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Saddam, Iraq, And The Gulf War Essay

justifiable or not, is complete madness. It is hell. No matter what the
or what the reason is, war remains mankinds greatest source of
the plague of mankind, and the plague of this country. Our country
existed for only 200 years, a relatively short time, and already we have
involved in over eleven major wars. Four have been fought this last
years. We are a nation of freedom, but we are also a nation of strong
presence. Our reasons for going to war have differed little from
nations. Political, social, and economic factors working alone or with
other lead us into all of our conflicts. A drive for independence
on the Revolutionary war. A common fear of living in a divided
created the Civil War. The need to bring down an aggressive nation
the United States into the Korean War. And territorial disputes lay
the Mexican-American and American Indian Wars. Like most countries,
United States, at different periods, has been victimized by the dark
of war.

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Though reasons (or excuses) the American people have been given
to the
American people to justify military action were given before most
of our
wars, not every war has been popular. Ever since the Revolutionary
War up
until the Vietnam War, and even through to the Gulf War, public
support has
sequentially increased or decreased. For example, less than
half of the early
colonists backed Americas war of independence.1 According
to historians,
more than one third wanted to maintain their status of
colonists.2 During the
Spanish-American War, such a strong anti-war mood
was being expressed by the
American people, the Democratic party made
condemning the war a major part of
their election campaign. More recently,
the Vietnam War divided the nation
like no other conflict had since the
Civil War.

Yet, there have been some wars that have attained much support,
and much has
even given people pride and joy. How ironic, and morbid,
that a war could
give a person feelings of joy or pride. World War I
and World War II were
incredibly popular, since people thought the basis
of democracy was at stake.

During both wars, people were so committed
to winning the war, and had such a
sense of self-sacrifice, our nation
showed incredible unity for such a
diverse country. Support for food
and fuel rationing was overwhelming, high
rates of enlisted volunteers,
purchases of war bonds, and countless other
types of voluntary actions
were characteristic of the times. Most recently,
the Persian Gulf War
showed to be one of this countrys more popular wars,
despite the fact
we, as a land mass, were never directly endangered.

Thousands showed
up for rallies to send off the troops. Tens of thousands of
and families across the nation sent packages of food, clothes,
CDs, suntan oil, and even cosmetics. Some wrote letters to unknown
in the front line, and gave them their best wishes. In fact, most
opinion polls showed that about 90 percent of all Americans approved
the Gulf War. 3
This paper covers in detail the history of Iraqs involvement
in the events
leading to the war in the Persian Gulf, the involvement
of the United States,
and the main events that took place in Operation
Desert Shield and Desert
For centuries, the Middle East
has been one of the most important, most
argued about, and most fought
over areas of the world. One reason for this is
their strategic location.

Since it lies at what many call the crossroads of
three continents-
Europe, Asia and Africa- people of these continents often
had to cross
through the Middle East to establish military and trade routes.

To protect
these routes, other nations took the advantage of conquering and
a nearby Middle Eastern country. An addition to the Middle East
a very strategic area, it is also an area that has been plagued by
and opposition for centuries. Among the most recognized and most
of these is the Arab-Israeli conflict.

On May 14, 1948, an announcement
from Palestine shocked the world. David
BenGurion, leader of the Jewish
forces, announced the establishment of the
nation of Israel. The Jews
had decided to declare their independence before
the UN officially granted
it. By doing this, the Jews were able to postpone
the UN decision to
divide Palestine and had more control over Israel. The
United States
immediately recognized the new state. The Soviet Union and most
UN nations recognized it as well. Just as quickly, the members of the
League declared war on Israel. Armies from six Arab nations marched into

resulting 1948 Arab-Israeli War lasted less than eight months. Even
the combined population of the Arab nations was over four times larger
that of Israel, the Israelis won an astounding victory. In the war,
forces succeeded in capturing some of the land that the UN provided
the Arabs. In January 1949, Israel controlled 30 percent more land that
UN originally assigned to them. Thousands of Arabs that lived on this
became refugees or had to live under Israeli rule. The problem of what
do about these displaced Palestinians has been a weak point to any type
Middle Eastern peace ever since.

Angry and humiliated over their
defeat, many Arabs criticized the United
States for recognizing and supporting
Israel during the 1948 war. Thus begins
the conflict. Convinced that
the United States would continue to back and
support Israel, several
Arab nations turned to the Soviet Union for military
and economic aid.

