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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Saddam Hussein

EARLY LIFE

Saddam Hussein was born on April 28, 1937 in the village of Al-Awja, in the Tikrit in Iraq. He never knew his father, Hussein 'Abd al-Majid, who disappeared five months before Saddam was born.


At age of 10, Saddam ran away from the family to return to live with his uncle, who was a devout Sunni Muslim, in Baghdad.

In 1957, at the age of 20, Saddam became part of the Ba'ath Party. The Ba'ath party is an Arab group that espoused ba'athism, a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism

The following year, Saddam was arrested for killing his brother-in-law because he was a communist activist. He spent six months in prison.

In 1959, Saddam was involved in the attempted murder of Prime Minister Qassim. Saddam was shot in the leg, but managed to get away to Syria, Later he moved to Egypt, where he attended the University of Cairo law school.

Saddam returned to Iraq a few years later, but was imprisoned in 1964 when an anti-Ba'ath group led by Abdul Rahman Arif took power. He escaped from jail in 1967 and became one of the leading members of the party.

RISE TO POWER AND PRESIDENCY

Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup (later referred to as the 17 July Revolution) that brought the Ba'ath Party to power in Iraq.

During the 1970s, Saddam was vice president under the weak and old General Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr. At a time when many groups were considered capable of overthrowing the government, he created security forces through which he tightly controlled conflict between the government and the armed forces.

Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 1979

Saddam formally took office as President of Iraq on July 16, 1979, although he had been the de facto head of Iraq for several years prior.

In 1980, Detroit presented Saddam Hussein with a key to the city.

On March 16, 1988, the Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraq was attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein, killing 5,000 people and injuring about 10,000 others.

Graves of the Halabja chemical attack victims. By Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Wikipedia Commons

Saddam Hussein spent two painstaking years in the late 1990s drawing 27 litres of his blood and using it as a macabre ink to transcribe a Qur'an. Since his overthrow, no one knows what to do with it because destroying a holy book is a sin.

Saddam Hussein promised to donate $94 million (£73 million) to poor Americans in 2001, pointing out that in the U.S., 30 million were living below the poverty line.

Saddam Hussein suffered agonizing foot pain caused by his insistence on wearing small, tight shoes out of vanity. This footwear disfigured his feet and the ensuing pain affected his temper and decision making.

Saddam Hussein loved Doritos and could eat a family sized bag in ten minutes.

INVASION OF IRAQ AND DEATH

The 2003 invasion of Iraq (March 20, 2003 - December 18, 2011) was the war fought by the United States, the United Kingdom, and some other countries against Iraq, to end the rule of Saddam Hussein. The main reason for the war was the United States government's belief that Iraq had dangerous weapons of mass destruction.

Saddam Hussein had commissioned a Victory Over America Palace in 1991, but construction was halted in 2003 when it was bombed by America.

Saddam Hussein and his family took about $1 billion from the Iraqi central bank just hours before the first bombs fell on Baghdad at the start of the war.

Members of 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attacked  a compound in Iraq on July 22, 2003. Saddam Hussein’s sons, Qusay and Uday Hussein, were killed after a three-hour stand off, along with Mustapha Hussein, Qusay's 14-year-old son, and a bodyguard.


Saddam was found at around 8:30 PM Iraqi time on December 13, 2003 in an underground "spider hole" at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr near his home town Tikrit, in what was called Operation Red Dawn.



Saddam Hussein's US prison guards claimed that one of the few times he ever looked defeated was when they brought him the wrong breakfast cereal.

Saddam Hussein was found guilty of the massacre of 148 Shi'a Muslims in 1982, and sentenced to death. He was hanged on December 30, 2006 at 6:05 AM, Iraqi time. Saddam refused to wear a hood during his execution.

Saddam was buried the following day at his birthplace of Al-Awja in Tikrit, Iraq, two miles from his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein.

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