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Project Runaway

Alamo deserter lives on to become Texas’ most infamous coward

Originally appeared in The Daily.

In August 1990, when President George H. W. Bush wanted to send a message to Saddam Hussein, he used the toughest language he knew: that of his adoptive home state of Texas. Bush warned Saddam that “a line has been drawn in the sand,” and that the U.S.-led coalition would remove him from Kuwait by force if necessary. Saddam was not a man of rhetorical subtlety in any language, but he could be forgiven for wondering what “line in the sand” his adversary was talking about. If the dictator did not know his Texas history, the imagery would have perplexed him — and if he did know his Texas history, it might have perplexed him even more. Was he supposed to cross it, or not?