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On February 27, 1991, five months after Iraq invaded Kuwait, the U.S. In a nationally broadcast address, President George Bush calls on Iraq to meet the requirements for a permanent ceasefire.
GULF WAR: WHY IT ENDED IN 100 HOURS
Almost a year after the end of the Persian Gulf War, a defiant Saddam Hussein continues his reign of terror in Iraq as well as his attempts to develop a nuclear weapon and rebuild his chemical arsenal. How to coerce Hussein to honor the U.N. cease-fire resolution that ended the war is a thorny issue for the United Nations Security Council.
Nonetheless, the war remains a key issue for President Bush - on his agenda for the world as well as at home. On his travels across the nation in search of votes, Bush understandably is seeking to transfer some of the luster from the Desert Storm campaign of a year ago - the high point of his presidency - to the confused political battlefield today.
The president has a good story to tell. His construction of a historic coalition and the superb performance of the all-volunteer military are just the most obvious elements of it.
The problem is with the ending. To explain the war's unsatisfying conclusion, the president and his senior military advisers have proferred an explanation that has no basis in fact. So far, they have gotten away with it. The arguments:
- The U.S.-led forces could not have gone on to Baghdad to get Saddam Hussein the U.N. resolutions did not authorize such action.
- Our coalition partners would not have stood for it in any case
- A march north to Baghdad would have cost the lives of a great many American soldiers.
And completely disingenuous. There was never any plan to drive north to Baghdad. Indeed, on the day the president and his advisers began discussing the timing of a cease-fire, roughly 75 hours into the ground campaign, the bulk of the American-led force was driving east, not north.
The U.S. 1st and 3rd Armored Divisions, the U.S. 1st Infantry Division and the British 1st Armored Division formed the heart of the attack force. These four heavy divisions were under the command of Lt. Gen. Frederick Franks. To his north was the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) under the command of Maj. Gen. Barry McCaffrey.
The battle plan approved by Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf called for Gen. Franks' four divisions to drive toward an area U.S. war planners called the "Basra pocket," a large tract south of the Iraqi city of Basra and north of Kuwait City its eastern edge was defined by the beaches of the northern Persian Gulf.
On the fourth day of the ground war, as President Bush was weighing the question of a cease-fire, Gen. Franks' VII Corps and the 24th Infantry Divisions to the north were preparing to push further eastward into the Basra pocket. The maneuver was intended to pin the bulk of Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guard force against the beaches of the Persian Gulf.
"They would have then been given the opportunity to disarm and surrender," explained a senior U.S. commander. "If they refused, we would have destroyed them." Gen. McCaffrey's soldiers would cut off any Republican Guard forces that tried to slip away to the north.
This operation was under way when the president and his advisers, in consultation with Gen. Schwarzkopf, agreed to conclude hostilities at the end of 100 hours - 44 hours short of the time Pentagon war planners had allotted for the ground campaign. It is also noteworthy that a half day before that decision was made to pull the plug on Desert Storm, Gen. Schwarzkopf had requested an extra 24 hours to prosecute the war.
The cease-fire took effect at 8 a.m. on Feb. 28. Many senior U.S. commanders estimate that if Gen. Franks and Gen. McCaffrey had been given another six to eight hours to continue their drive east to the gulf - not north to Baghdad - they would have been able to disarm or destroy most of the Republican Guard. Instead, most of the Republican Guard escaped with their weapons. Just days later, they led the slaughter of thousands of Shiite civilians in southern Iraq. And indeed, today most experts believe the Republican Guard is the only thing keeping Hussein in power. Had the elite forces been destroyed, the Iraqi leader most likely would not still be in Baghdad and we would not have the problems with Iraq that we face today.
For one thing, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were pressing for an end to the conflict. The Saudis and Egyptians agreed they would rather live with a unified Iraq under Hussein rather than a fragmented Iraq. In particular, the Saudis were wary of a Shiite republic on their border. And the U.S. administration shared those views, fearing a fundamentalist Shiite kingdom closely aligned with Iran.
Another reason: Television footage of hundreds of burned vehicles on the so-called "highway of death" near Kuwait City had resulted in suddenly harsh criticism of the war from the news media, U.S. political leaders and even among some allies. (Reporting after the war found, ironically, that the human toll in these convoys was actually very low.) But at the time, the human carnage was believed to be high, and the question was raised: Was it necessary to destroy Iraq and its people?
But the real answer is that, given the pressure from the Saudis, the Egyptians and others in the international community, the Bush administration decided to abandon its initial objective of destroying the Republican Guard - Saddam Hussein's palace guard - and concentrate on the purely military objective of expelling the Iraqis from Kuwait. To accomplish that end, the Republican Guard did not need to be totally destroyed. At the time, it seemed enough that two of the seven Republican Guard divisions had been overrun and the rest were fleeing toward Basra. In fact, the White House pointedly asked Gen. Schwarzkopf if he had accomplished his military objectives, meaning had he pushed the Iraqis from Kuwait, and Schwarzkopf had to answer that he had. Thus the war was ended at that point, with at least four of the seven guard divisions fully intact. (After the cease-fire, it was those divisions that moved into Basra and put down the Shiite rebellion.)
It is both sad and ironic that at the end of such a meticulously planned military operation, the most critical decision - when to end it - was made on the fly. The swift conclusion of Operation Desert Storm sheds light on what may be its most fundamental flaw, that of conception. Was the war waged to defend Saudi Arabia? To free Kuwait? To protect world oil supplies? To stabilize the Middle East?
