Origins of First Iraq War
April Glaspie controversy
"Confrontation in the Gulf," New York Times, Sept. 23, 1990.
Rick Atkinson, "Crusade: The Untold History of the Gulf War," Mariner Books, 1994.
Frontline: Oral History of the Gulf War: Interview with Rick Atkinson," Frontline, PBS.
"April Glaspie Wikipedia Page"
Glaspie's appointment as U.S. ambassador to Iraq followed a period from 1980 to 1988 during which the United States had given covert support to Iraq during its war with Iran. Although the full extent of U.S. assistance to Iraq during the period remains unknown, it was purportedly substantial; the Soviet Union and France also supplied aid to Iraq.
It was in this context that Glaspie had her first meeting with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, on July 25, 1990. At least two transcripts of the meeting have been published. The State Department has not confirmed the accuracy of these transcripts, but Glaspie's cable has been released at the Bush Library and placed online by the Margaret Thatcher Foundation.
One version of the transcript has Glaspie saying: “ We can see that you have deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business, but when this happens in the context of your threats against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship — not confrontation — regarding your intentions: Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait's borders? ”
Later the transcript has Glaspie saying: "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America."
Another version of the transcript (the one published in The New York Times on 23 September 1990) has Glaspie saying: “ 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 '60s. 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 (Chedli Klibi, Secretary General of the Arab League) or via President Mubarak. All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly. ”
When these purported transcripts were made public, Glaspie was accused of having given tacit approval for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which took place on August 2, 1990. It was argued that Glaspie's statements that "We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts" and that "the Kuwait issue is not associated with America" were interpreted by Saddam as giving free rein to handle his disputes with Kuwait as he saw fit. It was also argued that Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait had he been given an explicit warning that such an invasion would be met with force by the United States. Journalist Edward Mortimer wrote in the New York Review of Books in November 1990: “ It seems far more likely that Saddam Hussein went ahead with the invasion because he believed the US would not react with anything more than verbal condemnation. That was an inference he could well have drawn from his meeting with US Ambassador April Glaspie on July 25, and from statements by State Department officials in Washington at the same time publicly disavowing any US security commitments to Kuwait but also from the success of both the Reagan and the Bush administrations in heading off attempts by the US Senate to impose sanctions on Iraq for previous breaches of international law. ”
In September 1990, a pair of British journalists confronted Glaspie with the transcript of her meeting with Saddam Hussein, to which she replied that "Obviously, I didn't think, and nobody else did, that the Iraqis were going to take all of Kuwait.".
Other External Links
- Neil Lewis, "New Jersey Concern is Tied to Iraq Arms Network," the New York Times, Feb. 15, 1993:
"The chairman of the House Banking Committee said today that a Paramus, N.J., company had served as part of the network that Saddam Hussein used in his efforts to build a nuclear arsenal. 'Representative Henry Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat, said the company, Express Resources, had served as the United States branch of Euromac, a European company that was identified in the 1980's in court and intelligence documents as a front for the Iraqi government. 'Euromac, which was based in London, was the target of an investigation by the United States Customs Service and British law enforcement authorities in 1988. The investigation led to the arrests and convictions of the company's top officers for trying to ship nuclear triggers to Iraq. Executive Denies Involvement..."
- Charles Blackhurst, "Chance and Friendship Led to Discovery of Iraqi Supergun," the Independent, Nov. 8, 1995.
- Elaine Sciolino, "Arming Iraq: The Ohio Connection," New York Times, July 28, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "U.S. Knew Firm Was Iraq's A Year Before It Closed," the Los Angeles Times, July 24 1992:
"In September of 1990, Customs Service agents padlocked the doors of an Iraqi front company in a Cleveland suburb and, in response to a presidential order, froze its $2 million in assets. Customs Commissioner Carol Hallett said the action against Matrix Churchill Corp. came after agents learned that Iraq, which had invaded Kuwait one month earlier, had bought the firm "for the specific purpose of illegally acquiring critical weapons technology." But, unknown to Customs officials, government intelligence agencies had been aware of Matrix Churchill's role in Baghdad's arms procurement network for more than a year and had warned Bush Administration policy-makers, according to newly obtained documents and sources interviewed by The Times. The Administration, however, allowed Matrix Churchill to continue operations, in keeping with President Bush's decision to try to influence Iraqi President Saddam Hussein through favorable policy on high-tech exports and economic incentives. Administration officials maintain that any military assistance to Iraq was an inadvertent consequence of the attempt to moderate Iraqi actions. They said that they were unaware of the extent of the network's operations in this country and that top officials were distracted by other foreign policy concerns. But Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Tex.), whose House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee has been investigating Matrix Churchill and the Administration's policies toward Iraq, said: "The Administration knew a great deal about Saddam Hussein's military procurement program and made a conscious decision to tolerate it, and in many cases facilitated the effort." As early as June, 1989, a top-secret U.S. intelligence report had identified Matrix Churchill's British parent company as a key component of the Iraqi network, according to a newly disclosed document. And two months later, Defense Department analysts discovered that the Cleveland operation had funneled tens of millions of dollars worth of U.S. technology to Iraq's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, according to sources. Recently declassified State Department documents show that after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Administration officials calculated that the Iraqi regime spent $10 billion to $20 billion acquiring nuclear weapons and missile technology in the 1980s. Most of the buying took place through a series of front companies and shadowy agents operating in Europe, but some occurred in the United States."
