Chamblee54

April Glaspie Meets Saddam Hussein

Posted in History, Politics, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on January 3, 2013

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Juan Cole at Informed Comment posts today about a document release from Wikileaks. The document is a cable sent by April Glaspie, the ambassador to Iraq, about a meeting with Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990. This was shortly before his invasion of Kuwait.

In 1990, Iraq was recovering from a horrendous war with Iran. That war started Sept. 22, 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, possibly with encouragement from the United States. (At the time of this invasion, Iran was holding Americans hostage in the American embassy. The United States was not pleased with Iran.) Iraq failed to get a quick victory, and the war became a bloody quagmire, with hundreds of thousands of casualties.

In 1990, Iraq was rebuilding, and Kuwait was flourishing. Oil was being over produced, driving down the price. Kuwait was accused of “slant drilling”, i.e. drilling under the border, and stealing oil from Iraq. At one point, a meeting was held between officials of Iraq and Kuwait .
“Saddam…sent his foreign minister to Kuwait to meet with the Emir Al Sabah, the former leader of Kuwait, to try to resolve some of the… issues” between Kuwait and Iraq, Piro will recall. “And the Emir told the foreign minister of Iraq that he would not stop doing what he was doing until he turned every Iraqi woman into a $10 prostitute. And that really sealed it for him, to invade Kuwait.”
On July 25, 1990, Saddam Hussein summoned to American Ambassador, April Glaspie , to a meeting. The cable is Ms. Glaspie’s account of the meeting. PG cannot see a green light for invasion in this account of the meeting. Many say Ms. Glaspie could have made much more explicit the dire consequences of invading Kuwait.

The transcript of the meeting has been declassified for some time. It is available on the website of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation. It is worth noting that this transcript is not sworn testimony, and could contains lies and mistakes. It is also the POV of Ms. Glaspie, and Mr. Hussein may have gotten a different idea of what was said. Perhaps, to Mr. Hussein, it was a green light for an invasion.

The invasion of Kuwait, eight days after the meeting, on August 2, 1990, set in motion events that affect us to this day. A coalition was formed to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. There was talk of going to Baghdad and deposing Mr. Hussein at the time. The military action stopped after driving Iraq out of Kuwait, reportedly at the request of Saudi Arabia. Twelve years later, the United States attacked Iraq, and drove out the Hussein government. We are still there.

Historycommons.org has a timeline with a wealth of information about the progression of Saddam Hussein, from ally to next Hitler. The comments section for the post by Juan Cole at Informed Comment is the source of several links in this story, and has a lively commentary about this matter. This is a repost. The wikileaks links have been deactivated.

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