In 1991, the US, aided by a number of other countries, waged a war given the moniker Operation Desert Storm, to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, after demanding billions from that tiny country which it claimed it was owed because the Kuwaitis had stolen oil from wells which were on the Iraqi side of the border.
Iraq’s demands came after a long and debilitating eight-year war with Iran, during which Kuwait backed Iraq and often suffered attacks to its oil tankers in the Gulf as a result. When Kuwait did not give in, Baghdad’s forces invaded and took over the country in a matter of days.
After the US called a halt to military action — exactly 100 days after the war began on January 17, 1991 — there was jubilation among both the Shias and Kurds in Iraq; they saw this as their chanced to get rid of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
At that time, then US President George H.W. Bush made statements that gave both these minorities in Iraq reason to believe that they would have the backing of the Americans if they started a serious conflict to topple Saddam.
His words come to mind after the crazy statements uttered by current US President Joe Biden recently when he said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should not be the ruler of Russia, hinting that the US wanted regime change in the country. His words came a little more than a month after Russia invaded Ukraine.
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 27, 2022
There is one difference between Bush’s words and Biden’s statement; the latter represents the real thinking of the US administration and is not some kind of throwaway line, though the White House has tried to walk it back.
And it’s not the first time that Biden has shown he has loose lips. A week or so prior, the 79-year-old US leader gave a speech to the US Air Force’s 82nd Airborne Division which is currently in Poland.
During that speech, he clearly indicated that these troops would be sent to Ukraine. Once again, this is an old forgetful man letting slip something which has probably been discussed to death in Washington DC.
Bush’s comments were not official policy. He was trying to be a hero after the ejection of Iraq’s forces and he had to walk back those words pretty soon when it began to look like there was a fair chance that Saddam would actually be toppled. Despite there being a no-fly zone in Iraq imposed by the US, the Iraqi dictator was allowed to use helicopters to quell the uprising.
He stayed in power until 2003 when the US invaded Iraq on its own in a futile search for non-existent nuclear and biological weapons.
The chances that the US will foment another world war by trying to confront Russian forces in Ukraine seem to be remote to anyone with even the IQ of the common beetle.
But given that Biden’s leadership has not exactly been what one can describe as wise, one should not be surprised if he does something foolish for which the rest of the world will have to pay.