Nayirah testimony(Redirected from Nayirah (testimony))
The Nayirah testimony was a false testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by a 15-year-old girl who provided only 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 back 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 an 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 emotional testimony, Nayirah stated 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.
Her story was initially corroborated by Amnesty International and testimony from evacuees. Following the liberation of Kuwait, reporters were given access to the country. An ABC report found that "patients, including premature babies, did die, when many of Kuwait's nurses and doctors... fled" but Iraqi troops "almost certainly had not stolen hospital incubators and left hundreds of Kuwaiti babies to die." Amnesty International reacted by issuing a correction, with executive director John Healey subsequently accusing the Bush administration of "opportunistic manipulation of the international human rights movement".
|Iraqis are beating people, bombing and shooting. They are taking all hospital equipment, babies out of incubators. Life-support systems are turned off.. . . They are even removing traffic lights. The Iraqis are beating Kuwaitis, torturing them, knifing them, beating them, cutting their ears off if they are caught resisting or are with the Kuwaiti army or police.|
|— Evacuee's description as reported in St. Louis Post-Dispatch|
Following the Iraqi invasion and occupation of Kuwait, there were reports of widespread looting. On September 2, 1990, in a letter to the UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Kuwait's UN representative, Mohammad A. Abulhasan, wrote:
Further to those of our communications which are intended to inform you of the actions perpetrated by the Iraqi occupation authorities in Kuwait in contravention of all international laws, and on the basis of confirmed information provided to us by the Government of Kuwait, we wish to draw attention to a phenomenon which has no precedent in history, namely, the Iraqi occupation authorities' organized operation for the purpose of looting and plundering Kuwait. It is impossible to compare this operation to any similar incidents or to provide an exact account thereof because it is in effect an operation designed to achieve nothing less than the complete removal of Kuwait's assets, including property belonging to the State, to public and private institutions and to individuals, as well as the contents of houses, factories, stores, hospitals, academic institutes, schools, and universities...What has occurred in Kuwait is the perpetration of an act of armed robbery by a State which has used its military, security and technical organs for that purpose.
In the letter, Abulhasan also noted that "theft of all equipment from private and public hospitals, including X-ray machines, scanners and pieces of laboratory equipment." The allegations of looting were also retold by evacuees who described "soldiers looting office buildings, schools and hospitals for air conditioners, computers, blackboards, desks, and even infant incubators and radiation equipment."  Douglas Hurd, the British Secretary for foreign affairs surmised that "they are looting and destroying in a way which suggests that they may not expect to be there for very long."
The looting of incubators attracted media attention because of allegations that premature babies were being discarded or dying as a result. On September 5, Abdul Wahab Al-Fowzan, the Kuwaiti health minister-in-exile, stated at a press conference in Taif, Saudi Arabia "that Iraqi soldiers had seized virtually all of the country's hospitals and medical institutions after their invasion" and that "soldiers evicted patients and systematically looted the hospitals of high-tech equipment, ambulances, drugs and plasma" which resulted in the death of 22 premature babies. The Washington Post described the origin of the Kuwaiti baby story as follows:
The Kuwaiti baby story originated with a letter from a senior Kuwaiti public health official that was smuggled out of the country by a European diplomat late last month, according to Hudah Bahar, an architect who received the letter here in London. It was supplemented by information gathered from fleeing Kuwaitis and other sources by Fawzia Sayegh, a Kuwaiti pediatrician living here.
The letter claimed that Iraqi soldiers ordered patients evicted from several hospitals and closed down critical units for treating cancer patients, dialysis patients and those suffering from diabetes. Bahar and Sayegh said the Iraqis hauled sophisticated equipment such as dialysis machines back to Baghdad, part of the haul of cash, gold, cars and jewelry that is said by Arab banking sources to exceed $2 billion. Among the equipment taken were the 22 infant incubator units, they said.
The Washington Post also noted that it was unable to verify the accusations as Iraq did not permit access to the area and had quarantined diplomats.
