- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2001

KUWAIT CITY Former President George Bush, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, retired Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, yesterday joined Kuwaiti officials to mark the 10th anniversary of the Gulf war victory over Saddam Hussein.

Allied war jets flew overhead and Kuwaitis raised their flag as visiting dignitaries unveiled a memorial wall commemorating the U.S. and Kuwaiti soldiers who died in the battle to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation.

The wall bears the names of 332 American soldiers who died in 1991 in the effort to liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi army, which invaded the year before. About half of those deaths were combat-related. The list of names on the wall begins with Corp. T.R. Adams and ends with Maj. T.C. Zeugner.

The memorial wall lists the names of hundreds of Kuwaitis killed during the Iraqi occupation. It also includes hundreds of names of Kuwaitis still believed held as prisoners by Iraq. Baghdad has not admitted holding any of them.

U.S. soldiers in desert-camouflage fatigues attended the ceremony, which was overshadowed by Mr. Powell's comments in Israel over the weekend that Saddam continues to develop weapons of mass destruction and remains a threat to this tiny oil-rich kingdom.

U.S. and British forces continue to patrol no-fly zones established after the war in northern Iraq to protect Kurds and over southern Iraq to protect Shi'ite Muslims.

U.S. and British warplanes on Feb. 16 bombed five sites housing communication links and radar installations in Iraq, some as close as five miles from Baghdad, in what the Pentagon described as a "self-defense measure" to protect allied pilots.

Mr. Powell was cheered by several hundred Kuwaitis and the few dozen airmen from nearby U.S. air bases when he was introduced at the unveiling ceremony. He is on a diplomatic mission through the Middle East and arrived from meetings Saturday and yesterday in Egypt, Israel and West Bank and Jordan.

Mr. Bush, who was accompanied by former first lady Barbara Bush, said the United States has not forgotten Kuwaiti prisoners of war.

"I would not dare to speak for my son without his permission," joked the former president. "But I can say he has the same affection in his heart for this place as Barbara and myself."

Mr. Bush and Gen. Schwarzkopf, who led the international coalition that drove Iraq from Kuwait, watched live-fire maneuvers by U.S., British and Kuwaiti forces 30 miles from the Iraq border.

Mrs. Thatcher, who reportedly persuaded Mr. Bush to send U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia and who helped to form the coalition that ousted Iraq from Kuwait, spoke of the need to stand up for freedom.

"One finds when you are in power … you must send people into battle," she said.

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