[This is a footnoted version of an article that appeared in _Z_, Oct. 1990.]

 

THE PERSIAN GULF AND THE PROBLEM OF PEACE IN THE POST-COLD WAR AGE

STEPHEN R. SHALOM

 

As I write at the end of August, the United States is assembling in the Persian Gulf the largest concentration of offensive military power since Vietnam. Whether war will break out is uncertain, but the crisis poses some general questions about the post-Cold War world. Ronald Reagan once said that if it weren't for the Soviet Union, "there wouldn't be any hot spots in the world."<1> But obviously the end of the Cold War has not eliminated the centuries-old national, religious, economic, and ideological conflicts that have plagued our planet.

The reminder that conflict continues to exist has led many politicians to retreat from the notion of cuts in the U.S. military budget. Right-wingers are thanking Saddam Hussein for confirming the need for every esoteric weapon in the Pentagon's arsenal and then some. Liberals are arguing that we can still cut many of our strategic systems and the forces configured to face the Warsaw Pact in central Europe, but that we should be building up the military assets -- the light units that can be rapidly deployed anywhere -- that are better suited to the post- Cold War era.

But there is another alternative for preserving a peaceful world, and that is to strengthen and utilize the United Nations or other international organizations. If global security were being addressed collectively, no country would need be overwhelmed by its defense burden; there would be a real peace dividend on a world scale. And no country would have to fear invasion by an aggressive neighbor hiding naked self-interest behind platitudes about maintaining stability or seizing drug dealers or defending democracy.

One would think that in the current Gulf crisis the United States would have every incentive to pursue collective action. The danger of provoking greater anti-Americanism in the Arab world is real, and the close identification between the United States and Israel makes too visible a U.S. role perilous. Yet while Washington has gone to the United Nations and welcomed the military contributions of many other states, the international efforts have been largely a cover for a unilateral U.S. response. As _Newsweek_ put it, "there was no doubt in Bush's mind about who would be in charge: the world's superpower reborn, the United States."<2>

The firepower in Saudi Arabia is overwhelmingly American, and the decision about when it will be used is being made in the White House (or on the golf course at Kennebunkport). The U.S. unilaterally declared a blockade of Iraqi shipping, and when, in the face of international isolation,<3> it later went back to the Security Council for authorization, it warned that it would proceed on its own if it didn't get its way.<4> And the U.S. made clear that it opposed the call by the Soviet Union and others to give significant control over any naval operations to the United Nations.<5>

The editors of the _New York Times_ wondered why the U.S. bypassed the UN Security Council in imposing the blockade: "The chief reason Mr. Bush has not gone that route is Pentagon skittishness about practical difficulties, like winning rapid agreement on rules of engagement for a multinational force."<6> The next day, another _Times_ writer posed the same question, and explained that: "One answer is that the American way of doing things is to do them fast, particularly when force is involved. Privately, American officials say that consultations and consensus sometimes gum up the works."<7>

With widespread public concern about the U.S. going it alone (one member of Congress remarked that the international force in the Gulf was about as international as the World Series<8>), better explanations are needed to account for U.S. unilateralism and disregard for the United Nations. One explanation that can be quickly dismissed is that the imminence of the threat to Saudi Arabia required an immediate response that only the U.S. could make.

 

THE IMMINENT THREAT

According to the _Times_ editors, George Bush had an alternative to the policy of rushing troops to Saudi Arabia: he could have moved forces nearby and waited for others to join. "But with good reason, the President decided he didn't have the luxury of waiting to put all the pieces in place."<9>

Deliberative bodies, even those the size of the Security Council, move slowly. If an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia were imminent, then it would be understandable why the Saudis might not want to wait for UN or Arab League protection. But was an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia looming, or at least might a reasonable person have assumed that there was a significant likelihood that an attack was about to take place? There may have been other dangers from an aggressive Iraq on the Saudi border, but only an impending attack would require immediate U.S. deployment, before allowing time for an Arab League or a United Nations solution to crystalize.

Those who followed the news on the weekend of August 3-5 may be forgiven for fearing the worst: after all, here was a "madman" with a million troops, 5,500 tanks, hundreds of missiles, and chemical weapons, whose juggernaut had just conquered tiny Kuwait and was approaching the Saudi border, behind which stood a mere 65,700 soldiers and 550 tanks. Disaster seemed inevitable. And this indeed was the message that Bush gave to Arab leaders in his calls to them: that Saddam Hussein's drive was inexorable, or, as the _Times_ paraphrased Bush's warning to the Saudi king, "He won't stop."<10>

But did U.S. officials really believe this? The evidence seems clear that they did not.

The Iraqis were said to have rolled into Kuwait with far more military might than they needed to subdue that little country, suggesting the intention of continuing on into Saudi Arabia.<11> But generals like to have an overwhelming advantage when launching an attack, and the numbers -- a four to one edge in troops (there were 80,000 Iraqi troops reported in Kuwait on the second day of the invasion)<12> and less than two to one in tanks (U.S. intelligence put the number of Iraqi tanks in Kuwait at 500)<13> -- were not so unusual for international thuggery: the U.S., for example, prepared a three to one advantage for its invasion of Grenada, against a foe woefully outclassed in terms of weaponry.<14> As Flora Lewis of the _New York Times_ explained, in justifying the enormous U.S. military buildup in the Gulf, it is a "military truism that force has the best chance of rapid success if it's overwhelming."<15> And the size of the invasion force had another explanation: if Saddam Hussein wanted to proclaim a _fait accompli_ in Kuwait, a large force would help convey the idea of irreversibility.

Despite the widely published tables of comparative Iraqi and Saudi military strength, Baghdad's vaunted million-man army was not at the Saudi border. Many troops -- and experts put the total number of first line soldiers at six to seven hundred thousand<16> -- were deployed on the Turkish, Syrian and Iranian frontiers.<17> Still other Iraqi troops were needed to provide internal security for Saddam Hussein's police state. Thus, the Iraqi forces then in Kuwait did not provide a decisive edge over the Saudi army, particularly given that Saudi Arabia had the lead in tanks, 550 to 500.<18>

The threat of Iraq's 5,500 total tank force has been much exaggerated. 3,500 of the tanks are so old and unreliable that they were used in the Iran-Iraq war primarily as fixed artillery, which does not mean they are worthless, only essentially so for any blitzkrieg. (The best of these older tanks breaks down on average every 100 miles.) Another 1500 are inferior Chinese built models, and only 500 are modern -- that is to say, from the early seventies -- Soviet T-72 tanks.<19> The _New York Times_ reported that the T-72, with its automatic loading capability, is "roughly comparable in quality to the M-1 Abrams, America's best main battle tank."<20> In fact, however, the M-1 is deemed by experts far superior even to later model Soviet tanks on every measure of quality. As for the automatic loader, according to one expert, it "grabs crew members and rams them into the gun's breech" -- a characteristic that presumably downgrades the tank's effectiveness.<21> Moreover, because armored units often play prominent roles in military coups, Saddam Hussein has prevented their developing professional commanders.<22> Indeed, regular purges have diminished much of the benefit the Iraqi armed forces might have gained from having a combat-experienced officer corps.<23>