The Soviets agreed and supplied them with weapons and
money. In order
to limit Soviet actions in this region, as well as assist
Israel, the
United States became more allied with Israel and more involved in
East affairs.

When the Arabs raised oil prices in the 1970s, some Middle
Eastern countries
grew quite wealthy. Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait,
which Britain granted
independence in 1961, benefited enormously from
growing oil profits. The
increase in wealth also increased tensions among
the oil-producing nations
themselves. For instance, both Iraq and its
neighbor Iran wanted to control
oil shipping in the Persian Gulf. This
rivalry reopened an old Iraqi-Iranian

Since the 1800s, Iraqis
and Iranians had argued and fought over the Shatt
al-Arab waterway on
the northern edge of the Persian Gulf. Important to
trade, the waterway
was essential to the economics of both countries. In
1979, the dispute
got out of hand, and each side threatened the other. On
September 17,
1980, Iraqs president Saddam Hussein claimed complete control
of the
Shatt al-Arab and ordered all Iranian ships to leave. Five days later,
troops invaded Iran and destroyed key Iranian oil installations. The
counter-attacked, blowing up many Iraqi oil facilities. The eight
war that followed was the bloodiest yet seen in the Middle East. An
one million people were killed in the conflict. Both sides launched
attacks against one another, and both used chemical weapons on the

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The Iraq-Iran war left a huge financial burden on Iraq. They had
up the largest military force in the middle east, and had spent a lot
money in the process- much of it borrowed. They spent over five hundred
dollars creating their army and militant arsenal. By 1990, the
was heavily in debt, and Saddam Hussein needed money badly. He wanted
find a way to eliminate Iraqs debts, expand the countrys economy, and
control of the Persian Gulf, all at once. The strategy he chose to
these goals would soon put his people and the people of many other
into another disastrous war.

Saddam first attempted to raise Iraqs
income by increasing the price of
oil. Early in 1990, he demanded that
all OPEC members reduce their prices.

But some of the members, notably
Kuwait, refused to raise their prices for
fear of loosing customers.

Without the support of OPEC, he could not raise
his prices, thus he could
not make more money. Saddam became increasingly
angry at Kuwait. He also
wanted to decrease his war debts. He demanded that
Kuwait cancel Iraqs
debt of billions of dollars. He said the Kuwaitis should
do this in gratitude
to Iraq for stopping the Iranians from overtaking Kuwait
during the war.

The Kuwaitis pointed out that Iran never tried to take
Kuwait. They ignored
Saddams demands and told Iraq to pay their debts.

Saddam was now quite
irritated with Kuwait. At an Arab conference, he again
demanded money
from the Kuwaitis. They very bluntly refused. If they dont
give it
to me, he told an Arab diplomat, Im going to take it from them. 4
he thought about it, Saddam realized that taking over Kuwait would benefit
in a number of ways. It would give them access to the rich Kuwaiti oil
it would get him the money to get Iraq going once again, and it would
his sales of oil. Most importantly to Saddam, it would give him

2:00 A.M. on August 2, 1990, the powerful Iraqi army launched a sudden
massive attack on Kuwait. Thousands of Iraqi soldiers crossed over the

They quickly overtook a small force of Kuwaiti border guards,
only defense. Iraq had penetrated deep into Kuwait, and by
had overtaken the capital, Kuwait City.

This sudden move had definitely
gotten the attention of the world, the
United States in particular. The
US, along with many other nations and the
UN, imposed strong embargoes
on Iraq, and the US even sent the aircraft
carrier USS Independence to
the Gulf. The US, France, and Britain froze all
Iraqi money, so as not
to let Iraq make profits. The Soviet Union enforced
their embargoes on
Iraqi, ironically. Saddam Hussein had not expected such a
huge international
opposition to his actions. Especially from nations like
the US, France,
and the Soviet Union. Leaving Kuwait, he thought, and giving
into the
demands to pull out, would only damage his image further. He was now
as an aggressor, but if he took his troops out, he would been seen as
and cowardly. This is exactly what Saddam did not want.

On August 7,
1990, President Bush announced that he was ordering troops to
Saudi Arabia.

