January 16, 2018

LOSING THE GULF WAR:

The Lessons of the First Gulf War Still Linger 25 Years on (Kenneth T. Walsh, Jan. 17, 2016, US News)

Bush sat down on Dec. 31, 1990, New Year's Eve, and wrote an emotional letter to his five children reflecting a father's desire to reassure his children about the rightness of what he was about to do, and a commander in chief's worries about those he was about to send into battle.

Addressing the letter to "Dear George, Jeb, Neil, Marvin and Doro," he wrote (with his customary disregard to spelling and grammar), "When I came into this job I vowed that I would never ring my hands and talk about 'the loneliest job in the world' or ring my hands about the 'pressures or the trials.'

"Having said that I have been concerned about what lies ahead. There is no 'loneliness' though, because I am backed by a first rate team of knowledgeable and committed people. No president has been more blessed in this regard."

President Bush added: "We have waited to give sanctions a chance, we have moved a tremendous force so as to reduce the risk to every American soldier if force has to be used; but the question of loss of life still lingers and plagues the heart.

"My mind goes back to history: How many lives might have been saved if appeasement had given way to force earlier on in the late '30s or earliest '40s? How many Jews might have been spared the gas chambers, or how many Polish patriots might be alive today? I look at today's crisis as 'good' vs. 'evil' - yes, it is that clear." [...]

Political scientist Al Felzenberg in his 2008 book "The Leaders We Deserved (and a Few We Didn't): Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game," summed up the pros and cons. "After Iraq invaded the kingdom of Kuwait," Felzenberg wrote, "Bush preserved Kuwait's independence through his brilliant execution of Operation Desert Storm. His masterful use of multiple international contacts he had made during previous service in diplomatic and intelligence posts created the appearance and the reality of a truly multinational endeavor to enforce a U.N. resolution. But the military victory Bush obtained, which allowed Saddam Hussein to remain in power, assured that the United States would continue to engage with Saddam militarily. Furthermore, Bush did little to press the liberated Kuwait, or the kingdom of Saudi Arabia which requested American arms and troops to defend it, to improve their human rights record, adopt democratic institutions, or reduce their support for Islamic extremists."  

If GHWB had been able to process what he wrote, he never could have left genocidal evil in place.  If the Left and Right could process it, they would understand why W liberated the Shi'a.

Posted by at January 16, 2018 8:02 AM

  

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