Five Decisive Moments

1 JANUARY 9

MISJUDGMENT IN GENEVA

Scarcely had the meeting begun in the Salon des Nations conference room of Geneva's Intercontinental Hotel when U.S. Secretary of State James Baker handed Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz a brown manila envelope stamped with the presidential seal. Inside was a letter from George Bush warning Saddam Hussein to get out of Kuwait by Jan. 15 -- six days hence -- or face the certainty that the 28-nation coalition would force him out. Aziz, fluent in English, carefully looked over a photocopy that had been provided for him. When he finished, the Iraqi lowered his...

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