The End Of Saddam Hussein
by Wayne Blank
Saddam Hussein chose to be one of the most brutal, Satanic men of the past 100 years. He is responsible for a reign of terror on his fellow Iraqi people, many thousands of whom were tortured and/or murdered during his years in power. Saddam was a belligerent to his own fellow-Arab neighbors, as made plain by his invasion of Kuwait in the 1990s. Saddam was a threat to Israel, although a self-destructive one - if Saddam had ever managed to inflict a serious blow on Israel with his "weapons of mass destruction" (if they weren't in fact mostly just a well-orchestrated bluff, hence the reason that nothing, yet, has been found), the Israelis would have erased Iraq from the map with their nuclear weapons that, along with their willingness to use them to defend themselves, are not a bluff. And, Saddam has been the cause of unfortunate, and hopefully now ending, tensions between long-time natural allies because some were more concerned with the legality of going to war against Iraq, without any actual proof of the WMD that were the stated legal justification for the war, than others were. Saddam has been a great amount of trouble, to a great many people, for far too long.
How Did "Saddam" Happen?
Relatively few people outside of the Middle East are aware of how the involvement of Britain, and later, the United States, in that part of the world is not something new to our time now (see also United States, Britain and Israel).
At the end of the First World War in 1918, Britain found itself responsible for control of much of the Middle East. In the years prior (centuries, actually), the Ottoman Empire (today, Turkey) ruled most of the territory that is known today as Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Israel. The Ottomans found themselves on the losing side of the First World War however, having allied themselves with Germany, so with defeat came loss of territory.
Modern-day Iraq (a region that is one of the most rich in Bible History - see Mesopotamia) came about through the efforts of then colonial secretary (and future Prime Minister) Winston Churchill, and other leading British diplomats and military men such as T.E. Lawrence (who is popularly known as "Lawrence of Arabia"). In March 1921, in a conference in Egypt, presided over by Churchill, Feisal (an Arab leader who fought with T.E. Lawrence in an Arab revolt against Turkey) was declared king of Iraq, although Iraq remained "closely associated" with Britain, in effect, Iraq remained a dominion of Britain.
Many in Iraq however demanded true independence. When the Second World War began, Iraqi forces substantially refused to cooperate with Britain in the war effort, and began negotiations to side with Germany - not because they had any love for Germany, but rather in the hope that a German victory would remove Iraq from under British control (the fact that a German victory would have put Iraq under the rule of Adolf Hitler seems not to have mattered to them). In response, British forces invaded Iraq, and after a brief conflict, British control was again effected through the Iraqi monarchy.
But in 1958, a military coup overthrew the British-installed Iraqi monarchy and an Iraqi republic was declared. The political violence did not end with the monarchy however, as evidenced by the current Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, who came to power through his own student activism, exile, and imprisonment. He participated in the attempted assassination of Iraqi leader Abdul Karim Kassem in 1959 (Saddam was wounded in a gun battle with Kassem's bodyguards) and was instrumental in organizing the militia force that helped bring the Ba'ath party to power in a coup in 1968. Saddam Hussein served as the acting Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council from 1968-69; Deputy Chairman from 1969-79, and Chairman from 1979 at which time he also became the President, and eventually one of the most brutal and sadistic men, of Iraq.