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December 6, 2005
A Brief History of a Long War (Iraq, 1990-2003) / 1999By Greyhawk
(Note on sources: Reports of US aircraft attacks on Iraqi positions in this timeline are from US Department of Defense press releases. We include them here verbatim as part of the historical record, the reader should infer no judgment on our part as to the accuracy of the statements. We acknowledge these are one-sided reports.
Excerpts from newspaper articles included here are also simply for the historical record - this was the news of the day. Later events may have proved some information false or cast doubt on some claims, this, however was the news of the day.)
Although no UN weapons inspectors are in Iraq, both humanitarian (oil for food) and military operations continue, with air strikes on Iraqi positions or other incidents in the no fly zones occurring almost daily throughout the year. But in the wake of US and UK attacks in Operation Desert Fox, rifts begin to widen in the UN Security Council regarding sanctions on and monitoring of Iraq. France and Russia break away from the long held consensus position while the US and UK call for continued sanctions - with some modifications. The UN will struggle for a solution throughout the year. In the US, a policy of "containment plus" is the official position, and Iraqi expatriate groups begin to seek aid under the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. But even as the rate of air attacks on Iraq increases dramatically military intervention in other areas of the globe dominate the headlines. Meanwhile, in Iraq, Saddam Hussein begins to echo the radical Islamic sentiments of Osama bin Laden. Some media sources begin investigating possible connections between the two.
By early February the stage is set and most of the major players are positioned for events of 2001-2003. One undisputed fact is that the Iraqi people are suffering after nearly a decade of sanctions, internal struggles, and now seemingly endless air attacks from the US.
January 4, 1999: Iraq declares it will not accept any humanitarian workers from the US or UK, and demands the UN withdraw those currently in Iraq, stating they can not guarantee their safety following the December attacks.
January 5, 1999: The UN refuses Iraq's request to withdraw US and UK aid workers.
Saddam Hussein delivers a fiery Army Day address to all Arabs. His speech echoes Osama bn Laden's call to jihad, urging Muslim youth to rise up and overthrow their governments who are supporting the infidel invaders:
We and you are aware that some of those who rule over countries in our nation were brought to office by the foreigners, who also brought their fathers and some of their grandfathers also in accordance with these foreigner's conditions and interests, particularly Britain and the United States, joined by the evil racist Zionism. Therefore, the talk about the possibility of reforming them, now that they have been immersed in evil and have no desire to abandon this evil, is a waste of time. It will give them a chance to further deceive the people and nation.In two separate incidents, two F-15s and two F-14s fire a total of six missiles at four Iraqi MiG-25s over the southern no-fly zone. None of the missiles find its target, but Pentagon officials state that one Iraqi aircraft may have run out of fuel and crashed during the battle. This is the first clash between US and Iraqi war planes since 1992. The US also claims eight additional no-fly zone violations involving up to 15 Iraqi planes.
QUESTION: As you've said many times, the fundamental policy of the United States is to - one of the fundamental tenants of the policy - is to contain Saddam. Do you think that this has been further complicated by the absence of inspectors on the ground?January 6, 1999: The Washington Post reports that UNSCOM may have provided intelligence on Iraq to the United States. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan denies having received any credible reports supporting this accusation, and further denies reports that he is seeking the resignation of UNSCOM Chief Richard Butler. The US also denies the allegations.
The US denounces Saddam Hussein's destruction of villages of the Marsh Arabs of southern Iraq
January 7, 1999: At approximately 11:20 a.m. Iraqi time, Saddam Hussein's regime locked a surface-to-air missile radar on to coalition forces. An Air Force F-16CJ acted in self defense, and fired a high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) at a Roland surface-to-missile site 15 miles northwest of Mosul after being targeted by the site's radar to suppress the offensive site.
CENTCOM Commander General Anthony Zinni answers questions regarding the US position on Iraq:
Q I'm Halab Masul (ph) with the Middle East News Agency. There have been several calls for a change on the U.S. policy towards Iraq, either from the far left, by lifting economic sanctions and keeping only military, or from the far right, by overthrowing Saddam Hussein. As the commander of the U.S. forces in the area, do you think that the current containment policy is feasible and sustainable, or do you think changes are in order now, and (where to?)?January 7, 1999: The Senate formally begins the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton on two charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
January 10, 1999: The Iraqi Parliament issues an official statement criticizing Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, holding them responsible for the December air attacks on Iraq.
