediency may achieve short-term objectives but a society that is cautiously critical of its leadership and media will not be surprised by the inadequecies of either.
Please let me know when the second segment will air as I missed the introduction. Once again, thank you for the series.
Frontline was a truly compelling special on the Gulf War. I could not change the channel even though I have seen and read much on the subject. I think it was compelling because it showed cause and effect of complex P.R. schemes. I am currently studying advertising at Art Center College of Design and have become aware of the type of public relations involved in a campaign such as this.
It is a shame we don't know the truth when it happens. Of course agendas have to be met. Politicians have to be re-elected. And American citizens have to believe they are truly free.
What about the fact that 40% of the information we read in our newspapers is public relation material*. How much of television is? What am I supposed to believe?
*Toxic Sludge is Good for You
John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton
Thanks for the great work!
Joel C. Adamich
South Pasadena, CA
I just finished watching the first part of your Gulf War program, and I have to say that I am impressed. Your ability to skirt over serious political issues, your inability to look at the war critically- it is reminiscent of other Rockwellesque nostalgia and propoganda I am used to from other programs, not yours. The choices made of footage, presentation of a censorship-free campaign, the people you decided to interview, and total removal of the propoganda that brought us into the war to begin with, all present a passive, supportive view of this unjust war. That is no service to the people who fought in these battles. I expected better from you.
Just finished watching the first segment of "The Gulf War" segment on my local PBS channel here in Seattle KCTS Channel 9. An absolutely superb documentary of a very difficult but gratifying time in our nation's history. As an officer and pilot in the U.S. Navy who has flown over the skies of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia is support of our current operations in the area, I was truly impressed with the excellent research and personal and candid interviews of our national and military leadership. Again, my congatulations to all concerned who have produced the great product.
Michael J. Pagliarulo
Very interesting program, am looking forward to watching the ground war portion in your Part II. Can't commend you highly enough for incorporating reference to Gulf War Syndrome at time of closing credits and the website you have established for people to post/read on this entire issue.
I saw your broadcast tonight, I could not believe all that was said to confirm my thoughts all the while. I spent 8.5 mo in the gulf and a lot of these rumors were flying, just as often as the aircraft. I was most taken aback by what Mrs. Thatcher said at the end of your broadcaast, she is so right, it's just sick. America thinks we won the war, but the people who were there and Mrs. Thatcher seem to know different. She had the gutts to say it. "Saddam got through the war untouched and still in power. The American president is out of office, who do you think won the war?" Sorry about our luck, we did not. WAS IT WORTH IT??????? I don't think so. I lost a lot of time with my family and my good health.
As a person in 'high tech' with graphics, programming and computers as a profession, I found your program on the Gulf War astounding, without any exaggeration. During the events in 1991, I did not have CNN available, being one of the few Americans not 'watching the war on TV".. The presentation, interviews, filming were extraordinary. The technology which was reviewed enable the viewer to have insights into stragetic planning and decisionmaking during the events. Thank you.
I am a student at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and writing in response to your program on the Gulf War. The program was very insightful as to the military cover ups and decietful information told to the American people by the media. As an avid watcher of the Discovery channnel I have seen numerous documentaries concerning the glorification of the war in the Gulf. This is the first program I have ever viewed that ever attempted to address the realities of the Gulf War and questioned the validity of the information presented to the American public by our military and political leaders. I am very impressed with the reporting done in the program as well. The information was told in a very nonbiased informative manner that lent itself to an excellent news program.
