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Late 1800s -- British control Middle East in order to have a land route to India

1904 -- British Navy shifted from coal to oil

1916 - British/French in Sykes-Picot agreement arbitrarily draw national borders in Middle East; southern Mesopotamia including Baghdad was to be administered by Great Britain. Arabs were needless to say upset by this secret agreement when it was published by the Russian government in 1917.

1917 - British forces invaded Mesopotamia and occupied Baghdad; Iraq became British Mandate

1918-Great Britain uses systematic aerial bombardment for first time in history to put down rebellions in Iraq.

1921 - British Colonial Office draws line across Southern Iraq creating Kuwait to prevent Iraq access to Persian Gulf

1932 - Iraq joins League of Nations and recognized as sovereign state

Late 1940s - after WWII British power begins to wane and America steps in. George Kennan, U.S. State Department stated in 1948," The US has about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3% of its population. In this situation we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford the luxury of altruism and world benefaction. We should cease to talk about such vague and unreal objectives as human rights, the raising of living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."

1951 - Mossadigh takes power in Iran and declares that they will control their own oil

1953 -After 2 years of U.S. sponsored sanctions CIA supports plot to overthrow Mossadigh and place Shah in power. American Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf Sr. helps Shah develop SAVAK secret police.

1958 - popular revolution led by Abd al-Kassem Quassim overthrows British-installed king of Iraq

1959-Saddam Hussein was one of assassins who wounded Quassim

1963 -coup aided by CIA overthrows Kassem. Baathist party briefly in power. Hussein runs torture center

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1968 - Baathist Party comes to power for good in Iraq

1972-Iraq announces the nationalization of oil. Pres. Nixon plots with Shah to arm Iraqui Kurds. Iraq placed on list of nations supporting terrorism

1975-Iraq Vice-president Saddam Hussein and Shah reach agreement ceding control of Shatt-al-Arab waterway to Iran. Kurdish aid abruptly stopped. Concerning the Kurds who were left in the lurch, Henry Kissinger said , " Covert operations should not be confused with missionary work".

1979-Shah is overthrown. National Security adviser Brzezinski publicly encouraged Iraq to attack Iran to take back the Shatt-al-Arab waterway - which the U.S had forced Iraq to cede to Iran four years earlier.

1980-"Carter Doctrine" states U.S. will intervene militarily to protect U.S. access to oil. Iraq invades Iran at U.S. urging.

1982-Iraq removed from terrorist nation list

1984-U.S restores full diplomatic relations with Iraq. Pres. Reagan authorizes intelligence sharing with Iraq. At same time U.S. begins sharing intelligence and selling weapons to Iran.

1985-Oliver North tells Iran that U.S. will help Iran overthrow Saddam Hussein

1986-U.S increases aid to Iraq

1987-Norman Schwartzkopf Jr. Named head of CENT-COM. U.S bombs Iranian oil platforms.

1988-Cease fire signed between Iran and Iraq. Center for Strategic and International Studies begins 2 year study predicting outcome of war between U.S and Iraq. Saddam Hussein announces $40 billion plan to peacefully rebuild Iraq.

1989-War Plan 1002 originally conceived to counter Soviet threat is adjusted to name Iraq as main threat in region. Plan renamed 1002-90.

January 1990 - CENT-COM stages computer games testing 1002-90. U.S. War College report states that "Baghdad should not be expected to deliberately provoke military confrontations with anyone. Its best interests now and in immediate future are served by peace".

February 1990-Schwartzkopf tells congress of need to increase U.S. military presence in Gulf region

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May 1990 - At Arab summit Saddam accuses Gulf states of waging economic war against Iraq. The Iraq economy has been devastated by the war. Iraq had borrowed billions to wage war against Iran. Price of oil was down because Gulf states were dumping oil on world market. Kuwait was slant drilling with American equipment into Iraqi oilfields. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia at behest of U.S. demanded immediate repayment of loans to Iraq.

July 1990 -- Saddam accuses Kuwait of conspiring to destroy Iraq economy. Iraq troops mass on Iraq border

August 2, 1990 -Iraq invades Kuwait.

August 3, 1990 -U.N. passes Resolution 660 condemning Iraq

August 6, 1990 - U.N. passes Resolution 661 levying sanctions against Iraq. At this time Iraq imports 70% of it's food.

August 7, 1990 - U.S. tells Saudi Arabia that Iraq troops are massed on their border and convinces reluctant King Faud to accept U.S.troop deployment. Satellite photos show no troops massing on Iraq side of border.

August 8, 1990 -U.S.dispatches 40,000 troops to "protect" Saudi Arabia. Iraq announces it is annexing Kuwait.

August 12, 1990 - Iraq suggests withdrawal of it's troops from Kuwait be linked to Israel withdrawal from occupied territories. U.S. rejects. Later proposal to withdraw troops not linked to Israel rejected by U.S.

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September 2, 1990 -Iraq begins rationing food.

November 8, 1990 - with no significant change in crisis U.S. doubles number of troops in area to 400,000

November 29, 1990 - U.N. authorizes use of force if Iraq doesn't voluntarily leave Kuwait by January 15, 1991.

December 22, 1990 - Infant mortality has doubled due to sanctions

January 9, 1991-U.S threatens destruction of Iraq if not out of Kuwait by January 15.

January 12, 1991 - Congress authorizes use of force if Iraq not withdrawn by January 15.

January 17, 1991 - U.S. begins air assault. 42 days of 2,000 sorties a day throughout Iraq and Kuwait.

February 13, 1991 - U.S kills 1,500 civilians at Al-Amariyah shelter

February 15, 1991 - Pres. Bush urges Iraqi people to overthrow Saddam.

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February 21, 1991 - Russia announces that Iraq has agreed to full and unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait. U.S rejects plan and says that if Iraq not out of Kuwait by noon February 23 a ground attack will proceed.

February 23, 1991 - ground assault begins

February 26, 1991 -- Iraq announces it's troops are withdrawing from Kuwait. U.S bombs road that would be used to retreat and kills thousands from air including civilians in "turkey shoot".

February 28, 1991-Iraq and U.S. agree to cease-fire

March 2, 1991 - 24th Mechanized Infantry slaughters thousands of Iraqi soldiers in post cease fire battle. No Americans die.

March 1991 - U.S-encouraged rebellions against Saddam are put down. Schwartzkopf allows Saddam helicopters to fly through U.S. lines to kill Shiites in south and Kurds in North. He refused to allow rebelling members of the Republican Guard in the South get weapons from their storehouses.

I borrowed liberally from many sources for this chronology but most of the recent info came from Ramsey Clark's book The Fire This Time

compiled by Larry Kerschner

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