August 20, 1990 – The situation in the Persian Gulf was heating up by the hour. For the first time since the crisis began, President Bush referred to the Americans (and people from other allied nations) who were trapped by Saddam Hussein as Hostages. These were employees and families of employees of American companies doing business in Iraq. It was the latest in a series of saber-rattling as Allied forces were building up in the Persian Gulf. The hostage ploy was being used by the Hussein regime in order to extract a swap – hostages for concessions. In an address to the Veterans Of Foreign Wars Convention in Baltimore, Mr. Bush was adamant that, under no circumstances would innocent civilians get caught up in a hostage situation in Iraq. He went on to say he was holding Saddam Hussein responsible for the welfare of those hostages.
Meanwhile, the list of Arab nations joining the Anti-Iraq Military Alliance got a little longer, as Defense Secretary Dick Cheney continued his travels through the Persian Gulf. The “Gulf Whistle Stop Tour” helped forge stronger defense bonds with moderate Arab states, which before Saddam Hussein went on the march, were leery of such ties. Sources said Cheney had sold the Saudis sophisticated M-16 fighters. And in The Arab Emirates, he went public with the presence in Abu Dhabi of the first U.S. Military Units. Similar pledges of support were forthcoming from Amman and Qatar.
The State Department was advising American Citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Jordan and Yemen and it said Americans already in Jordan would be advised to leave as soon as possible. The governments of both Jordan and Yemen had been critical of the U.S. military buildup in the region.
And that’s just a little of what went on, this August 20, 1990 as reported by CBS Radio during their Hourly News and Special Reports throughout the day.