Skip to comments.U.S., Kuwait celebrate 20th anniversary of victory in Iraq
Posted on 02/26/2011 10:23:16 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
Operation Desert Storm lasted just over six weeks from first strike to cease-fire. But 20 years later, the decision to send more than 600,000 American troops to free a small, oil-rich, Muslim country that few Americans knew about has had a lasting legacy.
For Kuwait, it simply means liberation.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of people, from children to heads of state, lined a stretch of highway outside of Kuwait City for a two-hour military parade of nations from the coalition forces that in 1991 repelled Saddam Husseins invading army.
Tanks, troops, armored vehicles, helicopters and barrel-rolling fighters jets streaming red, green and white smoke the national colors passed in formation before Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and other dignitaries including Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 1991, and Spains King Juan Carlos.
It was a spectacle rarely seen in the world today. Saudi, Kuwaiti, French British, and other troops joined the relatively small contingent of roughly 175 Americans thundering down the road and above the grandstands.
It is a terrific occasion, Mullen said in a statement released by his spokesman, heralding the coalitions victory over Iraq in Operation Desert Storm and thanking Kuwait for supporting the current massive U.S. logistical withdrawal.
On Kuwaiti television Friday evening, Mullen said, To have watched Kuwait evolve over the many years has been incredibly positive in terms of the movement towards more representative democracy in a way that recognizes the changes that are required.
Victory is a word few American military or political leaders utter in Washington today. Just over the border, fewer than 50,000 U.S. servicemembers remain deployed to what is now known as the Iraq War. They are last remnants of a second
(Excerpt) Read more at stripes.com ...
Many thanks to those who were there.
Amen to that!
There were many and our son was one of them, it doesn't seem like it was 20 years ago.
What always galled me is that America had Iraq on the run back to Baghdad, tattered and defeated, but stopped short of going on into Baghdad for an easy kill.
So much was lost by letting Hussein recover and regroup.
"Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under the circumstances, there was no viable "exit strategy" we could see, violating another of our principles. Furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-Cold War world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the United Nations' mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression that we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the United States could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different -- and perhaps barren -- outcome."
“”Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in “mission creep,” and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs.”
Yes, I understand what the mandate was, but look at what
the “incalculable human and political costs” HAVE been incurred by not finishing the job on the first try.
I seriously doubt that Sadam was hanged ‘til dead’...They even put a collar around his neck which would prevent any rope burns...
Congrats to Kuwait.. I met once the Kuwait Family on the Corner of RTE 80 in Jahra who were the Initial encounter and 1st to meet Iraqi’s initially Polite Invasion. They came to Front Door Knocked and asked if there was anything they could do to help and when they Came back in 24 they wanted to Occupuy there large house. The One gentlemen Told me that in the Iraqi group were Palestinian friends dressed in Iragi Uniform. he knew these kids since he was 5 Years old. The Family left everything that night by 2 SUV’s across the Desert avoiding Main Rds as they were Barricaded with checkpoints and headed to Saudi Arabia where they stayed until Liberated..
Upon return..they noticed their Palestinion friends were abandoned in Jahra by Iraqis Army who fled back to Basra . The Palestinians traitors were all shot by the returning Jahra Kuwaitis residents as traitors.
I had Expatriate Indian Friends who lived 30 years in Kuwait who were leaving the Catholic Cathedral that invasion day after celebrating Mass. They Immediately were accosted by Iraqi Troops at a Checkpoint in Kuwait City in an area Known as Safat and their Old Mercedes was Comandeerd as Transportation. They Skedaddled within two weeks back to India when Daily Life deteriorated under the Iraqi Occupying regime.
I had been stopped twice during my 2 year stint in Kuwait as a Contractor in Kuwait in 2006 -2008 in a Supermarket. Beautiful perfumed Ladies in Fancy Burkas approached me to Thank me for liberating their Country. I would quickly always remind them I was In Indonesia at the Time and never in the Military. They then would nervously giggle and hug me and begin to tell me of the Rapes and Killing by Iraqi Soldiers to the Females in their Families. Mom Sister Cousin...etc.. They then went off teary eyed. Left me in a real sense of Introspection!
Thank you to Both President Bush’s for your service to our Country and making me Proud to be an American.!
Thank you to all our Military and families for their sacrifice in Making this a special Country in History!