In the months prior to the conflict, the president and his men settled like butterflies on numerous answers. Vice President Dan Quayle and Robert Gates, then deputy national security adviser, were among the president's closest advisers who urged the most accurate test of success: neutralizing Saddam Hussein. This did not necessarily mean killing him, but it did mean continuing the fight until the core of his strength, the Republican Guard, was decisively eliminated.
The many success stories that can be told in connection with the Persian Gulf War should not preclude telling the true story of its conclusion.
Certainly the soldiers who fought the war and the taxpayers who paid for it are entitled to more than a bogus story about why we didn't go to Baghdad.
Bush Announces End to Gulf War - HISTORY
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated. Our military objectives are met. Kuwait is once more in the hands of Kuwaitis in control of their own destiny. We share in their joy, a joy tempered only by our compassion for their ordeal.
Tonight, the Kuwaiti flag once again flies above the capital of a free and sovereign nation, and the American flag flies above our embassy.
Seven months ago, America and the world drew a line in the sand . We declared that the aggression against Kuwait would not stand and tonight America and the world have kept their word.
This is not a time of euphoria, certainly not a time to gloat, but it is a time of pride, pride in our troops, pride in the friends who stood with us in the crisis, pride in our nation and the people whose strength and resolve made victory quick, decisive, and just.
And soon we will open wide our arms to welcome back home to America our magnificent fighting forces. No one country can claim this victory as its own. It was not only a victory for Kuwait, but a victory for all the coalition partners. This is a victory for the United Nations, for all mankind, for the rule of law, and for what is right.
After consulting with Secretary of Defense Cheney, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Powell, and our coalition partners, I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight, Eastern standard time, exactly 100 hours since ground operations commenced, and six weeks since the start of Operation Desert Storm , all United States and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat operations.
It is up to Iraq whether this suspension on the part of the coalition becomes a permanent cease-fire. Coalition, political, and military terms for a formal cease-fire include the following requirements:
- Iraq must release immediately all coalition prisoners of war, third-country nationals, and the remains of all who have fallen.
- Iraq must release all Kuwaiti detainees.
- Iraq also must inform Kuwaiti authorities of the location and nature of all land and sea mines.
- Iraq must comply fully with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. This includes a rescinding of Iraq's August decision to annex Kuwait, and acceptable -- and acceptance in principle of Iraq's responsibility to pay compensation for the loss, damage, and injury its aggression has caused.
- The coalition calls upon the Iraqi Government to designate military commanders to meet within 48 hours with their coalition counterparts at a place in the theater of operations to be specified to arrange for military aspects of the cease-fire.
Further, I have asked Secretary of State Baker to request that the United Nations Security Council meet to formulate the necessary arrangements for this war to be ended.
This suspension of offensive combat operations is contingent upon Iraq's not firing upon any coalition forces and not launching Scud missiles against any other country. If Iraq violates these terms, coalition forces will be free to resume military operations.
At every opportunity I have said to the people of Iraq that our quarrel was not with them but instead with their leadership, and above all with Saddam Hussein. This remains the case. You, the people of Iraq, are not our enemy. We do not seek your destruction. We have treated your P.O.W.'s with kindness. Coalition forces fought this war only as a last resort and look forward to the day when Iraq is led by people prepared to live in peace with their neighbors.
We must now begin to look beyond victory in war. We must meet the challenge of securing the peace. In the future, as before, we will consult with our coalition partners. We've already done a good deal of thinking and planning for the post-war period, and Secretary Baker has already begun to consult with our coalition partners on the region's challenges. There can be and will be no solely American answer to all these challenges, but we can assist and support the countries of the region, and be a catalyst for peace.
In this spirit Secretary Baker will go to the region next week to begin a new round of consultations. This war is now behind us. Ahead of us is the difficult task of securing a potentially historic peace. Tonight though, let us be proud of what we have accomplished. Let us give thanks to those who risked their lives. Let us never forget those who gave their lives.
May God bless our valiant military forces and their families and let us all remember them in our prayers.
Text: Bush's Speech on Iraq
Following is a transcript of President Bush's speech last night on Iraq, as recorded by The New York Times :
My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision.
For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf war in 1991. Since then the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.
The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again because we are not dealing with peaceful men. Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people. The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of Al Qaeda.
The danger is clear. Using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kills thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country or any other.
The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat, but we will do everything to defeat it. Instead of drifting along toward tragedy, we will set a course toward safety. Before the day of horror can come, before it is too late to act, this danger will be removed.
The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security.
Recognizing the threat to our country, the United States Congress voted overwhelmingly last year to support the use of force against Iraq. America tried to work with the United Nations to address this threat because we wanted to resolve the issue peacefully. We believe in the mission of the United Nations. One reason the U.N. was founded after the Second World War was to confront aggressive dictators actively and early before they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace.
In the case of Iraq, the Security Council did act in the early 1990's. Under Resolutions 678 and 687, both still in effect, the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a question of will.
Last September, I went to the U.N. General Assembly and urged the nations of the world to unite and bring an end to this danger. On Nov. 8, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441 finding Iraq in material breach of its obligations and vowing serious consequences if Iraq did not fully and immediately disarm. Today, no nation can possibly claim that Iraq has disarmed, and it will not disarm so long as Saddam Hussein holds power.