While I enjoyed viewing your program, I feel you performed a grave injustice by not including information contrary to the U.S. government's view of the war. Two of the most important books written about the war, former U.S. attorney Ramesey Clarke's book about U.S. war crimes in the Gulf and Alan Friedman's book about the illegal arming of Iraq, were not even mentioned. What about the billions of dollars of loans the U.S. guaranteed to Iraq through the Commodity Credit Corporation? The scandal involving these loans and the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro that supplied most of the money was also not mentioned. This money was shown to be directly linked to arms purchased by Iraq which were then used against our troops. Why was more attention not paid to the fact that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died and have continued to die as a result of U.S. destruction of civilian infrastructure, such as water and sewage systems, roads, non-military factories etc. How can this event even be called a war when 248 died on one side and hundreds of thousands died on the other side. I would call that a slaughter. It is time that Americans, and others around the world, looked more closely at their dependency on oil and realize that it is a moral travesty when powerful countries are allowed to decimate less powerful to maintain a particular standard of living.
I am a senior at Nova High School in Davie, Florida. Recently my international relations and political science class watched your outstanding series on the Gulf War. I can safely assume that the entire class enjoyed this program and also became a little more "enlightend" at many of the occurances behind the scenes of this war. Once again, I would like to commend you upon your superb program and I hope there will be many more to come.
I was very dissappointed with your coverage of the Gulf War. Instead of clearly investigating the true reasons for the War and some of the lies put out by the American government, you continued to do interviews with Schwartzkopf,Powell, and the rest of the gang that led the slaughter in the Persian Gulf. I used to admire Frontline for its ability to stand up to government cover ups and corruption. The Gulf War episode shows how far your critical standards have fallen.
Enjoyed the program. Thought you brought to light many of the behind the scene facts and comments. My only disappointment was the lack of detail and facts you provided on the events leading up to the invasion and what went on in both the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait and Baghdad. As a member of a small military organization called USLOK (United States Liaison Office Kuwait), and present during the ordeal I have been amazed at how little information and coverage has been given to the Military and State Department personel who were belegarued yet continued to be a vital link to the U.S. Government during the time period 2 Aug to 10 Dec 90. A close examination of their efforts would also reveal many startling tibits. All in all a good program.
I was very disappointed in your special on the Gulf War. It was basically a "cheerleading piece" that contained little information that breeched the party line. Why did you choose to interview only the warmongers and ignored any dissidents? The authors that you interviewed wrote books that merely supported the status quo and were not in the least critical.
The American public still know very little about what actually occurred because of the massive censorship of the Pentagon. You would know this if you bothered to interview James MacArthur, whose book "Second Front" demonstrated the complicity of the media with the U.S. military. Perhaps these days of threatened budget cuts and a hostile Congress has Frontline playing it safe. Go along to get along. Not Pleased in Houston,
Your program on the Gulf War had me listening and concentrating for four hours straight. It enlightened me on a perspective of balance between military, political and also tyrannical factors in doing a war. My view-point was definatly broadened. I was amazed at how many people were actually killed. I wish I could know the truth about those patriot missles...did they help like we were being told or is that a cover-up and another story? The story was wonderful. Thanks for 4 hours.
I was extremely offended by your 4-hour documentary on the Persian Gulf War. Here we are, 5 years after the infamous 1991 6-week war, and all the American public gets from PBS is yet another mouthpiece for the military strategists and fighters?! Where is the analysis about where we are 5 years later? Where is the questioning over the morality of such large-scale destruction and brutality? U.N. sanctions to date have killed 560,000 Iraqi children! How many other Iraqi so-called "casualties" there have been, we may never know. Unfortunately, the American public has never got a perspective into the Gulf War other than the military perspective, because the media was so tightly controlled by those running the war. Of course, the media is also controlled by capitalist owners who dictate what the public will and will not see. So, 5 years later we get the same ol' rehash from PBS. This documentary offers propaganda promoting and justifying the bloated U.S. military budget, not to mention the current large-scale war the U.S. is involved in, in Bosnia.
I was channel surfing and ran across the program. Four hours later I was transfixed on the superlative reporting and presentation of such a sensitive subject. Bravo Front Line.
