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IRAQ: Saddam Hussein and April Glaspie

Miles Seeley says: "I was puzzled and angered in 1991, and still am, by Ambassador Glaspie's reported remarks to Saddam. I do not know if what she said was an instruction from Washington or her own idea. No Arabist I know, and no one who knew anything about the butcher and warmonger Saddam, would have spoken in that way. Whether intended or not, the remarks led Saddam to believe the US would not interfere if he attacked Kuwait, which he promptly did. It did not take "20/20 hindsight" to figure that out. Therefore, in my view it is not a canard, nor does it "border on libelous" to label her statements a terrible mistake. I understand Messrs Terzian's, and Simon's desire to defend a colleague and the Department of State, but that does not excuse the error".

Ronald Hilton - 2/18/03