The Gulf: Gathering Storm

As the U.S. buildup quickens and Saddam takes more hostages, a horrible war grows more likely

Hostages. Airlift. Blockade. Showdown. As the crisis in the Persian Gulf entered its fourth week, the words used to describe it came almost entirely from the passionate lexicon of conflict and national pride. And with the accelerating pace of events, the path to a peaceful resolution became increasingly difficult to find, let alone follow. The region seemed poised on the brink of war, a prospect made all the more horrible by fear that chemical weapons might be unleashed not only against troops but also against hundreds of thousands of defenseless civilians.

The use of poison gas would be contrary to conventions...

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