’s Iraq Essay, Research Paper
Throughout the last thirty years, many of the people of Iraq have been tortured, forced to relocate their families numerous times, arrested and murdered. Those who stood against Saddam Hussein were punished, in most cases by death. All of this happened under the control of Suddam and we have neither found, nor has he offered a sound explanation for his actions. By the early 80 s, hundreds of thousands of citizens were deported to Iran. And even now people are still being repressed, persecuted and denied their human rights. He does not deserve to live so luxuriously, while his people are dying from malnutrition and lack of medical attention. He does not deserve the political power that he has aquired by having people killed and forcing others to resign their authority to him. What he does deserve is a fair trial for the many war crimes he has committed and for being responsible for an unknown, yet large number of assacinations of innocent people.
As a result of the Gulf War in 1991, the United Nations has enforced sanctions on Iraq to limit their ability to make more weapons of mass destruction (WMD). These sanctions are based on an oil-for-food system. Iraq can export limited amounts of oil to buy food and medical supplies only. Hussein is using less than the prescribed amount of money available for humanitarian purposes for buying the much needed medical supplies. Instead, he has used it to buy extremely expensive medical equipment that is rarely used. And as if he is not wealthy enough, every month he smuggles oil out of Iraq that is worth millions of dollars, which goes straight toward his personal spending pleasures. He has built monuments and palaces for himself instead of meeting the necessary health and sanitary needs of his people. It is bad enough that he has terrorized his own people, but he goes crawling to the press saying that the U.N. needs to lift its sanctions because his people are in such a desperate need of help. He acts (for the cameras) as if he actually is doing everything in his power to help the people that he so deeply cares about. Fortunately, the little games that he has played with the media have not fooled too many people. The truth about his past and current crimes is available to any person who that has access to the internet. We know what he has done, we know what he is doing, and we know what he is capable of. He is not going to be trusted by anyone any time soon. He once referred to himself as the reincarnate King Nebucadnezzar, which iseems to be a disturbingly accurate description of what he has become. There are many human rights groups that are collecting evidence against Hussein in an attempt to bring him to trial as a war criminal and for denying people their human rights.
Saddam Hussein was born on April 28, 1937 in a village called Ouja, near Tikrit in Northern Iraq. He grew up in a broken home. His family was a poor peasant family that did not have a place to call home. He also had to grow up without a father, who had either died or disappeared before Hussein was born. When he was still a child, he was sent to live with his maternal uncle, Khairallah Tulfah, who had a tremendous influence on what Hussein later did in his life. There is proof that he had started his record of violence at an early age. There are several reports that link him to the murders of a school teacher and/or a cousin.
Little is known about the rest of his adolescent years. The story of his life then jumps to 1957, when Hussein joined the Ba th party at the age of 20. He was denied the admission to the prestigious Baghdad Military Academy in the same year. This most likely occurred because he had not finished high school. This was a humiliating blow that tore at his honor,which led him to more problems. In 1958, there was a revolution, the next year Hussein attempted to murder Abdul Karim Qusim, Prime Minster of Iraq. After things didn t go as planned, Hussein fled to Egypt in fear of losing his life and stayed there four years, finishing his high school education. From February of 1963 to November 1963, the first Ba th regime was established, but when the regime collapsed in November, Saddam took charge of organizing a Ba th security organization named Jikaz Haneen. This later became the core of the dreaded security apparatus under the Ba th regime after 1968.
The second Ba th regime took control between July 17, 1968 and July 30, 1968. A bloodless plot by senior Arab Nationalist officers and retired Ba th officers overthrew the regime of President Abdal-Rahman Afif. At this time, Saddam was the Deputy Security General of the Ba th party, but he played a minor role in the coup. Ahmed Hassen Al-Bakr, a relative of Hussein, became president and chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC).
Hussein carried out a plot to get rid of the rival faction (Arab Nationalist officers) in the coup. In the fall of 1968, purges began to remove all non-Ba thists from positions of authority within state institutions. Hussein engaged in purifying the government and society of possible dissidents. The higher ranks of the military and government that were deemed disloyal were retired, imprisoned, tortured or executed. Members of non-Ba th political parties and non-Arabs were falsely accused of crimes and were executed or deported. One year later, Hussein was appointed Duty Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) and Vice-President of Iraq. He controlled the internal security and intelligence organizations and was the driving force behind the regime. In November of 1968, Nasir Al-Hari, former Foreign Minister and co-plotter of the July 17, 1968 coup was abducted from his home under the pretext that President Bakr wanted to consult with him. A few days later his body was found dumped in a ditch. Seventeen alleged spies , thirteen of which were Jews, were hanged in Liberation Square for no apparent reason in January, 1969.
