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Kuwait Invasion Anniversary Passes Quietly in Baghdad With PM-Kuwait-Mourning

August 2, 1991

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ The anniversary of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait passed quietly as most Iraqis let today slip by with scarce consideration, except to reflect on how things might have been.

The only official recognition came through newspaper columns justifying the attack and repeating conspiracy theories of Iraq as victim of an American- Zionist plot.

Most Iraqis simply want to forget what they consider a tarnished page in the history of their country.

Agnes Bashir, a concert pianist and composer, was in Cyprus a year ago preparing for a performance tour in Italy when she heard the news of the invasion: ″At first I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked.″

Now she waits for Iraq to recover from the humilation of Iraq’s misadventure and the ruin wrought of the U.S.-led allied air raids.

″Iraq has so much potential, and it’s not just the oil,″ she said. ″The people are better than the oil.″

People are concerned now with secondary effects of their government’s takeover of Kuwait, mainly the increasing difficulty of making ends meet, the result of sanctions that continue to strangle the economy.

″There’s no food. No job,″ said Jamal Hamid, who was walking down the sidewalk along Saadoun Street with his wife and three small children.

A year ago, loudspeakers blared the news of the invasion, trumpeting that Iraq had reclaimed a land long considered to have historically belonged to it.

Many people were shocked, and worried about the consequences. But plenty of them were in a celebratory mood, said Abdel-Kareem Jassim, a storekeeper.

″Iraq was led to this, to go into Kuwait, because of the economic situation,″ he said. Saddam had been complaining that Kuwait was breaking OPEC oil quotas by flooding the market with petroleum, lowering prices in the process.

He said most Iraqis anticipated the reaction from the West, although they did not believe it would lead to war.

The Iraqis seem now to want simply for the economic embargo to end and to let the Kuwait chapter pass.

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