Table of Contents


The Gulf War:

Overreaction & Excessiveness

By Hassan A El-Najjar

Amazone Press, 2001

The Root of Subsequent US Invasion of the Middle East

How America was dragged into conflict

 with the Arab and Muslim worlds






     The 1990 crisis that led to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was the fifth in the relations between the two Arab states. In 1896, Mubarak Al-Sabah usurped office and became the ruler of Kuwait after killing his two brothers, Muhammed and Jarrah. To protect himself from their children and followers, who took refuge in Basra, he signed a protection agreement with Britain in 1899. His nephews, backed by Iraqi authorities and other supporters, launched two attempts to restore Kuwait in 1901 and 1902. Although they failed, successive Iraqi governments have never approved of the British arrangements, particularly the protection agreement, that led to the secession of Kuwait from Iraq. Tensions resurfaced for the third time in the 1930s, with a climax in 1938, when King Ghazi of Iraq led a media campaign against the Shaikh of Kuwait, Ahmed Al-Jaber. He also criticized the British imperialist policies that led to the dismemberment of the Arab nation and obstructed unification. The fourth crisis between the two states followed termination of the protection agreement on June 19, 1961. Four days later, Iraq announced its intentions to annex Kuwait. In all these four crises, Britain was there to protect Kuwait and supporting its independence (Chapter I).

     The 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was the climax of the fifth crisis between the two neighborly Arab states. However, it was the most violent of these crises resulting in the most serious consequences for both of them. This chapter attempts to explain how the fifth crisis developed. This is followed by an analysis for the major factors that intensified the crisis to reach the war stage. A special attention is paid to the Iraqi-Israeli relations, which contributed to the escalation of the crisis. 

Background to the Crisis 

     Relations between the two states cooled off in the 1970s. This was attributed to Iraq's occupation with the Kurdish rebellion and disputes with Iran over Shatt Al-Arab. In the 1980s, the Kuwaiti support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war contributed to a major improvement in the relations between the two states. Kuwait made its territory a strategic depth for the Iraqi military efforts. Iraqi fighters and bombers were allowed to use Al-Ahmadi airbase, thus threatening the Iranian oil terminal at Kharg from a safe haven. Kuwait also allowed Iraq to build a pipeline that carried Iraqi oil, through Kuwait, to the Saudi port of Yanbu at the Red Sea. This allowed Iraq to continue exporting oil even when the Iranian troops occupied parts of southern Iraq in the last stages of the war. Moreover, Kuwait provided Iraq with $12 billion in loans to finance its military and civilian purchases. Because of that support, the Kuwaiti government expected that the Iraqi government would reciprocate by demarcating the borders between the two states. The Kuwaitis were encouraged after the Iraqi-Saudi agreement of non-aggression and military assistance had been signed in March 1989. Following the steps of King Fahd, the Emir of Kuwait, Jaber Al-Ahmed, went to Baghdad, in September 1989, to negotiate an agreement on the borders but he failed.[1]

     The failure to reach an agreement reflected the genuine differences between the Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations and the Iraqi-Saudi relations. First, while there were Iraqi claims of Kuwait, there were neither Iraqi claims of any Saudi territories nor border disputes between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Second, the Iran-Iraq war demonstrated the vulnerability of Iraq's access to the Gulf. Therefore, after the war, the Iraqi government looked for expanding that access by annexing or leasing the two Kuwaiti islands of Bubayan and Warbah. Thus, when the Emir went to Baghdad asking for an Iraqi recognition of the borders, he did not find a positive response. Third, while Saudi financial support for Iraq during the war was perceived and appreciated as a brotherly Arab nationalist duty, the Kuwaiti support for Iraq was expected because of the special historical relations between the two states. Finally, the Iraqis argued throughout the war that they were not only defending Iraq but also the entire Arab Gulf states. However, Kuwait was more threatened than Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, particularly when the Iranian troops became very close to Kuwait, during the last stage of the war.

     The crisis started to deepen following that failed mission of the Emir in Baghdad. While Saudi Arabia commuted an essential part of its loans on Iraq to gifts, Kuwait started to press for the repayment of the $12 billion of Iraqi war debts. In response, Iraq began to criticize Kuwaiti overproduction of oil that contributed to the 30 percent decline of oil prices, reaching as low as $14 per barrel. In an Arab summit conference in Amman in May 1990, the Iraqi President pointed that for every single dollar drop in the price of a barrel of oil, Iraq's loss would mount to $1 billion a year. On July 16, 1990, the Iraqi foreign minister, Tareq Aziz, reiterated these accusations in a letter to the Secretary-General of the Arab League. In that letter, Iraq accused Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates of overstepping the quotas of oil production agreed upon by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The letter also accused Kuwait of stealing oil from the Rumaila oilfield on the border between the two states. On July 20, Iraq moved about 30,000 of its troops to the border, threatening Kuwait. Several Arab leaders tried to mediate between the two governments. These included President Mubarak of Egypt, King Hussain of Jordan, Yasser Arafat of the PLO, and the Saudi foreign minister Saud Al-Faisal. Their efforts succeeded in reaching an agreement between the two sides to hold face-to-face talks in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. By the time the talks began on July 31, Iraq increased the number of its troops on the border to about 100,000.[2]  

     The crisis influenced the Geneva OPEC meeting on July 27. The Iraqi strong position to stop the violation of quotas was supported by most OPEC members, particularly Iran and Libya. The 13 OPEC oil ministers decided that the price of oil would be increased by $3 to reach $21 a barrel by the end of the year. In order to achieve that price, they decided that production ceiling should not exceed 22.491 million barrels per day (bpd). Actually, the new ceiling was slightly higher than the previous ceiling of 22.086 million bpd. The objective was to accommodate demands from the United Arab Emirates to match Kuwait's quota. However, the emphasis was on the strict observance of the quotas, which was expected to take 800,000 bpd off the oil market, allowing OPEC to achieve its target price by the end of the year.[3]

     The Iraqi delegation to the Jeddah talks was headed by, the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Izzat Ibrahim. He presented four Iraqi demands on Kuwait to meet: abiding by OPEC quotas, ceding the southern part of the border-Rumaila oilfield, writing-off of the war debt, and compensation for oil market losses as a result of the oil price decline. The Kuwaiti delegation, which was headed by the Crown Prince Sa'ad Al-Abdallah, insisted on a once-and-for-all settlement, that is, writing-off the debt in return for border demarcation. The talks lasted less than two days ending with disagreement on all issues early on August 1.[4] 

The Invasion 

     When the Jeddah Conference failed to solve the Iraqi-Kuwaiti disputes, the stage was set for the invasion. The most important historical development just before the invasion was from the United States. The Bush administration made it known to the Iraqi leadership that it was not going to interfere in inter-Arab disputes. The Iraqi leadership might have understood that as the American “green light” to go on with the invasion. Another factor was that Iraq became more nervous of the possibility of an Israeli attack on its nuclear installations. In addition, pressures on Iraq increased by the Western demands for repayment of the war debts (Chapter VII).

