Saddam Hussein Essay Example
Saddam Hussein Essay Example

Saddam Hussein Essay Example

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  • Pages: 18 (4842 words)
  • Published: January 11, 2019
  • Type: Autobiography
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Saddam Hussein, a key figure in the revolutionary Ba'ath Party, played an essential role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to power. He effectively managed internal conflicts within the government and armed forces as vice president under General Ahmed Bakr, ensuring no potential uprisings occurred. Moreover, Iraq witnessed rapid economic growth during the 1970s. Nonetheless, Saddam's presidency was characterized by an authoritarian regime and a pervasive personality cult. Despite facing challenges posed by the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and the first Persian Gulf War (1991), he maintained his hold on power. These conflicts resulted in deteriorating living conditions and numerous human rights violations. Saddam brutally suppressed any movements or ethnic groups that endangered his leadership or sought independence. While some disillusioned Arabs viewed him as a hero for defying Western powers and supporting Palestinians, distrust towards him persisted among the


United States following the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Saddam Hussein, who was captured by U.S. forces on December 13, 2003 after being deposed by the U.S. and its allies during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, will stand trial under the new Iraqi government set up by U.S.-led forces.


  1. Youth
  2. Rise in the Ba'ath party
  3. Consolidation of power
  4. Saddam's consolidation of power and the modernization of Iraq
  5. Succession
  6. Saddam Hussein as a secular leader
  7. Foreign affairs
  8. The Iran-Iraq War
  9. Tensions with Kuwait
  10. The Persian Gulf War
  11. Postwar aftermath
  12. 1991-2003
  13. 2003 invasion of Iraq
  14. Pursuit and capture



    Saddam Hussein was born in the village of Al-Awja, in the Tikrit district of Iraq, to a family of sheep-herders.

    Saddam's father

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Hussein 'Abd al-Majid, either passed away or disappeared five months before Saddam's birth. During her pregnancy, Saddam's mother became extremely depressed after the death of his sibling from cancer and tried to abort him and end her own life. Consequently, she refused to take care of Saddam when he was born. Therefore, he was placed under the guardianship of Khairallah Tulfah's family until he reached three years old. Later on, Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat got married again and Saddam acquired three half-brothers from this marriage. However, upon his return, his stepfather Ibrahim al-Hassan treated him harshly.

The individual experienced abuse and was forced to steal chickens and sheep for selling. At the age of ten, they fled their family and sought refuge with their Sunni Muslim uncle in Baghdad. As they matured, their advisors and supporters, who held significant influence and power, hailed from Tikrit, their hometown. Saddam emphasized that he acquired crucial teachings from his uncle, notably the importance of never succumbing to adversaries despite their greater might or skills.

Under the mentorship of his uncle, Saddam enrolled in a nationalistic secondary school in Baghdad. At the age of 20, in 1957, he became a member of the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba'ath Party, which had his uncle's backing. This era marked a time of revolutionary fervor in Iraq and the Middle East as dominant ruling factions such as conservative monarchists, influential families, and merchants were losing their hold on power. Saddam was deeply influenced by the populist pan-Arab nationalism championed by Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt at that time, and this influence continues to shape him today. The ascent of Nasser foreshadowed a string of uprisings throughout the

Middle East during the 1950s and 1960s that resulted in overthrowing monarchies in Iraq, Egypt, and Libya.

Nasser challenged the British and French, nationalized the Suez Canal, and worked towards modernizing Egypt and establishing political unity in the Arab world.

Rise of Saddam Hussein in the Ba'ath party

A year after joining the Ba'ath party, Saddam Hussein faced a coup led by General Abdul Karim Qassim which resulted in the overthrow of Faisal II of Iraq. The Ba'athists opposed this new government and in 1959, Saddam was involved in an attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Qassim. Despite sustaining a gunshot wound to his leg, Saddam managed to escape to Syria and later took refuge in Egypt. Eventually, he received a death sentence, albeit delivered in absentia.

During his exile, Saddam studied law at the University of Cairo. In 1963, Iraq was taken over by Army officers, some of whom were aligned with the Ba'ath party, in a military coup that lasted seven to eight months due to intense factionalism. Saddam returned to Iraq but was imprisoned in 1964 after a coup led by Abdul Rahman Arif, who opposed the Ba'ath party. However, he managed to escape jail in 1967 and became a prominent figure in the party. Biographers often highlight Saddam's constant awareness of internal conflicts within the first Ba'athist government, such as the importance of maintaining party unity and his ruthless determination to hold onto power and implement initiatives for social stability.

