The Coastal Post - June, 1998

Was Gulf War A Setup For Iraq?

By Karen Nakamura

Was the Gulf War a set-up by Reagan/Bush to sell weapons, win elections and extend the West's sphere of influence in the Middle East?

Some experts think so. And they think sanctions are just a part of Bush & Co. conning Saddam into the Gulf War. Why? Because Saddam Hussein won't play ball with the West. Instead, he cared to build his own army. But mostly because he refused to deliver up Iraq's oil and mineral rights. Because he won't play ball and fetch, he's been deemed "expendable." Saddam doesn't have to be right to have been wronged.

Ollie North shredded a lot of history. Even so, let's consider what Craig Hullet, Middle East expert and lawyer, found through the Freedom of Information Act.

A CIA transcript of October 29, 1985, described a meeting between Oliver North, Richard Secord and Albert Hakkim, in Frankfort, Germany, with a "second channel" from Iran.

Iran-Contra experts will recognize this trio. Not only did they sell weapons to Iran, they made an amazing promise: America would overthrow Saddam for Iran.

During the Iran/Iraq war ("The Way to Jerusalem is through Baghdad"), instead of military support, Kuwait and other Arab states gave money. In 1988, according to the London Economist, at the end of the war, James Baker visited Saddam. He said Iraq wouldn't get more credit from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or the West to pay their war debts unless Iraq gave up phosphate, sulfate, oil and other raw material rights as collateral and in perpetuity. Saddam was outraged and refused.

Kuwait began demanding payment of its "war loans." The Iraqis, unable and unwilling to repay, said the money was Kuwait's war contribution. Here Saddam had saved the Arabs. Now, he was supposed to foot the bill. Early in 1990, Kuwait glutted the oil market with Iraqi oil. Already low prices tumbled. Iraqi's shaky economy went belly-up.

Important is a dispute over Iraq and Kuwait's "floating border." Iraq never accepted Kuwait's claim to land abutting Iraq's lucrative Rumanian oil fields. During the Iran War, Kuwait sneaked in and grabbed the turf.

Less than six months after certain November '89 meetings in Kuwait, Kuwait started drilling sideways under the new border to collect its debt. This was the oil Kuwait used to flood the market.

Interestingly, Kuwait purchased its slanted drilling equipment from the Santa Fe Drilling Company. A large stockholder was Brent Scrowcroft, Bush's National Security Advisor.

Saddam demanded negotiations. The Kuwaitis insulted him. Kuwait would ignore Iraq's protests. "Let them try to occupy our territory. We're going to have the Americans come in."

Way before that, when James Baker told Saddam to turn over his oil rights or face the consequences, Secretary of State George Schultz got sanctions against Iraq for poisoning the Kurds in March, 1988. The photos shocked us into the Chemical Weapons Age. Even the Pentagon agreed there was no proof Iraq did the gassing. Both Iran and Iraq were using chemicals by then. Iran had cyanide. That's what killed the Kurds. Iraq did not. The Pentagon investigated. The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College said:

"Having looked at all the evidence available to us, we find it impossible to confirm the State Department's claim poison gas was used by Iraq in this incident."

The UN came to the same conclusion. Jordan decided much of the evidence was outright forgery.

The Institute concluded, "...Congress acted more on...emotionalism than factual information."

Consider this anecdote told by Mr. Hulet: A lawyer, he's a stickler for authenticity. After the Gulf War, Kuwaiti Foreign Minister al-Shabott, "...confronted Tariq Aziz [Iraqi's Foreign Minister]...jabbed his finger at [him] and said, 'You nasty rascal. You...invaded my country... It was totally unjustified... You people are going to pay...'

"Tariq Aziz...said, 'You...better be extremely careful what you public because we're in possession of documented proof of were holding in the foreign ministry of Kuwait with...Central Intelligence Agency officials working out a covert operation against Saddam Hussein in Iraq."

"...Foreign Minister Shabott...passed out. Fainted dead away..."

A little history to understand context: In mid-1989, when Gorbachev began dismantling the Soviet Army, the military/industrial complex was not amused. Top-level meetings were held to find ways to retain military relevancy and funding. The decision was to re-tool for small wars in unstable countries and create a military "shield" to protect access to raw materials for a new "Northern Industrial Alliance."

By November 14, 1989 (watch this date), a decision had been made to pursue a clandestine operation against Saddam. That was the same week Communism crumpled. The Berlin Wall fell November 9; Czechoslovakia, November 17.

A January, 1990, military document, entitled "Global Reach, Global Power," designated the Iraq/Kuwait border dispute an example of how to demonstrate the need for massive U.S. military development.

That same month, at an Iraq Arms Fair, the world's death merchants complained bitterly about plunging profits.

April 19, 1990, Bush convened the Western Powers. A White Paper stated that as the Soviet Union was no longer a player in the Middle East, the West should move in to fill the vacuum. The region could "stabilize" by eliminating military powers in Iraq, Iran and Syria.

The same month, Senator Bob Dole and other Congressional leaders visited Iraq and presented an ultimatum: disarm and play fetch or face the consequences. Saddam refused. Not until Israel did the same. Saddam had tripped the trap.

Which gets us to Tariq Aziz and the documents found by the Iraqis. A memo dated November 14, 1989, and prepared by the Kuwait Security Minister, outlined meetings with the CIA. It stated Kuwait entered into an agreement with the CIA to apply pressure on Iraq to create a confrontation to be used as a reason for toppling Saddam.

Recently, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it considers Iraq free of nuclear weapons. The military/industrial complex is not amused. Saddam still won't play ball and fetch. Aid isn't getting to the needy. Hundreds of kids still die every day.

In April, AmeriCare shipped a planeload of medical supplies. The International Action Center, founded by Ramsey Clark, sent another planeload in May with more on the way. Through the goodness of supply companies, $1 buys about $100 in medicine. Make your check as stated to be tax deductible.

People's Rights Fund/Medical Aid c/o International Action Center, 2489 Mission St. #28, San Francisco 94110. Internet: [email protected] Call Richard or Ron at (415) 821-7575; fax (415) 821-5782.

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