Was invasion a lesson?

Muna Al Fuzai

Last week was the 27th anniversary of the brutal Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. This painful anniversary brought back many memories to citizens who remained in Kuwait, and to expats who found themselves forced to leave or the few of them who remained and suffered from torture and humiliation. In 1990, no one in Kuwait expected this historic disaster. Back then, everyone said the invasion was a lesson learned. Today, I wonder how much we have learned from it. Was it a lesson?
After all the years, I find many of us haven’t fully understood the lesson. Kuwait today seems completely different on many levels. Not only compared to the period before the Iraqi invasion, but even from a few years ago. For example, 20 years ago, bribes accepted from businessmen and employees was a disgraceful crime in the public’s eyes, but today I find that this word has been replaced by the word “commission” to make it socially acceptable.

Some people even brag about taking bribes, and view it as an act of talent. So over time, stealing millions of dinars has become an act that reflects intelligence, and those who do it deserve respect? Is this the lesson that we learned after the attempt by Saddam’s regime to steal our homeland Kuwait? Perhaps the most important lesson is to preserve the homeland and its internal security, because alienation and exile is not easy and we should not accept any attempt to discriminate against us. We need to know the importance of cohesion and solidarity between Gulf countries, which stood together for the liberation of Kuwait until victory.

Today, with the emergence of the Gulf crisis with Qatar, many people and some writers have started to take sides with or against the various parties, and forgot that Qatar stood with us during the invasion. We must be good mediators and call for peace and unity. We are facing many enemies, so I do not understand how some people use social media to take fierce and harsh positions with or against any country to keep their group or party happy.

The other lesson is the historical position of all friendly countries that stood with Kuwait against the injustice that happened against us. Whether these countries were from Europe or the United States or some Asian and African countries, they sympathized with Kuwait in its ordeal during that difficult period of history for Kuwait and the Gulf. Today unfortunately, the Western world is following the Gulf crisis, but with no vital action, and everyone is seeking a solution commensurate with their interests. We need to be careful.

Another key lesson is to achieve self-reliance and stop depending on others to do everything for us. Look at the large number of maids and workers in every home and corner. And people still complain about domestic labor problems? How about boosting the national economy to achieve self-sufficiency and enhance food security? We cannot even cultivate rice, corn, etc.

So what did we learn? The rejection of the culture of hatred and extremism is a big lesson. Have we achieved this? The Gulf states are required to emphasize GCC unity if we are to remain as an economic power. The preservation of the GCC is essential. These are a few lessons that we are supposed to have learned the hard way from a harsh and painful event like the Iraqi invasion. Have we accomplished all this now?

By Muna Al-Fuzai
muna@kuwaittimes.net

This article was published on 10/08/2017