The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.60/No.32           September 16, 1996 
Clinton's Record As A War President  

Below is a chronology of the Clinton administration's attacks on Iraq:

January 1993

"There is no difference between my policy and the policy of the present administration [of George Bush]," Clinton says at a January 14 news conference, less than a week before his inauguration. Three days later, U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea fire 40 Tomahawk cruise missiles at targets near Baghdad. The president-to-be also backed repeated air strikes by U.S., British, and French war planes over Iraq January 13-23 that year.

June 1993

U.S. bombing of Baghdad June 26 leaves at least 8 civilians dead and 20 wounded. Three of the 23 cruise missiles fired at the city hit residential neighborhoods, leaving craters 30 feet deep. On June 29, a U.S. warplane fires an air-to-surface missile against an Iraqi antiaircraft battery in the southern province of Basra. Bombings and missile attacks continue into July. Clinton claims assault is in retaliation of alleged plot by Baghdad to kill former president Bush while on an earlier visit to Kuwait.

August 1993

U.S. war planes bombard targets in northern Iraq August 9, dropping cluster bombs on what Washington claims was an Iraqi air defense battery. Two F-15E fighter bombers also drop four 500-pound laser-guided bombs at the same site.

December 1993

Clinton administration announces it will push for tough new conditions for lifting the UN ban on Iraqi oil exports, including recognizing Kuwait as an independent country and ending the persecution of dissidents before the embargo on oil exports is lifted.

April 1994
Two U.S. F-15 fighter jets patrolling the airspace above northern Iraq shoot down two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters April 14, apparently mistaking them for Iraqi aircraft, killing all 26 people on board. The downing occurred in broad daylight, with no warning given to the targeted helicopters.

September 1994

At Washington's urging the United Nations Security Council votes September 14 to maintain its economic embargo against Iraq, first imposed in August 1990. Earlier in the year, Iraqi foreign minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf told the UN Commission on Human Rights that the death rate among young children in the country was 126 times higher than before the Gulf War. Prices of basic foodstuffs had risen as much as 400 percent. The Security Council has renewed the sanctions regularly since, with the U.S. government leading the charge, despite continued reports of the devastating consequences. A UN study estimates as of January 1996, as many as 576,000 children in Iraq have died as a result of the economic embargo.

October 1994

With virtually unanimous bipartisan support, Clinton pours tens of thousands of troops into the Gulf region, and places another 156,000 on alert. Hundreds of bombers and other war material are part of the massive armada sent to the waters off Iraq. The U.S. military buildup, supposedly in response to the deployment of 70,000 Iraqi troops near the border with Kuwait, continues despite the fact that Baghdad began pulling its troops back within days. U.S. troops conduct training exercises in the Kuwaiti desert.

Washington and London both issue "diplomatic notes" October 20 threatening aerial bombardment if Baghdad sends more troops south of the 32nd parallel.

November-December 1994

The U.S. Navy boards five ships accused of disregarding UN sanctions against Iraq. The Iraqi government reports that the U.S. sailors shot at the crewmen of two of the ships.

July 1995

Washington sends 1,000 additional troops to Kuwait for training exercises, several months ahead of schedule, along with 13 ships of war material to equip the 20,000 U.S. soldiers stationed in the Persian Gulf region. U.S. officials openly speculate on the possibilities of ousting Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Other war moves by Clinton include:

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