Was Saddam Hussein a great man?

Sep 2008
1,855
Halicarnassus, 353BC
#1
Saddam Hussein is disliked in the west. But after his death, his last words ring eerily true: “there is no Iraq without me”.

There are a lot of surprising things about Saddam. The first is that his Ba’ath party was secular, and believed in free education for all children, free healthcare and equality for women. Saddam promoted women's rights, allowing them education and service in the armed forces and greater participation in Iraqi society.

In other words, his government was the complete opposite of the ISIS religious fanatics now tearing Iraq apart. Saddam ran a secular, non-religious regime that kept religion down. Now that he is gone, a corrupted and twisted form of Islam has burst out and is leading Iraq to catastrophe.

Look at the state of Iraq today. The country is in ruins. Everything Saddam worked for – building a united Iraq, with a modern system of healthcare, universal education and a strong economy, and a common identity for its people – has been utterly ruined. Sunni against Shia, Kurd against Arab, and the dangerous cancer of ISIS is fighting against both Baghdad and Erbil.

Saddam’s last words were right. Getting rid of him and destroying the Ba’ath party in Iraq have proved to be a disaster. Worse than a disaster – an absolute unmitigated catastrophe. Now the nightmare of Islamic terrorism and ISIS has been unleashed, Iraq is in a new dark age of hell.

Amazingly, the western nations actually supported Saddam Hussein in his early years. This is conveniently forgotten today. Nobody remembers that French president Jacques Chirac was a personal friend of Saddam, and that the western nations provided weapons and support to Iraq during its invasion of Iran, which began this very week in 1980. The US also supported Saddam, and hoped that he would destroy the Iranian Republic.

On Twitter, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei posted earlier today several tweets celebrating the fact that Iran survived Saddam Hussein’s invasion. It is completely forgotten in the west today that US advisors actually encouraged the Iraqi military to bomb Iranian civilians, and provided satellite imagery and reconnaissance to help them do the job.

No wonder Iran doesn’t like America. Frankly, I didn’t know anything about this until I looked it up today. Now that I know the full story, it seems a joke that George Bush’s US government demonised Iran as the “Axis of Evil”, considering the US’ own actions. It is the height of hypocrisy. Yes, I know a lot of Americans don’t agree with Bush and are against everything he stood for. I see a part of the American public is being led along like sheep by dishonest leaders such as Bush and his cronies. The US is a great country full of great people, and it’s a shame that the political leaders give the US a bad name, often by acting against the wishes of their own people.

The war with Iran in 1980 seems to have been the beginning of the downfall for Saddam. At its end, the economies of both Iran and Iraq, which had previously been prosperous and growing, lay in ruins. Iraq never fully recovered, and it was dealt another damaging blow by the Gulf War in 1990, which Saddam lost. After that, the western sanctions crippled Iraq economically, and the country slid into serious decline.

Yet Saddam’s acheivements were real. Before the 1970s, most of Iraq's people lived in the countryside and roughly two-thirds were peasants. Within just a few years, Iraq was providing social services that were unprecedented among Middle Eastern countries. Electricity was brought to nearly every city in Iraq, and many outlying areas. Saddam established and controlled the "National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy" and the campaign for "Compulsory Free Education in Iraq," and largely under his auspices, the government established universal free schooling up to the highest education levels; hundreds of thousands learned to read in the years following the initiation of the program. The government also supported families of soldiers, granted free hospitalization to everyone, and gave subsidies to farmers. Iraq created one of the most modernized public-health systems in the Middle East, earning Saddam an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Was Saddam a great man? Would Iraq be better off if the western nations had simply left him alone, instead of strangling Iraq with sanctions and then invading and destroying his regime? It seems that by invading Iraq in 2003, all that has been achieved is to create ISIS, and to leave Iraq in ruins.

One last point, I am not condoning any of Saddam’s unjust actions such as his crimes against the Kurds and his illegal invasion of Iran. Clearly he had blood on his hands. But was he preferable to what we find in Iraq today?

Thoughts?
 
Jun 2013
2,325
Siberia, deep in taiga
#2
Saddam Hussein is disliked in the west. But after his death, his last words ring eerily true: “there is no Iraq without me”.

Was Saddam a great man? Would Iraq be better off if the western nations had simply left him alone, instead of strangling Iraq with sanctions and then invading and destroying his regime? It seems that by invading Iraq in 2003, all that has been achieved is to create ISIS, and to leave Iraq in ruins.

One last point, I am not condoning any of Saddam’s unjust actions such as his crimes against the Kurds and his illegal invasion of Iran. Clearly he had blood on his hands. But was he preferable to what we find in Iraq today?

Thoughts?
He was only great at oppressing his people which helped to keep Iraq intact. Saddam was clearly a nasty barbaric man. Recent events showed that it was simple to remove Saddam Hussain, but more difficult to build up a new regime which would take the opinion of ordinary Iraqis into account.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#3
I believe that commission of genocide should automatically disqualify any historical figure from being remembered as "great".
 
Likes: macon
Nov 2013
176
Ohio
#4
I think he did a lot of things for Iraq. He made them have the 4th largest Army in the world and it was actually highly trained. Iraq was booming in the 80's-1990. Great economy from the oil. He protected many of his civilians like the christians in Iraq. It's just after Iran-Iraq War and when the Kurds helped Iran and Saddam sent gas attacks on them thats when he lost his reputation. So in the long run till his gas attacks he was a "Good" Dictator.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
34,593
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#5
A "great" man? No, he was not a "great" man any more than David Cameron, Benito Mussolini, George Bush, James II, or any number of other leaders were "great" men.

