In Reply to: Re: Shall we go even further back? posted by Question on April 03, 2003 at 13:35:46:
That's not how I remember it at all, and I was paying close attention to events that led up to the gulf war, and even to events after the gulf war.
Bush said Iraq needed to be kept intact and not ripped apart by neighboring interests fueling internal ethnic conflicts. But the conflicts were there anyway, and Bush senior was the one who emboldened the Kurds and Shiites to revolt. The problem was that Bush wanted the Baath party to revolt and overthrow Saddam, which they didn't do. He didn't mean for the Kurds and Shiites to try to take power or try to break away and declare independance. So he let them face Saddam unsupported. All this while the US enforced the no-fly zones to the north and south of the country, fully aware of the massacres and able to help, but turning a blind eye. Eventually though, the no-fly zones benefitted the far northern Kurdish regions, and the Kurds were able to live quite independently from Baghdad.
The US not backing off for lack of UN support, far from it! It was almost single-handedly dictating the ultimatums which led up to the war, the surrender terms, and the post war terms for not going in and fighting again. It was actually this post gulf war policy that led to the US losing its support from the world in general and from the UN. Hardly anybody agreed with the sanctions for example. The US is going it alone today only because it pretty much has been doing that all along.