“The one who confronts” – the beast of all time.
„ I don’t care what people think of me now, I care what they will think in 500 years.”
Saddam Hussein was born in a small village Al-Awja, ancient Babylon, in the center of Iraq. His relatives were very strong and tough persons. They used to kill each other and some of them were thieves.
The village was full of poverty but Saddam had even harder story. His mother lost her husband and just after that her son died of cancer. She was 7 months pregnant and feeling hopeless, she tried to kill herself with a baby inside, Saddam.
She was sure that the baby inside her wants to eliminate every man from the family, wants to be the only man there.
Finally, the child was born, 28 April 1927.
Saddam was sent to a brother of his mother. He spent 4 years with his uncle, Khairallah Talfah, who was an officer. The uncle participated in the army revolt against the British forces occupying Iraq. The revolt was crushed by the British and Saddam’s uncle was kicked out of the army spending his 6 years in prison.
Saddam was returned to his mother who had married her again with her husband’s brother.
He was a brutal and tough man for small Saddam. He beat and abused him. Hussein was not allowed to go to school. His step father wanted to make him useful and told him to steal goats and chickens. If somebody caught him, Saddam had to poison or kill the animal.
When he was 10, he returned to his uncle and could finally go to school. Before that, as a 10 years old boy, he learnt a very important thing. He got a gun and the uncle taught him how to use it.
He quickly started to threat teachers by this gun and he even killed the first person at the age of 10. When police came to his house just after the murder, he was sleeping with the warm gun under his pillow.
In 1956, Saddam was taken to Baghdad. He joined radical, very extreme nationalistic party – BA’ATH Party. Young Saddam did not mind killing at all. In 1959, he was chosen to a group that was responsible for attacking and killing Abd Al Karim Qasim, who eliminated the Iraqi monarchy by coup d’etat and ruled Iraq as Prime Minister.
The plan was to prepare an ambush for Qasim’s car but rebels did not really know how to do it. Because of that they shot each other, of course they wounded the general, but did not kill him. Qasim escaped. Even though it was a failure, the attack became a legend. Saddam, at the age of 22, became Iraqi most wanted man. He escaped through the desert to a tribe. After that he traveled to Cairo where he learnt a lot about being powerful. He enrolled in University Law School. During three years he made great contacts with local BA’ATH Party and was just waiting to get back home.
In 1963, Qasim was killed by Ba’athist.
The action was supported by United States and British Government and more then 5 000 were killed but it brought BA’ATH Party into power. Saddam immediately moved to Baghdad.
His marriage was soon arranged and he married his cousin Sajida Talfah, daughter of his uncle Khairallah.
In 1964, Saddam was chosen for a new assassination against the new President of Iraq. The plan did not work out because someone betrayed the group and Saddam was jailed.
During two years in prison he read a lot, mostly about Hitler and Stalin but also about dictators of history and mafia.
A sympathy of prison’s guards let him escape in 1966. He became one of the famous activists of opposition BA’ATH Party. Just after 2 years, the Party came back to power after one more coup against Abdul Rahman Arif. The cousin of Saddam, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, was put into the charge. Saddam became a person who did the dirty work for the regime. Just a few months later they both organised a horrible celebration of their victory.
They publicly executed their political enemies.
They made a huge spectacle. Huge amounts of people were brought from villages and cities to watch the execution. 14 persons were hanged on trumped-up charges of spying and treason. 9 of them Jews. Half a million celebrated under the hanging bodies in Baghdad’s central square.
With a time, Saddam nationalized the Iraqi petrol companies which controlled 15 % of the worlds oil. With this money he brought Iraq into 20th century, modernizing villages and cities. Al-Bakr finally resigned and Saddam Hussein took over control.
5 days later he called an unusual meeting. During his speech he said that there are many conspirators in the audience and he started to read out their names. Once a name was read, a secret police hustled out the person. Nobody knew who is going to be next.
Over 250 men, sitting there, were terrified because they knew their name can be read and if it happens, they will be dead.
Saddam felt the control and he was extremely happy about that. Everybody were sweating, he was smiling.
“If I get suspicion about a person, I kill him. It is much better for me to make a mistake and kill a wrong person, than to let him go and let him kill me.”
Controlling everyone in his own country, he decided to attack Iran. He had no military experience and he thought that he is going to win over the weeks but this war was much harder. In the same time he invested a lot in nuclear weapon program.
