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Saddam, Iraq, And The Gulf War

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justifiable or not, is complete madness. It is hell. No matter what the


or what the reason is, war remains mankind's greatest source of


the plague of mankind, and the plague of this country. Our country


existed for only 200 years, a relatively short time, and already we have


involved in over eleven major wars. Four have been fought this last


years. We are a nation of freedom, but we are also a nation of strong


presence. Our reasons for going to war have differed little from


nations. Political, social, and economic factors working alone or with


other lead us into all of our conflicts. A drive for independence


on the Revolutionary war. A common fear of living in a divided


created the Civil War. The need to bring down an aggressive nation


the United States into the Korean War. And territorial disputes lay


the Mexican-American and American Indian Wars. Like most countries,


United States, at different periods, has been victimized by the dark


of war.

Though reasons (or excuses) the American people have been given

to the

American people to justify military action were given before most

of our

wars, not every war has been popular. Ever since the Revolutionary

War up

until the Vietnam War, and even through to the Gulf War, public

support has

sequentially increased or decreased. For example, less than

half of the early

colonists backed America's war of independence.1 According

to historians,

more than one third wanted to maintain their status of

colonists.2 During the

Spanish-American War, such a strong anti-war mood

was being expressed by the

American people, the Democratic party made

condemning the war a major part of

their election campaign. More recently,

the Vietnam War divided the nation

like no other conflict had since the

Civil War.

Yet, there have been some wars that have attained much support,

and much has

even given people pride and joy. How ironic, and morbid,

that a war could

give a person feelings of joy or pride. World War I

and World War II were

incredibly popular, since people thought the basis

of democracy was at stake.

During both wars, people were so committed

to winning the war, and had such a

sense of self-sacrifice, our nation

showed incredible unity for such a

diverse country. Support for food

and fuel rationing was overwhelming, high

rates of enlisted volunteers,

purchases of war bonds, and countless other

types of voluntary actions

were characteristic of the times. Most recently,

the Persian Gulf War

showed to be one of this country's more popular wars,

despite the fact

we, as a land mass, were never directly endangered.

Thousands showed

up for rallies to send off the troops. Tens of thousands of


and families across the nation sent packages of food, clothes,


CDs, suntan oil, and even cosmetics. Some wrote letters to unknown


in the front line, and gave them their best wishes. In fact, most


opinion polls showed that about 90 percent of all Americans approved


the Gulf War. 3

This paper covers in detail the history of Iraq's involvement

in the events

leading to the war in the Persian Gulf, the involvement

of the United States,

and the main events that took place in Operation

Desert Shield and Desert


For centuries, the Middle East

has been one of the most important, most

argued about, and most fought



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