Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein

Overview
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

: ; 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the fifth President
President of Iraq
The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." The President is elected by the Council of...

 of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and it's regional organisation Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region is a ba'athist regional organisation founded in 1951 by Fuad al-Rikabi...

, which espoused a mix of Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

 and Arab socialism
Arab socialism
Arab socialism is a political ideology based on an amalgamation of Pan-Arabism and socialism. Arab socialism is distinct from the much broader tradition of socialist thought in the Arab world, which predates Arab socialism by as much as fifty years...

, Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to long-term power of Iraq.

As vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr
Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr
General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr , was the fourth President of Iraq from 1968 to 1979.-Military career:...

, and at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces.
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Timeline

1979   Iraqi President Hasan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by Saddam Hussein.

1980   The Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein kills philosopher Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and his sister Bint al-Huda after three days of torture.

1982   Assassination attempt against Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Dujail.

1990   Saddam Hussein appears on Iraqi state television with a number of Western "guests" (actually hostages) to try to prevent the Gulf War.

1991   Gulf War: On Baghdad Radio Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.

2002   A group of Iraqis opposed to the regime of Saddam Hussein take over the Iraqi Embassy in Berlin for five hours before releasing their hostages and surrendering.

2003   U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein's regime falls two days later.

2003   2003 invasion of Iraq: Baghdad falls to American forces;Saddam Hussein statue topples as Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader, pulling down the statue and tearing it to pieces.

2003   Members of 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attack a compound in Iraq, killing Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay, along with Mustapha Hussein, Qusay's 14-year old son, and a bodyguard.

2003   Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit (see Operation Red Dawn).

 
Quotations

The most important thing about marriage is that the man must not let the woman feel downtrodden simply because she is a woman and he is a man.

Interview with the Al-Mar'a magazine in 1978.

The great duel, the mother of all battles has begun. The dawn of victory nears as this great showdown begins!

Broadcast on Baghdad state radio, January 17, 1991.
Encyclopedia
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

: ; 28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was the fifth President
President of Iraq
The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." The President is elected by the Council of...

 of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. A leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and it's regional organisation Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region is a ba'athist regional organisation founded in 1951 by Fuad al-Rikabi...

, which espoused a mix of Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism
Arab nationalism is a nationalist ideology celebrating the glories of Arab civilization, the language and literature of the Arabs, calling for rejuvenation and political union in the Arab world...

 and Arab socialism
Arab socialism
Arab socialism is a political ideology based on an amalgamation of Pan-Arabism and socialism. Arab socialism is distinct from the much broader tradition of socialist thought in the Arab world, which predates Arab socialism by as much as fifty years...

, Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to long-term power of Iraq.

As vice president under the ailing General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr
Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr
General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr , was the fourth President of Iraq from 1968 to 1979.-Military career:...

, and at a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces. In the early 1970s, Saddam nationalized oil
Iraq Petroleum Company
The Iraq Petroleum Company , until 1929 called Turkish Petroleum Company , was an oil company jointly owned by some of the world's largest oil companies, which had virtual monopoly on all oil exploration and production in Iraq from 1925 to 1961...

 and other industries. The state-owned banks were put under his control, leaving the system eventually insolvent mostly due to the Iran–Iraq War, the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 and UN sanctions. Through the 1970s, Saddam cemented his authority over the apparatuses of government as oil money helped Iraq's economy to grow at a rapid pace. Positions of power in the country were filled with Sunnis, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population.

Saddam suppressed several movements, particularly Shi'a and Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 movements seeking to overthrow the government or gain independence, respectively. Saddam maintained power during the Iran–Iraq War of 1980 through 1988. In 1990 he invaded and looted Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

. An international coalition came to free Kuwait in the Gulf War of 1991, but did not end Saddam's rule. Whereas some venerated him for his aggressive stance against Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, including firing missiles at Israeli targets, he was widely condemned for the brutality of his dictatorship.

In March 2003, a coalition of countries led by the U.S. and U.K. invaded Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 to depose Saddam, after U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 accused him of possessing weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 and having ties to al-Qaeda. Saddam's Ba'ath party was disbanded and the nation made a transition to a democratic system. Following his capture on 13 December 2003 (in Operation Red Dawn
Operation Red Dawn
Operation Red Dawn was the U.S. military operation conducted on 13 December 2003 in the town of ad-Dawr, Iraq, near Tikrit, that captured Iraq President Saddam Hussein, ending rumours of his death. The operation was named after the 1984 film Red Dawn. The mission was assigned to the 1st Brigade...

), the trial of Saddam
Trial of Saddam Hussein
thumb|300 px| Saddam Hussein sits before an Iraqi judge at a courthouse in Baghdad, 1 July 2004.The Trial of Saddam Hussein was the trial of the deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein by the Iraqi Interim Government for crimes against humanity during his time in office.The Coalition Provisional...

 took place under the Iraqi interim government
Iraqi Interim Government
The Iraqi Interim Government was created by the United States and its coalition allies as a caretaker government to govern Iraq until the Iraqi Transitional Government was installed following the Iraqi National Assembly election conducted on January 30, 2005...

. On 5 November 2006, he was convicted of charges related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'ites and was sentenced to death by hanging
Hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

. The execution of Saddam Hussein
Execution of Saddam Hussein
The execution of Saddam Hussein took place on December 30, 2006 . Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging, after being found guilty and convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi'ite in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an...

 was carried out on 30 December 2006.

Youth


Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was born in the town of Al-Awja
Al-Awja
It was the birth place of the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1937 and home of many of the leaders of Iraqi provinces during his Presidency over Iraq....

, 13 km (8 mi) from the Iraqi town of Tikrit
Tikrit
Tikrit is a town in Iraq, located 140 km northwest of Baghdad on the Tigris river . The town, with an estimated population in 2002 of about 260,000 is the administrative center of the Salah ad Din Governorate.-Ancient times:...

, to a family of shepherds from the al-Begat tribal group, a sub-group of the Al-Bu Nasir (البو ناصر) tribe. His mother, Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat, named her newborn son Saddam, which in Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 means "One who confronts"; he is always referred to by this personal name
Arabic name
Long ago, Arabic names were based on a long naming system; most Arabs did not simply have given/middle/family names, but a full chain of names. This system was in use throughout the Arab world. Today however, Arabic names are similar in structure to those of Modern and Western names...

, which may be followed by the patronymic and other elements. He never knew his father, Hussein 'Abid al-Majid, who disappeared six months before Saddam was born. Shortly afterward, Saddam's 13-year-old brother died of cancer. The infant Saddam was sent to the family of his maternal uncle Khairallah Talfah
Khairallah Talfah
Khairallah Talfah - Khayr-Allah Telfah - Khairallah Tolfah - Khairallah Tilfah was an Iraqi Ba'ath Party official, and the maternal uncle and father-in-law of Saddam Hussein. He was the father of Sajida Talfah, Saddam's first wife, and of Adnan Khairallah, defence minister...

 until he was three.

His mother remarried, and Saddam gained three half-brothers through this marriage. His stepfather, Ibrahim al-Hassan, treated Saddam harshly after his return. At about age 10, Saddam fled the family and returned to live in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 with his uncle Kharaillah Tulfah. Tulfah, the father of Saddam's future wife, was a devout Sunni Muslim and a veteran from the 1941 Anglo-Iraqi War
Anglo-Iraqi War
The Anglo-Iraqi War was the name of the British campaign against the rebel government of Rashid Ali in the Kingdom of Iraq during the Second World War. The war lasted from 2 May to 31 May 1941. The campaign resulted in the re-occupation of Iraq by British armed forces and the return to power of the...

 between Iraqi nationalists
Iraqi nationalism
Iraqi nationalism refers to a nationalism based on Iraqi identity. Iraqi nationalism in history was influential in Iraq's movement to independence from Ottoman and British occupation. Iraqi nationalism was an important aspect in the 1920 Revolution against British occupation, and the 1958...

 and the United Kingdom, which remained a major colonial power in the region. Later in his life relatives from his native Tikrit became some of his closest advisors and supporters. Under the guidance of his uncle he attended a nationalistic high school in Baghdad. After secondary school Saddam studied at an Iraqi law school for three years, dropping out in 1957 at the age of 20 to join the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba'ath Party, of which his uncle was a supporter. During this time, Saddam apparently supported himself as a secondary school teacher.


Revolutionary sentiment was characteristic of the era in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. In Iraq progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

s and socialists assailed traditional political elites (colonial era bureaucrats and landowners, wealthy merchants and tribal chiefs, monarchists). Moreover, the pan-Arab nationalism of Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

 in Egypt profoundly influenced young Ba'athists like Saddam. The rise of Nasser foreshadowed a wave of revolutions throughout the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s, with the collapse of the monarchies of Iraq, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

. Nasser inspired nationalists throughout the Middle East by fighting the British and the French during the Suez Crisis of 1956
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

, modernizing Egypt, and uniting the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

 politically.

In 1958, a year after Saddam had joined the Ba'ath party, army officers led by General Abd al-Karim Qasim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq
Faisal II of Iraq
Faisal II was the last King of Iraq. He reigned from 4 April 1939 until July 1958, when he was killed during the "14 July Revolution" together with several members of his family...

