They were so close.
"In 1991, at the end of the first Gulf War, the Iraqi people heeded President George H.W. Bush's call to rid themselves of the regime of Saddam Hussein. The regular Iraqi army had either disappeared or was in open mutiny, and Saddam's loyalist forces were in disarray. Within days, 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces were out of the regime's control, and more than half of Iraq's population had their first taste of freedom in a generation."