The Gulf War Did Not Taken Place (in French , La Guerre du Golfe n'a pas eu lieu ) is a collection of three short essays by French sociologist Jean Baudrillard published in 1991.
Contrary to the title, Baudrillard does believe that the events and violence of the Gulf War took place, the problem is a matter of interpretation: were the events that occurred comparable to how they were presented and could these events be classified as a war? The title is a reference to Jean Giraudoux's play, The Trojan War Will Not Take Place , in which the characters try to avoid what the audience knows is inevitable.
The essays were published before, during, and after the Gulf War and were titled accordingly: During American Military Buildup and American Rhetoric: The Gulf War Will Not Take Place ; During Military Action: Is the Gulf War Really Taking place? , and after the action ended: The Gulf War has not taken place .
In May 1991, a book with longer versions of the original articles was published in French.
Baudrillard argued that the Gulf War was not really a war but rather an atrocity disguised as a war. Using overwhelming air power, the US military for the most part did not engage directly in combat with the Iraqi military and suffered few casualties. Almost nothing was released about the Iraqi deaths. Therefore, the fighting "did not really take place" from the Western point of view . Furthermore, everything that viewers could learn about the war was in the form of propaganda images . Media presentationsclosely watched made it impossible to distinguish between the experience of what actually happened in the conflict and its selective and stylized misrepresentation through simulations.