In July 1968, General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr led a second coup that resulted in the Ba'athists regaining power. Al-Bakr was both a Tikriti and a relative of Saddam. As part of their ruling clique, Saddam was appointed

as vice-chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council and vice president of Iraq.

Consolidation of power

By 1976, Saddam had attained the rank of general in the Iraqi armed forces. He quickly emerged as the dominant figure in the government and effectively governed Iraq for several years before officially assuming power in 1979.

Saddam consolidated his control over the government and the Ba'ath party in Iraq, establishing strong relationships with fellow party members to create a support network within the party. As President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr grew incapable of fulfilling his duties due to old age and frailty, Saddam took on a more prominent role as the public face of the Iraqi government both domestically and internationally. He assumed responsibility for Iraq's foreign policy and represented the country in diplomatic matters. By the late 1970s, Saddam had firmly established himself as Iraq's undisputed leader.

Consolidation of Power and Modernization Efforts by Saddam Hussein in Iraq

In a nation plagued by deep-seated tensions, Saddam successfully consolidated power in Iraq.

Before Saddam Hussein's rule, Iraq faced numerous divisions based on social, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic disparities. These divisions included tensions between the Sunni and Shi'ite communities, Arabs and Kurds, tribal leaders and urban merchants, as well as nomads and farmers. To stabilize a politically fragmented and conflict-ridden nation, it was essential to improve living conditions. Therefore, Saddam played a vital role in the Ba'ath party's efforts to strengthen unity by addressing significant domestic issues and expanding party support. He actively promoted modernization of the Iraqi economy while simultaneously establishing a robust security apparatus to prevent internal coups or external uprisings.

Ever focused on expanding his support among the diverse sectors of Iraqi

society and rallying mass support, Saddam Hussein closely monitored the management of state welfare and development initiatives. Iraq's oil industry served as the core element of this approach. On June 1, 1972, Saddam Hussein spearheaded the nationalization of Western oil companies that previously held a monopoly over Iraq's oil resources. Within a year, the global oil prices surged significantly due to the 1973 world oil shock, providing Saddam with even greater financial resources to pursue an increasingly ambitious agenda.

In just a few years, the state of Iraq provided exceptional social services to its people compared to other Middle Eastern countries. Saddam initiated and oversaw the "National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy" as well as the campaign for "Compulsory Free Education in Iraq." With his support, the government implemented universal free schooling up to advanced levels, aided soldier's families, offered free hospitalization for all, and granted subsidies to farmers. There was also significant progress in infrastructure development such as road construction, mining promotion, and diversification of industries beyond oil reliance. Saddam revolutionized energy sectors and public services including transportation and education. These policies gained particular popularity in rural areas where Saddam himself was born and raised. Electricity reached almost every city in Iraq including remote rural communities. Before the early 1970s, most of the population resided in rural regions with peasants comprising around two thirds of the populace.

In the 1970s, Iraq's population decreased significantly due to rapid industrialization and urbanization led by Saddam. This was fueled by allocating oil revenues to expand the Iraqi industrial sector and initiate new welfare programs under the Ba'athist regime. Despite this, Saddam made efforts to cultivate government loyalty in

rural areas. By nationalizing foreign oil interests and modernizing the countryside, large-scale agriculture became mechanized and land was redistributed to farmers. Cooperative farms were established by the Ba'athists, where profits were based on individual labor contributions and training opportunities were provided for unskilled workers. Saddam's dedication to agrarian development is shown through a doubling of agricultural expenditure in 1974-1975.

Moreover, the living standards of the broad strata of the peasantry improved and production increased in Iraq due to agrarian reform. However, the levels of production did not meet Saddam's expectations. Saddam's focus on the implementation role, even to the point of micromanaging, resulted in his personal association with Ba'athist welfare and economic development programs in the eyes of many Iraqis. As a result, his original popular support base expanded while he co-opted new sectors of the Iraqi population. This expansion of government services, part of a combination of "carrot and stick" tactics, established patron-client ties between Saddam and his support base among the working class and peasantry, as well as within the party and government bureaucracy. Iraq's rapid pace of development in the 1970s was credited to Saddam's ruthless organizational prowess. The demand for labor was so high that two million individuals from other Arab countries and Yugoslavia came to work in Iraq.