Nor did the Iraqis have a decisive edge in the air. If they had committed all their aircraft against Saudi Arabia, they would have enjoyed a three to one advantage, but the ratio in modern planes is roughly even, and the Saudis have U.S.-trained pilots and AWACs.<24>

The greatest difficulty that any Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia would have faced was that of logistics. Huge amounts of water, fuel, ammunition, and other supplies would have to have been brought to the front. For a dug-in defender with short lines of communication, this is far easier than for an attacker far from base. To get to the Saudi oil fields, Iraqi forces would have had to travel almost 250 miles. This is a tremendous distance and would have put a severe strain on Iraqi logistics -- a consideration of which Saddam Hussein was certainly aware. In 1983, the Iraqi leader had attributed the reverses his armed forces suffered against the Iranians to, among other things, long lines of communication and the disadvantages of fighting on another country's soil.<25> And Iraq never got further than 75 miles into Iran.<26>

U.S. officials were also aware of Hussein's logistics problems. For example, Representative Les Aspin, head of the House Armed Services Committee, stated that the Iraqis "ran a good logistics system during the Iran-Iraq war, but supply lines were relatively short and constant. They might have a problem operating a few hundred miles from the border."<27> A Pentagon official further pointed out that any quick Iraqi attack would have to be without the logistical support usual for a major operation. "They have not brought a lot down to Kuwait for a large-scale drive into Saudi Arabia."<28>

The _Times_ reported another intelligence estimate that the Iraqis could prepare two Army corps to attack with only a few days' preparation. But two corps means 40,000 troops, which is hardly bigger than the Saudi army.<29> _U.S. News and World Report_ declared that "the odds on what Hussein may do next are pretty much even," but the evidence they presented suggested that while nothing is certain, an Iraqi attack on Saudi Arabia was highly unlikely:

Edward Luttwak, a respected military analyst . . . says an incursion into the Saudi oil fields would overextend Hussein's supply lines and dig him into a protracted land battle. "They simply cannot sustain such a war," Luttwak says. Analysts at the Central Intelligence Agency largely agree with that analysis but advise administration officials that, because of Hussein's bar-no-holds aggressiveness, such an attack "cannot be ruled out."<30>

It might be suggested that even if an Iraqi attack were unlikely, it was still possible, and given the time needed to move U.S. ground forces into place, only an immediate deployment could provide assurance of protection. Of course, worrying about long-shots cuts both ways. There was at least as good a chance that Hussein would be provoked into an attack by the huge buildup of U.S. power, and indeed many have commented that the Iraqi leader missed his best chance by failing to strike in the early days of the U.S. deployment. In any event, however, if the intelligence estimates were incorrect and Iraq did attack, it would take the Iraqis many days to reach the oil fields. By historical standards, a 25 mile a day blitzkrieg is considered very fast (this was the German pace in Flanders and the Soviet Union; the Israelis were slower on the West Bank in 1967<31>). So the U.S. would still have had time to launch strikes from carrier-based aircraft or even to rapidly deploy warplanes to Saudi air fields from which they could wreak havoc on Iraqi tanks crossing the desert and on their supply lines.<32>

Even if one rejects all the analysis above, there was clearly no imminent reason to deploy the level of U.S. forces that Bush authorized. "There is no way we can maintain any illusion that we're in there to support air and naval forces," acknowledged a senior administration policymaker quoted by the _Washington Post_. "At some point we're going to have to admit the ground forces' objective is defensive now, but could be offensive later. It's clearly more than defense."<33>

But not only were Bush's massive deployments unnecessary, so too were even more limited deployments given the availability from the beginning of other options. There is no reason to think that the UN could not have promptly authorized an Arab peacekeeping force. The hesitancy that the Soviet Union and China have shown regarding military force in the Gulf stemmed from a reluctance to endorse a U.S. crusade; they both urged an Arab solution in addition to the UN sanctions. And without the stigma of subordinating themselves to Israel's main collaborator, Arab countries would have been more, rather than less, willing to come to Saudi Arabia's defense. An Arab force no bigger than the Arab contingents currently deployed would have been a powerful deterrent to any Iraqi attack.

 

INVASIONS AND DOUBLE STANDARDS

But can the United Nations really be depended on to keep the peace? Surely the hypocrisy of UN members is well known: countries piously denounce others for crimes of which they themselves are guilty. But while UN delegates often display a double standard on human rights questions, they are rather consistent in opposing invasions of one country by another. The reason for this is not hard to discern. Rulers of most countries violate the human rights of their citizens, so they are unlikely to be very vigilant or consistent in defending international standards in this regard. On the other hand, all but the largest countries fear military intervention from more powerful neighbors and thus they tend to be quite adamant, even rigid, in their opposition to the use of force by one country against another.

Of course, there are some interventions which one might argue are justifiable on the grounds of humanitarianism -- such as saving a population from massive atrocities. Some such claims are palpably absurd -- for example, in the case of the U.S. invasion of Grenada, where the safety of U.S. citizens was never threatened and where flights out of the country were interrupted only by the United States;<34> or the case of the U.S. invasion of Panama, where a single American had been killed after running a roadblock.<35> But in other cases -- for example, the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia (Kampuchea) or the Indian attack on East Pakistan in 1971 -- there is a plausible claim that many lives were saved. On the other hand, both Vietnam and India were attacking their traditional enemies and their disinterested humanitarian concern might be doubted. Let us put aside the issue of humanitarian intervention for the moment and examine how the UN has responded to instances of military intervention.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has written of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia: "A Soviet veto [in the Security Council] put an end to any prospect even of censure. And in contrast to 1956, when the Soviets had invaded Hungary, there was no action by the General Assembly."<36> In fact, however, the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to demand the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops.<37> The Assembly also condemned in a lopsided vote the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Moynihan complains that the Afghanistan resolution did not mention the Soviet Union by name, thereby weakening its impact,<38> but in the same way, the condemnation of the U.S. invasion of Grenada did not specifically name the United States;<39> both resolutions deplored the foreign intervention and called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops.

According to a study by Thomas Franck, "by and large, the assembly, year after year, has been quite even-handed in criticizing any aggressive use of force, whether by the United States, a socialist country, or a nation of the Third World."<40> Franck goes on:

Most states which voted for the Assembly resolution on Kampuchea also voted for the one on Grenada. A few did not, and it is these few, not the UN's majority, which can be said to apply a double standard. The U.S. is among them. We, and the nations of the Caribbean that joined our military intervention, voted against the Grenada resolution, but voted for those on Kampuchea. [Franck omits Israel and El Salvador from the list of hypocrites.]

