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March 5, 2009
Missed AnniversaryBy Greyhawk
I missed the anniversary:
February 24, 1991: The ground portion of the war in Iraq begins. On February 26 Iraqi troops began retreating from Kuwait, setting fire to Kuwaiti oil fields as they flee. One hundred hours after the ground campaign started, President Bush declared a ceasefire; Kuwait had been liberated.But the shooting war in Iraq had just begun.
Eighteen years and still going.
Another missed anniversary - from the end of the second year of the war:
February 26, 1993: World Trade Center bombing. Later (Feb/March 1995) Ramzi Yousef, "mastermind" of the attack, is captured in Pakistan and extradited to the United States. A search of his former residences leads investigators to believe he is financially linked to Osama bin Laden. Also, he had stayed at a bin Laden financed guest house while in Pakistan. Bin Laden himself would neither confirm nor deny a connection when asked in a 1998 interview, stating only that he did not know Yousef prior to the event.More late February/early March events in the war below.
3 March 1991: At cease-fire talks with the Iraqis at Safwan, General Norman Schwarzkopf warns the Iraqis that coalition forces would shoot down any Iraqi military aircraft flying over the country.
March 10, 1991: (Media) The New York TImes:
After the War: Politics; Another Gulf War?
February 18, 1992: Special report of the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM regarding the visit of a special mission to Baghdad on 27 January 1991, recording that Iraq was rejecting any obligations imposed on it by Council resolutions 707 (1991) and 715 (1991) (S/23606).
February 19, 1992: Statement by the President of the Security Council approving the report of the special mission and expressing grave concern over Iraq's failure to acknowledge its obligations under resolution 715 (1991) and the plans for ongoing monitoring and verification, and supporting a decision to despatch a further special mission to Baghdad (S/23609).
February 21 - March 24, 1992: The first chemical destruction team destroys 463 nerve agent filled rockets, i.e. approximately 2.5 tons of agent.
February 28, 1992 Statement by the President of the Security Council, upon receipt of the special Commission's report, reaffirming that it is for UNSCOM alone to determine which items are to be destroyed under resolution 687, and condemning Iraq's failure to provide full compliance with the relevant Security Council resolutions (S/23663).
March 19, 1992: Iraq declares having more previously undeclared ballistic missiles, chemical weapons and associated material, and says they unilaterally destroyed this material in the summer of 1991 in violation of resolution 687.
March 2, 1995: The last U.N. peacekeepers are evacuated from Somalia.
Osama bin Laden, from a later interview:
John Miller, ABC: Describe the situation when your men took down the American forces in Somalia.
Mar 1996: UNSCOM teams are denied immediate access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams enter the sites after delays of up to 17 hours.
March 19, 1996: Statement by the President of the Security Council expressing the Council's concern at Iraq's denial of access, which it terms a clear violation of Iraq's obligations under relevant resolutions. The Council also demands that Iraq allow UNSCOM teams immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all sites designated for inspection (S/PRST/1996/11).
February 1997: Iraq allowed UNSCOM to remove missile engines for " in-depth analysis outside Iraq". UNSCOM was blocked from removing them in November 1996, prompting a December "Statement by the President of the Security Council in which the Council deplores the refusal of Iraq to allow the Special Commission to remove certain missile engines from Iraq for analysis, and demands that Iraq allow such removal."
March 20, 1997: The first shipment of supplies is cleared for import into Iraq via the Oil for Food agreement.
February 1998: The United States and coalition allies prepare to launch Operation DESERT THUNDER:
As the United States prepares for possible strikes against Iraq, Navy and Marine Corps pilots are set to fly the majority of missions in an operation code-named "Desert Thunder" that will hinge, by all accounts, on downpours of precision munitions...However, a UN brokered agreement would temporarily delay any large scale attack on Iraq.
February 23, 1998: In response, Osama Bin Laden, enraged by the presence of US forces in Saudi Arabia enforcing sanctions against Iraq, marks the seventh anniversary of the start of the war by issuing a fatwa stating that Muslims should kill Americans - including civilians - anywhere in the world.
No one argues today about three facts that are known to everyone; we will list them, in order to remind everyone:Previously: We have met the enemy
Next: Missed Anniversary (II)
Posted by Greyhawk / March 5, 2009 8:01 PM | Permalink
(Previous entry - covering 1991-1998 - here) ***** Within a few days many will mistakenly mark the "6th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War". They will be 12 years too late. ***** A brief look at a events (and media coverage) from late February/ea... Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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