In 1979, President al-Bakr initiated treaties with Syria, which was also under Ba'athist leadership. These treaties ultimately led to the unification of the two countries. Syrian President Hafez al-Assad would become the deputy leader in this union, which consequently pushed Saddam into obscurity.

On July 16, 1979, the ailing al-Bakr resigned and Saddam officially became president. Shortly after, on July 22, 1979, Saddam called for

a meeting of Ba'ath party leaders. In this meeting, which was recorded on video, Saddam claimed to have found spies and conspirators within the party. He proceeded to name the members whom he believed could oppose him as "disloyal" and had them escorted out of the room individually to face a firing squad. After reading out the list, Saddam applauded those who remained seated for their past and future loyalty.

Saddam Hussein: A Secular Leader

Saddam Hussein identified himself as a socio-political reformer and a progressive, drawing inspiration from Nasser. Much to the disapproval of conservative Islamic factions, his administration granted women additional liberties and opened doors for their involvement in high-ranking government and industrial positions. Moreover, Saddam instituted a Western-style legal system, making Iraq the sole Persian Gulf country to adhere to a non-traditional Islamic legal code (Sharia). With the exception of personal injury claims, Saddam abolished Sharia courts altogether. However, his efforts to modernize were hindered by internal conflicts within Iraqi society, which were rooted in language, religion, and ethnicity divisions. To maintain power, Saddam relied on the support of a 20% minority comprised mainly of working-class, peasant, and petite bourgeoisie Sunni Muslims – a pattern that can be traced back to the British mandate authority's utilization of them as administrators.

The government's secular policies led to opposition from the Shi'a majority, while the Ba'ath Party grew concerned about potential influence from Sh'ia Islamists after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The Ba'athist party's Arabizing tendencies caused permanent hostility from the Kurds in northern Iraq, who are Sunni Muslims but not Arabs. In order to counter sources of opposition, Saddam's government consisted

mainly of close relatives and members of his Tikriti tribe. When dealing with potential regime opponents such as Shiites, Kurds, Communists, and others, the government either provided benefits to co-opt them into the regime or implemented repressive measures against them.

The primary means of control were the paramilitary and police organizations, with Taha Yassin Ramadan leading the People's Army for internal security. Acting as the Ba'ath Party's paramilitary, the People's Army served as a counterweight to potential coups by the regular armed forces. Alongside the People's Army, the Department of General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) commanded by Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam's younger half-brother, operated both domestically and internationally to locate and eliminate opponents through the use of torture and assassination. Saddam justified Iraqi patriotism by emphasizing Iraq's unique role in Arab history.

Throughout his presidency, Saddam frequently made references to the Abbasid era in Baghdad, a time when the city stood as a significant political, cultural, and economic center within the Arab world. He also emphasized Iraq's historical importance as Mesopotamia, the ancient birthplace of civilization, by specifically mentioning notable figures like Nebuchadnezzar and Hammurabi. In an effort to foster unity among Arab nations under Iraq's leadership, he provided support for archaeological expeditions that sought to combine pan-Arabism with Iraqi nationalism.

Saddam's consolidation of power in Iraq was evident through his personality cult. His image was widely displayed throughout the country, with portraits, posters, statues, and murals honoring him. His face adorned office buildings, schools, airports, shops, and even the Iraqi currency. The personality cult served as a means to appeal to different segments of Iraqi society. Saddam would dress in various outfits such as Bedouin attire, traditional clothing of

the Iraqi peasant he once was, and even Kurdish garments. Additionally, he would often wear Western suits to project a modern and sophisticated image. Depending on the occasion, he would be depicted as a devout Muslim in traditional religious attire or as a powerful leader in a Western business suit and sunglasses, holding a rifle above his head.