Conversely, Franck notes, the USSR and the "socialist bloc" voted for the Grenada condemnation and against the one on Kampuchea; ten non-aligned nations did the same. "Those states thereby stand exposed as purveyors of a double standard . . . ."<41>

Third World nations have been more divided when the aggressor has been one of their own, failing, for example, to condemn India for its invasion in 1961 of the Portuguese enclave of Goa (after the U.S. refused to press Portugal to give up its colony<42>), or Tanzania's invasion of Uganda (to depose the universally detested Idi Amin). On the other hand, the Assembly did condemn Morocco's invasion of the Sahara and Indonesia's attack on East Timor, did call for a cease-fire and withdrawal of Indian troops from Bangladesh, and did criticize Argentina's attack on the Falklands (which matter the U.S. had briefly tried to keep Britain from bringing to the Security Council<43>). A former U.S. official has noted that the United Nations

has been more consistent in condemning the acquisition of territory by military action than is generally realized, in areas as diverse as the West Bank, East Timor, the Spanish Sahara and the Falkland Islands. Western statesmen were astonished that Britain received Third World support for its military defense of the Falklands; those who understood the United Nations were not surprised at all.<44>

Likewise, those who understood the United States were not surprised by the U.S. votes on some of these issues. On the Sahara question, the U.S. abstained (the vote was 88-0-41), and on Timor the U.S. abstained in 1975 and thereafter voted with Indonesia.<45> Moynihan recalls

During my tenure as U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Spanish Sahara was partitioned by Morocco and Mauritania, and Portuguese Timor was invaded and conquered by Indonesia. In both instances the United States was more than content that this should happen, while the Soviet Union, in one instance, and the People's Republic of China, in the other, very much tried to prevent it. The notion of law no more entered _our_ policy considerations than it did _theirs_.<46>

As Franck summarizes the situation: "The record of the United States, in condemning the use of force against Afghanistan and Kampuchea while tolerating violators in the Western Sahara and East Timor, has demonstrated considerably more political opportunism than have the rank-and-file UN members."<47>

Again, one might not wish to adhere to an absolute prohibition against foreign intervention, allowing cases of humanitarian intervention. But no matter how one judges this question, there is no reason to prefer having the United States serve as global police officer rather than the United Nations. In those cases where the UN may have been wrong in condemning intervention (Kampuchea, Bangladesh) or wrong in failing to condemn alleged humanitarian intervention (Uganda), the United States supported the UN position. And in some cases where the UN has sought to halt atrocities (East Timor), the U.S. has been content to let them continue.

Thus the Third World majority in the UN is no obstacle to that body's serving as an instrument of world peace. Certainly there is no large country in the world whose credentials in terms of consistent respect for international law suggest that it would be better suited to upholding peace than would the UN.

 

THE UN AND SUPERPOWERS

But the structure of the UN presents a more difficult problem. The relatively consistent criticism of foreign invasions has occurred in the General Assembly, where each member nation gets one vote. General Assembly resolutions, however, are only recommendatory, while all enforcement action must come from the Security Council, where each of the five permanent members (the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, France, and China) have the right to veto any substantive action. Veto power obviously makes it difficult to rein in any of these five countries. It is sometimes suggested that it was Soviet insistence on the veto that caused the problem, but as Secretary of State Cordell Hull remarked in his memoirs, "We were no less resolute than the Russians in adhering to this principle."<48>

Even without the veto, of course, superpowers could interfere with collective security. For example, in 1968 the UN Security Council voted, with U.S. support, for mandatory economic sanctions against Rhodesia. These were the first mandatory, comprehensive sanctions ever imposed by the UN. Then, in 1971, the U.S. Congress passed the Byrd amendment which called for the importation of Rhodesian chrome. Many nations had covertly been violating the sanctions, but the U.S. became one of only three UN members -- the others were Portugal and South Africa -- to officially violate the sanctions.<49> Veto or not, the UN was not going to force U.S. compliance, and it was only the Congressional repeal of the Byrd amendment in 1977 that put the U.S. back into compliance.

Superpower obstruction -- through the veto or otherwise -- was a decisive impediment to any sort of global collective security during the Cold War. The Soviet Union simply was not going to allow the UN to interfere with its East European empire or its other client states. And the U.S. was equally unwilling to permit the organization to block U.S. domination in Latin America, Southeast Asia, or the Middle East. The Soviet Union cast its veto with great frequency in the first decades of the UN, but more recently it has been the United States that has far and away made greatest use of the veto (in 1981-86, Washington vetoed 36 draft resolutions, Moscow only two).<50> In the last few years, however, one of the superpowers -- the Soviet Union -- seems to have been making a concerted effort to empower the United Nations.

Starting in September 1987, Soviet officials have put forward proposals, some of them quite specific, to strengthen the UN's role in conflict resolution and peacekeeping. They have proposed the establishment of a UN military reserve and the reinvigoration of the Military Staff Committee, the body designated in the UN Charter to coordinate enforcement action. They have offered to provide training for UN peacekeeping forces as well as to contribute troops of their own. And they have taken actions consistent with this view. In addition to withdrawing from Afghanistan and repudiating their right to intervene in Eastern Europe, the Soviet government has begun to make up its large financial debt to the UN for past peacekeeping operations and has been permitting Soviet nationals to serve as genuine international civil servants.<51>

Thomas G. Weiss and Meryl A. Kessler comment in a recent article that "by reading recent Soviet literature and speeches on the United Nations, one could easily come away with the impression that Soviet leaders and their senior advisers have been converted to world federalism." Weiss and Kessler explain that "Moscow's new-found support for the United Nations is not based solely on idealism," but as much on a reassessment of Soviet interests and capabilities, including a desire to extricate themselves abroad while preventing the U.S. from taking advantage of their retreat.<52> Another scholar makes this Soviet desire seem sinister: "at least one major motivation looked all too familiar as a further attempt to contain the unilateral exertion of U.S. military power in the Third World"<53> -- but this would seem to be a rather worthwhile goal.

