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Why War?The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez$
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Philip Smith

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226763880

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226763910.001.0001

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The Gulf War of 1991

The Gulf War of 1991

Chapter:
(p.99) Four The Gulf War of 1991
Source:
Why War?
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226763910.003.0004

In the case of the 1990–91 Persian Gulf crisis, the United States was the prime mover and shaker in political and military arenas. It provides what we might think of as a crucial experiment. That is to say it is a site of difference that needs to be explained. Because of this methodological centrality and also the objective importance of the United States in providing military and diplomatic leadership, this chapter disproportionately focuses on the American case. It goes into greater detail on historical contingencies, alternative discourses, and the strategies used to challenge or effect repairs upon the dominant genre. The argument that unfolds is that by contrast with the low mimetic reading of Suez in the United States, apocalyptic narratives gained ascendancy in representations of the Gulf crisis and the ensuing war.

Keywords:   Gulf crisis, United States, military leadership, Suez Crisis, Gulf war, diplomatic leadership

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