Foreign affairs

Saddam Hussein met with Jacques Chirac, then Prime Minister of France, during a state visit to Paris in 1976. Saddam aimed to establish Iraq as a prominent player in the Middle East. In 1972, Iraq signed an aid pact with the Soviet Union and received arms along with numerous advisers. However, strained relations ensued with the Soviet Union after the execution of Iraqi Communists in 1978 and a shift towards Western trade. This shift continued until the Persian Gulf War in 1991. To further strengthen ties, Saddam made a state visit to France in 1976, forging close connections with French business and conservative political circles. Additionally, Saddam led Arab opposition against the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel in 1979.

In 1975, Saddam negotiated an agreement with Iran that included Iraqi concessions on border disputes, while Iran agreed to cease supporting opposition Kurds in Iraq. During the 1980s, with French assistance, Saddam launched Iraq's nuclear enrichment project and the first Iraqi nuclear reactor was named Osiraq, after the Egyptian God of the dead.

Iraq's ability to produce weapons grade nuclear material was destroyed by an Israeli air strike. The destruction came shortly before the country became capable of such production. In 1975, after negotiating a treaty with Iran, Saddam lost support from

Shah Pahlavi and the Kurds were subsequently defeated. Since its establishment as a modern state in 1920, Iraq has faced challenges from Kurdish separatists in the north. Saddam attempted to address this issue by negotiating autonomy for the Kurdish leaders in 1970, but the agreement eventually collapsed.

The result of the Iran-Iraq War was brutal fighting between the government and Kurdish groups and even Iraqi bombing of Kurdish villages in Iran, causing Iraqi relations with Iran to deteriorate.

The Iran-Iraq War

Main article: Iran-Iraq War

In 1979, Iran's Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution, resulting in an Islamic republic led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. Revolutionary Shi'ite Islam's influence grew rapidly in the region, particularly in countries with large Shi'ite populations, including Iraq. Saddam was concerned that radical Islamic ideas, which were hostile to his secular rule, were spreading quickly among the majority Shi'ite population in his country.

During the 1970s, bitter enmity existed between Saddam and Khomeini. Khomeini, who had been exiled from Iran in 1964, resided in Iraq. He settled in the Shi'ite holy city of An Najaf and got involved with Iraqi Shi'ites, building a strong global religious and political following. In 1975, under pressure from the Shah, Saddam agreed to expel Khomeini. However, after the Islamic Revolution, Khomeini saw toppling Saddam's government as a primary objective after consolidating power in Iran. Following Khomeini's rise to power, Iraq and revolutionary Iran engaged in skirmishes for ten months over the sovereignty of the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway that separates the two nations.

Iraq and Iran engaged in open warfare on September 22, 1980 due to a territorial dispute. However, the true motive behind the war was

likely Saddam's desire, with the support of both the United States and the Soviet Union, to establish Iraq as a barrier against the spread of radical Iranian-style revolution. In 1983, Saddam Hussein met with Donald Rumsfeld, who was at the time Ronald Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, during a visit to Baghdad, Iraq. A video frame capture of this meeting can be seen at (

Video frame capture, see the complete video ( In the early stages of the war, Iraq engaged in intense ground battles around important ports while attacking Iran's oil-rich, Arab-populated Khuzestan province. Despite initial success, Iraq's forces started to suffer losses from Iran's human-wave assaults. By 1982, Iraq sought ways to end the war. The conflict became one of the longest and most devastating wars of attrition in the 20th century, with both sides committing atrocities. Throughout the war, Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iranian forces and Kurdish separatists. On March 16, 1988, in an attempt to suppress a Kurdish uprising during the Al-Anfal Campaign, Iraqi troops used a combination of poison gas and nerve agents to attack the Kurdish town of Halabjah, resulting in an estimated death toll of around five thousand people, mainly civilians.

Dissenting opinions challenge the figures and argue that the event was actually a skirmish during the Iran-Iraq war, in which both sides employed chemical weapons and a significant number of deaths were attributed to Iranian weaponry. The use of chemical weapons by Iran in that specific battle remains uncertain. Saddam sought financial and political assistance from other Arab nations. The Iranians, aiming to overthrow Saddam's non-religious government and spark a Shiite uprising in Iraq,

rejected a ceasefire until 1988. The brutal conflict lasted eight years and concluded with no clear victor, resulting in hundreds of thousands of casualties.

Approximately 1.7 million people died on both sides, causing severe devastation to both economies. Iraq was burdened with a war debt of around $75 billion and had to borrow money from the U.S.