For the last four and a half months, the United States and our allies have worked within the Security Council to enforce that council's longstanding demands. Yet some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced that they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq. These governments share our assessment of the danger, but not our resolve to meet it.
Many nations, however, do have the resolve and fortitude to act against this threat to peace. And a broad coalition is now gathering to enforce the just demands of the world. The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours.
In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq so that disarmament can proceed peacefully. He has thus far refused. All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing. For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors should leave Iraq immediately.
Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast. And I have a message for them. If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror. And we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.
In a free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.
It is too late for Saddam Hussein to remain in power. It is not too late for the Iraqi military to act with honor and protect your country by permitting the peaceful entry of coalition forces to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. Our forces will give Iraqi military units clear instructions on actions they can take to avoid being attacked and destroyed.
I urge every member of the Iraqi military and intelligence services, if war comes, do not fight for a dying regime that is not worth your own life. And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning. In any conflict your fate will depend on your actions. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people. War crimes will be prosecuted. War criminals will be punished. And it will be no defense to say I was just following orders.
Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war. And every measure will be taken to win it. Americans understand the cost of conflict because we have paid them in the past. War has no certainty except the certainty of sacrifice. Yet the only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and might of our military. And we are prepared to do so.
If Saddam Hussein attempts to cling to power, he will remain a deadly foe until the end. In desperation he and terrorist groups might try to conduct terrorist operations against the American people and our friends. These attacks are not inevitable. They are, however, possible. And this very fact underscores the reason we cannot live under the threat of blackmail.
The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed. Our government is on heightened watch against these dangers. Just as we are preparing to ensure victory in Iraq, we are taking further actions to protect our homeland. In recent days American authorities have expelled from the country certain individuals with ties to Iraqi intelligence services. Among other measures I have directed additional security at our airports and increased Coast Guard patrols of major seaports.
The Department of Homeland Security is working closely with the nation's governors to increase armed security at critical facilities across America. Should enemies strike our country they would be attempting to shift our attention with panic and weaken our morale with fear. In this they would fail. No act of theirs can alter the course or shake the resolve of this country. We are a peaceful people, yet we're not a fragile people, and we will not be intimidated by thugs and killers. If our enemies dare to strike us, they and all who have aided them will face fearful consequences.
We are now acting because the risks of inaction would be far greater. In one year or five years the power of Iraq to inflict harm on all free nations would be multiplied many times over. With these capabilities, Saddam Hussein and his terrorist allies could choose the moment of deadly conflict when they are strongest. We choose to meet that threat now where it arises before it can appear suddenly in our skies and cities.
The cause of peace requires all free nations to recognize new and undeniable realities. In the 20th century some chose to appease murderous dictators whose threats were allowed to grow into genocide and global war. In this century when evil men plot chemical, biological and nuclear terror, a policy of appeasement could bring destruction of a kind never before seen on this earth. Terrorists and terrorist states do not reveal these threats with fair notice in formal declarations. And responding to such enemies only after they have struck first is not self-defense, it is suicide. The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein now.
As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country. Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty. And when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.
The United States with other countries will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight. But it can come over time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land. And the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace. That is the future we choose. Free nations have a duty to defend our people by uniting against the violent. And tonight, as we have done before, America and our allies accept that responsibility.
President George HW Bush Announces the Gulf War and “the Opportunity to Forge for Ourselves and Future Generations, a New World Order”
President George Herbert Walker Bush speaking from the Oval Office on Jan. 16, 1991, spoke about the &ldquonew world order&rdquo in his speech announcing the start of the Gulf War.
&ldquoWe have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations, a new world order, a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful, and we will be, we have a real chance at this new world order. An order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.&rsquos founders.&rdquo
Quote starts around the 7:30 mark on the video below&hellip
Bart Kessler gives an analysis of the meaning of George HW Bush&rsquos &lsquoNew World Order&rsquo here .
Bush Announces End to Gulf War - HISTORY
US President George W Bush has said the US has prevailed in the Battle of Iraq in a speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.
He explicitly linked the conflict in the Gulf to the 11 September 2001 terror attacks on the United States.
He spoke of victories in Afghanistan, but warned that the al-Qaeda network was "wounded, not destroyed".
"We will continue to hunt down the enemy before he can strike," he told the cheering officers and sailors aboard the ship.
Mr Bush landed on the aircraft carrier in a small navy plane, making him the first sitting US president to take part in a so-called tailhook landing.
Earlier, Mr Bush's spokesman Ari Fleischer warned that the president's speech would not mark the end of hostilities "from a legal point of view".
There are legal implications to declaring a war officially ended: under the Geneva Conventions, once war is declared over, the victorious army must release prisoners-of-war and halt operations targeting specific leaders.
The US is not prepared to do that, the BBC's Matt Frei in Washington says.
The United States never formally declared war on Iraq.
In other developments:
- The United Nations says it is re-establishing a permanent presence in Baghdad, as a senior humanitarian official arrives there
The US formally closes its operation mounted out of Turkey to monitor northern no-fly zone in Iraq
A veteran Danish diplomat is appointed post-war head of Basra province - one of four Iraqi administrative regions
Mr Bush's announcement was based upon an assessment given to him on Tuesday by General Tommy Franks, the top US military commander in the Gulf.
He said "difficult work" remained to be done in Iraq.
"We are pursuing and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes. We have begun a search for chemical and biological weapons, and already know hundreds of sites that will be investigated," he said.