. The Ba'athists opposed the new government, and in 1959 Saddam was involved in the unsuccessful United States-backed plot to assassinate Qasim.

Rise to power


Army officers with ties to the Ba'ath Party overthrew Qasim in a coup in 1963. Ba'athist leaders were appointed to the cabinet and Abdul Salam Arif
Abdul Salam Arif
Abdul Salam Mohammed Arif Aljumaily was President of Iraq from 1963 till his death. He played a leading role in the coup in which the Hashemite monarchy was overthrown on July 14, 1958.-1958 revolution and conflict with Qasim:...

 became president. Arif dismissed and arrested the Ba'athist leaders later that year. Saddam
Saddam
–Saddam is an Arabic name which means "One who confronts", other meanings include: "One who frequently causes collisions", "Powerful collider", "One who causes a collision that had bad results", "Powerful confronter", "One who frequently crashes", or "Powerful commander"...

 returned to Iraq, but was imprisoned in 1964. Just prior to his imprisonment and until 1968, Saddam
Saddam
–Saddam is an Arabic name which means "One who confronts", other meanings include: "One who frequently causes collisions", "Powerful collider", "One who causes a collision that had bad results", "Powerful confronter", "One who frequently crashes", or "Powerful commander"...

 held the position of Ba'ath party secretary. He escaped from prison in 1967 and quickly became a leading member of the party. In 1968, Saddam participated in a bloodless coup led by Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr that overthrew Abdul Rahman Arif
Abdul Rahman Arif
Hajj Abdul Rahman Mohammed Arif Aljumaily was president of Iraq from April 16, 1966 to July 17, 1968.-Biography:...

. Al-Bakr was named president and Saddam was named his deputy, and deputy chairman of the Ba'athist Revolutionary Command Council
Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council
The Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council was established after the military coup in 1968, and was the ultimate decision making body in Iraq before the 2003 American-led invasion. It exercised both executive and legislative authority in the country, with the Chairman and Vice Chairman chosen by a...

. According to biographers, Saddam never forgot the tensions within the first Ba'athist government, which formed the basis for his measures to promote Ba'ath party unity as well as his resolve to maintain power and programs to ensure social stability.

Iraq was a strategic buffer state for the United States against the Soviet Union, and Saddam was often seen as an anti-Soviet leader in the 1960s and 1970s. Some even suggested that John F. Kennedy's administration supported the Ba'ath party's takeover.
Although Saddam was al-Bakr's deputy, he was a strong behind-the-scenes party politician. Al-Bakr was the older and more prestigious of the two, but by 1969 Saddam Hussein clearly had become the moving force behind the party.

Political program


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, as vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, formally the al-Bakr's second-in-command, Saddam built a reputation as a progressive, effective politician. At this time, 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.

After the Ba'athists took power in 1968, Saddam focused on attaining stability in a nation riddled with profound tensions. Long before Saddam, Iraq had been split along social, ethnic, religious, and economic fault lines: Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 versus Shi'ite
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

, Arab versus Kurd, tribal chief versus urban merchant, nomad versus peasant. Stable rule in a country rife with factionalism
Political faction
A political faction is a grouping of individuals, such as a political party, a trade union, or other group with a political purpose. A faction or political party may include fragmented sub-factions, “parties within a party," which may be referred to as power blocs, or voting blocs. The individuals...

 required both massive repression and the improvement of living standards.

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 1 June 1972, Saddam oversaw the seizure of international oil interests, which, at the time, dominated the country's oil sector. A year later, world oil prices rose dramatically as a result of the 1973 energy crisis, 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).

With the help of increasing oil revenues, Saddam diversified the largely oil-based Iraqi economy
Economy of Iraq
Iraq's economy is dominated by the petroleum sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. In the 1980s, financial problems caused by massive expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export facilities by Iran led the government to implement...

. Saddam implemented a national infrastructure campaign that made great progress in building roads, promoting mining, and developing other industries. The campaign helped 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 and roughly two-thirds were peasants. This number would decrease quickly during the 1970s as global oil prices helped revenues to rise from less than a half billion dollars to tens of billions of dollars and the country invested into industrial expansion.

Saddam was lucky for the revenue. The Economist described the sentiments, stating that "Much as Adolf Hitler won early praise for galvanising German industry, ending mass unemployment and building autobahns, Saddam earned admiration abroad for his deeds. He had a good instinct for what the "Arab street" demanded, following the decline in Egyptian leadership brought about by the trauma of Israel's six-day victory in the 1967 war, the death of the pan-Arabist hero, Gamal Abdul Nasser, in 1970, and the "traitorous" drive by his successor, Anwar Sadat, to sue for peace with the Jewish state. Saddam's self-aggrandising propaganda, with himself posing as the defender of Arabism against Jewish or Persian
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 intruders, was heavy-handed, but consistent as a drumbeat. It helped, of course, that his mukhabarat
Iraqi Intelligence Service
The Iraqi Intelligence Service , also known as the Mukhabarat, General Directorate of Intelligence, or Party Intelligence, was the main state intelligence organization in Iraq under Saddam Hussein...

 (secret police) put dozens of Arab news editors, writers and artists on the payroll."

In 1972 Saddam started developing his chemical weapons program. In 1973 he signed a 15-year Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union.

Saddam focused on fostering loyalty to the Ba'athists 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. The Ba'athists established farm cooperatives and the government also doubled expenditures for agricultural development in 1974–1975.
Saddam's welfare programs were part of a combination of "carrot and stick" tactics to enhance support for Saddam. The state-owned banks were put under his thumb. Lending was based on cronyism

Development went forward at such a fevered pitch that two million people from other Arab countries and even Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 worked in Iraq to meet the growing demand for labor.

Succession


In 1976, Saddam rose to the position of general in the Iraqi armed forces, and rapidly became the strongman
Strongman (politics)
A strongman is a political leader who rules by force and runs an authoritarian regime. The term is often used interchangeably with "dictator," but differs from a "warlord".A strongman is not necessarily always a formal head of government, however...

 of the government. As the ailing, elderly al-Bakr became 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 leader 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 accumulated a powerful circle of support within the party.

In 1979 al-Bakr started to make treaties with Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, also under Ba'athist leadership, that would lead to unification between the two countries. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad
Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad or more commonly Hafez al-Assad was the President of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and...

 would become deputy leader in a union, and this would drive Saddam to obscurity. Saddam acted to secure his grip on power. He forced the ailing al-Bakr to resign on 16 July 1979, and formally assumed the presidency.

Shortly afterwards, he convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders on 22 July 1979. During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped (viewable via this reference), Saddam claimed to have found a fifth column
Fifth column
A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within.-Origin:The term originated with a 1936 radio address by Emilio Mola, a Nationalist General during the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War...

 within the Ba'ath Party and directed Muhyi Abdel-Hussein to read out a confession and the names of 68 alleged co-conspirators. These members were labelled "disloyal" and were removed from the room one by one and taken into custody. After the list was read, Saddam congratulated those still seated in the room for their past and future loyalty. The 68 people arrested at the meeting were subsequently tried together and found guilty of treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

. 22 were sentenced to execution. Other high-ranking members of the party formed the firing squad. By 1 August 1979, hundreds of high-ranking Ba'ath party members had been executed.


Genocidal campaign against Kurds



The Al-Anfal Campaign
Al-Anfal Campaign
The al-Anfal Campaign , also known as Operation Anfal or simply Anfal, was a genocidal campaign against the Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid in the final stages of Iran-Iraq War...

 was a genocidal
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 campaign against the Kurdish people
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 (and many others) in Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

 led by the Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i regime of Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid
Ali Hassan al-Majid
Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti , , was a Ba'athist Iraqi Defense Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service...

. The campaign takes its name from Sura
Sura
A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

t al-Anfal
Al-Anfal
Sura Al-Anfal is the eighth chapter of the Qur'an, with 75 verses. It is a Medinan sura, completed after theBattle of Badr. It forms a pair with the next sura, At-Tawba.-Badr:...

 in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

, which was used as a code name
Code name
A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. Code names are often used for military purposes, or in espionage...

 by the former Iraqi Ba'ath
Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region
The Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party – Iraq Region is a ba'athist regional organisation founded in 1951 by Fuad al-Rikabi...

ist regime
Regime
The word regime refers to a set of conditions, most often of a political nature.-Politics:...

 for a series of attacks against the peshmerga
Peshmerga
Peshmerga or Peshmerge is the term used by Kurds to refer to armed Kurdish fighters. Literally meaning "those who face death" the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan have been in existence since the advent of the Kurdish independence movement in the early 1920s, following the collapse of the Ottoman...

rebels and the mostly Kurdish
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 civilian population of rural Northern Iraq, conducted between 1986 and 1989 culminating in 1988. This campaign also targeted Shabaks
Shabak people
Shabak people are an ethnic and religious minority group living in northern Iraq, who live mainly in the villages of Ali Rash, Khazna, Yangidja, and Tallara in Sinjar district in the province of Ninawa in northern Iraq. Their language, Shabaki, is a Northwestern Iranian language very close to...

 and Yazidi
Yazidi
The Yazidi are members of a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-Iranian roots. They are primarily a Kurdish-speaking people living in the Mosul region of northern Iraq, with additional communities in Transcaucasia, Armenia, Turkey, and Syria in decline since the 1990s – their members emigrating to...

s, Assyrians
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

, Turkoman people
Iraqi Turkmen
The Iraqi Turkmen are an ethnic group who mainly reside in northern Iraq. Estimates of their numbers vary dramatically, in accordance with Iraq's assimilation policies no realistic and independent census results have been revealed regarding the Iraqi Turkmen population...

 and Mandeans and many villages belonging to these ethnic groups were also destroyed. Some reports cite Saddam Hussein's army as being responsible for 200,000 civilian deaths.