January 11, 1999: US Secretary of Defense William Cohen responds to the statement of the Iraqi Parliament by noting that the United States had over 24,000 troops within striking distance of Iraq should that nation decide to move against its neighbors.
At approximately 10:45 a.m. Iraqi time, an Iraqi SAM radar began tracking Northern Watch aircraft and coalition aircraft were illuminated by multiple Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems. The aircrews acted in self-defense and suppressed one ground-based missile launch site because it posed a threat to coalition forces. A flight of two U.S. F-15Es launched two AGM-130s at an SA-6 site near Mosul and an U.S. F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi radar site a short while later.
IN THE NO-FLY ZONES OF northern and southern Iraq, Saddam Hussein's gunners blindly fired surface-to-air missiles at patrolling American and British warplanes. In Yemen, terrorists seized a group of British Commonwealth and American tourists, and four of the hostages died in a shootout. In Tel Aviv, the U.S. Embassy abruptly closed down after receiving a terrorist threat. Perhaps it was just a typical week in the Middle East. But in a region where no one puts much faith in blind coincidence, last week's conjunction of Iraqi antiaircraft fire and terrorism aimed at the countries that had just bombed Iraq convinced some that a new conspiracy was afoot.January 12, 1999: Five Iraqi jets violated the southern no-fly zone and two entered the north, bringing the total violations in both zones since Desert Fox to more than 70, Pentagon officials said.
January 13, 1999: Iraqi SAM systems tracked and fired on coalition planes over northern Iraq. During the morning, coalition aircraft were illuminated by several Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems. The aircraft were fired upon by at least one surface-to-air missile. The aircrews acting in self-defense suppressed the ground-based missile launch sites because they posed a significant threat to coalition forces. A flight of four U.S. Air Force F-15Es fired two AGM-130s, and an F-16CJ and U.S. Marine Corps EA-6B each fired a HARM against a SAM radar. The incident occurred near Mosul. The two AGM-130s were direct hits on the Iraqi SAM sites.
Q: There's now -- we have daily skirmishes now with Iraq. Is the United States effectively at war with Iraq?January 13, 1999: France submits a proposal to the UN Security Council calling for looser inspections and gradual lifting of sanctions against Iraq
January 14, 1999: The US submits a counter proposal eliminating the ceiling on Iraqi oil exports, provided the proceeds are used for humanitarian relief.
January 14, 1999: During the morning, an F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery system that posed a threat to coalition aircraft over northern Iraq. In a separate incident, an F-15E launched an AGM-130 precision guided missile at a surface-to-air missile system that threatened coalition forces.
January 15, 1999: Russia submits a proposal to the UN Security Council eliminating UNSCOM, establishing a new inspection body less objectionable to Iraq, and lifting the oil embargo. The US rejects the proposal, saying that UNSCOM must be allowed to carry out its duties.
January 15, 1999: "The Račak incident" - 40 to 45 Kosovo Albanians were killed in the village of Račak in central Kosovo. The government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia asserted that the casualties were all members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who had been killed in a clash with state security forces. The international community did not accept this explanation, characterizing the killings as a deliberate massacre of civilians by Yugoslav forces.
January 17, 1999: "Mother of all Battles Day" in Iraq - thousands of Iraqis take to the streets of Baghdad on the 16th and 17th shouting anti-American slogans on the anniversary of the start of the Persian Gulf War. Iraq issues a demand for sanctions to be lifted and no-fly zones ended immediately.
January 19, 1999: The Clinton administration identifies several opposition groups that will be eligible for US aid under the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998.
January 21, 1999: US military reports Iraqi planes violated the no-fly zone, but no US aircraft were nearby and no shots were fired.
January 23, 1999: At approximately 1:15 a.m. EST, U.S. aircraft flying in support of Operation Southern Watch dropped laser-guided bombs at two Iraqi surface-to-air missile systems that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area.
