God bless those who gave their life during the invasion.
In the early hours of August 2, 1990, more than 100,000 Iraqi troops moved tanks, helicopters and trucks across the border into Kuwait. Iraq maintained the world’s fourth–largest military and had mobilized an overwhelming invading force. Within an hour, they reached Kuwait City, and by daybreak, Iraqi tanks were attacking Dasman Palace, the royal residence. The emir had already fled into the Saudi desert, but his private guard and his younger half–brother, Sheik Faud al–Ahmad al–Sabah, had stayed behind to defend their home. The sheik was shot and killed, and according to an Iraqi soldier who deserted after the assault, his body was placed in front of a tank and run over.
It was Saddam’s idea alone to invade Kuwait. He had gambled that he could get away with seizing the tiny oil–rich nation to help pay off debts. But his gamble did not pay off –– he had misread the interests of the international community and the United States in a stable Middle East. After the invasion, Saddam defied orders to retreat and the U.N. imposed sanctions. After months of deliberations and with U.N. support, the United States and international Coalition forces launched a full–scale air and missile attack on Iraq on January 16, 1991. A ground assault followed a month later, and Saddam’s troops were quickly forced out of Kuwait. The United Nations declared an end to the war on April 11, 1991.
The Iraqi military allegedly committed crimes while in Kuwait. Evidence suggests that it tortured and killed hundreds of Kuwaiti nationals and people from other nations. Foreign hostages were taken, Kuwaiti properties were looted, and Iraqi forces set fire to more than 700 Kuwaiti oil wells and opened pipelines to let oil pour into the Gulf. An Iraqi law dating back to the 1950s prohibits the act of aggressive war against other Arab countries.
All of this after Kuwait had funded the 8-year Iraqi war against Iran but Iraq was in no financial position to pay back Kuwait the US $14 billion it had borrowed for the war and when Kuwait would not forgive the debt Iraq decided to attack its Muslim brothers and sisters.
My sister's ex-husband was in hiding in a house with his cousins when the Iraqi soldiers broke in and took one of the cousins, in the scuffle his cousin lost his glasses and watch which her ex-husband still has today locked in his brief case, his cousin was never found. My nephew told me his dad won't talk about it but tears up when he was asked.
My mother's husband won't talk about what happened during those months. He used to have nightmares and wake up screaming and sweating when they first got married. He only said a few things like he killed some Iraqi soldiers and watched some soldiers burn to death in a car. The war memories still haunt him.
My husband was in his last year of high school on his way to take his last chemistry test when he saw the Iraqi soldiers so instead of taking a test he went to the police station to register to fight the soldiers. He got ammunition and went to fight. His family was supposed to go in a convoy to Saudi Arabia but stayed because of him. Unlike the others my husband loves to talk about what happened and how they disguised themselves by using garbage trucks to get around and hide ammunition. I can never get details though.
I was in high school in California and remember meeting Claudia Al Rashoud during that time, she held an art exhibition at one of the local colleges which displayed her photos of Kuwait during the invasion. We also met an American married to a Kuwaiti and her kids who were staying in California at that time as well.
Sometimes it seems as if Kuwaitis want to brush this event under the rug and not speak about it anymore. I really wish they would update the Memorial Museum and move it to a better location like they have done with some of the other museums. I know as I gather historical information and documents about Kuwait I will definitely teach my children about the invasion so they can appreciate the life they have and where they came from.
Arab Times and Kuwait Times have posted an article about that day.