General Norman Schwarzkopf has died at the age of 78 of complications from pneumonia. Those of us who were around during the 1991 Gulf War remember him as a television personality explaining it all, and a man who was popular enough to cause some people to wish he would run for office.
The US didn’t stick around after that war to deal with the complications of the aftermath, and left Saddam Hussein in power. Schwarzkopf himself later admitted that decision may not have been so great in light of later events.
I hadn’t realized some interesting things about Schwarzkopf’s father until I read the son’s AP obituary. It turns out that right around the time Norman was born, his father, “Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., founder and commander of the New Jersey State Police, was then leading the investigation of the Lindbergh kidnap case.” Later on, father (and son) had another brush with history when “as a teenager Norman accompanied his father to Iran, where the elder Schwarzkopf trained the country’s national police force and was an adviser to Reza Pahlavi, the young Shah of Iran.”
In a strange accident of timing, it appears that President George H.W. Bush, another man intimately involved with decisions during the Gulf War, is fading. He’s in the ICU right now, after having been hospitalized for over a month for bronchitis and now an unexplained fever.