A public relations firm sold us the Persian Gulf War.
Here’s how it happened.
By the 1990s, Iraq and Kuwait had been involved in a conflict over the oil fields in Kuwait, which Saddam Hussein accused the Kuwaiti of stealing from Iraq.
On October 10, 1990, a 15-year old Kuwaiti girl who went by the name Nayirah, testified before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus.
Her emotional eye-witness testimony involved copious tears and horrific narrations of atrocities committed by the Iraqi army. The most memorable of them being the Iraqis storming Kuwaiti hospitals, tearing more than 300 babies from incubators and leaving them out to die.
Her moving testimony stirred the hearts of people worldwide. It was initially corroborated by Amnesty International and by various Kuwaiti nurses and doctors. The incubator story was cited by numerous US politicians as the reason for America’s intervention in the Gulf War.
A conspiracy theory had started doing the rounds, though. That Tom Lantos, the head of the Congressional Human Rights Foundation, who had made no secret of his support for US involvement in the Gulf conflict, was behind Nayirah’s moving testimony.
A New York Times journalist, John MacArthur, decided to investigate Nayirah and in 1992, he revealed some shocking facts.
“Nayirah” was Nayirah al-Sabah, daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US, Saud bin Nasir al-Sabah. She had been paid by the CIA for her false testimony. They had also had her take acting classes to ensure that her performance would be moving enough.
As the can of worms opened further, it was also revealed that a US public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton, had been hired by Kuwaitis who were backing the “Citizens for a Free Kuwait” campaign to raise awareness in the US about the dangers Iraq posed to Kuwait.
Hill & Knowlton spent $1 million to carry out studies to discover a way to create maximum impact among US citizens. The incubator story was discovered to be the most effective method in doing so.
The rest, as they say, is history.
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