When contemplating war, beware of babies in incubators
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Christian Science Monitor
Posted: October 14th, 2018
Iraq invaded Kuwait in August of 1990. The Kuwait government had to find a way to "sell the war" to the American public. The Kuwait government in exile [hired] the American PR firm Hill & Knowlton ... for $10.7 million to devise a campaign to win American support for the war. It's wasn't an easy sell. The Sept. 5 edition of the London Daily Telegraph ... ran a claim by the exiled Kuwait housing minister that, "babies in the premature unit of one of the hospitals had been removed from their incubators." The Hill & Knowlton people jumped on the story. On October 10 ... a young woman named Nayirah [told a congressional] committee, "I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators and left the babies on the cold floor to die." Hill & Knowlton immediately faxed details of her speech to newsrooms across the country. The babies in incubator stories became a lead item in newspapers, and on radio and TV. The young woman ... was the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the United States, and actually hadn't seen the "atrocities" she described. Similar unsubstantiated stories appeared at the UN a few weeks later, where a team of "witnesses," coached by Hill & Knowlton, gave "testimony" ... about atrocities in Iraq. Seven witnesses used false names. On November 29, 1990, the UN authorized use of "all means necessary" to eject Iraq from Kuwait. On January 12, 1991, Congress authorized the use of force. The story was later discredited.