U.S. Role in Saddam's Invasion of Kuwait [VIDEO]

PEEK contributor Barry Lando appeared on the Colbert Report to discuss his new book, "Web of Deceit," last night. The video of his appearance will be available directly...

It was Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 that set the stage for the horrific years of death and destruction that continue to this day. Here again, cynical, feckless U.S. leaders and policy played a key role. A video excerpt follows, but read this background first:

When the war with Iran ended, Saddam's economy had been ravaged. But Kuwait immediately increased its oil production, which sent world petroleum prices tumbling. It was a terrible blow to Saddam, who had been counting on oil revenues to rebuild his economy. He attempted to convince the Kuwaitis to change their policies. He also asked them to forgive some of the huge debts he had run up in the war against Iran arguing-not so unreasonably--that by battling Khomeini, Iraq had defended the interests of the oil sheikdoms of the Gulf. The Kuwaitis refused to back down.

Unable to understand why tiny Kuwait wouldn't budge, Saddam came to believe it was all part of a U.S. inspired plot to destroy him. Indeed, it later turned out that the CIA had been advising the Kuwaitis to use their oil production policies to keep pressure on Saddam,

In addition, without any formal authorization from the U.S. Congress, American officials, such as General Norman Schwartzkopf, secretly assured the Kuwaitis that, if Saddam ever attacked, the U.S. would come to their rescue.

But even as the Americans made such declarations to the Kuwaitis, they issued no warnings to Saddam Hussein. It was a recipe for disaster-As shown in this excerpt from a documentary for France's Canal +, that I reported,with journalist Michel Despratx… With the invasion, Saddam's relationship with the West was transformed. It is recounted at length in my new book, "Web of Deceit.

Any one interested in distributing this documentary, should contact the Capa Agency in Paris.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.