Who was he: Saddam Hussein was the fifth President of Iraq. Hussein served in that capacity from July 16th, 1979 until April 9th, 2003. As a prominent member of the revolutionary Ba'ath Party that espoused a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism, Saddam had an important role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to long-term power.
Saddam Hussein was vice president under General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr during a time when many organizations were thought to be capable of overthrowing the government. Thus, Hussein created security teams, which he used to firmly control conflict between the government and the armed forces.
Hussein nationalized oil and other industries in the 1970s and placed state-owned banks under his control, a situation that ultimately led to the system becoming insolvent. During this time, Saddam Hussein cemented his authority over the branches of government with use of oil money that grew Iraq's economy at a rapid pace. Hussein filled powerful positions with Sunni Muslims, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population.
Saddam Hussein repressed numerous movements, particularly by the Shia muslims, who wanted to overthrow the government, and the Kurds, who wanted independence. Saddam maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War of 1980 to 1988.
Hussein occupied Kuwait in 1990, though there is controversy over whether the George H.W. Bush administration plotted to give Saddam the incorrect understanding that the US would not react. The idea, according to some, is that Bush wanted a war and hoped Saddam would provide it. Hussein did. An international coalition went to help free Kuwait during the Gulf War of 1991, though this didn't end Saddam's reign.
In March 2003, an alliance of nations, led by the US and UK, infiltrated Iraq to unseat Saddam, citing weapons of mass destruction and terror links as reasonable excuses. The Ba'ath party was disbanded and the country converted to a democratic system. The Iraqi provisional government brought Hussein to trial on December 13th, 2003. Saddam was convicted of charges linked to the 1982 massacre of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites and condemned to death by hanging. Saddam Hussein was executed on December 30th, 2003.
Conspiratorial historians point out that if one looks at the physical characteristics of the face of the Hussein who was executed, it becomes clear there are anomalies as compared to older photographs of him. This is perhaps not the "real" Hussein and the Americans may have known it. Hussein is known to have used body doubles; perhaps this was one. Almost nothing is as it seems regarding the Iraq War. The war itself was a duplicitous maneuver, designed to give the US more of a direct military foothold in the region. The reasons for starting the war were almost immediatly proven false by the Congressional Research Service and independent researchers alike. It was more than likely merely a war of the Anglosphere elite for resources and control of the region.
Unfortunately, it has proven a very bloody war. America's use of depleted uranium and other weaponized tools of "mass" destruction have killed, maimed and displaced millions of Iraqis. It is not clear, however, whether all this destruction will prove valuable to the US miltary-industrial complex and NATO, as unrest continues in Iraq and the puppet government that America installed may not last.
Background: Saddam Hussein was born on April 28th, 1937 in Al-Awja, Iraq. Hussein never knew his father and he lost a brother to cancer. When his mother remarried, Saddam eventually received three half-brothers.
Saddam's stepfather treated him harshly after he returned home from staying with family. When Hussein was around 10 years old he escaped the family and returned to live in Baghdad with his uncle Kharaillah Tulfah. Tulfah was the father of Saddam's future wife, as well as a fervent Sunni Muslim and a veteran of the 1941 Anglo-Iraqi War, fought between Iraqi nationalists and the United Kingdom.
The UK remained a major colonial power in the area. Relatives from Saddam Hussein's native Tikrit became some of Hussein's most intimate counselors and supporters as he rose in power. Under the supervision of his uncle, Saddam attended a nationalistic high school in Baghdad. Hussein studied Iraqi law for three years in secondary school, but dropped out in 1957 at the age of 20 to join the radical pan-Arab Ba'ath Party, which was supported by Hussein's uncle. During this period of his life, Saddam apparently supported himself by working as a secondary school instructor.
Revolutionary feelings were representative of that era in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. In Iraq, reformists and socialists assaulted traditional partisan leaders – colonial era officials and landowners, affluent merchants, tribal chiefs and monarchists. Furthermore, the pan-Arab autonomy of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt deeply influenced young Ba'athists such as Saddam Hussein.
The rise of Nasser foreshadowed an upsurge of revolutions throughout the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s. These were prominent because of the downfall of the monarchies of Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Nasser stimulated nationalists throughout the Middle East by fighting the British and the French during the Suez Crisis of 1956, revolutionizing Egypt and uniting the Arab world politically.
In 1958, army officers led by General Abd al-Karim Qasim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq. The Ba'athists were against the new administration and in 1959 the US, supporting Hussein, attempted an unsuccessful coup. A new coup in 1963 succeeded, but Saddam Hussein didn't come to power until 1968 when he was appointed deputy to the president. By 1969, Hussein was the force behind the government. A new era in Iraqi politics had begun.
News & Analysis
|04/13/11||Do Iraqis Know Something the Pentagon Doesn't?|
|09/13/10||Military Keynesianism in Iraq|
|01/18/10||FBI Bin Laden Promotion Blows Up|