Analysis of Presidential Speech
During the Congress Address, President Bush discusses three main issues with relation to the attack of Kuwait by Iraq. The Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored, security and stability of the Persian Gulf be assured, and the American people abroad be protected.
Iraq accused Kuwait and Saudi Arabia of conspiring to keep the prices of oil at a low level for the benefit of the United States and the other western countries. He also accused Kuwait of illegally siphoning oil form Rumalia oil field, which was a disputed area. Consequently, Iraq started sending troops to the Kuwait's border ready for attack. Negotiations initiated by Egypt felt out after two hours, and Hussein ordered the invasion of Kuwait. This forced Kuwait's government into exile from where they sought help from the Unites States and the other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. During the address to the Congress, Bush stated that Kuwait's legitimate government had to be restored (Swansbrough, 1994).
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia remained the major suppliers of oil to the United States. In the event that Saudi Arabia fell to Iraq, Saddam Hussein would take control of the one-fifth of the total world's supply of oil. For this reason, it was important that the president Bush called for assurance on security and stability of the Persian Gulf due to its economic importance, not just to the United States, but to the world at large (Aldrich-Moodie, 1999).
The security of the American people is very crucial to the government, both domestically and internationally. During any acts of war, the government of the United States will employ all efforts to ensure that its people are secure and there are few casualties if any. During the attack of Kuwait by Iraq, President Bush stated that one of the objectives of the attack was to ensure the American people are protected from the attack abroad. This objective would enable him win support from the Congress and the entire American population.
During the presidential speech addressing the Congress on the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, the President uses hard negotiation skills, which does not give Iraq's president Saddam Hussein any option (Aldrich-Moodie, 1999). Bush declares that Iraq must withdraw its troops from Kuwait immediately and without condition. At the time of the invasion, Bush administration was caught off guard, as they believed that Iraq would not attack Kuwait after sessions of negotiations. At this point, Bush was convinced that the only viable action to stop the Kuwait invasion was through the military attack on Iraq.
Consequently, Bush got into negotiations with the other nations around the world on forming a coalition that would force Iraq out of Kuwait. He used his diplomatic skills to have other countries, including the Soviet Union to support the attack on Iraq. In addition, he managed to convince Israel to stay out of the coalition and not to retaliate in the event that it was under attack by the other Arab nations. While addressing the Congress, Bush mentioned that the US army, together with the army of 20 other countries was on the desert guarding Kuwait. He hails praise at the army for the dedication and sacrifice for the sake of their country.
President Bush's negotiations skills yielded the desired outcome both domestically and internationally. In the initial stages of the attack, Bush attempted to dialogue with Hussein on means of ending the attack (Swansbrough, 1994). When this failed even after the then Secretary of State Baker met with the foreign minister for Iraq, the only option left was a military attack. Due to this, Bush needed domestic support of the Congress to deploy military troops to stop the invasion. After the President's address, the Congress voted though narrowly to authorize the military attack. This was one of the desired outcomes. After the authorization, the United States led coalition forces that started airstrikes against Iraq. In less than two months, the troops were able to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, and a ceasefire was declared.
I believe that at the beginning of the negotiations, Saddam Hussein was in control of the negotiations and even succeeded in fooling the United States and the other nations that it would not attack Kuwait. In fact, Bush even offered to send his Secretary of State to Iraq to meet with Hussein and discuss on a possible cessation of the attack. However, the Secretary of State only managed to meet the foreign minister of Iraq. After the Secretary of State reiterates Bush's stand on unconditional and complete withdrawal from Kuwait, the negotiations ended. After these negotiations, Bush became in control and was able to convince the other nations to form a coalition against Iraq (Aldrich-Moodie, 1999). During the address, he mentions that 20 other nations had joined hands in protecting Kuwait from the invasion. Eventually, Iraq suffered a brutal defeat in two months after the coalition forces started their attack.
Aldrich-Moodie, B. (1999). Negotiating Coalition: Winning Soviet Consent to Resolution 678 Against Iraq. Princeton Univ., NJ.
Stein, K. W. (2002). The Bush Doctrine: Selective Engagement in the Middle East. The Middle East, 6(2), 53.
Swansbrough, R. H. (1994). A Kohutian analysis of President Bush's personality and style in the Persian Gulf crisis. Political psychology, 227-276.