The first night (haven't seen the second yet) of the Gulf War miniseries was excellent as are many of PBS's programs. I saw the note about this Web site at the end of the program, and I am nothing short of amazed: One of the best Web sites I've seen. I also get Star Sight programing info off of the local PBS signal. PBS truly does live up to its slogan.
I was disappointed that Frontline chose to skirt the geopolitical issues surrounding the disastrous Kurd rebellion against the Hussein regime at the encouragement of the U.S. leadership. Also, I was dismayed that there was no mention of the avoidable loss of British soldiers lives due to the error of our U.S. fighting men.
I guess a trip to England is in order to get a more open account of the war from the BBC reporters.
I'm writing to compliment your Frontline: Gulf War program. The show was simply outstanding. Having previously read R. Atkinson's _Crusade_, I was impressed with the new information presented in the program. The candid remarks of the international players ("Big Dogs" in our jargon), were very insightful, and the viewer could easily observe the tension inherent in organizing such a large military endeavor. Having lived previously in Saudi Arabia (we left before 1986), my family had a special connection to the area in general. Your program was really exceptional--a true pleasure to watch. Keep up the excellent work!
P.S. What about the success of the A-10 Warthog "Tank- killers"? This magnificent warplane (despised by Air Force pilots who don't find it fast or sexy enough) was one of the major success stories of the war. Loitering around the battlefield and ripping enemy tanks to shreds, the A-10's saved many Allied lives.
Alex B. Houston
Congratulations on presenting a balanced, and thought provoking look at the Gulf War. It is refreshing to see interviews which span the spectrum from Iraqi foot soldiers all the way to Margaret Thatcher. It is also nice to learn more about the political forces which shaped the decision making on both sides.
Although I have only viewed half of the program at the time of this writing, I would also like to say that I a pleased to see that your presentation is making an effort to put a human face on the conflict. Having watched the war as most Americans did, in pre-diegested form in the comfort of my own home, I applaud your use of harsh footage to emphasize the human cost of this, and all wars.
The Gulf War was really an excellent program. I am amazed at the level of detail you provided on various aspects of the event. I think that the caliber of people you were able to interview for the program adds incredible depth and is a testament to the general quality of your programming. Thank you.
I've rarely felt let down by the generally superb program that is Frontline; this is a first. In fours hours of programming, there was little or no political analysis on any substance nor the unearthing of anything new, in ideas or images. And where was an examination of the unprecedented control of the media, the lack of access for journalists attempting to cover the war and the fact that much of the information now disclosed (such as Iraqis being burying alive) was not released to the larger public till long after the fact ?. Censorship and control of access to the war and news information was one of the most important social/political issues of the war, where was it?? Why all the emphasis on the ground war assault when the substance of the 'victory' was in the air campaign and there was very little for all those heavily armored treads to do--with a few exceptions--- but race across the desert. Some of this empty desert drama could have been spared to examine the earlier pre-war oil/monetary history between Iraq and Kuwait and to examine the nature (or guise) of the international Coalition, it's very real importance, and how iit was put together.
I call this Frontiline a hasty desert joy ride. Yes, (beer commercial anthem aside), I'm "Proud To be An American," but this was a disappointing dose of Desert Corn!
This is my first visit. I am very impressed with your "Multimedia Masterpiece". While I'm happy with the potential educational possibilities, I'm worried about the upcoming 3:00 AM sessions I will be subjecting myself to.
This is what the "Net" is all about....
Charles H. Wood
Your two part series on the Gulf War was fantastic! I was very impressed by the interviews you had with the world leaders who were involved at the time. I followed the events very closely when it was happening, but your documentary showed me what was going on behind the scenes, and what everyone was thinking. It just tells me that no matter how professional and calculated everything looked, it still had a very human touch to it behind the closed doors, what with mistakes being made and how unsure some of the players really were. You showed the human side of what really happened. Thank You!!!
