Remember how the justification for the US government’s permanent blockade and eventual aggressive invasion of Iraq in 2003 was based on the idea that Saddam Hussein was in defiance of the cease fire agreement that ended his war with the United Nations in 1991?
For the sake of making the real point of this post, we can neglect the fact that, as former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has explained,
“Within months of this resolution being passed – and the United States was a drafter and voted in favor of this resolution – within months, the President, George Herbert Walker Bush, and his Secretary of State, James Baker, are saying publicly — not privately, publicly — that even if Iraq complies with its obligation to disarm, economic sanctions will be maintained until which time Saddam Hussein is removed from power. That is proof positive that disarmament was only useful insofar as it contained, through the maintenance of sanctions, and facilitated regime change.
It was never about disarmament. It was never about getting rid of weapons of mass destruction. It started with George Herbert Walker Bush and it was a policy continued through eight years of the Clinton presidency and then brought us to this current disastrous course of action under the current Bush administration,”
and instead focus on the question of what justified the UN war in the first place:
Why did Saddam want to invade Kuwait in August 1990? Seems he was having trouble paying off his debts from the war with Iran and Kuwait’s government was having more than their OPEC quota worth of oil produced, which was driving down Saddam’s revenues to the point where he was facing bankruptcy and perhaps the loss of his power. On top of this were allegations that the Kuwaitis were slant-drilling under Iraq’s border and stealing their oil in order to accomplish this.
Enter US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie.
As we are reminded in this piece for the Jang group by Kaleem Omar, “Is the US State Department still keeping April Glaspie under wraps?, the United States, during a meeting between Hussein and Glaspie, invited Saddam Hussein to send his army to invade tiny, defenseless Kuwait.
As far as I can tell, the cables to Glaspie with her instructions from Secretary Baker are still classified, as Ross “welfare cheat” Perot complained in the third presidential debate in 1992, but from the transcripts of the meeting it’s pretty clear what went on:
“We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.”
Omar continues, “On July 31, 1990, two days before the Iraqi invasion, John Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, testified to Congress that the ‘United States has no commitment to defend Kuwait and the US has no intention of defending Kuwait if it is attacked by Iraq.'”
After the transcript was released and a reporter asked Glaspie, “What were you thinking?” she responded, “Obviously, I didn’t think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait.”
Just some of it, huh?
I believe it is still open to question whether Bush I/Baker really intended all along to trick Iraq into the invasion so they could display the power of the UN under US leadership without the Russians in our way, or whether it was just his way of acting tough after Lady Thatcher called him “wobbly” in front of everybody.
Either way, every Iraqi life taken by the US government since then has been the victim of a criminal homicide. We better try these politicians before the global court system gets to set some more precedents of the authority of “international law” based on their crimes – precedents which would threaten the liberty of us all.
See also chapter one of Neoconned: Just War Principles: A Condemnation of the War with Iraq, “The Bogus Case Against Saddam,” by the late Jude Wanniski, his website or listen to my interview of him on the subject.