Political repression


Saddam was notable for terror against his own people. The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

described Saddam as "one of the last of the 20th century's great dictators, but not the least in terms of egotism, or cruelty, or morbid will to power".

The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

described in its obituary how Saddam "murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead. His seizure of Kuwait threw the Middle East into crisis. More insidious, arguably, was the psychological damage he inflicted on his own land. Hussein created a nation of informants — friends on friends, circles within circles — making an entire population complicit in his rule". Others have estimated 800,000 deaths caused by Saddam not counting the Iran-Iraq war. Estimates as to the number of Iraqis executed by Saddam's regime vary from 300–500,000 to over 600,000, estimates as to the number of Kurds he massacred vary from 70,000 to 300,000, and estimates as to the number killed in the put-down of the 1991 rebellion vary from 60,000 to 200,000. Estimates for the number of dead in the Iran-Iraq war range upwards from 300,000.

Iraqi society is divided along lines of language, religion and ethnicity; Saddam's government rested on the support of the 20% minority of Sunnis. The Ba'ath Party was increasingly concerned about potential Shi'a Islamist influence following the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 of 1979. The Kurds of northern Iraq
Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan or Kurdistan Region is an autonomous region of Iraq. It borders Iran to the east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and the rest of Iraq to the south. The regional capital is Arbil, known in Kurdish as Hewlêr...

 (who are Sunni, but not Arabs) were also permanently hostile to the Ba'athist party's pan-Arabism. To maintain power Saddam 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
Taha Yassin Ramadan
Taha Yasin Ramadan al-Jizrawi was a prominent Iraqi Kurd, serving as Vice President of Iraq from March 1991 to the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003....

 (himself a Kurd Ba'athist), 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
Iraqi Intelligence Service
The Iraqi Intelligence Service , also known as the Mukhabarat, General Directorate of Intelligence, or Party Intelligence, was the main state intelligence organization in Iraq under Saddam Hussein...

) was the most notorious arm of the state security system, feared for its use of torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 and assassination. It was commanded by Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti
Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti
Barzan Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti was one of three half-brothers of Saddam Hussein, and a leader of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence service...

, Saddam's younger half-brother
Sibling
Siblings are people who share at least one parent. A male sibling is called a brother; and a female sibling is called a sister. In most societies throughout the world, siblings usually grow up together and spend a good deal of their childhood socializing with one another...

. Since 1982, foreign observers believed that this department operated both at home and abroad in their mission to seek out and eliminate Saddam's perceived opponents.

The Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 and Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 issued regular reports of widespread imprisonment
Imprisonment
Imprisonment is a legal term.The book Termes de la Ley contains the following definition:This passage was approved by Atkin and Duke LJJ in Meering v Grahame White Aviation Co....

 and torture.

Personality cult


As a sign of his consolidation of power, Saddam's personality cult pervaded Iraqi society. He had thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals 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. A clotheshorse, he appeared in the costumes of the Bedouin
Bedouin
The Bedouin are a part of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group traditionally divided into tribes or clans, known in Arabic as ..-Etymology:...

, the traditional clothes of the Iraqi peasant (which he essentially wore during his childhood), and even Kurdish clothing
Kurdish clothing
Kurdish traditional clothing are variant and an ongoing part of Kurdish heritage. Kurdish clothes have never gone out of fashion.- Types of Clothing and Accessories :* Rank u chogha* Sharwal u Mraxani* Star Xani* Kattafi* Kawa u Salta* Pishten...

, but also appeared in Western suits customed by his favorite tailor, 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
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

.

He erected statues around the country, which Iraqis toppled after his fall.

Foreign affairs


Iraq's relations with the Arab world have been extremely varied. Relations between Iraq and Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 violently ruptured in 1977, when the two nations broke relations with each other following Iraq's criticism of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat
Anwar Sadat
Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

's peace initiatives with Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

. In 1978, Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 hosted an Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 summit that condemned and ostracized Egypt for accepting the Camp David accords
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

. However, Egypt's strong material and diplomatic support for Iraq in the war with Iran led to warmer relations and numerous contacts between senior officials, despite the continued absence of ambassadorial-level representation. Since 1983, Iraq has repeatedly called for restoration of Egypt's "natural role" among Arab countries.

Saddam developed a reputation for liking expensive goods, such as his diamond-coated Rolex
Rolex
Rolex SA is a Swiss watchmaking manufacturer of high-quality, luxury wristwatches. Rolex watches are popularly regarded as status symbols and BusinessWeek magazine ranks Rolex No.71 on its 2007 annual list of the 100 most valuable global brands...

 wristwatch, and sent copies of them to his friends around the world. To his ally Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth Kaunda
Kenneth David Kaunda, known as KK, served as the first President of Zambia, from 1964 to 1991.-Early life:Kaunda was the youngest of eight children. He was born at Lubwa Mission in Chinsali, Northern Province of Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia...

 Saddam once sent a Boeing 747 full of presents — rugs, televisions, ornaments. Kaunda sent back his own personal magician.

Saddam had close relationship with Russian intelligence agent Yevgeny Primakov
Yevgeny Primakov
Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov is a Russian politician and diplomat. During his long career, he served as the Russian Foreign Minister, Prime Minister of Russia, Speaker of the Soviet of the Union of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, and chief of intelligence service...

 and apparently Primakov helped Saddam to stay in power in 1991.

Saddam's only visit to a Western country took place in September 1975 when he met with his friend, Prime Minister Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 in Paris, France.

Several Iraqi leaders, Lebanese arms merchant Sarkis Soghanalian and others have told that Saddam financed Chirac's party. In 1991 Saddam threatened to expose those who had taken largasse from him: "From Mr. Chirac to Mr. Chevènement, politicians and economic leaders were in open competition to spend time with us and flatter us. We have now grasped the reality of the situation. If the trickery continues, we will be forced to unmask them, all of them, before the French public."
France armed Saddam and it was Iraq's largest trade partner throughout Saddam's rule. Seized documents show how French officials and businessmen close to Chirac, including Charles Pasqua
Charles Pasqua
Charles Pasqua is a French businessman and Gaullist politician. He was Interior Minister from 1986 to 1988, under Jacques Chirac's cohabitation government, and also from 1993 to 1995, under the government of Edouard Balladur...

, his former interior minister, personally benefitted from the deals with Saddam.

Because that Saddam Hussein rarely left Iraq, Tariq Aziz
Tariq Aziz
Tariq Aziz and Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq and a close advisor of former President Saddam Hussein. Their association began in the 1950s when both were activists for the then-banned Ba'ath Arab Socialist Party...

, one of Saddam's aides, traveled abroad extensively and represented Iraq at many diplomatic meetings. 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 crackdown on Iraqi Communists and a shift of trade toward the West strained Iraqi relations with the Soviet Union; Iraq then took on a more Western orientation until the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in 1991.

After the oil crisis
1973 oil crisis
The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

 of 1973, France had changed to a more pro-Arab policy and was accordingly rewarded by Saddam with closer ties. He made a state visit to France in 1975, cementing close ties with some French business and ruling political circles. In 1975 Saddam negotiated an accord with Iran that contained Iraqi concessions on border disputes. In return, Iran agreed to stop supporting opposition Kurds in Iraq. Saddam led Arab opposition to the Camp David Accords
Camp David Accords
The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David. The two framework agreements were signed at the White House, and were witnessed by United States...

 between Egypt and Israel (1979).

Saddam initiated Iraq's nuclear enrichment project in the 1980s, with French assistance. The first Iraqi nuclear reactor was named by the French "Osirak". Osirak was destroyed on 7 June 1981 by an Israeli air strike (Operation Opera
Operation Opera
Operation Babylon was a surprise Israeli air strike carried out on June 7, 1981, that destroyed a nuclear reactor under construction 17 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, Iraq....

).

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. However, after Saddam had negotiated the 1975 treaty with Iran, the Shah withdrew support for the Kurds, who suffered a total defeat.

Iran–Iraq War




In early 1979, Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

 was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution, thus giving way to an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

. 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 against the Iranian Government, whom Saddam tolerated. However, when Khomeini began to urge the Shi'ites there to overthrow Saddam and under pressure from the Shah, who had agreed to a rapprochement between Iraq and Iran in 1975, Saddam agreed to expel Khomeini in 1978 to France. However this turned out to be an imminent failure and a political catalyst, for Khomeini had access to more media connections and also collaborated with a much larger Iranian community under his support whom he used to his advantage.

