Saddam Hussein Essay, Research Paper
The Middle East is an extremely volatile region of the world, and much
of the current instability may be due to one man, Saddam Hussein. During the
last few years, under Hussein’s direction, Iraq has gone from being an oil rich
country to a country that is suffering major embargoes and is low on supplies.
Iraqi leaders are trying to leave as they realize how power can corrupt a man.
If Hussein stays in power, the future looks bleak for the Gulf region.
Iraq used to be a prosperous country. Oil was the main source of income
for the area. During the Iran-Iraq War (Gulf War 1), which was from September
1980 to August 1988, Iraq went from being a wealthy country to a very poor
country, nearly over night. Hussein had used all energy available in that war,
and he came out of it losing over 1/3 of the entire male population of Iraq
(Allman 61). Saddam feels that is actions were justified because he believes
the Iran-Iraq war was a conspiracy by the US, Britain, and Israel to undermine
Iraq (Kondrache 11). This leads people of the world to believe that this is a
man who will stop at nothing to achieve what he wants. He was willing to risk
his whole nation for a more money. High financial priorities? Survey says ?yes?
The basis on which Hussein is in power is controversial. He was not
elected to his position, he took it. There was a military coup in 1968 that led
him and his Ba’ath party to power. He was not elected, as until last year,
there had not been an election since the coup (Cooperman 49). This says that
Hussein has been a tyrant from the start, and his need for power is incredible.
He wants complete domination of the Middle East, if not the world.
Iraq is now a country struggling to survive. It is in the midst of an
embargo, and the people are suffering. Death rates are up, and the amount of
food available is declining. Saddam is displaced from his people, though. He
is not feeling the same effects as they are.
The Pursian Gulf War erupted in 1990 with Hussein ordering an invasion
of neighboring Kuwait, on the grounds that Kuwait was stealing oil from in Iraqi
oil field. The US became involved in this war for the next year, and they
successfully pushed Iraq out of Kuwait. Iraq, however, feels that it won this
war. The leaders of Iraq were still in power after the war ended, so the
popular idea in Iraq is that they won the war. An Eastern European diplomat
commented ?Victory is when the ruler stays in power, no matter how many people
he kills, no matter how much the country is ravaged? (Allman 62). The Gulf War
was a moral victory for the Iraqis, or that is what Saddam has led them to
believe. He gained nothing for his people but a second of hope. This hope may
have already flickered out.
After the Pursian Gulf War, the US imposed an embargo on Iraq. Nothing
comes in or goes out of the country. As a result of this, there is a shortage
of food and medicine. The UN sees this problem, and has offered Saddam an
option. If he agrees to Resolution 986, the country would be able to sell oil
in order to buy supplies for it’s people. However, the UN would have control
over how much and to whom the oil was sold. Saddam says no, as these rules are
too strict. If the UN does not ease up, thousands of Iraqis will die. Hussein
has made it look as if the UN, not himself, will be responsible for those deaths.
Saddam says ?Our struggle against the embargo is a holy war? (Allman 62). This
bit of word play may be enough to keep Saddam out of trouble, but it shows that
he is not willing to compromise as he is too greedy. Perhaps he believes that
he will be able to sell the oil on the black market and make more money, which
he will undoubtedly keep for himself.
Hussein himself is a troubled man. He is the paranoid ruler of a poor
country, but he is quite rich. He has so much money that our government even
has no idea what he is worth (Church 47). He has more than 50 palaces in Iraq,
and about 20 of those are in Baghdad (Roberts 55). His people are living in
the gutter but he is sitting pretty. His family is right with him. Nearly all
of his immediate family is in power, but Saddam is not afraid to kill one of
them if they do something he does not agree with (Bhatia 15). His son is just
as bad, if not worse than Saddam. Uday Hussein is a violent man, who has
engaged in a gun fight during a family dinner, and he ended up killing a few
women and injuring his uncle. He holds lavish parties where he coerces young
women into copulation (Roberts 52-54). Uday does not care about his actions
because he is so powerful. He is number two in command of Iraq (Church 46).
Saddam’s family is corrupt, and their power is huge. They can do anything, and
this scares many people.
One of Hussein’s top men, Lieutenant-General Hussein Kamel al-Majid, has
recently defected from Iraq. He is willing to speak out against Saddam. He was
the head of Iraqi weapons, and he feared that if he became too powerful, he
would be killed because he was not a member of Saddam’s family. When Kamel
escaped, he took $30 million with him (Sid-Ahmal 16-17). This says that even
Saddam’s most powerful men are afraid. Pilots are given only enough fuel to
complete their mission, as it is feared that they will try and leave the country.
If this is the case, and people want to leave, this is a sign that Saddam may
be losing support. His top officials are ready to speak to international powers
about the human rights violations taking place in Iraq, such as when 400
prisoners were shot to create room in an Iraqi jail (Bhatia 15). Saddam is
proving that there is something wrong with the way he is running his country
when incidents like that occur.
There seem to be mixed feelings toward Hussein from his people. Some
people are ?grateful for all he has done for them,? which doesn’t appear to be
much except providing jobs for a few people who could be influential over the
area’s in which they live. All Iraqi religious leaders back Saddam. Even
Devil-worshippers like him because he has given them the same religious rights
as Christians and Moslems (Allman 63-65). Not every one is satisfied, though.
A vote for president, the first since the Ba’ath party came to power, turned out
as a 99% landslide for Hussein. However, it was said that if you did not vote
for him, you would have your food rations stripped for a month and you would be
sent to live in the desert. Jowad, a Shiite Muslim said, ?we vote for Saddam
because we have no choice? (Cooperman 49-50). If you cannot win an election
fairly, perhaps you have too much control over your country. At this rate it
seems Saddam will be in power forever. No one else can do anything.
What can be done? There is a president of a country who is only
concerned with making money. He does not seem to care about his people, he just
wants to do anything he can and get away with it. So why doesn’t someone just
bump him off? One of his men just go up and fill the old guy full of lead? Why
not a US sniper, or a bomb? Won’t that solve all the problems? Unfortunately,
there is no proof that Saddam’s predecessor will be any less of a tyrant. Next
in line is Uday, who we know is violent. The US government doesn’t really want
to go after and kill Hussein because the fear is that Iraq will become a new
Haiti for us, and we have enough problems already (Kramer 45). There was hope
that after the Gulf War a coup attempt would successfully bring down Hussein,
but that didn’t materialize. Our only hope now is that US sanctions will be
able to force Saddam’s regime from power (this would be necessary for Iraq to
fulfill the requirements of the sanctions) (Hashim 14). He cannot lose power,
but he cannot stay in it either. What will happen? Who knows. This area is so
extreme in belief and emotion that anything may occur.
Hussein has misused his power to create a country that is stricken with
famine and disease. He rules the country, seeking to dominate everything and to
strike fear into the hearts of people all over the world. He hurts his own
people and they seem to love him for it. He manipulates his constituents into
electing him, and portrays himself as a savior. He is a menace and must be