Silent Ambassadors

Stamps are fun.

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On January 12, 1991, the US Congress authorized the use of military force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait during the Gulf War.  Up until that point, US military forces were stationed in Saudi Arabia wholly as a defensive coalition (Operation Desert Shield, beginning August 1, 1990).  Once military force was authorized (Operation Desert Storm), it was only a matter of days (January 17) before the first aerial bombardment by the Coalition forces on Iraqi Air Force and anti-aircraft facilities, and roughly six weeks after that before Iraq withdrew from Kuwait, ending the war.  Interestingly, this conflict is known both as the First Gulf War (as opposed to the 2003 Iraq War) and the Second Gulf War (as opposed to the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s).  Also interestingly, there is some (heated) debate about calling that gulf the Persian Gulf, largely by residents who live on the southwestern shores of the water (and beyond) who believe it makes more sense to call it the Arabian Gulf.  Oh, geographical etymology, you continue to confound!

Stamp details:
Stamp on top:
Issued on: May 2, 2000
From: Escondido, CA
Designed by: Howard Paine
Illustrated by: Drew Struzan
SC #3191b

Stamp on bottom:
Issued on: July 2, 1991
From: Washington, DC
Designed by: Jack Williams
SC #2551

(Source: arago.si.edu)

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