Gen. Schwarzkopf and  Colin Powell - waiting.
Gen. Schwarzkopf and Colin Powell – waiting.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS News Special Report – Deadline in Iraq – Feb. 23, 1991 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

On this day, 24 years ago it was the waiting game. The deadline for Iraqi troops to withdraw from Kuwait had come and gone – the next step was waiting for the go-ahead to begin Operation Desert Storm.

And with a file cabinet full of scenarios over how this would go, everyone was waiting for the signal. The diplomatic channels had been exhausted, the bluster and saber rattling were approaching fever-pitch, the threats of retaliation against Israel were ratcheting up several notches, the fear over much-heard about Chemicals were putting everyone on edge.

But the deadline passed and nothing was resolved.

And of course, everyone in America, if not most of the world, were anxiously awaiting the next move – our move.

And so it was up to the media to keep the person-on-the-street appraised of the situation; send bulletins flying in at a moments notice, wait for any sudden move.

CBS Radio began a series of Special Reports ever since the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait – now that it was Zero hour, the Special reports were longer and more detailed and filled with last minute bulletins.

Here is the first of the Special Reports for February 23rd 1991 – when the deadline had come and gone. By the end it was reported planes were heading to Baghdad. It was going to start very soon.

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