      The Kuwaiti military authorities informed the country’s political leaders about the Iraqi military build-up on the border and asked for declaring the state of emergency. However, the political leaders did not take the Iraqi actions seriously. They argued that Iraq was just trying to exert pressures on Kuwait but would never invade the country as a whole. The worst case-scenario, they imagined, was occupation of the disputed border areas, mainly a strip of the Kuwaiti border near the Rumaila oilfields together with the Bubayan and Warba islands. As a result, they did not agree to declare the state of emergency demanded by the Kuwaiti military leaders.

     On July 31, 1990, there were five Iraqi divisions (about 53,000 soldiers) ready to fight on the border, under the leadership of General Iyad Al-Rawi. Some of the Iraqi troops actually crossed the border as early as the afternoon of August 1, 1990 but tanks crossed at 10:30 p.m. They reached Al-Jahra town, 90 kilometers inside the Kuwaiti territory, by 2:00 a.m. of August 2. At 2:30 a.m., the Kuwaiti Chief-of-Staff, General Mizyid Al-Sani, signed the emergency (readiness for fighting) orders but it was only at 5:00 a.m. when the first Kuwaiti unit became ready for fighting. While General Al-Sani was signing his orders, the Emir and the Crown Prince left to Saudi Arabia. The rest of the Kuwaiti government (cabinet ministers) followed them at 3:40 a.m. The Iraqi military operation was completed by occupying Al-Ahmedi airbase, south of Kuwait, by 10:30 p.m. of August 3. The isolated Kuwaiti military resistance continued until August 4 (two days after the invasion), when the last Kuwaiti military unit (the 15th Armored) surrendered.[5]

     By August 4, the Iraqi troops in Kuwait increased to about 150,000. They completed the occupation of the country in twenty-four hours and it took them twenty-four more hours to end the Kuwaiti formal resistance. Thus, in spite of billions of dollars spent on the Kuwaiti military establishment, it did not demonstrate any serious resistance. Escape was in everyone's mind. At one time, cars from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia were four abreast, 30 kilometers deep.[6] 

     A Kuwaiti investigation, after the war, pointed to several factors that may explain the poor Kuwaiti military performance. First, the Kuwaiti army was not taken seriously by the political leadership. Second, the military establishment lacked the necessary political vision, training, equipment, and the right leadership. Third, the Kuwaiti officers reported that the army was not trained for defending the country against outside threats; rather, it was established for internal security. Fourth, buying military equipment was subject to the approval of civilian officials who cared more for their commissions than for what was best for the armed forces. Fifth, the armed forces suffered from a low morale, looseness, administrative corruption, cliques, and nepotism (promotion on basis of kinship and friendship ties, rather than competence). Sixth, while the officers were mainly Kuwaiti citizens, about 80 percent of soldiers were stateless residents of Kuwait, known as Bidoons ("without" citizenship). It was absurd to expect a persecuted population group (Bidoons) to defend its oppressors. Seventh, the military leaders were inefficient and incapable to perform the least of their professional duties and were completely dependent on the political leadership. Eighth, the top military officials (the Defense Minister, the Chief-of-Staff, and their deputies) were so ignorant about their duties that they did not know what to do following the declaration of military emergency. Finally, the political leadership left to Saudi Arabia without appointing an alternative leadership to run the country.[7] 

Reaction to the Invasion 

     The United States and Britain were quick in their response to the invasion. In just few hours, they led the United Nations Security Council in adopting Resolution 660, which condemned the invasion and called for the Iraqi withdrawal. They also led European and Asian countries in freezing all Iraqi and Kuwaiti assets, in the same day.

     The Arab response to the invasion was different. The Arab League held an emergency meeting on August 2 without the adoption of any resolutions, waiting for results of King Hussain's peace initiative. The Iraqi President called the King earlier in the day suggesting a mini-summit to solve the problem. King Hussain flew to Cairo to get President Mubarak's approval and the two of them called President Bush asking for 48 hours to end the crisis.

     President Bush did not waste any time, particularly after he had been "admonished" by Margaret Thathcher. The British Prime Minister, who had a pre-scheduled meeting with President Bush, told him that this was no time to go "wobbly."[8] He called King Fahd and offered U.S. aid if Iraqi troops did not stop at the border. On August 3, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, John Kelly, sent a message to the Egyptian Foreign Minister threatening that the United States may stop the annual military assistance if Egypt did not take a firm stance on the Kuwaiti issue. As a result, President Mubarak issued a statement condemning the invasion.

     On August 3, King Hussain announced that Iraq agreed to start withdrawing troops from Kuwait on August 5. However, later the same day, in another emergency meeting of the Arab League, 14 Arab states followed Mubarak's lead in condemning Iraq and calling for an immediate Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait. The seven votes against that resolution were from Djibouti, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Sudan, and Yemen.

     On August 4, President Bush called King Fahd to warn him that Iraqi troops were massed along the Saudi border. He offered sending Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, to Riyadh for talks about defending Saudi Arabia. On August 6, King Fahd agreed to receive American troops in his country, which became known as Operation Desert Shield. In the same day, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 661 imposing economic sanctions on Iraq.