He linked the war in Iraq to the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
"The Battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on 11 September 2001, and still goes on," he said.
"By seeking to turn our cities into killing fields, terrorists and their allies believed they could destroy this nation's resolve, and force our retreat from the world. They have failed," he said to the cheers of the ship's crew.
Mr Bush said that although the war on terror was still going on, it would not be endless.
"We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. Free nations will press on to victory," he said.
And he thanked the other nations that contributed troops to the US-led war, the UK, Australia and Poland.
The BBC's Rob Watson in Washington says Thursday's speech is probably as close as the president will ever get to saying that the war is over and won.
Mr Bush arrived in a US navy jet on board the USS Abraham Lincoln, which is heading back home after 10 months of operations in the Gulf region.
The jet was caught on the carrier's flight deck by a cable - a routine experience that sometimes can be stomach-churning.
For the flight Mr Bush - a former National Guard pilot - sat next to the pilot and emerged in full flight suit to shake hands with staff on the carrier deck.
With his helmet tucked under his arm, he told reporters he had taken the controls and enjoyed the flight.
Bush Announces End to Gulf War - HISTORY
On August 2, 1990, tanks and soldiers from Iraq crossed the border into neighboring Kuwait and seized the tiny, oil-rich nation. Iraqi troops then began massing along the border of Saudi Arabia.
Within days, American troops were sent to Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Shield, protecting Saudi Arabia from possible attack. On August 6th, the United Nations Security Council imposed a trade embargo and financial sanctions against Iraq and authorized the use of force by naval forces in the Persian Gulf to prevent any violations.
President George Bush addressed a joint session of Congress a few weeks later and stated the U.S. could not allow Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to seize control of vital oil resources in the Middle East. President Bush then doubled the size of Allied forces in the region to 430,000 soldiers.
On November 29th, the U.N. Security Council authorized its member nations to use "all necessary means" to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait if they did not withdraw by a deadline of January 15, 1991. President Bush then ordered more troops to the Gulf to pressure Saddam Hussein into evacuating Kuwait.
On January 9, 1991, Secretary of State James Baker met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz in Geneva for several hours in a last ditch effort to avoid war. The meeting ended in an impasse with Baker finally announcing the talks had failed. Three days later, the House of Representatives voted 250-183 and the U.S. Senate voted 52-47 to authorized President Bush to use military force.
The January 15th deadline passed quietly, as the 545,000 Iraqi troops in and around Kuwait did not budge. By now 539,000 American troops were in the Gulf along with 270,000 Allied troops from more than two dozen nations, the largest assembly of land troops and air power since World War II.
On January 17th, at 2:45 a.m., Baghdad time (6:45 p.m., January 16 - Eastern time), Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm as U.S. and Allied jets conducted a major bombing raid against Iraqi air defenses, communications systems, chemical weapons facilities, tanks and artillery. The air raid on Baghdad was broadcast live to a global audience by CNN correspondents perched on a city rooftop.
This is the television speech President Bush gave shortly after the air attack had commenced.
Just 2 hours ago, allied air forces began an attack on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. These attacks continue as I speak. Ground forces are not engaged.
This conflict started August 2nd when the dictator of Iraq invaded a small and helpless neighbor. Kuwait -- a member of the Arab League and a member of the United Nations -- was crushed its people, brutalized. Five months ago, Saddam Hussein started this cruel war against Kuwait. Tonight, the battle has been joined.
This military action, taken in accord with United Nations resolutions and with the consent of the United States Congress, follows months of constant and virtually endless diplomatic activity on the part of the United Nations, the United States, and many, many other countries. Arab leaders sought what became known as an Arab solution, only to conclude that Saddam Hussein was unwilling to leave Kuwait. Others traveled to Baghdad in a variety of efforts to restore peace and justice. Our Secretary of State, James Baker, held an historic meeting in Geneva, only to be totally rebuffed. This past weekend, in a last-ditch effort, the Secretary-General of the United Nations went to the Middle East with peace in his heart -- his second such mission. And he came back from Baghdad with no progress at all in getting Saddam Hussein to withdraw from Kuwait.
Now the 28 countries with forces in the Gulf area have exhausted all reasonable efforts to reach a peaceful resolution -- have no choice but to drive Saddam from Kuwait by force. We will not fail.
As I report to you, air attacks are underway against military targets in Iraq. We are determined to knock out Saddam Hussein's nuclear bomb potential. We will also destroy his chemical weapons facilities. Much of Saddam's artillery and tanks will be destroyed. Our operations are designed to best protect the lives of all the coalition forces by targeting Saddam's vast military arsenal. Initial reports from General Schwarzkopf are that our operations are proceeding according to plan.
Our objectives are clear: Saddam Hussein's forces will leave Kuwait. The legitimate government of Kuwait will be restored to its rightful place, and Kuwait will once again be free. Iraq will eventually comply with all relevant United Nations resolutions, and then, when peace is restored, it is our hope that Iraq will live as a peaceful and cooperative member of the family of nations, thus enhancing the security and stability of the Gulf.
Some may ask: Why act now? Why not wait? The answer is clear: The world could wait no longer. Sanctions, though having some effect, showed no signs of accomplishing their objective. Sanctions were tried for well over 5 months, and we and our allies concluded that sanctions alone would not force Saddam from Kuwait.
