Saddam Hussein

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Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein, 1998.jpg
Personal life
Date and place of birth April 28, 1937[1]
Al-Awja, Iraq
Parents Hussein 'Abid al-Majid
Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat
Claimed religion Islam (Sunni)
Education Cairo Law School, Egypt 1962-65 (dropped out)
University of Baghdad (law degree, 1971)
Spouse Sajida Talfah
Children Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti
Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti
Raghad Saddam
Rana Saddam
Hala Saddam
Date & Place of Death December 30, 2006
Kadhimiya, Iraq
Manner of Death Executed by hanging
Place of burial Al-Awja, Iraq
Dictatorial career
Country Iraq
Military service n/a
Highest rank attained n/a
Political beliefs Ba'athist
Political party Ba'ath Party
Date of dictatorship July 22, 1979
Wars started Iran-Iraq War
Invasion of Kuwait
Number of deaths attributed 1,000,000+

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (most often referred to as simply Saddam Hussein) (April 28, 1937 – December 30, 2006) was the Sunni President of Iraq from July 16, 1979[2] to December 14, 2003.[3] Hussein was a Socialist, following other modern Socialist movements and the Nasser model. He brought change and secularization to an otherwise faith-based and religiously guided society, and even appointed Tariq Aziz, a member of the Chaldeans, as Deputy prime minister from 1983-2003. To the consternation of Islamic conservatives, his government gave women freedoms and offered them high-level government and industry jobs. Hussein also created a Western-style legal system, making Iraq the only country in the Persian Gulf region not ruled according to traditional Islamic law (Sharia). Hussein abolished the Sharia law courts, except for personal injury claims.

Iran-Iraq War

During the 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq War, the United States considered Hussein to be a friend and assisted him with loans[4] up until the time of the Iranian initiative under President Ronald Reagan when U.S. policy shifted. Fearing the threat to Iraq's neighbors, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Gulf States if a militarized Iraq under Hussein emerged from the war intact, the U.S. through intermediaries began selling TOW missiles to Iran in what has come to be known as the Iran/Contra affair, to break the deadlock and tip the balance in favor Iran.

He was one of the few modern leaders who used weapons of mass destruction, specifically chemical weapons, in war; and was the instigator of at least two wars: the Iran-Iraq War during the 1980s and Iraq's August, 1990, invasion of Kuwait.

On March the 16th 1988 Hussein used Sulfur mustard, Sarin and VX to kill his own kurdish citizens, though the US Army War College said that it was greatly exaggerated. [5][6]

On January 18, 1991 Hussein ordered to fire scud missiles at the Israeli cities Tel Aviv and Haifa at 0300 local time, when most people were asleep. Nobody was killed and a few people were injured.[7] In addition, around that time, Saddam Hussein had started moving his chemical weapons stockpiles outside the country to both Jordan and Syria, in an attempt at doing a two-wave chemical weapon attack against Israel.[8]

War on Terror

In 2003 a "coalition of the willing" invaded Iraq to force a change of regime from Hussein's Ba'athist party to a constitutional liberal democracy. A further aim was to break the alliance between al Qaeda and Hussein, though this link has never been proven.[9]

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek and Libyan Socialist General Secretary Muammar Gaddafi in negotiations with Hussein relayed a message through Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W. Bush that Hussein feared assassination and would be willing to avoid removal by force and voluntarily go into exile, provided Hussein was allowed to take $1 billion and "all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction".[10][11][12][13] However, because he had already moved the stockpiles outside Iraq since 1991 up to a year beforehand (with his using the bursting of the Orontes River in Syria during that time as an excuse to move them via modified 747 and 727 planes to quickly transport them, with some Russian aid), the coalition forces could not find any evidence of WMDs, which caused liberals to falsely claim that Bush lied about the transfer.[8]

Trial and Execution

Saddam Hussein after his capture, December 2003

Captured by U.S. forces on December 13, 2003, Hussein was brought to trial under the Iraqi interim government set up by U.S.-led forces. Saddam held the Islamic book, the Quran, during the trial.[14] On November 5, 2006, a tribunal found him and 6 other co-defendants guilty of charges related to the executions of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites suspected of planning an assassination attempt against him. He was consequently sentenced to death by hanging. Following the sentence being affirmed on appeal, he was executed on December 30, 2006.

See also

Abdel Bari Atwan