This will not stand. He told reporters at a press conference.

will not stand, this aggression against Kuwait. Bush dubbed the
action Desert Shield. He immediately sentd more than 50,000 US
and put an additional 100,000 on hold. Within hours, F-15 fighter
and paratroopers were on their way to the Middle East. Special
planes called AWACs and huge B-52 bombers also arrived
shortly. Countless
other aircraft, carriers, and tanks were sent to the
Middle East.
Arab League had now split into those against Iraq, and those with him.

Bush again demanded Saddam Hussein back out of Kuwait and remove
troops. Saddam refused, and told the world he would never leave Kuwait
the Israelis withdrew from the territories they took in the 1967 and
wars. Western and Arabs officials recognized this announcement as an
by Saddam to lift his image with Arabs, who hated Israel. Saddam felt
linking the Israelis with his invasion of Kuwait would win the support
the Arabs. Most Arab nations, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, dismissed this

August 17, 1990, the Iraqis acted on their plans against the nation of

US, British, and other foreign citizens were not allowed to leave
or Kuwait. An Iraqi spokesperson said that they would stay as long as
remains threatened with an aggressive war.5 Saddam said he would free
foreigners if the United States got out of Saudi Arabia. Three days later
started moving the citizens into industrial buildings and military sites.

he said, was to discourage the bombing of these areas. This was a
violation of international war law, to take up hostages, but Saddam
the fact that the citizens were hostages, rather they were his

preparing US forces for war against Iraq, President Bush realized the
States could not attack without the UNs consent. This was a very
topic, as many nations were involved, so their approval was very

Early in November 1990, Bush sent James Baker on a sort of
campaign throughout
Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His mission was to
gain support for
the Desert Storm effort among these countries. As a result
of the campaign,
the allied nations came up with an ultimatum for Iraq; get
out of Kuwait
by a given date or risk attack by the allies. Baker and the
rest of the
allied countries then went to the UN Security Council, and
their ideas. On November 29, the UN approved Resolution 678. This
an ultimatum for the Iraqis to leave Kuwait by midnight on January 15,

passed by since midnight, and still the Allies did not attack as they

The citizens of countries around the world were wondering if the
was a bluff. Maybe Saddam was right; the US was bluffing, and he
called it. Some people were angry, other relieved. Morning passed into
and many felt that there would be no Gulf War. But then, at about
PM, a bulletin came in from the White House that bombing had started at
that afternoon. The operation had been dubbed Operation Desert Storm.

liberation of Kuwait has begun. 6
Desert Storm was the largest air
assault in history. Its goal was to make it
impossible for Iraq to attack
Saudi Arabia and also weaken their army, in
preparation for a ground
attack. Allied planes were assigned to targets like
Iraqi airfields,
missile sites, troop bunkers, army bases, weapons factories,
and industrial
factories. At the same time, they focused their attacks on
and radar sites to blind the Iraqi army. Biological weapons
chemical labs and other Iraqi targets were destroyed. These were
key strategic sites that had to be eliminated in order to decrease Allied

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most of Iraqs radar warning systems down and the Iraqi air force on
run, Allied bombers and attack planes were free to attack all of their
without fear of being shot down. American bombers flew unchallenged
the sky, devastating targets all over. British tornado jets cruised
over Iraqi airfields, destroying hangars and demolishing runways, making
useless. American warships in the Persian Gulf launched over one hundred
cruise missiles equipped with computerized cameras. These devices
pre-programmed with detailed maps of Iraqi terrain. With adequate yet
accuracy, the missiles found the launch sites, oil refineries, power
and other targets.

It was now Saddams turn to act. After labeling Bush
as the Satan of the
White House,7 he began his attack on January 18,
1991. His attack shocked
people around the world. Following through on
his promise to strike out
against Israel, he ordered a missile attack
against the Israelis at about
2:00 AM. Detecting the incoming Scuds,
the entire population of Tel-Aviv put
on their gas masks. This was because
of another threat by Saddam that he
would burn half of Israel with
chemical weapons. Suddenly, after only 20
minutes after the announcement,
eight Scuds appeared over Israel. Two hit Tel
Aviv, three hit a port
city named Haifa, and the other two landed in open
fields. The Scuds
caused only fifteen injuries and no deaths; they were
inaccurate. Many people around the world were outraged by
this, calling
him a barbarian and a madman.

Many people were surprised that Israel
did not retaliate against Iraq, as
they are know for their quick counterattacks.

They held back at the request
of President Bush. He feared that if the
Israelis joined the Allied effort,
many of the Arab nations would quit.

