Free-Will Productions




Hidden Wars of Desert Storm
Under "sanction", the Cambridge Encyclopedia reads "penalties imposed by one state against another to force compliance with international law or the fulfillment of treaty obligations. Retorsion is a lawful act designed to injure another state, such as the withdrawal of economic aid. Reprisals are acts ordinarily illegal." Embargoes and sanctions have been used by powerful states throughout history usually to cripple other weaker nations but their use has become systematic from the part of the US Government ever since Castro took over Cuba in 1959. From then on, the US Government has imposed unilateral embargoes and sanctions against well over a dozen countries and threatened as well a countless number of other nations that might have sought to trade nonetheless with these US-targeted countries.
In Iraq's case, sanctions were imposed on August 6, 1990 by the United Nations Security Council in order to try to force Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. An air and naval blockade had actually already been imposed by the US Air Force and Navy barely a few hours after Saddam's forces crossed into Kuwait. However, despite Saddam's forceful eviction from Kuwait and a cease-fire on February 28, 1991, the sanctions against Iraq have never been lifted. Their purpose have evolved though, from evicting Saddam from Kuwait to forcing him to comply with a UN-sanctioned disarmament policy. Now that most weapon-analysts and UN inspection team members agree that Iraq doesn't pose any immediate threat anymore (as opposed to other aggressive nations in the world that keeps building up offensive stockpile of mass-destruction weapons with the clear intent of using them some day), the sanctions against Iraq remain in effect by the sole will of the only government in the world that has ever used nuclear bombs against civilian populations. (Hiroshima and Nagasaki)
Traveling throughout Iraq gives a first-hand idea of how the sanctions work. Non-stop convoys of thousands of trucks keep bringing all sort of goods that benefit the Iraqi elite supporting Saddam Hussein's regime, the latest Mercedes and BMW cars can be seen in Baghdad while 99 % of the Iraqi population live now in obscenely miserable conditions deprived of the essential staples of modern life in a country that used to be the wealthiest and the best organized of the region prior to 1990. Today, the UNICEF estimates that about 5,000 Iraqis die every month as a direct result of the sanctions, primarily the very young and the elderly who bare the harshest brunt of the food and medicine restrictions. It has been proven by facts time and time again, elite can always circumvent sanctions because they have the power, the contacts, the influence and the means to do so. An economic embargo such as the one still strangling Iraq only affects the men and women in the streets. Under the pretext of preventing Iraq from rearming, the Iraqi population is being deprived by supposedly civilized nations of new schoolbooks for students, of even the most basic medicine, of imported staple-food, of imported clothes, even toilet paper doesn't make it to Iraq.

"Hidden Wars of Desert Storm" depicts with no concession and sometimes gruesome images the day-to-day reality of living in Iraq and weighs the reality of this silent, distant and monstrously hypocritical war waged on a civilian population against the strategic and economic gains of a handful of individuals living comfortably thousands of miles away.


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