Saddam Hussein


Saddam Hussein Essay, Research Paper

Saddam Hussein

The Middle East is an extremely volatile region of the world, and much

of the current instability may be due to one man, Saddam Hussein. During the

last few years, under Hussein’s direction, Iraq has gone from being an oil rich

country to a country that is suffering major embargoes and is low on supplies.

Iraqi leaders are trying to leave as they realize how power can corrupt a man.

If Hussein stays in power, the future looks bleak for the Gulf region.

Iraq used to be a prosperous country. Oil was the main source of income

for the area. During the Iran-Iraq War (Gulf War 1), which was from September

1980 to August 1988, Iraq went from being a wealthy country to a very poor

country, nearly over night. Hussein had used all energy available in that war,

and he came out of it losing over 1/3 of the entire male population of Iraq

(Allman 61). Saddam feels that is actions were justified because he believes

the Iran-Iraq war was a conspiracy by the US, Britain, and Israel to undermine

Iraq (Kondrache 11). This leads people of the world to believe that this is a

man who will stop at nothing to achieve what he wants. He was willing to risk

his whole nation for a more money. High financial priorities? Survey says ?yes?


The basis on which Hussein is in power is controversial. He was not

elected to his position, he took it. There was a military coup in 1968 that led

him and his Ba’ath party to power. He was not elected, as until last year,

there had not been an election since the coup (Cooperman 49). This says that

Hussein has been a tyrant from the start, and his need for power is incredible.

He wants complete domination of the Middle East, if not the world.

Iraq is now a country struggling to survive. It is in the midst of an

embargo, and the people are suffering. Death rates are up, and the amount of

food available is declining. Saddam is displaced from his people, though. He

is not feeling the same effects as they are.

The Pursian Gulf War erupted in 1990 with Hussein ordering an invasion

of neighboring Kuwait, on the grounds that Kuwait was stealing oil from in Iraqi

oil field. The US became involved in this war for the next year, and they

successfully pushed Iraq out of Kuwait. Iraq, however, feels that it won this

war. The leaders of Iraq were still in power after the war ended, so the

popular idea in Iraq is that they won the war. An Eastern European diplomat

commented ?Victory is when the ruler stays in power, no matter how many people

he kills, no matter how much the country is ravaged? (Allman 62). The Gulf War

was a moral victory for the Iraqis, or that is what Saddam has led them to

believe. He gained nothing for his people but a second of hope. This hope may

have already flickered out.

After the Pursian Gulf War, the US imposed an embargo on Iraq. Nothing

comes in or goes out of the country. As a result of this, there is a shortage

of food and medicine. The UN sees this problem, and has offered Saddam an

option. If he agrees to Resolution 986, the country would be able to sell oil

in order to buy supplies for it’s people. However, the UN would have control

over how much and to whom the oil was sold. Saddam says no, as these rules are

too strict. If the UN does not ease up, thousands of Iraqis will die. Hussein

has made it look as if the UN, not himself, will be responsible for those deaths.

Saddam says ?Our struggle against the embargo is a holy war? (Allman 62). This

bit of word play may be enough to keep Saddam out of trouble, but it shows that

he is not willing to compromise as he is too greedy. Perhaps he believes that

he will be able to sell the oil on the black market and make more money, which

he will undoubtedly keep for himself.

Hussein himself is a troubled man. He is the paranoid ruler of a poor

country, but he is quite rich. He has so much money that our government even

has no idea what he is worth (Church 47). He has more than 50 palaces in Iraq,

and about 20 of those are in Baghdad (Roberts 55). His people are living in

the gutter but he is sitting pretty. His family is right with him. Nearly all

of his immediate family is in power, but Saddam is not afraid to kill one of

them if they do something he does not agree with (Bhatia 15). His son is just

as bad, if not worse than Saddam. Uday Hussein is a violent man, who has

engaged in a gun fight during a family dinner, and he ended up killing a few

women and injuring his uncle. He holds lavish parties where he coerces young

women into copulation (Roberts 52-54). Uday does not care about his actions

because he is so powerful. He is number two in command of Iraq (Church 46).

Saddam’s family is corrupt, and their power is huge. They can do anything, and

this scares many people.

One of Hussein’s top men, Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel al-Majid, has

recently defected from Iraq. He is willing to speak out against Saddam. He was

the head of Iraqi weapons, and he feared that if he became too powerful, he

would be killed because he was not a member of Saddam’s family. When Kamel

escaped, he took $30 million with him (Sid-Ahmal 16-17). This says that even

Saddam’s most powerful men are afraid. Pilots are given only enough fuel to

complete their mission, as it is feared that they will try and leave the country.

If this is the case, and people want to leave, this is a sign that Saddam may

be losing support. His top officials are ready to speak to international powers

about the human rights violations taking place in Iraq, such as when 400

prisoners were shot to create room in an Iraqi jail (Bhatia 15). Saddam is

proving that there is something wrong with the way he is running his country

when incidents like that occur.

There seem to be mixed feelings toward Hussein from his people. Some

people are ?grateful for all he has done for them,? which doesn’t appear to be

much except providing jobs for a few people who could be influential over the

area’s in which they live. All Iraqi religious leaders back Saddam. Even

Devil-worshippers like him because he has given them the same religious rights

as Christians and Moslems (Allman 63-65). Not every one is satisfied, though.

A vote for president, the first since the Ba’ath party came to power, turned out

as a 99% landslide for Hussein. However, it was said that if you did not vote

for him, you would have your food rations stripped for a month and you would be

sent to live in the desert. Jowad, a Shiite Muslim said, ?we vote for Saddam

because we have no choice? (Cooperman 49-50). If you cannot win an election

fairly, perhaps you have too much control over your country. At this rate it

seems Saddam will be in power forever. No one else can do anything.

What can be done? There is a president of a country who is only

concerned with making money. He does not seem to care about his people, he just

wants to do anything he can and get away with it. So why doesn’t someone just

bump him off? One of his men just go up and fill the old guy full of lead? Why

not a US sniper, or a bomb? Won’t that solve all the problems? Unfortunately,

there is no proof that Saddam’s predecessor will be any less of a tyrant. Next

in line is Uday, who we know is violent. The US government doesn’t really want

to go after and kill Hussein because the fear is that Iraq will become a new

Haiti for us, and we have enough problems already (Kramer 45). There was hope

that after the Gulf War a coup attempt would successfully bring down Hussein,

but that didn’t materialize. Our only hope now is that US sanctions will be

able to force Saddam’s regime from power (this would be necessary for Iraq to

fulfill the requirements of the sanctions) (Hashim 14). He cannot lose power,

but he cannot stay in it either. What will happen? Who knows. This area is so

extreme in belief and emotion that anything may occur.

Hussein has misused his power to create a country that is stricken with

famine and disease. He rules the country, seeking to dominate everything and to

strike fear into the hearts of people all over the world. He hurts his own

people and they seem to love him for it. He manipulates his constituents into

electing him, and portrays himself as a savior. He is a menace and must be


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