Saddam Hussein

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Saddam Hussein
Image:Saddam Hussein (107).jpg
Date of birth April 28, 1937
Political Party Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party
Political positions

Saddam HusseinTemplate:Fn Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti, (Arabic Template:Ar), born April 28, 1937 Template:Fn, was the President of Iraq from 1979 until he lost power over Iraq when American troops arrived in Baghdad on April 9, 2003.

A leading member of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, which espoused secular pan-Arabism, economic modernization, and socialism, Saddam (see Template:Fn regarding names) played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to long-term power.

As vice president under his cousin, the frail General Ahmed Bakr, Saddam tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces by creating repressive security forces and cementing his own firm authority over the apparatus of government.

As president, Saddam ran an authoritarian government and maintained power through the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988) and the Gulf War (1991). Saddam's government repressed movements that it deemed threatening, particularly those of ethnic or religious groups that sought independence or autonomy. While he remained a popular hero among many Arabs for standing up to his opponents in the West, such as the United States, some in the international community continued to view Saddam with deep suspicion following the 1991 Gulf War. Saddam was deposed by the United States and its allies during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Captured by U.S. forces on December 13, 2003, Saddam is standing trial charged with crimes against humanity before the Iraq Special Tribunal, established by the Iraqi Interim Government.



Saddam Hussein was born in the town of Al-Awja, 5 miles from the town of Tikrit in Iraq, to a family of shepherds. His mother, Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat, named her newborn son "Saddam," which in Arabic means "one who confronts." He never knew his father, Hussein 'Abd al-Majid, who died or disappeared five months before Saddam was born. Shortly afterward, Saddam's twelve-year-old brother died of cancer, leaving his mother severely depressed in the final months of the pregnancy. Saddam's mother also tried to abort the baby by attempting suicide. The infant Saddam was sent to the family of his maternal uncle, Khairallah Talfah, until he was three. Template:Fn

His mother remarried, and Saddam gained three half-brothers through this marriage. His stepfather, Ibrahim al-Hassan, treated Saddam harshly after his return. He was abusive and forced the young boy to steal chickens and sheep for resale.

At about the age of ten, Saddam fled the family and returned to live with his uncle, who was a devout Sunni Muslim, in Baghdad. Later in his life, relatives from his native Tikrit would become some of his closest advisors and supporters. According to Saddam, he learned many things from his uncle, especially the lesson that he should never back down from his enemies, no matter how superior their numbers or capabilities. Under the guidance of his uncle, he attended a nationalistic secondary school in Baghdad. In 1957, at age 20, Saddam joined the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba'ath Party, of which his uncle was a supporter.

Revolutionary sentiment was characteristic of the era in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. The stranglehold of the old elites (the conservative monarchists, established families, and merchants) was breaking down in Iraq. Moreover, the populist pan-Arab nationalism of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt would profoundly influence the young Ba'athist, even up to the present day. The rise of Nasser foreshadowed a wave of revolutions throughout the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s, which would see the collapse of the monarchies of Iraq, Egypt, and Libya. Nasser challenged the British and French, nationalized the Suez Canal, and strove to modernize Egypt and unite the Arab world politically.

A year after Saddam had joined the Ba'ath party, army officers led by General Abdul Karim Qassim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq. The Ba'athists opposed the new government, and in 1959, Saddam was involved in the attempted US backed plot to assassinate Prime Minister Qassim. He was sentenced to death, in absentia. Saddam studied law at the Cairo University during his exile.

Torn by factionalism, however, the new government was ousted within eight months. Saddam returned to Iraq, but was imprisoned in 1964 when an anti-Ba'ath group led by Abdul Rahman Arif took power. He escaped prison in 1967 and quickly came to be a leading member of the party. According to biographers, Saddam never forgot the tensions within the first Ba'athist government, which informed his measures to promote party unity as well as his ruthless resolve to maintain power and programs to ensure social stability.

In July 1968 a second coup brought the Ba'athists back to power under General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, a Tikriti and a relative of Saddam, who by this time had become an interrogator and torturer at the infamous "Palace of the End," the cellar of the former palace of King Faisal II. The Ba'ath's ruling clique named Saddam vice-chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council and vice president of Iraq.

Consolidation of power


In 1976, Saddam rose to the position of general in the Iraqi armed forces. He rapidly became the strongman of the government. At the time Saddam was considered an enemy of communism and radical Islamism. Saddam was integral to U.S. policy in the region, a policy which sought to weaken the influence of Iran and the Soviet Union. As Iraq's weak and elderly President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr became increasingly unable to execute his duties, Saddam took on an increasingly prominent role as the face of the government both internally and externally. He soon became the architect of Iraq's foreign policy and represented the nation in all diplomatic situations. He was the de facto ruler of Iraq some years before he formally came to power in 1979. He slowly began to consolidate his power over Iraq's government and the Ba'ath party. Relationships with fellow party members were carefully cultivated, and Saddam soon gained a powerful circle of support within the party.


Saddam consolidated power in a nation riddled with profound tensions. Long before Saddam, Iraq had been split along social, ethnic, religious, and economic fault lines: Sunni versus Shi'ite, Arab versus Kurd, tribal chief versus urban merchant, nomad versus peasant. Stable rule in a country rife with factionalism required the improvement of living standards. Saddam moved up the ranks in the new government by aiding attempts to strengthen and unify the Ba'ath party and taking a leading role in addressing the country's major domestic problems and expanding the party's following.

Saddam actively fostered the modernization of the Iraqi economy along with the creation of a strong security apparatus to prevent coups within the power structure and insurrections apart from it. Ever concerned with broadening his base of support among the diverse elements of Iraqi society and mobilizing mass support, he closely followed the administration of state welfare and development programs.

At the center of this strategy was Iraq's oil. On June 1, 1972, Saddam Hussein oversaw the seizure of international oil interests, which, at the time, had a monopoly on the country's oil. A year later, world oil prices rose dramatically as a result of the 1973 world oil shock, and skyrocketing revenues enabled Saddam to expand his agenda.

Within just a few years, Iraq was providing social services that were unprecedented among Middle Eastern countries. Saddam established and controlled the "National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy" and the campaign for "Compulsory Free Education in Iraq," and largely under his auspices, the government established universal free schooling up to the highest education levels; hundreds of thousands learned to read in the years following the initiation of the program. The government also supported families of soldiers, granted free hospitalization to everyone, and gave subsidies to farmers. Iraq created one of the most modernized public-health systems in the Middle East, earning Saddam an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). [1] [2]

To diversify the oil-dependent economy, Saddam implemented a national infrastructure campaign that made great progress in building roads, promoting mining, and developing other industries. The campaign revolutionized Iraq's energy industries. Electricity was brought to nearly every city in Iraq, and many outlying areas.

