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The Gulf War - How everything started in Iraq - Part. 3
The previous post finished with the end of the Iran - Iraq war. If you read my post, you already know what happened, why it happened and what was the outcome. Now, I will continue with the first Gulf War.
After the Iran - Iraq war, the country was devastated and heavily in debt. The oil infrastructure and economy needed rebuilding and rejuvenation. Kuwait made this almost impossible, constantly demanding that Iraq pay back their debts, while Kuwait itself drove them out of the market by constantly dropping oil prices and exceeding their quotas. On top of this, Kuwait also struck a nerve in Saddam by not respecting Iraqi borders and drilling into the Rumaila oil field on the border.
George Herbert Walker Bush or Bush Senior intervened in the quarrel and judged that Kuwait should pay 10 billion dollars to Iraq as compensations. The Emir of Kuwait, Jaber III, only actually paid back 9 of the 10 billions and Saddam was outraged.
Now, this might sound like a bit of an off reaction over just missing out of one of the 10 billion, but you have to keep in mind that he's being swindled out of 1 billion dollars. I can't justify his followed response, so which was to declare war and invade Kuwait on August 2nd, 1990.
He cited historical claims to the land and within only two days, he had conquered the country. Jaber only narrowly escaped his palace and fled to Saudi Arabia, followed by hundreds of refugees. Kuwait was incapable of reconciling their forces and fighting back without foreign intervention and so Jaber made sure that people's pleas were heard before the International Committee.
The United Nations was quick to denounce Saddam and place sanctions on his country, but he was not deterred and announced that Kuwait was now the official 19th province of Iraq.
Saddam also began to deploy troops to Iraq's borders with Saudi Arabia, which raised concerns for the close U.S. ally. The United States and other NATO nations began a military buildup in Saudi Arabia in an operation that was dubbed Operation Desert Shield. You will notice they became big fans of the operation desert naming convention.
It became clear to Saddam that a counter-attack was inevitable and he declared jihad against the West and its allies. Few actually answered the secular leader's call. He noted that Bush also began to use his time to rally a coalition of countries to fight against him. The coalition contained nations such as the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia and many many more.
Saddam attempted to garner his own allegiances, but only was able to acquire the pledge of a few other third world dictators. Only Saddam would answer his war crimes when the time came.
Saddam either arrogant or testing his luck, sent a list of demands to President Bush, which called for an Israeli exodus from Palestinian lands, Iraqi access to the Persian gulf and even a beneficial trade deal with the U.S.
Bush, after a long path of assault or to have a good laugh about such ridiculous demands, swiftly denied it. On November 29th, 1990, the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of all necessary means of force against Iraq, if Saddam refused to withdraw from Kuwait by the following 15th of January, 1991, that almost sound ominous, if it wasn't so bloody wordy.
At the crack of dawn, on January 17th 1991, a massive U.S. led air offensive hit Iraq's defenses. This bombing campaign dubbed operation Desert Storm, which continued until mid-February. It was able to severely cripple Iraq's defenses, destroying much if its armor artillery and air force.
Desert Storm would be followed by Operation Desert Saber, which was to bring the war to a close with the coalition's mass ground offensives that secured Kuwait and pushed the Iraqi forces back to Iraq. As the Iraqis retreated though, they employed a scorched-earth strategy destroying every oil well in their path.
As U.S. forces began to push into Iraq, Bush decided a ceasefire must be signed, which it was on the 28th of February 1991, ending the Gulf War. Bush knew that occupying Iraq and removing Saddam's regime would pose serious threat to the stability of the region and would serve only to dissolve the state of Iraq into a region of warlords. I like to call this foreshadowing.
Saddam agreed to the terms that in which would recognize Kuwait's sovereignty and Emir Jaber III's claim to the land. It would establish a no-fly zone in the northern region of Iraq and he would remove the country of weapons of mass destruction including any nuclear, biological and chemical arms.
After peace was made, the U.S. attempted to encourage the Kurds and Shiites of Iraq to raise up and initiate an eternal regime change, but they were swiftly stomped out by Saddam when the U.S. failed to support them sufficiently. This indicated to the U.S. that while Saddam's regional powers had been curbed, his internal reign of terror would continue with no end in sight.
I think I should stop for today. There is plenty of reading to be done and tomorrow I will come back with the fourth and final episode of Iraq.