Soviet support for the UN is paralleled by its increased adherence to international law. Moscow has indicated that it will accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice on a number of treaties, in particular five human rights agreements. Only Britain among the permanent members of the Security Council currently accepts general ICJ jurisdiction; the U.S. withdrew its acceptance of ICJ jurisdiction when the Court took up the issue of U.S. attacks on Nicaragua, though Washington still permits ICJ jurisdiction in interpreting many treaties. Of the five human rights treaties, however, the U.S. has only ratified one and on this one has specifically said it would not accept ICJ jurisdiction.<54>

Weiss and Kessler further point out that at the same time that Soviet support for the UN has been growing, the U.S. has been undermining the organization, by -- among other things -- unilateral military actions, withholding legally owed payments (making Washington the UN's "leading foot-dragger and debtor"), threatening further financial retribution if its view on the PLO is challenged, and increasing use of the veto.<55>

 

THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE

Some Americans, of course, are proud of their country's rejection of international law and the United Nations. As George Will put it after the invasion of Grenada, "it is bad enough we pay for the United Nations; surely we do not have to pay attention to it."<56> But there are other, more moderate voices who claim to be calling for U.S. attention to law and the UN.

For example, Richard N. Gardner, a former State Department official and diplomat, currently the Henry L. Moses chair of Law and International Organization at Columbia University, wrote an article in 1988 making what he called "The Case for Practical Internationalism."<57> Gardner urged the U.S. to take up Gorbachev's "extraordinary" challenge to enhance the role of the United Nations and he prodded Washington to end its illegal war on Nicaragua.<58> But Gardner warned that we should not go too far. We must not follow those "who decry any unilateral use of force and would subject our country to the international 'rule of law' on all matters as determined by the World Court or other UN bodies." Such a policy, he cautioned, neither makes good sense nor serves our national interests.<59>

According to Gardner, the U.S. should accept compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, but only if matters related to the use of armed force are excluded.<60> This is a rather frightening exclusion given that Gardner considered the invasion of Grenada and the air strikes on Libya to be lawful actions.<61>

Another voice allegedly pressing the United States to follow international law is Senator Daniel Moynihan. In 1984, for example, he lashed out at Reagan administration hypocrisy. The President had said: "I do believe in the right of a country when it believes that its interests are best served to practice covert activity . . . ." Moynihan sharply replied that this was "a wholly normless statement." A nation has such a right, the Senator declared, only "if it is _in_ the right -- which is to say, if its behavior is consonant with international law." Moynihan explained that this meant U.S. covert operations against Canada would not be justified, but "given the behavior of the Nicaraguan government toward at least one of its neighbors, there is, I believe, a right of action there."<62> Moynihan, who served as Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, presumably was aware of the absence of any evidence of Nicaraguan interference in El Salvador since January 1981.<63>

More recently Moynihan has taken Gorbachev to task for his dealings with Lithuania, pointing out that under international law the Soviet acquisition of that territory was illegal.<64> But just a week earlier, Moynihan had introduced a resolution in the Senate -- unanimously adopted -- declaring an undivided Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel.<65> When Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, the General Assembly had twice declared the action illegal, both times by votes of 99-0 with 18 abstentions. The U.S. abstained but issued a statement saying it would not recognize the validity of the annexation.<66> Nevertheless, Moynihan wished this conquered territory to be Israel's "eternal capital."<67> The principle of "the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war" and the wishes of the local inhabitants apparently only apply in the case of Lithuania.

At a press conference following the Iraqi annexation of Kuwait, Bush was asked whether the U.S. policy against the annexation of captured lands in the Middle East was an across- the-board policy. Bush evaded the question.<68> He had to do this, because if international law or the United Nations were to become the basis for determining when international aggression has occurred then the United States would not be able to undertake its own invasions or arrogate to itself the right to judge international behavior on the basis of U.S. interests. So, for example, while Washington agrees with the UN condemnation of Iraq's aggression, it took a much more benign view of Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. There is considerable evidence that the Reagan administration gave Israel a "green light" for that invasion.<69> In the Security Council the U.S. supported a resolution which called for an Israeli withdrawal without criticizing the invasion; two days later, the U.S. vetoed a resolution condemning Israel's non-compliance.<70>

Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the _New York Times_ found that Arab-Americans frequently invoked the comparison with the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, although, the _Times_ reporter noted, "the comparison does not take into account a crucial difference: that Kuwait had not attacked Iraq, while southern Lebanon was home to Palestinian bases that had repeatedly shelled Israeli territory."<71> In fact, however, despite extensive Israeli provocation, there had been absolutely no Palestinian shelling from southern Lebanon in the eleven months prior to the invasion, except for an ineffectual retaliation to one massive Israeli bombing raid.<72>

While the _Times_ is right in stating that Kuwait had not attacked Iraq, there _was_ considerable provocation. Kuwait had been cheating on OPEC production quotas, costing financially strapped Iraq billions of dollars in lost income<73> -- even Saudi Arabia had complained about Kuwaiti cheating.<74> (Americans tend to look at OPEC as an illegitimate monopoly, but there is a strong case to be made for production limits on non- renewable resources -- as the U.S. imposed for years on its domestic oil.) Moreover, Kuwait had been slant drilling into Iraq's oil fields,<75> costing Iraq additional billions.

Nevertheless, Iraq's attack on Kuwait was a clear violation of international law and the UN Charter which restrict the use of force to self-defense in cases where an armed attack has occurred. But note that there are many in the U.S. who seem prepared to go to war not to uphold the principles of the Charter, but to keep the price of oil down. As the _New York Times's_ chief diplomatic correspondent Thomas Friedman explained:

The United States is not sending troops to the gulf simply to help Saudi Arabia resist aggression. It is sending troops to support the OPEC country that is more likely to cater to Washington's interests . . . . Laid bare, American policy in the gulf comes down to this: troops have been sent to retain control of oil in the hands of a pro-American Saudi Arabia, so prices will remain low.<76>

Note further that the economic exigency facing Baghdad was considerable -- Iraq may have lost an amount greater than one third of its GNP to Kuwaiti cheating -- while the cost to the United States of higher oil prices (which have been at their lowest level, after inflation, in two decades)<77> is much less pressing: Friedman estimates that the difference between the price of a barrel of oil before the invasion and the price Iraq favored would translate into a five cents per gallon difference at the gas pump for U.S. consumers.

Some have argued that even if Iraq did not conquer Saudi Arabia it might try to intimidate the Kingdom into raising prices. Leaving aside the fact that there are good economic reasons that would limit how much Baghdad would want to boost prices,<78> Iraq would not be the first to pressure the Saudis. In 1986, for example, Vice President George Bush traveled to Saudi Arabia to urge them to cut production in order to stop the fall in prices that was hurting the U.S. oil industry.<79> William Buckley, who thinks a "very good case" might have been made for using military force to smash OPEC before it was so weakened by quota busters among its members,<80> believes that the current crisis is the ideal time to "tame the cartel" since "the Saudis genuinely fear for their independence."<81>

None of this takes away from the fact that Iraq committed aggression and that the international community ought to take steps to compel Iraq to withdraw. There was an unprecedented global consensus along these lines. This consensus goal would be served by strengthening the collective security instruments of the UN, by acting in a firm but not provocative manner, by patiently allowing sanctions to work. But for Washington, collective crisis management would challenge U.S. primacy, a non- threatening stance would diminish the credibility of U.S. unilateralism elsewhere, and caution might undermine the case for a huge post-Cold war defense budget.

