History A Man You Could Do Business With

In Washington's eyes, Saddam was not always an enemy. In fact, three Presidents counted on him to keep Iran's brand of Islamic radicalism in check.

Even at the edge of the abyss, U.S. policy toward Iraq ran headlong into contradiction with itself. On July 25, 1990, as Iraqi tanks and troops were massing along the border of Kuwait, U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie told President Saddam Hussein in Baghdad that the U.S. had little to say about Arab border disputes and was eager to improve relations with Iraq. That same day in Washington, anxious State Department officials urged the Pentagon to dispatch the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Independence and its battle group, then in the Indian Ocean, to the mouth of the Persian Gulf -- as a signal...

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