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