Thursday, January 24, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Persian Gulf Conflict Arrives In Video Stores

The Persian Gulf war has gone video, at least in name.

For those who aren't getting enough detail of the conflict on TV, a Bellevue company has begun distributing a videotape titled ``Desert Shield,'' providing background information on both sides' forces.

The company also sells a video on the rise to power of Iraq's leader, titled ``Saddam Hussein Defying the World,'' and a documentary on the Iraq-Iran conflict called ``A Story of War.''

Greg James, owner of the company, Countertop Video, says sales of military tapes have taken off. ``There seems to be a real fascination right now with all these weapons. It's been incredible for us. Our business has doubled since the war started.''

The videos are sold through about 40 hobby stores, supermarkets and museum shops in the state, as well as 700 locations across the country, he said.

For now, says James, his videos do not include live war footage. ``You can't make videos that quickly.''

James, who claims Countertop Video is one of the largest distributors of military videos in the country, says it will be about three weeks before videos of real war action begin to show up in the United States.

But his top seller, ``Desert Shield,'' which has just been released by an English company, uses information from the U.S. government and military contractors to compare Iraqi and coalition forces being used in the Gulf, including details on how specific tanks

and fighter planes would ``stack up against each other,'' says James.

``For instance, the video compares the American M-1 Abrams tank against the Iraqi T-72 (tank),'' says James. ``They really get into how much the two tanks weigh, how fast they can go, the size and range of their guns. . . .''

It also contains facts about the effectiveness of Iraq's Republican Guard, the country's elite force.

Dedicated news enthusiasts, however, might not be surprised by the video's conclusion.

``It seems to indicate the U.S. has the advantage in almost all the weapons being used over there,'' says James.

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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