Redondo Beach, CA
This two-program report was a superb journalistic and historical achievement. Riveting from start to finish--so much so that I even sacrificed watching my favorite TV show on NBC (Law & Order). Just couldn't touch that dial. It offered not only a new and rich account of the war's actual history--including, for example, pointing out areas of controversy (like the question of the Patriot missile's effectiveness or the number of Iraqi soldiers buried) where I was unaware such divergence of opinion and estimates existed--but also a keenly independent voice that was clearly not "out to get" anyone but instead aimed to provide the truest possible picture. My hat--and incidentally my son-in-law's hat too--if off to you folks! A remarkable job.
The Gulf War is one of the most compelling documentaries I have ever seen, and I haven't even seen part II yet. The documentary seems to reveal an interesting new idea every minute. It flies! And the co-ordination with your Web page is supurb. I just spent 45 minutes reading background information on your Web page. That's the longest "hit" that I have given to any Web page so far. This is an excellent example of how tv and the internet should be integrated. If this is any indication of how media will work in the future, then I can't get my fiber-optic cable installed fast enough.
Santa Monica, CA
I thought your coverage of the Gulf War was a fascinating account of the crisis. I have never realized all of the intricacies involved in going to war prior to your accounting. I thoroughly enjoyed the interviews with the major players as they offered up information and insight that was unknown to most. I felt your involvement of an Iraqi Military Advisor's accounting is very important as to not give a biased American presentation. He helped me to realize that Sadam really had no idea what he was doing. The footage that you presented was probably some of the best that I have seen to date and this added immensly to the product. I would be interested to know if you have plans of showing this program again as I have peaked the interest of those whom didn't see it when showed. Thank you for the program I felt it was one of the best documentaries I have seen in a long time.
This weekend I had the pleasure of viewing the Gulf War feature. I found the presentation balanced and informative. I was surprised with the candor the generals displayed; I was shocked at the carnage...Margaret Thatcher suggested that Sadaam Hussein "won" the war because he remained in power while she and President Bush were defeated in subsequent elections. I do not share this view. It speaks well of democratic government that chiefs of state can wield such power yet they must yield to the elective power of the masses...In this sense we truly "won" the war. In a larger sense thousands of individual Iraquis "lost" their war in the only meaningful way.
Having just watched your PBS special on the Gulf War and visited your site here on the Internet, I have only one thing to say... amazing! Both the show and the web site were informative, balanced, and well done! This type of programming proves the necessity and benefit of public broadcasting. Keep up the good work!!
I think your program is one (or four) of the finest hours on television. I don't know how you agreed to get all of the "big guns" (save for the big fishes themselves, George Bush and Saddam Hussein) to agree to do interviews for your program, but it certainly was quite a coup I would imagine. While I am accustomed to a more analytical/ critical Frontline, I nonetheless was still impressed by the Gulf War program. I have been waiting since the end of the Gulf War for someone to do a comprehensive story on the War, and thankfully it was your program that did it. The first hand accounts really gave the story complete credence, even in my liberal, opinionated, critical mind. Even my friend, whom I got to watch your show for the first time was very much impressed. In fact, the day after the program ended, he exclaimed, "Where's Frontline? I want another Frontline." Thank you and keep up the outstanding work.
I was very disappointed in this program.Once again, PBS has failed to included some of the main and most articulate speakers for the left, such as Noam Chomsky. Someday maybe our country will be ready to take a harder look at how we "danced on the graves of 100,000 Iraquis in a massacre. The worthwhile option of negotion was not really considered. This is a very shameful thing for many jof us in this country. Thanks for letting me air my disgust. The dancing on the graves is a quote from Hal Crowther.
The Gulf War program is excellent. What a great way to see and hear the people actually involved in the planning and execution of a bit of history. This program is one of the best examples of the need for PBS. I also would like to add that this web site is the best I have come across - both in content and technology. To be able to both read and hear (Real Audio) the four segments of the story of the War is wonderful. Thanks for all your effort on both TV and the Web site. I plan to make an extra contribution to PBS.
