Last week brought up a bitter memory that Kuwait cannot forget despite the passage of 29 years – the Iraqi invasion of the country. There are still details of those difficult days that are unknown. The invasion was an attack by the Iraqi army against Kuwait on Aug 2, 1990 by a direct order from the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. All international embassies in Kuwait were abolished, Kuwait was declared the 19th province of Iraq and names of streets and facilities were changed. The Iraqi army carried out all kinds of torture and humiliation that led to the death and disappearance of many Kuwaitis.
The Iraqi occupation of Kuwait lasted for seven months. The occupation ended with the liberation of Kuwait on Feb 26, 1991, after the Second Gulf War. The war was waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States in response to the invasion. The memory of the Iraqi invasion is a vital phase in the history of the nation. The whole world supported Kuwait and it was a rare example of international unity against a criminal act.
His Highness the Amir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Iraq in June in a move that was described as historic. Today, the Iraqi and Kuwait governments continue to heal the wounds of the invasion, but it is not easy. This issue is still an open case and under consideration by the Kuwaiti and Iraqi sides.
Recently, some Kuwaiti academics spoke about the importance of documenting the Iraqi invasion in full, criticizing the absence of a formal project documenting this act of aggression in all its details and events. They said documenting the invasion is needed in order to avoid any possible fallacies that may be published by some people or sources about the history of Kuwait, especially with the emergence of new and suspicious studies calling for rewriting the history of Kuwait away from the truth. It will also highlight the role of the Kuwaiti resistance and the issue of prisoners and martyrs of the invasion. It will be a living memory for generations, and will not die over the years.
I do not think there is a deliberate intention not to document the events of the Iraqi invasion, but perhaps it was not done because it is a memory that cannot be forgotten or ignored. I agree to the need for younger generations to learn about the reality of the Iraqi invasion and that there are still martyrs and persons whose fate is unknown. Raising the matter annually in local and international media is required, so that the current and future generations know the details of the brutal invasion.
The Iraqi foreign ministry confirmed in a statement last week efforts of the authorities to end the effects of the invasion by the Saddam regime. This issue has left many sad memories for all those who lost their families and loved ones, and calls for the importance of peace and avoiding war and aggression. No one can emerge victorious from aggression.
By Muna Al-Fuzai