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U.S. Role in Saddam's Invasion of Kuwait [VIDEO]

By Barry Lando
Posted on January 30, 2007, Printed on February 2, 2007

PEEK contributor Barry Lando appeared on the Colbert Report to discuss his new book, "Web of Deceit," last night. The video of his appearance will be available directly...

It was Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 that set the stage for the horrific years of death and destruction that continue to this day. Here again, cynical, feckless U.S. leaders and policy played a key role. A video excerpt follows, but read this background first:

When the war with Iran ended, Saddam's economy had been ravaged. But Kuwait immediately increased its oil production, which sent world petroleum prices tumbling. It was a terrible blow to Saddam, who had been counting on oil revenues to rebuild his economy. He attempted to convince the Kuwaitis to change their policies. He also asked them to forgive some of the huge debts he had run up in the war against Iran arguing-not so unreasonably--that by battling Khomeini, Iraq had defended the interests of the oil sheikdoms of the Gulf. The Kuwaitis refused to back down.

Unable to understand why tiny Kuwait wouldn't budge, Saddam came to believe it was all part of a U.S. inspired plot to destroy him. Indeed, it later turned out that the CIA had been advising the Kuwaitis to use their oil production policies to keep pressure on Saddam,

In addition, without any formal authorization from the U.S. Congress, American officials, such as General Norman Schwartzkopf, secretly assured the Kuwaitis that, if Saddam ever attacked, the U.S. would come to their rescue.

But even as the Americans made such declarations to the Kuwaitis, they issued no warnings to Saddam Hussein. It was a recipe for disaster-As shown in this excerpt from a documentary for France's Canal +, that I reported,with journalist Michel Despratx… With the invasion, Saddam's relationship with the West was transformed. It is recounted at length in my new book, "Web of Deceit.

Any one interested in distributing this documentary, should contact the Capa Agency in Paris.

Barry Lando, a former 60 Minutes producer, is the author of "Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush." He also blogs at

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