St. Louis, MO
Yours is the best program on PBS. Why? Because you occasionally allow a left of center viewpoint to be heard. This is an extreme rarity in our supposedly democratic "free press". Even PBS censors itself to appease anti\democratic corporate sponsors and right wing congresspersons.
Regarding "The Gulf War", why were no prominent American dissidents allowed to speak? Noam Chomsky would've been an excellent counterbalance to the political commisars you cited. Secondly, why was Saddam's peace initiative and offers of withdrawal given so little play in the media then and now? and why was the apparently glory-thirsty Bush Administration not called on their decision to pursue war at all costs? I hope these issues will be addressed--we cannot rely on the corporate-controlled mass media to ask the tough questions for us.
Gentlemen, your Gulf War show was not bad considering your liberal bias. You make it sound as if George Bush lost the war. Just because he did not meet your objectives does not change the fact that he won a decisive victory. Fortunately, the objectives of the war were set by the United Nations and not by PBS. If you recall, the UN resolutions approved the use of force to eject IRAQI forces from Kuwait; NOT the occupation of IRAQ and the capture of Sadaam Hussein. Another piece of intellectual dishonesty on your part for the purpose (I must assume) of discrediting and/or portraying former President George Bush as a failure. By the way, the US and its coalition allies fulfilled the objectives of the war as set out by the United Nations resolution, regardless of what you think. I didnt appreciate some of the comments from interviewees on your show of their fear of Norman Schwarzkopf.
If you had placed those comments in the context of: fear of/or disagreements with commanders of other wars, eg, MacArthur; Patton; Eisenhower; Montgomery, etc. I would have no complaint. But you seem to be intent upon sullying Stormin Norman's reputation. I could go on about other parts of the show such as responsibility for the Shiites or Kurds after the war but I see no point to it. I believe that President George Bush did the right thing at the right time and in the right manner; and he did it correctly with the approval of the Congress (equivalent to a declaration of war) and approval of the United Nations. As you might gather, I am not/and will not be a subsciber to PBS until you provide balanced reporting (no liberal bias). In case you are interested, I am 48; have three grandchildren; an ARMY veteran (1966-69); and I am not a member of the NRA.
Alan M. Giles
The total impact of TV production plus World Wide Web Presentation provides tremendous synergy. The television programme itself was extremely well written and produced and evoked very strong feeling. To back this up with the depth of information on the web (in a very well designed site) sets a new standard for information delivery and impact. Thanks for a very well crafted work.
Tame very tame. compared to what channel 4, in the UK and the CBC in Canada have recently broadcast about the gulf war, your stuff is for kids. American forces used low grade uranium tipped schells all over the theater. Napalm and full air explosives which qulify as weapons of mass destruction were also used by U.S. troops.
Come on folks, there are plently of facts out there that even I can dig up, try harder.
Thank you for doing a documentary on the Gulf War. After watching the first half, I made sure that I saw the second. Unfortunately, when it was over, I couldn't help feel that there was something strange about it. After pondering for a while, I realized that it should have been titled, "The Gulf War Strategy" since this is mainly what it was about rather than a comprehensive (or as much as possible in 4 hours) understanding of the entire event. But given it's real title and the fact that Frontline is not in the business of making war strategy documentaries, I found the focus on such odd. Where was the context of the situation; i.e. why did Iraq select Kuwait to invade? Why did the people of Iraq follow Hussein and why do they still seem to like him? The show did a good job of assuming that Hussein is a demon and backed it up with a few remarks, but not many facts. If he is such a demon, then where was the questioning of the US's support of him and our selling arms to him before the war? Where also was a look at the social effects of the war? In the US during the war, the state department controlled almost everything that was put in the news media, yet I didn't see this addressed at all. I would bet that even today a large percentage of the US population still believes that the patriot missles were a success based upon what they saw in the news. Any critical look at the war cannot ignore this. In fact, the only critical questions asked in the show were about strategies such as [Why did we not continue the war for another 12 hours in order to decimate the Republican Army?]. This is not the documentary I expected.
