Saturday, February 06, 2010

History of Middle East Oil

I have found "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm" on YouTube. Watch it to understand the history of the relationship between the West and oil-producing Middle Eastern countries. Watch Part 2 to see American Ambassador April Glaspie (at 2:25) say at a press conference in 1990 that the US has no "defense or security commitments to Kuwait" - that was just six days before Saddam invaded Kuwait. Watch closely the expression on her face as she says this.

I wrote about "Hidden Wars of Desert Storm" in my post "The First American War Against Iraq".

Points of clarification about the documentary:

1) The Soviet Union was still in the process of collapsing when Saddam invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

2) Abdul Karim Qasim had already nationalized most of Iraq's oil fields by the time he was assassinated in 1963.

3) Abdul Karim Qasim was assassinated by Baathists in 1963, but the Baathists held power for only nine months. Ahmed Hassan al Bakr took over in the 1968 coup. Bakr appointed Saddam as VP and nationalized the remainder of Iraq's oil by 1972.

In 1963, the Baath Party successfully overthrew the government and took power which allowed Saddam to return to Iraq from exile. While home, he married his cousin, Sajida Tulfah. However, the Baath Party was overthrown after only nine months in power and Saddam was arrested in 1964 after another coup attempt. He spent 18 months in prison, where he was tortured, before he escaped in July 1966.

During the next two years Saddam became an important leader within the Baath Party. In July 1968, when the Baath Party again gained power, Saddam was made vice-president.