A SALUTE to them!
Yeah, and he had 600,000 people to do it with. We did the current job in Iraq with well under 200,000. Thanks for nothing, Bush Sr.
Excuse me? I spent 15 months in Iraq helping to put down Iraq with a fraction of the people Bush Sr had in the first place. Even at the height of The Surge, there was less than 1/3 of the forces in Iraq than we had during Desert Storm. I’ve lost many friends over there and was nearly killed myself several times. If the job had been done right the first time as it should’ve been, then none of that would’ve been necessary. If that’s “sanctimony”, then I guess I’m guilty as charged.
Sorry for the slur.
But....you are guilty as charged
The enemy you faced was trivial compared to the forces arrayed in the Gulf War.
Your enemy was already dead and strewn along the road from Kuwait to Iraq when you crossed the border
Your effort was great and commendable but don’t denigrate the effort nor the commander in ‘91.
One wonders if you even have a clue as to the forces arrayed against out troops at the counterattack into Kuwait.
Yes, I have a clue, and we steamrolled them in 100 hours. Color me unimpressed. I’ve no doubt it was dangerous as hell (war generally is), but it was Major Leaguers against Pee-Wee. No contest.
I’m also aware of the instances of our Soldiers watching from a distance Saddam’s goons massacring men, women, and children in a bid to consolidate power after his defeat. Our Soldiers could do nothing or they’d probably still be in prison to this day. That’s a stain on our honor.
Bush had his reasons for making the call he did, but I vehemently disagree with them. This all could’ve been over 15-20 years ago. Instead it’s still going on.
I was in Kuwait in December '96 assisting the Kuwaiti Air Force integrate its air command and control systems. With Christmas coming up my thoughts were with my family and how I wanted to be with them rather than Kuwait. An older Kuwaiti gentleman (60ish?) came up and asked if I was an American (I was in uniform but I don't think he could read English). I answer yes, and he shook my hand and gave me a hug/kiss and said; "For my family, for my country, for me. Thank you for freedom." The best Christmas present I have ever received... ever.
We all did a great job in 1990/1991 and proved the US Military was still a powerful force. There were many people in this country and overseas who did not think we were. After Nam,Beirut and Iran, many thought we were weak and did not have any fight in us. So people like Hussein thought they could get away with aggression. We restored our reputation, than we elected a President who immediately began cutting military again and gave us Somalia. But, that's another story.
It makes me wonder if Bush could have had that mandate if he had pushed for it since it was obvious to the world that Saddam was a maniac with an itchy trigger finger.
Maybe most of my complaints are merely a case of hindsight being 20/20, but it still irks me that we took the easier COA in this instance.
You can thank RINO Colin Powell for talking Bush 1 into stopping before taking Saddam out.
The Second Gulf War was not inevitable at the outset but it was made so by certain European financial interests and an international campaign against embargoes that allowed Saddam to rearm under the auspices of the Oil For Food program. These were fueled by doctrinaire anti-Americanism in the international media and on the Left that were happy to turn a blind eye toward Saddam's butchery if it meant the ability to shout against the United States. A number of these volunteered to act as human shields for important Iraqi installations and were shocked to find how cynically they were received. These same activists altered their tune shortly thereafter into one that still resounds among those with more ideology than historical memory: that George W. Bush "started" the war some 10 years after Desert Storm. People told practically anything incessantly will come to believe, or at least to repeat it.
I was no longer in uniform at the time but I was acting as a civilian contractor for the Navy. What I saw was a large, unwieldy international coalition that constituted the last gasp of international collective security, largely because the actors each brought his own agenda to the table with him. There were Syrian units on our side, for example, ostensibly out of fear that Saddam would turn his forces their way; in actuality pursuing their own interests with results we would encounter in country during the second Gulf War. Bush senior was and remains an internationalist at heart, and I believe, as his own testimony indicates, that the decision to halt the advance was made under internationalist precepts of order and collective security. I also believe that the current ruling class, both Republican and Democrat, consists nearly exclusively of internationalists who learned nothing but how to spin their own errors and deflect blame, and contributed materially to the hardship we later found in occupation.
It hardly seems like twenty years, though. My grateful thanks to those who dodged bullets while I was sitting safely on a ship; my apologies to their successors who had to do it all over again.
Why didn’t W listen to his father?