munaOn the anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, this article is dedicated to every human being, whether an ordinary citizen, expat or soldier who fought for my country. Aug 2, 1990 is a day of sad memories for Kuwaitis and residents at the time. On that day, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait. We now have to reflect on the lessons that must be learned or be reminded of. A quarter of a century has passed since the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, but it is a date that cannot be smudged out or ignored. A lot of fake masks of states and religious and political parties have been exposed.

During the invasion of Iraq, Kuwait and its people suffered all kinds of injustice, tyranny, killings, displacement and looting, so today we mark the anniversary with a lot of memories. But it also comes with lessons learned and sacrifices made by the local and international community, whether citizens who participated in the Kuwaiti resistance to support the people inside Kuwait or the international coalition forces led by the United States of America. I deeply believe that the strong support of the US and the international community is behind Kuwait’s liberation and no sane person can deny this fact. These days Kuwait is living in a similar atmosphere to the short period before the Iraq invasion in 1990 despite the differences in regional conditions.

The tensions created by Islamist sectarian and political parties, whether individuals or authorities, made it possible to swallow Kuwait while keeping the Arabs shrieking on the Palestinian case. That did not happen. History also mentions the shameful attitude of the Muslim Brotherhood towards the US and international intervention in the process of liberating Kuwait, a position that reflects their suspicious attitude and fishy agenda since time immemorial.

This article is a letter of thanks to those who had a role in keeping Kuwait strong from home and abroad, and perhaps many newcomers do not know about the role of the Kuwaiti resistance who had the greatest impact in encouraging people not to leave Kuwait because this was their home that gave them a lot during prosperous times and they should not give it up during a crisis. They also prevented Saddam Hussein and his aides from sowing discord among the citizens, especially between Sunnis and Shiites. This was their crucial role. On the international level, it was the US’ position of former President George W Bush that led to a quick end of the invasion.

I know some people are claiming that this support was to protect US interests in the region. This is a stupid thing to say, because the world unites for common interests. There are objectives and targets for everything we do in this world. The invasion was a miscalculation and a mistake by Saddam Hussein and he has received his punishment. I don’t feel sorry for him at all. One of the important lessons of the Iraqi invasion is to tighten the measures by the Interior Ministry in following up extremists because of the region’s circumstances and because terrorists and extremist groups are holding fundraisers to purchase arms and support training of suicide bombers that can cause huge damage. Moreover, terrorist groups are taking advantage of social media to broadcast their ideas of extremism and killing.

The international community and specifically the United Nations and its agencies around the world must work on a plan to combat electronic extremism as part of a global war against terror, which is extremely important. The world needs real work and not bluster right now. I feel sorry that during the past 25 years, the sense of the importance of building the country and human development was halted, while some were busy lining their own pockets and inflating their bank accounts and companies by major thefts of the country’s money. History never lies. This anniversary today is a historic opportunity to assess the march of Kuwait in all directions, especially economical, political and intellectual. We must start with ourselves and our policies as well as our economy to know what have we learned after a quarter century of the invasion. We must not allow the hand of treachery to impair the country again.

By Muna Al-Fuzai