Before the 1970s, most of Iraq's people lived in the countryside, where Saddam himself was born and raised, and roughly two-thirds were peasants. But this number would decrease quickly during the 1970's as the country ploughed much of its oil profits into industrial expansion.

Nevertheless, Saddam focused intensely on fostering loyalty to the Ba'athist government in the rural areas. After nationalizing foreign oil interests, Saddam supervised the modernization of the countryside, mechanizing agriculture on a large scale, and distributing land to peasant farmers.Template:Fn The Ba'athists established farm cooperatives, in which profits were distributed according to the labors of the individual and the unskilled were trained. The government's commitment to agrarian reform was demonstrated by the doubling of expenditures for agricultural development in 1974-1975. Moreover, agrarian reform in Iraq improved the living standard of the peasantry and increased production, though not to the levels Saddam had hoped for.

Saddam became personally associated with Ba'athist welfare and economic development programs in the eyes of many Iraqis, widening his appeal both within his traditional base and among new sectors of the population. These programs were part of a combination of "carrot and stick" tactics to enhance support in the working class, the peasantry, and within the party and the government bureaucracy.

Saddam's ruthless organizational prowess was credited with Iraq's rapid pace of development in the 1970s; development went forward at such a fevered pitch that two million persons from other Arab countries and Yugoslavia worked in Iraq to meet the growing demand for labor.


In 1979 President al-Bakr started to make treaties with Syria, also under Ba'athist leadership, that would lead to unification between the two countries. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad would become deputy leader in a union, and this would drive Saddam to obscurity. Saddam, the Vice President and de-facto ruler of Iraq, acted to secure his grip on power. He forced the ailing al-Bakr to resign on July 16, 1979, and formally assumed the presidency.

Shortly afterwards, he convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders on July 22, 1979. During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped, Saddam claimed to have found spies and conspirators within the Ba'ath Party and read out the names of members who he thought could oppose him. These members were labeled "disloyal" and were removed from the room one by one to face a firing squad. After the list was read, Saddam congratulated those still seated in the room for their past and future loyalty.

Saddam Hussein as a secular leader

Saddam saw himself as a social revolutionary and a modernizer, following the model of Nasser, President of Egypt. To the consternation of Islamic conservatives, his government gave women added freedoms and offered them high-level government and industry jobs. Saddam also created a Western-style legal system, making Iraq the only country in the Gulf region not ruled according to traditional Islamic law (Sharia). Saddam abolished the Sharia law courts, except for personal injury claims.

Domestic conflict impeded Saddam's modernizing projects. Iraqi society is divided along lines of language, religion and ethnicity; Saddam's government rested on the support of the 20 percent minority of largely working-class, peasant, and lower middle class Sunni Muslims, continuing a pattern that dates back at least to the British mandate authority's reliance on them as administrators.

The Shi'a majority were long a source of opposition to the government due to its secular policies, and the Ba'ath Party was increasingly concerned about potential Sh'ia Islamist influence following the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The Kurds of northern Iraq (who are Sunni Muslims but not Arabs) were also permanently hostile to the Ba'athist party's Arabizing tendencies. To maintain his regime Saddam Hussein tended either to provide them with benefits so as to co-opt them into the regime, or to take repressive measures against them. The major instruments for accomplishing this control were the paramilitary and police organizations. Beginning in 1974, Taha Yassin Ramadan, a close associate of Saddam, commanded the People's Army, which was responsible for internal security. As the Ba'ath Party's paramilitary, the People's Army acted as a counterweight against any coup attempts by the regular armed forces. In addition to the People's Army, the Department of General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) was the most notorious arm of the state security system, feared for its use of torture and assassination. It was commanded by Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's younger half-brother. Since 1982, foreign observers believed that this department operated both at home and abroad in their mission to seek out and eliminate perceived opponents of Saddam Hussein. [3]

Saddam's internal security regime achieved notoriety for its extreme ruthlessness. In 1982, during a visit to Dujail, Saddam was to address and praise the city's residents for their support and contributions in the Iran conflict, when an assassination attempt was mounted against him. The town of Dujail lies 40 km (25 miles) north of Baghdad; Saddam's security forces in return attacked the city, killing and executing up to 137 of its inhabitants, including a number of children. Around 1,500 townspeople were sent to prison and tortured. The entire town was also punished by having 1,000 square kilometres (250,000 acres) of farmland destroyed; replanting was only permitted 10 years later. The events in Dujail became the subject of criminal charges following Saddam's overthrow in 2003. [4]

Saddam justified Iraqi nationalism by claiming a unique role of Iraq in the history of the Arab world. As president, Saddam made frequent references to the Abbasid period, when Baghdad was the political, cultural, and economic capital of the Arab world. He also promoted Iraq's pre-Islamic role as the ancient cradle of civilization Mesopotamia, alluding to such historical figures as Nebuchadrezzar and Hammurabi. He devoted resources to archaeological explorations. In effect, Saddam sought to combine pan-Arabism and Iraqi nationalism, by promoting the vision of an Arab world united and led by Iraq.

As a sign of his consolidation of power, Saddam's personality cult pervaded Iraqi society. Thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals were erected in his honor all over Iraq. His face could be seen on the sides of office buildings, schools, airports, and shops, as well as on Iraqi currency. Saddam's personality cult reflected his efforts to appeal to the various elements in Iraqi society. He appeared in the costumes of the Bedouin, the traditional clothes of the Iraqi peasant (which he essentially wore during his childhood), and even Kurdish clothing, but also appeared in Western suits, projecting the image of an urbane and modern leader. Sometimes he would also be portrayed as a devout Muslim, wearing full headdress and robe, praying toward Mecca.

Foreign affairs

In foreign affairs, Saddam sought to have Iraq play a leading role in the Middle East. Iraq signed an aid pact with the Soviet Union in 1972, and arms were sent along with several thousand advisers. However, the 1978 executions of Iraqi Communists and a shift of trade toward the West strained Iraqi relations with the Soviet Union, which took on a more Western orientation from then until the Gulf War in 1991.

He made a state visit to France in 1976, cementing close ties with some French business and conservative political circles. Saddam led Arab opposition to the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel (1979). In 1975 he negotiated an accord with Iran that contained Iraqi concessions on border disputes. In return, Iran agreed to stop supporting opposition Kurds in Iraq.

