Section One

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April 5, 1991: "Iraqi Freedom Fighters"
Washington Post

In the first Iraq war, American forces shattered all resistance in only one hundred hours, taking tens of thousands of enemy troops prisoner, with the rest fleeing from Kuwait back into Iraq. President George H. W. Bush then stopped the fighting, fearing it would become a slaughter. He was also against “mission creep:” the goal had been to throw the aggressor out of Kuwait, not to conquer Iraq. Iraq, however, was left with most of its military intact.

A few months later, thousands of Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south (“Iraqi Freedom Fighters”), encouraged by the U.S. to overthrow Iraq’s leader, Saddam Hussein, rebelled, but they were savagely crushed. Americans were divided about whether the war should have continued. Many, like Herblock, were sharply critical of Bush for allowing Hussein’s opposition to be massacred.