 

WASHINGTON GOES IT ALONE

Thomas Friedman of the _Times_ declared that the Gulf crisis had shown that "even in this new multipolar world, only the United States is able and willing to be the policeman."<82> Police officers, however, are supposed to be agents of the community as a whole; citizens who unilaterally try to maintain order are usually called "vigilantes." Friedman's colleague, R. W. Apple Jr., explained that the U.S. "show of force was useful . . . precisely because some people had begun to doubt American will in the post-cold war era."<83> According to administration officials quoted by the _Times_, General Colin Powell, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "was not entirely certain after the Kuwait invasion that Iraq was going to move on to Saudi Arabia," but the United States nevertheless had to rush troops to the region "to demonstrate that it was still a superpower."<84> Meanwhile in Europe, "experts now expect less questioning of Washington's leadership . . . ."<85>

Columnist John J. Farmer made the point most explicitly:

At bottom, the cause for the United States in the gulf crisis is . . . Washington's determination to retain its place as the world's last superpower, as arbiter, in effect, of a kind of global Pax Americana.

That sounds more imperial than it proves to be in practice. The American public is itself a safeguard against excessive militarism, tolerating a Grenada or a Panama, but not a Vietnam.

Besides, there probably is no safe alternative to the United States as cop on the beat.<86>

Whether public opinion can prevent Vietnam-like wars remains to be seen, but in any event there surely is an alternative to the U.S. cop (i.e., vigilante), and that's the UN. It is striking how pundits always see the choice as either U.S. power or international anarchy. Thus, a recent article in the _Atlantic Monthly_ by John J. Mearsheimer, "Why We Will Soon Miss the Cold War,"<87> paints a grim picture of impending European conflicts now that the U.S.- and Soviet-dominated bipolar world has come to an end. But never once in his lengthy discussion does he so much as mention the United Nations or international law.

Likewise, we are often warned that if the U.S. were to withdraw its forces from Japan, Tokyo would increase its military role, something none of its neighbors wants. Or that if U.S. troops were removed from the Korean peninsula, South Korea would produce nuclear weapons of its own. These would be terrible developments, but the way to prevent them is not to keep the U.S. cop on station -- no less terrible -- but to build the international organizations and structures that can provide genuine security.

The United Nations is far from an ideal instrument of world peace. The veto power is undemocratic, and so is the one-nation, one-vote set-up in the General Assembly which fails to give equal representation to every _person_; and of course most governments don't represent their citizens anyway. Smaller nations worry about a superpower condominium running the world (though even the veto power doesn't permit the permanent members to enact whatever they want in the Security Council). Unequal economic power is another problem, allowing richer nations to buy the votes of poorer ones. Any truly just international arrangement must involve the massive global redistribution of wealth and the introduction of socialist democracy everywhere. But in the meantime, compared to a world in which one country enforces order -- from Panama to the Philippines -- the UN has a great deal going for it. Those concerned with peace and justice seek to enhance the role of the UN while working to democratize it.

 

THE USES OF WAR

It is not surprising that Israeli officials have been urging the U.S. to launch preemptive strikes against Iraq.<88> But the number of commentators and politicians in the U.S. calling for war in the Gulf is truly frightening. It seems nothing would disappoint them more than if Saddam Hussein were to withdraw peacefully from Kuwait and free all Western hostages. Jim Hoagland of the _Washington Post_ typified this fanaticism in a column written a few days after the Iraqi invasion:

The United States must now use convincing military force against the Iraqi dictator to save the oil fields and to preserve American influence in the Middle East.

Reagan's strike against Moammar Gadhafi's terror network is in fact the right model for Bush to update and expand upon in dealing with Saddam.

U.S. involvement in a land war, Hoagland advised, would be unwise and unnecessary, but the U.S. would be "unwise not to use force." "Intervention may in fact be the only way in which the United States can regain credibility and respect that have been steadily evaporating across the Middle East."<89> A few weeks later liberal columnist William Pfaff argued that, although he had opposed the scale of the U.S. buildup, now that the forces were there, we might as well attack.<90> At this writing, it is not apparent whether Bush intends to follow this advice, but the buildup of a clearly offensive capability in the Gulf is not promising.<91>

Deploying all this military hardware and personnel to the Gulf serves another purpose for the Bush administration. The American people had been demanding a peace dividend. However one assesses the success of Ronald Reagan's strategy of forcing militarists into bankruptcy in the Soviet Union, it certainly worked at home: U.S. global economic dominance has been lost, the infrastructure has been run down, living standards have declined for all but the rich, the environmental crisis has worsened. The public desperately wants to shift funds from the Pentagon to health care, education, housing, and other social needs. The Bush administration had been fighting a rear guard action to prevent this, when Iraq's invasion of Kuwait provided a golden opportunity. "Make no mistake," Bush told the Veterans of Foreign Wars, ". . . I will oppose the defense budget slashers who are out of tune with what America needs to keep freedom secure and safe."<92>

During the Panama invasion, the Pentagon had used the totally inappropriate Stealth fighter-bomber, hoping thereby to rationalize its continued production after the demise of the Soviet threat. But it was hard to convince anyone that that sort of firepower was needed against the rag-tag Panamanian Defense Forces. The Gulf crisis, on the other hand, gives the military the opportunity to show off everything in the conventional arsenal. The day after Iraq's move into Kuwait, Senator John McCain told his colleagues that Saddam Hussein had demonstrated the need for retaining battleships. Senator Dale Bumpers replied that the Navy doesn't even allow these ships to fire their 16- inch guns for fear they'll blow up. "If you're going to steam into the Persian Gulf, for God's sake, go there with something that works."<93> Bumpers expressed his hope that everyone had not taken leave of their senses, and urged that only one battleship be retained instead of two. The Senate voted to keep two.

George Bush's role model is said to be Henry L. Stimson, the patrician who served as Secretary of War under Taft and Franklin Roosevelt, and Secretary of State under Hoover. In 1896 Stimson wrote, a war "would be a wonderfully good thing for this country."<94> Of course, it never is. But war or a near-war crisis may serve the interests of the Bush administration and those who want to preserve U.S. global hegemony.

 

NOTES

I would like to thank Bill Clark, Stan Karp, Bob Rosen, and Evelyn Shalom for their comments and assistance.