He wanted to destroy Iran and show the whole world that it should be scared of Hussein and feel respect for him. Israel took it all very seriously and in 1981, started an air-strike to destroy Iraqi reactor.
Saddam did not know what to do and asked his Cabinet for an advice.
Health Minister told him that maybe it would be better to step out for a moment and gain a ceasefire. Saddam thanked him and jailed him. Minister’s wife begged Saddam to let her husband go back home. He promised he will do it the next morning and he kept the promise. Next day, Minister came back home, in black bag, chopped into pieces!!!
Finally the ceasefire were agreed in 1988. The border stayed the same but Saddam declared the victory. All the economy he built started to crash.
He knew he needs cash and Kuwait was full of oil.
By attacking his neighbor in 1990, he confronted the whole world. Iraq was on the verge of bankruptcy. Hussein believed that Kuwait has 200 billion dollars in different banks. Iraqi army needed only 6 hours to occupied tiny Kuwait.
United Nations demanded Saddam to withdraw from Kuwait. His forces were plundering the country while he tried to improve his image.
He organized TV show and made many photos showing him as a good man and caring father for his nation.
He even made interviews with some Kuwait’s people asking them if they are glad to see him but of course he did not listen to UN and he did not withdraw. UN started its actions. The whole operation was the biggest one since Vietnam War. It is called Operation Desert Storm, a part of a Gulf War. Kuwait was finally liberated.
Saddam started to panic. He knew that United States has a technology to find him so he slept every night in different bed but Bush declared that he will not search for him. Now Saddam could again claim a victory.
In 1993, new president has been chosen for United States, Bill Clinton. Saddam wanted to test him by violating the terms of Gulf War ceasefire agreement.
There was an attack arranged against President Bush who visited Kuwait City.
Kuwaiti authorities arrested 17 persons suspected in the plot to kill Bush using explosives hidden in a Toyota Landcruiser. Clinton answered with air-strikes.
United Nations inspectors were sent to Iraq and found destroyed huge amount of weapons also chemical and biological.
They found even a Super Gun which was pointed towards Israel. The barrel was 156 meters long. It was a part of Project Babylon. While the inspectors were doing their investigation in Iraq, they found out that Saddam still worked on nuclear bomb at the same time. Lot of sanctions have been implemented. People of Iraq suffered the consequences and Saddam could not have cared less.
His only vision of politics was to just be the President of Iraq and not to save Iraqis but to save himself and his two sons.
He started to collect huge amount of money by selling oil on the black market as well as medical supplies which were designated for people of Iraq. He built new palaces, one after one, for himself while nation starved and hundreds of thousands of citizens died. Any voice of the opposition was immediately muted in a very brutal way. Saddam’s policy was to eliminate any challenge, even the smallest one.
That is how he killed at least 1 000 per month.
United States wanted to punish him and fired stores of missiles. Saddam did not care much and he continued his actions. UN inspectors came to Iraq but they never had a chance to count all the arsenal of Saddam. It was believed that deadly biological weapons such as nerve gas still existed. This time scenario was very similar. Saddam kicked out UN inspectors, United States threatened Baghdad with bombing. And it would go over and over again.
In 2000, G.W. Bush was elected as a President of United States. He gave Saddam and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq, if they refuse, the military conflict would start.
They refused. The hunting for Saddam began. Iraq was taken over but still United States did not get Hussein’s family. US offered even 25 million dollars for Saddam and 15 million for each of the sons. Uday and Qusay were actually staying in the house of Saddam’s cousin. After 6 hours of hard battle, Americans get into the villa and saw 4 bodies of Uday, Qusay, a bodyguard and Qusay’s son. Soon attacks on American troops started as well as many acts of terror.
Saddam felt the pressure.
He never stayed in one place more than a few hours.
On 13 December 2003 in the town of ad-Dawr the Operation Red Dawn started. Troops were told to go there and they might meet a man who knows where Saddam can be. They get to a very small farm. The area was walled, mud hut compound with a metal lean-to structure. Within the structure there was a “spider hole” camouflaged on the surface with bricks and dirt.
The hole was about 2,3 meters deep with space allowing an individual to lie down. Saddam Hussein was found hiding at the bottom of the hole. He was captured without resistance.
He reportedly stated “I am Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, and I want to negotiate,” as he emerged.