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. During this period, Saddam Hussein publicly maintained that it was in Iraq's interest not to engage with Iran, and that it was in the interests of both nations to maintain peaceful relations. However, in a private meeting with Salah Omar Al-Ali
Salah Omar Al-Ali
Salah Omar Al-Ali was a member of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council, and Iraqi Minister of Culture and Information, serving from 1968 to 1970, and subsequently served as ambassador to Sweden, Spain and the United Nations from 1973 to 1981...

, Iraq's permanent ambassador to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

, he revealed that he intended to invade and occupy a large part of Iran within months. Later (probably to appeal for support from the United States and most Western nations), he would make toppling the Islamic government one of his intentions as well. Iraq invaded Iran, first attacking Mehrabad Airport of Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 and then entering the oil-rich Iranian land of Khuzestan
Khuzestan Province
Khuzestan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of the country, bordering Iraq's Basra Province and the Persian Gulf. Its capital is Ahwaz and covers an area of 63,238 km²...

, which also has a sizable Arab minority, on 22 September 1980 and declared it a new province of Iraq. With the support of the Arab states, the United States, and Europe, and heavily financed by the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Saddam Hussein had become "the defender of the Arab world" against a revolutionary Iran. The only exception was The Soviet Union, who initially refused to supply Iraq on the basis of Neutrality in the conflict, although in his memoirs, Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 claimed that Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

 refused to aid Saddam over infuriation of Saddam's treatment of Iraqi Communists. Consequently, many viewed Iraq as "an agent of the civilized world". The blatant disregard of international law and violations of international borders were ignored. Instead Iraq received economic and military support from its allies, who conveniently overlooked Saddam's use of chemical warfare against the Kurds and the Iranians and Iraq's efforts to develop nuclear weapons.

In the first days of the war, there was heavy ground fighting around strategic ports as Iraq launched an attack on 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.

At this point, Saddam asked his ministers for candid advice. Health Minister Dr. Riyadh Ibrahim suggested that Saddam temporarily step down to promote peace negotiations. Initially, Saddam Hussein appeared to take in this opinion as part of his cabinet democracy. A few weeks later, Dr. Ibrahim was sacked when held responsible for a fatal incident in an Iraqi hospital where a patient died from intravenous administration of the wrong concentration of potassium supplement.

Dr. Ibrahim was arrested a few days after he started his new life as a sacked Minister. He was known to have publicly declared before that arrest that he was "glad that he got away alive." Pieces of Ibrahim's dismembered body were delivered to his wife the next day.

Iraq quickly found itself bogged down in one of the longest and most destructive wars of attrition
Attrition warfare
Attrition warfare is a military strategy in which a belligerent side attempts to win a war by wearing down its enemy to the point of collapse through continuous losses in personnel and matériel....

 of the twentieth century. During the war, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian forces fighting on the southern front and Kurdish separatists who were attempting to open up a northern front in Iraq with the help of Iran. These chemical weapons were developed by Iraq from materials and technology supplied primarily by West German
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 companies as well as the Reagan administration of the United States
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 which also supplied Iraq with "satellite photos showing Iranian deployments" and advised Hussein to bomb civilian targets in Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 and other Iranian cities.
France sold 25 billion dollars worth arms to Saddam.

Saddam reached out to other Arab governments for cash and political support during the war, particularly after Iraq's oil industry severely suffered at the hands of the Iranian navy
Islamic Republic of Iran Navy
The Iranian Navy has traditionally been the smallest branch of Iran's armed forces and is designed mainly for securing its own ports and coast.- Overview :...

 in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

. Iraq successfully gained some military and financial aid, as well as diplomatic and moral support, from the Soviet Union, China, France, and the United States, which together feared the prospects of the expansion of revolutionary Iran's influence in the region. The Iranians, demanding that the international community should force Iraq to pay war reparations to Iran, refused any suggestions for a cease-fire. Despite several calls for a ceasefire
United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning Iraq
The United Nations Security Council is the bhosad chod organ of the United Nations charged with maintaining peace and security among nations. While other organs of the United Nations only make recommendations to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make decisions which member...

 by the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

, hostilities continued until 20 August 1988.

On 16 March 1988, the Kurdish town of Halabja
Halabja
Halabja , is a Kurdish town in Northern Iraq, located about north-east of Baghdad and 8–10 miles from the Iranian border....

 was attacked with a mix of mustard gas and nerve agent
Nerve agent
Nerve agents are a class of phosphorus-containing organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanism by which nerves transfer messages to organs...

s, killing 5,000 civilians, and maiming, disfiguring, or seriously debilitating 10,000 more. (see Halabja poison gas attack
Halabja poison gas attack
The Halabja poison gas attack , also known as Halabja massacre or Bloody Friday, was a genocidal massacre against the Kurdish people that took place on March 16, 1988, during the closing days of the Iran–Iraq War, when chemical weapons were used by the Iraqi government forces in the Kurdish town of...

) The attack occurred in conjunction with the 1988 al-Anfal campaign
Al-Anfal Campaign
The al-Anfal Campaign , also known as Operation Anfal or simply Anfal, was a genocidal campaign against the Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid in the final stages of Iran-Iraq War...

 designed to reassert central control of the mostly Kurdish population of areas of northern Iraq and defeat the Kurdish peshmerga
Peshmerga
Peshmerga or Peshmerge is the term used by Kurds to refer to armed Kurdish fighters. Literally meaning "those who face death" the Peshmerga forces of Kurdistan have been in existence since the advent of the Kurdish independence movement in the early 1920s, following the collapse of the Ottoman...

 rebel forces. The United States now maintains that Saddam ordered the attack to terrorize the Kurdish population in northern Iraq, but Saddam's regime claimed at the time that Iran was responsible for the attack which some including the U.S. supported until several years later. (See also Halabja poison gas attack.)

The bloody eight-year war ended in a stalemate. There were hundreds of thousands of casualties with estimates of up to one million dead. Neither side had achieved what they had originally desired and at the borders were left nearly unchanged. The southern, oil rich and prosperous Khuzestan and Basra area (the main focus of the war, and the primary source of their economies) were almost completely destroyed and were left at the pre 1979 border, while Iran managed to make some small gains on its borders in the Northern Kurdish area. Both economies, previously healthy and expanding, were left in ruins.

Saddam borrowed tens of billions of dollars from other Arab states and a few billions from elsewhere during the 1980s to fight Iran, mainly to prevent the expansion of Shiite radicalism. However, this had proven to completely backfire both on Iraq and on the part of the Arab states, for Khomeini was widely perceived as a hero for managing to defend Iran and maintain the war with little foreign support against the heavily backed Iraq and only managed to boost Islamic radicalism not only within the Arab states, but within Iraq itself, creating new tensions between the Sunni Ba'ath Party and the majority Shiite population. Faced with rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure and internal resistance, Saddam desperately sought out cash once again, this time for postwar reconstruction.

Tensions with Kuwait


The end of the war with Iran served to deepen latent tensions between Iraq and its wealthy neighbor Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

. Saddam urged the Kuwaitis to forgive the Iraqi debt accumulated in the war, some $30 billion, but they refused.

Saddam pushed oil-exporting countries to raise oil prices by cutting back production; Kuwait refused, however. In addition to refusing the request, Kuwait spearheaded the opposition in OPEC
OPEC
OPEC is an intergovernmental organization of twelve developing countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings...

 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.

Saddam had always argued that Kuwait was historically an integral part of Iraq, and that Kuwait had only come into being through the maneuverings of British imperialism; this echoed a belief that Iraqi nationalists had voiced for the past 50 years. This belief was one of the few articles of faith uniting the political scene in a nation rife with sharp social, ethnic, religious, and ideological divides.

The extent of Kuwaiti oil reserves also intensified tensions in the region. The oil reserves of Kuwait (with a population of 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; as an article of comparison, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 holds 25 percent.

Saddam complained to the U.S. State Department that Kuwait had slant drilled oil out of wells that Iraq considered to be within its disputed border with Kuwait. 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
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 gave Saddam roughly $40 billion in aid in the 1980s to fight Iran, nearly all of it on credit. The U.S. also gave Saddam billions of dollars to keep him from forming a strong alliance with the Soviets
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. Saddam's Iraq became "the third-largest recipient of U.S. assistance".

U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie
April Glaspie
April Catherine Glaspie is a former American diplomat, best known for her role in the events leading up to the Persian Gulf War of 1991.-Early life and career:...

 met with Saddam in an emergency meeting on 25 July 1990, where the Iraqi leader stated his intention to give negotiations only... one more brief chance before forcing Iraq's claims on Kuwait. U.S. officials attempted to maintain a conciliatory line with Iraq, indicating that while George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 and James Baker
James Baker
James Addison Baker, III is an American attorney, politician and political advisor.Baker served as the Chief of Staff in President Ronald Reagan's first administration and in the final year of the administration of President George H. W. Bush...

 did not want force used, they would not take any position on the Iraq–Kuwait boundary dispute and did not want to become involved. Whatever Glaspie did or did not say in her interview with Saddam, the Iraqis assumed that the United States had invested too much in building relations with Iraq over the 1980s to sacrifice them for Kuwait. Later, Iraq and Kuwait met for a final negotiation session, which failed. Saddam then sent his troops into Kuwait. As tensions between Washington and Saddam began to escalate, the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, under Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

, strengthened its military relationship with the Iraqi leader, providing him military advisers, arms and aid.