1. Quoted in Ronald Steel, "Cold war, cold comfort," _New Republic_, 11 Apr. 1981, p. 15.

2. Evan Thomas et al., "Staring down the bully," _Newsweek_, 3 Sept. 1990, p. 18.

3. Paul Lewis, "Security Council's rare unity may be threatened over U.S. warships in the Gulf," _New York Times_ (_NYT_), 11 Aug. 1990, p. 7; Paul Lewis, "Order for blockade largely isolates U.S. at Security Council," _NYT_, 14 Aug. 1990, p. A9; Paul Lewis, "UN chief argues blockade is hasty," _NYT_, 17 Aug. 1990, p. A12; Elaine Sciolino with Eric Pace, "Putting teeth in an embargo: how U.S. convinced the UN," _NYT_, 30 Aug. 1990, p. A15.

4. R. W. Apple Jr., "Choices troubling Bush," _NYT_, 21 Aug. 1990, p. A13; _NYT_, 23 Aug. 1990, p. A16; Los Angeles Times wire service, "Shadow of the blockade," Newark _Star Ledger_, 25 Aug. 1990, p. 4; Sciolino with Pace, "Putting teeth...," _NYT_, 30 Aug. 1990, p. A15. Flora Lewis notes that the Security Council vote to enforce the embargo "blocked the temptation of American hawks to plunge into war." ("Moscow can help," _NYT_, 28 Aug. 1990, p. A21) This is not the first time that other countries have gone along with the U.S. in order to foreclose precipitous, unilateral U.S. action. In 1986, the U.S. hoped its bombing of Libya would get the European allies to take steps against Qaddafi "so that the crazy Americans won't take matters into their own hands again." (R. W. Apple Jr., "Reagan wins the day as Libya is denounced," _NYT_, 6 May 1986, quoted in Frederick Zillian, Jr., "The U.S. raid on Libya -- and NATO," _Orbis_, Fall 1986, p. 499.)

5. Eric Pace, "Envoys at UN say Soviets block endorsement of force against Iraq," _NYT_, 22 Aug. 1990, p. A12; Eric Pace, "U.S. gains some support at UN for a resolution endorsing force," _NYT_, 24 Aug. 1990, p. A9. For Third World endorsement of UN control, see Sciolino with Pace, "Putting teeth...," _NYT_, 30 Aug. 1990, p. A15. Even a former U.S. diplomat who urges Washington to use the UN in the Gulf crisis, says we don't have to worry about putting U.S. forces under the UN flag; the Military Staff Committee, he says, "could be limited to information exchange and reporting." (Joseph J. Sisco, "Next move at the UN," _Washington Post_ (_WP_), 15 Aug. 1990, p. A21.)

6. _NYT_ editorial, 15 Aug. 1990, p. A26.

7. Elaine Sciolino, "Again, a U.S. surprise leaves nations upset," _NYT_, 16 Aug 1990, p. A20.

8. Robert Torricelli quoted in Tom Kenworthy and Helen Dewar, "On hill, edgy support for Bush," _WP_, 11 Aug. 1990, p. A26.

9. _NYT_ editorial, 9 Aug. 1990, p. A22.

10. Maureen Dowd, "The longest week: How President decided to draw the line," _NYT_, 9 Aug. 1990, p. A17.

11. Michael R. Gordon, "Iraq bolsters invasion force, adding to worries on Saudis," _NYT_, 4 Aug. 1990, p. 4.

12. Michael R. Gordon, "Iraqis dig in around Kuwait, suggesting no plan for early pullout," _NYT_, 5 Aug. 1990, p. I:14.

13. Molly Moore and Patrick E. Tyler, "U.S. sends troops, jets to Saudi Arabia as Iraqi forces pose 'imminent threat,'" _WP_, 8 Aug. 1990, pp. A1, A18.

14. Various figures are given for the Grenadian forces: see Gordon K. Lewis, _Grenada: The Jewel Despoiled_, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987, pp. 100-101; Tony Thorndike, "Grenada," in _Intervention in the 1980s_, ed. Peter J. Schraeder, Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1989, p. 258.

15. Flora Lewis, "Steady against Saddam," _NYT_, 21 Aug. 1990, p. A27. This is the view of the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell: "If you finally decide you have to commit military force, you've got to be as massive and decisive as possible. Decide your target, decide your objective and try to overwhelm it." (Eleanor Clift and Thomas M. DeFrank, "Bush's general: maximum force," _Newsweek_, 3 Sept. 1990, p. 36.)

16. Chris Hedges, "A million strong? Some experts question Iraq's military strength," _NYT_, 11 Aug. 1990, p. 9. See also Watson et al., "What to expect in a war," _Newsweek_, 3 Sept. 1990, p. 25.

17. Well after the U.S. began deploying its forces to Saudi Arabia, Saddam Hussein offered to return captured land to Iran in an effort to stabilize that border; but that the Iraqi leader was willing to concede in extremis, under the threat of U.S. invasion, all he had fought for in the long war with Teheran, does not indicate that he would have done so otherwise.

18. Moore and Tyler, "U.S. sends troops...," _WP_, 8 Aug. 1990, pp. A1, A18; _NYT_, 8 Aug. 1990, p. A1.

19. Malcolm W. Browne, "Easing of tensions with Iran gives Iraq new flexibility in shifting troops," _NYT_, 16 Aug. 1990, p. A15. Of the 3,500, 1,000 are more modern T-62s, but for a revealing look at these tanks, see Andrew Cockburn, _The Threat: Inside the Soviet Military Machine_, New York: Vintage, 1983, pp. 185-92. On breakdown rates, see Malcolm Chalmers and Lutz Unterseher, "Is there a tank gap?" _International Security_, vol. 13, no. 1, Summer 1988, p. 37.

20. Browne, "Easing of tensions...," _NYT_, 16 Aug. 1990, p. A15.

21. Chalmers and Unterseher, pp. 25, pp. 28-46, esp. 43-44, 45n103, 46n104. The _Times_ acknowledged the unreliability of the autoloader a week later: 25 Aug. 1990, p. 6.

22. Edward N. Luttwak, "Iraq will be tough to dislodge...," _NYT_, 9 Aug. 1990, p. A23.

23. According to Laurie Mylroie, hundreds of officers, including the hero of the Iran-Iraq war, were executed between December 1988 and March 1989. (Reuters, "Analysts skeptical of hopes for a coup," Newark _Star Ledger_, 12 Aug. 1990, p. I:8.)

24. Iraq has 70 MiG-23s and 64 French Mirage F-1s (_Newsweek_, 20 Aug. 1990, p. 25); Saudi Arabia has 45 F-15s, 63 F-5s, and 20 Tornados (International Institute for Strategic Studies, _The Military Balance 1988-1989_, London: 1988, p. 113.

25. Christine Moss Helms, _Iraq: Eastern Flank of the Arab World_, Washington, DC: Brookings, 1984, p. 167. According to a Pentagon assessment, Iraqi troops are better at defense than attack. Russell Watson et al., "What to expect in a war," _Newsweek_, 3 Sept. 1990, p. 25.