August 8, 1969, the Kurdish village of Dukan in a Mosul governate was the site of a massacre performed by the army. Later that year, Abd al-Rahman al Buzzaz, former Prime Minister, was accused of being a Zionist Agent and was imprisoned. He was tortured and sentenced to 15 years. In March of 1970, hundreds of communists were arrested and tortured. Haidan al-Tikriti, Minister of Defense, Deputy Premier, and former member of the Revolutionary Command Council was dismissed from all of his functions due to an unknown reason. He was assassinated the next year in Kuwait. And yet, Hussein was still climbing the political ladder.
March 11, 1970, an autonomy agreement was concluded between the Kurds, under Mulla Mustafa Barzani, and the central government, but it was never implemented. Eleven months later, there was an assassination attempt on Mulla Mustafa Barzani; he lived, but many were killed in the attempt. Abel al-Karim al-Shaikhi, Foreign Minster and member of the Revolutionary Command Council was dismissed from his duties and later assassinated.
The first wave of deportations of Iraq, Arabs, Turkoman and Kurdish families occurred, they were robbed of their citizenship and sent to Iran. The next year, the Chief of Internal Security, Nadhim Kzar, was executed along with 35 others after he reported a coup and conspiracy. In 1974 and 1975, the war between the Iraqis and the Kurds was reignited; phosphorous shells were reportedly used against the Kurds. The Kurdish towns of Zakho and Qala at Diza were completely destroyed and 8,000 Kurds were reported missing or had simply disappeared from the village of Barzan. There is not enough evidence to prove that Hussein is responsible for these events, but there is enough information to connect him to the killlings. By this time in his life, Hussein was the vice president of Iraq, and he had more power than a vice president should have.
March 6, 1975, Saddam signed an Accord with Shah of Iran; the Accord stated that the borders with Iran were defined and that Iran would no longer support the Kurds, leaving them almost completely helpless. In 1977, Iraqi Shi a, an ethnic group native to Iraq, were being oppressed by the Iraqis. Their sons were reportedly disappearing and their property confiscated. They were then deported to Iran. It is estimated that by the early 80 s, 200,000 Iraqis were deported to Iran and stripped of their nationality and property for no apparent reason. Saddam slowly rose in power between 1975 and 1979. President Bakr remained the head of the state, but his power was virtually reduced to a figurehead while Hussein slowly gained control in the president s shadow. In February and March of 1977, more innocent people were executed; eight Shi a dignitaries, five clergy and three laymen. There also were mass purges of Shi a who were suspected to have belonged to the Da wa party. Throughout the years, the massacres continued. There was an estimated number of 7,000 Iraqi Communists that were eliminated by the regime between 1978 and 1979. By May, 1979, all communist party offices were shut down in every province. By this time, Saddam had been transformed into a cold-blooded ruler and killer.
At the age of 42, Saddam Hussein forced current President Al-Bakr to retire and he was sworn in as President of the Republic of Iraq. President Bakr officially stepped down, allowing Saddam to take over. At this point, Saddam now held the post of President of the Republic of Iraq, Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Secretary-General of the Ba th party, Regional Command, Prime Minister, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. That was still not enough power for him, so he named himself the Staff Field Marshal of the Armed Forces. In order to hold onto his power, Hussein went on a purge in which party members were accused of being involved in a Syrian plot to place Iraq under Syrian ascendancy and remove Iraq s leadership. By the end of this cleansing purge, hundreds of top-ranking Ba thists had been executed including five members of the RCC.
Throughout the 1980 s Saddam Hussein continued to ban and outlaw all other political parties that were not Ba thists. In the Spring of 1980, the RCC banned the Da wa party, and anyone who was a member was punished either by torture, a lifetime sentence of imprisonment or the more fortunate members received an immediate execution. Two years later the former president of Iraq mysteriously died. Hussein was suspected by many people to have been involved, but no one had the bravery or means to investigate the president s death.
