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French soldiers on exercise

French soldiers on exercise
Source: dpa

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Carnival called off!

White armbands instead of fancy dress. The annual revellers are in a serious mood this year - demonstrating not parading. bulletRose Monday, 1 February 1991: the street celebrations are off because the Gulf War is on.

A surgical war, they tell us. Only military targets are being hit; the civilian population won't suffer ...

Well, that's the picture presented by an international alliance led by the United States which swings into action on 17 January 1991, attacking Iraq in order to force its dictator Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait following the Iraqi occupation of the oil-rich Gulf state.

Just in case the West's bombs aren't anywhere near as accurate as a surgeon's scalpel, the United States has wrapped a sort of tourniquet around the information arteries. Media censorship ensures that the only pictures shown are those approved by the military.

So on television the war looks like a video-game: hazy greenish night shots of the bombing, hits tracked by gun cameras, destroyed buildings, victims ... Victims? The dead and injured hardly appear at all in carefully filtered reports. Independent news reporting is impossible, and pictures can't be trusted.

Dirk Bitzer

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Civil servants enraged!

This time everyone can sympathise with civil servants who don't want to get moving. It's no laughing matter for Bonn's bureaucrats.  bullet go on