On September 5, in another letter to the UN Secretary General, Abulhasan reiterated Fowzan's claims writing:
We are informed by impeccable sources in Kuwait's health institutions that the Iraqi occupation authorities have carried out the following brutal crimes, which may be described as crimes against humanity: ... 2. The incubators in maternity hospitals used for children suffering from retarded growth (premature children) have been removed, causing the death of all the children who were under treatment.
The letter did not state how many babies had died. The allegations in the letter received widespread media coverage in the following days. That day, in an interview with released hostages on NPR's All Things Considered, a hostage stated that Iraqi troops were "hitting children with the butts of the guns, taking infants out of incubators and taking the incubators." Reuters also reported they had been told "that Iraqi troops took premature babies out of incubators in Kuwait in order to steal the equipment."
On September 9, NPR reported that "in a ward for premature infants, soldiers had turned off the oxygen on incubators and packed the equipment for shipment to Iraq."
On September 17, Edward Gnehm Jr., the U.S. ambassador-designate to Kuwait, told reporters that Kuwaiti health officials told him 22 babies had died when Iraqi troops had stolen their incubators. The Los Angeles Times reported that "refugees reported that incubators for premature babies were confiscated by Iraqi troops and the babies inside were piled on the floor and left to die." The San Jose Mercury News also reported the same allegation that day, adding that Western diplomats thought "this is the kind of thing that some people call genocide, and if people wanted to construe it as such, it could be cause for some kind of military intervention."
On September 25, The Washington Post reported that "Kuwait City's hospitals are being stripped of incubators." The president of Citizens for a Free Kuwait wrote to Representative Gus Yatron stating of how he "recently learned that the Iraqi leader has ordered that maternity hospital incubators [in Kuwait], used for treating premature babies, be turned off, allowing these infants to die of exposure."
On September 29, in a meeting between Kuwaiti leader Sheik Jabbar al Ahmed al Sabah and President George H. W. Bush, the exiled emir told the president that Iraqis were "going into hospitals, taking babies out of incubators and people off life-support machines to send the equipment back to Iraq." In his remarks following the discussion, Bush stated that "Iraqi aggression has ransacked and pillaged a once peaceful and secure country, its population assaulted, incarcerated, intimidated, and even murdered" and that "Iraq's leaders are trying to wipe an internationally recognized sovereign state, a member of the Arab League and the United Nations, off the face of the map."
On September 28, Kuwait's planning minister, Sulaiman Mutawa reported that 12 babies had died as a result of incubator looting.
On September 30, U.S. News & World Report reported that it had obtained secret US government cables based on eyewitness accounts that revealed "shocking acts of brutality inflicted by the Iraqis against innocent citizens at Kuwaiti hospitals." The cables stated that on the sixth day of Iraqi invasion, Iraqi soldiers "entered the Adan Hospital in Fahaheel looking for hospital equipment to steal" and that "they unplugged the oxygen to the incubators supporting 22 premature babies and made off with the incubators" thus killing the 22 children.
On October 9, at a Presidential news conference, Bush stated:
I thought General Scowcroft [Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs] put it very well after the Amir left here. And I am very much concerned, not just about the physical dismantling but of the brutality that has now been written on by Amnesty International confirming some of the tales told us by the Amir of brutality. It's just unbelievable, some of the things at least he reflected. I mean, people on a dialysis machine cut off, the machine sent to Baghdad; babies in incubators heaved out of the incubators and the incubators themselves sent to Baghdad. Now, I don't know how many of these tales can be authenticated, but I do know that when the Amir was here he was speaking from the heart. And after that came Amnesty International, who were debriefing many of the people at the border. And it's sickening.
|As far as the East is from the West, that's how far most U.S. advertisers want to be removed from any hint of capitalizing on the Iraqi conflict.|
|— Advertisers steer clear of Mideast,St. Petersburg Times |
Initially, most advertisers were ignoring the Middle East crisis in their ads. It was noted that companies selling information, such as news organizations, were running advertisements for their coverage of the conflict.
Citizens for a Free KuwaitEdit
The Citizens for a Free Kuwait was a public relations committee set up by the Kuwaiti embassy, described by The Times News as a "Washington, D.C.- based committee comprised of concerned Kuwaitis and Americans". Though the committee occupied embassy office space, they were to be working independently of the embassy.
