The Overthrow of Saddam
Saddam Hussein was born on 28th April 1937 and was executed on 30th December 2006. He was the president of Iraq between July 16th 1979 and 9th April 2003. He was the leader of Ba’ath party that brought a significant change in Iraq that included the modernization and economic development. He was among the coupe leaders of 1968 that helped the Ba’ath party to have a long term power.
When Saddam was serving as a vice president under the ailing president General Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr, most groups were considered as capable of overthrowing the government and this when Saddam formed strong relations with the armed forces to enable him solve conflicts between the forces and the government. In 1970s, Saddam announced the nationalization of Iraq Petroleum Company which was owned by the West and had dominated the country’s oil. He helped the country’s economy to grow at a rapid pace. Saddam maintained the power through the Iran-Iraq War in 1980 to 1988 and also during the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Saddam was able to suppress several movements that were working towards the overthrowing of the government or gaining their independence including Shi’a and Kurdish (Al-Ani and Abdul, 2008).
Saddam’s nuclear weapons ambitions and its threat to the entire world
Saddam’s regime had a great ambition to possess, make and use weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Saddam was know for his urge of using the chemical weapons against the Kurdish in 1980s as he continued to pursue an extensive use of biological and nuclear weapons programs. After the Persian Gulf War between 1990 and 1991, the United Nations located the Iraq’s large quantities of weapons of mass destruction and other materials that were aimed at helping in manufacturing of the weapons and were destroyed through some cooperation and obstructions of the Iraq government. The United States called for withdrawal of the UN detectors and inspectors in 1998 and this resulted to operation called for the Operation Desert Fox. The UIS and UK asserted that Saddam still posses large hidden pile of WMD in 2003 and he was still manufacturing more. This called for the forcing of Saddam to give the UN inspectors unconditional cooperation to the inspections (Kessler, 2009).
By 2003, the UN inspectors had not found any stockpiles of WMD even though they had many allegations that the country still processed the weapons in unknown places. Hans Blix, was leading the inspectors said that it would take months to successfully disarm the country. This brought about the use of force by the US president George W. Bush as he insinuated that Iraq cannot be disarmed without the use of power. This pioneered the American and British invasion on Iraq which brought the question on the integrity of the US intelligence. Though this gave a lesson to the Iraq and might not forever implement any nuclear programs when the suctions that were imposed by the UN were over (Coughlin, 2005).
Iraqi people’s situation during the rule of Saddam
During the Saddam’s regime, Iraq had high levels of mass murder and torture. Saddam used all ways he could to destroy the territories of the rival groups that included; biological weapons, secret police, deportations, forced disappearances, destructions of wetlands and food reserves just for him to maintain power and control over them. The actual statistics of the murders that were performed during this regime are unknown as most of them were performed secretly. There are several documentations by the human rights organizations that implicate the Iraq government approving executions and torture, rape and other forms of crime against humanity since Saddam took power in 1979 till his fall in 2003. A resolution that was sponsored by the European Union was adopted by the commission of Human Rights and it condemned the Saddam’s government for its dehumanized acts on human. The resolution was to force Iraq to stop mass executions and other forms of crimes it was committing against human which was making the Iraqis suffer (Balaghi, 2008).
There was restriction to political participation to other people except to members of Arab Ba’ath party which was only 8% of the whole country’s population which made it hard for the Iraq’s citizen to change the government. The Saddam’s government had restricted people from gathering unless it was for the support of the government which on the other hand restricted the Iraq’s citizen freedom of expression. This made it possible for the government to control the formation of political parties and also in controlling their internal affairs (Balaghi, 2008).
The Iraq’s citizen could not travel abroad without the government’s concern and had to pay for expensive visas. Every Iraqi citizen had to post collateral before traveling abroad and any woman wishing to travel could not leave the country without a male companion. Receiving money from abroad was also a hectic issue because they had to explain where and why the money had been sent to them and were also closely monitored afterwards. In 1988, the Iraq government killed many Kurdish who lived in north Iraq because they were supporting Iran during the war. Most of those who were killed is believed that they were children and women and were as many as 100,000. According to the Human Rights watch reports, the killing of Kurdish was not legal and was termed as violation of human rights and by testing soils and documents that were captured was found that the government had already legalized and allowed it.
After Saddam lost the control over Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War, he ruthlessly committed wholesale massacre to the north Kurdish and southern shia. This annoyed many countries because the violation of human rights in the country had gone beyond the bounds and there was nothing Iraq citizens could have done without the help of the international community to bring their suffering to an end. Due to high number of those who were killed by Saddam, mass graves were the order of the day and even today there are lots of bodies that are still covered unknown (Newton and Michael, 2008).
After the fall of Saddam, Iraq has started experiencing a sigh of relieve with less threats of massacres, access to jobs and freedom of movements. The country is able to feed most of its citizens. Farmers are able to grow their own food as well as for others in urban areas. The invasion of the country and corrupting the Saddam’s government was a fulfillment of the Iraq’s citizen as they are sure there would be not heavy payments for visas and restrictions to visit their relatives in other countries. Woman are now relieved from often rapes and can now travel wherever they want without being accompanied by men and still they have an opportunity to access education like their male counterparts.
Iraq is one of the country’s that has been under dictatorship for a long time. The Iraq citizens were most affected by the government conflicts because when the government is defeated, it would revenge with its citizens committing massacres and imposing restrictions and harsh conditions to innocent citizens. The war against the Saddam’s regime was legitimate because he was a threat to the global peace due his continued making of WMD and use of biological weapons. Saddam’s fall was a sigh of relief even to those who Iraq considered as its enemies and the countries that showed the support for the West.
Al-Ani, D. Abdul-H.(2008) The Trial of Saddam Hussein. Clarity Press
Balaghi, S. (2008) Saddam Hussein: A Biography, Greenwich Press.
Coughlin, C. (2005) Saddam: His Rise and Fall. Harper Perennial.
Kessler, G. (2009). “Saddam Hussein Said WMD Talk Helped Him Look Strong to Iran”. washingtonpost.com. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070104217.html. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
Newton, A. and Michael, P. (2008) Enemy of the State: The Trial and Execution of Saddam Hussein. St. Martin’s Press.