am not taking sides."1 --Secretary
of State James Baker offering an apparent rationalization for Iraq's
use of chemical weapons against Kuwait.
Kuwait and George Bush readied for combat once again. He spewed a slew
of tenuous rationales for the massive U.S. buildup, but as can be expected
when George Bush is involved, there was more to the story than presented
for public consumption. The earliest clues appeared on October 21, 1990,
two and half months into the "Gulf Crisis," when the London
Observer featured a special investigative report suggesting that
Bush encouraged Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to attack Kuwait.
Earlier in the year, according to the
Observer, Bush sent a secret envoy to meet with one of Saddam's
top officials. The envoy told the dictator's confidant "that Iraq
should engineer higher oil prices to get it out of its dire economic
fix," wrote the English paper. The story appeared nowhere that
I ever saw in the American media.
Saddam took the envoy's advice, moving
his troops to the border of Kuwait. U.S. Ambassador to Baghdad April
Glaspie told Saddam, "We don't have an opinion on inter-Arab
border disputes such as your border dispute with Kuwait."
"The evidence suggests that U.S.
complicity with Saddam went far beyond miscalculation of the Iraqi leader's
inventions," wrote Observer reporter Helga Graham. The leaked
documents on which she based her piece "have built up a picture
of active support for the U.S. president."2
"In the fall
of 1989, at a time when Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was only nine months
away and Saddam Hussein was desperate for money to buy arms," [Murray]
Wass and collaborator Douglas Frantz wrote, "President Bush
signed a top-secret National Security Decision directive ordering closer
ties with Baghdad and opening the way for $1 billion in new aid."
Waas-Frantz exclusive revealed at pattern of Bush's support for Saddam
dating back to Bush's vice-presidential days an and running practically
until the moment of Iraq's invasion. "As late as July 1990, one
month before Iraq's troops stormed into Kuwait City, officials at the
National Security Council and the State Department were pushing to deliver
the second installment of the $1 billion in loan guarantees," the
years before the invasion, at a time when (according to Waas's reporting)
Bush would have been meeting with Iraqi officials and pressuring American
banks to fork over the money for Saddam, Peter Dale Scott wrote an article
for Pacific News Service detailing Bush's role in an international oil-price
rigging scheme. The story was named one of the year's ten best "censored"
stories by "Project Censored," an annual competition to recognize
important stories that the big media skip, spike, or suppress. On the
sands of Saudi Arabia, the petroleum president was at work once more.3
ran a piece by Village Voice reporter Murray Wass detailing how
[April] Glaspie's attitude toward Iraq's "border dispute"
with Kuwait was hardly an anomaly. In the months leading up to the invasion,
administration officials repeatedly swore off use of force against Iraq.
Secretary of State James Baker even went so far as to offer what sounded
like a rationalization for Iraqi use of chemical weapons. He reported
to a Senate committee Saddam Hussein's explanation that chemical weapons
were his only deterrent against nuclear attack.
"I am not taking sides," said Baker -- an astonishing
statement in in light of the events that followed. "I am just stating
Metro also ran my little story
about how Silicon Valley's original high-tech company, Hewlett-Packard,
sold computers to Iraq knowing that they would be used in ballistic
missile development. Numerous U.S. companies, I reported, sold military
technology to Iraq right up until the international embargo came down
after the invasion of Kuwait. German corporations were far worse offenders.
Those companies under the jurisdiction of America's close ally were
directly responsible for Iraq's chemical weapon-making ability.
Bush deliberately trying to get the U.S. into a war, to satisfy yet
another cryptic agenda? Waas wrote off the Bushian pro-Iraq stance as
a diplomatic blunder, albeit one of history's worst. Perhaps so. The
Vietnam war was half-a-decade old when the Pentagon Papers leaked out
to confirm what a sizable segment of the country suspected: the administration's
public reasons for throwing the coutnry into that war were simply [a]
someday a "Pentagon Papers II" will appear, exposing how the
country was fooled into the Persian Gulf war. I rather doubt it,
however. Whatever his reasons for risking thousands of American lives
(and talking thousands of Iraqi lives, including innumerable civilians)
he is managing the war-propaganda well. The press is tightly controlled
and seems to accept its bitter medicine with disturbing calm. Even enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, Bush beats away on his theme of us against him, Saddam
Hussein. It's the U.S. against a lone nut. How strangely fitting.4
Vankin, Conspiracies, Cover-Ups and Crimes --From JFK to the Terrorist
Connection (1992): 245, emphasis mine.
3Ibid., 242., emphasis mine.
245-246, emphasis mine.
who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana
summary by Lori Price
Citizens For Legitimate Government