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The Gulf War of 1991
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Posted 7/27/09 , edited 7/27/09
By the year of 1990 Saddam Hussein had already subjected the Iraqi people to eleven years of his violent regime, crushing Kurdish and Shiite uprisings. He’d created a high-tech military with chemical weapons of mass destruction and over a million soldiers, making it the fourth largest military force in the world. He’d also bankrupted his nation in an eight year war with Iran and was now forced to invade neighboring Kuwait to maintain his war machine. Kuwait is a tiny Arab state with a meager military force. Saddam knew that if he captured it, one tenth of the world’s oil would be under his control.

In the morning hours of August 2, 1990 Saddam’s forces crossed into Kuwait and headed for the nation’s capital. By 4:30 A.M they’d captured Kuwait City and arrived at Parliament. Within a few more minutes the Iraqis overwhelmed Parliament guards and captured Kuwait’s body of elected officials. The Emir and his sons abandoned their palaces and fled.

Before the day ended Saddam Hussein now had complete control of Kuwait. The Iraq forces were instructed to loot shops and eliminate rebellious civilians. Resistance fighters were shot or tortured in front of their families to discourage future uprising. Saddam boasted that after Vietnam the Americans would not muster enough political support to rally for a Middle Eastern war, but he was wrong.

Immediately after news of Sadam’s attack reached western nations the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada prepared for battle. The United nations condemned Saddam’s invasion and passed Resolution 660, calling for his immediate withdrawal, but armed conflict was delayed by an Arab League resolution warning against external intervention and calling for an internal solution to the problem. Meanwhile the UN passed Resolution 661, placing economic sanctions on Iraq. By November of 1990 world leaders were out of patience. Saddam showed no signs of withdrawing, even after Resolution 665 called for the forceful liberation of Kuwait if Iraq was not out in six weeks and established a naval blockade of Iraqi waters.

Despite universal opposition in the United Nations and Arab League Saddam refused to back down. He continued to flood troops into Kuwait, creating a fortification along the coast and turning the nation into a fortress by the sea. Meanwhile, thousands of tanks and infantry units moved to Kuwait’s southern border in preparation for an invasion of Saudi Arabia.

In a last ditch effort to avoid military confrontation, the US secretary of state met with Iraq’s foreign minister in Geneva, but seven hours of talk consummated with no progress. Saddam called for his people to prepare for “The Mother of All Battles,” and promised them a great victory. He boasted that the Americans relied too heavily on technology and that he would triumph on the bravery, discipline, and faith of his Islamic warriors.

Over the next few months forces from 32 nations joined the Americans and British on the border of Kuwait and Iraq including Arab nations such as the UAE, Egypt, and Syria. But it was the United States that offered up more military support than all other nations combined. Six American aircraft carries with over 400 planes were positioned within striking distance of Iraq and Kuwait. 760,000 coalition troops gathered under the command of American General Norman Schwartzkopf.

The number one concern was defending Saudi Arabia. The Saudi army was weak from past conflicts, and desperately needed payments on loans granted to Saddam during his war with Iran. Hussein, however, had no intention of paying back his debts. Once he’d captured Saudi Arabia Saddam would have control over half of the world’s oil and could win the war through economic embargoes.

America offered to flood thousands of troops onto Saudi’s border with Kuwait to launch operation Desert Shield. The king of Saudi Arabia agreed, but early complications arose when Islamic locals were offended by American traditions. Saudi Arabia is home of the holiest sites in Islam, including the Ka’bah, Mecca, and Medina. Seemingly harmless conflicts, like female soldiers wearing short sleeves in the scorching sun or Christian/Jewish chaplains providing spiritual solace to troops, caused great offense. Women soldiers were ordered to cover up and chaplains were renamed ‘moral officers.”

Other problems came with the terrain. Sand contaminated food and clogged engines, and nobody knew if the Saudi Arabian dunes were stable enough to support heavy US tanks. Meanwhile, Saddam was convinced that American’s would not support a war with heavy civilian casualties or American deaths. Chemicals weapons became the chief fear of US troops, who went into combat decked out with chemical protection suits and gas masks.

For now the ground forces remained in a stalemate. The Americans knew they had to keep casualties to a minimum and Saddam was not willing to leave his defensively fortified position. When Saddam missed the six weeks deadline the coalition made the first move by launching Operation Desert Storm.

US stealth bombers headed straight for the capital of Iraq. Thousands of antiaircraft missiles fired from the rooftops of Bagdad homes but the high-tech stealth bombers took down Iraq’s communication towers without a hitch. Meanwhile, cruise missiles launched from US carrier ships took out the cities power and with communications severed the air campaign turned to obliterated Saddam’s chemical weapons and army while their dictator fled from one safe house to the next, unable to contact his forces. It was the most concise and focused use of aircrafts in the history of war, with over 100,000 sorties being flown throughout the war.

Saddam now constructed a new strategy, targeting a nation over seven hundred miles away: Israel. In one night Saddam fired eight scud missile at civilian targets throughout the Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest population center, and there was fear of a chemical bombing. His hope was that Arab hatred of the Jews would cause them to turn on the coalition if Israel became involve, but it did not. Israel showed restraint and agreed to stay out of the war. In return the coalition forces would make the elimination of Saddam’s mobile scud missile launchers.