Hill & KnowltonEdit
In 1990, after being approached by a Kuwaiti expatriate in New York, Hill & Knowlton took on "Citizens for a Free Kuwait." The objective of the national campaign was to raise awareness in the United States about the dangers posed by Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein to Kuwait.
Hill & Knowlton conducted a $1 million study to determine the best way to win support for strong action. H & K had the Wirthington Group conduct focus groups to determine the best strategy that would influence public opinion. The study found that an emphasis on atrocities, particularly the incubator story, was the most effective.
Hill & Knowlton is estimated to have been given as much as $12 million by the Kuwaitis for their public relations campaign.
Congressional Human Rights FoundationEdit
The Congressional Human Rights Foundation is a non-governmental organization that investigates human rights abuse. It was headed by Democratic U.S. Representative Tom Lantos and Republican Representative John Porter and rented space in Hill & Knowlton's Washington headquarters at a $3000 reduced rate.
On October 10, 1990, Nayirah was the last to testify at the Caucus. In her oral testimony, which lasted 4 minutes, she stated:
I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital with twelve other women who wanted to help as well. I was the youngest volunteer. The other women were from twenty to thirty years old. While I was there I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the children to die on the cold floor. [crying] It was horrifying.
Although Nayirah did not specify how many babies were in the incubators in her oral testimony, in the written testimony distributed by Hill and Knowlton, it read "While I was there I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where 15 babies were in incubators." The testimony was not given under oath.
Representative John Porter, co-chairman of the caucus, remarked that in his eight years of service on the caucus, he had never heard such "brutality and inhumanity and sadism." Nayirah's testimony was described as the most dramatic.
Hill & KnowltonEdit
It is unclear how much of Nayirah's testimony was coached. Though the firm was supposed to provide only stylistic help, it was reported that H&K "provided witnesses, wrote testimony, and coached the witnesses for effectiveness."
Nayirah's testimony was widely publicized. Hill & Knowlton, which had filmed the hearing, sent out a video news release to Medialink, a firm which served about 700 television stations in the United States.
That night, portions of the testimony aired on ABC's Nightline and NBC Nightly News reaching an estimated audience between 35 and 53 million Americans. Seven senators cited Nayirah's testimony in their speeches backing the use of force.[Note 1] President George Bush repeated the story at least ten times in the following weeks. Her account of the atrocities helped to stir American opinion in favor of participation in the Gulf War.
On January 13, 1991, the Sunday Times reported that a Dr. Ali Al-Huwail could vouch for 92 deaths.
Iraq denied the allegations. On October 16, Iraqi information minister, Latif Nassif al-Jassem, told the Iraqi News Agency that "now you [Bush] are using what he [Sheikh Jaber] told you to make Congress ratify the budget which is in the red because of your policies" adding that "you, as the president of a superpower, have to weigh words carefully and not act as a clown who repeats what he is told."
In a visit to Kuwait on October 21, 1990, by journalists who were escorted by Iraqi information ministry officials, doctors at a Kuwaiti maternity facility denied the incubator allegations. In the visit, the Iraqi head of the Kuwaiti health department, Abdul-Rahman Mohammad al-Ugeily, said that "Baghdad had sent 1,000 doctors and other medical to staff to help run Kuwait's 14 hospitals and health centres following the invasion."
|A little reportorial investigation would have done a great service to the democratic process.|
|— John MacArthur|
On March 15, 1991, John Martin, an ABC reporter, reported that "patients, including premature babies, did die, when many of Kuwait's nurses and doctors stopped working or fled the country" and discovered that Iraqi troops "almost certainly had not stolen hospital incubators and left hundreds of Kuwaiti babies to die."
On January 6, 1992, The New York Times published an op-ed piece by John MacArthur entitled "Remember Nayirah, Witness for Kuwait?" MacArthur discovered that Nayirah was the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the U.S., Saud Nasir al-Sabah. MacArthur noted that "the incubator story seriously distorted the American debate about whether to support military action" and questioned whether "their [Representatives Lantos and Porter] special relationship with Hill and Knowlton should prompt a Congressional investigation to find out if their actions merely constituted an obvious conflict of interest or, worse, if they knew who the tearful Nayirah really was in October 1990." The story earned MacArthur the Monthly Journalism Award from The Washington Monthly in April 1992, and the Mencken Award in 1993.