An editorial attributed o Saddam Hussein appears in Iraqi newspapers condemning Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for keeping the price of oil too low.
January 24, 1999: Between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again targeted by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems near Mosul. An EA-6B Prowler and two F-16CJs fired HARMs in self defense. The aircraft responded to being targeted by Iraqi radars used to guide anti-aircraft artillery. Another F-16CJ fired a HARM at an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system. Earlier in the day, an F-15E Strike Eagle scored a direct hit on an Iraqi SA-3 SAM site with an AGM-130, which posed a threat to coalition forces in the region.
The Iraqi Foreign Minister storms out of a meeting of the Arab League, referring to his fellow ministers as traitors and US lackeys in response to their statement calling on Iraq to cease provocative actions aginst its neighbors.
January 25, 1999: The UNSCOM Executive Chairman submits a report (S/1999/94) to the President of the Security Council on disarmament and monitoring.
Between 1:57 and 2:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again illuminated and fired upon by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems in several incidents. An F-15E was fired upon by an anti-aircraft artillery system. Two F-15Es then dropped one GBU-12 each on the system. In another incident, an EA-6B launched a HARM at an SA-2 SAM site that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area. An F-16CJ launched a HARM at a different SA-2 SAM site that posed a threat to coalition forces in the area. Coalition forces observed an Iraqi SAM launch in the vicinity of coalition aircraft. Coalition aircraft departed the area and continued operations.
Iraq's news agency says one of the missiles struck a crowded market in Basra, killing civilians. General Zinni says "There is still a need to review the strike. It's possible that we did a have missile that didn't perform as expected."
January 26, 1999: Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister says Iraq no longer recognizes the legitimacy of the country's border with Kuwait.
"We have analyzed yesterday's information and found that an AGM-130 did miss its target and exploded in a residential neighborhood several kilometers away from its target" -- Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon.
National Security Advisor Sandy Berger announces that President Clinton has changed the rules of engagement for US aircraft operating in Iraq, giving them much more authority to attack any part of the Iraqi air defense network. DoD news briefing with spokesman Ken Bacon :
Q: When was this change made, by the way?Press release: Between 1:25 and 1:50 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were targeted by Iraqi surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery systems in three separate incidents near Mosul. An EA-6B Prowler, acting in self defense after being targeted by Iraqi radar, launched a HARM at an Iraqi radar site. An F-15E dropped a GBU-12 500-pound precision-guided munition in response to an anti-aircraft artillery system which posed a threat to coalition aircraft. In another incident, two F-15Es fired one AGM-130 each at a radar site which had targeted coalition aircraft. In another incident between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were again targeted by anti-aircraft artillery systems near Mosul. Three F-15Es, acting in self defense after being targeted by Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery systems, dropped GBU-12 500-pound precision-guided munitions.
Press conference with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary-General, could you please elaborate to us on your position concerning the position of Iraq for non-recognition of United Nations Security Council resolutions and its borders with Kuwait. The second question: what if the Palestinian authority proclaimed a State next May? What is your position, Sir?January 27, 1999: US Secretary of State Madeline Albright:
"Our policy toward Iraq is based on hard experience and sound principle. We seek compliance not confrontation. But Iraq's questioning of Kuwait's sovereignty and call for the overthrow of Arab governments are just the most recent indications that Saddam Hussein seeks only to make trouble.That same day the US announces it endorses a proposal by Canada to create three UN panels to study the Iraq situation.
The proposal by Canada -- one of 10 non-permanent members of the 15-member council -- calls for panels on disarmament, humanitarian issues, and POWs and missing Kuwaiti property and archives, each under the chairmanship of the current council president, Ambassador Celso Amorim of Brazil. Those three panels would provide an expert assessment of the current situation in Iraq which council members would then use in deciding how to move ahead.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Minister warns that US warplanes stationed in Turkey are not allowed to take offensive action against Iraqi targets.
January 28, 1999: At approximately 3:45p.m. Iraqi time, two F-15Es observed fire by an anti-aircraft artillery site located north of Mosul. In self-defense, the two F-15Es dropped a total of three GBU-12s on the anti-aircraft artillery site.