26. See the map in Anthony H. Cordesman, _The Gulf and the Search for Strategic Stability_, Boulder: Westview, 1984, p. 668. Cordesman also noted in 1984 that Iraq was not "organized to sustain prolonged military land force operations far from its borders" (p. 488).

27. Gordon, "Iraq bolsters...," _NYT_, 4 Aug. 1990, p. 4.

28. Gordon, "Iraqis dig...," _NYT_, 5 Aug. 1990, p. 14.

29. Gordon, "Iraq bolsters...," _NYT_, 4 Aug. 1990, p. 4.

30. _U.S. News and World Report_, 13 Aug. 1990, pp. 20-21, written before U.S. deployments.

31. Joshua M. Epstein, _Strategy and Force Planning: The Case of the Persian Gulf_, Washington, DC: Brookings, 1987, p. 52.

32. Gary Sick, "Hussein must be stopped," _NYT_, 3 Aug. 1990, p. A27; Patrick E. Tyler, "U.S., allies press campaign to put blockade on Iraq," _WP_, 6 Aug. 1990, p. A16.

33. David Hoffman, "White House counts on military buildup to force Saddam's hand," _WP_, 15 Aug. 1990, p. A17.

34. See, e.g., "Hendrick Smith, "Ex-U.S. official cites ease in leaving Grenada day before invasion," _NYT_, 29 Oct. 1983; Stuart Taylor Jr., "In wake of invasion, much official misinformation by U.S. comes to light," _NYT_, 6 Nov. 1983, p. 20; _Progressive_, Jan. 1984, p. 16; Eldon Kenworthy, "Grenada as theater," _World Policy Journal_, Spring 1984, pp. 637-41.

35. See "Excerpts from U.S. account of officer's death in Panama," _NYT_, 18 Dec, 1989, p. A8.

36. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, _Loyalties_, San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984, p. 76.

37. _Yearbook of the United Nations, 1979_, vol. 33, New York: Department of Public Information, United Nations, 1982, pp. 306- 07. In his most recent book, Moynihan acknowledges that there was a General Assembly resolution on Kampuchea, but protests that it "failed even to mention Vietnam by name." (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, _On the Law of Nations_, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990, p. 115) As noted below, the U.S. was not mentioned by name in the Grenada resolution.

38. Moynihan, _Loyalties_, p. 75.

39. _Yearbook of the United Nations, 1983_, vol. 37, New York: Department of Public Information, United Nations, 1987, p. 214. During the Security Council debate, Jeane Kirkpatrick called the United Nations "an outdated institution," while the Libyan delegate remarked that the U.S. had celebrated United Nations Day by invading Grenada. The U.S. vetoed the Security Council resolution condemning the invasion. See Hugh O'Shaughnessy, _Grenada_, New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1984, pp. 187-89.

40. Thomas M. Franck, _Nation Against Nation_, New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 225.

41. Franck, p. 226. For some reason, Franck also singles out Mexico and India for abstaining on Kampuchea and voting yes on Grenada; two dozen states did so, and another two dozen voted yes on Kampuchea and abstained on Grenada. Twenty-six states voted on one of the roll calls but not on the other: see _Yearbook of the United Nations, 1979_, p. 306; _Yearbook of the United Nations, 1983_, p. 214.

42. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., _A Thousand Days_, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1965, p. 486.

43. Seymour Maxwell Finger, "The Reagan-Kirkpatrick policies and the United Nations," _Foreign Affairs_, Winter 1983/84, p. 452; for the stronger suggestion that Jeane Kirkpatrick "had told the Argentinian ambassador to the UN that if his country continued to support the United States on Nicaragua, there would be no American criticism in the UN on the landing in the Falklands," see Alexander M. Haig, Jr., _Caveat_, New York: Macmillan, 1984, p. 269.

44. Charles William Maynes, "A cause worth fighting for," _Nation_, 21 Sept. 1985, p. 237.

45. Franck, p. 228-29.

46. Moynihan, _Loyalties_, 77. Moynihan earlier noted that on these two issues the "Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success." (Daniel Patrick Moynihan, _A Dangerous Place_, New York: Berkley, 1978, p. 279.) For his later criticism of the U.S. position, see his _Law of Nations_, pp. 3-4.

47. Franck, p. 230. There is, says Franck, one general exception to the UN's record for consistency in opposing aggression, namely matters related to Israel. He cites as an example the General Assembly's 1983 condemnation of Israel's expansionist and annexationist policies, without a corresponding criticism of Syria's occupation of parts of Lebanon (Franck p. 231). Syria's actions in Lebanon are indeed reprehensible, though it is well to recall that Syrian troops first entered Lebanon in 1976 with Israeli and U.S. approval in order to defeat the PLO (Haig, pp. 320-321; William B. Quandt, _Decade of Decisions_, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977, p. 282; Jonathan C. Randal, _Going All the Way_, New York: Viking, 1983, pp. 175, 195, 203-04). And while UN hostility towards Israel is evident, few countries have flouted UN resolutions more often. Moynihan suggests (_Law of Nations_, pp. 12, 163) that Israel adhered to the norms of the UN Charter until the "Zionism is racism" resolution of 1975. For the actual record, see Fred J. Khouri, _The Arab Israeli Dilemma_, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1976, 2nd ed.

48. Quoted in Diane Shaver Clemens, _Yalta_, London: Oxford University Press, 1970, p. 54; see also "The problem of the veto in the United Nations Security Council," staff study no. 1, Feb. 19, 1954, in U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, _Review of the United Nations Charter__, Compilation of Staff Studies_, 83rd Cong., 2d sess., 1954, pp. 8-10.

49. Anthony Lake, _The "Tar Baby" Option_, New York: Columbia University Press, 1976.

50. See John T. Rourke, _International Politics on the World Stage_, Guilford, CT: Dushkin, 2nd ed., 1989, p. 439.

51. Thomas G. Weiss and Meryl A. Kessler, "Moscow's UN policy," _Foreign Policy_, no. 79, summer 1990, pp. 97-99.

52. Weiss & Kessler, pp. 99-100.

53. Jonathan Haslam, "The UN and the Soviet Union: new thinking?" _International Affairs_, vol. 65, no. 4, Autumn 1989, p. 681.

54. Paul Lewis, "Moscow permits World Court role," _NYT_, 3 Nov. 1988, p. A11; Paul Lewis, "Soviets to accept World Court role in human rights," _NYT_, 9 Mar. 1989, pp. A1, A15.

55. Weiss & Kessler, pp. 104-5, 109.

56. Moynihan, _Loyalties_, p. 94.

57. Richard N. Gardner, "The case for practical internationalism," _Foreign Affairs,_ Spring 1988.

58. Gardner, pp. 828, 842-3.

59. Gardner, p. 841.

60. Gardner, p. 844; additionally, Gardner would insist that the U.S. have its cases heard before a five judge subset of the Court chosen after consultations with the parties to the dispute.

