Gulf War Chronicles

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A day by day account as chronicled by Jamal Munshi
Diary of an Iraqi soldier, Gulf war syndrome

thu jan 3, 1991
bush plans to send baker to the mideast possibly as early as this weekend...new initiative for direct talks with iraq. nato sent german, italian, and belgian jet fighters to turkey. u.s. hailed the move.

fri jan 4
bush proposed talks in geneva between baker and aziz. ..substitute for original proposal that baker travel to baghdad to confer with saddam hussein which was prevented by a scheduling dispute. the iraqis urged the ec to pressure the u.s. to seek an overall mideast peace.

mon jan 7
baker flew to europe to give aziz a stern message...bush repeated his threat of military action after the 15th. the house is getting ready for the debate to give bush permission to go to war.

tue jan 8
the u.s. and iraq exchanged warnings ahead of tomorrow's meeting between baker and aziz. baker repeated america's demand that iraq leave kuwait by the 15th. congress preparing to vote. six iraqi helicopters defect to saudi arabia.

wed jan 9
bush sought lawmakers' backing to use all necessary measures against iraq. baker and aziz arrived in geneva for today's meeting. u.s. and spanish navies diverted a soviet cargo ship headed for jordan with arms.

thu jan 10
baker and aziz ended their marathon talk with u.s. and iraq as divided as ever. odds of a mideast war rose. the white house mobilized american industry for war. aziz told reporters that iraq would attack israel if war broke out.

fri jan 11
a divided congress begins war debate. bush is favored to win by a narrow margin. france and algeria lobbied for a peace idea that included promise of a mideast peace conference that would include the palestinian problem if iraq withdrew from kuwait.

mon jan 14
no softening in saddam's resolve to keep kuwait. perez de cuellar met saddam in baghdad without a breakthrough. bush held out a slim opening for saddam. saddam called an emergency meeting of the iraqi legislature. he also referred to kuwait as the 19th province.

tue jan 15
two top plo aides were killed in tunisia. plo blamed israel but shooting probably the work of a renegade bodyguard. u.s. rejects the french proposal. the word from baghdad is that iraq will fight valiantly to be martyred.

wed jan 16
the un made a final appeal for iraq to withdraw from kuwait with a face saving formula. france abandoned a last minute peace plan. in baghdad thousands demonstrated against the u.s.. concern over the plo assasinations eased. the word 'bodybag' is used repeatedly to scare the americans.

thu jan 17
war breaks out. waves of u.s. planes attack iraq. a major oil glut offers a cushion. reserve is tapped. nation is euphoric. bush says battle going according to plan. war alters political equations worldwide.

fri jan 18
iraqi missiles hit israel and saudi arabia as u.s. presses air attacks. victory over iraq wont be as easy as first day's strike. markets are euphoric on first day's success but anxiety persists.

wed jan 30
bush pledged victory in state of the union address. washington and moscow declared that the war could end if iraq makes a committment to leave kuwait. this was interpreted as a softening.

thu jan 31
u.s. suffered first casualties in ground combat. iraqis take khafji. marines die from friendly fire. iraqis capture u.s. female. u.s. fears that saddam will use chemical and biological weapons.

fri feb 1
allied forces take back khafji. there is gnashing of teeth over u.s. female pow. iraq moving 60,000 troops to border.

mon feb 4
the u.s. will review whether an early ground attack is justified. bombing of republican guards is encouraging. u.s. lost four more planes over the weekend including one b52. bush plans to introduce a $1.4 trillion budget with a $300 billion deficit and cuts in military spending. the fed cut the discount rate from 6.5% to 6%.

tue feb 5
a gop lawmaker warned of congressional opposition to a ground war. too costly in u.s. lives. pipe bomb in norfolk va. rafsanjani offers to mediate. u.s. rejects offer.

wed feb 6
bush voiced some skepticism that air power alone will force iraqi pullout. nearing decision to launch ground war. sends top military brass to saudi.

thu feb 7
ground war inevitable....will mean many casualties. tough times lie ahead. king hussein accuses u.s. of trying to destroy iraq. king george is not amused. more hand wringing over 'bodybags'.

mon feb 11
cheney and powell tour saudi arabia and report that a ground war is needed in a week or so to dislodge the iraqi armor and troops from kuwait. senate leaders want to head off a ground war. gorb complains that allied actions are exceeding the un mandate. saddam praised the iraqis for their patience. jordan's king hussein says his feelings are hurt that the u.s. misinterpreted his recent comments as pro-baghdad.