While the world waited, Saddam Hussein systematically raped, pillaged, and plundered a tiny nation, no threat to his own. He subjected the people of Kuwait to unspeakable atrocities -- and among those maimed and murdered, innocent children.
While the world waited, Saddam sought to add to the chemical weapons arsenal he now possesses, an infinitely more dangerous weapon of mass destruction -- a nuclear weapon. And while the world waited, while the world talked peace and withdrawal, Saddam Hussein dug in and moved massive forces into Kuwait.
While the world waited, while Saddam stalled, more damage was being done to the fragile economies of the Third World, emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, to the entire world, including to our own economy.
The United States, together with the United Nations, exhausted every means at our disposal to bring this crisis to a peaceful end. However, Saddam clearly felt that by stalling and threatening and defying the United Nations, he could weaken the forces arrayed against him.
While the world waited, Saddam Hussein met every overture of peace with open contempt. While the world prayed for peace, Saddam prepared for war.
I had hoped that when the United States Congress, in historic debate, took its resolute action, Saddam would realize he could not prevail and would move out of Kuwait in accord with the United Nation resolutions. He did not do that. Instead, he remained intransigent, certain that time was on his side.
Saddam was warned over and over again to comply with the will of the United Nations: Leave Kuwait, or be driven out. Saddam has arrogantly rejected all warnings. Instead, he tried to make this a dispute between Iraq and the United States of America.
Well, he failed. Tonight, 28 nations -- countries from 5 continents, Europe and Asia, Africa, and the Arab League -- have forces in the Gulf area standing shoulder to shoulder against Saddam Hussein. These countries had hoped the use of force could be avoided. Regrettably, we now believe that only force will make him leave.
Prior to ordering our forces into battle, I instructed our military commanders to take every necessary step to prevail as quickly as possible, and with the greatest degree of protection possible for American and allied service men and women. I've told the American people before that this will not be another Vietnam, and I repeat this here tonight. Our troops will have the best possible support in the entire world, and they will not be asked to fight with one hand tied behind their back. I'm hopeful that this fighting will not go on for long and that casualties will be held to an absolute minimum.
This is an historic moment. We have in this past year made great progress in ending the long era of conflict and cold war. We have before us the opportunity to forge for ourselves and for future generations a new world order -- a world where the rule of law, not the law of the jungle, governs the conduct of nations. When we are successful -- and we will be -- we have a real chance at this new world order, an order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the U.N.'s founders.
We have no argument with the people of Iraq. Indeed, for the innocents caught in this conflict, I pray for their safety. Our goal is not the conquest of Iraq. It is the liberation of Kuwait. It is my hope that somehow the Iraqi people can, even now, convince their dictator that he must lay down his arms, leave Kuwait, and let Iraq itself rejoin the family of peace-loving nations.
Thomas Paine wrote many years ago: "These are the times that try men's souls.'' Those well-known words are so very true today. But even as planes of the multinational forces attack Iraq, I prefer to think of peace, not war. I am convinced not only that we will prevail but that out of the horror of combat will come the recognition that no nation can stand against a world united, no nation will be permitted to brutally assault its neighbor.
No President can easily commit our sons and daughters to war. They are the Nation's finest. Ours is an all-volunteer force, magnificently trained, highly motivated. The troops know why they're there. And listen to what they say, for they've said it better than any President or Prime Minister ever could.
Listen to Hollywood Huddleston, Marine lance corporal. He says, "Let's free these people, so we can go home and be free again.'' And he's right. The terrible crimes and tortures committed by Saddam's henchmen against the innocent people of Kuwait are an affront to mankind and a challenge to the freedom of all.
Listen to one of our great officers out there, Marine Lieutenant General Walter Boomer. He said: "There are things worth fighting for. A world in which brutality and lawlessness are allowed to go unchecked isn't the kind of world we're going to want to live in.''
Listen to Master Sergeant J.P. Kendall of the 82nd Airborne: "We're here for more than just the price of a gallon of gas. What we're doing is going to chart the future of the world for the next 100 years. It's better to deal with this guy now than 5 years from now.''
And finally, we should all sit up and listen to Jackie Jones, an Army lieutenant, when she says, "If we let him get away with this, who knows what's going to be next?''
I have called upon Hollywood and Walter and J.P. and Jackie and all their courageous comrades-in-arms to do what must be done. Tonight, America and the world are deeply grateful to them and to their families. And let me say to everyone listening or watching tonight: When the troops we've sent in finish their work, I am determined to bring them home as soon as possible.
Tonight, as our forces fight, they and their families are in our prayers. May God bless each and every one of them, and the coalition forces at our side in the Gulf, and may He continue to bless our nation, the United States of America.
President George Bush - January 16, 1991
February 27, 1991: Address on the End of the Gulf War
Kuwait is liberated. Iraq's army is defeated. Our military objectives are met. Kuwait is once more in the hands of Kuwaitis, in control of their own destiny. We share in their joy, a joy tempered only by our compassion for their ordeal.
Tonight the Kuwaiti flag once again flies above the capital of a free and sovereign nation. And the American flag flies above our Embassy.
Seven months ago, America and the world drew a line in the sand. We declared that the aggression against Kuwait would not stand. And tonight, America and the world have kept their word.
This is not a time of euphoria, certainly not a time to gloat. But it is a time of pride: pride in our troops pride in the friends who stood with us in the crisis pride in our nation and the people whose strength and resolve made victory quick, decisive, and just. And soon we will open wide our arms to welcome back home to America our magnificent fighting forces.