US National Security Advisor Sandy Berger in the Washington Post:
If sanctions were lifted, the international community no longer could determine how Iraq's oil revenues are spent. The oil-for-food program would have to be disbanded, not expanded. Billions of dollars now reserved for the basic needs of the Iraqi people would become available to Saddam to use as he pleased. The amount of food and medicine flowing into Iraq most likely would decline.January 30, 1999: At approximately 3 p.m. Iraqi time, coalition aircraft were targeted by Iraqi radars near Mosul. A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle responded in self defense by launching an AGM-130 at the radar site. A second incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. Iraqi time. A group of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles acting in self defense after being targeted, dropped two GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an Iraqi Skyguard surface-to-air missile site. In a third incident at about the same time, F-15Es acting in self defense dropped two GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an anti-aircraft artillery system and its associated radar which threatened coalition aircraft. The fourth incident occurred close to 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, when F-15Es acting in self-defense dropped GBU-12s on another anti-aircraft artillery site. In a fifth incident at approximately 4:30 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Marine EA-6B Prowler fired a high-speed antiradiation missile in response to being targeted by a radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery system. Finally in the sixth incident a minute later, F-15Es responded defensively by dropping GBU-12s on a separate anti-aircraft artillery site.
The UN Security Council approves the three-panel studies in hopes of achieving forward progress on the deadlocked Iraq issue.
January 31, 1999: Iraq rejects the UN three panel reviews, saying they will take too long and amount to continued sanctions.
At approximately 3:20 p.m. Iraqi time today, a U.S. Air Force F-16CJ Fighting Falcon acting in self defense launched a high-speed antiradiation missile (HARM) at a radar system north of Mosul.
Martin S. Indyk, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, visits Kuwait:
The Clinton Administration has developed a new approach to Iraq, which Indyk called "containment plus regime change." This policy, he said, follows two basic principles: the change must come from the Iraqi people themselves and from inside Iraq and the U.S. will maintain its commitment to the territorial integrity of Iraq.February 2, 1999: At 2:20 p.m. Iraqi time, two U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles dropped two GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an anti-aircraft artillery battery in response to being targeted by Iraqi radar near Mosul. In a separate incident approximately 15 minutes later, two additional F-15Es, also responding after being targeted by Iraqi radar, dropped GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on the same anti-aircraft artillery site. In a third incident at approximately 3:15 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Marine EA-6B launched a high-speed anti-radiation missile (HARM) at an SA-2 radar site. In a fourth incident at approximately 3:20 p.m. Iraqi time, F-15Es dropped GBU-12 precision-guided munitions on an anti-aircraft artillery site. Finally, in a fifth incident which occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, F-15Es dropped GBU-12s on another anti-aircraft artillery site.
February 3, 1999:: Kofi Annan orders all American and British UN workers, including oil-for-food monitors, out of Iraq.
February 6, 1999: The Rambouillet talks (for Chateau Rambouillet, the site of the talks) begin - an attempt at a peace agreement between then-Yugoslavia and a delegation representing the ethnic-Albanian majority population of Kosovo. They were intended to conclude by February 19. When the talks failed to achieve an agreement by the original deadline of they were extended by another month.
February 6, 1999: (media) The Guardian:
Thus the world's most notorious pariah state, armed with its half-built hoard of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, tried to embrace the planet's most prolific terrorist. It was the stuff of the West's millennial nightmares, but United States intelligence officials are positive that the meeting took place, although they admit that they have no idea what happened.And
Saddam Hussein's regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials.February 11, 1999: Between approximately 12:15 and 12:30 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle flight observed Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery fire and was also illuminated by an Iraqi radar system near Mosul. Acting in self-defense, one F-15E dropped; GBU-12s on an Iraqi surface-to-air missile communications site. Two F-15Es launched an AGM-130 and dropped GBU-12s on an Iraqi surface-to-air missile system. At 1:32 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle dropped GBU-12 precision- guided munitions on an Iraqi surface-to-air missile site west of Mosul. Two minutes later, a U.S. Air Force F-16CJ Fighting Falcon launched an AGM-88 high-speed antiradiation missile at an Iraqi radar site northwest of Mosul. Close to 1:38 p.m. Iraqi time, a U.S. Air Force F-15E dropped GBU-12s on a surface-to-air missile communications site east of Mosul.
