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     Question Forum : Gulf War Issues  Date Posted:  25 - September - 2001




You have stated reasons why you are angry with the Allies' policies in Iraq. What, in your opinion, should have happened when Iraq invaded Kuwait?

Does Iraq still maintain that Kuwait belongs to her and would Iraq make another attack on Kuwait?

To make the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq the starting point of an analysis of the Gulf Crisis ignores the fact that this was a purposefully manipulated strategy by the United States to gain control over the region. To begin with, the borders drawn between Muslim countries in the Middle East are not historically grown borders, but arbitrarily drawn by the former colonial powers, and part of the aim was to divide the region in a way which would ensure instability and the need for ongoing support by those colonial powers even after their withdrawal. When it comes to the actual invasion, two factors were crucial for encouraging the regime of Saddam Hussein (a Western stooge installed, equipped, paid for and protected by America): 

a) the manipulation of the oil price with its detrimental effect on Iraqi debts to Kuwait and an ultimatum by Kuwait for repayment 

b) the American ambassador's (April Glaspie) encouragement of an invasion by indicating to Iraq that America would remain indifferent to an invasion and consider it as an internal affair. 

"I have a direct instruction from the president to seek better relations with Iraq... President Bush is an intelligent man. He is not going to wage an economic war against Iraq." (25 July 1990) 

"...we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait... James Baker has directed our official spokesman to emphasize this instruction." 

Through this engineered conflict the United States of America has managed to gain control not just over Kuwait, but also Saudi Arabia and other hitherto inaccessible parts of the Muslim world and has managed to force those oil-affluent economies into debt due to the cost of the military operation. 

For further information also read:

Political Background to the Genocide in Iraq
Iraq -  The War Never Stopped


Dear IPB, Thank you for your recent reply to my question about Iraq, in which I asked what you thought ought to have been done when Iraq invaded Kuwait. You replied that America deliberately encouraged Iraq to invade Kuwait, by secretly indicating to Saddam Hussein that America would not intervene. You also carefully argue why the invasion of Kuwait is not the appropriate starting-point for the discussion, as Saddam Hussein's regime itself was the outcome of America's actions (installing puppet regime), and that in effect Saddam Hussein was inflicted on the Iraqi people by America. I am quite prepared to believe all this, given America's historical reputation for interfering in the middle east and other regions. Therefore may I ask you another question which may be more pertinent; namely, what should be done about Iraq NOW. If America stopped the sanctions and the bombing today, what alternative strategy would the Islamic Party of Britain offer to: 
1. Help the Iraqi! and Kurdish people in their freedom struggle against the tyranny of Saddam Hussein 
2. Prevent Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction. 
Yours in common humanity, 
Dear Michael, 
As the question forum is not the place for a continuing discussion, I am replying directly to you. A good book to read as a background to the region is Said Aburish's "A Brutal Friendship". In short, after the colonial withdrawal, Britain, France, and America having divided the region (not without some competition amongst themselves) used the same recipe of maintaining control from outside: give power to a minority group which will forever be dependent on outside military support. Thus Shia Iraq is ruled by the Sunni Bath party of Saddam Hussein, whereas Sunni Syria, for example, is ruled by the Shia/Alevite Hafiz al-Assad etc. This dependency on Western protection would ensure their compliance with Western policy interested in securing the resources of the region. Without Western protection, those minority rulers would have fallen long ago. The West encouraged Kurdish insurgence, but did nothing to prevent the backlash. Whilst Iraq was still a trusted ally against Iran, Kurdish people were gassed with nerve agents supplied by Western "democracies". 
Iraq was indeed a highly developed nation, but has now become a country without even basic sewage systems. That Iraq still holds weapons of mass destruction seems a myth upheld to justify continuing aggression. Iraq's people are no longer in a position to put up any resistance be it to the outside world or internally. The problem is that Western democratic governments have always supported tyrannies in the rest of the world, because democratic governments would not as happily surrender their people's resources. Thus the CIA toppled the democratic government of Mossadek in Iran and installed the Shah, and their cries for democracy after Khomenei took power sound hollow. 
As does their outcry against the Taliban, whom they supported until recently against the Iranian-friendly Afghan government after the Russian withdrawal. Power politics is a dirty game. Without Western interference countries in the region would quite rapidly rid themselves of their tyrants and after some period of instability, perhaps, find their equilibrium. The model of governance they will choose is likely to draw on Islamic sources and not on the concepts of Western parliamentary democracy, but this is not the reason why existing powers don't want this to happen. The reason is that a self-governed nation is not likely going to be subservient to an outside usurper, a lesson learnt when the Iranian Mossadek government set out to nationalise their oil companies. This was the move that sealed their fate. 
As the late CIA operative Miles Copeland pointed out: Would we be fighting over Iraq and Kuwait if they only grew cabbages? Well no! 
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