TELEVISION / Briefing: Crude oil and troubled waters

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The Independent Culture
The Gulf war: what was it good for? Saddam Hussein is still in power, still murdering Kurds and Shiites, the world is not a safer place, and regional conflicts (Bosnia, Somalia, Georgia . . .) just go on erupting. CRITICAL EYE (9pm C4), with 'Proud Arabs and Texas Oilmen', presents the anti- Gulf war message that didn't get heard at the time, the nation being otherwise engaged by those video replays of 'smart' bombs and 'surgical' strikes (the mortality ratio: 1,000 Iraqis to every Allied soldier dead). Its arguments, put by Tony Benn, Tam Dalyell, Noam Chomsky, Bruce Kent and Michael Ignatieff, will be familiar to anyone with half an ounce of political awareness: that the war was about oil supplies, not moral principles; that the United States bullied and bribed the United Nations to its will; that the West armed Hussein to the tune of dollars 90bn before calling him the new Hitler. You might wonder the purpose of such a piece so late in the day, and in a slot that presumably preaches to the converted. But then history can't always be written by the victors.