- "My name is Saddam Hussein. I am president of Iraq, and I want to negotiate"
- —- Saddam Hussein to U.S. troopers.
Saddam Hussein (April 28, 1937 - December 30, 2006) was the president of Iraq from 1979-2003. He is best known for his invasion of Kuwait for more oil and gassing his country. The death total attributable to his regime ranges from 250,000 to 500,000. Many people murdered under his regime were Kurdish.
Born Saddam which in Arabic means "one who confronts", he never knew his father who died just 6 months after he was born, and his 13 year old brother soon died of cancer. He then lived with his uncle until he was three, and his mother remarried. Saddam got three brothers out of this marriage, and a father, but he treated him horribly (Saddam's father in law), and he ran away to his uncle in Baghdad again. Later he got an education at a nationalistic Iraqi high school, and went to law school for three years after which he dropped out to join the pan-Arab Ba'ath Party, which his uncle supported.
Apparently he was a secondary school teacher at this time. Later socialists and progressives were trying to rise to power, in fact in Egypt a pan-Arab had already gotten control. Now in Egypt, Libya, and Iraq monarchies were overthrown. In Iraq the military leader Abd al-Karim Qasim overthrew the government, and created himself a dictatorship. Saddam Hussein was part of the plot to assassinate him (which failed) due to the fact that his party disagreed with his view.
Rise to Power, gulf war, and war on terrorism
Several years later his party overthrew Abd. Then Ba'ath leaders joined the cabinet, and Abdul Salam Arif was appointed president. Later however he got greedy and sent all Baathist leaders to jail for a few years. Ahamd Hassan al-Bakr lead a coup to overthrow Abdul in 1968, which was successful. Saddam Hussein was then appointed deputy of president Bakr.
Saddam was basically moving the country forward while Bakr was leading (somewhat). After moving up in rank several times Saddam was now the second most important person in the country. In 1979 Bakr decided to sign a treaty with Syria uniting the nations, but this would cause Saddam to lose a lot of power. He stressed and threatened Ahamd out of power, and was now the leader of Iraq. Soon after he gathered together 68 Ba'ath leaders who he called "disloyal to him", and killed 22. After a few months, hundreds of high-ranking officials in the Ba'ath Party were executed. Even though he said he was a president, he was obviously a dictator.
He later invaded Kuwait and killed many people just to get money, Iraq now had one fifth of the worlds oil! worried that Iraq would invade Saudi Arabia and then control twice as much oil, the U.S. the Soviet union and great Britain to name a few invaded Kuwait and pushed his men out. Later U.S. president after 9-11 George W. Bush declared an "axis of evil" (similar to WW2 axis forces) consisting of North Korea, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein was accused by George W. Bush's Administration with making and possessing weapons of mass destruction and being linked to Al-Qaeda. The invasion of Iraq lasted on March 19, 2003, and Saddam was overthrowned on April 9 of same year, with his statue's demolition. Saddam Hussein was captured by USA troopers in Tikrit, his hometown, on December 13, 2003 in an operation named "Red Dawn". In 2006 he was convicted of genocide and executed by hanging on December 30, 2006. However, with so many followers, the Iraq War continued until late 2011.