Saddam initiated Iraq's nuclear enrichment project in the 1980s, with French assistance. The first Iraqi nuclear reactor was named by the French Osiraq, after the Egyptian God of the dead. It was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, because Israel suspected it was going to start producing weapons grade nuclear material.

After Saddam had negotiated the 1975 treaty with Iran, Shah Pahlavi withdrew support for the Kurds, who suffered a total defeat. Nearly from its founding as a modern state in 1920, Iraq has had to deal with Kurdish separatists in the northern part of the country. Saddam did negotiate an agreement in 1970 with separatist Kurdish leaders, giving them autonomy, but the agreement broke down. The result was brutal fighting between the government and Kurdish groups and even Iraqi bombing of Kurdish villages in Iran, which caused Iraqi relations with Iran to deteriorate.

The Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988)


In 1979 Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution, thus giving way to an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. The influence of revolutionary Shi'ite Islam grew apace in the region, particularly in countries with large Shi'ite populations, especially Iraq. Saddam feared that radical Islamic ideas — hostile to his secular rule — were rapidly spreading inside his country among the majority Shi'ite population.

There had also been bitter enmity between Saddam and Khomeini since the 1970s. Khomeini, having been exiled from Iran in 1964, took up residence in Iraq, at the Shi'ite holy city of An Najaf. There he involved himself with Iraqi Shi'ites and developed a strong, worldwide religious and political following. Under pressure from the Shah, who had agreed to a rapprochement between Iraq and Iran in 1975, Saddam agreed to expel Khomeini in 1978.

After Khomeini gained power, skirmishes between Iraq and revolutionary Iran occurred for ten months over the sovereignty of the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway, which divides the two countries. Iraq invaded Iran by attacking Mehrabad Airport of Tehran and entering the oil-rich Iranian land of Khuzestan on September 22, 1980. Saddam declared Khuzestan a new province of Iraq.

In the first days of the war, there was heavy ground fighting around strategic ports as Iraq launched an attack on Iran's oil-rich, partly Arab-populated province of Khuzestan. After making some initial gains, Iraq's troops began to suffer losses from human wave attacks by Iran. By 1982 Iraq was on the defensive and looking for ways to end the war.

Iraq quickly found itself bogged down in one of the longest and most destructive wars of attrition of the twentieth century. During the war, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian forces and Kurdish separatists. Many of these chemical weapons, along with Iraq's nuclear program, were developed with the help of companies from East and West Germany.([5])

On March 16, 1988, the Kurdish town of Halabja was attacked with a mix of mustard gas and nerve agents, killing 5,000 civilians, and maiming, disfiguring, or seriously debilitating 10,000 more. (see Halabja poison gas attack)[6]. The attaccheese k occurred in conjuction with the 1988 al-Anfal campaign designed to reassert central control of the mostly Kurdish population of areas of northern Iraq and defeat the Kurdish peshmerga rebel forces. The United States maintains that Saddam ordered the attack to terrorize the Kurdish population in northern Iraq ([7]), but Saddam's regime claimed at the time that Iran was responsible for the attack.Template:Fn Former senior DIA officers have said that the U.S. intelligence community was so "desperate to make sure that Iraq did not lose" that the U.S. aided Iraq in the war despite knowledge about Saddam's use of chemical weapons. According to former DIA officer W. Patrick Lang, "The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern." He adds that his agency "would have never accepted the use of chemical weapons against civilians, but the use against military objectives was seen as inevitable in the Iraqi struggle for survival." Another officer who was involved noted that the Pentagon "wasn't so horrified by Iraq's use of gas. It was just another way of killing people — whether with a bullet or phosgene, it didn't make any difference."[8] The above statement attributed to an anonymous member of the intelligence community was made in reference to the Iran-Iraq war, not the attack on Kurdish civilians.

Saddam reached out to other Arab governments for cash and political support during the war, particularly after its oil industry severely suffered at the hands of the Iranian navy in the Gulf. Iraq successfully gained some military and financial aid from the United States, the Soviet Union, and France, which together feared the prospects of the expansion of revolutionary Iran's influence in the region. The Iranians, claiming that the international community should force Iraq to pay the casualty of the war to Iran, refused any suggestions for a cease-fire. They continued the war until 1988, hoping to bring down Saddam's secular regime and instigate a Shi'ite rebellion in Iraq.

The bloody eight-year war ended in a stalemate. There were hundreds of thousands of casualties. Perhaps upwards of 1.7 million died on both sides. Both economies, previously healthy and expanding, were left in ruins.

Saddam borrowed a tremendous amount of money from other Arab states during the 1980s to fight Iran and was stuck with a war debt of roughly $75 billion. Faced with rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, Saddam desperately sought out cash once again, this time for postwar reconstruction. The desperate search for foreign credit would eventually humiliate the strongman who had long sought to dominate Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East.

Tensions with Kuwait

The end of the war with Iran served to deepen latent tensions between Iraq and its wealthy neighbor Kuwait. Saddam saw his war with Iran as having spared Kuwait from the imminent threat of Iranian domination. Since the struggle with Iran had been fought for the benefit of the other Gulf Arab states as much as for Iraq, he argued, a share of Iraqi debt should be forgiven. Saddam urged the Kuwaitis to forgive the Iraqi debt accumulated in the war, some $30 billion, but the Kuwaitis refused, claiming that Saddam was responsible to pay off his debts for the war he started.

Also to raise money for postwar reconstruction, Saddam pushed oil-exporting countries to raise oil prices by cutting back oil production. Kuwait refused to cut production. In addition to refusing the request, Kuwait spearheaded the opposition in OPEC to the cuts that Saddam had requested. Kuwait was pumping large amounts of oil, and thus keeping prices low, when Iraq needed to sell high-priced oil from its wells to pay off a huge debt.

Meanwhile, Saddam showed disdain for the Kuwait-Iraq boundary line (imposed on Iraq by British imperial officials in 1922) because it almost completely cut Iraq off from the sea. One of the few articles of faith uniting the political scene in a nation rife with sharp social, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic divides was the belief that Kuwait had no right to even exist in the first place. For at least half a century, Iraqi nationalists were espousing emphatically the belief that Kuwait was historically an integral part of Iraq, and that Kuwait had only come into being through the maneuverings of British imperialism.

The colossal extent of Kuwaiti oil reserves also intensified tensions in the region. The oil reserves of Kuwait (with a population of a mere 2 million next to Iraq's 25) were roughly equal to those of Iraq. Taken together Iraq and Kuwait sat on top of some 20 percent of the world's known oil reserves; Saudi Arabia, by comparison, holds 25 percent.