He compromised by promising to hunt down
the Scud launchers in Iraq.

He also promised to protect Israel from further
Scud attacks by use of
the Patriot missiles.

Meanwhile, the Allies continued their strategic
bombings at the rate of
thousands per day. Allied warplanes destroyed
bridges, airfields, and
military centers. Iraqs two nuclear power plants
were leveled. By early
February 1991, the 4.5 million people of Baghdad
had almost no electricity of
running water. Hundreds of Iraqi tanks had
become charred, smashed hunks of
metal scattered around the desert. Most
of Iraqs military and industrial
buildings were demolished. Tens of
thousands of Iraqi military personnel were
dead, while Allied fatalities
numbered less than one hundred. Still, Saddam
refused to surrender.

February 22, President Bush delivered a warning to the Iraqi dictator.

had to begin withdrawing from Kuwait by the 22nd, or face the ground
the Allies were preparing for. To nobodys surprise, Saddam again
the warning. The ground attack started at 8:00 PM on February 22,

Bush determined that Iraq did not meet the conditions, and asked
Normal Schwartzkopf to use all forces available, including ground
to eject the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. The overall plan of the
attack was to move troops northward into southern Iraq and cut off
from the rest of Iraq. Then the Allies would focus on defeating Iraqi
in Kuwait. For weeks the Allied commanders had kept their troops
in the Saudi desert just north of Kuwait. But at the last minute,
Allies shifted their forces to the west, south of Iraq. The Iraqis were
aware of these changes. They did not have informative aircraft surveying
Allied movements. General Schwarzkopf also stationed eighteen thousand
Marines in plain sight in the Persian Gulf near the Kuwaiti coast.

there would be an amphibious assault, the Iraqis pulled thousands
of troops
out of the desert and put them near the coast. They were taken
completely by
surprise when the huge mass of the Allied assault penetrated
northward into
Iraq. At the same time, farther west, French and American
troops sneaked
across southern and central Iraq. They were trapped.

the other troops were invading Iraq, a combined force of Americans,
Egyptians, and Syrians launched an assault into southern Kuwait.

of tanks moved in and opened fire on Iraqi desert positions. Over
thousand troops followed. Most of the Iraqis in the desert along the
border were already wiped out from weeks of bombing raids. Day
day, hour after hour air attacks pounded Iraqi bunkers and trenches. It
a living hell for those soldiers. And they knew they were defeated. All
wanted to do was to go home- the war did not matter any longer. As a
the invasion of Kuwait was a success, and thousands of Iraqi soldiers
to surrender rather than face certain death. All that was left now
clean up. Allies went on a search and kill mission to rid Kuwait of what
left of the Iraqi soldiers.
The next day, newspapers around the world
had the this on their headline in
big, bold lettering: KUWAIT FREED!
War is over.

War in the end, seems to be a glorious thing. Especially
in this Gulf War.

Clearly you had the aggressor, the bad guy, Saddam
Hussein, and the good guy,
George Bush. Things turned out like something
out of a movie; the good guy
wins easily, the bad guy looses with disgrace.

Certainly it felt like a movie
to us all, with the extensive press coverage
and abundance of video captured.

In this I feel we have taken war in
the wrong way. War is not something to be
looked at as great, or for
that matter funny. I remember the various video
shots of missiles destructing
buildings, night vision video of bewildered
Iraqi soldiers falling over
in death from an enemy they cannot even see or
hear… It makes me cringe
to think that these images are shown for our
amusement, not for us to
see the cruelty of war. It is true that Saddam is in
fact a madman, but
this does not label every single Iraqi citizen, or soldier
as one. We
look at gruesome footage of a charred Iraqi body, frozen while
up in his burnt truck- and we laugh. I think we have to rethink
what we fought this war for, was it worth the death on both sides,
why we put such a low humanitarian priority on the lives of our

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Saddam, Iraq, And The Gulf War Essay
justifiable or not, is complete madness. It is hell. No matter what the
or what the reason is, war remains mankinds greatest source of
the plague of mankind, and the plague of this country. Our country
existed for only 200 years, a relatively short time, and already we have
involved in over eleven major wars. Four have been fought this last
years. We are a nation of freedom, but we are also a nation of strong
2018-12-27 03:08:02
Saddam, Iraq, And The Gulf War Essay
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