Nayirah Testimony All LiesIn August 1990 there was conflict between Iraq and Kuwait, mostly over oil fields as Saddam Hussein accused Kuwaitis of theft of these resources. On October 10th the whole world turned its eyes toward a fifteen-year old girl named Nayirah, who wept profusely as she talked about inhumane crimes committed by Iraqi soldiers. The young Kuwaiti was to witness the killing of more than 300 babies in a hospital. The dramatic speech touched the hearts of viewers and managed to drum up overwhelming support for the involvement of the United States in this conflict and the outbreak of the Gulf War.
The Kuwaiti Incubator Baby HoaxA key event in generating momentum for the first U.S. War on Iraq, "Operation Desert Storm" was a fraudulent report of the murder of Kuwaiti babies by Iraqi soldiers. On October 10, 1990, the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus held a hearing on the subject of Iraqi human rights violations. The centerpiece of the event was the emotional testimony of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only by her first name, Nayirah. Her full name was supposedly being kept secret to protect her from Iraqi reprisals. The girl relayed a shocking story while sobbing.
I volunteered at the al-Addan hospital. While I was there, I saw the Iraqi soldiers come into the hospital with guns, and go into the room where . . . babies were in incubators. They took the babies out of the incubators, took the incubators, and left the babies on the cold floor to die.
In fact, the most emotionally moving testimony on October 10 came from a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only by her first name of Nayirah. According to the Caucus, Nayirah's full name was being kept confidential to prevent Iraqi reprisals against her family in occupied Kuwait. Sobbing, she described what she had seen with her own eyes in a hospital in Kuwait City. Her written testimony was passed out in a media kit prepared by Citizens for a Free Kuwait.
Three months passed between Nayirah's testimony and the start of the war. During those months, the story of babies torn from their incubators was repeated over and over again. President Bush told the story. It was recited as fact in Congressional testimony, on TV and radio talk shows, and at the UN Security Council. "Of all the accusations made against the dictator," MacArthur observed, "none had more impact on American public opinion than the one about Iraqi soldiers removing 312 babies from their incubators and leaving them to die on the cold hospital floors of Kuwait City."
When the battle dust settled, someone took a closer look at Nayirah. Quickly it became apparent that the sobbing girl in front of millions of viewers was the daughter of Sheikh Saud Nasser Al-Saud Al-Sabah– Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States and a member of the royal family. The child was handed to PR whizzes – Hill & Knowlton company, where she passed a course in comprehensive acting training. It had to work out – the company bosses signed an $11.9 million contract with the Kuwaiti royal family. The task was simple — to persuade the U.S. military to take action against Iraq.