Gulf War


On 2 August 1990, Saddam invaded Kuwait, initially claiming assistance to "Kuwaiti revolutionaries," thus sparking an international crisis. On 4 August an Iraqi-backed "Provisional Government of Free Kuwait
Republic of Kuwait
The Republic of Kuwait was a short-lived and self-styled "Republic" formed in the aftermath of the Invasion of Kuwait by Iraq under Saddam Hussein...

" was proclaimed, but a total lack of legitimacy and support for it led to an 8 August announcement of a "merger" of the two countries. On 28 August Kuwait formally became the 19th Governorate
Governorates of Iraq
||Iraq is composed of 18 provinces :#Baghdād #Salāh ad-Dīn #Diyālā #Wāsit #Maysān #Al-Basrah #Dhī Qār #Al-Muthannā #Al-Qādisiyyah...

 of Iraq. Just two years after the 1988 Iraq and Iran truce, "Saddam Hussein did what his Gulf patrons had earlier paid him to prevent." Having removed the threat of Iranian fundamentalism he "overran Kuwait and confronted his Gulf neighbors in the name of Arab nationalism and Islam."

When later asked why he invaded Kuwait, Saddam first claimed that it was because Kuwait was rightfully Iraq's 19th province and then said "When I get something into my head I act. That's just the way I am." After Saddam's seizure of Kuwait in August 1990, a UN coalition led by the United States drove Iraq's troops from Kuwait in February 1991. The ability for Saddam Hussein to pursue such military aggression was from a "military machine paid for in large part by the tens of billions of dollars Kuwait and the Gulf states had poured into Iraq and the weapons and technology provided by the Soviet Union, Germany, and France."

Shortly before he invaded Kuwait, he shipped 100 new Mercedes 200 Series
Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz is a German manufacturer of automobiles, buses, coaches, and trucks. Mercedes-Benz is a division of its parent company, Daimler AG...

 cars to top editors in Egypt and Jordan. Two days before the first attacks, Saddam reportedly offered Egypt's Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak is a former Egyptian politician and military commander. He served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011....

 50 million dollars in cash, "ostensibly for grain".

U.S. President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 responded cautiously for the first several days. On one hand, Kuwait, prior to this point, had been a virulent enemy of Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and was the Persian Gulf monarchy that had had the most friendly relations with the Soviets. On the other hand, Washington foreign policymakers, along with Middle East experts, military critics, and firms heavily invested in the region, were extremely concerned with stability in this region. The invasion immediately triggered fears that the world's price of oil, and therefore control of the world economy, was at stake. Britain profited heavily from billions of dollars of Kuwaiti investments and bank deposits. Bush was perhaps swayed while meeting with British prime minister Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990...

, who happened to be in the U.S. at the time.

Co-operation between the United States and the Soviet Union made possible the passage of resolutions in the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 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 Iraqi retaliation against oil-rich Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, since the 1940s a close ally of Washington, for the Saudis' opposition to the invasion of Kuwait. Accordingly, the U.S. and a group of allies, including countries as diverse as Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Syria and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, deployed a massive amount of troops along the Saudi border with Kuwait and Iraq in order to encircle the Iraqi army, the largest in the Middle East.

Saddam's officers looted Kuwait, stripping even the marble from its palaces to move it to Saddam's own palace.

During the period of negotiations and threats following the invasion, Saddam focused renewed attention on the Palestinian
Palestine
Palestine is a conventional name, among others, used to describe the geographic region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, and various adjoining lands....

 problem by promising to withdraw his forces from Kuwait if Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 would relinquish the occupied territories in the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, the Golan Heights, and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

. Saddam's proposal further split the Arab world, pitting U.S.- and Western-supported Arab states against the Palestinians. The allies ultimately rejected any linkage between the Kuwait crisis and Palestinian issues.

Saddam ignored the Security Council deadline. Backed by the Security Council, a U.S.-led coalition launched round-the-clock missile and aerial attacks on Iraq, beginning 16 January 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 consisting largely of U.S. and British armoured and infantry divisions ejected Saddam's army from Kuwait in February 1991 and occupied the southern portion of Iraq as far as the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

.

On 6 March 1991, Bush announced:
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 over 85,000. As part of the cease-fire agreement, Iraq agreed to scrap all poison gas and germ weapons
Biological warfare
Biological warfare is the use of biological toxins or infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi with intent to kill or incapacitate humans, animals or plants as an act of war...

 and allow UN observers to inspect the sites. UN trade sanctions would remain in effect until Iraq complied with all terms. Saddam publicly claimed victory at the end of the war.

Postwar period


Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions, together with the brutality of the conflict that this had engendered, laid the groundwork for postwar rebellions. 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.

The United States, which had urged Iraqis to rise up against Saddam, did nothing to assist the rebellions. The Iranians, despite the widespread Shi'ite rebellions, had no interest in provoking another war, while Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 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 the U.S. This message earned Saddam a great deal of popularity in many sectors of the Arab world. John Esposito, however, claims that "Arabs and Muslims were pulled in two directions. That they rallied not so much to Saddam Hussein as to the bipolar nature of the confrontation (the West versus the Arab Muslim world) and the issues that Saddam proclaimed: Arab unity, self-sufficiency, and social justice." As a result, Saddam Hussein appealed to many people for the same reasons that attracted more and more followers to Islamic revivalism and also for the same reasons that fueled anti-Western
Anti-Western sentiment
Anti-Western sentiment refers to broad opposition or hostility to the people, policies, or governments in the western world. In many cases the United States, Israël and the United Kingdom are the subject of discussion or hostility...

 feelings. "As one U.S. Muslim observer noted: People forgot about Saddam's record and concentrated on America ... Saddam Hussein might be wrong, but it is not America who should correct him." A shift was, therefore, clearly visible among many Islamic movements in the post war period "from an initial Islamic ideological rejection of Saddam Hussein, the secular persecutor of Islamic movements, and his invasion of Kuwait to a more populist Arab nationalist, anti-imperialist support for Saddam (or more precisely those issues he represented or championed) and the condemnation of foreign intervention and occupation."

Saddam, therefore, 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, and the ritual phrase "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great"), in Saddam's handwriting, was added to the national flag. Saddam also commissioned the production of a "Blood Qur'an
Blood Qur'an
The "Blood Qur'an" is a copy of the Islamic holy book, the Qur'an, written in the blood of the former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein over the course of two years in the late 1990s. Saddam commissioned the book in 1997 on his 60th birthday, reportedly to give thanks to God for helping him through...

", written using 27 litres of his own blood, to thank God for saving him from various dangers and conspiracies.

Relations between the United States and Iraq remained tense following the Gulf War. The U.S. launched a missile attack aimed at Iraq's intelligence headquarters in Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 26 June 1993, citing evidence of repeated Iraqi violations of the "no fly zones" imposed after the Gulf War and for incursions into Kuwait.

The United Nations 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 Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n border, and humanitarian aid ameliorated the humanitarian crisis. On 9 December 1996 the UN 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 United Nations Oil for Food program.

U.S. officials continued to accuse Saddam of violating the terms of the Gulf War's cease fire, by developing weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 and other banned weaponry, and violating the UN-imposed sanctions. Also during the 1990s, President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 maintained sanctions and ordered air strikes in the "Iraqi no-fly zones" (Operation Desert Fox), in the hope that Saddam would be overthrown by political enemies inside Iraq. Western charges of Iraqi resistance to UN access to suspected weapons were the pretext for crises between 1997 and 1998, culminating in intensive U.S. and British missile strikes on Iraq, 16–19 December 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 was 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
Uday Hussein
Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti , was the eldest son of Saddam Hussein from his first wife, Sajida Talfah. He was the brother of Qusay Hussein. Uday was for several years seen as the heir apparent of his father; however, Uday lost his place in the line of succession due to his erratic behavior and...

 and Qusay Hussein
Qusay Hussein
Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti was the second son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was appointed as his father's heir apparent in 2000.- Family :...

, became increasingly powerful and carried out a private reign of terror.

Iraqi co-operation with UN weapons inspection teams was intermittent throughout the 1990s.

Saddam continued involvement in politics abroad. Video tapes retrieved after show his intelligence chiefs meeting with Arab journalists, including a meeting with the former managing director of Al-Jazeera, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali, in 2000. In the video Saddam's son Uday advised al-Ali about hires in Al-Jazeera: "During your last visit here along with your colleagues we talked about a number of issues, and it does appear that you indeed were listening to what I was saying since changes took place and new faces came on board such as that lad, Mansour." He was later sacked by Al-Jazeera.

In 2002 Austrian prosecutors investigated Saddam government's transactions with Fritz Edlinger that possibly violated Austrian money laundering
Money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...

 and embargo regulations. Fritz Edlinger, president of the General Secretary of the Society for Austro-Arab relations (GÖAB) and a former member of Socialist International
Socialist International
The Socialist International is a worldwide organization of democratic socialist, social democratic and labour political parties. It was formed in 1951.- History :...