     In response to the arrival of the American troops in Saudi Arabia and to the U.N. economic sanctions, Iraq declared a union of Iraq and Kuwait on August 9 (which was altered to a formal annexation on August 28). On the same day, August 9, the Arab summit conference was held with 14 heads of states, chairman of the PLO, and five government representatives. President Mubarak forced a vote on a resolution that called for an Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait and the restoration of the Emir. The resolution also rejected annexation of Kuwait, supported the U.N. economic sanctions, and called for the formation of an Arab "expeditionary force" to aid Saudi Arabia. The vote on the resolution divided the Arab states into three camps, one supporting Iraq, another supporting Kuwait, and a third was neutral. The twelve votes in favor of the resolution were those of Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates. The three votes against were those of Iraq, Libya, and the PLO. The remaining six states were neither for nor against. Algeria, Jordan, and Yemen abstained; Sudan and Mauritania expressed reservations; while Tunisia was absent from the meeting.[9] 

Suffering the Invasion 

     The Iraqi invasion and the military rule of Kuwait that extended between August 2, 1990 and February 24, 1991 led to tremendous suffering among the inhabitants of Kuwait, citizens and immigrants alike. About 300,000 Kuwaitis fled the country or did not return after vacationing abroad. These included Al-Sabah ruling family, the wealthy, prominent government figures, the military, and security personnel and their families. They constituted more than 57 percent of the Kuwaiti citizens. Although most of them did not suffer financially, they were devastated to discover their new status as stateless and homeless refugees. Had their plight been extended to years, they could have suffered the maltreatment stateless immigrants receive in various countries.

     About 250,000 Kuwaiti citizens stayed in Kuwait together with about 240,000 Bidoons (stateless residents), about 130,000 Palestinians, and several thousands of other non-Kuwaitis. All these categories of the population suffered from the crisis, the military rule, and the war. Kuwaiti citizens who stayed in the country, though, received moral and financial assistance from their government in-exile. However, scores of them were killed, tortured, arrested, and detained without trial.[10] Extra judicial killings reached hundreds though many of the victims were Bidoons, who were discriminated against before the crisis. Iraqis also took several thousand men as prisoners of war, but the vast majority of them were returned at the end of the war. By the year 2000, only about 600 men were still unaccounted for. In spite of the few number of casualties and injuries among Kuwaiti citizens, they suffered from a military rule that robbed them the freedom and the luxurious lifestyle they enjoyed before the crisis.

     More suffering was experienced by non-Kuwaitis. This has been least reported on so far. About one million immigrants of various nationalities were affected by the invasion. Most of them had to leave the country, thus losing their jobs in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. However, non-Kuawaitis who stayed in the country suffered even more. These were mainly Bidoons and Palestinians. They did not receive financial assistance from the Kuwaiti government in-exile. Therefore, they had to report to work during the Iraqi rule. This gave Kuwaitis the pretext they were looking for to accuse them of collaboration with the Iraqi authorities. Thus, from their safe havens abroad, Kuwaitis started threatening the remaining Bidoons and Palestinians of retribution. Inside the country, the Kuwaiti resistance targeted them with a number of explosions that killed and injured many of them. The Iraqi authorities required the Bidoons to join the militia otherwise they would be arrested and jailed. When they tried to flee to Saudi Arabia, they were not even allowed to enter the country, like Kuwaiti citizens. They were trapped in a refugee camp on the border, near the town of Khafjeh. After the war, the Bidoons, Palestinians, and other Arab immigrants who stayed in Kuwait were subjected to a terror campaign during which thousands were killed, injured, tortured, raped, and detained without trial, as documented in Chapter X.[11] 

Analyzing the Invasion 

     The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait may be more understood if it is analyzed using the functional and conflict sociological perspectives. From a functional perspective,[12] Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait was perceived by Western leaders as a major dysfunction that led to the creation of an imbalance not only in the Gulf region but also in the world as a whole. The Iraqi action has created a state of disequilibrium in the world order. Therefore, in order for the world to restore the equilibrium, the Iraqi action had to be reversed. Thus, forcing Iraq out of Kuwait would correct the dysfuction that occurred in the world order. However, that was not enough, as it may not guarantee that Iraq would not threaten the world order again in the future. Therefore, the United States-led coalition adopted the destruction of Iraq as the major goal that would also lead to forcing Iraq out of Kuwait. President Bush was outspoken throughout the crisis in describing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait as a threat to the world order. General Schwarzkopf, commander of the coalition forces, also mentioned that the destruction of Iraq was a major goal of Desert Storm.[13]   

     Viewing the crisis from an Iraqi functional perspective would mean that the Iraqi invasion aimed at restoring stability to the world order. In his July 17, 1990 speech, the Iraqi President attacked rulers of Kuwait for damaging the Iraqi economy. He accused them of illegally taking about $2.4 billion worth of Iraqi crude oil from the Rumaila oil field on the border between the two states. He also accused the Kuwaiti government of disrupting the status quo by violating the OPEC quota system. By exceeding OPEC’s production quota, Kuwait contributed to the dramatic decline of oil prices, which hurt Iraq.[14] Overproduction of oil led to lowering oil prices by 30 percent, from $21 a barrel in January 1990 to $14 a barrel six months later. Iraq was particularly hurt because it was in need for more money in order to finance its development plans and reconstruction following the eight years of war with Iran.[15] Thus, from an Iraqi functional viewpoint, it was Kuwait which disrupted the status quo in the region and that the Iraqi invasion aimed at restoring it.  

     It is clear that the functional analysis may justify both the Iraqi action and the Western-led coalition's reaction. The major shortcoming of this type of analysis is that it is ahistorical,[16] as it does not account for the historical development of the crisis. To the contrary, the conflict[17] analysis accounts for history and attempts to uncover the real interests of the parties involved in the conflict. This helps us understand how the crisis developed and why Iraq was destroyed, as a result.

     According to the conflict perspective, the capitalist classes in the core industrial societies as represented in this crisis by the United States, Britain, and France perceived Iraq as a threat to their interests in the Gulf region. Therefore, it had to be destroyed as a military and economic regional power. Thus, the region has continued as an underdeveloped periphery that exports its cheap energy to the core societies and imports expensive manufactured commodities from them. Furthermore, enabling Al-Sabah family to restore its rule of Kuwait has assured the other regimes in the region that the core will continue protecting them in the future. Finally, the destruction of Iraq removes away, once and for all, a potential threat to Israel. 

