the gulf war
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What do you think about the Gulf War? Did the U.S. adequately contain Saddam?

· read the feedback from when the program aired originally in jan. 1996


Dear FRONTLINE,

When people mention this war, I have the distinct impression that they think it was some sort of fun picnic in the desert to "exorcise the ghosts of Vietnam with a clear moral imperative," not a long period of death, destruction, survival, and ultimately liberation.

One plausible explanation for this is that media coverage of the war itself was extraordinarily controlled-- the government obviously wanted to prevent American [and Iraqi] bodies from being seen on television. What do people think the Iraqis were doing at the border with Saudi Arabia? According to a growing amount of reports in the newspapers (in 2001-2002), they were dug into WWI-style trenches and large numbers were buried alive or wounded by combat earthmovers, supposedly in a "gray area" of the Geneva Convention that requires that full quarter be given to enemies who wish to surrender.

Perhaps the most questionable part of the situation is that the U.S. will not officially estimate the number of Iraqi deaths in the war, which is just one of the areas that is still hidden from Congress, the public, and perhaps even the President.

When I hear people talking about the war, I realize that they have thought of none of this. Since much of the information is secret or deliberately controlled by the government's information managers, the public may never know.

Andrew Watters
san francisco, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your site is very effective at illustrating that even in a relatively limited conflict such as the Gulf War, terrible suffering and unspeakable horrors are the inevitable consequences. While the Gulf War was certainly a worthy cause, it is a shame that we were unable or unwilling to unseat Saddam and his Baath party government when we had the opportunity as well as a full coalition backing us.

Unfortunately we are now put in the undesirable position of spending more money and sacrificing more lives to finish the Job. I join another of your viewers in preferring a small clandestine operation to eliminate Saddam if possible.

Dan Gutin
washington, dc


Dear FRONTLINE,

This is an excellent and very timely documentary. It is extremely valuable to be seeing it again in 2003 as our country may be going back. The documentary gives the country valuable insight actors such as Powell and Cheney who are again back on the stage confronting the same enemy. I was amazed to see that the film is now already 6 years old.

ELizabeth Christian
atlanta, georgia


Dear FRONTLINE,

I was in HHC 4/66 Armors scout platoon during Desert Shield/Storm.My platoon sufferd a great loss when we were engaged by a tank platoon from our own forces.Spc. Clarence Cash,we called him Johnny Cash,was killed and our platoon sgt.,Sfc. Fred Wiggins,who was a strong influence in my life,lost his leg and had to leave the army that he loved so much.I dont want these friends forgotten.

Lets finish what these great men and thousands of others did not get the chance to do.These friends made the ultimate sacrafice,I think of them often and wish we were authorized to go the distance eleven years ago.I hope our leaders today make the right choices so I dont have to worry about my son finishing what I started.

Robert Fairclough
newfoundland, pa.


Dear FRONTLINE,

I just spent almost 2 hours exploring your site. GREAT job!!!

I know the actions we took against the Iraqis was ABSOLUTELY necessary and handled exceptionally well by our military. I just hate the fact that the Iraqi soldiers were the ones to suffer all the wrath of our firepower.

There is no telling how many agonizing deaths took place among those men under the leadership of ONE man, yet it is "against the law" for our military to send an elite group to "take care" of Saddam himself???

Michael R
oklahoma city, ok


Dear FRONTLINE,

I think the gulf war was a necessary war.

but the only reason the us went over there was for the oil,they could care less about the iniscent people that sadan huesian was harasing.and that is kind of scary.Also i think that the us shouldnt have left untill they assassinated sadam h.

Jimmy Houston
akron, ny


Dear FRONTLINE,

Personally we were pulled apart from our families so we could protect the oil fields of Kuwait.

I don't think our government cares who controlled them. The government didn't want to pay some very high prices for oil.

huber heights , oh


Dear FRONTLINE,

i served proudly with the 1st Infantry Division over there and after the cease fire we sat and twiddled our thumbs in southern Iraq for months when we should have kept marching on to Bagdad and taken care of the problem.

Rich Colbert
des moines, iowa


Dear FRONTLINE,

I think the Gulf War was needed to drive out the Iraqi army. I think the military did a fantastic job in accomplishing the limited goals.

Un fortunately the media got their ugly nose into the "supposed " mistake in the F-117 bombing of the bunker where many civilians were staying.

Unfortunately the coalition got cold feet and we did not adequately go after C3 after that or other areas that needed destruction. As one can see by the lack of UNSCOM being present there these days and the fact that we blinked when confronted with a hard stand in not allowing inspectors in to places such as the presidential palace where you know they were hiding thing, we face a futur danger from this crazy man that rules their country. We should have just given them an hour to evacuate and then levled the palace.

L Gorney
van nuys, ca


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