Finally Bush relented enough to send over C-130's and drop pallets of food and water on isolated Kurd settlements. I vividly recall seeing tape of these skids crashing to the ground, landing on people's houses, and people, for that matter. It was a freaking disaster of an operation, and an international embarrassment.
This was the time when they began the "no fly zones" incidentally, which later turned out to mean little enough
No, Bush cobbled together a coalition of collective security forces, in the vacuum of the recently collapsed USSR when we stood unchallenged in the world, and that was the easy part. The aftermath was a mess and Bush was nothing to be proud of.
You have precisely summed up that entire debacle regarding the Kurds and how Poppy Bush screwed the pooch.
The aftermath for them was a mess. We did fine out of it. Apart from wear-and-tear on equipment and troop casualties, we broke even financially on Desert Storm, thanks to hard-nosed negotiations conducted by Jim Baker over allied financial contributions. Iraqi Freedom has cost us $1T and counting. It has also cost the GOP some serious political capital. While the Iraqi Freedom was cheap in relation to previous wars as a % of GDP and in terms of troop casualties, it was no Desert Storm.
In Bush, the elder’s defense, CNN was showing the ‘corridor of death’ about every seven minutes, and were complaining about how awful we were for killing the Iraqis.
So he stopped the war, and limited action to removing Iraq from Kuwait. Overthrowing S.H. al Tikrit was not what the Saudis and Syrians had signed up to do.