No one country can claim this victory as its own. It was not only a victory for Kuwait but a victory for all the coalition partners. This is a victory for the United Nations, for all mankind, for the rule of law, and for what is right.
After consulting with Secretary of Defense Cheney, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Powell, and our coalition partners, I am pleased to announce that at midnight tonight eastern standard time, exactly 100 hours since ground operations commenced and 6 weeks since the start of Desert Storm, all United States and coalition forces will suspend offensive combat operations. It is up to Iraq whether this suspension on the part of the coalition becomes a permanent cease-fire.
Coalition political and military terms for a formal cease-fire include the following requirements:
Iraq must release immediately all coalition prisoners of war, third country nationals, and the remains of all who have fallen. Iraq must release all Kuwaiti detainees. Iraq also must inform Kuwaiti authorities of the location and nature of all land and sea mines. Iraq must comply fully with all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. This includes a rescinding of Iraq's August decision to annex Kuwait and acceptance in principle of Iraq's responsibility to pay compensation for the loss, damage, and injury its aggression has caused.
The coalition calls upon the Iraqi Government to designate military commanders to meet within 48 hours with their coalition counterparts at a place in the theater of operations to be specified to arrange for military aspects of the cease-fire. Further, I have asked Secretary of State Baker to request that the United Nations Security Council meet to formulate the necessary arrangements for this war to be ended.
This suspension of offensive combat operations is contingent upon Iraq's not firing upon any coalition forces and not launching Scud missiles against any other country. If Iraq violates these terms, coalition forces will be free to resume military operations.
At every opportunity, I have said to the people of Iraq that our quarrel was not with them but instead with their leadership and, above all, with Saddam Hussein. This remains the case. You, the people of Iraq, are not our enemy. We do not seek your destruction. We have treated your POW's with kindness. Coalition forces fought this war only as a last resort and look forward to the day when Iraq is led by people prepared to live in peace with their neighbors.
We must now begin to look beyond victory and war. We must meet the challenge of securing the peace. In the future, as before, we will consult with our coalition partners. We've already done a good deal of thinking and planning for the postwar period, and Secretary Baker has already begun to consult with our coalition partners on the region's challenges. There can be, and will be, no solely American answer to all these challenges. But we can assist and support the countries of the region and be a catalyst for peace. In this spirit, Secretary Baker will go to the region next week to begin a new round of consultations.
This war is now behind us. Ahead of us is the difficult task of securing a potentially historic peace. Tonight though, let us be proud of what we have accomplished. Let us give thanks to those who risked their lives. Let us never forget those who gave their lives. May God bless our valiant military forces and their families, and let us all remember them in our prayers.
AFTER THE WAR: THE PRESIDENT Transcript of President Bush's Address on End of the Gulf War
Following is a transcript of President Bush's address last night to a joint session of Congress, and House Speaker Thomas S. Foley's introduction, as recorded by The New York Times:
FOLEY. Mr. President, it is customary at joint sessions for the chair to present the President to the members of Congress directly and without further comment. But I wish to depart from tradition tonight and express to you on behalf of the Congress and the country and through you to the members of our armed forces our warmest congratulations on the brilliant victory of the Desert Storm operation.
Members of the Congress, I now have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.
BUSH. Mr. President and Mr. Speaker, thank you, sir, for those very generous words spoken from the heart about the wonderful performance of our military. Members of Congress: Five short weeks ago, I came to this House to speak to you about the State of the Union. And we met then in time of war. Tonight, we meet in a world blessed by the promise of peace.
From the moment Operation Desert Storm commenced on Jan. 16 until the time the guns fell silent at midnight one week ago, this nation has watched its sons and daughters with pride -- watched over them with prayer. As Commander in Chief, I can report to you: Our armed forces fought with honor and valor. And as President, I can report to the nation aggression is defeated. The war is over.
This is a victory for every country in the coalition, for the United Nations. A victory for unprecedented international cooperation and diplomacy, so well led by our Secretary of State James Baker. It is a victory for the rule of law and for what is right.
Desert Storm's success belongs to the team that so ably leads our armed forces, our Secretary of Defense and our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: Dick Cheney and Colin Powell.
And while you're standing, this military victory also belongs to the one the British call the "Man of the Match," the tower of calm at the eye of Desert Storm, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.
And let us, recognizing this was a coalition effort, let us not forget Saudi General Khalid, Britain's General de la Billiere, or General Roquejoffra of France, and all the others whose leadership played such a vital role. And most importantly, most importantly of all, all those who served in the field.
I thank the members of this Congress. Support here for our troops in battle was overwhelming. And above all, I thank those whose unfailing love and support sustained our courageous men and women: I thank the American people. World After War
Tonight -- tonight, I come to this House to speak about the world, the world after war.
The recent challenge could not have been clearer. Saddam Hussein was the villain, Kuwait the victim. To the aid of this small country came nations from North America and Europe, from Asia and South America, from Africa and the Arab world, all united against aggression.
Our uncommon coalition must now work in common purpose to forge a future that should never again be held hostage to the darker side of human nature.
Tonight in Iraq, Saddam walks amidst ruin. His war machine is crushed. His ability to threaten mass destruction is itself destroyed. His people have been lied to, denied the truth. And when his defeated legions come home, all Iraqis will see and feel the havoc he has wrought. And this I promise you: For all that Saddam has done to his own people, to the Kuwaitis, and to the entire world, Saddam and those around him are accountable.