Hill and KnowltonEdit
|We disseminated information in a void as a basis for Americans to form opinions.|
|— Frank Mankiewicz, Vice Chairman, Hill & Knowlton|
On January 15, 1992, the CEO of Hill & Knowlton, Thomas E. Eidson, responded to the concerns raised by MacArthur in a letter to the editor to The New York Times. Eidson stated that "at no time has this firm collaborated with anyone to produce knowingly deceptive testimony" asserting that the firm "had no reason to question her veracity when she testified following her escape from Kuwait." The letter explained that Nayirah's charge that Iraqi soldiers removed newborn babies from incubators was corroborated by Dr. Ibraheem Behbehani, head of the Red Crescent, before the United Nations Security Council and that the media was not permitted back inside Kuwait "until after the liberation, there was no way to check immediately on the stories of refugees." Eidson concluded that "Nayirah's credibility should no more be questioned than if she had been a doctor or teacher" and the company's work with the Kuwaitis was consistent with firm's standards stating that "the public interest was fairly served."
Critics contended that the Hill & Knowlton had concocted a fake popular movement, Citizens for a Free Kuwait, and subsequently used questionable evidence and suspect witnesses to influence public opinion and policy in the United States and the UN.
Hill & Knowlton's actions taken on behalf of Citizens for a Free Kuwait, together with those of other major clients including Bank of Credit and Commerce International, the Church of Scientology, and an anti-abortion campaign by Catholic bishops raised ethical concerns among public relations professionals. The concerns, though not new, were more vigorous than previous ones due to the prominence of the issues.
|Hold on to your hats. The grand campaign to rewrite the history of the Persian Gulf war is on.|
|— Tom Lantos' response to MacArthur|
In an interview, Lantos stated that he had concealed Nayirah's identity at the request of her father in order to protect her family and friends. Lantos denied any allegations of wrongdoing arguing that "The media happened to focus on her. If she hadn't testified, they would have focused on something else." Lantos also stated that:
The notion that any of the witnesses brought to the caucus through the Kuwaiti Embassy would not be credible did not cross my mind. I have no basis for assuming that her story is not true, but the point goes beyond that. If one hypothesizes that the woman's story is fictitious from A to Z, that in no way diminishes the avalanche of human rights violations.
In a letter to the editor to The New York Times on Jan 27, 1992, entitled "Kuwaiti Gave Consistent Account of Atrocities", Tom Lantos responded to MacArthur's allegations. He wrote that "Mr. MacArthur's deceptive article serves only the cynics who seek to rewrite the history of the Persian Gulf war" noting "the article's sinister innuendo suggests that the girl was not even in Kuwait at the time of the Iraqi invasion, and that the whole gruesome incident was a diabolical plot by an American public relations firm."  Lantos wrote that "the fact that Nayirah was the daughter of the Ambassador of Kuwait made her a more credible witness" and that "her relationship to the Ambassador and Government enhanced her credibility." He also noted that "her account was consistent with the information we received from other witnesses, with hundreds of other atrocity stories from Kuwait carried by media around the globe, and consistent with reports by independent human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International, who also testified at our hearing and subsequently published accounts similar to Nayirah's." Lantos concluded that "given the countless cases of verified Iraqi human rights violations", it was "unnecessary and counterproductive to invent atrocities."
Lantos also rejected the allegations of a special relationship between the caucus and Hill & Knowlton stating that "caucus activities are held without regard to whether these countries are represented by any law firm or public relations firm."
In a subsequent letter to The New York Times, MacArthur pointed out that the testimony had been retracted.
The ambassador has stated that his daughter had witnessed the atrocities she described and that her presence in Kuwait could be verified by the United States Embassy in Kuwait. He also stated "If I wanted to lie, or if we wanted to lie, if we wanted to exaggerate, I wouldn't use my daughter to do so. I could easily buy other people to do it."
