On November 5, Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging by a special tribunal, set up in Baghdad, on the charges of killing of 148 men and boys. Saddam Hussein failed to stop the killings, which he claimed took place after a purported assassination attempt against him on July 8, 1982. Saddam has also been held accountable for the torture and mass killings of Shias and Kurds during his rule.
During his ten years of tyrannical rule Saddam had problems within Iraq and with neighbours. He always claimed Kuwait as the 26th province of Iraq. Then in 1990s, he decided to take control of it.
A well-known investigative journalist Murray Waas had mentioned in his article “Who Lost Kuwait”, published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian on January 30, 1991, that five days before the invasion of Kuwait William H. Webster, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, briefed President Bush Sr that Saddam Hussein was likely to invade Kuwait and predicted that Saddam would probably seize only the Rumaila oil fields and the islands of Bubiyan and Warba, not the whole country.
One week prior to the invasion of Kuwait Saddam Hussein was assured by the then US Ambassador, April Glaspie that the US would not intervene in inter-Arab disputes and gave Saddam a go-head signal. Glaspie also assured Saddam that the United States was neutral in all Iraq-Kuwait border disputes and that she had direct instructions from the president to seek better relations with Iraq.
This pledge regarding the taking control of Kuwait made sense to Saddam because the US had eagerly courted his regime during that time and in the past, especially in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair.
At one stage when Representative Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) asked Assistant Secretary of State John Kelly if it would be correct to say that, if Iraq invaded Kuwait, the United States would not be obligated to commit its military forces in Kuwait's defence. Kelly replied, “That is correct”. These statements all sent consistent and accommodating messages to Saddam.
When Saddam took control of Kuwait through his military might, he found United States turned her back and stood-up with the other members of the UN Security Council asking him to withdraw from Kuwait immediately.
When he refused to leave Kuwait by the January 15, 1991 deadline - set by the United Nations - then President of US, Bush Sr, launched “Operation Desert Storm”.
Five weeks later, the non-stop bombing of Iraq was followed by a fully-fledged ground assault, employing hundreds of thousands of US-led ground troops. Exactly 100 hours after the ground war began Kuwait was freed from Iraqi forces.
After the war, Bush Sr collected the full cost of the war - $35 billion - from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Gulf states. US administration declared the recession, that the US was facing prior to the Gulf War, was lessened because of a $9-billion arms sale to Arab countries in the Gulf War.
During “Operation Desert Storm”, the US-led forces dropped more than 20,000 bombs and missiles on Iraq’s surface, killing hundreds of civilians and destroying homes and other civilian property. It is worth remembering that current US Vice President Dick Cheney, who was then the defence secretary of the Bush Sr administration, was the mastermind behind this Gulf War.
During the ten years of the Iraq-Iran war the US backed Saddam Hussein completely. The US sold more than $2 billion of sophisticated equipment to Iraq and Saddam was provided with mass killing weapons to deal with the rising Kurdish liberation movement.
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