All of us grieve for the victims of war, for the people of Kuwait and the suffering that scars the soul of that proud nation. We grieve for all our fallen soldiers and their families, for all the innocents caught up in this conflict. And yes, we grieve for the people of Iraq, a people who have never been our enemy. My hope is that one day we will once again welcome them as friends into the community of nations. Four Key Challenges
Our commitment to peace in the Middle East does not end with the liberation of Kuwait. So tonight, let me outline four key challenges to be met.
First, we must work together to create shared security arrangements in the region. Our friends and allies in the Middle East recognize that they will bear the bulk of the responsibility for regional security. But we want them to know that just as we stood with them to repel aggression, so now America stands ready to work with them to secure the peace.
This does not mean stationing U.S. ground forces in the Arabian Peninsula, but it does mean American participation in joint exercises involving both air and ground forces. It means maintaining a capable U.S. naval presence in the region, just as we have for over 40 years. And let it be clear: Our vital national interests depend on a stable and secure gulf.
Second, we must act to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles used to deliver them. It would be tragic if the nations of the Middle East and Persian Gulf were now, in the wake of war, to embark on a new arms race. Iraq requires special vigilance. Until Iraq convinces the world of its peaceful intentions -- that its leaders will not use new revenues to rearm and rebuild its menacing war machine -- Iraq must not have access to the instruments of war.
And third, we must work to create new opportunities for peace and stability in the Middle East. On the night I announced Operation Desert Storm, I expressed my hope that out of the horrors of war might come new momentum for peace. We've learned in the modern age, geography cannot guarantee security and security does not come from military power alone.
All of us know the depth of bitterness that has made the dispute between Israel and its neighbors so painful and intractable. Yet, in the conflict just concluded, Israel and many of the Arab states have for the first time found themselves confronting the same aggressor. By now, it should be plain to all parties that peacemaking in the Middle East requires compromise. At the same time, peace brings real benefits to everyone. We must do all that we can to close the gap between Israel and the Arab states and between Israelis and Palestinians. The tactics of terror lead absolutely nowhere there can be no substitute for diplomacy.
A comprehensive peace must be grounded in United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and the principle of territory for peace. This principle must be elaborated to provide for Israel's security and recognition, and at the same time for legitimate Palestinian political rights. Anything else would fail the twin tests of fairness and security. The time has come to put an end to Arab-Israeli conflict.
The war with Iraq is over. The quest for solutions to the problems in Lebanon, in the Arab-Israeli dispute, and in the gulf must go forward with new vigor and determination. And I guarantee you no one will work harder for a stable peace in the region than we will.
Fourth, we must foster economic development for the sake of peace and progress. The Persian Gulf and Middle East -- and Middle East -- form a region rich in natural resources with a wealth of untapped human potential. Resources once squandered on military might -- military might must be redirected to more peaceful ends. We are already addressing the immediate economic consequences of Iraq's aggression. Now, the challenge is to reach higher to foster economic freedom and prosperity for all the people of the region. By meeting these four challenges we can build a framework for peace. I've asked Secretary of State Baker to go to the Middle East to begin the process. He will go to listen, to probe, to offer suggestions, to advance the search for peace and stability.
I've also asked him to raise the plight of the hostages held in Lebanon. We have not forgotten them. And we will not forget them.
To all the challenges that confront this region of the world, there is no single solution, no solely American answer. But we can make a difference. America will work tirelessly as a catalyst for positive change.
But we cannot lead a new world abroad if, at home, it's politics as usual on American defense and diplomacy. It's time to turn away from the temptation to protect unneeded weapons systems and obsolete bases. It's time to put an end, it's time to put an end to micro-management of foreign and security assistance programs, micro-management that humiliates our friends and allies and hamstrings our diplomacy. It's time to rise above the parochial and the pork barrel, to do what is necessary, what's right and what will enable this nation to play the leadership role required of us.
The consequences of the conflict in the gulf reach far beyond the confines of the Middle East. Twice before in this century, an entire world was convulsed by war. Twice this century, out of the horrors of war hope emerged for enduring peace. Twice before, those hopes proved to be a distant dream, beyond the grasp of man.
Until now, the world we've known has been a world divided, a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war.
And now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a "world order" in which "the principles of justice and fair play . . . protect the weak against the strong." A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.
The gulf war put this new world to its, its first test. And my fellow Americans, we passed that test.
For the sake of our principles, for the sake of the Kuwaiti people, we stood our ground. Because the world would not look the other way, Ambassador Al-Sabah, tonight Kuwait is free. Where is he? And we're very happy about that. Lessons of History
Tonight, as our troops begin to come home, let us recognize that the hard work of freedom still calls us forward. We've learned the hard lessons of history. The victory over Iraq was not waged as "a war to end all wars." Even the new world order cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace. But enduring peace must be our mission.
Our success in the gulf will shape not only the new world order we seek but our mission here at home.
In the war just ended, there were clear-cut objectives, timetables and, above all, an overriding imperative to achieve results. We must bring that same sense of self-discipline, that same sense of urgency, to the way we meet challenges here at home.
In my State of the Union Address and in my budget, I defined a comprehensive agenda to prepare for the next American century.
Our first priority is to get this economy rolling again. The fear and uncertainty caused by the gulf crisis were understandable. But now that the war is over, oil prices are down, interest rates are down and confidence is rightly coming back. Americans can move forward to lend, spend and invest in this, the strongest economy on earth.