Factors Contributing to the Crisis 

     By looking at the historical background of the conflict, six main factors may be identified as major contributors to the 1990 Iraqi-Kuwaiti crisis. First, the relations between the two Arab states deteriorated after the Iraqi accusations that Kuwait had violated production quotas, exploited the border-Rumaila oilfield unilaterally, and demanded repayment of the war debts. Iraq needed more money not only to rebuild its economy but also to repay its foreign debts. The Western creditors started talking about an international consortium to control the Iraqi treasury, which made Iraqis very nervous.[18]

     The second factor was represented by the position of the Bush administration that encouraged Iraq to invade Kuwait without worrying about any serious consequences. Throughout 1990, particularly during the climax of the crisis in July, the United States never warned Iraq explicitly not to use force to settle its disputes with Kuwait. When John Kelly, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, visited Baghdad in February 1990, he expressed the American indifference concerning the Iraqi-Kuwaiti disputes. On July 24, 1990, the State Department spokeswoman, Margaret Tutwiler, stressed that the U.S. had no defense treaty with Kuwait and no special defense commitment to it. The same statement was reiterated by John Kelly on July 31, 1990. These statements must undoubtedly have encouraged Iraq to invade Kuwait.[19]

       More important, when Ambassador April Glaspie met with the Iraqi President on July 25, she expressed the same policy by telling him that the U.S. has “no opinion on inter-Arab disputes, like your border dispute with Kuwait." In fact, she was expressing the U.S official position from the dispute, as she added that Secretary “James Baker has directed our official spokesman to reemphasize this instruction.”[20]

       The Iraqi President was very much interested to hear that statement and he had probably acted on it. Like the United States, most Western European countries, particularly Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, supported Iraq throughout the 1980s in its war against Iran. Consequently, the Iraqis did not expect a serious western opposition to their invasion of Kuwait.

     The third factor that has contributed to the crisis stemmed from the inter-Arab conflict that had polarized the region for decades. Kuwait and Iraq stood in two rival camps in the Arab Middle East. Iraq has portrayed itself as the socialist defender of the deprived poor Arab masses, which aspire for an equal distribution of the Arab oil wealth through genuine socio-economic development in the region. Kuwait, on the other hand, has represented the fortified castle of the privileged wealthy minority of Arabs who invested most of their oil surplus wealth outside the region. Other Arab regimes had to split as supporters for one of these positions or the other. This has been one of the most serious issues in inter-Arab politics. The wealthy oil-exporting Arab states argue that they have suffered a history of deprivation and it is time now for them to enjoy the oil wealth that God has given them. This means that the oil wealth is theirs alone and they do not have to share it with the other Arab states. That is why Kuwait has invested the vast majority of its surplus wealth in the Western countries, rather than in the region.

     Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, the Saudi Commander of the 1990/1991 Arab coalition forces, testified to the scarcity of resources before 1973. He mentioned that before "the oil-price explosion of the 1970s, our financial resources were scant, our manpower was unskilled, our society was still traditional, and we had barely begun the process of modernization which, in the past two decades, has put us ahead of most of our neighbors." When he came to America to negotiate the Improved Hawk agreement in 1969, he and his colleague, Muhammad El-Kayyal, had to pool resources in order to buy a tape recorder. He wrote: "There was no money in the country at that time and our pay was very low. I remember that we wanted to buy a tape recorder, but could not afford it. Kayyal's grandmother had tucked away some money to pay for her shroud. She gave it to us, and we bought the tape recorder."[21] 

     In order for Kuwaitis to limit oil wealth benefits to themselves, they passed very strict citizenship laws that made it almost impossible for immigrants to stay permanently or acquire citizenship in the country. Therefore, the Kuwaiti demographic records containing information about citizens became so precious that smuggling them out of Kuwait to Bahrain after the invasion was a major issue of concern to Kuwaitis and their supporters. Experts from Bahrain, Holland, and France worked hard until they could break the computer codes and recovered the Kuwaiti population statistics. Then, the Kuwaiti government in-exile handed them over to the United Nations as the only source that would decide who was a Kuwaiti citizen.[22]

     The Iraqi camp argues that the oil wealth belongs to the Arab nation as a whole, not just to the oil-exporting states. Consequently, it is unfair not to invest the oil wealth in the region. After all, oil wealth could not have happened without the oil embargo of 1973, which could have never happened without the October War. Thus, while some Arabs were shedding their blood, their brothers were filling their treasuries with money that they did not want to share with them.

     In spite of the fact that Iraq is an oil-exporting state, its population of about nineteen million makes Iraqi per capita income much less than that of Kuwait ($2,000/$16,900 in 1995). Another important factor is that the ruling party in Iraq, the Socialist Arab Ba'ath Party, represents the ideological antithesis of the privileged status of members of the ruling family and citizens of Kuwait.

     The fourth factor that contributed to the crisis was represented by border disputes. The 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war showed that Iraq was vulnerable to the closing off of its only commercial port, oil terminals, and naval bases at Umm Qasr, by Iran. This simple geographical fact brought Iraq and Kuwait into conflict since the independence of Kuwait in 1961. As a solution, Iraq was looking for the acquisition of the two Kuwaiti islands of Bubiyan and Warba. They separate the Iraqi territory, particularly Umm Qasr, from the Gulf. Iraq offered to purchase, lease or exchange the islands for fresh water but Kuwait resisted the offer (See the area map).

     During the 1980s, when relations between the two states improved, Iraq was allowed to utilize the Kuwaiti territory to solve its geographical problems. A pipeline was built to link Iraqi oilfields with the Saudi Red Sea port of Yanbu. Moreover, a natural gas supply line from Iraq to Kuwait was completed. In 1988, a technical and feasibility study was completed to supply Kuwait with fresh water along a 290-kilometer pipeline from Al-Shattra in southern Iraq.[23]

     Kuwait resisted the Iraqi attempts to acquire the two islands by creating facts on the ground. It built a bridge between Bubiyan and the mainland, constructed extensive military facilities there, and paved a highway parallel to the borders to link up all border posts. Directly after the ceasefire between Iran and Iraq, Shaikh Sa'ad Al-Abdallah, Kuwait's Crown Prince and Prime Minister, visited Iraq to negotiate the Iraqi recognition of Kuwait's international border with Iraq, in return for forgiveness of the war debt. However, Iraq expressed its recognition of Kuwait's entity but did not recognize its boundaries.[24]

     The fifth factor that contributed to the crisis was represented by the Iraqi fears of an imminent Israeli attack on the country's nuclear and industrial installations. The fears increased as a result of an increase in a smearing campaign against Iraq. During the Arab Cooperation Council (ACC) summit conference in Amman, Jordan, on February 23, 1990, the Iraqi President expressed his suspicion that Israel may attack the Iraqi nuclear facilities during the coming five years.