The Kuwaiti monarchy further angered Saddam by allegedly slant drilling oil out of wells that Iraq considered to be within its disputed border with Kuwait. Given that at the time Iraq was not regarded as a pariah state, Saddam was able to complain about the alleged slant drilling to the U.S. State Department. Although this had continued for years, Saddam now needed oil money to stem a looming economic crisis. Saddam still had an experienced and well-equipped army, which he used to influence regional affairs. He later ordered troops to the Iraq-Kuwait border.

As Iraq-Kuwait relations rapidly deteriorated, Saddam was receiving conflicting information about how the U.S. would respond to the prospects of an invasion. For one, Washington had been taking measures to cultivate a constructive relationship with Iraq for roughly a decade. The Reagan administration gave Saddam roughly $40 billion in aid in the 1980s to fight Iran, nearly all of it on credit. The U.S. also sent billions of dollars to Saddam to keep him from forming a strong alliance with the Soviets. Template:Fn

U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie met with Saddam in an emergency meeting on July 25, 1990, where the Iraqi leader stated his intention to continue talks. U.S. officials attempted to maintain a conciliatory line with Iraq, indicating that while George H. W. Bush and James Baker did not want force used, they would not take any position on the Iraq-Kuwait boundary dispute and did not want to become involved. The transcript, however, does not show any explicit statement of approval of, acceptance of, or foreknowledge of the invasion. Later, Iraq and Kuwait then met for a final negotiation session, which failed. Saddam then sent his troops into Kuwait

The Gulf War

Image:SaddamandCuellar.jpg.jpg Template:Main

On August 2, 1990, Saddam invaded and annexed the oil-rich emirate of Kuwait. U.S. President George H. W. Bush responded cautiously for the first several days after the invasion. On the one hand, Kuwait, prior to this point, had been a virulent enemy of Israel and was on friendly terms with the Soviets. On the other hand, Iraq controlled ten percent of the world's crude oil reserves and with the invasion had doubled the percentage.[9] U.S. interests were heavily invested in the region,Template:Fn and the invasion triggered fears that the price of oil, and therefore the world economy, was at stake. The United Kingdom was also concerned. Britain had a close historical relationship with Kuwait, dating back to British colonialism in the region, and also benefitted from billions of dollars in Kuwaiti investment. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher underscored the risk the invasion posed to Western interests to Bush in an in-person meeting one day after the invasion, famously telling him, "Don't go wobbly on me, George."

Cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union made possible the passage of resolutions in the United Nations Security Council giving Iraq a deadline to leave Kuwait and approving the use of force if Saddam did not comply with the timetable. U.S. officials feared that Iraq would retaliate against oil-rich Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Washington since the 1940s, for the Saudis' opposition to the invasion of Kuwait. Accordingly, the U.S. and a group of allies, including countries as diverse as Egypt, Syria and Czechoslovakia, deployed massive amounts of troops along the Saudi border with Kuwait and Iraq in order to encircle the Iraqi army, the largest in the Middle East.

During the period of negotiations and threats following the invasion, Saddam focused renewed attention on the Palestinian problem by promising to withdraw his forces from Kuwait if Israel would relinquish the occupied territories in the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip. Saddam's proposal further split the Arab world, pitting U.S. and Western-supported Arab states against the Palestinians. The allies ultimately rejected any connection between the Kuwait crisis and Palestinian issues.

Saddam ignored the Security Council deadline. With unanimous backing from the Security Council, a U.S.-led coalition launched round-the-clock missile and aerial attacks on Iraq, beginning January 16, 1991. Israel, though subjected to attack by Iraqi missiles, refrained from retaliating in order not to provoke Arab states into leaving the coalition. A ground force comprised largely of US and British armored and infantry divisions ejected Saddam's army from Kuwait in February 1991 and occupied the southern portion of Iraq as far as the Euphrates.

On March 6, 1991, referring to the conflict, Bush announced: "What is at stake is more than one small country, it is a big idea — a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind: peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law."

In the end, the over-manned and under-equipped Iraqi army proved unable to compete on the battlefield with the highly mobile coalition land forces and their overpowering air support. Some 175,000 Iraqis were taken prisoner and casualties were estimated at approximately 20,000 according to U.S. data, with other sources pinning the number as high as 100,000. As part of the cease-fire agreement, Iraq agreed to abandon all chemical and biological weapons and allow UN observers to inspect the sites. UN trade sanctions would remain in effect until Iraq complied with all terms.

Gulf War aftermath

Image:Saddam Hussein (1).jpg Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions, together with the resulting postwar devastation, laid the groundwork for new rebellions within the country. In the aftermath of the fighting, social and ethnic unrest among Shi'ite Muslims, Kurds, and dissident military units threatened the stability of Saddam's government. Uprisings erupted in the Kurdish north and Shi'a southern and central parts of Iraq, but were ruthlessly repressed. In 2003 the Coalition, using Iraqi sources, estimated that 300,000 people had been buried in as many as 260 mass graves, mostly from 1983 to 1991. [10] In 2005 the BBC reported that as many as 30,000 persons had been killed during the 1991 uprisings [11].

The United States, which had urged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam, did nothing to assist the rebellions beyond enforcing the "no fly zones". U.S. ally Turkey opposed any prospect of Kurdish independence, and the Saudis and other conservative Arab states feared an Iran-style Shi'ite revolution. Saddam, having survived the immediate crisis in the wake of defeat, was left firmly in control of Iraq, although the country never recovered either economically or militarily from the Gulf War. Saddam routinely cited his survival as "proof" that Iraq had in fact won the war against America. This message earned Saddam a great deal of popularity in many sectors of the Arab world.

Saddam increasingly portrayed himself as a devout Muslim, in an effort to co-opt the conservative religious segments of society. Some elements of Sharia law were re-introduced (such as the 2001 edict imposing the death penalty for homosexuality, rape and prostitution, and the ritual phrase "Allahu Akbar" ("God is the greatest"), in Saddam's handwriting, was added to the national flag.)


Relations between the United States and Iraq remained tense following the Gulf War. In April of 1993 the Iraqi Intelligence Service, it is alleged, attempted to assassinate former President George H. W. Bush during a visit to Kuwait. Kuwaiti security forces apprehended a group of Iraqis at the scene of an alleged bombing attempt. It has been alleged by some that the charges against Iraq in relation to this event were fabricated [12], though this conspiracy theory has not gained widespread acceptance. On June 26, 1993, the U.S. launched a missile attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for the attack against former President Bush [13][14].

