The Gulf War George Bush Sr

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The Gulf War

  • George Bush Sr.

Historical Context

  • President George Herbert Walker Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, on June 12, 1924.

  • He enlisted in the armed forces on his 18th birthday.

  • He was the youngest pilot in the Navy.

  • He flew 58 combat missions during WWII.

  • He was shot down by Japanese antiaircraft, and was rescued by a U. S. submarine.

Historical Context Cont.

  • He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in action.

  • Bush then turned his energies on completing his education and raising a family.

  • In 1945 he married Barbara Pierce.

  • They had six children-George, Robin (who died as a child), John (known as Jeb), Neil, Marvin, and Dorothy.

  • He attended Yale University where he excelled both in sports and in his studies; he was captain of the baseball team and a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • After graduation Bush embarked on a career in the oil industry of West Texas.

Historical Context Cont.

  • He served two terms as a Representative to Congress from Texas.

  • He ran unsuccessfully for the Senate twice.

  • Bush was appointed to several high-level positions: Ambassador to the United Nations, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in the People’s Republic of China, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Historical Context Cont.

  • In 1980 he campaigned for the Republican nomination for President.

  • He lost, but was chosen as a running mate for Ronald Reagan.

  • He was Vice President for 8 years.

  • In 1988 he was elected President of the United States.

Historical Context Cont.

  • During his term of office, the cold war ended, the Berlin Wall fell, and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

  • President Bush sent American troops into Panama to overthrow the corrupt regime of General Manuel Noriega, who was brought to the U.S. for trial as a drug trafficker.

  • Bush’s greatest test came when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, then threatened to move into Saudi Arabia.

Historical Context Cont.

  • On September 11, 1990,Bush sent 425,000 American troops to the region, they were joined by 118,000 troops from allied nations.

  • On January 16,1991 the United States declared war on Iraq and began a massive air attack on Iraq.

  • On February 23,1991 allied troops invaded Iraq.

Historical Context Cont.

  • Four days later the war was over.

  • The ground war lasted only one hundred hours, the shortest war in history at the time.

  • Hussein was still in power but no longer occupied Kuwait.

Intended Audience

  • The intended audience for this document was the American People.

  • Bush complemented and thanked the Service men, women, and their families.

  • He was good at describing why the United States needed to get militarily involved in this conflict.

Main Points


    • Our brave servicemen and women stand watch in that distant desert and on distant seas, side by side with the forces of more than 20 other nations.
    • We gather tonight, witnesses to the events in the Persian Gulf as significant as they are tragic.
    • A powerful Iraqi army invaded its trusting and much weaker neighbor, Kuwait
    • Within 3 days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia.

Main Points Cont.

  • If we are strong and unified, we cannot be defeated and this will not be another Vietnam.

    • If there ever was a time to put country before self and patriotism before party, the time is now.
    • Our ability to function effectively as a great power abroad depends on how we conduct ourselves at home.

Main Points Cont.

  • In the new world order, this type of aggression will not stand, and nearly the whole world is with us in this fight against Saddam Hussein.

    • “This is not, as Saddam Hussein would have it, the United States against Iraq. It is Iraq against the world.”
    • The test we face is great, and so are the stakes.
    • “This is the first assault on the new world that we seek, the first test of our mettle.”
    • “America and the world must stand up against aggression and-we will.”
    • To help defray costs, the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE-the United Arab Emirates-have pledged to provide our deployed troops with all the food and fuel they need.

Main Points Cont.

  • Oil in in the Middle East is important to our national security and to the world economy.

    • “Iraq itself controls some ten percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. Iraq plus Kuwait controls twice that.”

Main Points Cont.

  • We should be less dependent on foreign oil.

    • We must take advantage of our energy sources across the board: coal, natural gas, hydro, and nuclear. Our failure to do this has made us more dependent on foreign oil than ever before.
  • There will be a lasting role for the United States in assisting the nations of the Persian Gulf. To deter future aggression. Help our friends in their own self-defense. Curb the proliferation of chemical, biological, ballistic missile and above all, nuclear technologies.

Main Points Cont.

  • Iraq will not be permitted to annex Kuwait.

    • “Iraq will not be permitted to annex Kuwait. That’s not a threat, that’s not a boast, that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
    • Our objectives in the Persian Gulf are clear, our goals defined and familiar:
      • Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait.
      • Kuwait’s legitimate government must be restored.
      • The security and stability of the Persian Gulf must be assured.
      • American citizens abroad must be protected.

Main Points Cont.

  • “To my friends in Congress we need to work together to get America’s economic house in order.”

    • The deficit is larger than it should be. It must be, It will be reduced.
    • To go beyond such levels, where cutting defense would threaten our vital margin of safety, is something I will never accept.

Historical Significance

  • The impact the document had on the author’s society was that the American people supported both the war and the troops.

  • It increased the sense of patriotism throughout the nation.

  • Military enlistments increased by 60 percent.

Historical Significance Cont.

  • If later generations would listen to the article and pay attention to what is being said about using other forms of energy then a repeat of this situation may be able to be avoided.

  • I feel that servicemen and women, and there families were impacted the most by this document.

Historical Significance Cont.

  • The impact was very important. It let the servicemen and women and their families know that they were appreciated.

  • It let every one know the objectives of the conflict.

  • It thanked the men and women of the armed forces and there families for the sacrifices that were going to be made.


  • Would the U.S. and its allies been so quick to send military troops to Kuwait if oil was not involved?

  • Do you feel that September 11, 1990 when troops arrived in the Persian Gulf has any significance to September 11, 2001?

  • Would there be any need for military involvement now in Iraq if Saddam Hussein would have been removed from power in 1991?

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