John Roberts, "Bush's war talk hides economic woes" (letter to the editor), The Tennessean, September 14, 2002
Mark Marymont, "Leno show was long, but didn't drag," Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, August 4, 1990
Not surprisingly, this term first appeared the last time Iraq was in the news, when it invaded Kuwait in 1990. The movie Arachnophobia was playing in theaters at the time, so the initial references were jokes that played off the movie's title. The honor of the earliest citation appears to be a tie. First up is the caption of an editorial cartoon by Clay Bennettt that appeared in the August 3, 1990 edition of the St. Petersburg Times. The cartoon shows a spider labeled "Iraq" menacing Kuwait, and the caption reads "Saddam Hussein Presents Iraqnophobia." On the same day, comedian Jay Leno performed in Little Rock, Arkansas, and he, too, used Iraqnophobia in his routine, which is commented upon in the earliest print citation, below. I have anecdotal evidence that David Letterman used the term in his August 2, 1990 show, but I can't confirm this.
shock and awe