I don't know which to praise more -- the program itself, which portrayed a man I realize increasingly is another Huey Long (only this one made it to Washington) OR the Web site, which is one of the best I've *ever* seen. You are all to be congratulated! I had started to despair of PBS getting back to its tradition of hard-hitting analysis; now, despite the political winds of change, I am much more optimistic (and willing to support it both financially and otherwise.) Congratulations!
I just finished watching part one of your program. What struck me the most about it is the complete lack of any coherent critique, beyond occasional strategic concerns, of the war, its justifications, its real motivations within the US political economy, or the media's role, which your program continues, of uncritically transmitting the most blatant and absurd propaganda lines imaginable. Frontline has sometimes provided serious journalist treatments of important issues. This program is not such a case. Is PBS under such assault in Washington that you feel compelled to produce such offensive drivel? I urge you in future programs about US foreign policies to include the voices of those who can provide the perspectives you apparently lack.
I watched with intense interest your program on the gulf war. What was other wise a marvelous review was damaged by almost constant second guessing and a rush on your part to highlight the negative parts of the war. NO war is a clean operation but I challenge you to find another where the damage inflicted to non- combatants was less. It is fair to examine both sides of the war but you clearly set out to cut down our operations at every oppertunity. Finally,please keep in mind that the objective was to get Iraq out of Kuwait and this was done with an amaizingly low level of loss of life to both civilians and coaltion forces. on our part.
I thought your program on the Gulf War was a terrific portrayal of how many and varied peoples come together to protect themselves against the ravages of the "neighborhood bully". It showed us the sucesses and failures of both diplomat and soldier. We were able to be at the elbow of the Commander-in-Chief, the "weekend warrior" and all in between.
Thank you for portraying people around the globe, from all walks of life, trying to do "the right thing"; but not allowing us to forget the awful and gut wrenching consequences of military conflict.
May we all be better prepared to approach future instances of international conflict resolution.
GREAT FRONTLINE EPISODE !!!
I have watched many different news programs regarding the Gulf War. None has been so well written as this particular Frontline episode. Not only was it informative and educational, it was extremely entertaining from beginning to end.
There was so much I did not know about the Gulf War. This episode really opened my eyes. All af you at Frontline did a fine job. I especially liked all of the personal interviews, especially the interviews of the Iraq soldiers. It was the first time I have ever seen any interviews of any Iraq people involved in the Gulf War. I also like to see news oranizations like yourselves, report both sides of the issue. I like it when news organizations report objectively. I feel it makes for better reporting.
I am a real fan of Frontline. Please keep up the good work!!!
my hats off to frontline for another insightful and engaging production. the brilliance of your show is that it conveys the sense of historic events, like the gulf war, in terms of the personal dealings of the actors involved. The effect of such a method of storytelling is to give the viewer a sense that he or she could just as easily have been involved in the decisions that shape the war. the end result gives the viewer a better understanding of how the war unfolded. unlike a news broadcast, where the viewer feels removed from the events, the way in which frontline brings out the events through a mix of narrative and interviews really allows the drama of an event to unfold. i wouldvery much like to see frontline return to bosnia soon. another piece that would be of interest to me is a piece on the resurrgence of network television and the recent mergers that have taken place in the industry.
I have always told everyone I know that Frontline is the finest show on television. You proved yourself once again with the story on the Gulf War.
Employed in the missile community, I was particularly interested in the study of the Patriot system. I believed your report to be a fair assessment. Of course, what made the Gulf War piece so interesting was the different perspectives of the major players in the war. Thank you again for a great piece of investigative reporting!