The UN sanctions placed upon Iraq when it invaded Kuwait were not lifted, blocking Iraqi oil exports. This caused immense hardship in Iraq and virtually destroyed the Iraqi economy and state infrastructure. Only smuggling across the Syrian border, and humanitarian aid ameliorated the humanitarian crisis. UN organizations (such as UNICEF and the WHO) have estimated between 500,000 and 1.2 million deaths were caused by the sanctions, mostly in the under-5 age group [15]. Skeptics have estimated that only 350,000 excess deaths occurred between 1991 and 2000 [16], and that many deaths were actually due to the bombing of Iraqi infrastructure. Some object to the accusation that these deaths were caused by the sanctions. They argue that Saddam's hoarding his country's resources was the true cause of the crisis. On December 9, 1996 the United Nations allowed Saddam's government to begin selling limited amounts of oil for food and medicine. Limited amounts of income from the United Nations started flowing into Iraq through the UN Oil for Food program. However, it is alleged that, due to corruption on both sides, very little food and medicine was actually delivered to the Iraqi people.

U.S. officials continued to accuse Saddam Hussein of violating the terms of the Gulf War's cease fire, by developing weapons of mass destruction and other banned weaponry, refusing to give out adequate information on these weapons, and violating the UN-imposed sanctions and "no-fly zones." Isolated military strikes by U.S. and British forces continued on Iraq sporadically, the largest being Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Charges of Iraqi impediment to UN inspection of sites thought to contain illegal weapons were claimed as the reasons for crises between 1997 and 1998, culminating in intensive U.S. and British missile strikes on Iraq, December 16-19, 1998. After two years of intermittent activity, U.S. and British warplanes struck harder at sites near Baghdad in February, 2001.

Saddam's support base of Tikriti tribesmen, family members, and other supporters were divided after the war, and in the following years, contributing to the government's increasingly repressive and arbitrary nature. Domestic repression inside Iraq grew worse, and Saddam's sons, Uday Hussein and Qusay Hussein, became increasingly powerful and carried out a private reign of terror. They likely had a leading hand when, in August 1995, two of Saddam Hussein's sons-in-law (Hussein Kamel and Saddam Kamel), who held high positions in the Iraqi military, defected to Jordan. Both were killed after returning to Iraq the following February.

Iraqi cooperation with UN weapons inspection teams was questioned on several occasions during the 1990s and UNSCOM chief weapons inspector Richard Butler withdrew his team from Iraq in November 1998 citing Iraqi non-cooperation, without the permission of the UN, although a UN spokesman subsequently stated that "the bulk of" the Security Council supported the move [17]. After a crisis ensued and the U.S. contemplated military action against Iraq, Saddam resumed cooperation. [18] The inspectors returned, but were withdrawn again on 16th December Template:Fn. Butler had given a report the UN Security Council on 15th December in which he expressed dissatisfaction with the level of compliance. Three out of five of the Permanent Members of the U.N. Security Council subsequently objected to Butler's withdrawal.

It has been speculated that either Iraq was deliberately hiding the weapons or playing a game of bluff, hoping to convince the Western powers and the other Arab states that Iraq was still a power to be reckoned with, rather than that Iraq was hiding significant stockpiles of prohibited materials. Scott Ritter, chief UN weapons inspector at the time, suggested after his resignation that it was U.S. foreign policy under the presidencies of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to depose Saddam Hussein, using the notion that he was a threat as justification, and that these administrations interfered with the action of weapons inspectors. [19]

Saddam continued to loom large in American consciousness as a major threat to Western allies such as oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Israel, to Western oil supplies from the Gulf states, and to Middle East stability generally. Bush's successor, U.S. President Bill Clinton (1993-2001), maintained economic sanctions, as well as military control of the "Iraqi no-fly zones". In 1998, in response to the departure of U.N. weapons inspectors from Iraq, President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, declaring that regime change was necessary in order for Iraq to "rejoin the family of nations" [20] and allocating funding to support Iraqi exile groups. This was soon followed by the three-day Operation Desert Fox, an air-strike effort to hamper Saddam's weapons-production facilities and suspected weapons of mass destruction sites.

Several journalists have reported on Saddam's ties to Islamic terrorism prior to 2000. Saddam, like most Arab leaders, had contacts with Palestinian terrorist groups. When his contacts with al-Qaeda were investigated, however, the NSA, CIA, FBI, DIA, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the U.S. State Department, and the independent 9/11 Commission all concluded that there was no formal cooperation between Saddam Hussein's government and al-Qaeda.

2003 Invasion of Iraq

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The domestic political equation changed in the U.S. after the September 11, 2001 attacks, which bolstered the influence of the neoconservative faction in the presidential administration and throughout Washington. In his January 2002 state-of-the-union message to Congress, President George W. Bush spoke of an "axis of evil" comprising Iran, North Korea, and Iraq. Moreover, Bush announced that he would possibly take action to topple the Iraqi government. Bush stated, "The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade." "Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror," said Bush.Template:Fn

As the war was looming on February 24, 2003, Saddam Hussein talked with CBS News anchor Dan Rather for more than three hours — his first interview with a U.S. reporter in over a decade.Template:Fn CBS aired the taped interview later that week.

The Iraqi government and military collapsed within three weeks of the beginning of the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq on March 20. The United States made at least two attempts to kill Saddam with targeted air strikes, but both failed to hit their target. By the beginning of April, Coalition forces occupied much of Iraq. The resistance of the much-weakened Iraqi Army either crumbled or shifted to guerrilla tactics, and it appeared that Saddam had lost control of Iraq. He was last seen in a video which purported to show him in the Baghdad suburbs surrounded by supporters. When Baghdad fell to the Coalition on April 9, Saddam was still preparing to leave.

Pursuit and capture


As the US forces were occupying the Republican Palace and other central landmarks and ministries on April 9, Saddam Hussein had emerged from his command bunker beneath the Al A'Zamiyah district of northern Baghdad and greeted excited members of the local public. In the BBC Panorama programme Saddam on the Run witnesses were found for these and other later events (see Note 15). This impromptu walk about was probably his last and his reasons for doing what was certainly extremely dangerous and almost cost him his freedom, if not his life, are unclear. It is possible that he wished to take what he thought might be his last opportunity to greet his people as their president. The walkabout was captured on film and broadcast several days after the event on Al-Arabiya Television and was also witnessed by ordinary people who corroborated the date afterwards. He was accompanied by bodyguards and other loyal supporters including at least one of his sons and his Personal Secretary.

