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Truth About War in Iraq

Thanks to the failure of the "mainstream media" to report the facts, most Americans still don't know the truth about the behind-the-scenes intrigue by the Bush administration that helped prompt Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to invade neighboring Kuwait in August 1990.

The American media spent months demonizing Saddam in the six months leading up to the much-touted "Operation Desert Storm" launched by President George Bush against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. But the media never told Americans how the then-U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, had actually given Saddam the Bush administration's effective blessing for an assault on Kuwait. It remains the biggest secret about the war that remains largely un known to this day.

The facts surrounding this international scandal were first publicly outlined by SPOTLIGHT diplomatic correspondent Andrew St. George when he spoke on Sept. 3, 1990, before a gathering of the Board of Policy of Liberty Lobby, the populist Institution that publishes The SPOTLIGHT.

St. George, a veteran international journalist, was addressing a forum on the topic of how the media suppresses major news stories of vital interest.

The SPOTLIGHT reported the basic facts about St. George's discoveries (gleaned from diplomatic sources at the United Nations) in a front page story entitled "Saddam was Bush-wacked on Invasion: Got green light for Kuwait grab" on Oct. 8, 1990. The SPOTLIGHT story reported:

The State Department has not challenged a transcript released by Iraq of a conversation between Glaspie and Saddam on July 25 in which she is said to have told the Iraqi leader that President George Bush desired better relations between the two countries and that the United States had no position concerning Iraq's border dispute with Kuwait.

Congressional testimony delivered by Assistant Secretary of State John Kelly on July 31, 1990, just two days before the Iraqi invasion gave further encouragement to the Iraqi leader. When asked by Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) if the United States would come to Kuwait's defense if it were attacked, Kelly replied: "We have no defense treaty relationship with any [Persian] Gulf country."

Secretary of State James Baker refused to be drawn into an argument over whether Glaspie's statements were appropriate. Baker said he would not deny the tolerant and friendly preinvasion U.S. policy toward Iraq.

The Bush administration -- backed up by well-paid propagandists for the ruling family of Kuwait and buoyed by the Israeli lobby which enthusiastically supported the war against Saddam -- did all in its power to suppress The SPOT LIGHT's eye-opening story, which cast a different light on the president's suggestion that Saddam was "another Hitler."

However, The SPOTLIGHT's story was cited by the prestigious Project Censored (based at Sonoma State University in California), as being number one among the "top 10" vitally important news stories of 1990 that were, in the words of Project Censored, either "overlooked or underreported by the national news media."

On Feb. 25, 1991, a Public Broad cast ing Service (PBS) special, Moyers -- Project Censored, hosted by Bill Moyers, the well-known "mainstream" journalist and former White House press secretary under Lyndon Johnson, featured and cited The SPOTLIGHT's scoop on the Bush administration's secret policy which -- either by accident or by design (most likely the latter) -- set the stage for the war. Citing The SPOTLIGHT's accurate and fearless reportage, Project Censored said that:

Traditional press skepticism was the first casualty in the days immediately following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The media, concerned about appearing to be unpatriotic, fell into the unseemly role of Pentagon cheerleaders for the administration. Even the De fense Department spokesman, Pete Williams, admitted that "the reporting has been largely a re citation of what administration people have said."

Shortly after the national PBS broadcast, in its issue No. 14 for 1991 (April 8), The SPOTLIGHT reported that its scoop on the Gulf War had essentially been confirmed.

Although Glaspie had virtually disappeared from public view for months in the wake of her "green light" to the Iraqi leader, the administration trotted Glaspie before the Senate following the conclusion of the war in order to formally deny that she had given Saddam the go-ahead to launch the war.

The Iraqi government had released a transcription of Glaspie's conversation with the Iraqi leader, quoting Glaspie as saying: "We have no opinion on Arab-Arab disputes like your conflict on Kuwait."

Glaspie's own internal memo to the State Department, reporting on the meeting with Saddam, confirmed the accuracy of the Iraqi transcript, despite her later claim that the Iraqis had misleadingly "edited" it.

Appearing before the Senate Foreign Re lations Committee nearly seven months later, Glaspie formally dismissed the Iraqi version of her discussion as "disinformation" and a "fabrication."

Yet, even pro-Israel columnist William Safire was moved to comment, in writing, that Glaspie's explanation was, in his words, "a transparent lie."

In her testimony to the Senate, Glaspie revealed that she had actually had no contact with Saddam during the entire two-year period she served as ambassador to Iraq except for this one occasion just prior to his invasion of Kuwait. In fact, she said, the active and meaningful relationships between the U.S. and Iraq had been conducted through other channels.

What this meant, in actual terms, as The SPOTLIGHT pointed out, was that the Iraqi leader had, in fact, conducted his diplomacy through international business interests close to the Bush administration.

Notable among Saddam's "diplomatic" contacts was global banking czar David Rockefeller, who actually met with Saddam on at least three known occasions after Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank had become the lead banker for Iraq in extending credits to the financially troubled regime.

Although Saddam had wanted U.S. assistance in the form of short-term loans, the United States refused, forcing Saddam into the unwanted position of being forced to turn to private money lenders in order to resolve his nation's financial crisis.

Thus, when Saddam had found himself entangled with the international banking interests (against his own better judgment), the Iraqi leader believed that he had done essentially as the Bush administration wanted and that his move against Kuwait would not be dealt with in the manner it was.

During the months leading up to the Gulf War, The SPOTLIGHT brought its readers factual news and information that was reported in no other media. On Aug. 30, 1993, The SPOTLIGHT reported the explosive allegation that the Kuwaiti royal family arranged for massive bribes for Bush, his family and close associates in the United States and around the globe for marshaling the alliance against Saddam during the conflict. On March 28, 1994 -- and in subsequent issues -- The SPOTLIGHT brought further reports about this Bush-league scandal.

The SPOTLIGHT warned the war was not in U.S. interests and would set the stage for further needless U.S. intervention abroad. In fact, it was in the lead-up to the war that Bush publicly mouthed the phrase "new world order" as a justification for the action against Iraq, describing a policy of meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations as the means by which a global government in waiting could be brought into being.