How do you feel the U.S. entry into the Gulf War affected our relations with Arab countries? Why were we not viewed more positively for trying to prevent the overrun of Arab nations by Saddam?
Steve Coll responds:
It's a mixed picture. Kuwaitis welcomed the liberation, obviously. Many Saudis were grateful for having their independence reserved -- but also resentful and questioning about why it was necessary to have outsiders do the job when their own government had been buying so many weapons and enjoyed high oil revenues. Radicals like Osama and his crowd saw the intervention as proof of American designs on Saudi oil wealth.