After the walk about Saddam returned to his bunker and made preparations for his family. According to his eldest daughter Raghad Hussein he was by this point aware of the "betrayal" of a number of key figures involved in the defence of Baghdad. It appears there was a lot of confusion between Iraqi commanders in different sectors of the capital and communication between them and Saddam and between Saddam and his family were becoming increasingly difficult. This version of events is supported by Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf the former Information Minister who struggled to know what was actually happening after the US captured Baghdad International Airport.

The Americans had meanwhile started receiving rumours that Saddam was in Al A'Zamiyah and at dawn on April 10 they dispatched 300 US Marines to capture or kill him. As the Americans closed in, and realising that Baghdad was lost, Saddam arranged for cars to collect his eldest daughters Raghad and Rana and drive them to Syria. His wife Sajida Talfah and youngest daughter Hala had already left Iraq several weeks prior. Raghad Hussein stated in an interview for Panorama;

  • "After about midday my Dad sent cars from his private collection for us. We were told to get in. We had almost lost contact with my father and brothers because things had got out of hand. I saw with my own eyes the [Iraqi] army withdrawing and the terrified faces of the Iraqi soldiers who, unfortunately, were running away and looking around them. Missiles were falling on my left and my right - they were not more than fifty or one hundred metres away. We moved in small cars. I had a gun between my feet just in case." (Attributed to Raghad Hussein)

Then according to the testimony of a former bodyguard Saddam Hussein dismissed almost his entire staff;

  • "The last time I saw him he said: My sons, each of you go to your homes. We said: Sir, we want to stay with you. Why should we go? But he insisted. Even his son, Qusay, was crying a little. He [Saddam] was trying not to show his feelings. He was stressed but he didn't want to destroy the morale of the people who were watching him, but inside, he was definitely broken." (Attributed to an anonymous former bodyguard)

After this he changed out of his uniform and with only two bodyguards to guard him, left Baghdad in a plain white Oldsmobile and made his way to a specially prepared bunker in Dialah on the northern outskirts of the city.

Ayad Allawi in interview stated that Saddam stayed in the Dialah bunker for three weeks as Baghdad and the rest of Iraq were occupied by US forces. Initially he and his entourage used satellite telephones to communicate with each other. As this became more risky they resorted to sending couriers with written messages. One of these couriers was reported to have been his own nephew. However, their cover was given away when one of the couriers was captured and Saddam was forced to evacuate the Dialah bunker and resorted to changing location every few hours. There were numerous sightings of him in Beiji, Baquba and Tikrit to the north of Baghdad over the next few months as he shuttled between safe houses disguised as a shepherd in a plain taxi. How close he came to being captured during this period may never be made public. Sometime in the middle of May he moved to the countryside around his home town of Tikrit.

A series of audio tapes claiming to be from Saddam were released at various times, although the authenticity of these tapes remains uncertain.

Saddam Hussein was at the top of the "most-wanted list," and many of the other leaders of the Iraqi government were arrested, but extensive efforts to find him had little effect. In June they captured the former president's personal secretary, number 4 after Saddam and his sons Uday and Qusay. Documents discovered with him enabled intelligence officers to work out who was who in Saddam's circle. The cooks, the bodyguards the drivers, and photographs proved a goldmine. One photo, taken just two years before, featured a row of bodyguards around Saddam, looking every inch the mafia don. One by one the Americans put names to faces, found their homes, then they planned to catch them. Manhunts were launched nightly throughout the Sunni triangle. Safe houses and family homes were raided as soon as any tip came in that someone in Saddam's circle might be in the area.

In July 2003 in an engagement with U.S. forces after a tip-off from an Iraqi informant Saddam's sons were cornered in a house in Mosul and killed.

According to one of Saddam's bodyguards, the former president actually went to the grave himself on the evening of the funeral:

  • "After the funeral people saw Saddam Hussein visiting the graves with a group of his protectors. No one recognised them and even the car they came in wasn't spotted. At the grave Saddam read a verse from the Koran and cried. There were flags on the grave. After he finished reading, he took the flags and left. He cried for his sons."

The raids and arrests of people known to be close to the former President drove him deeper underground. Once more the trail was growing colder. In August the US military released photo-fits of how Saddam might be disguising himself in traditional garb, hair died grey, even without his signature moustache. By the early autumn the Pentagon had also formed a secret unit – Taskforce 121. Using electronic surveillance and undercover agents, the CIA and Special Forces scoured Iraq for clues. Their orders were clear, to capture or kill high value target number one, Saddam Hussein.

By the beginning of November Saddam was under siege. His home town and powerbase surrounded his faithful bodyguard targeted and then arrested one by one by the Americans. The noose was tightening day by day. Protests erupted in several towns in the Sunni triangle. People showed their support for Saddam.

On December 12 Mohamed Ibrahim Omar al-Musslit was unexpectedly captured in Baghdad. Mohamed had been a key figure in the President's special security organization. His cousin Adnan had been arrested in July. It appears Mohamed had take control of Saddam on the run, the only person who knew where he was from hour to hour and who was with him. According to US sources it took just a few hours "interrogation" for him to crack and betray Saddam.

Within hours Colonel James Hickey (1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division) together with US Special Forces launched Operation Red Dawn and under cover of darkness made for the village of Ad-Dawr on the outskirts of Tikrit. The informer had told US forces the former president would be in one of two groups of buildings on a farm codenamed Wolverine 1 and Wolverine 2.


On December 14, 2003, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) of Iran first reported that Saddam Hussein had been arrested, citing Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani. These reports were soon confirmed by other members of the Governing Council, by U.S. military sources, and by British prime minister Tony Blair. In a press conference in Baghdad, shortly afterwards, the U.S. civil administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, formally announced the capture of Saddam Hussein by saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him." Bremer reported that Saddam had been captured at approximately 8:30 PM Iraqi time on December 13, in an underground "spider hole" at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near his home town Tikrit, in what was called Operation Red Dawn. [21] Bremer presented video footage of Saddam in custody.

Saddam Hussein was shown with a full beard and hair longer and curlier than his familiar appearance, which a barber later restored. His identity was later reportedly confirmed by DNA testing. He was described as being in good health and as "talkative and co-operative." Bremer said that Saddam would be tried, but that the details of his trial had not yet been determined. Members of the Governing Council who spoke with Saddam after his capture reported that he was unrepentant, claiming to have been a "firm but just ruler." Later it emerged that the tip-off which led to his capture came from a detainee under interrogation.

