Oil Spills During The Gulf War
Oil spills during the gulf war were a major problem. Research papers report on how they affected the Gulf region during the time of the Gulf War. Have the military and history writers at Paper Masters explicate the meaning of the spills affect on the War going on.
The Persian Gulf during the Gulf War in Iraq and Kuwait caused a great deal of environmental damage. The oil spills that resulted from this 1991 war have created several dilemmas for those concerned with environmental ethics. This paper will examine the ethical dilemmas posed by the Gulf War oil spills. In addition, it will include the following:
- A thorough description of the problem.
- A discussion of possible positions that may be taken concerning this problem.
- Demonstrate that although these environmental tragedies occurred during wartime, there is no ethical justification for the destruction that was imposed on the environment.
- The oil spills were unethical crimes against humanity.
Hussein's Environmental Terrorism of Oil Spills
In January 1991, Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi forces fighting in the Gulf War committed acts of what some have termed "environmental terrorism" by burning oil wells and releasing crude oil into the Persian Gulf, fouling the water and devastating wildlife. According to reports, the Iraqis set the oil wells on fire to provide a massive smoke shield that was meant to confuse military guidance systems and block the view of military satellites. For the Iraqis, burning of oils was ethically justified because the United States and its allies had attacked Iraq and was attempting to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Because Iraq believed that Kuwait was actually a part of Iraq, they justified their attack on the country. And because they believe they have an ethical right to defend themselves, they justified the burning of wells as a necessary tactic to protect and defend Iraqi forces in Kuwait.
However, the when the Iraqi's released crude petroleum into the Persian Gulf, the results were much more tragic for the environment and wildlife, and much less simple to ethically justify. Days after the oil was released, a ten-mile band of crude oil stretched across the Gulf near Kuwait that was described as "so thick in places that the water heaved like mud".
Hussein's Spilling of Crude Oil
Reports contend that Iraq opened the release valves of Kuwait's main supertanker-loading pier, the Sea Island terminal, and pipes leading from storage tanks, poured millions of gallons of crude oil directly into the water. At the same time, Iraq emptied the oil from at least three tankers into the gulf. According to Lacayo, the Iraqis may have released up to 120 million gallons of oil into the gulf, which is more than ten times as much oil as the Exxon Valdez leaked into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989 . Moreover, because the spill was in enemy territory, the United States was unable to go in and clean it up as it occurred.