     On March 15, 1990, Farzod Bazoft, a British journalist of an Iranian origin, was arrested as a spy in Iraq. He was sentenced to death and executed. The incident increased the Iraqi fears that Britain had joined the anti-Iraq campaign. On March 22, 1990, Israeli agents assassinated Gerald Bull, the Canadian builder of the Babylon Super-Gun, in Belgium.[25] Within a week, on March 28, 1990, the British arrested the Iraqi arms dealer, Ali Daghir, who was free to do business during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. He was arrested in London after signing papers of receiving forty-one krytrons from the U.S. These were claimed to be nuclear triggers imported for use in the Iraqi atomic bomb. Several other arrests and deportations of Iraqis followed. The Iraqi Ambassador to France, Abdul Razzaq Al-Hashimi, described these actions by Britain, Israel, and the U.S. as a concerted effort to smear Iraq. The objective of that public relations campaign was to justify another attack on the Iraqi industrial installations, similar to that of 1981. In a televised speech, the Iraqi President held an American-made krytron in one hand and a pair of Iraqi krytrons in the other. He demonstrated that Iraq did not need to import the American krytrons because it had its own. Therefore, he argued, this fuss about them was unjustified.[26] 

The Israeli factor 

     The sixth and the most important factor that contributed to the crisis and the war was the adversarial Iraqi-Israeli relations. Iraq has been perceived and portrayed as a threat to Israel. This may explain why the Western powers opted for war, rather than peace initiatives or even economic sanctions, to force Iraq out of Kuwait.

     Tensions between Iraq and Israel started during the 1948 war when the Iraqi forces played a major role in keeping the West Bank as an Arab territory.[27] Tensions resurfaced in the early 1950s because of the Israeli campaign to force the Iraqi Jews to immigrate to Israel. The new Israeli state numbered only about half a million. Instead of trying to solve the Palestinian refugee problem by repatriation and compensation, as urged by the United Nations Organization, the Israeli leaders started looking for Jewish immigrants to replace Palestinian refugees. Strange as it was, the Israeli government planned and executed a campaign of terrorizing Iraqi Jews in an attempt to force them to immigrate to Israel. The campaign was so successful that most Iraqi Jews left to Israel. However, the campaign contributed to more tensions between Iraq and Israel. Between October 1951 and January 1952, the Iraqi government conducted three trials, in which twenty-eight Jews and nine others were charged with espionage and illegal possession of arms.

"Some of the accused were also charged with the bombing and grenade attacks on the Al Bayda coffee shop in Baghdad, in which four Jews were injured in April 1950; on the Jewish emigrants' registration office at the Mas'uda Shem-Tov synagogue, in which three Jews were killed in January 1951; on the US Legation's information office in March 1951; on a Jewish home in May 1951; and on a Jewish shop in June 1951. The prosecution maintained that the aim of the attacks was to undermine the regime, to give the regime a bad (anti-Semitic) name and to create bad blood between Iraq and the Western powers. Some Iraqi Jews maintained, then and for years afterwards, that the attacks on the Jewish targets, especially on the Mas'uda Shem-Tov synagogue, were organized by the Mossad and/or the Mossad LeAliya Bet in order to persuade hesitant Iraqi Jews that it was in their interest to leave their growingly anti-Semitic homeland and emigrate to Israel."[28]

     During the 1960s and the 1970s, Israel supported the Kurdish rebellion (Chapter V). When the 1973 war broke out, Iraqi air forces participated in fighting on both fronts. However, most of the Iraqi participation was on the Syrian front. These forces consisted of two armored divisions, with about 500 tanks, 700 armored personnel carriers, and 30,000 troops. These represented three-fourths of the Iraqi air forces, two-thirds of the armored forces, and one-fifth of the infantry units, at that time. The Iraqi forces fought three major engagements on October 13, 16, and 19 against the Israeli XIX and XX brigades. These included joint attacks with Syrian forces against the southern flank of the Israeli forces with an Iraqi aerial support. The fighting resulted in heavy losses (about 217 tanks) but could stall the Israeli momentum. This gave the Syrian forces the chance to regroup and consolidate their defenses west of Damascus.[29]

     In the 1980s, Israel worked hard to lengthen the Iran-Iraq war in order to "sap the Iraqi military capabilities," as the head of the Israeli military intelligence, Amnon Shahak, said.[30] That goal was achieved through the Israeli arms sales to Iran during that war, which contributed to more tensions between Israel and Iraq. Not only the Israelis supplied the Iranians with Israeli military equipment but also persuaded the American administration to do so in what became known later as the Iran-Contra affair.[31] When the war ended with most of the Iraqi weapons intact, the Israelis were nervous and wanted to see Iraq destroyed.

      As a major Western ally during the Cold War, Israel was capable of earning the Western support for its policy towards the Palestinian people and the Arab states that supported them. Israel continued its denial of the Palestinian national and political rights recognized by the United Nations. In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed the partition Resolution No. 181, which called for the creation of the Arab state of Palestine besides the Jewish state of Israel. In 1949, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution No. 191, which demanded that Israel solve the Palestinian refugee problem by compensation and repatriation. However, Israel refused to observe these United Nations resolutions.[32] Moreover, it continued its expansionist policies by occupying more Arab territories in 1956 (Sinai and Gaza Strip). Israel also adopted more aggressive and expansionist policies, such as launching pre-emptive strikes against any Arab state that may threaten the Israeli policies. It was in this context that Israel launched the 1967 war against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, bombed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, and invaded Lebanon in 1982. Israel could not do that without the continuous Western military and economic support.