61. Gardner, p. 843.

62. Moynihan, _Loyalties_, p. 65. In November 1983, Moynihan presented the conference committee report on the Intelligence Authorization Act and argued that Nicaragua had violated international law by providing arms and other military support to groups seeking to overthrow the government of El Salvador "and other Central American governments." He explained that he and his colleagues had pressed the administration to redefine its covert program to accord with international law and that the goal of Reagan's program, "as it should be," was to bring Nicaragua into conformity with international law. (_Law of Nations_, p. 138.) Moynihan charges that the Reagan administration went on to ignore this Congressional view by mining Nicaraguan harbors. But the World Court did not just find the mining illegal; the whole U.S. covert war against Nicaragua was found to violate international law.

63. See Eldon Kenworthy, "Central America: Beyond the Credibility Trap," in _The Central American Crisis_, ed. Kenneth M. Coleman and George C. Herring, Wilmington: Scholarly Resources, 1985, p. 120; Morris Morley and James Petras, _The Reagan Administration and Nicaragua_, New York: Institute for Media Analysis, 1987, pp. 40-45.

64. _Congressional Record_, 28 Mar. 1990, p. S3391.

65. _Congressional Record_, 20 Mar. 1990, p. S2802.

66. Khouri, pp. 114, 116.

67. _Congressional Record_, 20 Mar. 1990, p. S2802.

68. _NYT_, 15 Aug. 1990, p. A21.

69. Ze'ev Schiff, "The green light," _Foreign Policy_, Spring 1983; see also Noam Chomsky, _The Fateful Triangle_, Boston: South End, 1983, pp. 213-15.

70. U.S. Dept. of State, _American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1982_, Washington, DC: 1985, pp. 805-06.

71. Felicity Barringer, "With loyalty split, Arab-Americans fault Hussein, but question U.S. too," _NYT_, 16 Aug. 1990, p. A16.

72. Cheryl A. Rubenberg, _Israel and the American National Interest_, Urbana: University of Illinois, 1986, pp. 279-81; Alexander Cockburn and James Ridgeway, "War in Lebanon," _Village Voice_, 22 June 1982. When asked in March 1982 whether the PLO had broken the cease-fire along the Lebanon-Israel border, a U.S. official mentioned only a "technical violation" involving the movement of Fatah members from Lebanon to Syria to Jordan to the West Bank (_American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1982_, p. 801). And Israeli president Chaim Herzog, while charging that the PLO attacked Israeli targets around the world, acknowledged that "the northern border remained peaceful" (_The Arab-Israeli Wars_, New York: Vintage, 1982, p. 341). Myths die hard; thus _Newsweek_, 27 Aug. 1990, p. 27: "1982: PLO shelling of northern Israel from Lebanon leads to a full-scale Israeli invasion."

73. _Washington Post_ wire service, "Iraqis mass troops near Kuwait as oil-production dispute heats up," Newark _Star Ledger_, 24 July 1990, p. 4.

74. Youssef M. Ibrahim, "OPEC moves closer to a pact on production," _NYT_, 27 July 1990, p. A2.

75. Michael Kramer, "Must this mean war?," _Time_, 27 Aug. 1990, p. 19.

76. Thomas L. Friedman, "U.S. Gulf policy: vague 'vital interests'," _NYT_, 12 Aug. 1990, p. 10.

77. Robert D. Hershey Jr., "Energy policy trade-off," _NYT_, 18 Aug. 1990, p. 1; Youssef M. Ibrahim, "OPEC in agreement to raise oil price by cutting output," _NYT_, 28 July 1990, p. 30.

78. Neither recession in the industrialized countries nor oil prices so high as to encourage the development of alternate energy sources would be in Iraq's interest. Of course, a sensible U.S. energy policy would promote conservation and renewable energy sources even in the absence of higher prices.

79. Hershey, "Energy policy...," _NYT_, 18 Aug. 1990, p. 1.

80. William Buckley, "Fighting for oil is nothing but self- defense," Newark _Star Ledger_, 16 Aug. 1990, p. 28.

81. William Buckley, "Time to tame Iraq...and the oil cartel," Newark _Star Ledger_, 9 Aug. 1990, p. 26.

82. Thomas L. Friedman, "Hanging tough won't be the only test of leadership," _NYT_, 19 Aug. 1990, p. E1.

83. R. W. Apple Jr., "Oil, Saddam Hussein and the re-emergence of America as the superpower," _NYT_, 20 Aug. 1990, p. A6.

84. Andrew Rosenthal, "Military chief: man of action and of politics," _NYT_, 17 Aug. 1990, p. A13.

85. Alan Riding, "Allies reminded of need for U.S. shield," _NYT_, 12 Aug. 1990, p. 14.

86. John J. Farmer, "Persian Gulf siege is a stern test for the last of the superpowers," Newark _Star Ledger_, 13 Aug. 1990, p. 10.

87. Aug. 1990.

88. "In Israel, the feeling that it's better to use force without delay," _NYT_, 21 Aug. 1990, p. A13; Apple, "Choices troubling Bush," _NYT_, 21 Aug. 1990, p. A13. Aside from the obvious Israeli motives for favoring an attack on Iraq, Israeli officials also worry that the current situation will lead to strengthened U.S. ties with and greater arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab states, potentially weakening Israel's military dominance. See _NYT_, 14 Aug. 1990, p. A9; Reuters, "Israel expects U.S. as ally in the event of an attack," Newark _Star Ledger_, 26 Aug. 1990, p. I:9; Reuters, "Israel looks to remain the dominant power," Newark _Star Ledger_, 31 Aug. 1990, p. 37.

89. Jim Hoagland, "Force Hussein to withdraw," _WP_, 7 Aug. 1990, p. A19.

90. William Pfaff, "If Bush must invade Iraq, he'd best do it now," Newark _Star Ledger_, 25 Aug. 1990, p. III:2.

91. On the offensive nature of the buildup, see Eric Schmitt, "U.S. intercepts and frees 2 Iraqi ships," _NYT_, 18 Aug. 1990, p. 4; R. W. Apple Jr., "Bush said to approve plan for small reserve call-up," _NYT_, 18 Aug. 1990, p. 4.

92. Andrew Rosenthal, "Bush vows not to be cowed by the taking of 'hostages'," _NYT_, 21 Aug. 1990, p. A12. Oddly, these words from Bush's speech are not included in the _Times'_ lengthy excerpts from his remarks.

93. Susan F. Rasky, "Senate upholds ban of abortions," _NYT_, 4 Aug. 1990, p. 11.

94. _Newsweek_, 20 Aug. 1990, p. 33.