's Middle East Committee, was an outspoken supporter of Saddam Hussein. In 2005 an Austrian journalist revealed that Fritz Edlinger's GÖAB had received $100,000 from an Iraqi front company as well as donations from Austrian companies soliciting business in Iraq.

In 2002, a resolution sponsored by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 was adopted by the Commission for Human Rights, which stated that there had been no improvement in the human rights crisis in Iraq. The statement condemned President Saddam Hussein's government for its "systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law
International humanitarian law
International humanitarian law , often referred to as the laws of war, the laws and customs of war or the law of armed conflict, is the legal corpus that comprises "the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions, as well as subsequent treaties, case law, and customary international law." It...

". The resolution demanded that Iraq immediately put an end to its "summary and arbitrary executions ... the use of rape as a political tool
War rape
War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict or war, or during military occupation, distinguished from sexual assaults and rape committed amongst troops in military service...

 and all enforced and involuntary disappearances".

Oil vouchers



In the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme
Oil-for-Food Programme
The Oil-for-Food Programme , established by the United Nations in 1995 was established with the stated intent to allow Iraq to sell oil on the world market in exchange for food, medicine, and other humanitarian needs for ordinary Iraqi citizens without allowing Iraq to boost its military...

, Saddam was supposed to trade oil for food. In practice, the program benefitted political parties, politicians, journalists, companies, and individuals around the world.

The Russian state was the largest beneficiary.

Invasion of Iraq in 2003



The international community, especially the U.S., continued to view Saddam as a bellicose tyrant who was a threat to the stability of the region.
After the September 11 attacks, Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 began to tell the United States that Iraq was preparing terrorist attacks against the United States. In his January 2002 state of the union address
State Of The Union
"State Of The Union" is the debut single from British singer-songwriter David Ford. It had previously been featured as a demo on his official website, before appearing as a track on a CD entitled "Apology Demos EP," only on sale at live shows....

 to Congress, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 spoke of an "axis of evil
Axis of evil
"Axis of evil" is a term initially used by the former United States President George W. Bush in his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002 and often repeated throughout his presidency, describing governments that he accused of helping terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction...

" consisting of Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, North Korea, and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. Moreover, Bush announced that he would possibly take action to topple the Iraqi government, because of the threat of its weapons of mass destruction. Bush stated that "The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax
Anthrax
Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal, and it affects both humans and other animals...

, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade ... Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror." Saddam Hussein claimed that he falsely led the world to believe Iraq possessed nuclear weapons in order to appear strong against Iran.

With war looming on 24 February 2003, Saddam Hussein took part in an interview
February 2003 Saddam Hussein interview
The Saddam interview refers to a famous television interview that occurred between President of Iraq Saddam Hussein and American news anchor Dan Rather on February 24, 2003, very shortly before the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The interview was aired both in the United States and on all three Iraqi...

 with CBS News
CBS News
CBS News is the news division of American television and radio network CBS. The current chairman is Jeff Fager who is also the executive producer of 60 Minutes, while the current president of CBS News is David Rhodes. CBS News' flagship program is the CBS Evening News, hosted by the network's main...

 reporter Dan Rather
Dan Rather
Daniel Irvin "Dan" Rather, Jr. is an American journalist and the former news anchor for the CBS Evening News. He is now managing editor and anchor of the television news magazine Dan Rather Reports on the cable channel HDNet. Rather was anchor of the CBS Evening News for 24 years, from March 9,...

. Talking for more than three hours, he expressed a wish to have a live televised debate with George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, which was declined. It was his first interview with a U.S. reporter in over a decade. 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
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 on 20 March. By the beginning of April, U.S.-led 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 U.S-led forces on 9 April, marked symbolically by the toppling of his statue
Firdos Square statue destruction
The destruction of the Firdos Square statue was an event in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and marked the symbolic end of the Battle of Baghdad. It is an instance of iconoclasm.-Meaning:...

 by iconoclasts
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

, Saddam was nowhere to be found.

Capture and incarceration




In April 2003, Saddam's whereabouts remained in question during the weeks following the fall of Baghdad and the conclusion of the major fighting of the war. Various sightings of Saddam were reported in the weeks following the war, but none was authenticated. At various times Saddam released audio tapes promoting popular resistance to his ousting.

Saddam was placed at the top of the U.S. list of "most-wanted Iraqis
U.S. list of most-wanted Iraqis
In April 2003, the United States drew up a list of most-wanted Iraqis, consisting of the 55 members of the deposed Iraqi regime whom they most wanted to capture. The list was turned into a set of playing cards for distribution to United States troops...

". In July 2003, his sons Uday
Uday Hussein
Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti , was the eldest son of Saddam Hussein from his first wife, Sajida Talfah. He was the brother of Qusay Hussein. Uday was for several years seen as the heir apparent of his father; however, Uday lost his place in the line of succession due to his erratic behavior and...

 and Qusay and 14-year-old grandson Mustapha were killed in a three-hour gunfight with U.S. forces.

On 13 December 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr
Ad-Dawr
Ad-Dawr, is a small agricultural town near the Iraqi town of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace....

 near Tikrit in a hole in Operation Red Dawn
Operation Red Dawn
Operation Red Dawn was the U.S. military operation conducted on 13 December 2003 in the town of ad-Dawr, Iraq, near Tikrit, that captured Iraq President Saddam Hussein, ending rumours of his death. The operation was named after the 1984 film Red Dawn. The mission was assigned to the 1st Brigade...

. Following his capture on 13 December Saddam was transported to a U.S. base near Tikrit, and later taken to the U.S. base near Baghdad. The day after his capture he was reportedly visited by longtime opponents such as Ahmed Chalabi
Ahmed Chalabi
Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalabi is an Iraqi politician. He was interim oil minister in Iraq in April-May 2005 and December-January 2006 and deputy prime minister from May 2005 until May 2006. Chalabi failed to win a seat in parliament in the December 2005 elections, and when the new Iraqi cabinet was...

.

On 14 December 2003, U.S. administrator in Iraq L. Paul Bremer
L. Paul Bremer
Lewis Paul "Jerry" Bremer III is an American diplomat. He is most notable for being the U.S. Administrator to Iraq charged with overseeing the country's occupation after the 2003 invasion. In his role as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, he reported primarily to the U.S. Secretary of...

 confirmed that Saddam Hussein had indeed been captured at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr
Ad-Dawr
Ad-Dawr, is a small agricultural town near the Iraqi town of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's birthplace....

 near Tikrit. Bremer presented video footage of Saddam in custody.

Saddam was shown with a full beard and hair longer than his familiar appearance. He was described by U.S. officials as being in good health. Bremer reported plans to put Saddam on trial, but claimed that the details of such a trial had not yet been determined. Iraqis and Americans who spoke with Saddam after his capture generally reported that he remained self-assured, describing himself as a "firm, but just leader."

British tabloid newspaper The Sun
The Sun (newspaper)
The Sun is a daily national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and owned by News Corporation. Sister editions are published in Glasgow and Dublin...

posted a picture of Saddam wearing white briefs on the front cover of a newspaper. Other photographs inside the paper show Saddam washing his trousers, shuffling, and sleeping. The United States Government stated that it considers the release of the pictures a violation of the Geneva Convention, and that it would investigate the photographs.
During this period Hussein was interrogated
Interrogation of Saddam Hussein
The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein began shortly after his December 2003 capture, while the deposed President of Iraq was held at the United States Camp Cropper detention facility at Baghdad International Airport. Beginning in February 2004, the interrogation program, codenamed Operation Desert...

 by FBI agent George Piro
George Piro
George Piro is an Assyrian-American Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Washington Field Office. He was the Team Leader and Lead Interrogator of the Saddam Hussein Interrogation Team....

.

The guards at the Baghdad detention facility called their prisoner "Vic," and let him plant a little garden near his cell. The nickname and the garden are among the details about the former Iraqi leader that emerged during a 27 March 2008 tour of prison of the Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 cell where Saddam slept, bathed, and kept a journal in the final days before his execution.

Trial




On 30 June 2004, Saddam Hussein, held in custody by U.S. forces at the U.S. base "Camp Cropper
Camp Cropper
Camp Cropper is a holding facility for security detainees operated by the United States Army near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq. The facility was initially operated as a high-value detention site , but has since been expanded increasing its capacity from 163 to 2,000 detainees...

", along with 11 other senior Ba'athist leaders, were handed over legally (though not physically) to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for crimes against humanity and other offences.

A few weeks later, he was charged by the Iraqi Special Tribunal with crimes committed against residents of Dujail
Dujail
Dujail is a small Shia town in the Salah ad Din Governorate. It is situated about north of Iraq's capital, Baghdad, and has approximately 10,000 inhabitants. It is the site of the 1982 Dujail Massacre....

 in 1982, following a failed assassination attempt against him. Specific charges included the murder of 148 people, torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 of women and children and the illegal arrest of 399 others.393 members of the pro Iranian Dawa Party (a banned organisation) were arrested as suspects of which 148, including ten children, confessed to taking part in the plot. It is believed more than 40 suspects died during interrogation or while in detention. Those arrested who were found not guilty were either exiled if relatives of the convicted or released and returned to Dujail. Only 96 of the 148 condemned were actually executed, two of the condemned were accidentally released while a third was mistakenly transferred to another prison and survived. The 96 executed included four men mistakenly executed after having been found not guilty and ordered released. The ten children were originally believed to have been among the 96 executed, but they had in fact been imprisoned near the city of Samawah.