We must also enact the legislation that is key to building a better America, For example, in 1990, we enacted an historic Clean Air Act. And now we've proposed a national energy strategy. We passed a child care bill that put power in the hands of parents. And today, we're ready to do the same thing with our schools, and expand, expand choice in education. We passed a crime bill that made a useful start in fighting crime and drugs. This year we're sending to Congress our comprehensive crime package to finish the job. We passed the landmark Americans With Disabilities Act. And now we've sent forward our civil rights bill. We also passed the aviation bill. This year we've sent up our new highway bill.
And these are just a few of our pending proposals for reform and renewal. Call for Domestic Action
So tonight, I call on the Congress to move forward aggressively on our domestic front. Let's begin with two initiatives we should be able to agree on quickly. transportation and crime. And then, let's build on success with those and enact the rest of our agenda. If our forces could win the ground war in 100 hours, then surely the Congress can pass this legislation in 100 days. Let, let that be a promise we make tonight to the American people.
When I spoke in this House about the state of our union, I asked all of you: If we can selflessly confront evil for the sake of good in a land so far away, then surely we can make this land all that it should be. In the time since then, the brave men and women of Desert Storm accomplished more than even they may realize. They set out to confront an enemy abroad, and in the process, they transformed a nation at home.
Think, think of the way they went about their mission -- with confidence and quiet pride. Think about their sense of duty, about all they taught us, about our values, about ourselves.
We hear so often about our young people in turmoil, how our children fall short, how our schools fail us, how American products and American workers are second class. Well, don't you believe it. The America we saw in Desert Storm was first-class talent.
And they -- and they did it -- they did it using America's state-of-the-art technology. We saw the excellence embodied in the Patriot missile and the patriots who made it work.
And we saw soldiers who know about honor and bravery and duty and country and the world-shaking power of these simple words.
There is something noble and majestic about the pride, about the patriotism, that we feel tonight.
So, to everyone here, and everyone watching at home, think about the men and women of Desert Storm. Let us honor them with our gratitude. Let us comfort the families of the fallen and remember each precious life lost.
Let us learn from them as well. Let us honor those who have served us by serving others.
Let us honor them as individuals, men and women of every race, all creeds and colors, by setting the face of this nation against discrimination, bigotry and hate. Eliminate that.
I'm sure that many of you saw on -- on the television -- the unforgettable scene of four terrified Iraqi soldiers surrendering. They emerged from their bunker broken, tears streaming from their eyes, fearing the worst. And then there was an American soldier. Remember what he said? He said: "It's O.K. You're all right now. You're all right now."
That scene says a lot about America, a lot about who we are. Americans are a caring people. We are a good people, a generous people. Let us always be caring and good and generous in all we do. March Home From Gulf
Soon, very soon, our troops will begin the march we've all been waiting for, their march home. And I have directed Secretary Cheney to begin the immediate return of American combat units from the gulf.
Less than two hours from now, the first planeload of American soldiers will lift off from Saudi Arabia headed for the U.S.A. That plane will carry the men and women of the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division bound for Fort Stewart, Ga. This is just -- this is just the beginning of a steady flow of American troops coming home.
Let their return remind us that all those who have gone before are linked with us in the long line of freedom's march. Americans have always tried to serve, to sacrifice nobly for what we believe to be right.
Tonight, I ask every community in this country to make this coming Fourth of July a day of special celebration for our returning troops. They may have missed Thanksgiving and Christmas, but I can tell you this: For them and for their families, we can make this a holiday they'll never forget.
In a very real sense, this victory belongs to them, to the privates and the pilots, to the sergeants and the supply officers, to the men and women in the machines, and the men and women who made them work. It belongs to the regulars, to the Reserves, to the National Guard. This victory belongs to the finest fighting force this nation has ever known in its history.
We went halfway around the world to do what is moral and just and right. And we fought hard, and -- with others -- we won the war. And we lifted the yoke of aggression and tyranny from a small country that many Americans had never even heard of, and we ask nothing in return.
We're coming home now proud, confident, heads high. There is much that we must do at home and abroad. And we will do it. We are Americans.
May God bless this great nation, the United States of America. Thank you all very much.
Bush Announces End to Gulf War - HISTORY
The Allies launched a devastating and sustained aerial bombardment involving cruise missiles launched from US warships and US, British and Saudi Arabian fighter planes, bombers and helicopters.
After more than a month of intensive air attacks, the Allies launched a land offensive, on 24 February.
One day later, the Iraqis began retreating. On 28 February, President George Bush declared victory.
Kuwait was liberated but Saddam Hussein remained in power and turned his wrath on the Kurd and Shiite communities.
Tensions between Iraq and the US continued as ceasefire agreements were violated and UN weapons inspectors prevented from doing their job.
In March 2003 George Bush's son, George W, launched an attack on Iraq in spite of worldwide opposition to war. Backed by British and Australian forces, the aim was to topple Saddam Hussein and eliminate any weapons of mass destruction.
Within a month, the Baghdad regime had been toppled and the Americans were claiming victory but there was no sign of any weapons of mass destruction.
Saddam Hussein was captured alive after several months in hiding in December 2003.
American-led coalition forces continue to occupy Iraq. On 28 June 2004 when power was officially handed back to the Iraqi authorities and elections held in February 2005.
Following a trial in an Iraqi court Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death and executed in December 2006.