     Thus, ending the Iraqi invasion by force, rather than by peaceful initiatives or economic sanctions, aimed at maintaining the Israeli military superiority. The destruction of the Iraqi military capabilities was a goal in itself and a golden opportunity to guarantee the Israeli military superiority in the region, for decades to come. 

Maintaining the Israeli Military Superiority 

     The West has made sure that Israel has a technological edge in the Middle East by enabling it to develop its own arsenal of nuclear weapons. On October 5, 1986, the Sunday Times of London published an article based on information supplied by Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli Jew of a Moroccan origin and a former technician at the Israeli Dimona Nuclear Research Center. Vanunu's evidence showed that Israel produced between 100 and 200 nuclear weapons of various destructive forces, thus becoming the world's sixth nuclear power.[33]

     By the end of the Iran-Iraq in 1988, several Israeli leaders started to describe Iraq as a threat to Israel because of its missile and chemical weapons capabilities.[34] The smearing campaign continued for the following two years until one day, on April 2, 1990, the Iraqi president was so provoked that he threatened to burn half of Israel if it attacked Iraq again.[35] He was referring to the unprovoked 1981 Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear plant. The 1991 Gulf War showed that destroying the Iraqi nuclear facilities was a major goal of the air campaign. Actually, the Iraqi nuclear facilities were destroyed during the first week of the war. In fact, in the largest single raid of the air campaign, 56-F16s (out of the total 251 American F-16s) attacked the Iraqi Nuclear Research Center in Baghdad on January 19.[36] Clearly, this was the major Israeli target, which had nothing to do with forcing Iraq out of Kuwait.

     Iraqi Nuclear Programs became advanced enough to threaten the Israeli nuclear superiority. That was why Israel decided to destroy the Iraqi programs. On June 13, 1980, Israeli agents killed the Egyptian nuclear physicist, Yahya Al-Mashad, in Paris for his work in the Iraqi nuclear program in France.[37] On June 7, 1981, Israel destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor (Tammuz I) in two waves of attacks by its American-made F-16 aircrafts. However, Iraq was capable of rebuilding its nuclear facilities (Tammuz II) throughout the 1980s. In September 1988, as evidence that production of nuclear weapons was soon to happen, Iraq sought to buy nuclear triggering devices, called krytrons. By June 1990, Pentagon analysts estimated that Iraq was somewhere between two and five years to have its first atomic bomb.[38]

     Israel also succeeded in destroying another Iraqi weapon, the Babylon Super Gun, which was about to allow Iraq to reach the space age. In March 1989, the Iraqi 56-meter long super gun was completed and tested. Each one of its steel shells could carry about 500 kilograms of high explosives, for a distance of about 1,000 kilometers. On February 7, 1990, General Amer Al-Sa'adi announced that Iraq was ready to use the Babylon Super-Gun in launching two versions of domestically produced satellites into space.[39]

     During April and May of 1990, an all-Europe campaign was launched to complete what Israel started when its agents assassinated Gerald Bull, the father of the Babylon Super Gun, on February 7, 1990. Customs officials in Britain, West Germany, Italy, Greece, and Turkey intercepted shipments to Iraq that included parts that may be used in making the Super-Gun. During July 1990, the U.S. officials intercepted shipment of parts, which were to be used in making the Iraqi nuclear bomb.[40]

     Finally, Israel was much interested in destroying the Iraqi missile systems in order to maintain its air supremacy in the region. The Iraqi missile program was active and successful, as early as 1984, when Iraq developed the ballistic missile Astros II in collaboration with Brazil.[41] The program was soon accelerated when Iraqis obtained 300 Scud-B missiles in 1986. The Iraqis took them to Brazil, where they were converted into 200 medium-range missiles with reduced warhead capacity, 190 kilograms instead of 800 kilograms.[42] On August 5, 1987, the Iraqi President announced that the Iraqi missile, Al-Hussain, was test-fired, flew 615 kilometers, and landed in the designated target area.[43]

     On December 7, 1989, Iraq launched its three-stage, 48-ton rocket, which stood 25 meters high. "Al-Abed" was capable of carrying a military warhead at a target some 2,000 kilometers away. The U.S. officials did not like this Iraqi achievement. The following day, December 8, 1989, they told reporters in Washington that Iraq's missile programs had become a "subject of major concern to the Bush administration.[44]

     On April 12, 1990, the Iraqi President reiterated the Iraqi contention that there was an unjustified Western media campaign against Iraq. He told a delegation of American Senators, headed by Bob Dole and Alan Simpson, that if he and the Iraqi High Command were killed in an Israeli attack, the Iraqi air force commanders would fire chemical weapons against Israel. He also defended the possession of strategic weapons as a balance of power that would keep peace with Israel, which already had its own nuclear weapons.[45] 

Communication with American Jewish Leaders 

       Sensing the coming danger, Iraqis tried hard to communicate their concerns to American Jewish leaders and supporters of Israel in the Congress. At the beginning, the Iraqi efforts seemed working, particularly in the 1988-1989 period. However, by the beginning of 1990, tensions escalated towards the crisis. By April, the American policy towards Iraq started to change dramatically, as explained in Chapter VII.

     Before the 1990 crisis, the Iraqi Ambassador to the United States, Nizar Hamdoon, tried to earn support of the American Jewish and pro-Israel leaders for Iraq. With help from Marshall Wiley of the State Department, he would invite them to a dinner in his residence to persuade them that Iraq did not pose a threat to Israel.[46] The American Jewish leaders and supporters of Israel in the Congress, such as Stephen (Steve) Solarz and Alfonso D'Amato, demonstrated that they were interested in his argument by visiting Iraq and meeting with top officials of the Iraqi government, including the President. However, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the same members of the Congress became among the major instigators against Iraq, describing the Iraqi President as Hitler.

