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nayirah

Caricato il 15/giu/2010

Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎), called “Nurse Nayirah” in the media, was a fifteen-year-old Kuwaiti girl, who alleged that she had witnessed the murder of infant children by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait, in verbal testimony to the U.S. Congress, in the run up to the 1991 Gulf War. Her testimony, which was regarded as credible at the time, has since come to be regarded as wartime propaganda. The public relations firm Hill & Knowlton, which was in the employ of Citizens for a Free Kuwait, had arranged the testimony. Nayirah’s testimony was widely publicized. Hill & Knowlton, which had filmed the hearing, sent out a video news release to Medialink, a firm which served about 700 television stations in the United States. That night, portions of the testimony aired on ABC’s Nightline and NBC Nightly News reaching an estimated audience between 35 and 53 million Americans. Seven senators cited Nayirah’s testimony in their speeches backing the use of force. President George Bush repeated the story at least ten times in the following weeks. (Wikipedia)
Adam B. Ellick

Full video at c-span video website.
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN KUWAIT, Oct. 10, 1990
The Congressional Human Rights Caucus conducted a hearing to investigate alleged Iraqi human rights violations in occupied Kuwait. Cases of rape, execution, imprisonment and the destruction of hospitals in Kuwait were heard by the committee.

As the story has been often reported on I simply use the summary from wikipedia:

“Fifteen-year-old “Nayirah” (Nijirah al-Sabah, daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah Kuwait ambassador to US) testified before the United States Congress in October 1990 that she was a refugee volunteering in the maternity ward of Al Adan hospital in Kuwait City, and that during the occupation by Iraq she had witnessed Iraqi soldiers dumping Kuwaiti infants out of their incubators “on(to) the cold floor to die,” and then leaving with the machines.

The testimony came at a crucial time for the Bush administration, which was pressing for military action to eject Iraq from Kuwait. Nayirah’s story was widely reported by the media and Bush referred to the story six times in the next five weeks. The story was an influence in tipping both the public and Congress towards a war with Iraq: six Congressmen would say Nayirah’s testimony was enough for them to support military action against Iraq and seven Senators referenced the testimony in debate. The Senate supported the military actions in a 52-47 vote.

In reality, Citizens for a Free Kuwait, organized by the exiled Kuwaiti government, had hired Hill & Knowlton to gain support for the US counterstrike. Hill & Knowlton was paid $14 million by the US government for its help in promoting the Gulf War. It was not revealed until later that the girl was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States. Frieda Construe-Nag and Myra Ancog Cooke, two maternity nurses in that ward, later said that they had never seen Nayirah there and that the baby-dumping had never happened.”

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