Monday Jan 03, 201105:57 PM GMT
Leaked Glaspie memo: US gave green light for Iraq to invade Kuwait
Mon Jan 3, 2011 5:58PM
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US Ambassador April Glaspie met Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990, just a week before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

 

One of the crown jewels of secret pre-Gulf War negotiations was unveiled tonight when the notorious Glaspie Memo, or as it is now known 90BAGHDAD423, was released by WikiLeaks.

 

The cable, whose official title was "Saddam’s Message of Friendship to President Bush" details the meeting between US Ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990, just a week before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

 

The meeting has long been a matter of speculation, as it had long been speculated that comments by Glaspie had led Saddam to believe that the United States was giving them the green light to invade Kuwait if diplomacy failed.

 

The memo reveals indeed Hussein expressing concern about the Bush Administration’s position on Iraq owing to its participation in military exercises with the United Arab Emirates and pledges to “defend its allies” in the region. He complained the US pledges were making Kuwait and the UAE refuse to negotiate with Iraq. He also expressed concern about negative media coverage in the US, which Ambassador Glaspie assured him did not reflect US policy and singled out a Diane Sawyer report on “nuclear bomb triggers” for condemnation.

 

Rather Glaspie assured Saddam of Bush’s friendship and expressed support for the negotiations being set up by Hosni Mubarak for the weekend of July 28-30. She also explicitly said the United States took no position on the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait. Hussein assured that no action would be taken against Kuwait if the negotiations showed some progress, which seemed to suit the US at the time.

 

But the talks didn’t accomplish anything and by August 2 Iraq was invading Kuwait. Within hours the mutual friendship was completely torn up and US officials were railing against Iraq. A few months later the US invaded for the first time, sparking invasions, decades of enmity, sanctions which killed massive numbers of Iraqi civilians and, eventually, a full US occupation which continues to this day. Antiwar

 

HIGHLIGHTS

“ON THE BORDER QUESTION, SADDAM REFERRED TO THE 1961 AGREEMENT AND A "LINE OF PATROL" IT HAD ESTABLISHED. THE KUWAITIS, HE SAID, HAD TOLD MUBARAK IRAQ WAS 20 KILOMETERS "IN FRONT" OF THIS LINE. THE AMBASSADOR SAID THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN KUWAIT 20 YEARS BEFORE; THEN, AS NOW, WE TOOK NO POSITION ON THESE ARAB AFFAIRS.” cable 90BAGHDAD4237, Wikileaks.

 

“AMBASSADOR RESUMED HER THEME, RECALLING THAT THE [US] PRESIDENT HAD INSTRUCTED HER TO BROADEN AND DEEPEN OUR RELATIONS WITH IRAQ.” cable 90BAGHDAD4237, Wikileaks

 

“WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS THAT THE [US] PRESIDENT HAS VERY RECENTLY REAFFIRMED HIS DESIRE FOR A BETTER RELATIONSHIP AND HAS PROVEN THAT BY, FOR EXAMPLE, OPPOSING SANCTIONS BILLS.” cable 90BAGHDAD4237, Wikileaks

 

FACTS & FIGURES

Saddam Hussein also received an explicit green light from the US to invade Iran, a war which lasted 8 years and killed hundreds of thousands of people:

 

In July 1979 Saddam Hussein, in a meeting with three CIA officers in Amman, Jordan, received a green light from Washington to invade Iran. Source: PBS, Consortium News

 

This was later confirmed by President Ronald Reagan's first Secretary of State, Alexander Haig, who in 1981 after a visit to Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia wrote in a classified memo "It was also interesting to confirm that President Carter gave the Iraqis a green light to launch the war against Iran through Fahd." Consortium News

 

In December 1983, Donald Rumsfeld, as special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, met with Saddam Hussein in Baghdad to improve the relations between the two countries.

 

According to David Newton, former ambassador to Baghdad, "fundamentally, the policy (of supporting Iraq in the war) was justified….We were concerned that Iraq should not lose the war with Iran, because that would have threatened Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Our long-term hope was that Hussein's government would become less repressive and more responsible." CBS

 

Iraq repeatedly uses banned chemical weapons against Iran as well as the Iraqi city of Halabja killing five thousand civilians. An investigation by the Senate Banking Committee done in 1994 showed that dozens of biological agents were shipped to Iraq during the 1980s under license from the Commerce Department, including various strains of anthrax, subsequently identified by the Pentagon as a key component of the Iraqi biological warfare program. The report identifies 70 shipments from the US to Iraq over three years, adding "It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the UN inspectors found and recovered from the Iraqi biological warfare program." Source: "U.S. Chemical and Biological Warfare-Related Dual Use Exports to Iraq and their Possible Impact on the Health Consequences of the Gulf War," United States Senate, 103rd Congress, 2nd Session May 25, 1994.

 

In 1998 after the gassing of the Iraqi city of Halabja by Saddam Hussein, with the help of several congressmen the "Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988" was passed in the Senate unanimously to sanction Iraq for the genocide, however the Reagan administration, including Collin Powell the National Security Advisor at the time, pressured and eventually succeeded in killing the bill in the House of Representatives. Former ambassador Peter Galbraith who was the Senate’s Iraq expert later claimed "Secretary of State Colin Powell was then the national security advisor who orchestrated Ronald Reagan’s decision to give Hussein a pass for gassing the Kurds." Source: Rampton & Stauber, "Weapons of Mass Deception", 2003.

 

 

HM/SM/DB

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