Disclaimer: Somewhere on this blog are multiple grammatical mistakes, spelling errors and obscure Star Wars references.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Legacy Of Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein's death is now one of the most commonly discussed things in the blogosphere. One thing that I thought should be discussed some more is the life of the man and not his death. Naturally, what people know most about him is his exploits during the Gulf War, his genocide of the Kurds, his apparent 'Nuclear' intentions, and his opponent-torturing/killing, womanizing ways.

A lot of Saddam's past is still unknown to the common layman. A lot of Saddam's past, before he became the 'bad' guy that he was in the war against Kuwait, is relatively not as known as his life after that. Saddam Hussein was United State's puppy for the former part of his life. Conspiracy Theory galore is the name of the game. Everyone who knows about Saddam's rise to power in Iraq, knows that there was one major factor that lead to his rise. The US of A. Noteworthy example: In 1958, General Abdul Karim Qassim, led the army and overthrew the then-King Faisal II of Iraq. This was a year after Saddam joined the Ba'ath Party. About then, the Ba'athists opposed the new government and so in 1959, Saddam was involved in an attempted plot to assassinate Qassim. This plan was backed by the one and only: United States Of America.

In 1963, Qassim was overthrown by some Army Generals who had links to the Ba'ath party. Abdul Salam Arif became the president. Later on in the same year, Arif dismissed the Ba'ath cabinet and arrested the leaders. In 1964, Saddam was arrested. In 1967, he escaped and in 1968, he participated with the Ba'ath party too part in a bloodless coup, where Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr was made president and Saddam his Deputy. But all knew that Saddam was really the moving force behind the party.

As a Secular leader, Saddam did more for Iraq than any other leader in the past.
Saddam saw himself as a social revolutionary and a modernizer, following the Jamal Abdul Nasser (of Egypt) model. To the consternation of Islamic conservatives, his government gave women added freedoms and offered them high-level government and industry jobs. Saddam also created a Western-style legal system, making Iraq the only country in the Persian Gulf region not ruled according to traditional Islamic law (Shariah). Saddam abolished the Sharia law courts, except for personal injury claims.At the same time, Saddam was someone who would outmaneuver his political opponents, or, eliminate them if necessary. It wasn't unknown that political opponents who disappeared overnight were later killed by Saddam's subordinates.

During his 'prime,' Saddam was a good leader, and at various times had very close relationships with USA, France, the then-USSR, and even Iran. However, soon began his downfall with the Iran-Iraq war. This was closely followed with the Gulf War (against Kuwait) where his old allies and supporters USA themselves fought against him.

And the rest they say, is history.



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