Saddam Hussein: A Little HistoryA reminder that Hussein was perhaps a bastard, but still was a bastard we built, from Ted Rall. Here's a little fact to remind you all that what we're going through in Iraq is only part of a much, much longer saga. Some might think, for instance, that the 1991 Gulf War, unlike our--I don't even know what you'd want to call what we've been doing--in Iraq, was justifiable. That the current Iraq mess validates the Kuwait mess, because at least that was over fairly quickly, and had a definite plan. Remember? All the reasons people pretend Colin Powell was, at least once, a great man. Actually, the whole thing was our fault. Hussein invading, everything; and I don't mean just because we gave him the weapons. Most people don't remember this little tidbit, that was publicly reported at the time and then marginalized about as quick. But I do. And Ted does too.
Tensions with Kuwait, whose territorial legitimacy had not been recognized by any Iraqi leader since the country's founding in 1920, had been rising over alleged "slant drilling" beneath the border into Iraqi oilfields and Kuwait's refusal to reduce oil production to raise prices as requested by the OPEC cartel.
At the fateful meeting, Saddam asked Ambassador April Glaspie: Would the U.S. object to an invasion? "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait," she replied. "Secretary [of State James] Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."
The signal was clear. Bright green.
Hussein was only doing what we encouraged him to do. If a vicious dog gets set loose from his leash, do you blame the dog, for doing what you'd expect, or the owner, for releasing him consciously?