During the 1980s, Iraq borrowed a significant amount of money from other Arab states in order to fight Iran. This made Iraq dependent on these nations and caused embarrassment for Saddam, who wanted to establish Iraq as a dominant force in Arab nationalism. After the war, Saddam needed cash once again to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.

Tensions with Kuwait

The end of the war with Iran exacerbated underlying tensions between Iraq and Kuwait. Saddam believed that by fighting Iran, he had protected Kuwait from being dominated by Iran. He argued that since the war had benefited not only Iraq but also other Arab states in the Persian Gulf, a portion of Iraq's debt should be forgiven by Kuwait.

Saddam urged Kuwait to forgive Iraq's war debt of $30 billion, but Kuwait declined. Additionally, Saddam encouraged oil-exporting countries to raise oil prices by reducing production in order to raise funds for postwar reconstruction. However, Kuwait refused to decrease its oil production and also led the opposition in OPEC against the production cuts proposed by Saddam. This resulted in Kuwait pumping substantial amounts of oil, which kept prices low - a disadvantage for Iraq that needed to sell oil at higher prices to repay its massive debt. Furthermore, Saddam displayed contempt for the Kuwait-Iraq boundary line established by British imperial officials in 1922, as it severed

Iraq's access to the sea.

In a nation divided by social, ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic differences, one belief managed to unite the political scene - the belief that Kuwait was an illegitimate entity. For years, Iraqi nationalists vehemently claimed that Kuwait was historically a part of Iraq and its creation was the result of British imperialism. The presence of vast oil reserves in Kuwait further heightened the tensions in the region. Despite having a much smaller population of 2 million compared to Iraq's 25 million, Kuwait's oil reserves were comparable to those of Iraq. Combining their resources, Iraq and Kuwait held around 20 percent of the world's known oil reserves; it is worth noting that Saudi Arabia held 25 percent.

The Kuwaiti monarchy aggravated Saddam even more by extracting oil from wells that Iraq believed to be within its contested territorial border with Kuwait. Since Iraq was not seen as an outcast state at that time, Saddam was able to lodge a complaint about the slant drilling with the U.S. State Department. Despite the ongoing slant drilling situation, Saddam now required funds from oil to alleviate an imminent economic crisis. Saddam still possessed a skilled and well-equipped military, which he utilized to exert influence in the region. He subsequently instructed his troops to be stationed at the border between Iraq and Kuwait.

During the worsening of Iraq-Kuwait relations, Saddam Hussein was uncertain about the United States' reaction to a potential invasion. The U.S. had been working towards a positive relationship with Iraq for around ten years. In fact, during the 1980s, the Reagan administration provided approximately $40 billion in aid to Iraq to combat Iran, mostly on credit.

Additionally, the U.S. sent a substantial amount of money to prevent Saddam from aligning with the Soviet Union.

During an emergency meeting on July 25, U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie engaged in discussions with Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi leader expressed his desire to continue the negotiations. U.S. officials took a conciliatory approach towards Iraq, implying that George H. W. Bush's administration was willing to maintain a cooperative stance.

Bush and James Baker refrained from supporting the use of force and maintained neutrality regarding the Iraq-Kuwait boundary dispute. They did not desire involvement in the matter. Subsequently, Iraq and Kuwait held a final negotiation session, which ended in failure. In response, Saddam ordered his troops to enter Kuwait. While there is no reliable firsthand information on Saddam's perspective at the time, it can be inferred from his prewar position and interests, as well as the conflicting signals from Washington, that the invasion likely stemmed from Iraq's postwar debt predicament and struggling efforts to obtain the necessary resources for reconstructing the war-torn economy and stabilizing domestic politics.

The Persian Gulf War

Main article: Persian Gulf WarWith hours remaining before the war, UN Secretary-General met with Saddam Hussein to discuss the Security Council timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Kuwait.EnlargeWith hours remaining before the war, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar met with Saddam Hussein to discuss the Security Council timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Kuwait. On August 2, 1990, Saddam invaded and annexed Kuwait, thus sparking an international crisis. The annexation of Kuwait gave Iraq, with its own substantial oil fields, control of 20 percent of the Persian Gulf reserves. The U.S.

