Monday, April 21, 2014
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British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher offers remarks while visiting President Ronald Reagan in 1987. After Iraq invaded Kuwait, she told President George H.W. Bush “this is not the time to go wobbly, George.”
The Associated Press
Thatcher also had the gift of a great politician to be able to completely ignore her own shaky base and to carry on regardless. She was in Aspen, Colo., on the day that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein sent his forces into Kuwait. Bush, after holding early meetings on the crisis, flew to Colorado for a long-planned meeting.
There she told Bush that appeasement in the 1930s had led to World War II, and she warned that Saddam soon would have the Persian Gulf at his feet and 65 percent of the world's oil supply with it, according to Thatcher's memoirs. Her forceful delivery at a news conference, compared with Bush's hesitations, left the impression that Thatcher had tried to strengthen his backbone.
All the while, Thatcher, who had seemingly lost interest in British domestic affairs, was losing support among her own Conservative Party, which decided at a subsequent party conference to oust her as party leader. In November 1990, the party replaced her with John Major, a high school dropout whose calm demeanor, businesslike style and seeming lack of any ideology was a near-complete contrast.