The Special Operations Forces soldiers who captured Saddam Hussein turned him over to the 4th Infantry Division in order to avoid media publicity that would compromise their future missions. The 4th Infantry Division troops also received credit for their months of Military Intelligence and scouting work prior to the operation. The soldiers involved have this operation noted on their official US Army records (Officer and Non Commissioned Officer Evaluation Reports), and have received US Army Awards.

Several people have focused on abnormalities and inconsistencies in the official United States government rendition of how Saddam Hussein was captured, including individuals who claimed to be involved directly in the capture operation. These claims open the debate whether Saddam was actually in the spider hole or if he directly engaged U.S. Marines in a firefight where one Sudanese born U.S. marine lost his life. For more on this, see the "Conspiracy theories" heading under Operation Red Dawn.

Shortly after his capture, Saddam Hussein was shown on a Department of Defense video on Al-Jazeera receiving a medical examination. An American soldier witnessed the very first reactions of several Iraqis when they first saw the video:

  • "“No Saddam, Thompson!” he said [Iraqi restaurant owner] trying to maintain his composure. He was so stoic, yet so elated, as if today was the day he’d never live to see. He asked me to take his picture next to the TV now showing Saddam, bearded and despot. I did, and he looked stoic as ever, posing like a soldier answering the call to duty. On the TV in the back room, Al-Jazeera was on and showing the video as well. Saddam being examined by a military doctor–he cooperating fully. I watched carefully as some Iraqis came up to the TV to see if the rumors were true. They looked at the screen distrustfully for a moment, and then the video clip rolled again. I’ll never forget the look on their faces. Their faces drew longer, mouths opened, and seconds later, expressionless, open mouths slowly becoming smiles of victory, of justice. It was their moment, I thought to myself, to finally realize they are free from him at least. To see the faces of people coming to realize that 30 years of fear is over – as they realize it, is something I will never forget. I felt privileged to see that process, to observe it, because it’s a victory for common peoples – and those can be so rare in such pure form. One man became emotional and teary eyed, then went to get others. Other Iraqis, construction workers and teenagers came in to see the video showed on TV for themselves. They wore hopeful expressions, glancing to us for a signal of joy. I smiled back. Perhaps this will be a turning point in the war." [22]


According to US military sources, immediately after his capture on December 14 Saddam was hooded and his hands were bound. He was taken by a military Hummer vehicle to a waiting helicopter and then flown to the US base located in and adjacent to one of his former palaces in Tikrit. At this base he was paraded before jubilant US soldiers and a series of photographs were taken. After a brief pause he was loaded onto another helicopter and flown to the main US base at Baghdad International Airport and transferred to the Camp Cropper facility. Here he was photographed officially and had his long beard shaved. The next day he was visited in his cell by members of the Iraqi Governing Council including Ahmed Chalabi and Adnan Pachachi. It is believed that he has stayed at this high security location for the majority of time since his capture. Details of his interrogation are unknown. There were rumours that he was flown out of Iraq during a dangerous upsurge in the insurgency during 2004 but this now seems unlikely.

On May 20, 2005, Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid newspapers The Sun of U.K. and New York Post, printed photos of Saddam Hussein in his jail cell wearing only his briefs with the headline "Tyrant's in his pants" (The Sun). On the page three of The Sun which is traditionally preserved for topless "Page Three girls", Saddam Hussein was shown wearing a white robe while doing laundry by hand, with the caption: "a pathetic figure as he washed his trousers in jail. (...) Now he sits astride a plastic pink chair while he carries out the chores of a laundry maid." [23] These photos, said to be "provided by American military sources to undermine the Iraqi rebellion" [24], were officially not authorised, being qualified "a clear violation of United States Department of Defense directives, and possibly Geneva Convention guidelines for the humane treatment of detained individuals" by Bush's deputy press secretary Trent Duffy. The U.S. military said that it would "aggressively investigate" how the photographs of Saddam Hussein in captivity were released [25].


Image:Current event marker.png This article documents a current event.
Information may change rapidly as the event progresses.

Image:TrialSaddam.jpg On June 30, 2004, Saddam Hussein (held in custody by U.S. forces at Camp Cropper in Baghdad), and 11 senior Ba'athist officials were handed over legally (though not physically, as there is, at present, no adequate Iraqi prison to hold them) to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Particular attention will be paid to his activities in violent campaigns against the Kurds in the north during the Iran-Iraq War, and against the Shiites in the south in 1991 and 1999 to put down revolts.

On July 1, 2004, the first legal hearing in Saddam's case was held before the Iraqi Special Tribunal. Broadcast later on Arabic and Western television networks, it was his first appearance in footage aired around the world since his capture by U.S. forces the previous December.

On June 17, 2005 The former Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad announced the formation, under his joint chairmanship, of an international Emergency Committee for Iraq, with a main objective of ensuring fair trials for Saddam Hussein and the other former Ba'ath Party officials being tried with him. [26]

On July 18, 2005, Saddam was charged by the Special Tribunal with the first of an expected series of charges, relating to the mass killings of the inhabitants of the village of Dujail in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt against him.

On August 8, 2005, the family announced that the legal team had been dissolved and that the only Iraq-based member, Khalil al-Duleimi, had been made sole legal counsel. [27]

On October 19, 2005 Iraqi authorities put Saddam Hussein back on trial — four days after the October 15 referendum on the new constitution. The trial was adjourned until November 28.

On November 28, 2005, Chief Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin adjourned the trial until December 5 to allow time to find replacements for two defense lawyers who were slain and another who fled Iraq after he was wounded.

On December 5, 2005, Saddam's legal defense team stormed out of the court after questioning its legitimacy and asking about security issues regarding the protection of the defense. Saddam along with his co-defendants railed against Chief Judge Amin and the tribunal.

On December 6, 2005, Saddam Hussein shouted that he will not return "to an unjust court" when it convenes for a fifth session the following day. At the end of the session, when the judges decided to resume the trial the next day, Saddam suddenly shouted as the judges left: "I will not attend an unfair trial" and added "Go to hell!" [28]

On December 21, 2005, Saddam Hussein claimed in court that Americans had tortured him during his detainment "everywhere on [his] body" and that he had bruises as proof. [29]

On January 23, 2006, Rauf Rashid Abd al-Rahman was nominated interim chief judge of the tribunal. [30]. He replaces former chief judge Rizgar Amin, also a Kurd, who resigned after complaining of government interference.