By January 24th 40% of the coalition forces were diverted to this task. Meanwhile the British sent their elites, the SAS, on a mission to locate the scuds from the ground. Their mission was a failure, and missiles continued to hit Israel. Nevertheless, US air forces continued to dominate Saddam’s army and Israel refused to take the bait. The consistent attacks on a continuously neutral nation were a propaganda defeat for Saddam. Israel had in effect become the Gulf War’s Ghandi.

Saddam needed to force the coalition into a ground battle. He did this by moving to seize Saudi Arabia’s oil and capturing its cities. His troops crossed the border, their movements caught on tape by an unmanned aircraft, and there were no bombers close enough to stop them. Before airstrikes could arrive Saddam ordered his troops to take cover in the Saudi town of Khafji where coalition airstrikes would cause Saudi casualties.

Infantry troops from three coalition nations including the US and Saudi Arabia’s own elites took the city back on the ground after days of fighting. 38 Iraquis were killed, 43 coalition forces including 25 US marines.

The Coalition forces were now winning in the air, on the land, and over the seas. However, on Feb. 13th, 1991 Saddam won his first major propaganda victory when American stealth bombers hit a bunker loaded up with 400 Iraqi civilians. Saddam immediately flooded the media with pictures of dead and wounded, including many children and mourning families. In order to maintain international support, the coalition forces had to cease all bombings of Iraqi cities making it nearly impossible to target Sadam’s chemical facilities and scud missile launchers used to destroy coalition bases in Saudi Arabia.

Iraq’s armies, however, were obliterated coalition forces under the brilliant leadership of American Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf. Troop movements can be viewed in detail bellow:

http://military.discovery.com/videos/20th-century-battlefields-episode-7-1991-gulf-war.html

With his forces being driven back and Americans approaching Kuwait City, Saddam ordered the oil in Kuwait to be burned, insuring his failure to achieve victory in the propaganda war.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces in Kuwait City hijacked thousands of civilian vehicles in a mad dash to regroup on their border. The American bombers destroyed the highway and created a roadblock, creating a colossal traffic jam of fleeing Iraqi troops. Many were so desperate to escape they redirected their vehicles and drove into the desert, but by this time it was too late. The bulk of Iraq’s army was a sitting duck and every available coalition aircraft was called to the scene, bombing the vehicles with laser guided bombs. Nobody knows how many people were killed, but two thousand hijacked vehicles were destroyed and corpses littered the desert for miles.

Saddam was utterly defeated. Estimates number Iraqi casualties at 30,000 including 3000 civilians. The coalition number fell just short of 250, far less than anyone had expected. The Republican guard, however, was not destroyed and George H. W. Bush has been criticized for agreeing to a UN delegated cease fire on Feb, 28, 1991. He’d been given the chance to finish the Republican guard and Saddam, but felt that pursuing a fleeing enemy was behavior fit for a bully and didn’t want to portray America in this light.

Saddam would remain in power for another twelve years and crush two more Iraqi uprisings before finally being removed from power by the American’s in the Iraq War.


What are your thoughts, feelings, and comments on this issue?
Yei
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Posted 7/27/09
I had to analyze a poem on the Gulf War last week in my English class.

Other than that, I really don't care....


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Posted 7/27/09
There is nothing to say. Saddam was trying to set himself up as the new Hitler and take over the world through economic blackmail, not to mention destroying his neighbors countries and killing indiscriminately. Everyone agreed something needed to be done, so we did what was needed. If anything it was the perfect war in many ways. It was not that "long", the reasons for going in were solid opposition to it being almost nil, and the combined UN forces suffered fairly little damage compared to Iraq's. The only way it could have gone better was if Saddam had acted like a real leader and backed down instead of being a power mad megalomaniac.
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Posted 7/27/09 , edited 7/27/09
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Posted 7/27/09 , edited 7/27/09
Now I hope the USA learns their lesson never send military, economic aid to corrupt people and help them rule a country. I mean thats how you develop hate and blowback to your country. But then again we didnt learn as we still do it today.
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Posted 7/27/09

Karkarov wrote:

There is nothing to say. Saddam was trying to set himself up as the new Hitler and take over the world through economic blackmail, not to mention destroying his neighbors countries and killing indiscriminately. Everyone agreed something needed to be done, so we did what was needed. If anything it was the perfect war in many ways. It was not that "long", the reasons for going in were solid opposition to it being almost nil, and the combined UN forces suffered fairly little damage compared to Iraq's. The only way it could have gone better was if Saddam had acted like a real leader and backed down instead of being a power mad megalomaniac.


