Bush #41 Let Saddam Invade Kuwait According To Plan
New Delhi: The US had prior knowledge about Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein attacking Kuwait in 1990 but did nothing to stop him, says a former Indian diplomat in a new book.
In his book “The Ultimate Prize: Oil and Saddam’s Iraq” (Allied Publishers), Ranjit Singh Kalha, former ambassador to Iraq, quotes the US envoy in Baghdad April Glaspie as telling Saddam on July 25, 1990: “We have no opinion on Arab-Arab conflict, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.”
The US envoy also told the Iraqi president, “We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods… All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.”
Kalha, who retired as secretary in the ministry of external affairs in 2002 and was in Iraq around the time, notes in his book that is replete with unclassified documents: “If Saddam had any lingering doubts about the attitude of the US, these were soon cleared.”
According to him, on July 27, 1990, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US was called to the Pentagon and told, “Iraq is going to invade Kuwait.”
Even a day before the Iraqi attack on Kuwait began, Kuwaiti defence minister Sheikh Salem al-Sabah received a text from the US: “We do not want to alarm you unnecessarily, but we think the contingency plan should be put into effect… under no circumstances should the Emir be allowed to spend the night in Kuwait city. He should cross into Saudi Arabia and go to Khafji, 20 kilometers south of the border.”
Kalha’s book comes at a time when the US’ latest war in Iraq has sparked off a major debate in different parts of the world, particularly amongst Americans, many of whom are of the view that the war could have been avoided.
Many of the points raised by the former Indian envoy helps in establishing the link between the first Gulf War of 1991 and the US’ current armed engagement in Iraq.
According to Kalha, the US, which had thrown its weight behind Saddam during the Iraq-Iran war of 1980, grew apprehensive about the Iraqi president’s growing clout in the region. Initially, US officials had even thought that Saddam would only invade the oil producing islands of Kuwait and not take over the entire country.
Kalha thinks the US government decided to punish Saddam because he had gone beyond the agreed script and taken over entire Kuwait instead of a few islands and its main oilfield.
“What if he had confined himself to the two islands and the Rumaila oilfield? Was this the script that Saddam was to follow? Was he now to be punished for not sticking to the agreed script? Had Saddam over-reached himself? Had Saddam confined himself to what Ambassador Glaspie so casually confirmed later, the story of Iraq might have been different,” the Indian envoy writes.
Kalha is now a member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
But why should the US/UK governments take such huge political risks against a rising tide of international public opinion as evidenced by the unprecedented peace marches and protests the world over? Why is the control of Iraqi oil so important?
It is conservatively estimated that Iraq’s proven oil resources are equivalent to 115 billion barrels and it has an additional 215 billion barrels in yet-to-be-explored deposits. At present, that is only second to Saudi reserves estimated at 260 billion barrels.
However, according to an OPEC study, the life of Iraqi oil reserves is likely to last over 600 years. Contrast this to Saudi oil reserves, which are not expected to last beyond this century.
Press reports indicate that 417 new oil wells are likely to be commissioned and Iraq could in five years’ time be pumping something like 10 million barrels per day. Industrialised countries consume nearly 50 million barrels per day and the US accounts for nearly two-fifths of this consumption.
Official forecasts predict that the US will require another nine million barrels per day by the year 2020. Only Iraqi oil can meet this huge demand and cover current US imports for almost a century. It is a strategic asset and it is now well recognised that it should be in “safe hands”.
I do not follow conspiracy theories … but this makes me wonder. As the layers of deception are peeled back, it may be evident that a criminal conspiracy charge can be made against many players in the Bush #41 and #43 administrations. Just how many high ranking politicians, both Republican and Democrat, knew. The damage to America and the World is phenomenal. World economy is entering crisis stage because China, India and Russia are becoming more invested in the oil grab. Russia feels threatened. India and China have middle class growing pains. America’s oil gluttony is about to be matched, if not already. The piper will be paid, one way or another.
GLASPIE: I think I understand this. I have lived here for years. I admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.
I was in the American Embassy in Kuwait during the late 60’s. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that the issue is not associated with America. James Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction. We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via Klibi or via President Mubarak. All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly. With regard to all of this, can I ask you to see how the issue appears to us?
The US State Department, which is said to have placed a gag order on Glaspie in August 1990 prohibiting her from talking to the media about what had transpired at that meeting, is apparently still keeping her under wraps despite the fact that she retired from the American Foreign Service in 2002.
So, where is April Glaspie today?
Absurd or not, the fact of the matter is that after April Glaspie left Baghdad in late August 1990 and returned to Washington, she was kept under wraps by the State Department for eight months, not allowed to talk to the media, and did not surface until just before the official end of the Gulf war (April 11, 1991), when she was called to testify informally before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about her meeting with Saddam Hussein.
She said she was the victim of “deliberate deception on a major scale” and denounced the transcript of the meeting as “a fabrication” that distorted her position, though she admitted that it contained “a great deal” that was accurate.
The veteran diplomat awaited her next assignment, later taking a low-profile job at the United Nations in New York. She was later shunted off to Cape Town, South Africa, as US Consul General. Nothing has been heard of her since her retirement from the diplomatic service in 2002. It’s almost as if she has become a non-person.
Cross Posted on BlueBloggin