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Bush Had Long History of Support Iraq Aid," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 24, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "U.S.Loans Indirectly Financed Iraq Military," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 25, 1992.
- Norman Kempster and Murray Waas, "Bush Pround of Role in Secret Iraq Aid Policy," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 26, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Despite Ban, U.S. Arms Are Sold to Pakistan," Los Angeles Times, March 6, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "U.S. Knew Arms Sales Broke Law, Pell Charges," Los Angeles Times, March 7, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "U.S. Gave Intelligence Information to Iraq Three Months Before Invasion," Los Angeles Times, March 10, 1992.
- Anthony Lewis, "Abroad at Home: Who Fed This Ceasar?" New York Times, March 15, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Abuses in U.S. Aid to Iraqis Ignored: Bush Administration Pushed Trhough $1 Billion More in Assistance Despite Efforts of Kickbakcs and Evidence That Food May Have Been Traded for Arms," Los Angeles Times, March 22, 1992.
- Norman Kempster and Murray Waas, "U.S. Paying Off Bad Iraqi Loan," Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Saudi Arms Link to Iraq Allowed," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Italian Report Suggests U.S. Knew of Bank's Loans to Iraq," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1992.
- William Safire, "Bandarbush," New York Times, April 20, 1992.
- Dean Baquet, "Documents Charge Iraqis Made Swap: U.S. Food for Arms," New York Times, April 27, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Bush Tied to `86 Bid To Give Iraq Military Advice," Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas,"Bush Officials Defend Prewar Aid to Iraq," Los Angeles Times, May 22, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Officials Investigating Whether U.S. Loans Helped Iraq Buy Arms," Los Angeles Times, May 30, 1992.
- Elaine Sciolino, "U.S. Reports A Stronger Saddam Hussein," New York Times, June 16, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Testimony on Iraq Export List is Contradicted," Los Angeles Times, June 24, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Special Counsel Sought to Probe U.S. Aid to Iraq,"Los Angeles Times, July 10, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Iraq Got U.S. Technology After CIA Warned Baker," Los Angeles Times, July 22, 1992.
- Elaine Sciolino, "Arming Iraq: The Ohio Connection," New York Times, July 28, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "CIA Told White House of Iraqi Arms Exports," Los Angeles Times, August 6, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "Iraqi Used American-Built Plant to Develop A-Arms," Los Angeles Times, August 7, 1992:
"In the spring of 1989, a CIA officer approached the president of a small engineering firm in Alabama and quizzed him about a carbide-tool manufacturing facility the company was building at an Iraqi government installation southwest of Baghdad. In the fall of that year, a Customs Service agent and an Agriculture Department criminal investigator visited the firm, XYZ Options Inc. in Tuscaloosa, and posed a similar set of questions to its president, William H. Muscarella. "In both instances, I told the government what we were doing," said Muscarella. "I gave them blueprints and told them everything about the plant. They knew everything." By the fall of 1989, U.S. authorities suspected that Iraq intended to use the plant as part of its ambitious weapons program, according to newly obtained records. Yet, while the government blocked the export of a key piece of machinery, it apparently did nothing to discourage construction of the $14-million plant by withholding export licenses for other components, which were shipped to Iraq. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August, 1990, the plant was virtually complete and capable of turning out military goods as well as consumer products, according to Muscarella. After the Gulf War, the military use was confirmed. U.N. inspectors hunting for Iraqi weapons facilities discovered the carbide factory was part of Iraq's main nuclear-weapons complex. After determining that the factory had been used in the effort to develop a bomb, the inspectors blew up the plant, U.N. documents show...
The Times reported previously that U.S. intelligence agencies warned high-level Administration officials as early as June, 1989, that a company outside Cleveland named Matrix Churchill was a front in Iraq's worldwide arms-procurement network. However, the Administration rejected efforts to restrict sales of U.S. technology to Baghdad as late as May, 1990. The XYZ Options deal is a clear example of how the Iraqi network operated. Described as a commercial transaction, the arrangement was set up by Matrix Churchill and financed by the Atlanta branch of Italy's Banca Nazionale del Lavoro."
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Kuwait, Saudis Supnplied Iraq With U.S. Arms," Los Angeles Times, Sept. 12, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, "Justification of Iraq Aid Found Flawed in 1990," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 20, 1992.
- Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas, "U.S. Eased Way for Iraqi Supergun," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 1992.
- David Shaw, "Iraqgate-- A Case Study of a Big Story With Little Impact," Los Angeles Times, October 27, 1992.
- Anthony Lewis, "Trust," New York Times, October 28, 1992.
- Murray Waas and Douglas Frantz, http://articles.latimes.com/1992-11-29/news/mn-2980_1_gao-report "Jordan Gave Iraq Broad Military Assistance,"] Los Angeles Times, Nov. 9, 1992.
- Russ W. Baker "The Big One That Almost Got Away," the Columbia Journalism Review, March/April, 1993.
- Neil Lewis, "Bank Fraud Plea Forestalls Questions About Iraq Arms," New York Times, Sept. 23, 1993.
- Index of Articles, ""U.S. Military Aid to Iraq," Los Angeles Times, 1992-1994.
- Index of Articles, "U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Iraq," Los Angeles Times.