Human Rights WatchEdit
In 1992, the human rights organization Middle East Watch, a division of Human Rights Watch, published the results of their investigation of the incubator story. Its director, Andrew Whitley, told the press, "While it is true that the Iraqis targeted hospitals, there is no truth to the charge which was central to the war propaganda effort that they stole incubators and callously removed babies allowing them to die on the floor. The stories were manufactured from germs of truth by people outside the country who should have known better." One investigator, Aziz Abu-Hamad, interviewed doctors in the hospital where Nayirah claimed she witnessed Iraqi soldiers pull 15 infants from incubators and leave them to die. The Independent reported, "The doctors told him the maternity ward had 25 to 30 incubators. None was (were) taken by the Iraqis, and no babies were taken from them."
Amnesty International initially supported the story, but later issued a retraction. It stated that it "found no reliable evidence that Iraqi forces had caused the deaths of babies by removing them or ordering their removal from incubators."
Kuwaiti officials do not discuss the matter with the press. In order to respond to these charges, the Kuwaiti government hired Kroll Associates to undertake an independent investigation of the incubator story. The Kroll investigation lasted nine weeks and conducted over 250 interviews. The interviews with Nayirah revealed that her original testimony was wildly distorted at best; she told Kroll that she had actually only seen one baby outside its incubator for "no more than a moment." She also told Kroll that she was never a volunteer at the hospital and had in fact "only stopped by for a few minutes."
Hill & Knowlton spokesman Tom Ross describes the report as a "vindication of Hill and Knowlton" and that "it conclusively demonstrates that there were incubator atrocities and that Nayirah was a witness to them."
Lantos was criticized for his withholding the information.
|In fact, nearly everyone involved in peddling the tale of the unplugged babies, from Amnesty International to Kuwaiti doctors, has sprinted away from it.|
Following the end of the war, Reuters reported that Iraq returned "98 truckloads of medical equipment stolen from Kuwait, including two of the baby incubators". Abdul Rahim al-Zeid, an assistant under-secretary at the Kuwaiti Public Health Ministry, said that by returning the incubators the Iraqis had unwittingly provided proof that they took them. Kuwait's chief ambulance officer, Abdul Reda Abbas, stated that "We think the Iraqis might have returned the incubators by mistake."
Following the revelation of Nayirah's identity, there was a public outrage that the information had been withheld.
|In the end, the question was not whether H&K effectively altered public opinion, but whether the combined efforts of America's own government, foreign interests, and private PR and lobbying campaigns drowned out decent and rational, unemotional debate.|
|— The power house: Robert Keith Gray and the selling of access and influence in Washington|
The content, presentation, distribution, effectiveness, and purpose of Nayirah's testimony have been the subject of multiple public relations studies.
In his book, Strategic Maneuvering in Argumentative Discourse, Frans H. van Eemeren stating that "visual messages which accompany verbal argumentation can be so drastic that rational argumentation becomes almost impossible" described Nayirah's story as an argumentum ad misericordiam. In the paper The Hill & Knowlton Cases: A Brief on the Controversy by Susanne A. Roschwalb, the author noted that as H&K was a British firm, "what effect did British concerns -such as the possible collapse of its financial institutions, if the Kuwaiti currency, the dinar, became worthless -have on Hill & Knowlton’s efforts?" Ted Rowse, in his article Kuwaitgate — killing of Kuwaiti babies by Iraqi soldiers exaggerated in The Washington Monthly noted that "Most reporters, having apparently been burned by Hill & Knowlton's handiwork in spreading the original Nayirah story without checking it out, seem to prefer to let the story fade away, passively falling, once again, for the company's public relations guile." John R. MacArthur, who authored Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War has noted that "at the time, it was the most sophisticated and expensive PR campaign ever run in the U.S. by a foreign government."
- Regan, Tom. "When contemplating war, beware of babies in incubators". Retrieved October 31, 2013.
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- "U.S. Evacuates 171 From Iraq, Kuwait - Women Who Made It Out Recount Tales Of Terror". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. September 8, 1990. p. 1A.
