The United States had no use for the Iraqi regime and had supported the
Shah's Iran in a war against Iraq in the 1970s, ending in a peace that had
not been favorable to Iraq. With the Iranian revolution, the Americans were
looking for a lever to control Iran, . . .
The Carter administration wanted to motivate Saddam to fight, but he had
little to gain simply by fighting Iran. What Saddam wanted was to become the
dominant power in the Persian Gulf. Absorbing Kuwait, which had historically
been a part of Iraq under the Ottoman Empire until the British carved it our
for their own interests, was a key goal, but so was dominating the region
politically. He knew that if he defeated Iran, Iraq would be the dominant
power in the region. He was also quietly assured by the United States that
it would have no objection to his claiming his prize - Kuwait - once he
defeated Iran. The assurances were very quiet and very deniable.
The United States then did everything it could to make sure that Iraq could
never claim the prize, shifting its weight back and forth during the
Iran-Iraq war, in classic balance-of-power style. The famous Iran-Contra
affair engineered by Bill Casey was part of this strategy, with Americans
delivering Hawk surface-to-air missiles and TOW antitank missiles to Iran in
order to stave off an Iranian defeat - while also arranging for supplies to
Iraq. Under the circumstances it was a clever move until better options
The Iran-Iraq war lasted nearly ten years and cost millions of lives. In the
end, Iraq won - or, more precisely, was less exhausted than Iran. After some
months of recovery, Saddam turned to collect his prize. In his famous
meeting with U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie on July 25, 1990, just before the
invasion, Saddam calmly explained his intention to invade Kuwait, and
Glaspie, not informed by the State Department that the policy had changed,
proceeded to give Saddam the reassurance of American support that had been
the U.S. policy transmitted by ambassadors and back channels for a decade. .
What Glaspie didn't know. and what Glaspie hadn't been told, was that the
United States had never expected Iraq to win and certainly was not prepared
to let Saddam collect his war prize.
[ . . . the incubator story seriously distorted the American debate about
whether to support military action. . . .
Americans would have been interested to know the identity of "Nayirah," the
15-year-old Kuwaiti girl who shocked the Congressional Human Rights Caucus
on Oct. 10, 1990, when she tearfully asserted that she had watched 15
infants being taken from incubators in Al-Adan Hospital in Kuwait City by
Iraqi soldiers who "left the babies on the cold floor to die." The chairmen
of the Congressional group, Tom Lantos, a California Democrat, and John
Edward Porter, an Illinois Republican, explained that Nayirah's identity
would be kept secret to protect her family from reprisals in occupied Kuwait.
There was a better reason to protect her from exposure: Nayirah, her real
name, is the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S., Saud Nasir
al-Sabah. . . .
Both Congressmen have a close relationship with Hill and Knowlton, the
public relations firm hired by Citizens for a Free Kuwait, the
Kuwaiti-financed group that lobbied Congress for military intervention.
--John R. MacArthur, "Remember
Nayirah, Witness for Kuwait?," HBO Films, January 6, 1992]
[When George H. W. Bush ordered American forces to the Persian Gulf - to
reverse Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait - part of the administration
case was that an Iraqi juggernaut was also threatening to roll into Saudi
Citing top-secret satellite images, Pentagon officials estimated in
mid-September that up to 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks stood on the
border, threatening the key US oil supplier.
But when the St. Petersburg Times in Florida acquired two commercial Soviet
satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time, no Iraqi troops
were visible near the Saudi border - just empty desert.--Scott Peterson,
Some Facts Less Factual," Christian Science Monitor, September 6,
[A budding coalition of conservative hawks, Jewish organizations and Iranian
monarchists is pressing the White House to step up American efforts to bring
about regime change in Iran.--Marc Perelman, "New Front Sets Sights On Toppling
Iran Regime," Forward, May 16, 2003]
Fifty years ago, in a bold and far-reaching covert operation, the CIA
overthrew the elected government of Iran. Although the coup seemed
successful at first, its "haunting and terrible legacy" is now becoming
Operation Ajax, as the plot was code-named, reshaped the history of Iran,
the Middle East and the world. It restored Mohammad Reza Shah to the Peacock
Throne, allowing him to impose a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic
Revolution of 1979.
The Islamic Revolution, in turn, inspired fundamentalists throughout the
Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists who thrived under its
In his new book "All The Shah's Men," New York Times correspondent Stephen
Kinzer asserts "It is not far-fetched to draw a line from Operation Ajax
through the Shah's repressive regime and the Islamic Revolution to the
fireballs that engulfed the World Trade Center in New York."-- Stephen
The Shah's Men," NPR On Point, August 20, 2003]
[The trap had been baited very cleverly by Glaspie, reinforced by
Tutweiler's and Kelly's supporting comments. And Saddam Hussein walked
right into it, believing that the US would do nothing if his troops invaded
Kuwait. On August 2, 1990, eight days after Glaspie's meeting with the
Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein's massed troops invaded Kuwait.--Kaleem
the US State Department still keeping April Glaspie under wraps?,"
Jang, December 25, 2005]
Stephen Kinzer, "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii
to Iraq," Times Books, April 4, 2006
Barry M. Lando, "Web of Deceit:
The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush,"
Other Press (January 23, 2007)
[The now-infamous Downing Street documents showed how President George Bush
managed his move to war by fitting intelligence to his policy, and by
refusing to accept the reports of United Nations inspectors who could find
no Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Now there is a new hot document that
confirms that Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair intended to sucker
Saddam into war. It demonstrates that this aim was present long before the
Bush-Blair talks, and indeed that provocation formed an integral feature of
the U.S. war plan.--John Prados, "A War Conspiracy Documented,"
tompaine.com, February 21, 2007]