Nayirah al-Sabah: where is she now?

December 24, 2014

In 1990 a fifteen-year-old girl known only as Nayirah gave a four-minute interview which was widely quoted in the U.S. Senate and mesmerized American T.V. audiences.

I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital with twelve other women who wanted to help as well. I was the youngest volunteer. The other women were from twenty to thirty years old. While I was there 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 children to die on the cold floor. [crying] It was horrifying.

George Bush quoted Nayirah’s interview ten times in the week which followed.

Nayirah al-Sabah turned out not to have been in Kuwait at all at the time of the Iraqi invasion. In fact, she was living with her family in the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington D.C.  Nayirah’s father was the ambassador.

Nayirah’s interview before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus turned out to be a $12 million fraud funded by the Kuwaiti government and organized by Hill and Knowlton, a U.S. public relations firm. CIA personnel coached Nayirah for her performance.

Historians agree that this piece of atrocity propaganda galvanized U.S. and world support for the first Persian Gulf War. They further note the similarity of her testimony to propaganda used during the First World War to encourage American participation: tales of German soldiers bayoneting babies.

Most westerners don’t know what to make of ISIS, the latest barbarian invaders of the Persian Gulf. Their showy public executions of captives gross us out. But numbers are small, and these actions aren’t all that different from what we consume as entertainment on vivid TV crime dramas.

Now we’re receiving accounts of sex slavery. I read one of these stories yesterday and it moved me. Clearly we need to put boots on the ground to set these perverts to rights.

But then I thought of Nayirah….

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One Response to “Nayirah al-Sabah: where is she now?”

  1. frjohn81506 Says:

    December 2015. And now Daesh has a fatwa in hand to “harvest” organs from captives while still alive to traffic them to earn hard currency. I also thought of Nayirah.


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