A decade after Saddam Hussein was tried, convicted and executed, Iraq is struggling to defeat Islamic State and cope with sectarian strife and other consequences of the US-led invasion.
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti ruled Iraq from July 1979 to April 2003, as leader of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath (“Resurrection”) Party. He was put on trial by a tribunal established by the US-led occupation authorities. On November 5, 2006, Hussein was convicted of crimes against humanity over the 1982 killing of 148 people in the town of Dujail, following an attempt on his life. He was hanged at dawn on December 30, 2006, on the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice.
“It is a testament to the Iraqi people’s resolve to move forward after decades of oppression that, despite his terrible crimes against his own people, Saddam Hussein received a fair trial,” US President George W. Bush said in a statement following the execution, adding: “Fair trials were unimaginable under Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical rule.”
Once an ally
The White House was not always so adamant about Hussein. In 1980, the Iraqi president received the keys to the city of Detroit after making a generous donation to the Chaldean Sacred Heart Church.
Washington also approached Hussein as a potential ally against neighboring Iran, where a monarchy allied with the US had been overthrown by Islamic revolutionaries. With US support, Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980, but was quickly forced to go on the defensive. The Iraq-Iran war officially ended in August 1988, having claimed over a million lives and more than $1.2 trillion in combined economic losses, without any change in the borders.
@kateemerson88 Rumsfeld meets Saddam
Only a bad guy when not on US side
— mark batch (@dexcat63) November 27, 2016