This was the finest bit of journalistic work ever translated to the video medium. The montage between the interviews of the principal players in the drama was supurb.the visual tie in with the narrative and the interviews made the report so compelling that one was glued to the set. More important, the reporting covered both sides in as fair a manner as can be accomplished by any reporter of facts. Particularly when done by the "victor"; where history teaches facts can get, at best muddled. Well done!
Kudos to PBS for the Gulf War segment. Although I tend to be rather critical of PBS programming, I find re-living the Gulf War a bittersweet experience, as I am sure that most Americans do. Your interviews with those who were at the very heart of this conflict, both Coalition and Iraqi, have been very insightful and interesting.
One item that I found somewhat bothersome was that the
American public was typically characterized as being
against the War. Certainly reporting, like other
experiences, is a matter of perspective, and from where I watched
the war unfold there was TREMENDOUS support for the effort.
You accurately enumerated the reasons stated by the Bush
Administration for the conflict: the naked aggression of
Saddam Hussein, atrocities against Kuwaities, protection of
oil, etc. I, and those with whom I associate, understand
that OIL=FREEDOM in America today. Without oil our economy
comes to a halt along with our military jets, ships, and
tanks. While, at first glance, it seems cruel and unreasonable
for our soldiers to die for oil, one has to consider that
to our society oil is almost as important as clean air and
water--and look to what extent we are going to protect them!
I was a Navy Helicopter pilot during Desert Storm. It was only during your broadcast that i had the opportunity to see much of the imagery that my wife was all to familiar with from watching hour upon hour of CNN; every day of the 7 months I was in Saudi Arabia. It was rather a special time to share this program together. There was so much I was never able to put in my letters home and now, my wife feels like she was there the whole time..thank you!
I especially enjoyed your 2nd show about the ground war because I was a Marine Reservist who helped breech the minefields. We were in Amtracs equipped with 3-shot line charges instead of the one shot trailers. A lot of the time Gulf War coverage is limited to mostly the air war so again thank you for covering the other part.
Well done Frontline. Taking a look at what happened through the eyes of the key players shed helpful light on an amazing yet chaotic war. I reallize now how I participated in the war effort as a bewildered TV spectator willingingly soaking up news reports and expert commentary. I wanted to believe that the War was as tidy and noble as spokepersons and military leaders proclaimed it was--it seemed like my duty. Though I consider the Gulf War an amazing diplomatic and military acheivement, I am glad to know that the Gulf War, like any war, was messy, more complicated, and less coordinated than we were led (and wanted) to believe. I am unsettled about the Gulf War, and now even more so about our presence in Bosnia. Feeling unsettled about the war doesn't mean I am disatisfied with our leaders or our soldiers; it simply means that no matter the political or military spin war is hell, it is undesireable. Perhaps sometimes it is necessary, but it is not a picnic. Your report underscores this healty disdain for conflict while appreciating the military and political complexities and acheivements of war. Thanks.
I thought that this was a particularly important and well done program. This was not only a important historical record, but it provided a particularly good insight into the political thinking behind the decisions. Politics and war are both particularly dirty businesses, and this show provides a good counterpoint to those who would glorify both the war itself and those individuals i.e., Bush, Schwartzkpopf and Powell, who sought to benefit from the glory of war and feed their own egos. Those of us who lived through Vietnam already learnt this lesson,. This show should be mandatory viewing for all High School history classes.
Dr. Adam Orden
As one who has invested considerable time in study this conflict, I must say that I stand impressed by Frontline's effort to present this comprehensive documentary. Too many attempts have been made to examine the Gulf War through strictly military, political, or media driven lenses. It is refreshing to view this complete synthesis that this series has offered - I plan to purchase the video for my son to watch someday. As a former military officer, I also found the thorough cast military personae dramitis interview to add to the show's credibility. For example, finding the two Marine artillery spotters from the Khafji engagement represented a considerable leap of detail for any news-magazine type program. All said, I'm impressed, and likewise anxious to view the second half of the program tonight. Job well done!!
John B. Sherman