Remember the Fake Kuwaiti Babies ‘Thrown Out of Incubators’ Before Greenlighting World War III
So we’re told that Russia has fired missiles that hit U.S. ally Poland, and killed two civilians. Poland is invoking the NATO treaty that pledged us to its defense, and America is stumbling that much closer to a hot war with Russia. Before you join the bandwagon supporting such an apocalyptic risk, let me ask you to step back from the tidbits our media are feeding you. To think twice over whether what we’re being told is the whole truth, or the truth in any form at all.
[Shortly after this column appeared, the facts emerged about the missile that hit Poland: It was fired by Ukraine, not Russia. Is the U.S. threatening a NATO attack on Ukraine? Er, that would be a hard “no.” — The Editors.]
Consider that we just found that the Democrats were using a cryptocurrency company to funnel American aid to Ukraine into Democratic campaign coffers, to win the recent midterms. How convenient this war has turned out to be for Joe Biden and his party. Why would they even want a negotiated peace, when our own Pentagon has celebrated the conflict as a chance to create a murderous “quagmire” for Russia, which could sap its strength for a decade — at the price of destroying Ukraine, of course.
Falling in Love with War
I’ll never forget the moment when I fell in love with war. Not when I joined the U.S. Army infantry. Not even during my training for actual combat. Real soldiers will tell you the natural anxieties they face when they’re under live fire.
No, I started my brief, torrid affair with war in late 1990, when I watched a young woman on television. She was an icon of courage, of heroic witness, who spoke out against a horrific evil committed against the innocent. She came forth to report the monstrous deeds she’d seen with her own eyes, before the U.S. Congress.
She told the legislators and the world how Iraqi soldiers invading Kuwait on behalf of Saddam Hussein had stormed into a hospital there, and pulled premature infants out of their incubators, then tossed them on the floor. There wasn’t a dry eye in Congress, and votes against the U.S. involvement in the first Gulf War were few.
For my part, I wanted to go kill as many Iraqi soldiers as possible. I begged my commander to transfer me to a unit deploying to the Gulf so I could go do that. I wanted to avenge this unspeakable evil.
Monstrous, Warmongering Lies
And she was lying. Every word she spoke was crass propaganda, invented by PR professionals to manipulate Americans into launching a foreign war. Here’s how history remembers that testimony:
The Nayirah testimony was false testimony given before the United States Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990, by a 15-year-old girl who was publicly identified at the time by her first name, Nayirah. The testimony was widely publicized, and was cited numerous times by United States senators and President George H. W. Bush in their rationale to support Kuwait in the Gulf War.
In 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah’s last name was Al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيرة الصباح) and that she was the daughter of Saud Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Furthermore, it was revealed that her testimony was organized as part of the Citizens for a Free Kuwait public relations campaign, which was run by the American public relations firm Hill & Knowlton for the Kuwaiti government. Following this, al-Sabah’s testimony has come to be regarded as a classic example of modern atrocity propaganda.
In her testimony, Nayirah claimed that after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators in a Kuwaiti hospital, take the incubators, and leave the babies to die.
I Started Asking Questions
As the truth dribbled out about this unspeakably cynical exercise in duping the U.S. public, my affection for war began to fade. I started asking questions about other justifications offered for other American adventures. I read about how the Gulf of Tonkin incident was completely distorted by the Johnson administration, to sink the U.S. even deeper into war with Vietnam. How the CIA created pretexts for countless, futile or counterproductive covert actions by America, from Iran to Guatemala.
By 1999, I was protesting the U.S. bombing of Yugoslavia, and in 2003 I was one of the few conservatives (along with The Stream’s John Zmirak) who loudly opposed the second Gulf War — promoted like the first one on disinformation and propaganda.
It’s with this history in mind that I have called for a negotiated end to Russia’s war with Ukraine. My organization, the Vulnerable People Project, has raised crucial funds to house and resettle the victims of Putin’s invasion. I stand in solidarity with Ukrainians who want to see their nation sovereign and inviolate. But I cannot stand by as the U.S. rashly risks a hot, even nuclear war with Russia over a country that is not a U.S. ally. Not over a border dispute between two deeply corrupt nations, where abused minorities live on both sides of that border.
Is It Always October 1938? Or Could This Be August 1914?
There’s deeper and darker history we all need to remember. Warmongers left and right never get sick of invoking October 1938, when Neville Chamberlain abandoned his legal ally Czechoslovakia to Nazi occupation. Whatever is happening in the world, it’s always 1938, and every one of our enemies is literally Hitler.
But what if they have the date wrong? What if instead we’re reliving August 1914, when selfish politicians with cynical agendas played chicken and lost — causing the death of at least 20 million people, plus the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, the rise of the Nazis? That’s the kind of question John Zmirak and I asked in our book, The Race to Save Our Century. That war which was started by clueless, reckless leaders a lot like Joe Biden, quickly escalated into the most monstrous conflict yet in history. By 1915, a once peaceful London rang out with cries like this one:
Kill Germans! Kill them … . Not for the sake of killing, but to save the world … . Kill the good as well as the bad … . Kill the young men as well as the old … . Kill those who have shown kindness to our wounded as well as those fiends who crucified the Canadian sergeant … . I look upon it as a war for purity. I look upon everybody who dies in it as a martyr.
As Adam Hochschild reports, “The speaker was Arthur Winnington-Ingram, the Anglican bishop of London.”
Jason Jones is a senior contributor to The Stream. He is a film producer, author, activist and human rights worker.