Cindy of San Francisco, who declined to be identified further, said, Iraqis are beating people, bombing and shooting. They are taking all hospital equipment, babies out of incubators. Life-support systems are turned off.. . . They are even removing traffic lights. "The Iraqis are beating Kuwaitis, torturing them, knifing them, beating them, cutting their ears off if they are caught resisting or are with the Kuwaiti army or police," she said.
- United Nations Security Council masthead document Letter Dated 2 September 1990 From The Permanent Representative Of Kuwait To The United Nations Addressed To The Secretary-General S/21694 September 3, 1990.
- Leff, Lisa (September 11, 1990). "Weary, wary evacuees bring tales of horror". The Washington Post.
The evacuees told of soldiers looting office buildings, schools and hospitals for air conditioners, computers, blackboards, desks, and even infant incubators and radiation equipment. They described food shortages that afflicted soldiers as well as civilians, and random acts of violence.
- Beeston, Nicholas (September 5, 1990). "A battle ground to test Saddam - Iraq invasion of Kuwait". The Times. London, England.
- Rendall, p. 24
- Frankel, Glenn (September 10, 1990). "Iraq, Kuwait Waging an Old-Fashioned War of Propaganda". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 15, 2011. (subscription required)
- United Nations Security Council masthead document Letter Dated 5 September 1990 From The Permanent Representative Of Kuwait To The United Nations Addressed To The Secretary-General S/21713 September 5, 1990.
- Walton, p 771
- "Kuwait says seizure of hospital equipment caused many deaths". Reuters News. September 6, 1992.
- "Iraq equipment removal killed patients - Kuwait". Reuters News. September 6, 1992.
- "Kuwaiti says Iraq plundered hospitals". Charlotte Observer. North Carolina. Associated Press. September 7, 1990. p. A16.
- "Official: Hospitalized in Kuwait are left to die". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. September 7, 1990. p. 12.
- "Persian Gulf crisis - More about the Mideast". Houston Chronicle. September 7, 1990. p. A18.
- "Kuwait Says Iraq Plundered Hospitals". The San Francisco Chronicle (Associated Press). September 7, 1990. p. A21.
- "Released Hostages Tell of Kuwait Terror". All Things Considered (Transcription of broadcast). NPR. September 7, 1990.
Total destruction everywhere, cars wrecked, burned, people thrown out of cars on the street you're driving down; they just throw people over the street. They're hitting children with the butts of the guns, taking infants out of incubators and taking the incubators.
- "Kuwait offers to help cover mideast costs - contributions should offset U.S. liability". Newport News. Virginia. September 8, 1990.
Cindy, who refused to give her last name, and another woman who identified herself only as Rudi, told the Reuters news agency that Iraqi troops took premature babies out of incubators in Kuwait in order to steal the equipment.
- Tamayo, Juan O. (September 8, 1990). "Iraqi hostage horror: `It smelled of death'". Austin American-Statesman. p. A1.
- "Weekend Edition Sunday (News)" (Transcription of broadcast). NPR. September 9, 1990.
`Time is running out,' said one, a pediatrician. She said in the last few days, the Iraqi troops had looted a local hospital. In a ward for premature infants, soldiers had turned off the oxygen on incubators, she said, and packed the equipment for shipment to Iraq. Dr. Fawzi al-Said said the report came to her by the hospital attendants, who had buried the dead infants.
- "Iraq tightens its grip on Kuwait". Dayton Daily News. Ohio. September 29, 1990. pp. 6A.
The U.S. ambassador-designate to Kuwait, Edward Gnehm Jr., told reporters Monday that Kuwaiti health officials told him 22 babies born prematurely died when Iraqi troops removed them from incubators they stole. Gnehm has been named to replace current ambassador Nathaniel Howell, who is holed up inside the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait.
- Murphy, Kim (September 17, 1990). "Kuwaitis bolt for border amid reports of atrocities". Los Angeles Times. p. 1A.
