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On the origins of the 'Gulf War'


The two articles republished here were written in 1991. The Jordanian article was written while the 'war' was in progress, and Hugh Roberts' article was written soon after it ended, if it can be said to have ended. Both argue that, even after the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the dispute which gave rise to it could have been settled by diplomatic means, through the offices of the Arab League; but that this possibility was, deliberately and purposefully, sabotaged by the United States.

The term 'Gulf War' is put in inverted commas on the cover, partly because the term 'war' does not seem appropriate for a confrontation in which tens of thousands are killed on one side and a couple of hundred on the other; but also because the use of the term 'the Gulf War' rather obscures the seriousness of the Iran/Iraq war, which was also fought in the Gulf, and certainly deserves to be called a war, longer and more terrible than the 1939-45 war was for us. In this particular 'Gulf War', Iraq, at enormous cost to its own population and economy, broke the impetus of the Iranian revolution. In so doing, Saddam Hussein undoubtedly believed that he had performed a huge service both for the West and for the other countries in the region, and that he deserved at the very least help in reconstructing the Iraqi economy, not a deliberate, concerted effort to undermine it still further. The interview with the US Ambassador April Glaspie shows that the US government was, or appeared to be, sympathetic to this view at the time.


How America Destroyed the Peace, by Hugh Roberts

Why Jordan refused to join the war on Iraq, by Crown Prince Hassan

Interview between Saddam Hussein and April Glaspie, US Ambassador to Iraq, July 25th 1990.