During the war between Iran and

Iraq, the United States supported Saddam Hussein. However, when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the United States took action by leading a coalition of nations under the United Nations to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait by February 1991. U.S. President George H. W. Bush initially responded cautiously to the situation.

Kuwait used to be a major enemy of Israel and had friendly relations with the Soviet Union. However, stability in this region is of great concern to Washington foreign policymakers, Middle East experts, military critics, and firms heavily invested in the area. The invasion of Kuwait raised worries about the world's oil price and control over the global economy since Kuwait possesses about 10% of the world's crude oil reserve (source: During a meeting with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was strongly supportive of the U.S. during the Reagan-Bush era, President Bush may have been influenced. The U.S. had a weaker historical relationship with Kuwait compared to Britain, which can be traced back to British colonization in the region. Additionally, Britain received significant financial benefits from Kuwaiti investment.

Cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union enabled resolutions to be passed in the United Nations Security Council. These resolutions set a deadline for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait and authorized the use of force if Saddam Hussein did not comply with the timeline. U.S. officials were concerned about potential retaliation from Iraq against Saudi Arabia, a longstanding ally of the United States, due to Saudi Arabia's opposition to the invasion of Kuwait. As a result, the United States and a hastily assembled group of allies, including countries like Egypt, Syria, and Czechoslovakia,

deployed a large number of troops along the Saudi border with Kuwait and Iraq. Their objective was to encircle the Iraqi army, which was the largest in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein brought renewed attention to the Palestinian issue during the negotiation and threatening period that followed the invasion. He offered to withdraw his forces from Kuwait if Israel would give up its control over the West Bank, Golan Heights, and Gaza Strip. This proposal further divided the Arab world and pitted them against the United States.

There was a conflict between the Palestinians and Western-backed Arab states. However, the allies did not believe that the Kuwait crisis had anything to do with the Palestinian issues. Saddam Hussein disregarded the deadline set by the Security Council. Consequently, a coalition led by the United States conducted continuous missile and aerial strikes on Iraq, starting on January 16th, 1991 and with unanimous support from the Security Council.

Israel chose not to retaliate against Iraqi missile attacks to avoid provoking Arab states that were part of the coalition. In February 1991, a combined US and British ground force consisting of armored and infantry divisions expelled Saddam's army from Kuwait and occupied southern Iraq up to the Euphrates River. On March 6, 1991, President Bush declared that the conflict represented more than just a small country, but rather a big idea - a new world order where diverse nations unite for the common goal of achieving peace, security, freedom, and the rule of law. The Iraqi army, which was larger in size but lacking proper equipment, proved unable to compete against the highly mobile coalition land forces and their overwhelming air

support. Around 175,000 Iraqis were taken as prisoners and casualties numbered approximately 20,000 according to US estimates, though other sources suggest the number could be as high as 100,000. As part of the ceasefire agreement, Iraq agreed to dismantle all chemical and biological weapons and allow UN inspectors to verify compliance at the designated sites.

UN trade sanctions would continue until Iraq met all conditions.

The aftermath of the war

Iraq's ethnic and religious factions faced postwar destruction, leading to the rise of new rebellions. The country's stability was threatened by social and ethnic unrest among Shi'ite Muslims, Kurds, and dissident military groups. Uprisings occurred in the northern Kurdish region as well as the southern and central parts of Iraq but were brutally suppressed by Saddam's government.

Despite urging Iraqis to rise up against Saddam, the United States offered no assistance to the rebellions apart from enforcing the "no fly zones". Turkey, an ally of the U.S., opposed the idea of Kurdish independence, while other conservative Arab states like Saudi Arabia feared a Shi'ite revolution similar to Iran's. As a result, Saddam remained in control of Iraq, even though the country never fully recovered economically or militarily from the Persian Gulf War. Saddam frequently used his survival as evidence that Iraq had emerged victorious in the war against America.

This message gained Saddam a lot of popularity in various sectors of the Arab world. Saddam began to present himself as a devoted Muslim, aiming to win over the traditional religious parts of society. Certain aspects of Sharia law were reintroduced (like the 2001 order that imposed capital punishment

for homosexuality and sexual crimes). Additionally, Saddam personally wrote the ritual phrase "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") and it was included on the national flag.


Relations between the United States

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