In 1987, he launched the Anfal campaign against Kurds which lasted for up to a year. During this year, about 180,000 Kurds disappeared , 4,000 villages were razed, and there was a significant depopulation of large areas in Kurdistan. During 1988, thousands and even tens-of-thousands of Kurds were killed in Hussein s attempted genocide. This genocide continued until August 1988, when a cease-fire was declared between Iran and Iraq, ending the eight-year war. This war is estimated to have caused one million casualties, including 250,000 Iraqis.
At this point in history, Hussein s repression of the Iraqi people had not stopped. He was, and is still violating human rights. He is still forcing people out of their homes and denying their citizenship, and he has been doing so for decades. He is still using military power to forcibly relocate people in both northern and southern Iraq. Iraq has refused to allow the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights to return to Iraq since his first visit in 1992. The Iraqi government has also refused to allow human rights monitors as required by the resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. They have been executing people who get in their way on a regular basis. The total number of prisoners that have been executed since the autumn of 1997 exceeds 2,500 and the number is slowly rising. This includes hundreds of arbitrary executions in the last months of 1998 at Abu Ghraib and Radwaniyah prisoners near Baghdad.
Not only is Saddam Hussein still a threat to his own people, for which he has no mercy, but he still is a threat to Kuwait. According to the United Press International in Kuwait City, Kuwait, Hussein had renewed his threats in August of 2000. He criticized the leaders of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, describing them as traitors for letting the United States and Britain use their land to launch attacks against Iraq. In a twenty-minute speech aired on state-run television, the Iraqi President accused the two countries of being mercenaries who sold themselves to the occupying foreigner against all that is dear and valuable to their people and resources. In response to Saddam s threats, Kuwait started on a diplomatic campaign by summoning ambassadors of the
permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, six-member Gulf Corporation Council and other Arab Countries. Kuwait also placed its army on alert, though they were not under full alert, Defense Minister, Sheikh Salem al-Sabah, said that it was only a precautionary act because it is impossible to trust the Iraqi Regime. If Iraq s former enemies can t trust Hussein, then why should we? Some people will actually support Hussein and what he is doing. Others are busy gathering evidence against him to finally have him arrested. And still, there are people that have no idea about what he has done to people in his rise to power, nor does everyone know about what he has done to maintain that power. The United States has satellite photos that show Hussein is probably working on methods of mass destruction, since his military is one third the size it was in 1991. He has not allowed United Nations weapons inspectors in since 1998, violating the peace treaty. In terms of testing the new president, Saddam Hussein will choose his time carefully, the very fact that he won t let United Nations inspectors in is a continuing test , said Henri J. Barkey, an international relations professor at Lehigh University. United States defense officials have acknowledged that Hussein may need as little as 12 months to rebuild his missile program and key sites stamped by $300 million worth of cruise missiles and many other kinds of high tech bombs. Yet Defense Secretary, William Cohen, acknowledged that Hussein is expected to start trying to rebuild his war machine as soon as the thunderous roar of U.S. and British warplanes subsides. Displaying new aerial photos of destroyed missile sites and government buildings, he estimated reconstruction time at a year or longer. Officials have said that is would be very difficult to wipe out the highly compact laboratories where Hussein is believed to be producing chemical and biological weapons. They also have said that it would be even tougher to hit Saddam s biological and chemical weapons caches, which are even smaller than the laboratories and they have been hidden from inspectors for years. Even further complicating the matter is the fact that these facilities are spread throughout the country, which is roughly about the size of California. There are at least one hundred targets that have been noted by officials as possible weapons of mass destruction facilities. There also is the question of whether the Iraqi President has the money or resources to start rebuilding his military. The answer is quite clear. He has more than enough money to make enough weapons to start another world war.
Iraq is banned from most international commerce because of its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Under a United Nations resolution, Iraq is allowed to sell up to $5.2 billion worth of oil every six months, provided that the profit is used to buy food, medical supplies and spare parts to rebuild its oil industry. Saddam knows very well about this resolution, but in deliberate contradiction to the U.N., he has been smuggling oil out of Iraq for quite some time. Smuggler tankers have floated right by United States destroyers in the Persian Gulf completely unnoticed. The amount of oil smuggled out of Iraq has doubled since August of last year, when oil prices began to increase, said Jeff Gradeck. Smugglers have brought in about $50 million worth of crude oil every month. Every dollar of that $50 million goes straight into Hussein s pocket. This very significant increase of income is disturbing because Saddam can do whatever he pleases with it. There is nothing to keep him from making even more nuclear and chemical weapons. This is a very dangerous man. In 1999, his personal wealth was estimated to be around $6 billion, which he acquired mainly from smuggling oil.
