President George Bush Proclaims a New World Order, 1990

We gather tonight, witness to events in. the Persian Gulf as significant as. they are tragic. In the early morning hours of August 2nd, following negotiations and promises by Iraq's dictator. Saddam Hussein not' to use force, a powerful Iraqi army invaded its trusting and much weaker neighbor, Kuwait. Within 3 days, 120,000 Iraqi troops with 850 tanks had poured into Kuwait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then that I decided to check that aggression. .

At this moment, our brave servicemen and women stand watch in that distant desert and on distant seas, side-by-side with the forces of more than 20 other nations.

Tonight, I want to talk to you about what's at stake-what we must do together to defend civilized values around the world and maintain our economic strength at home.

The Objectives and Goals

Our objectives in the Persian Gulf are clear; our goals defined and familiar.

Iraq must withdraw from Kuwait completely, immediately, and without condition.

Kuwait's legitimate government must be restored.

The security and stability of the Persian Gulf must be assured.

American citizens abroad must be protected.

 

These goals are not ours alone. They have been endorsed by the UN Security Council five times in as many weeks. Most countries share our concern for principle, and many have a stake in the stability of the Persian Gulf. This is not, as Saddam Hussein would have it, the United States against Iraq. It is Iraq against the world.

We stand today at a unique and extraordinary moment. The crisis in the Persian Gulf, as grave as it is, also offers a rare opportunity to move toward a historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times, our fifth objective-a new world order-can emerge; a new era-freer from the threat of terror, stronger in the pursuit of justice, and more secure in the quest for peace, an era in which the nations of the world, East and West, North and South, can prosper and live in harmony.

A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor. Today, that new world is struggling to be born, a world quite different from the one we have known, a world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle, a world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice, a world where the strong respect the rights of the weak.

This is the vision that I shared with President Gorbachev in Helsinki. He and other leaders from Europe, the gulf, and around the world understand that how we manage this crisis today could shape the future for generations to come.

The test we face is great-and so are the stakes. This is the first assault on the new world that we seek, the first test of our mettle. Had we not responded to this first provocation with clarity of purpose, if we do not continue to demonstrate our determination, it would be a signal to actual and potential despots around the world.

America and the world must defend common vital interests. And we will. America and the world must support the rule of law. And we will. America and the world must stand up to aggression. And we will. And one thing more; in the pursuit of these goals, America will not be intimidated.

Vital issues of principle are at stake. Saddam Hussein is literally trying to wipe a country off the face of the earth. We do not exaggerate. Nor do we exaggerate when we say Saddam Hussein will fail.

Vital economic interests are at risk as well. Iraq itself controls some 10% of the world's proven oil reserves. Iraq plus Kuwait controls twice that. An Iraq permitted to swallow Kuwait would have the economic and military power, as well as the arrogance, to intimidate and coerce its neighbors-- neighbors that control the lion's share of the world's remaining oil reserves. We cannot permit a resource so vital to be dominated by one so ruthless. And we won't.

Recent events have surely proven that there is n6substitute for American leadership. In the face of tyranny, let no one doubt American credibility and reliability. I-et no one doubt our staying power. We will stand by you

Fundamentally friends. One way or another, the leader of Iraq must learn this truth.

Our interest, our involvement in the gulf is not transitory; it predated Saddam Hussein's aggression and will survive. it. Long. after all our troops come home-and we all hope it is soon, very. Soon there will be a. lasting role for the United States in assisting the nations of the Persian Gulf. Our role then-to deter future aggression. Our role is to help our friends n their own self-defense, and, something else, to curb the pr6liferation of chemical, biological, ballistic missile, and, above all, nuclear technologies. Iraqi people. Our quarrel is with Iraq's. dictator and with his aggression

Let me also make clear that the United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. Our quarrel is with Iraq's dictator and with his aggression. Iraq will not be permitted to annex Kuwait. That is not a threat; that is. not a boast; that is just the way it is going to be.