Was Saddam Hussein a great man?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,302
SoCal
Na, Saddam just tried to do what many others had done before--become a hegemon. He just didn't have the brains to do it right. It was stupid to invade Iran in 1980, because it was too strong. Likewise his timing in invading Kuwait was catastrophic. By 1990 he no longer had the USSR to back him up, so there was nothing to prevent the US and its allies from concentrating their forces against him, and then clobbering him. Had he refrained from attacking Iran, properly defended Osirak, built up his strength, and went after Kuwait (and maybe Saudi Arabia too) around 1985 he might well have turned Iraq into a superpower. I don't doubt Saddam was brutal on the domestic front but the alternative was/is the paradise we see today...Basically the only problem I have with him is his foreign policy. IMO he just didn't have a clue how to do things right and squandered great opportunities.
Are you sure that the Soviet Union would have actually been willing to stand up for Saddam had he invaded Kuwait in 1985? I mean, the Soviets were willing to accept the loss of Poland to Solidarity and Poland is much closer to them than Iraq is.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,302
SoCal
How about the point of view of the Kurds? The Iranians? The Kuwaitis? Doesn't matter to you, huh?

You are very critical of Israel both for its treatment of the Palestinians and its foreign policy regarding Israel's neighbors. Yet, here you are, seemingly giving Saddam a pass for his domestic and foreign transgressions. Why the inconsistency? You don't really seem to care about the plight of these people: Arab, Iranian or otherwise. No, it only becomes an issue when its Israel who is doing wrong. It's not about caring for people for you as much as its about hating a certain group of people.
Saddam was certainly extremely brutal and a huge pest to his neighbors (including Israel) and to their US ally by building a nuclear weapons program before 1991, by invading Kuwait, and by constantly playing a cat-and-mouse game with the US. The exception, of course, is Saddam's attempt to conquer Iran's Khuzestan Province. This province very possibly had an Arab majority and thus could have perhaps been legitimately claimed by Iraq on national self-determination grounds:



Of course, I'm presuming that most of these Arabs were Shi'a Arabs--but Saddam doesn't actually appear to have cared that much about this back then. Interestingly enough, had Iraq actually managed to conquer Khuzestan, the wizards in charge of Iran would have become crippled as a result of the loss of a huge part of Iran's oil fields:



This would have been especially true had Saddam managed to go beyond Khuzestan and up to the Zagros Mountains:

 
Nov 2016
1,151
Germany
I don't know if that was mentioned anywhere in this thread, but Saddam Hussein was a perverse sadist who personally conducted torture and liked to stub out cigarettes on the eyes of prisoners.

Amnesty International on this subject:

Torture victims in Iraq have been blindfolded, stripped of their clothes and suspended from their wrists for long hours. Electric shocks have been used on various parts of their bodies, including the genitals, ears, the tongue and fingers. Victims… have been beaten with canes, whips, hosepipe or metal rods and how they have been suspended for hours from either a rotating fan in the ceiling or from a horizontal pole often in contorted positions as electric shocks were applied repeatedly on their bodies. Some victims had been forced to watch others, including their own relatives or family members, being tortured in front of them.
Other methods of physical torture described by former victims include the use of Falaqa (beating on the soles of the feet), extinguishing of cigarettes on various parts of the body, extraction of finger nails and toenails and piercing of the hands with an electric drill. Some have been sexually abused and others have had objects, including broken bottles, forced into their anus. In addition to physical torture, detainees have been threatened with rape and subjected to mock execution… Detainees have also been threatened with bringing in a female relative, especially the wife or the mother, and raping her in front of the detainee. Some of these threats have been carried out.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,118
Connecticut
Are you sure that the Soviet Union would have actually been willing to stand up for Saddam had he invaded Kuwait in 1985? I mean, the Soviets were willing to accept the loss of Poland to Solidarity and Poland is much closer to them than Iraq is.
To keep up outside appearances, the USSR probably would’ve publicly opposed the annexation, but it was still in a position to limit US options. It could’ve precluded a military solution if it tried.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,118
Connecticut
The man was borderline psychotic he gassed his own people. His autocratic system of governance gave him the power to rule with an iron fist. While there were no weapons of mass destruction he was twice dangerous. He imprisoned his own citizens who spoke against him. He ran country wherein, freedom of speech was costly......Hardly a man worthy of praise.
As I tried to explain before, to be unified and relatively stable, Iraq needed an autocrat; it couldn’t afford the luxury of democracy and freedom. After the awful mess post Saddam, many Americans came to realize what I sensed even before the idiotic invasion of 2003.
 

starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,118
Connecticut
How about the point of view of the Kurds? The Iranians? The Kuwaitis? Doesn't matter to you, huh?
As I said before Saddam should not have attacked Iran.