Power mad megalomaniac? Well, aside from the fact that my M button is broken making that a pain in the rear to type, isn’t that a bit redundant? But, I agree. Except, what are your opinions on the coalition forces backing down before they finished the job? They had a chance to save thousands of more lives and instill democracy in Iraq. Instead they refrained and now we’ve got another war going on and this time we aren’t being handed victory on a silver platter. We finally got Saddam but his republican guards are far from defeated and now we have even more terrorists where we didn’t used to. Honestly, I can’t help but feel all of this could’ve been avoided if we weren’t so worried about our international image and had simply gotten the job done.
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Posted 7/27/09 , edited 7/27/09
Shhh be queit!
Yei
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Posted 7/27/09

SeraphAlford wrote:


drizza wrote:

Now I hope the USA learns their lesson never send military, economic aid to corrupt people and help them rule a country. I mean thats how you develop hate and blowback to your country. But then again we didnt learn as we still do it today.


You really hate America, don’t you? It seems no matter what the situation the only thing you do is find some way to criticize it. I’ve never once heard you say anything positive about this nation.

America only provided economic support to Iraq as part of a trade agreement in exchange for the release of US hostages.


Didn't the US put Saddam in power and give him all his weapons and support him when he was massacring people in Iran?
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Posted 7/27/09
Edit out my last post but I could have sworn I heard and read about Sadam being backed by the USA and put in Power but the CIA in the news and reading articles let me do some digging to make sure I got this right. I dont hate my country but it is like we go to war with people we supported in the past you know and it is getting frustrating because I want our country to be loved again, a stronger economy, I dont want to live in this depression for the rest of my life.
Yei
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Posted 7/27/09 , edited 7/27/09

SeraphAlford wrote:


Yei wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:


drizza wrote:

Now I hope the USA learns their lesson never send military, economic aid to corrupt people and help them rule a country. I mean thats how you develop hate and blowback to your country. But then again we didnt learn as we still do it today.


You really hate America, don’t you? It seems no matter what the situation the only thing you do is find some way to criticize it. I’ve never once heard you say anything positive about this nation.

America only provided economic support to Iraq as part of a trade agreement in exchange for the release of US hostages.


Didn't the US put Saddam in power and give him all his weapons and support him when he was massacring people in Iran?


No, but in the late 70s early 80s, under Carter and Regan, we agreed to trade weapons with him in exchange for the release of US citizens he was holding hostage.


Really? I've heard alot of other stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein_-_United_States_relations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_support_for_Iraq_during_the_Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_war

Apparently Saddam was working with the CIA to get rid of the Qassim regime because they were allied with the Soviet Union. So during the Cold War they had alot of interest in Iraq and saw Saddam and his political party as non-commies and pretty much put him into power by getting rid of the other Prime Minister before him.

And then they gave him lots of support and weapons so he could chemical bomb Iran throughout the war. I haven't seen anything on any deal to free US soldiers yet.

???
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Posted 7/27/09

Yei
Really? I've heard alot of other stuff:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein_-_United_States_relations

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_support_for_Iraq_during_the_Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_war

Apparently Saddam was working with the CIA to get rid of the Qassim regime because they were allied with the Soviet Union. So during the Cold War they had alot of interest in Iraq and saw Saddam and his political party as non-commies and pretty much put him into power by getting rid of the other Prime Minister before him.

And then they gave him lots of support and weapons so he could chemical bomb Iran throughout the war. I haven't seen anything on any deal to free US soldiers yet.

???


I’m not sure that they were soldiers. Look up, ‘US hostages, Carter administration” or “Reagan administration,” because Reagan was the first one to start giving weapons to Saddam’s regime. I see what you’re saying now. Yeah, we worked with the Baath party through Saddam but we didn’t support his regime. Saddam didn’t become the dictator when his party took the office. It’d be like if somebody gave money to the republican cause against abortion through Bush and then we said that they were supporting his war in Iraq. We were supporting the Baath who had democratic support in their country, and Saddam was at that time a part of the Baath. But we didn’t know what he was going to do or even that he’d take control.
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Posted 7/27/09 , edited 7/27/09
People will never get it, America despite popular opinion is not some bully with a big stick threatening everyone with an ass whoop if it doesn't get it's way. In fact lately I am not even sure we still have the stick to begin with. Bush had done what he set out to do, taking over Iraq had never been a part of the mission plan. There was no overpowering reason at the time to push it. Saddam's army was crushed into the dirt, his neighbors were reasonably safe from him, he was making all the right noises, and international opinion was to back off. Hind sight is 20/20. The US may have been in a better position now if we had, but the reverse could be true to. Ultimately we went there at the time to prevent someone from unjustly invading another persons land, maybe Bush felt it would be too ironic to end the war by doing what we went to stop?
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Posted 7/28/09

Yei wrote:


SeraphAlford wrote:


drizza wrote:

Now I hope the USA learns their lesson never send military, economic aid to corrupt people and help them rule a country. I mean thats how you develop hate and blowback to your country. But then again we didnt learn as we still do it today.


You really hate America, don’t you? It seems no matter what the situation the only thing you do is find some way to criticize it. I’ve never once heard you say anything positive about this nation.

America only provided economic support to Iraq as part of a trade agreement in exchange for the release of US hostages.


Didn't the US put Saddam in power and give him all his weapons and support him when he was massacring people in Iran?


lol that is what i thought when i read the post.
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Posted 7/28/09

drizza wrote:

Shhh be queit!


you might piss somebody off
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i learned that the reason George Bush wanted gulf War was because of oil. Not anything foreign political
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