February 12, 1999 At approximately 1:30 p.m. Iraqi time, an F-15E enforcing the Northern no-fly zone over Iraq was fired upon by an anti-aircraft artillery site north of Mosul. The F-15E dropped a GBU-12 in response to this hostile act.
President Clinton is acquitted of charges in the US Senate.
19 February, 1999 (The Independent):
...Ayatollah Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, the popular leader of the Shia Muslims of Iraq, got into his car to drive to his house, as he did every day, from his office on the outskirts of the holy city of Najaf near the Euphrates, southwest of Baghdad. With him were his two sons, Mustapha and Mu'ammal, who acted as his chief assistants, and a driver.
February 24, 1999, CENTCOM: COALITION REACTS TO CONTINUED UNSCR VIOLATIONS
MACDILL AFB, FL - At approximately 10:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time today, U.S. Air Force F-15E "Strike Eagle," and U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornet" aircraft enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone in Iraq, struck two Iraqi surface-to-air missile sites near Al Iskandariyah, about 30 miles south of Baghdad.
The strikes were in response to an Iraqi aircraft violation of the no-fly zone and Anti-Aircraft Artillery fire directed at coalition aircraft.
In addition to the strikes reported earlier in the vicinity of Al Iskandariyah, U.S. Central Command reports U.S. Air Force F-16C/J aircraft fired two High-speed Anti Radiation Missiles in response to illumination from an integrated air defense radar site near Tallil.
Voice of America:
US WARPLANES HAVE STRUCK IRAQI AIR DEFENSE INSTALLATIONS ON THE OUSKIRTS OF BAGHDAD. IRAQI AUTHORITIES SAY A NUMBER OF CIVILIANS HAVE BEEN KILLED OR WOUNDED IN THE ATTACKFebruary 25, 1999, Transcript, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Hugh Shelton press conference:
Q: VOA: General, Baghdad has complained that the latest raid actually took place outside the no-fly zone, in fact was on the outskirts of Baghdad and is calling it a grave escalation. Do you have any comment on that?
SHELTON: Yes, first of all, let me say that anything coming out of Baghdad, I think should be questioned in terms of its veracity since we have seen very little of the truth come from Iraq in recent years. But I think that the United Nations, and indeed the international community in general, have made it very clear that Iraq must comply with the United Nations Security Council resolutions, that it must end its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and that it must comply with, for example, the no-fly zone and the no-drive zone. That ties into United States' policy of containment and continued enforcement of United Nations' resolutions and we intend to continue to do that, both the no-fly zone as well as containing them in terms of maritime interdiction operations.
Actions by our coalition aircraft that are in there are taken in self defense, in response to Saddam's acts of provocation, his aggressive acts. As you know, he declared that the no-fly zone would be null and void and consequently has, in recent days, decided to both violate the no-fly zone as well as to fire his anti-aircraft artillery, his surface-to-air missiles and light up our aircraft with radar, which are an offensive action within itself. We subsequently engaged each time that he has made those violations and will continue to do so. We will continue to enforce the no-fly zone. We operate only up to the 33rd parallel, which is basically the boundary for the southern no-fly zone, and we do not go south of the 36th. We have not, and at this point do not intend to do that as an enforcement mechanism. So the report he is running is erroneous. We have not gone across the 33rd nor south of the 36th.
February 27, 1999, CENTCOM: COALITION RESPONDS TO IRAQI AGGRESSION
MACDILL AFB, FL - At approximately 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time today, U.S. Air Force F-15E "Strike Eagles" and U.S. Navy F/A-18 "Hornets" and F-14 "Tomcats" enforcing the Operation Southern Watch No-Fly Zone struck two Iraqi military communication facilities.
The strikes were conducted near As Samawah, which is approximately 130 miles southeast of Baghdad and Al Amarah, which is approximately 170 miles southeast of Baghdad. The strikes were in response to anti-aircraft artillery fire directed at coalition aircraft on a previous mission.