The United Nations plans to keep the sanctions firmly in place until there is solid proof that Iraq s long-range missiles and chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons have either been dismantled or destroyed. These sanctions have had very little effect on the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein. He still remains in constant control, and efforts to find and destroy his weapons are in limbo. Saddam still lives in the same luxury, if not more, than his comrades, key officials and body guards. Their living styles have not changed for fifteen years. While Saddam rests in one of his palaces, his people are dying from illnesses and being forced to leave their homes with nothing with them but memories of what now would seem like paradise. Engineers that are out of work drive taxis and doctors have secondary jobs to maintain a steady salary which, because of inflation, is about $3 to $5 per month.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Iraq regime destroyed over 3,000 Kurdish villages. The destruction of Kurdish and Turkomen villages and homes is still going on in areas of northern Iraq. This evidence proves that the destruction of civilian homes by Iraqi forces has continued in the Citadel of Kirkuk. The Iraqi government is continuing to forcibly deport Kurdish and Turkomen families to southern areas of Iraq. About 900,000 citizens are internally scattered within Iraq due to these deportations. Local officials in the south have ordered the arrest of any official, businessman or any other person who offers employment, food, shelter or medication to these newly arriving Kurds. The 1988-1989 Anfal campaign that focused on Kurdish people in the northern areas of Iraq was the most widespread attack of chemical weapons ever used against an unarmed, undeserving civilian population. The military attacked these civilians, who were unaware of their attackers, with deadly chemical weapons. They destroyed a number of towns and villages in the northern parts of Iraq. In the town of Halabja alone, an estimated number of 5,000 civilians were killed and there were more than 10,000 injured.
The intensity of the attacks on the Shi a civilians has increased steadily in southern Iraq. The Human Rights Organization in Iraq (HROI) has reported that 1,093 people were arrested in June 1999 in Basrah alone. None of these people had done anything to deserve this level of cruelty displayed by Saddam. After residents protested the intentional shortage of food and medicine in Shi a villages, the towns of Rumaitha and Khudur were attacked by tanks from the Hammarabi Republican Guards Division. The troops that accompanied the fleet of tanks killed 14 villagers, arrested more than a hundred more, and destroyed 40 homes on June 26, 1999. On June 29, 1999, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Resistance in Iraq reported that 160 homes in the district of Abul Khaseeb, near Basrah were destroyed. In March 1999, the Iraqi regime had Grand Ayatollah al Sayyid Mohammad Sadiq al Sadr gunned down. Dozens of Shi a clerics and hundreds of their followers have been arrested by the authorities or murdered in cold blood since 1991; their whereabouts are still unknown to this day. In the southern marshes, government forces have burned houses and fields in an attempt to relocate the citizens to a northern location. It has also taken a deliberate campaign to drain and poison the marshes from which people obtained their water supply and the government has had houses demolished with bulldozers. Villages that belonged to the al Juwaibir, al Shumaish, al Musa and al Rahma tribes were completely demolished and their inhabitants were forced to move on. Government troops have expelled the population of other areas at gunpoint and also forced them to relocate by cutting off their water supply.
In Resolution 688 (1991), the UN Security Council condemned the Government of Iraq s repression of the Iraqi civilian population, which it concluded threatened international peace and security in the region. The Council demanded that Iraq immediately end this repression and allow immediate access by international humanitarian organizations to all those in need of assistance in all parts of Iraq. Iraq has neither ended the repression of its civilian population nor allowed outside organizations access to help those in need. The government of Iraq uses military force to repress civilian populations throughout the country, resulting in the deaths of thousands and the destruction of entire villages. The nature and magnitude of the crimes committed by Suddam Hussein and his regime since 1980 demand that all efforts be made to hold those individuals accountable for their crimes.
The President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, and the top-ranking officials of his regime should be brought to justice for both their past and current crimes. Movafac Harb is the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Hayat, an Arabic newspaper published in most major world capitals. He said that Hussein should be put on trial in an international court as a war criminal. Hussein used chemical weapons against his own people, the Kurds and in the war with Iran, Harb said. He continued, His human-rights record since 1990 is unmatched, but until now, we have failed to bring criminal charges against him, I personally believe it was a lack of resolve in the previous administration. there are many people groups and organizations that are looking for evidence to prove that Saddam Hussein is directly connected to the oppression of the Iraqi citizens.
