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January 26, 2008

What Saddam Learned From George H.W. Bush

Why did Saddam decide to invade Kuwait in 1990? George Piro, the FBI agent who interrogated him for seven months, explains in a new interview:

In the course of several face-to-face discussions, Piro said Hussein also told him that the incident that finally led him to decide to invade Kuwait in 1990 was a personal insult by the emir there.

"What really triggered it for him, according to Saddam, was he had sent his foreign minister to Kuwait to meet with the emir al-Sabah . . . to try to resolve some of these issues. And the emir told the foreign minister of Iraq that he would not stop doing what he was doing until he turned every Iraqi woman into a $10 prostitute. And that really sealed it for him, to invade Kuwait," Piro said in the interview.

Wow, what a preposterous justification for invading a much smaller country! I wonder where Saddam got the idea such nonsense was acceptable?

Here's George H.W. Bush speaking on December 20, 1989, seven months before the invasion of Kuwait, explaining why he'd just invaded Panama:

Last Friday, Noriega declared his military dictatorship to be in a state of war with the United States and publicly threatened the lives of Americans in Panama. The very next day, forces under his command... brutally beat a third American serviceman; and then brutally interrogated his wife, threatening her with sexual abuse. That was enough.

Here's the Washington Times the next day:

More than anything else, it was a rape threat by Pananamian soldiers to a U.S. naval officer's wife that triggered President Bush's decision to oust "Maximum Leader" Manuel Antonio Noriega... She was "sexually harassed" and threatened with rape, the incident that administration officials called the last straw.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 26, 2008 09:23 AM

Muy macho!

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 26, 2008 12:12 PM

"Dissing my bitches wouldn't be prudent, at this time."

Posted by: Kip W at January 26, 2008 12:48 PM

Hey, at least those were real incidents. We didn't go into Panama and find out that that chick was actually safe and sound club-hopping in New York...did we?

The warmongering assholes of yesteryear were honest enough not to try to hide behind ten layers of bullshit when they wanted to pick up a small, weak country, shake it vigorously and throw it at the wall. (I'm curious: I was very young back then, did the sensible liberals hitch their cart to that particular "stop the uncouth barbarians from insulting our women" train? Or is it actually necessary to spoon feed them the bullshit first?)

Posted by: Svlad Jelly at January 26, 2008 01:39 PM

Svlad Jelly: Very young, I take it. ALL WARS START WITH TONS OF BULLSHIT, and always will.(BLIND AMBITION the cruelest strumpet of them all)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 26, 2008 05:27 PM

I can't remember how the mainstream liberals reacted to our glorious liberation of the Panamanian people from the ruthless druglord Noriega. I suspect that since it was over quickly they went along with the flagwaving, but can't remember and am too lazy to go look.

On the far left there was some discussion about whether the civilian death toll was in the low hundreds or the low thousands. I don't know that the question was ever resolved.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 26, 2008 05:50 PM

Just did some googling. Human Rights Watch thought the civilian death toll was in the low hundreds and they have some credibility, though I wouldn't say that was definitive.

Of course if the lower numbers are true, the operation is completely vindicated. No one could question the morality of killing 300 civilians in response to a sexual assault--I have often thought the police in our country take too namby-pamby a response when felonious assaults occur. Level a few neighborhoods or campuses and we'd probably see a lot less crime.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 26, 2008 06:00 PM

Donald Johnson: MY SON (oldest child) was on the third aircraft into Panama, (75th Ranger Regiment) and eventually one of the DISARMED TROOPS that guarded Noreiga as he was loaded on the plane for here. If I remember correctly, he saw civilian deaths on the way to Noreiga's castle as there was much fighting in the buildings on the road to the castle. He told me of fighting in the bathroom of a highrise going after a sniper. My guess is that there were a lot of civilian deaths, as the Rangers clear EVERYTHING when they go in anywhere.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 26, 2008 07:24 PM