Sunday, January 16, 2011

Operation Desert Storm plus 20 years

I remember when Saddam invaded Kuwait; I knew right then there was going to be war. Thirty years prior to that, Britain had sent troops to Kuwait, to head off a threatened Iraqi invasion. Now here it had happened for real.

I remember during the run-up to the attack, I was in a restaurant. George Bush was on TV, giving a stern speech full of threats of "significant consequences" and such. A fellow sitting next to me, three sheets to the wind, turn to me and said "Bush ain't playin'!"

I also remember a monthly progressive opinion journal, maybe The Progressive, or Mother Jones, which announced a series of issues entitled Voices Of Reason. The series would consist of leftists denouncing the war, for as long as it went on. Fortunately, the war was over before the first issue hit the news stands. Ha!

Should George Bush have gone in and toppled Saddam? Well, it's been said that peacekeeping is the strategy of drawing a war out to its longest possible duration. But the agonies of the past seven years would surely have descended on us and the Iraqi people back then, had we gone with regime change at that time. Sadly, we can't just launch a barrage of JDAMs and make the whole world come out right.

The air war was viciously one-sided, and the ensuing ground war was a 100 hour romp, a tremendous boost to American morale. Months later, I went to a baseball game in Atlanta. There was a military show of equipment outside the stadium, tanks and attack helicopters. During the game, the helicopters took off, circled the stadium, and flew away. They drew the biggest roar of the day from the crowd.

Thanks to all who served.
Thanks to all who served.