Among the many challenges of the trial were:
  • Saddam and his lawyers' contesting the court's authority and maintaining that he was still the President of Iraq
    President of Iraq
    The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." The President is elected by the Council of...

    .
  • The assassinations and attempts on the lives of several of Saddam's lawyers.
  • The replacement of the chief presiding judge, midway through the trial.


On 5 November 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. Saddam's half brother, Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar
Awad Hamed al-Bandar
Awad Hamad al-Bandar was an Iraqi chief judge under Saddam Hussein's presidency. He was the head of the Revolutionary Court which issued death sentences against 143 Dujail residents, in the aftermath of the failed assassination attempt on the president on July 8, 1982 Awad Hamad al-Bandar ...

, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court in 1982, were convicted of similar charges. The verdict and sentencing were both appealed, but subsequently affirmed by Iraq's Supreme Court of Appeals. On 30 December 2006, Saddam was hanged
Execution of Saddam Hussein
The execution of Saddam Hussein took place on December 30, 2006 . Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging, after being found guilty and convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi'ite in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an...

.

Execution



Saddam was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, 30 December 2006, despite his wish to be shot (which he felt would be more dignified). The execution was carried out at Camp Justice, an Iraqi army base in Kadhimiya, a neighborhood of northeast Baghdad.

The execution was videotaped on a mobile phone and his captors could be heard insulting Saddam. The video was leaked to electronic media and posted on the Internet within hours, becoming the subject of global controversy. It was later claimed by the head guard at the tomb where his body remains that Saddam's body was stabbed six times after the execution.

Not long before the execution, Saddam's lawyers released his last letter. The following includes several excerpts:
A second unofficial video, apparently showing Saddam's body on a trolley, emerged several days later. It sparked speculation that the execution was carried out incorrectly as Saddam Hussein had a gaping hole in his neck.

Saddam was buried at his birthplace of Al-Awja
Al-Awja
It was the birth place of the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1937 and home of many of the leaders of Iraqi provinces during his Presidency over Iraq....

 in Tikrit, Iraq, 3 km (2 mi) from his sons Uday
Uday Hussein
Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti , was the eldest son of Saddam Hussein from his first wife, Sajida Talfah. He was the brother of Qusay Hussein. Uday was for several years seen as the heir apparent of his father; however, Uday lost his place in the line of succession due to his erratic behavior and...

 and Qusay Hussein
Qusay Hussein
Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti was the second son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was appointed as his father's heir apparent in 2000.- Family :...

, on 31 December 2006.

Marriage and family relationships


  • Saddam married his first wife and cousin Sajida Talfah
    Sajida Talfah
    Sajida Khairallah Talfah , is the widow and wife of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, and mother of two sons and three daughters .She was born in 1937. She is the oldest daughter of Khairallah Talfah...

     (or Tulfah/Tilfah) in 1958 in an arranged marriage. Sajida is the daughter of Khairallah Talfah, Saddam's uncle and mentor. Their marriage was arranged for Hussein at age five when Sajida was seven. They were married in Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

     during his exile. The couple had five children.
  • Uday Hussein
    Uday Hussein
    Uday Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti , was the eldest son of Saddam Hussein from his first wife, Sajida Talfah. He was the brother of Qusay Hussein. Uday was for several years seen as the heir apparent of his father; however, Uday lost his place in the line of succession due to his erratic behavior and...

     (18 June 1964 – 22 July 2003), was Saddam's oldest son, who ran the Iraqi Football Association, Fedayeen Saddam
    Fedayeen Saddam
    Fedayeen Saddam was a paramilitary organization loyal to the former Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein. The name was chosen to mean "Saddam's Men of Sacrifice". At its height, the group had 30,000-40,000 members.-Irregular forces:...

    , and several media corporations in Iraq including Iraqi TV
    Iraqi TV
    -1979-2003:"Iraqi TV" was the primary TV station in Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power. Until the 2003 invasion of Iraq, its main coverage was patriotic music, government news and propaganda...

     and the newspaper Babel
    Babel (newspaper)
    Babel is an Iraqi newspaper which was under the direction of Uday Hussein, the son of Saddam Hussein....

    . Uday, while originally Saddam's favorite son and raised to succeed him he eventually fell out of favour with his father due to his erratic behavior; he was responsible for many car crashes and rapes around Baghdad, constant feuds with other members of his family, and killing his father's favorite valet and food taster Kamel Hana Gegeo at a party in Egypt honoring Egyptian first lady Suzanne Mubarak
    Suzanne Mubarak
    Suzanne Mubarak is married to the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and was First Lady of Egypt until his ouster on 11 February 2011.-Early life and education:...

    . He became well known in the west for his involvement in looting Kuwait
    Kuwait
    The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

     during the Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

    , allegedly taking millions of dollars worth of Gold, cars, and medical supplies (which was in short supply at the time) for himself and close supporters. He was widely known for his paranoia and his obsession with torturing people who disappointed him in any way, which included tardy girlfriends, friends who disagreed with him and, most notoriously, Iraqi athletes who performed poorly. He was briefly married to Izzat Ibrahim ad-Douri's daughter, but later divorced her. The couple had no children.
  • Qusay Hussein
    Qusay Hussein
    Qusay Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti was the second son of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. He was appointed as his father's heir apparent in 2000.- Family :...

     (17 May 1966 – 22 July 2003), was Saddam's second — and, after the mid-1990s, his favorite — son. Qusay was believed to have been Saddam's later intended successor, as he was less erratic than his older brother and kept a low profile. He was second in command of the military (behind his father) and ran the elite Iraqi Republican Guard
    Iraqi Republican Guard
    The Iraqi Republican Guard was a branch of the Iraqi military during the presidency of Saddam Hussein. It later became the Republican Guard Corps, and then the Republican Guard Forces Command with its expansion into two corps....

     and the SSO
    SSO
    SSO may refer to:*Statistical Society of Ottawa, the Ottawa Regional Association of the Statistical Society of Canada and the Ottawa Chapter of the American Statistical Association.*Sanitary sewer overflow...

    . He was believed to have ordered the army to kill thousands of rebelling Marsh Arabs
    Marsh Arabs
    The Marsh Arabs , also known as the Maʻdān , are inhabitants of the Tigris-Euphrates marshlands in the south and east of Iraq and along the Iranian border....

     and was instrumental in suppressing Shi'ite rebellions in the mid-1990s. He was married once and had three children.
  • Raghad Hussein
    Raghad Hussein
    Raghad Saddam Hussein is the eldest daughter of former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein and Sajida Talfah.-Biography:...

     (born 2 September 1968) is Saddam's oldest daughter. After the war, Raghad fled to Amman
    Amman
    Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

    , Jordan where she received sanctuary from the royal family. She is currently wanted by the Iraqi Government for allegedly financing and supporting the insurgency and the now banned Iraqi Ba'ath Party. The Jordanian royal family refused to hand her over.
  • Rana Hussein
    Rana Hussein
    Rana Saddam Hussein is the second-eldest daughter of the former President of Iraq,Saddam Hussein and his first wife, Sajida Talfah. Her older sister is Raghad and younger sister is Hala Hussein....

     (born c. 1969), is Saddam's second daughter. She, like her sister, fled to Jordan and has stood up for her father's rights. She was married to Saddam Kamel
    Saddam Kamel
    Saddam Kamel Hassan al-Majid was the second cousin and son-in-law of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.-Biography:He was married to Rana Hussein and was the brother of Hussein Kamel al-Majid .For a time he was head of the Republican Guard...

     and has had four children from this marriage.
  • Hala Hussein
    Hala Hussein
    Hala Saddam Hussein is the third daughter of the former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein and his first wife Sajida Talfah. Hala was said to be Saddam's favorite daughter...

     (born c. 1972), is Saddam's third and youngest daughter. Very little information is known about her. Her father arranged for her to marry General Kamal Mustafa Abdallah Sultan al-Tikriti in 1998. She fled with her children and sisters to Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

    .
  • Saddam married his second wife, Samira Shahbandar
    Samira Shahbandar
    Samira Shahbandar was allegedly Saddam Hussein's second wife. She is allegedly the mother of his alleged third son, Ali, though his existence was never confirmed and members of Saddam's family claim that Ali is actually his grandson.-Biography:...

