Friday, November 26, 2010

For the past few weeks I've been following Kuwait's latest attempt at promoting mediocrity as a patriotic and courageous fact of life and history. As if there isn't enough mediocrity to around already anyway!

Long story short, a retired Army Commander (I'm not sure about the exact rank upon retirement) and former MP called Nasser Al Duwailah has made some extremely grandiose claims about Kuwait's Military past in a book he'd published about 4 years ago. However, it's only now making it to the top bookshelves, albeit not for it's literary beauty nor it's historical accuracy, not by a long shot! While I admit that I haven't read it personally, nor do I own a copy, nor do I know of anyone who does, I have made a great deal of effort at concentrating on some of the details that were divulged in a series of television interviews with the author himself. I won't discuss his claims about Kuwait's navy occupying the Southernmost territories of Persia during the 18th and 19th Century, or the fact that Kuwait's Military might span the entire Northern part of the Arabian Gulf during that time (yes, that's what he wrote!)

The expected public debate was supposed to be aired last night on AlWatan TV's "Taw El Leil" talk show, but for some logistic reasons, it was postponed to next Thursday instead. I was hoping to find some repudiation to Al Duwailah's claims of courage and sacrifice, as he claims to have paid, but that won't happen for a week, when six former officers from various branches of the Kuwaiti Military will come on Air to refute many of his claims.

My gripes in this whole story are many and varied, but CHIEFLY among them is this:

Al Duwaila's claiming that his 35th Armored Brigade fought off the invading Iraqi troops around 14 hours until their supplies depleted and were forced to retreat. He claims that he and his men performed their duty of protecting Kuwait and it's people for as long and as well as they could, until it was evident that they were defeated.

In fact, what Al Duwaila, and all branches of Kuwait's Military were tasked with doing was simpler and more sinister than that; Kuwaiti Military disposition mandates that, in the event of an attack or invasion, military elements would conduct delaying actions (such as the Battle of the Bridges)  long enough until the Political Leadership escapes to safety and, if possible, hold the enemy off until reinforcements arrive to further support any possible action.

In short, the Kuwaiti Army's Primary reason of existence was to protect the escape of the Kuwaiti Political Leadership, leaving the Kuwaiti population to fend for itself against any and all possible outcomes, obviously none of them favorable!
I won't go into the details of military operations during the Invasion, as they're so widely available on the 'net. In fact, Wikipedia has some excellent articles on this particular event (here), and I encourage you to read them all if you really want to know what happened back in 1990-1991. Suffice to say, however, no matter what happened, no one would tell convince me that the Kuwaiti Military Command back in August 2nd 1990 was frantically working to protect my home!
In fact, whatever arguments and counter-arguments which many transpire from the upcoming debate with Al Duwailah and the six former Military officers next week will be nothing less of a 'slap' in the face of every Kuwaiti citizen who believed that his country would protect him from the onslaught of a brutal invasion, especially those that died! 
These people are not heroes, nor are their actions heroic. Brave, and courageous possibly, but  they simply followed the orders of a Kuwaiti Government whose actions were designed to protect the Leadership FIRST. My family and I came second, if at all!

You want real heroes? Here is their story.
Here are a few of their pictures:
12 of Kuwait's Martyrs, Heroes of Kuwait
And here are a couple of REAL military leaders...

Gen. Schwarzkopf & Pres. Bush Sr. in Saudi Arabia, 1990
Schwarzkopf's written a book about his life right up to his retirement after Kuwait's Liberation which can be found at Amazon here. It's more detailed, more personal, has more factual (and far more verifiable) accounts of all military operations during the liberation war, and is in fact  cheaper that Al Duwailah's book!

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