Montreal, Seminar Conflict in the Gulf : Long Term Impact

Date: 
Tuesday, June 18, 1991 - 09:30 - 17:45

Context:

The crisis in the Gulf is the most serious in that region since 1967. On one side, the largest western military buildup since Vietnam is now entrenched in the Gulf. Since the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the United-States has led a wide coalition of western countries plus Japan, the Soviet Union and some of the Arab countries to confront Iraq and destroy its hegemonic ambitions.

On the other side, Iraq’s relentless efforts to swallow Kuwait are creating extraordinary tensions in the whole of the Near Est. Because of its relatively military weakness, Saddam Hussein is waging a political battle, attracting those millions of Arabs who are frustrated by the political and economic impasse in the region.

The current stand-off (end November) cannot stay for ever. At this point, two scenarios are in the making: total war, which would mean large-scale human and material destruction in Iraq, but also Kuweit and perhaps Saudi Arabia and occupied territories of the West Bank of Gaza; or a political solution which can only mean an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuweit, followed by some sort of guarantees that Saddam Hussein’s regime will not be able to embark in such ventures in the near future. At the worst, it might lead to the end of Iraq nation-State as we now know it. In any case, it is highly unlikely that Iraq will remain stable. Moreover, many countries of region will face immense difficulties and tension.

Deep rifts between and within Arab governments and peoples are now developed. One of the most important aspect (and largely undocumented) is terrible dislocation of people, as reflected in the hundreds of thousands of Yemeni , Egyptians, Jordanians, Palestinians and others “guestworkers’’ forcedly displaced from Iraq, Kuweit and Saudi Arabia. Economic and social breakdown is already visible in many countries, particularly in Jordan and the occupied territories. The cataclysm is creating long-term waves of social, political and economic transformations which eill affct all the countires of Gulf and the Near East.

The purpose of the proposed program is to look at these long term waves

Objectives:

We are proposing to organise a seminar and a public meeting on the topic "The long-term impact of the Gulf Crisis”.

Achievements:

June 18th 1991

The Gulf War : The Aftermath

9h30 to 17h15

Université de Montréal

Pavillon Jean-Brillant

9h30

Welcome and registration

10h00

Nirou Eftekari

Fidel Nakib

What reconstruction ?

Available resources -Oil-Distribution of wealth-Politics of reconstruction

Chaired by Banhgat Korany

11h

Joe Stork

The future of Irak

Dimantling? Submission ? Revival ?

Role of the existing opposition parties-Possible scenarios -Type of regime-Relations with its neighours-Etc.

Chaired by Jooneed Khan

12h

Lunch Break

13h30

Fouad Mughraby

Nubar Hovsepian

The new regional order

The new power equation in the region-future of democracy in the Arab world as a result of the Gulf war.

Chaired by Pierre Beaudet

14h45

Micheal Klare

The new world order

Diplomatic and Military aspects

Chaired by Thierry Hentsch

15h45

Coffee Break

16h

Jim Graff

Canadian Policy after the Gulf war

What will be attitude of the western powers and their role in region? The position of United-States-Canada’s role: independent policy or junior partner of the USA?

Chaired by Rachad Antonius

17h45

Closing of seminar