     Hamdoon's policy of earning support of the Jewish and pro-Israel leaders was so successful that Kissenger and Associates sent representatives to the forum of the American companies in Baghdad, in 1989. The forum wanted to influence the administration to help Iraq solve the debt problem. Later, these associates (Brent Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger) became top officials in the Bush administration.[47] 

          The first agreement to reschedule the Iraqi debt was going to be signed in Paris on August 4, 1990.[48] On February 13, 1990, Richard Murphy arrived at Baghdad as a representative of Robert Abboud, the head of the U.S.-Iraq Business Forum and Chairman of the First City Bank Corporation of Texas. Hamdoon was also successful in inviting several Jewish leaders to his residence. Once, he was capable of assembling a group of the most influential Jewish and pro-Israel leaders.  These were Steve Solarz, the Jewish Congressman from New York; Peter Rodman, the head of policy Planning at the State Department; Howard Teicher, the top Middle East analyst at the National Security Council; Robert Pelletreau, the Deputy Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs; Alfred H. Moses, a former liaison to the Jewish community during the Carter administration; Judith Kipper, a Middle East specialist at the Brookings Institution; and three prominent journalists: Ken Wollack, coordinator of the Middle East Policy Survey; Don Oberdorfer, of the Washington Post; and David Ignatius of the Wall Street Journal.[49] 


     Relations between Iraq and Kuwait were tense throughout the twentieth century. However, tensions increased during the five main crises of 1901, 1902, 1938, 1961, and 1990. Only the last crisis escalated to an Iraqi invasion.

     Iraqis felt that the Kuwaiti government ignored their grievances concerning oil prices, war debts, and border disputes. They expected a much better treatment from their brotherly neighbors. In particular, they argued that they defended Kuwait during the Iran-Iraq war. In return, they expected appreciation and economic support after the war, which they did not get.

     Kuwaitis also had their own grievances. They demanded an Iraqi recognition of the border between the two states. When the Iraqis did not agree, they retaliated by exerting economic pressure on them. They demanded repayment of the $12 billion war debt. Moreover, they increased their oil production quota, thus contributing to the 30 percent decline in the oil prices. Feeling these economic pressures, the Iraqis escalated the dispute by sending troops to the border. When the Arab-mediated Jeddah conference failed to resolve the disputes, the stage was set for the Iraqi invasion.

     The Arab initial reaction to the invasion was a mixture of shock and disbelief. Therefore, it took the form of peaceful initiatives demanding the Iraqi withdrawal. However, the tough Anglo-American position in the United Nations led the Arab League to the condemnation of the invasion and the demand of instant Iraqi withdrawal. The turning point was when King Fahd agreed to receive American troops in his country. That was the first step towards the eviction of Iraqi troops from Kuwait and the destruction of Iraq during the war.

     The Iraqi invasion and the war that followed led to tremendous suffering among millions of people in the Middle East, particularly in Kuwait and Iraq. Most Kuwaiti citizens became refugees in the Gulf area and around the world. Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis who stayed in Kuwait suffered the most. In particular, Palestinians were reduced from the largest immigrant group in the country numbering over 450,000 before the invasion to about 130,000 during the crisis and less than 30,000 after the war. They lost their jobs, investments, and the society that they established for more than half a century. They were also subjected to a terror campaign after the war that aimed at evicting them from the country. The Bedoons were the second non-Kuwaiti population group to suffer at the end of the war. Kuwaitis persecuted both Palestinians and Bedoons for their alleged collaboration with the Iraqi authorities (Chapter X). Nevertheless, the Iraqi people have been suffering the most: hundreds of thousands of Iraqi soldiers were killed and injured, their country was destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children died after the war, as a result of the embargo.

     Using the functionalist analysis to understand the 1990 crisis is very simplistic. The crisis did not start with the Iraqi invasion, which would not escalate into the 1991 war without a host of other factors. The conflict analysis is much more helpful in understanding the historical, regional, and international factors that deepened the crisis to reach the level of an international conflict.    

     The immediate factors that contributed to the crisis were war debts, the decline in oil prices, and border disputes. However, the crisis represented a historical split between two conflicting Arab camps that polarized the Middle East for decades. Western powers also contributed to the crisis by not making their positions clear to Iraq. The United States officials expressed the opinion that they were not going to interfere in inter-Arab disputes. Israel played a major role in escalating the crisis. First, Iraqis began to fear an imminent Israeli attack on their nuclear installations. Second, a media campaign followed all over Europe and North America to smear Iraq because of the Iraqi counter-threats against Israel. Then, European countries started intercepting industrial shipments purchased by Iraq for fear that these shipments may be used in making the Babylon Super-Gun that may threaten the Israeli military superiority in the Middle East. Third, Israeli agents assassinated the Canadian Gerald Bull who built the Super-Gun.

     The 1990 Iraqi-Kuwaiti disputes were serious enough to reach a crisis stage that ended with the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. However, these disputes alone could not have escalated into the 1991 Gulf War without a host of regional and international factors. Peaceful initiatives for the Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait were not given a fair chance. Economic sanctions were not given a chance either (Chapter VIII). War was the preferred solution for the crisis. Why? This is explained in Chapter VII: America Goes to War.

Map of Kuwait




[1] Graz (1990).

[2] Graz (1990; Daneshku (1990); Salinger and Laurent (1991: 31).

[3] Daneshkhu (1990).

[4] Jaber (1990); Pimlott (1992: 40); Bin Sultan (1995:

 158-59); Al-Yahya (1993: 84, 113).

[5] Kuwait National Assembly (1995).

[6] Al-Yahya (1993: 85).

[7] Kuwait National Assembly (1995). 

[8] The change in the U.S. position from indifference towards inter-Arab disputes to a strong stance against the invasion is discussed in Chapter VII. 

[9] Bin Sultan (1995: 183-84); Pimlott (1992: 41-46); Salinger

 and Laurent (1991: 90-113). 

[10] Amnesty International (1990).

[11] MEW (1991); HRW (1995). 

[12]  The functional perspective is most concerned with preserving the status quo. The ideal state of affairs is the balance between major social institutions or between centers of power in society, or between various societies, as in this case. If social institutions are in harmony with one-another, they will be more capable to perform their unique functions in society. This results in social stability as represented by an equilibrium. However, when one of these institutions starts dysfunctioning or contradicting with other institutions, society suffers from a state of disequilibrium or imbalance that threatens the social order and social stability. At that time, society as a whole should work in a concerted effort in order to restore the state of equilibrium by removing the conditions that have led to that dysfunctioning. Talcot Parsons (1951; 1955) and Robert Merton (1965; 1986) were pioneers in sythesizing this perspective. A recent synthesis may be found in Alexander and Colomy (1990).      