On March 15, 2006, Saddam was called by the prosecution as a witness. On the stand, he made several political statements, saying he was still President of Iraq and calling on Iraqis to stop fighting each other and instead fight American troops. The judge turned off Saddam's microphone and closed the trial to the public in response. [31].


Saddam married Sajida Talfah in 1958. Sajida is the daughter of Khairallah Talfah, Saddam's uncle and mentor. Their marriage was arranged when Saddam was 5 and Sajida was 7, however, the two didn't meet until their wedding; they were married in Egypt during his exile. They had two sons (Uday and Qusay) and three daughters, Rana, Raghad and Hala. Uday controlled the media, and was named Journalist of the Century by the Iraqi Union of Journalists. Qusay ran the elite Republican Guard, and was considered Saddam's heir. Both brothers made a fortune smuggling oil. Sajida, Raghad, and Rana were put under house arrest because they were suspected of being involved in an attempted assassination of Uday on December 12, 1996. General Adnan Khairallah Tuffah, Sajida's brother and Saddam's boyhood friend, was allegedly executed because of his growing popularity.

Saddam also married two other women: Samira Shahbandar, whom he married in 1986 after forcing her husband to divorce her (she is rumored to be his favorite wife), and Nidal al-Hamdani, the general manager of the Solar Energy Research Center in the Council of Scientific Research, whose husband apparently was also persuaded to divorce his wife. There apparently have been no political issues from these latter two marriages. Saddam has a son, Ali, by Samira.


In August 1995, Rana and her husband Hussein Kamel al Majid and Raghad and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid, defected to Jordan, taking their children with them. They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam Hussein would pardon them. Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Majid brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors. Saddam had made it clear that although pardoned, they would lose all status and would not receive any protection.

Saddam's daughter Hala is married to Jamal Mustafa Sultan al-Tikriti, the deputy head of Iraq's Tribal Affairs Office. Neither has been known to be involved in politics. Jamal surrendered to U.S. troops in April 2003. Another cousin was Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known in the United States as "Chemical Ali," who was accused of ordering the use of poison gas in 1988. Ali is now in U.S. custody. Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Baghdad's airport (Saddam International Airport) was named after him until April 3, 2003 when U.S. forces seized control of the airport, renaming the airport to its current name.

In August 2003 Saddam's daughters Raghad and Rana received sanctuary in Amman, Jordan, where they are staying with their nine children. That month, they spoke with CNN and the Arab satellite station Al-Arabiya in Amman. When asked about her father, Raghad told CNN, "He was a very good father, loving, has a big heart." Asked if she wanted to give a message to her father, she said: "I love you and I miss you." Her sister Rana also remarked, "He had so many feelings and he was very tender with all of us." Template:Fn

In 2005 a GQ interview [32] of four American National Guardsmen from Pennsylvania whose job was to guard Saddam after his capture quoted Saddam as saying, "Reagan and me, good.... The Clinton, he's okay. The Bush father, son, no good." According to the soldiers Reagan was a favorite topic of Saddam's. Saddam told them about how Reagan sold him "planes and helicopters" and "basically funded his war against Iran." Saddam told them that he "wish things were like when Ronald Reagan was still president."


Template:Fnb Sometimes spelled Hussayn or Hussain.

Template:Fnb Under his government, this date was his official date of birth. His real date of birth was never recorded, but it is believed to be a date between 1935 and 1939. This is because precise dates of birth were often not recorded in the region where he was born, and peasant children, such as Saddam, were often given a nominal birth date of 1 July, which is why his birth date is sometimes given as 1 July 1939. From Con Coughlin, Saddam The Secret Life Pan Books, 2003 (ISBN 0330393103).

Template:Fnb Saddam (pronounced "Sad-DAAHM" or "Suh-DAAM"; during the 1991 Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush pronounced his name "SAD-dum"), his personal name, means the stubborn one or he who confronts in Arabic. Hussein is not a surname in the Western sense but a patronymic; it is his father's given personal name; Abd al-Majid his grandfather's, and al-Tikriti means he was born and raised in (or near) Tikrit. He is commonly referred to as Saddam Hussein, or Saddam for short. Some observers have argued that referring to the deposed Iraqi president as only Saddam may be derogatory and academically inappropriate, considering that Westerners often mispronounce the name "Saddám" as "Sádom," adding a religious rhetorical connotation to "Sodom" — the city which according to the Bible was destroyed by God for its sin. Others claim that those who so argue are mistakenly assuming Hussein to be a family name. The New York Times regularly refers to him as "Mr. Hussein"[33], while Encyclopædia Britannica prefers to address the man simply as Saddam [34]. A full discussion can be found here.

Template:Fnb See PBS Frontline (2003), "The survival of Saddam: secrets of his life and leadership: interview with Saïd K. Aburish" at [35].

Template:Fnb BBC News, 16 October 2000 [36]

Template:Fnb From Elisabeth Bumiller's interview of Jerrold M. Grumpkin, the founder of the Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior at the CIA in the New York Times (15 May 2004) on the importance of events during Saddam Hussein's youth. It can be read online at [37].

Template:Fnb For further details see Khadduri, Majid. Socialist Iraq. The Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C., 1978.

Template:Fnb A free-access on-line archive relating to U.S.-Iraq relations in the 1980s is offered by The National Security Archive of the George Washington University. It can be read on line at [38]. The Mount Holyoke International Relations Program also provides a free-access document briefing on U.S.-Iraq relations (1904 - present); this can be accessed on line at [39].

Template:Fnb For a statement asserting the overriding importance of oil to U.S. national security and the U.S. economy, see, e.g., the declassified document, "Responding to Iraqi Aggression in the Gulf," The White House, National Security Directive (NSD 54), top secret, January 15, 1991. This document can be read on line in George Washington University's National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 21 at [40].

Template:Fnb Richard BUTLER, Saddam Defiant, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2000, p. 224

Template:Fnb For further details see Globe and Mail Update, "Hussein does Baghdad walkabout" [41] 4 April 2003.

Template:Fnb The full text of Bush's 2002 State of the Union address can be read on line (BBC News) at [42].

Template:Fnb Dan Rather's interview with Saddam Hussein leading up to the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq on 20 March can be read on line ( at [43].

Template:Fnb For coverage of the postwar CNN and Al-Arabiya interviews with Saddam's daughters, see [44]

Template:Fnb ref: Stephen C. Pelletiere, New York Times, January 31, 2003 : A War Crime or an Act of War?

Template:Fnb ref: Panorama, BBC1 March 28, 2004 : Saddam on the run : Produced by Chris Woods and Presented by Jane Corbin.

See also

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