25th Anniversary, Liberation of Kuwait Review

Liberation of Kuwait book cover

Let’s get this clear from the start: this book is not a history of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and of Operation Desert Storm. Oh, superficially it is, but far better ones have been written.

Second, while the subtitle of the book is, “Honoring the Veterans of Desert Storm,” it does not honor, or even much mention the tens of thousands of Airmen, especially from the U.S. Air Force, who crushed the Iraqi Air Force in days, crushed many of the Iraqi Republican Guards ground forces, even during the middle of a historic sandstorm, and who in general made the famed 100-hour ground war possible.

Third, potential readers should know who sponsored and paid for this book: six of the seven sponsors are either wealthy Kuwaitis or the Kuwaiti Royals, the al-Sabah family. The only American sponsor is the Raytheon Company, listed last. Author Rick Robison knew who was buttering his bread. His name only appears on the last page of this work-for-hire book, while the al-Sabahs and the Kuwaiti other sponsors get prominent, fawning praise throughout the first several chapters and again in the last one. Kuwait and its leaders are presented as noble, brilliant engineers and diplomats, who unjustly suffered greatly at the hands of a greedy tyrant. Now, the last parts of that are true: the people of Kuwait did suffer greatly, and Saddam Hussein was indeed a greedy and cruel tyrant. Even so, Robison finds a way to present him as a caricature.

To be clear, I have no problem with the Kuwaiti royal family sponsoring a book to thank American servicemen and -women for rescuing their country from a despot. It was kind of them to do so.

If only it had been a better book. As a work of history, this book is a failure due to its incompleteness. As a tribute to all U.S. veterans who served during Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Desert Calm, the book is a failure due to its incompleteness.

A pretty, slickly-produced failure, to be sure, but a failure nevertheless, and definitely NOT worth its $75 price on Amazon.

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