Originally Posted by gatorev12
In fairness though, that probably has as much (if not more) to do with Saddam's miscalculations as our own.
Up until Saddam invaded Kuwait, the US and Iraq had cordial, mutually beneficial arrangement: the US ignores his human rights record--while Saddam acts as a bulwark against Iranian expansion in the area; and Iraq in the process gets Western military equipment and other forms of aid. Not much different from what we did with Egypt from 1979-2010.
I don't think Saddam particularly liked us and we certainly didn't like him. Saddam's big mistake was overplaying his hand and invading Kuwait, figuring we needed Iraq more than we did the Kuwaitis.
Perhaps so--but the Kuwaitis were chummy with our even bigger allies, the Saudis--and with Saddam making his power move against Kuwait, neither the Saudis or the US trusted Saddam enough to let him get away with it.
The irony goes: Saddam had every right to be pissed at the Kuwaitis. A very large oil field was located on the border between the two countries (with the majority of the oil field being located in Iraq) and the Kuwaitis were taking more then their "fair share" as it were and tying the matter up in international courts without conceding anything to the Iraqis. Had Saddam asked the US to lean on the Kuwaitis to stop taking so much, we probably would have agreed.
This addresses 1992 fine, but doesn't address 2002. He was neutered and was no threat. Back channel deals could have been presented that preserved his power and he wouldn't have done a thing to us. Saddam has always been about Saddam and that wasn't going to change.
I said it then and I'll say it again: The foreign policy equivelent of kicking over a fire-ant hill.