Journalist Barry Lando talks about the history of American hostilities in Iraq, beginning with Saddam Hussein’s invasion of the oil fields of Kuwait after Kuwait refused to forgive Saddam’s debts from his war against Iran. Lando explains that Saddam had been led to believe the United States wouldn’t intervene if he invaded. This was probably out of ignorance on the part of the American government, who didn’t expect him to move beyond the oil fields that bordered Iraq, but it’s also possible the Bush administration knew this would happen, and deliberately provoked a conflict anyway. Propaganda during the war insisted that Americans were engaging only in targeted bombings using sophisticated technology, when in reality almost all of the bombs were the regular kind, with all the collateral damage they incur. In fact, the military deliberately destroyed vital civilian infrastructure, which, combined with economic sanctions, caused the deaths of some 300-500 thousand children. This war also gave rise to Al-Qaeda, suggests Lando, and thus set us up for all of the current terror wars.

Discussed on the show:

Barry Lando is a journalist, author, and former 60 Minutes producer. He wrote Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. BushRead his blog here.

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