THE FIRE THIS TIME by Ramsey Clark

THE FIRE THIS TIME

U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 The Gulf War as Guernica: former US attorney general Clark's profoundly revisionist on-the-ground story of the war and why it occurred. The fierce opening pages here remind us that under those smart-bombs and Cruise missiles was human flesh--often civilian flesh. Clark (Crime in America, 1970) is an excellent reporter with a capacity to convey indelible images, such as that of the 12-year- old girl in delirium following the amputation of her leg--without anesthesia. The author charges that, in the Gulf conflict, the US is guilty of war crimes and a vast coverup. Despite massive evidence ``measured by international laws'' and gathered by the international Commission of Inquiry (founded by Clark) in the form of documents, clippings, photos, books, videos, and eyewitness reports, the American media have, Clark contends, ignored charges of US wrongdoing. This is so, he argues, because these media are controlled by ``intimate financial relationships with the military and weapons industry'' and are ``virtually one with the government.'' Clark details what he says was an American press herded about by the military--``combat reporters'' who saw nothing, and anchormen who celebrated the slaughter of defenseless Iraqi soldiers. The author suggests that the war was an example of Realpolitik run riot--part of a long-standing US policy of controlling the oil-producing Gulf states. He makes his point by reviewing recent Gulf history: the CIA toppling of Iran's Mossdegh and Iraq's Kassem; the repeated use by the US of the Kurds to destabilize Iraq, etc. Clark presents Americans with the unthinkable: that their government killed upward of 100,000 civilians in a terrifying power exercise sanctified by a captive media proclaiming a ``Pax Americana.'' His research is impressive. (Photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-56025-047-X
Page count: 352pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1992