Simons's contention that the primary purpose of the 1990-1991 Gulf War was not to expel the Iraqis from Kuwait but to protect U.S. hegemony over oil is familiar, as is his argument that Washington seemed to give Saddam Hussein a green light for the invasion. He quotes ambassador April Glaspie's pre-invasion statement to Saddam, ``we have no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts like your border disagreement with Kuwait'' and assistant secretary of state John Kelly's declaration a few days later that the U.S. had no commitment to help Kuwait in the event of an Iraqi invasion. The book's principal value is as a short history of the Mesopotamia region from earliest recorded history to the present day, focusing on the emergence of Iraq, the origins of the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War and the methods by which Saddam Hussein consolidated his postwar political power. Simons ( Libya: The Struggle for Survival ) writes of the recent sufferings of the Iraqi people, not only under Saddam's regime but as victims of a decade of war. His shrill eruptions, however, weaken his credibility. He compares Americans with Nazis, characterizes Thomas Jefferson as a man who ``regarded blacks as hybrids between white men and apes'' and accuses Christianity of being ``happy for almost two millenia to tolerate marital rape.'' (May)
Reviewed on: 11/29/1993 Release date: 12/01/1993 Genre: Nonfiction
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