They’ve both been screwed over by unofficial U.S. statements or agreements.
Prior to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, Sadaam Hussein met with the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie. When asked what the U.S. would do if Iraq’s conflict with Kuwait would escalate, he was assured by Ms. Glaspie that the U.S. did not involve itselfÂ and hadÂ “no opinion on the “[Arab-]Arab affairs [conflicts].” In essence, Glaspie gave Sadaam a green-light on attacking Kuwait. Obviously, when the U.S. then threatened that shouldÂ Iraq not cease his actions against Kuwait that the U.S. would take military action against it, Sadaam did not believe that this was anything more than hyperbole, as he had been essentially assured in a private meeting that his actions wereÂ approved. Boy was he surprised then when the U.S. wasn’t bluffing and actually attacked.
Well, more recently it’s become Israel’s turn. During the Bush-Sharon period, lettersÂ between the two acknowledged that the final status agreements would not be along the lines of prior to 1967 (i.e. the 1949 armistice lines), but rather would be tweaked here and there. Moreover, while there would be limitations of settlements, there was no understanding that such limitations included an end to natural growth of substantial West Bank population centers. Yet, Ms. Clinton claims that there was not a “memorialization of any informal and oral agreements,” and as such the U.S. is not bound by such agreements.
I am an American. I am proud to be an American. However, it is much to my dismay that the lesson being taught by the U.S. government is: unless you get the U.S. to sign something on the White House lawn with tons of media around, don’t trust the U.S. government at its word.