At the ostensible conclusion of 1991's Operation Desert Storm, the US's intangible, informational combat mission which time has only recently designated Gulf War I, CNN's real-time coverage of the events made a constant spectacle of the blazing infernos that were laying waste to as many as 500 Kuwaiti oil fields.
After a century of wasting oil resources, burning oil as a show of conspicuous consumption, the urgency of Gulf War II is heightened above that of Gulf War I precisely because its tempo has been so radically slowed down.
The major impact of the Gulf war is
the destruction of the dynamic between political discourse and political praxis in regional politics; and with it the destruction of the Arab state system's ability to sustain itself autonomously.
Put quite simply, what the american people learned from the Gulf War is
that it's a helluva lot easier and a helluva lot more fun to "kick ass" in the Middle East (to quote those at the highest levels of government) than it is to make any sacrifices to limit America's dependency on imported crude.
But above all, everybody in and outside the Gulf is asking whether the second Gulf war is
going to be also the last of the big wars in the region?