Commentary

Key personal & political events

1990 Sep 30 Su
Margaret Thatcher

Gulf War: MT-Bush meeting in New York [memoirs extract]

Document type: commentary
Document kind: Memoirs
Venue: Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York
Source: Margaret Thatcher The Downing Street Years , p.826.
Journalist: -
Editorial comments: -
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 187 words
Themes: Defence (general), Energy, Foreign policy (International organizations), Foreign policy (Middle East), Foreign policy (USA)

I met the President again in New York on the evening of Sunday 30th September. We were officially there to attend the "UN Children's Summit", an occasion at which the only high point was an inspiring speech from President Havel of Czechoslovakia. President Bush was very tired, having flown back to Washington from New York to complete negotiations with Congress on the fateful 1990 budget compromise, which was to undermine him politically, before returning for this meeting. But he was in good spirits. We discussed Jim Baker's wish for another UN Security Council Resolution specifically to endorse the use of force to bring about Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait. As always, I was dubious, preferring to rely on Article 51. But what was clear to all of us was that the time for using force was now rapidly approaching. There was no evidence that sanctions were having any real effect on Iraq's decisions - and that was what counted. I was clearer than ever in my mind that there could be no weakening in our resolve to defeat and be seen to defeat Saddam Hussein's aggression.