Kuwait ended an embarrassment when it wound up martial law tribunals of alleged collaborators and commuted 29 death sentences already handed down. U.S. and allied pressure to improve on the human rights front clearly had something to do with that.
But that should not be the end of it. Kuwait remains a disappointment to its friends in the aftermath of the gulf war. The return to civilian rule means the armed men on the corner change their army uniforms for police uniforms. It leaves guns in the hands of Kuwaitis, in some cases to use against Palestinian and other guest workers as they please. It leaves most Kuwaitis, not to mention non-Kuwaitis, out of the governing process. It leaves three-fourths of the oil wells that a plundering Iraqi occupation army set on fire, still on fire.