Kuwait Essay, Research Paper
In analyzing the Persian Gulf Crisis originally between Iraq and Kuwait, one must first understand the factors that contributed to the conflict. In 1980, Iraq carried out a major air and land attack on Iran. For eight years, the Iran-Iraq War grew more intense, until the U.S. “accidentally” downed an Iranian plane, killing 290 passengers. Three factors contributed to this war: (1) territorial dispute, (2) religious disputes between Islamic moderates and fundamentalists, and more importantly, (3) a personality conflict (also known as ego-mania) between Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s president, and Ayatollah Khomein, the leader of Iran. During this war, the U.S. began to provide protection to Kuwaiti tankers, and hence, resulted in military conflicts with Iranian speedboats. Indirectly, the U.S. supported Iraq’s actions in this war. While the U.S. was busy protecting Kuwait, Kuwait supported Iraq financially by giving it more than $10 billion. At the close of the Iran-Iraq War in 1990, Iraq was eager to pay its international debt. But how?
Iraq’s chief export was petroleum. According to Iraq, Kuwait was providing a surplus of oil in the international community by exceeding it assigned OPEC quota. Furthermore, Iraq accused Kuwait of stealing nearly $24 billion worth of oil from a location straddling their border. With his back against the wall, Saddam Hussein demanded forgiveness of the debt and $13 to $15 billion in reparations. After little progress in two months, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Immediately after the invasion, the U.S. led a coalition of states determined to protect Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The Soviet Union was a part of this coalition. For the first time in history, the two superpowers were cooperating, rather than impeding, the Security Council’s peacekeeping actions. Though the U.S. indirectly supported Iraq in the past, the Soviet Union ironically served as Iraq’s principal supplier of weapons during the 1970s and 1980s. Now, the Soviet Union was teaming in a surprising joint initiative to liberate Kuwait form Iraq.
This essay does not attempt to relabel Iraq’s actions as just. It merely points out the false security blanket the U.S. and Soviet Union helped to give Iraq. They supported Iraq in a virtually pointless war with Iran, and when Iraq was drowning with the balance of the war and no life jacket – its chief export petroleum – the world teamed up against her. In any dispute, whether between children or countries, the peacemaker must indicate an understanding, not justification, of acts of war. Just as a child rebels against a parent that “does not understand,” a country does as such against a world that does not understand. Though the superior usually wins the fight, emotions and thoughts of retaliation only fester in the minds and hearts of “the other victim” of war. This statement cannot be stated at a more important time in history, as terrorist attack major landmarks in the United States. The offender seeks recognition of a cause. Do just that. Recognize and seek an understanding of the reasons and then move on to further actions.