Gulf War Nostalgia: P.J. O’Rourke

Gulf War Nostalgia: P.J. O’Rourke was in the Middle East during the Gulf War and he wrote about it in his fantastic book “Give War a Chance.” Here’s a description of what the celebration in Kuwait was like after we kicked the Iraqis out of the country…

“(S)ix hours after the U.S. declared a cease-fire, the victorious armies began to roll into Kuwait City. …People were singing, dancing, clapping their hands and beating on car horns. …An impromptu parade was begun past the American embassy, but there wasn’t anyplace else that the crowd wanted to parade to so the parade turned in ever tightening circles in front of the embassy and finally just stopped and became a crowd. …A donkey was led down the street with an Iraqi helmet tied on it’s head and “Saddam Hussein” painted on it’s flanks. The first American soldiers showed up and everyone had to kiss them and shove babies into their arms and get the soldiers to autograph Kuwaiti flags. …And across one intersection downtown a thirty-foot banner had been strung , reading — in answer to the U.S. and European anti-War protestors, “No blood for oil” — BLOOD FOR FREEDOM.

…A lot of people were crying, and I was one of them. A young Kuwaiti came out of the crowd and he was crying, and he grabbed me by my notebook and, with immense earnestness that you have an excuse for two or three times in your life and usually that’s when your mother is dying, he said, “You write we would like to thank every man in the allied force. Until one hundred years we cannot thank them. What they do is…is…” — words failed him — “…is America.”

Even if the Kuwaitis aren’t grateful for what we did for them and even if the anti-Americans will never give us credit for it, I’m still glad we did it. Just like I’m glad we helped the Afghans in the 80’s and again recently, the Bosnians, the Koreans, Taiwan, Israel, Grenada, and countless other countries. We’re not perfect but we’ve done ten times more good in the world than any other nation in the history of mankind. That is “America” and the world is better for it…

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