[13] Schwarzkopf (1992).

[14] Amnesty International (1990: 4).

[15] Bin Sultan (1995: 158).

[16] Robertson (1987: 17). 

[17] The conflict perspective emphasizes that there is an inherent conflict of interests in society between the capitalist class and the working class. All other social groups in society may be involved in conflict, too. These may include religious, racial, ethnic, regional, gender, age, and consumer groups. All compete for major resources of society, particularly wealth, power, and prestige. Among the prominent contemporary conflict theorists are C. Wright Mills (1956), Erik Olin Wright (1985), and William Domhoff (1990; 1998). Andre Gunder Frank (1967; 1972) and Immanual Wallerstein (1974) added a global dimension to the conflict perspective by pointing to the global capitalist competition for markets and raw materials, as mentioned in Chapter V. 

[18] The first agreement to reschedule the Iraqi debt was going to be signed in Paris on August 4, 1990 (Timmerman, 1991: 347-49, 389). However, the Iraqi leaders were concerned regarding the Western intentions of imposing a financial regime on Iraq similar to that imposed on Egypt in the 1870s, which led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882.    

[19] Bin Sultan (1995: 162); Pimlott (1992: 39). 

[20] The text of the meeting in its entirety is published in Sciolino (1991: 271-284). In her March 20, 1991 testimony in Congress, Ambassador April Glaspie said that she also warned the Iraqi President not to use violence against Kuwait by telling him: “But we insist that you settle your disputes with Kuwait nonviolently” (Sciolino, 1991: 280, 283). However, on July 12, 1991, Senators Claiborne Pell and Alan Cranston said that “Ms. Glaspie’s cables to the State Department after her meeting with Saddam suggest that she never issued a tough warning to the Iraqi President.” Mr. Cranston went further, charging that “Ms. Glaspie deliberately misled the Congress about her role in the Persian Gulf tragedy” (The Atlanta Journal/Atlanta Constitution, July 13, 1991). 

[21] Bin Sultan (1955: 77-78).

[22] Bin Sultan (1995: 251).

[23] EIU, The Economist Intelligence Unit, (1990: 48-51).

[24] EIU, The Economist Intelligence Unit (1990: 48-51).

[25] Pimlott (1992: 37).

[26] Timmerman (1991: 373-79). 

[27] The commander of the Jordanian forces in East Jerusalem during the 1948 War, Abdullah Al-Tal, mentioned that Golda Meir convinced King Abdullah of Jordan to persuade his relatives, rulers of Iraq, to withdraw the Iraqi troops from their strongholds in Galilee and the Triangle (Palestine). In return, Israel would allow him to keep the West Bank under his control. The Iraqi forces withdrew from their positions without fighting, which resulted in the easy loss of Led (Lod) and Ramleh Arab areas. However, their withdrawal contributed to keeping the rest of the West Bank as an Arab territory (Al-Tal, 1957). 

[28] Black and Morris (1991: 91).

[29] Black and Morris (1991: 313-314); McKnight (1992: 23);

  Al-Bazzaz (1989: 135, 141-42).

[30] Al-Bazzaz (1989: 143-44). 

[31] The operation was headed by the previous Israeli military attache in Iran, Ya'akov Nimrodi. He was assisted by the American-Jewish businessman who founded the Israeli aircraft industries, Al Schwimmer, the Saudi multimillionare Adnan Khashoggi, and the Iranian arms dealer Mansoor (Manucher) Khorbanifar. Leaders of the Israeli national-unity government, Prime Minister Peres and Foreign Minister Shamir, approved of it. As a result of an agreement between the Israeli director-general of the Foreign Ministry, David Kimche, and the American National Security Advisor, Robert McFarlane, Iran received ninety-six American-made anti-tank TOW missiles at the end of August 1985. Three weeks later, a further 408 missiles were delivered by the Israelis to the Iranians with the American approval and the Saudi financing. After that, the Israeli-American support for Iran was handled by Amiram Nir, the Advisor for the Israeli Prime Minister, and Oliver North, the deputy for the U.S. National Security Advisor. Several other arms deliveries were made to Tehran. The affair started to be uncovered when Nir suggested to North that the Iranians be overcharged for the weapons and that the surplus cash be secretly diverted to the Contra rebels fighting the Sandanista regime in Nicaragua. The idea sounded great for North because it would serve the agenda of President Reagan, whose policies in Central America were crippled by the predominantly Democratic Congress. Thus, North broke the Congressional law of stopping aid to the Contra rebels, which brought the whole operation into questioning by the Congress (Black and Morris, 1991: 427-433). The degree of Israeli involvement is evident in the amounts of the sales. Between 1980 and 1986, Israeli arms sales to Iran amounted to about $2 billion. The media took notice of the affair when two Israeli generals were arrested in Panama in relation to their contacts with the Contras. This affair has demonstrated that the United States had subjected its policies in the Middle East to Israeli interests. The U.S. policy was ending the war through passing the UN Security Council Resolution 598. However, the Reagan administration contradicted with its own policy and followed the Israeli policy by approving the arms sales to Iran (Al-Bazzaz, 1989: 65, 201-2). 

[32] Elnajjar (1993).

[33] Black and Morris (1991: 437).

[34] Reich (1990).

[35] Pimlott (1992: 37).

[36] Bin Sultan (1995: 343).

[37] Timmerman (1991: 69-70).

[38] Timmerman (1991: 69-70).

[39] Timmerman (1991: 322, 370-371).

[40] Timmerman (1991: 377-379, 387-388).

[41] (Timmerman (1991: 184).

[42] Timmerman (1991: 248-249). 

[43] Timmerman (1991: 267). However, McKnight (1992: 175) mentioned that Al-Hussain had a range of 650 kilometers with a payload of 250 kilograms of explosives. 

[44] Timmerman (1991: 365-366).

[45] Timmerman (1991: 379-382).

[46] Timmerman (1991: 222).

[47] Timmerman (1991: 347-349).

[48] Timmerman (1991: 389).

[49] Timmerman (1991: 219-223).


Table of Contents, Gulf War: Overreaction & Excessiveness, By Hassan A El-Najjar