The Gulf War was a confrontation sparked by Saddam Hussein’s attempt to conquer and occupy Kuwait in 1990. Immediately after the invasion, the U.S. government is planning to end Iraq’s military operation in Kuwait to defend its geopolitical interests.
According to the film narrator Toxic Sludge is God for You, many Americans did not share the passion for war because the memory of the Vietnam War stayed in their heads and few were able to risk their lives fighting in a distant country. Miller, a contributor in the film, asserts that the Gulf War was the greatest public relations achievement citing its use of all media and every available trick and more.
During the war build-up, a public relations firm known as Hill & Knowlton set up an organization called Citizens for a Free Kuwait, a PR organization formed to make it look like American citizens were uniting. The organization had few Americans including a fourteen-year-old girl named Nayirah who testified before a congressional committee that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers walk into a hospital and dump babies out of incubators. This testimony was set up with the help of Hills & Knowlton without the public’s knowledge.
According to Rowse, another contributor, reporters reported such cases as straight news although it was evident they were simply public relations efforts. Five months after the reports, ABC sent a reporter to the hospital where Nayirah worked only to discover that the story had been fabricated. A year after Nayirah’s appeared before the congressional committee, it was found that she was, in fact, a daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. According to Rowse, the United States would not have gone into war were it not for this story that was repeated over and over.
Toxic Sludge is Good for You. Produced by Margo Robb. Narrated by Amy Goodman. Featuring Author Rowse and Mark Crispin Miller. MEF, 2002.