tue feb 12
bush declared that the allies will press the air war against iraq for a while and declared the air campaign as very very effective but that he will launch a ground offensive before long. israel says its patience is wearing thin over the scuds. iraq says thousands of civilians have been killed or wounded in the bombing. war saps confidence and people buy less reports the wsj.

fri feb 8
apparently convinced that the war will be over by summer the pentagon won't bring in replacements for the troops. cheney gives upbeat assessment of how the war is going.

wed feb 13
iraq expressed readiness to work with the soviets to end the war. for the first time ever baghdad signaled that it may want a diplomatic way out. the air war goes on. 50 oil well fires are burning in kuwait. an ap wire initially reported that iraq says it will withdraw from kuwait.

thu feb 14
u.s. bombs hit a bunker in baghdad and iraq says hundreds of civilians died. saudi arabia, facing huge financial demands related to the war, is arranging to borrow $3.5 billion from a group of international banks.

fri feb 15
bush intends to ask for $55 billion in supplemental military spending. pentagon says that the ground war could begin by month end. air raids have destroyed one third of iraqi armor. the u.s. says it will not change its battle plans in the wake of a raid on a bunker that iraq says killed hundreds of civilians. separately, the u.s. holds up talks to reduce troop levels in europe amid differences with moscow.

tue feb 19
the soviets offered the iraqis a plan to end the war. the plan calls for an unconditional withdrawl of iraqi forces from kuwait but offers assurances that the anti iraq coalition will not attempt to change iraq's govt. and included a soviet pledge to seek action on other mideast disputes including the west bank. bush rejected the plan and instead urged the iraqi people to overthrow saddam.

wed feb 20
bush said a soviet peace plan does not meet his conditions for ending the war. the soviet plan assures the baghdad govt it will not be dismantled. u.s. also complained of the 'linkage'. the world awaits iraq's response to the plan. saudi officials confirmed that an oil spill is much smaller than they originally had claimed.

thu feb 21
in a letter to gorb, bush detailed conditions iraq must meet to end the war. american helicopters attacked bunkers inside iraq and took hundreds of prisoners.

fri feb 22
iraq responded positively to a soviet peace proposal after a meeting between aziz and gorb. iraqis agree to a full and unconditional withdrawl. last ditch effort to head off a ground war. u.s. has not rejected the plan but has not reacted positively either. the air war goes on in full intensity. over the weekend, bush gave saddam until noon saturday to leave kuwait. he did not. early sunday morning the allies launched a blitzkrieg ground attack.

mon feb 25
u.s. led forces thrust toward kuwait city, encountered only scattered resistance, captured thousands of epw. cheney says kc is expected to be under allied control within a day or two. fires burning in over half of kuwait's 1000 oil wells. iraqis also executed civilians and blew up buildings in kuwait. a rally in stocks is expected because of the 'euphoria' over the success of the u.s. led ground forces. u.s. hails advance as 'dramatic success'.

tue feb 26
saddam hussein ordered his troops out of kuwait under terms of a soviet peace plan, baghdad radio said. allies have already swept to the outskirts of kuwait city and charged through southern iraq in an unexpectedly easy campaign. an iraqi scud missile killed 12 u.s. soldiers in dahran. (this estimate later rose to 28 dead and 98 wounded.)

wed feb 27
u.s. led forces poised to liberate kc as iraqi forces fled. marines apparently reached the u.s. embassy. allied forces defeated one division of the rg and engaged other divisions. pentagon says that iraq is now in full retreat. bush says fighting could stop if iraqis lay down their arms and abandon their equipment. epw count 30-40,000. u.s. economy, a war casualty, could improve soon. with allied viictory in sight and interest rates low, consumer mood is rising.

thu feb 28
bush declared victory and ordered a cease fire announcing that kuwait is liberated, all our military objectives are met, and iraq's army is defeated. iraq must agree to abide by all 12 un resulutions and release all pow to avoid a resumption of hostilities. allied forces shattered the core of the iraqi army. 1,500 coalition tanks and 150,000 soldiers overwhelmed the republican guard destroying at least 5 of its 8 divisions. kuwait, once a paradise is turned into a living hell with 950 oil wells on fire and widespread destruction wrought by retreating iraqis and by allied bombing.

friday mar 1
victory fever grips the nation. iraq moved to accept u.s. truce terms. over the weekend u.s. and iraqi generals met and worked out the details of a permanent cease fire and exchanged some pows. the american public is buoyed by victory and sees a big role for the u.s. in the mideast in the future. bush 'deftly orchestrated swift victory over iraq'. his re election in 92 is virtually assured. victory in gulf exorcises the ghost of vietnam.

mon mar 4
iraq accepted terms set by the coalition to end the war. schwartzkopf called his meeting with the iraqi generals a major step forward in the cause of peace. ten allied pows are believed to have been released to the red cross.

