Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.

 

"I am not taking sides."1 --Secretary of State James Baker offering an apparent rationalization for Iraq's use of chemical weapons against Kuwait.

...Iraq invaded 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."
     The 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 article said.
     Two 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

We [Metro] 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 that."
     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.

     Was 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] sham.
     Perhaps 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

1Jonathan Vankin, Conspiracies, Cover-Ups and Crimes --From JFK to the Terrorist Connection (1992): 245, emphasis mine.
2Ibid., 241.

3Ibid., 242., emphasis mine.

4Ibid., 245-246, emphasis mine.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana

Page summary by Lori Price
General Manager
Citizens For Legitimate Government
http://www.legitgov.org/

August 22, 2004

  

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