Western officials said that they are still investigating reports of atrocities in Kuwait and added that many appeared to be well-documented and supported by enough eyewitness accounts that they could be considered true. In one case, refugees reported that incubators for premature babies were confiscated by Iraqi troops and the babies inside were piled on the floor and left to die.
- "Air Cutoff of Iraq Gains U.N. Support Kuwaiti Refugees Spill Across Border". San Jose Mercury News. California. September 17, 1990. p. 1A.
In one case, refugees reported that incubators for premature babies were confiscated by Iraqi troops and the babies inside were piled on the floor and left to die. "This is the kind of thing that some people call genocide, and if people wanted to construe it as such, it could be cause for some kind of military intervention," said a Western diplomat in close contact with the Kuwaitis.
- Hoagland, Jim (September 25, 1990). "End Saddam's Reign of Terror". The Washington Post. p. a23.
But while dissidents have been making such arguments, Saddam's actions in Kuwait show that he is not interested in compromise or in leaving Kuwait -- on any terms. He has begun to depopulate Kuwait, as he once did with Kurdistan, and to send in Iraqis with phony new citizenship documents. Based on Saddam's bloodstained track record, it is almost certain that the young Kuwaiti men being grabbed at the border and elsewhere in Kuwait are being sent to Iraq to die. American refugees and others report that Kuwait City's hospitals are being stripped of incubators and any other supplies that can be sent to Baghdad, leaving babies and infirm patients to die.ld give sanctions and negotiations a chance so he can avoid the costs of attacking Iraq's occupation forces is not enough. That does not stay Saddam's ruthless hand.
- Hall, Lawrence. "Suffer the Children: Summit must herald a new era in lives of our endangered young". The Star Ledger. Newark, New Jersey.
The president of Citizens for a Free Kuwait recently wrote Rep. Gus Yatron (D-Pa.), decrying the brutality of this madman."Nothing points to the ruthlessness of Saddam Hussein more poignantly than his unmerciful misuse of the very young. His manipulation of political opponents through the abuse of their children is, sadly, a well documented fact. We recently learned that the Iraqi leader has ordered that maternity hospital incubators (in Kuwait), used for treating premature babies, be turned off, allowing these infants to die of exposure," he wrote.
- "Iraq plunders Kuwait, US warns war closer- The Gulf crisis". The Sun Herald. Sydney, Australia. September 30, 1990. p. 8.
The emir told Bush of Iraqis going into hospitals, taking babies out of incubators and people off life-support machines to send the equipment back to Iraq.
- Raum, Tom. "Iraqi provocation\Emir's tales of Iraqi atrocities in Kuwait may spur U.S. military response". Philadelphia Daily News. Associated Press.
- "Remarks Following Discussions With Amir Jabir al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah of Kuwait". September 28, 1990.
Iraqi aggression has ransacked and pillaged a once peaceful and secure country, its population assaulted, incarcerated, intimidated, and even murdered. Iraq's leaders are trying to wipe an internationally recognized sovereign state, a member of the Arab League and the United Nations, off the face of the map.
- Spiegelman, Arthur (September 28, 1990). "Its leaders in exile, Kuwait plans for the day of freedom". Reuters News.
He said that Iraqi troops were plundering his country, removing even the rides and merry-go-around from a children's amusement park. "They went into a hospital and took babies from incubators. Twelve babies died so they could send the incubators to Baghdad."
- Gergen, David (September 30, 1990). "The barbarities of Saddam Hussein - In Kuwait, 22 babies died when invaders stole their incubators". US News & World Report. p. A16.
Secret U.S. government cables, obtained by U.S. News & World Report, reveal shocking acts of brutality inflicted by the Iraqis against innocent citizens at Kuwaiti hospitals. The cables are based on eyewitness accounts from Kuwaiti doctors and others traumatized by what they have seen. Among their allegations: -- On the sixth day of their invasion, Iraqi soldiers reportedly entered the Adan Hospital in Fahaheel looking for hospital equipment to steal. They unplugged the oxygen to the incubators supporting 22 premature babies and made off with the incubators. All 22 children died.
- "The President's News Conference". The American Presidency Project. October 9, 1990.
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- Roschbwalb, p. 268
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- Andersen, p. 170
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