Friday, July 30, 2004

History Friday Part Two: 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait

From back in the days when most American's struggled to find Iraq on a map and and Texans thought a "Saddam" was the pistol carried by police officers, we find this story:

ON THIS DAY Aug 2, 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait

Just a reminder then of the crazy land grab that started it all and got us where we are today.

Reading this old report certainly brought back memories (not least Mr. Garton telling me to take down on grounds of taste the photo of Saddam with a speech bubble declaring my boarding school dorm room to be "the 19th province of Iraq" that Al Bowles had stuck up there for a laugh) and sparked these questions:

a) If Saddam's pre-emptive invasion of the dictatorship of Kuwait for what he considered economic security reasons was roundly condemned by the United States and resulted in a UN resolution for a coalition to push him out militarily, why was the United States' pre-emptive invasion of the dictatorship of Iraq for what we considered national security reasons OK? I can parse the difference from here, but the trouble is the Arab street, madrassas, and universities; the recruiting grounds for Al Qadea and Ansar Al Islam; cannot.

b) Daddy, what was a coalition?

c) Why do we let the Kuwaitis get away with it? If we are for building democracy in Iraq, how can we be friends with a kingdom that imported thousands of indentured guest workers before Iraq invaded so that the Kuwaiti population could live lives of unprecendented luxury, and then beat, executed, and imprisoned hundreds of those workers post war because they were deemed not to have shown sufficient resistance to Iraq (even while the Kuwaiti army was running south at full speed)?

Oy! Sorry, sorry; mustn't ask questions I already know the answers to; its a cheap rhetorical trick. I've been watching too much convention coverage. Besides, if we ask questions, the terrorists win.

Talking of the Democratic Convention, I spent most of the week on the couch watching the dang thing from pillar to post and marshalling my thoughts for a potentially epic post on the week's events after the weekend. Watch this space to see if I summon up the courage the write the darn thing.

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