• LUKE FRAZZA/AFP
  • Margaret Thatcher and George H.W. Bush

Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher happened to be at Colorado’s Aspen Institute at the time, awaiting the arrival of President George H.W. Bush. Soon after he got there they held a joint news conference.

Watching it now, I’d describe the differences between Bush and Thatcher as largely stylistic. When she talked, Thatcher always sounded like a hammer pounding a nail. Bush sounded tentative even when his words were emphatic. Watching it then, I remember thinking, “She’s giving him the backbone to go to war.”