Considering the fact that Iraq s oil revenues are surging, it seems that its people would be much better off. Iraq s people are in their current state because their government is mismanaging the oil-for-food program, either deliberately or by incompetence. Even though there are reports of widespread health problems in Iraq, its government has still not spent the full $200 million for medical supplies which is allowed as a result of phase 5 of the food-for-oil program. Only about 40% of the money was used to buy medicines for primary care, while the other 60% was used to buy expensive medical equipment. The average Iraqi only needs basic medicines due to everyday illnesses and basic medical care. The government of Iraq has acknowledged this but it still spent over $6 million on a gamma knife, which is a medical instrument that is used for complicated neurosurgery that requires a person with extremely advanced training to operate it. And to add to that $6 million, is another couple million spent on a MRI machine. Not only is the government using money for unnecessary equipment, but they are wasting the money that is greatly needed for normal medicines and vaccines. Such advanced medical treatment is reserved for regime body guards and other members of the elite force. This money, which was basically thrown away by Hussein, should have been used to help his people who are in great need of professional medical attention. There are many people throughout America that agree. A group of people have put together a website that states what they believe: This total of $10 million could instead have benefited thousands of Iraqi children if it had been spent on vaccines, antibiotics, and the chemothepeutics necessary to treat the large number of the children that are allegedly dying due to lack of medicine.
On May 11, 1999, Larry Johnsone, who is the Seattle Post Intelligencer Foreign Desk Editor wrote an article about the health crisis in Iraq. He tells about malnourished children covered with flies, lying on stained mattresses in Al Mansour Pediatric Hospital in Baghdad. Parents sitting on the beds next to their children periodically swatting at the flies. The hospital is dark because electricity is shut off at intervals to save energy. The doctor moving from bed to bed is listing all of the children s illnesses: typhoid fever, pneumonia, leukemia, tuberculosis, and cholera. He comments on how even polio and measles are coming back. A nurse runs past him carrying a small oxygen bottle to a two year old girl named Nemya. Nemya has meningitis and cannot breathe because of the fluid clogging her bronchial tubes. Her parents are still by her side while the nurse covers the young girl s face with an oxygen mask. But it is too late. She dies. Her mother turns away and cries silently, her father buries his head in his hands and begins to weep. Another doctor states that a 50-cent tube of a medication could have saved her life, but the hospital had none. This is a normal occurrence in the hospitals of Iraq. This article touched the hearts of millions and helped spark the now blazing inferno of human-rights activists that are working hard to get Hussein down off his throne.
Each month thousands of infants die of malnutrition and many related illnesses that would not be a problem if Hussein had not ordered the government to purchase multi-million dollar medical equipment that is limited to the people that he favors. According to Anupama Rao Singh, the United Nations Children s fund representitive in Baghdad, children under the age of 5 were dying from malnutrition-related diseases in numbers ranging from 2,920 to a staggering 5,357 a month from 1991 to 1998.
Since the Gulf War, Hussein has directed a multi-billion dollar palace construction program while complaining that the U.N. sanctions keep him too poor to feed and provide health care for his people. He restricts access to his palaces to himself and a few hand-picked groups of people while he keeps the hospital shelves empty. Rather than spending funds on helping the Iraqi citizens, he chose to build monuments for himself. He deprives those in need of water and food in order to please elites and other supporters of the regime. Saddam celebrated his birthday last year by building a resort complex for regime loyalists. In addition, he outfitted these monuments with only the finest foreign materials– from gold-plated plumbing to the finest European marble and crystal chandeliers. Saddam paid for these palaces with a part of the Iraqi national wealth that he had managed to hide form the U.N. s manditory oil-for-food program. Through that program, the U.N. controls how Iraq spends its oil revenues and urges the regime to invest its wealth for the benefit of the people. Every day that Hussein holds onto his power, he allows his supporters to steal hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from Iraq for their own personal gain.
Saddam Hussein is, without a doubt, one of the most greedy and cold-hearted rulers of all time. He has forced his own people, his own flesh and blood, out of their homes without notice to move to a foreign country. He has killed thousands of people who were completely innocent and did not deserve the death penalty. He purposefully spread toxic waste in marshes to drive the inhabitants out. Some people say he is acting out of revenge, others say he is acting out of greed. More venture as far as to say that he is an instrument of satan that should be taken out of Iraq, stripped of his authority and shown the same courtesy that he has shown his own countrymen.