To be a great man, one must rise beyond mediocraty, stand out amongst ones peers, and have a lasting impact. Saddam did no more than most other tin-pot dictators dating from the 80s.

Just because his regime had some good points to it, doesn't make him a great man.
 

Nostromo

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
2,502
Queens
#7
"Great" is a bit of a stretch :suspicious:, but I have to give him credit for education, health care and women's rights. We screwed that country royally.
 
Likes: macon
Oct 2013
1,312
Monza, Italy
#8
Saddam's career seems similar to other thirld world leaders who have emerged in the second half of the 20th century, in the after-math of decolonization; people like Nasser, Gheddaffi, Castro, for sure emerge, in a certain way, admirable for the modernization which seems have been given to those nations; yet, I can't forget also that, for my personal moral compass, a dictator is still a dictator, by the way I would definitely prefer these secularistic, "modern" leaders to people like Isis or Khomeinist Iran.
 
Likes: macon
Nov 2011
8,874
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
#9
Can anyone propose any period since the 14thC when arab countries were peaceful and prospered without being under the rule of a really nasty bastard of a leader or a hegemonic Empire?
 
Likes: Swamp Booger

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,245
here
#10
Saddam Hussein is disliked in the west. But after his death, his last words ring eerily true: “there is no Iraq without me”.

There are a lot of surprising things about Saddam. The first is that his Ba’ath party was secular, and believed in free education for all children, free healthcare and equality for women. Saddam promoted women's rights, allowing them education and service in the armed forces and greater participation in Iraqi society.

In other words, his government was the complete opposite of the ISIS religious fanatics now tearing Iraq apart. Saddam ran a secular, non-religious regime that kept religion down. Now that he is gone, a corrupted and twisted form of Islam has burst out and is leading Iraq to catastrophe.

Look at the state of Iraq today. The country is in ruins. Everything Saddam worked for – building a united Iraq, with a modern system of healthcare, universal education and a strong economy, and a common identity for its people – has been utterly ruined. Sunni against Shia, Kurd against Arab, and the dangerous cancer of ISIS is fighting against both Baghdad and Erbil.

Saddam’s last words were right. Getting rid of him and destroying the Ba’ath party in Iraq have proved to be a disaster. Worse than a disaster – an absolute unmitigated catastrophe. Now the nightmare of Islamic terrorism and ISIS has been unleashed, Iraq is in a new dark age of hell.

Amazingly, the western nations actually supported Saddam Hussein in his early years. This is conveniently forgotten today. Nobody remembers that French president Jacques Chirac was a personal friend of Saddam, and that the western nations provided weapons and support to Iraq during its invasion of Iran, which began this very week in 1980. The US also supported Saddam, and hoped that he would destroy the Iranian Republic.

On Twitter, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei posted earlier today several tweets celebrating the fact that Iran survived Saddam Hussein’s invasion. It is completely forgotten in the west today that US advisors actually encouraged the Iraqi military to bomb Iranian civilians, and provided satellite imagery and reconnaissance to help them do the job.

No wonder Iran doesn’t like America.
Well maybe Iran shouldn't focus all of it's dislike against America. It's to be expected that the OP would focus blame on the US though. No surprises there.

"Iraq's three main suppliers of weaponry during the war were the Soviet Union followed by China and then France."-International aid to combatants in the Iran?Iraq War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia





Frankly, I didn’t know anything about this until I looked it up today. Now that I know the full story, it seems a joke that George Bush’s US government demonised Iran as the “Axis of Evil”, considering the US’ own actions. It is the height of hypocrisy. Yes, I know a lot of Americans don’t agree with Bush and are against everything he stood for. I see a part of the American public is being led along like sheep by dishonest leaders such as Bush and his cronies. The US is a great country full of great people, and it’s a shame that the political leaders give the US a bad name, often by acting against the wishes of their own people.

The war with Iran in 1980 seems to have been the beginning of the downfall for Saddam. At its end, the economies of both Iran and Iraq, which had previously been prosperous and growing, lay in ruins. Iraq never fully recovered, and it was dealt another damaging blow by the Gulf War in 1990, which Saddam lost.
Nevermind the fact that the world and international community, not just the US, was responding to Saddam's blatantly illegal invasion of Kuwait.


After that, the western sanctions crippled Iraq economically, and the country slid into serious decline.
Yup, it's the West's fault that this opportunistic bully brought ruin upon his own country and his own people. How can anyone take this post seriously?

Yet Saddam’s acheivements were real. Before the 1970s, most of Iraq's people lived in the countryside and roughly two-thirds were peasants. Within just a few years, Iraq was providing social services that were unprecedented among Middle Eastern countries. Electricity was brought to nearly every city in Iraq, and many outlying areas. Saddam established and controlled the "National Campaign for the Eradication of Illiteracy" and the campaign for "Compulsory Free Education in Iraq," and largely under his auspices, the government established universal free schooling up to the highest education levels; hundreds of thousands learned to read in the years following the initiation of the program. The government also supported families of soldiers, granted free hospitalization to everyone, and gave subsidies to farmers. Iraq created one of the most modernized public-health systems in the Middle East, earning Saddam an award from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Was Saddam a great man? Would Iraq be better off if the western nations had simply left him alone, instead of strangling Iraq with sanctions and then invading and destroying his regime? It seems that by invading Iraq in 2003, all that has been achieved is to create ISIS, and to leave Iraq in ruins.

One last point, I am not condoning any of Saddam’s unjust actions such as his crimes against the Kurds and his illegal invasion of Iran. Clearly he had blood on his hands. But was he preferable to what we find in Iraq today?

Thoughts?
I actually do agree that Iraq was better off pre-2003 invasion. Besides that, this thread seems to be another dig at the US and the West.
 

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