    , in 1986. She was originally the wife of an Iraqi Airways
    Iraqi Airways
    Iraqi Airways Company, operating as Iraqi Airways , is the national carrier of Iraq, headquartered on the grounds of Baghdad International Airport in Baghdad. One of the oldest airlines in the Middle East, Iraqi Airways operates domestic and regional service...

     executive, but later became the mistress of Saddam. Eventually, Saddam forced Samira's husband to divorce her so he could marry her. There have been no political issues from this marriage. After the war, Samira fled to Beirut
    Beirut
    Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

    , Lebanon. She is believed to have mothered Hussein's sixth child. Members of Hussein's family have denied this.
  • Saddam had allegedly married a third wife, Nidal al-Hamdani, the general manager of the Solar Energy Research Center in the Council of Scientific Research.
  • Wafa el-Mullah al-Howeish is rumoured to have married Saddam as his fourth wife in 2002. There is no firm evidence for this marriage. Wafa is the daughter of Abdul Tawab el-Mullah Howeish, a former minister of military industry in Iraq and Saddam's last deputy Prime Minister.


In August 1995, Raghad and her husband Hussein Kamel al-Majid and Rana and her husband, Saddam Kamel al-Majid
Saddam Kamel
Saddam Kamel Hassan al-Majid was the second cousin and son-in-law of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.-Biography:He was married to Rana Hussein and was the brother of Hussein Kamel al-Majid .For a time he was head of the Republican Guard...

, defected to Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

, taking their children with them. They returned to Iraq when they received assurances that Saddam would pardon them. Within three days of their return in February 1996, both of the Kamel brothers were attacked and killed in a gunfight with other clan members who considered them traitors.

In August 2003, Saddam's daughters Raghad and Rana received sanctuary in Amman
Amman
Amman is the capital of Jordan. It is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. The Greater Amman area has a population of 2,842,629 as of 2010. The population of Amman is expected to jump from 2.8 million to almost...

, Jordan, where they are currently staying with their nine children. That month, they spoke with CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 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."

List of government positions held

  • Head of Iraqi Intelligence Service
    Iraqi Intelligence Service
    The Iraqi Intelligence Service , also known as the Mukhabarat, General Directorate of Intelligence, or Party Intelligence, was the main state intelligence organization in Iraq under Saddam Hussein...

     (1963)
  • Vice President of the Republic of Iraq
    Vice President of Iraq
    As currently constituted, the state of Iraq has two vice presidents or deputy presidents. The office of Vice President is largely ceremonial but prestigious...

     (1968–1979)
  • President of the Republic of Iraq
    President of Iraq
    The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution." The President is elected by the Council of...

     (1979–2003)
  • Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq
    Prime Minister of Iraq
    The Prime Minister of Iraq is Iraq's head of government. Prime Minister was originally an appointed office, subsidiary to the head of state, and the nominal leader of the Iraqi parliament. Under the newly adopted constitution the Prime Minister is to be the country's active executive authority...

     (1979–1991 and 1994–2003)
  • Head of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council
    Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council
    The Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council was established after the military coup in 1968, and was the ultimate decision making body in Iraq before the 2003 American-led invasion. It exercised both executive and legislative authority in the country, with the Chairman and Vice Chairman chosen by a...

     (1979–2003)

See also


  • Al-Anfal Campaign
    Al-Anfal Campaign
    The al-Anfal Campaign , also known as Operation Anfal or simply Anfal, was a genocidal campaign against the Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid in the final stages of Iran-Iraq War...

  • Ayad Rahim
    Ayad Rahim
    Ayad Rahim is an Iraqi-American journalist. He has written extensively on Middle Eastern affairs, including a series of articles on the Operation Iraqi Freedom Documents with co-author Laurie Mylroie. In addition, he hosts a radio show on station WJCU in Cleveland. His show features scholars and...

    , Iraqi-American journalist who reports on Middle East affairs
  • Baghdad International Airport
    Baghdad International Airport
    Baghdad International Airport, originally Saddam International Airport, , BIAP is Iraq's largest airport, located in a suburb about west of downtown Baghdad in the Baghdad Governorate...

     (formerly Saddam International Airport)
  • Gulf war
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

  • Human rights in Saddam's Iraq
    Human rights in Saddam's Iraq
    Iraq under Saddam Hussein had high levels of torture and mass murder.Secret police, torture, murders, rape, abductions, deportations, forced disappearances, assassinations, chemical weapons, and the destruction of wetlands were some of the methods Saddam Hussein used to maintain control...

  • Iran–Iraq War
  • Iraqi biological weapons program
    Iraqi biological weapons program
    Saddam Hussein initiated an extensive biological weapons program in Iraq in the early 1980s, in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972...

  • Interrogation of Saddam Hussein
    Interrogation of Saddam Hussein
    The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein began shortly after his December 2003 capture, while the deposed President of Iraq was held at the United States Camp Cropper detention facility at Baghdad International Airport. Beginning in February 2004, the interrogation program, codenamed Operation Desert...

  • Most-wanted Iraqi playing cards
    Most-wanted Iraqi playing cards
    In the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition, the U.S. military developed a set of playing cards to help troops identify the most-wanted members of President Saddam Hussein's government, mostly high-ranking Baath Party members or members of the Revolutionary Command Council...

    , a deck of playing cards featuring Saddam Hussein as the ace of spades
  • Operation Rockingham
    Operation Rockingham
    Operation Rockingham was the codeword for UK involvement in inspections in Iraq following the war over Kuwait in 1990-91. Early in 1991 the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq was established to oversee the destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction...

  • Rumours of the death of Saddam Hussein
    Rumours of the death of Saddam Hussein
    Prior to his capture on December 13, 2003, former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's death was reported as a strong possibility by various Western analysts and officials, after a bombing attack on Baghdad at the start of the 2003 Iraq War, March 20, 2003, and subsequently after a second attempt in the...

  • Saddam Beach
    Saddam Beach
    Saddam Beach is a fishing village in the Malappuram district of the Indian state of Kerala. The village is made up of a two kilometre coastal belt between Puthenkadapuram and Kettungal in Parappanangadi...

    , a fishing village in India named after Saddam Hussein, in an act of solidarity during the 1991 Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

  • Saddam Hussein – United States relations
  • Special Activities Division
    Special Activities Division
    The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

  • Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda
    Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda
    Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda link allegations were made by U.S. Government officials who claimed that a highly secretive relationship existed between former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the radical Islamist militant organization Al-Qaeda from 1992 to 2003, specifically through a series of...

  • Saddam Hussein Nagar, Sri Lanka
    Saddam Hussein Nagar, Sri Lanka
    Saddam Hussein Town is the name of a village exclusively inhabited by local Muslims in the Batticaloa district of Sri Lanka. It is named after Saddam Hussein, former President of Iraq, who donated all the funds required to build the village and its central Mosque...

  • Saddam Hussein (South Park) — A fictionalized version of Saddam in South Park
  • House of Saddam
    House of Saddam
    House of Saddam is a 2008 drama that charts the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein. A co-production between BBC Television and HBO Films, the series was first broadcast on BBC Two in four parts between 30 July and 20 August 2008. The mini-series has been very well received across the Arab...

  • Saddam Hussein's novels
    Saddam Hussein's novels
    Saddam Hussein, the late President of Iraq, wrote four novels, and a number of poems. All of his works were published under the pen-name 'the author'.-Zabibah and the King:...

  • Saddam: The Secret Life
    Saddam: The Secret Life
    Saddam: The Secret Life is a book by Con Coughlin. It tells the story of Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, and his career....

    (book)
  • Trial of Saddam Hussein
    Trial of Saddam Hussein
    thumb|300 px| Saddam Hussein sits before an Iraqi judge at a courthouse in Baghdad, 1 July 2004.The Trial of Saddam Hussein was the trial of the deposed President of Iraq Saddam Hussein by the Iraqi Interim Government for crimes against humanity during his time in office.The Coalition Provisional...

  • Popular opinion in the US on the invasion of Iraq
  • War in Iraq

Further reading

  • Al-Ani, Dr. Abdul-Haq. The Trial of Saddam Hussein. ISBN 978-0-932863-58-4. Clarity Press. 2008.
  • Balaghi, Shiva. Saddam Hussein: A Biography. ISBN 978-0-313-33077-3. Greenwich Press. 2008.
  • Coughlin, Con. Saddam: His Rise and Fall. ISBN 978-0-06-050543-1. Harper Perennial. 2005.
  • Karsh, Efraim and Inari Rautsi. Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography. ISBN 978-0-8021-3978-8. Grove Press. 2002.
  • MacKey, Sandra. The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein. ISBN 978-0-393-32428-0. W. W. Norton & Company. 2003.
  • Makiya, Kanan. Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq (Updated Edition). ISBN 978-0-520-21439-2. University of California Press. 1998.
  • Newton, Michael A. and Michael P. Scharf. Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein. ISBN 978-0-312-38556-9. St. Martin's Press. 2008.

External links


  • Saddam Hussein Information
  • Saddam Hussein Profile by BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

  • Saddam Hussein: 1937–2006 — slideshow by The First Post
    The First Post
    The First Post is a British daily online news magazine based in London. It was launched in August 2005. It publishes news, current affairs, lifestyle, opinion, arts and sports pages, and it features an online games arcade and a cinema featuring short films, virals, trailers and eyewitness news...

  • The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook (National Security Archive at The George Washington University
    National Security Archive
    The National Security Archive is a 501 non-governmental, non-profit research and archival institution located in the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1985 by Scott Armstrong, it archives and publishes declassified U.S. government files concerning selected topics of US...

    )

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