tue mar 5
street fighting reported in 6 southern iraqi cities. islamic fundamentalists battled saddam's elite republican guards. u.s. says it is unable to determine whether the violence poses a real threat to saddam but speculated that it could slow implementation of coalition demands. premature to call it a civil war. 10 pows including 6 americans left baghdad. all remaining allied pows to be freed today.

wed mar 6
uprisings spread from southern iraq to the north where kurds claimed to have seized several towns. u.s. is predicting that saddam will be able to quell the uprising. the iraqis turned over 35 pows including 15 americans and said they were all they had. iraq also formally annulled its annexation of kuwait.

thu mar 7
the first wave of returning troops arrived. bush signalled a new mideast peace drive suggesting israel relinquish land. in a speach to congress the president declared the time has come to put and end to the arab-israel conflict. there are conflicting reports of rebel successes in iraq. saddam dismissed his interior minister and appointed his cousin who once crushed a kurdish uprising and served as governor of kuwait.

fri mar 8
baker (in ireland) offered to meet with palestinians when he visits israel next week. bush suggests that israel should trade occupied land for peace. cheney: u.s. will bring nearly all troops home in 4 months. iraq turned over hundreds of kuwatis to the red cross.

mon mar 11
baker meets with arab foreign ministers to formulate a peace strategy for the mideast. a palestinian stabbed four jewish women to death. protesters massed in moscow.

tue mar 12
videotaped beating highlights problems of la police. baker discussed mideast peace prospects with israeli officials. israeli army killed 6 pal. protestors. in iraq, 23 opposition factions opened talks to seek the ouster of saddam and the establishment of democracy. pro-democracy advocates in kuwait demanded that the govt set a date for elections.

wed mar 13
baker in israel told israelis and palestinians there is a new chance for mideast peace. baker met with shamir and palestinians. u.s. derails saudi proposed purchase of $15 bilion of high tech u.s. weapons.

thu mar 14
bush (in ottawa) warned iran against trying to seize territory. baker holds talks with assad. kurdish insurgents in mosul appear to be making headway.

fri mar 15
kuwait's emir returns. u.s. pursues post war diplomacy. baker held talks in moscow. kurds charge that iraqi soldiers are massacaring them. baker will meet with yeltsin.

mon mar 18
u.s. warned iraq not to move its warplanes for any reason. second round of cease fire talks. rebels in s.iraq said govt forces massacred thousands with napalm. saddam promises democratic reforms. kuwait will hold parliementary elections. soviet citizens voted in a referendum to decide whether the union will survive.

tue mar 19
gorb won partial victory in soviet referendum on whether 15 republics should stay together. coal miners there go on strike. bush demanded that iraq pay reparations for environmental terrorism.

wed mar 20
senate voted to bar arms sales to nations that renege on gulf pledges. reports of gains by kurdish rebels. soviet referendum has done nothing to prevent the country's slide toward chaos.

thu mar 21
u.s. shot down one iraqi warplane and forced another to land. april gaspie appears before a house commitee and talks tough. she was the one who had told saddam that the u.s. would not act if he took kuwait.

fri mar 22
u.s. estimates 100,000 iraqi troops died in the war. iraq suffered apocalyptic damage and now faces famine and epidemic. saudi plane crashes killing 92 senegalese. two u.s. navy planes collided killing 27 in calif. saddam claimed it as a work of allah and predicted more bad times for the u.s. military.

mon mar 25
iraq denounced u.s. terms for a permanent cease fire. terms include destruction of chemical, biological, and nuclear armaments. remaining u.s. troops will return only after the permanent cease fire. u.s. may establish a permanent military hq on arab soil. saddam hussein reshuffled his govt and named a shiite premier. u.s. shot down an iraqi warplane for flying in violation of cease fire terms. israel ordered the deportation of 4 palenstinians.

tue mar 26
iraqi rebels said that saddam has recaptured all of southern iraq. refugees flee to u.s. held areas. wave of air attacks on kurds in the north. u.s. shot down two iraqi jets. india ordered iraqi embassy to surrender guns and not to fire at shiites.

wed mar 27
gorb put the interior ministry in charge of law enforcement in moscow. ..all necessary measures to restore calm in the capital. demonstrations are planned by yeltsin. soviet parliement voted to suspend a nationwide coal strike. u.s. says it won't become involved in unrest in iraq. the security council has reached agreement on terms for a permanent cease fire.

thu mar 28
bush: unlikely that saddam will survive rebellion in iraq. flap over norman's comments on tv that he would not have stopped so soon. ussr wants the cease fire terms to allow iraq to keep some short range missiles.