Arms over Diplomacy: Reflections on the Persian Gulf War

Arms over Diplomacy: Reflections on the Persian Gulf War

Arms over Diplomacy: Reflections on the Persian Gulf War

Arms over Diplomacy: Reflections on the Persian Gulf War

Synopsis

This book is about the U.S. rush to arms in the Persian Gulf, the tragic loss of life on both sides, the destruction inflicted on Kuwait and Iraq, and the many uncertainties that confront America in the aftermath of the war. Menos concludes that the Persian Gulf war was unjust and unnecessary. To be just and necessary, it would have had to meet two key criteria: (1) the war would have had to be an act of last resort, after all efforts at a peaceful resolution had failed--which it was not; and (2) the "good" achieved from the war would have had to outweigh its harmful effects--which it did not, in light of the enormous destruction and loss of life caused by the fighting and its aftermath.

Excerpt

The war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq will probably be recorded in history as one of the most popular wars ever fought by the United States. For reasons of national pride, more so than morality, the vast majority of Americans supported the war effort and approved of the President's diplomatic and military moves, which ultimately resulted in Iraq's crushing defeat.

Not all Americans, of course, agreed with the President's handling of the Kuwait crisis. Millions opposed U.S. military involvement in a strange land 7,000 miles away, wondering what possible good could come out of the war and why diplomacy was not being given a chance to resolve the issue peacefully.

Although the speedy and low-casualty outcome of the war has muted much of its active opposition, many Americans still remain troubled over their government's rush to arms in the Gulf, the tragic loss of life on both sides (especially during the closing days of the ground campaign), and the many uncertainties that now confront the United States in the aftermath of its military involvement in the area.

In the euphoria of patriotism and national pride that followed the President's decision to dispatch U.S. forces to the Gulf, opponents of the U.S. involvement were castigated for "not supporting" the troops and for "siding" with Saddam. The charges had nothing to do with the truth, but in a nation anxious to dispel the Vietnam syndrome they proved successful in restraining the opposition to the war and in increasing the President's standing in the polls. With the start of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.