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On August 2nd, 1990 Iraqi military forces invaded and occupied

the small Arab state of Kuwait. The order was given by Iraqi

dictatorial president Saddam Hussein. His aim was apparently to take

control Kuwait's oil reserves (despite its small size Kuwait is a huge

oil producer; it has about 10 per cent of the world's oil reserves ).

Iraq accused Kuwait, and also the United Arab Emirates, of breaking

agreements that limit oil production in the Middle East. According

to Saddam Hussein, this brought down world oil prices severely and

caused financial loss of billions of dollars in Iraq's annual revenue.

Saddam Hussein had the nearly hopeless task of justifying the

invasion. He plead the fact that Kuwait had been part of the Ottoman

province of Basra, a city in the south of Iraq. However, the Ottoman

province collapsed after World War I and today's Iraqi borders were

not created until then. There was also a further and more obvious

blunder in a bid to justify this illegal invasion. Baghdad, the

capital of Iraq, had namely recognized Kuwaiti independence in 1963.

Furthermore, Hussein claimed that Kuwait had illegally pumped oil from

the Iraqi oil field of Rumaila and otherwise conspired to reduce

Iraq's essential oil income.

By invading Kuwait, Iraq succeeded in surprising the entire

world. The USA ended her policy of accommodating Saddam Hussein, which

had existed since the Iran-Iraq war. Negative attitude toward Iraq was

soon a worldwide phenomenon. The United Nations Security Council

passed 12 resolutions condemning the invasion. The ultimate decision

was to use military force if Iraq did not withdraw unconditionally

by January 15, 1991. Then, when the deadline was set, it was time to

start preparing for the worst-the war. President George Bush

confronted little difficulty in winning Americans' support for the

potential war against Iraq. However, the government found it difficult

to decide upon and state one overriding reason for going to war. Was

it to oppose aggression or was it just to...

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