You are very critical of Israel both for its treatment of the Palestinians and its foreign policy regarding Israel's neighbors. Yet, here you are, seemingly giving Saddam a pass for his domestic and foreign transgressions. Why the inconsistency? You don't really seem to care about the plight of these people: Arab, Iranian or otherwise. No, it only becomes an issue when its Israel who is doing wrong. It's not about caring for people for you as much as its about hating a certain group of people.
There’s at least one critical difference. Israeli transgressions should be of particular concern to us, because we are paying for them. Our money is underwriting abuse of Palestinians and others; and there’s also our political support. At least we weren’t paying for what Saddam did. Also, to my knowledge, Saddam never pretended to be a champion of democracy and human rights. Israel always did, so it’s abuses are all the more glaring.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,355
here
As I said before Saddam should not have attacked Iran.
And the of gassing the Kurds? Invading Kuwait? You keep forgetting about them... doesn't sound like genuine concern to me.


There’s at least one critical difference. Israeli transgressions should be of particular concern to us, because we are paying for them. Our money is underwriting abuse of Palestinians and others; and there’s also our political support. At least we weren’t paying for what Saddam did.
You know even less about the conflicts and history of the ME than I thought. That or you're being disingenuous.



United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War - Wikipedia

How Saddam Happened

Also, to my knowledge, Saddam never pretended to be a champion of democracy and human rights. Israel always did, so it’s abuses are all the more glaring.
Really? :confused:

Whether or not a polity is a democracy has little or nothing to do with how the citizen body treats people outside their collective, eligible group. Athens was a democracy, yet I'm pretty sure they mistreated a whole bunch of human being under their control. The US too, had slaves that had no rights and women who could not vote until about a hundred years ago. So, in this regard, Israel isn't pretending. If they're mistreating the Palestinians, it's being done at the behest of leaders that the citizens have voted into office.
 

Menshevik

Ad Honorem
Dec 2012
9,355
here
There’s at least one critical difference. Israeli transgressions should be of particular concern to us, because we are paying for them. Our money is underwriting abuse of Palestinians and others; and there’s also our political support. At least we weren’t paying for what Saddam did. Also, to my knowledge, Saddam never pretended to be a champion of democracy and human rights. Israel always did, so it’s abuses are all the more glaring.
You know what's really glaring? Is your continual omission of critique for countries besides Israel that receive support from the US that have poor or dubious civil rights records.

Where's your ire over the US supporting Egypt? Who, I might add, do their part in blockading the Palestinians in Gaza.

Where's your ire over US support for Saudi Arabia?

Pakistan?
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,813
USA
A pitched battle against coalition forces was always going to be suicide for the Iraqis, that's why they didn't do it and resorted to IEDs. L
Who is they? You're talking about completely different groups at different places during completely different times.

The Iraqi Army or Saddam Fedayeen didn't use IEDs during the invasion, they used conventional ammo. They didn't fight back because their military essentially fell apart.

Saddam and his high command gave numerous orders for major corps level armor led attacks. They just didn't materialize. In standard divisions, most troops were Shi'a Arabs and deserted as soon as the US coalition crossed the border into Iraq. For Republican Guard, even they suffered high desertion rates. And that was the least of it.

We were jamming or destroying their comms, highjacking radio frequencies to spread info about refusing to fight or desertion. We were targeting bases, depots, assembly areas with air strikes. Any report of massed enemy drew every attack aircraft and helicopter in the area, so by the time ground troops reached them, those divisions were reduced to broken and chaotic subunits, only a few of which stuck around to continue fighting.

But nobody knew going in how effective this would be. The last major air ground offensive was in 1991, and tech and tactics had changed immensely to the point that Air Power was actually capable of doing what they talked about since the 1930s, where ground troops seemed to be just used for cleaning up in the type of operation where they used to dominate.

But even with this, there was still lots of fighting. Here is a video of a Marine artillery barrage against a city section about to be attacked. It was being defended too, and not by insurgents with IEDs, but conventional forces. Just not as much as was expected and planned for.

What you're talking about was insurgents operating at Phase 1 and 2 levels during the occupation phase, after Saddam was deposed, the US controlled Iraq, and was working to turn it over to a new govt run by a democratically elected parliament. During that time, numerous insurgent groups were formed, some Sunni, mostly former Saddam loyalists in groups either the Saddam family created or his generals did, or else religious extremist groups, framed on Salafi Islam, that would team up with the Ba'athists and eventually form DAESH. Plus, the Shi'a, on orders of Iran, also formed insurgent groups to oppose the Coalition occupation.

Yes, at this point, insurgents largely preferred to fight by ambush vs massing in large formations to take on the US in conventional warfare. Because they were barely organized beyond decentralized cell structure, because they had no doctrine, guidance, training, support/logistics to mass and try to fight conventionally, and because as 2002 in Afghanistan and 2003 in Iraq showed, with our extremely capable ground forces, signals intercept, C4I, ISR (especially drones), and unopposed air support, that was akin to suicide.
 
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