Revisiting the Impact of Saddam Hussein

I was glued to CNN last night while watching a rambling speech by the presumptive Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump.  His speech was anything but political.  I would call it more of a blame game than anything.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have never seen a billionaire who was more angry about a supposedly rigged system than he is.  He is constantly pointing the finger at someone for his successes.  He is filthy rich according to his own admission but he won't release his own tax returns.  He recoiled at the criticism of his Tweet which featured the Star o f David on a disparagement of Hillary Clinton then pushed back by saying that he shouldn't have deleted the Tweet.

There are political fact checkers for most speeches that are given by candidates for President.  I still wonder what researchers would check based on last night.  Mr. Trump talked about his hotel that he is building in DC and the fact that it is on time and under budget.  He talked about the controversy generated by his trip to the golf course that his son supposedly built in Scotland.  He continually refers to the large crowds that come to his speeches.  He laments the fact that the press won't report on them.  He has Don King and Mike Tyson in his corner.  He also is toying with the idea of appointing Newt Gingrich as Vice President.  I suggest that his team go back and review the failed Contract with America that Newt proposed in 1994 when the Republicans were had seized a majority in Congress.

Mr. Trump referred repeatedly to Saddam Hussein as a bad man who killed terrorists summarily and without trials.  Bad in the context of Mr. Trumps statement meant instilling fear in his enemies.  I went to Wikipedia to gather some facts about Mr. Hussein.  Even though Mr. Trump referred to him in the present tense, Saddam was executed in his own country for war crimes committed against his own people.  Saddam was the President of Iraq for twenty years.  He was a member of the Baath party whose aim was to unify Arab states in the Middle East.  I wonder how this goal meshed with the reality of the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent Iran-Iraq war that killed at least 500,000 Arabs.

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One fact about Mr. Hussein that was surprising to me is that the United States supplied him with weapons and support during the first Gulf War from 1980 to 1988.  We considered him the lesser of two evils compared to Iraq and the challenges that they presented in the region.  Here is an astounding fact that Mr. Trump must have equated with Mr. Hussein's badness:

Hussein committed acts of genocide in Iraq - particularly against the ethnic Kurdish rebels in the north of the country and the Shia dissidents in the South - and he used his cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid to carry many of these atrocities out.
Dubbed "Chemical Ali", al-Majid was Defence Minister, Interior Minister, military commander and chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service - and he carried out the mass deportations and killings of many ethnic groups.
Using chemical weapons - including mustard gas, sarin, tabun and VX - al-Majid launched the notorious Al-Anfal campaign (or "The Spoils of War") against Kurds during the late-1980s, killing more than 5,000. He killed an estimated 180,000 Kurds in all, with some 1.5million more deported.
Al-Anfal carried out the orders of Hussein and was himself charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide after being captured following the 2003 invasion of Iraq - and he was eventually hanged on January 25, 2010.
I don't consider gassing ethnic minorities to be a character trait worth praising.  I guess executing your own citizens is something that Mr. Trump might envision as a cornerstone of his regime.  Based on the execution of two African American males and his lack of comments on these local atrocities, people of color might be in trouble.  I hope the fact checkers clarify what Mr. Trump really meant by his statements.  I also hope that someone can explain what he really means during his speeches.  He claims that he doesn't watch CNN or MSNBC but he labels them dishonest anyway.  I cannot wait to watch the Republican convention and his exciting lineup of speakers.
In retrospect, I don't consider Mr. Hussein to be someone who should be referred to as an effective murderer.  I feel for the people of Iraq who continue to suffer atrocities at the hand of suicide bombers.  The United States must take some blame for the continued unrest in Iraq as our invasion did not stabilize the region and make it safer.  We lost a lot of soldiers and did not find any weapons of mass destruction.  I would suggest that Mr. Trump find someone else to emulate as he attempts to lead our country for the next four years.

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