Saddam Hussein was a tyrant whose actions brought down unimaginable catastrophe on Iraq and its peoples. From an early age, he had enjoyed inflicted suffering on those around him and, when he came to positions of political power, those whom he could not force or corrupt into submitting to his will, he maimed, murdered or made to flee . . .
He started two major international wars - one against Iran, the second as a result of aggression against Kuwait - which cost an estimated one million lives. He instituted genocidal campaigns against the Kurds in the north of Iraq and the Marsh Arabs in the south . . .
(A) new American President, George W Bush, determined to find a scapegoat for the Muslim terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001, was in no mood to abide by the niceties of international law. In the determination of President Bush and his cabinet of advisers, Saddam at length met his match, though the internecine aftermath of the campaign that overthrew him gave his conquerors little enough satisfaction . . .
Saddam appeared to have psychopathic tendencies which, combined with the exacerbating circumstances of his absolute power, resulted in the killing of more fellow Muslims, possibly, than Genghis Khan and Tamberlaine had caused between them in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Yet, until he invaded the oil-rich state of Kuwait, he enjoyed the collaboration of many governments abroad - including those in the West - who had given him backing in his unprovoked assault on Iran . . .
A fervent admirer of Hitler on account of the latter's boldness and hatred of Jews, he told his official biographer in 1980 that he wanted Iraqis to think of Nebuchadnezzar every day. "We could march into Palestine and bring all those Jews here in Babylon with their hands tied behind their backs once more", he said . . .
Saddam's schooling began at the age of seven in Tikrit. Such was the lawless environment around him that, on his first day at school, he carried a steel bar in his hand and a loaded revolver in his pocket, the latter bought for him by his relatives. . . .
In 1958, after the overthrow of the monarchy, he was briefly imprisoned for the murder of a teacher, his uncle's Communist opponent in parliamentary elections in Tikrit, and began to develop a reputation as an assassin . . .
Saddam returned to Iraq after the overthrow of Qasim in a military-Baathist coup less than three years later, in February 1963, and was immediately engaged in plots against the Baathists' partners in the new regime. He also enrolled at Baghdad university's law faculty and turned up for final examinations in military uniform and carrying a pistol. He was promptly granted a degree . . .
I'm a Christian Pastor in Hawaii. Married with three daughters who are either in high school (1) or college (2). I do not know how to surf except on the internet. Like most Christians I am an optimist and have a sense of humor. My wife is wonderful.