A chronology of recent events in the Persian Gulf will help you understand why President Bush's crazy crusade is an outright fraud that is endangering human lives for, basically, private gain.

A memo from Brigadier Ahmad Al Fahd, head of Kuwait Security, to the emir describing results of a meeting between the Kuwaiti Security chief and CIA Director William Webster in November 1989 says the following:"We agreed with the American side that it was important to take advantage of the deteriorating economic situation in Iraq in order to put pressure on that country's government to delineate our common border. The Central Intelligence Agency gave us its view of appropriate means of pressure, saying that broad cooperation should be initiated between us . . ."

The Iraqi Embassy released the memo, which it says it captured in Kuwait. If the Bush administration has any proof that it isn't genuine, it hasn't produced it. As you will see, subsequent behavior by Kuwait is consistent with an agreement with the CIA to destabilize Iraq.

The reference to the border is significant because while Iraq had been occupied with the war with Iran, the Kuwaitis had advanced the border farther north and begun to take Iraqi oil.

In February 1990, Saddam Hussein in a public speech warned Arab countries that the United States may seek to control the level of oil and gas production for each country in the Persian Gulf region.

After that speech, the Iraqis say there was an increase in propaganda directed at them. At the time of the speech, in February, oil was between $18 and $21 a barrel. Then Kuwait demanded a large increase in its OPEC production quota and began without approval to flood the market, driving the price down to $11 a barrel.

Iraq, trying to recover from an eight-year war, was seriously injured economically. Iraq diplomats tried to dissuade the Kuwaitis from pursuing this policy. In May 1990, at the Arab Summit Conference, Hussein warned publicly that Kuwait's actions amounted to waging war against Iraq.

Kuwait persisted and in June, Iraq asked for special talks but was put off until July 1990 when Kuwait pretended to agree to abide by OPEC quotas. But as soon as the meeting ended, Kuwait again indicated it intended to increase its production, thus sabotaging Iraq.

On July 16, Hussein in a public speech issued a pretty clear warning that if words could not protect the Iraqi people from economic warfare, then decisive action would be taken. By this time, Iraq had lost $14 billion in revenue as a result of Kuwaiti actions.

On July 30, a last-ditch meeting was held, but still the Kuwaitis defied Iraq. Unaware at the time of the memorandum cited above, the Iraqis nevertheless thought it inconceivable that Kuwait would act the way it was acting unless it had the support of a superpower.

On Aug. 2, Iraq entered Kuwait, the invasion taking about six hours to complete. It strikes me as significant that the Kuwaiti ruling family and virtually its entire army and air force escaped intact to Saudi Arabia.

Contrary to the Bush claim that Iraq was planning an invasion of Saudi Arabia, Iraq agreed to a small summit, set up by Jordan's King Hussein, for Aug. 5 or 6 in Jeddah.

Instead, however, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney arrived on Aug. 6 - a visit obviously scheduled in advance, which explains why the summit was canceled by the Saudis. The Saudis then invited in U.S. forces, which obviously were already on the way before the public announcement.

Who authorized the CIA to cooperate with Kuwait to destabilize Iraq? I don't recall any congressional debate on this subject. When did the American people decide to overthrow the government of Iraq? I don't recall any public debate on that issue either.

So here's why 200,000 Americans are in the Saudi Arabian desert: because another stupid, covert CIA scheme to overthrow someone else's government to protect private corporate interests is about to blow up in our faces.