Gulf War I - Ultimate cause miscommunicated statement by President Bush 41?

I’ve always understood the First Gulf War, Desert Storm, was ultimately caused by a statement, from someone, that lead Saddam Hussein to believe that he could invade Kuwait without the USA intervening.

Is this true?

Ignoring all politics, if I was playing a game of Civilization or other strategy game, I’d probably invade a small country like Kuwait if I thought I could win and get away with it.
The GQ: Did Saddam Hussein believe he could get away with an invasion due to a statement or position of the President, however it was communicated?

While the question was ultimately derived from current statements by the POTUS about Montenegro, I’d like to keep this out of GD at least until the GQ is answered.

The US ambassador made a statement that seemed to imply it was ok.

Plus if you recall, the Iraqis accidentally (?) shot a missile into a US warship and nothing happened to them, so maybe Saddam made the Argentinian-level miscalculation that the Americans wouldn’t do anything faced with a fait-accompli.

That doesn’t seem like a very accurate summary of the article you’ve linked to. That article actually says right there in the title that the ambassador, April Glaspie, has gotten a “bum rap”, and goes on to explain that Ambassador Glaspie merely correctly stated U.S. policy, which was that the United States did not have an opinion on exactly where the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border should be and only desired that any dispute be settled peacefully and in accordance with international law (and not by, say, invading the whole country and subsequently annexing the entire place as a province of Iraq). The article also states that the Iraqis weren’t looking for any kind of American permission to invade Kuwait, didn’t actually interpret the ambassador’s statement that way, and invaded for their own reasons.

The article does cast some blame on a member of Congress, Lee Hamilton, for essentially forcing the the Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East to publicly declare that the United States did not have any formal treaty obligation to defend Kuwait. That was of course perfectly true, but not necessarily the sort of thing you want to publicly declare on the eve of another country invading Kuwait. As the subsequent Persian Gulf War showed, just because the United States was not formally obligated to defend the sovereignty of Kuwait did not mean that the United States could not choose to defend the sovereignty of Kuwait as a matter of American national interest, including an American national interest in upholding the post-World War II international order in which countries are not supposed to go around invading and annexing each other anymore. (The Iraqis may not have been looking for American permission to invade Kuwait, but Saddam Hussein did clearly miscalculate in underestimating what the actual response of the United States would be to such an invasion.)

Yes, if Saddam had simply moved troops into the disputed zone, we likely wouldn’t have done anything about it, except maybe a “tsktsk” press release.