February 28, 1999: INCIRLIK AIR BASE, TURKEY -- Between 1:55 and 2:15 p.m. Iraqi time, while conducting routine enforcement of the northern no-fly zone, and in response to anti-aircraft artillery fire, a flight of U.S. F-15Es launched three AGM-130 air-to-ground guided missiles and dropped three GBU-24 laser-guided bombs on an Iraqi air defense headquarters and radio relay site.
Additonally, between 2:13 and 2:35 p.m. Iraqi time, F-15Es dropped three GBU-12 and three GBU-24 laser-guided bombs on the radio relay site, as well as on an Iraqi surface-to-air missile site.
The Iraqi radio relay site was being used by the Iraqi government to pass targeting data from Iraqi's radars to Iraqi anti-aircraft artillery guns shooting at coalition aircraft.
Coalition forces did not target nor was there damage to an Iraqi pipeline or an Iraqi oil pumping station.
The incidents happened near Mosul, Iraq.
February 28, 1999, US Army Public Affairs: Bush tells Gulf vets why Hussein left in Baghdad
Former President George Bush took the opportunity at the "8th Annual Reunion of Our Victory in the Desert" Feb. 28 to explain his reason for stopping Operation Desert Storm after 100 hours.Later PBS interview with General Norman Schwarzkopf:
Q: Everyone's always said to me "Oh, they had a very clear objective" you know, "Get rid of the Iraqis from Kuwait." Could you explain to me in headline terms, just very briefly, why wasn't that good enough?
March 1, 1999: United Nations -- The United Nations has reported that Iraq is not distributing about $275 million worth of medical supplies and a significant quantity of other goods have not been distributed or, in some cases, even ordered under the Security Council program designed to help Iraqi civilians.
In a written report to the Security Council on the "oil-for-food" program, Secretary General Kofi Annan said he is concerned over the long delays between the time supplies arrive in Iraqi warehouses and when the Iraqi Government distributes the supplies to civilians.
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, TURKEY -- Between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Iraqi time, while conducting routine enforcement of the northern no-fly zone, and in response to several incidents of Iraqi radar targeting coalition aircraft, U.S. F-15Es dropped more than thirty 2,000 pound and 500 pound laser guided bombs on Iraqi communications sites, radio relay sites, and anti-aircraft artillery sites.
The incidents happened near Mosul, Iraq.
There was no damage to coalition aircraft.
Damage to Iraqi forces is currently under assessment.
March 2, 1999, European Stars And Stripes:
More than two months after the four days and 100 targets of Operation Desert Fox, the United States, with help from the British, continues an almost daily string of airstrikes against Iraq at the provocation of President Saddam Hussein's air defenses.Air Force Print News:
Coalition forces strike with 'greater flexibility'
March 3, 1999: "Iraq remains a serious threat to international peace and security. I remain determined to see Iraq comply fully with all of its obligations under Security Council resolutions," President Clinton said in his March 3 report to Congress on the status of efforts to obtain Iraq's compliance with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
March 3, 1999: United Nations -- The United States, along with the other members of the Security Council, wants to see Iraqi oil exports under the "oil-for-food" program "up and running as quickly as possible," US Ambassador Nancy Soderberg said March 3.
Talking with journalists after the head of the UN's Iraq program briefed council members privately, Soderberg said that "there was general agreement that the oil must begin to flow and that we want to get it up and running as quickly as possible."
The Iraqi pipeline "was not hit; the pumping stations were not hit; and we absolutely do not target civilians -- that's absolutely false," the ambassador said, referring to Baghdad's claims that US pilots hit the pipeline, stopping the oil exports.
"The area that was hit was, in our belief, part of the Iraqi air defense system communications area. The Iraq command and control is part of the area that is threatening our pilots," she said.
Soderberg said that she reminded the council that "US forces in the region are acting to protect the vulnerable population of Iraq."
March 4, 1999, CENTCOM: COALITION AIRCRAFT STRIKE TARGETS SOUTH OF AL BASRAH
MACDILL AFB, FL - At approximately 8:15 a.m. Eastern Standard Time today, British Royal Air Force GR-1 "Tornado" aircraft enforcing the Southern No-Fly Zone struck an Iraqi military radar site approximately 15 miles south of Al Basrah near Ash Shuaybah.
The strikes were in response to two Iraqi violations of the Southern No-Fly Zone and aircraft illuminations by Iraqi surface-to-air missile sites.
March 6, 1999, Voice of America:
U-S WARPLANES LAUNCHED NEW ATTACKS ON IRAQI AIR DEFENSE INSTALLATIONS IN THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN NO-FLY ZONES OVER IRAQ SATURDAY. THE LATEST CLASHES COME JUST TWO DAYS AFTER IRAQ RESUMED PUMPING OIL THROUGH A PIPELINE DAMAGED IN SIMILAR STRIKES EARLIER IN THE WEEK.March 8, 1999: UNSCOM CHIEF: SECURITY COUNCIL UNITY ON IRAQI WEAPONS ESSENTIAL
New York -- The major obstacle in ridding Iraq of its banned chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles is a divided Security Council, not allegations that UN weapons inspectors were spies, the head of the UN special Commission overseeing the destruction of Iraqi weapons (UNSCOM) says.
14 March, 1999, CENTCOM:
COALITION AIRCRAFT RESPOND TO SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE FIRE14 March, 1999, Voice of America:
US WAR PLANES TAKING OFF FROM A NATO BASE IN SOUTHERN TURKEY POUNDED IRAQI DEFENSES SUNDAY IN THE NO-FLY ZONE OVER KURDISH-CONTROLLED NORTHERN IRAQ. FROM ANKARA, AMBERIN ZAMAN HAS THE DETAILS.15 March, 1999, CENTCOM:
COALITION AIRCRAFT RESPOND TO NO-FLY ZONE VIOLATIONS16 March, 1999, Air Force Print News:
INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey (AFPN) -- For the third day in a row, coalition forces have attacked Iraqi ground sites that posed a threat to aircraft patrolling the northern no-fly zone.A DoD news release:
Since the war's end in 1991, U.S. and other allied coalition pilots have enforced U.N.-mandated no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq. The zones protect Kurds in the north and Shi'a Muslims in the south from Saddam Hussein's aggression. Along with U.N.-imposed "no-drive" restrictions, the no-fly zones also prevent the Iraqi dictator from marshaling forces to invade neighboring states.
16 March, 1999: A. Elizabeth Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, releases a letter marking the anniversary of the Halabja massacre:
The sympathies of the United States are with the Kurdish people of northern Iraq and with all Iraqis as we commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the massacre at Halabja.USIA 17 March 1999 United States Information Agency
RICHARDSON, PICKERING FAVOR EXPANSION OF OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM"The Oil-for-Food program has not adverselt affected international oil prices to the point where our domestic oil producers should be concerned." Richardson testified. "Iraq is not a swing player. It affects, marginally, world oil."
18 March 1999, UNSCOM:
UNSCOM DISPUTES IRAQI CHARGES ON LIVESTOCK DISEASE
18 March 1999: The government of Iraq claimed it arrested five people for the previous month's assassination of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadek al-Sadr.
18 March 1999: Albanian, American and British delegations signed what became known as the Rambouillet Accords - a proposed peace agreement between then-Yugoslavia and a delegation representing the ethnic-Albanian majority population of Kosovo. It was drafted by NATO and named for Chateau Rambouillet, where it was initially proposed.
The Serbian and Russian delegations refused to sign.
The accords called for NATO administration of Kosovo as an autonomous province within Yugoslavia; a force of 30,000 NATO troops to maintain order in Kosovo; an unhindered right of passage for NATO troops on Yugoslav territory, including Kosovo; and immunity for NATO and its agents to Yugoslav law. The American and British delegations must have known that the new version would never be accepted by the Serbs or the Contact Group. These latter provisions were much the same as had been applied to Bosnia for the SFOR (Stabilisation Force) mission there.
19 March, 1999. Air Force Print News:
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- Iraqi aircraft violated the southern no-fly zone March 19, prompting coalition air strikes against radar and communications sites.
(This is a work in progress - more to follow.)
Posted by Greyhawk / December 6, 2005 11:35 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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