Crimes Against Humanity: Iraq Under Saddam Hussein

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Crimes against Humanity: Iraq under Saddam Hussein
Iraq, a country found in Southwest Asia bordered by Syria, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, has been constantly featured in the news in recent years. Iraq received its freedom from Britain following World War I in 1932 and in 1958 was converted into a republic (Iraq). However, since becoming a republic, Iraq has been controlled by military leaders from Abdul-Karim Quassim to Saddam Hussein (Iraqi Rulers’ Page). The most recent ruler of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, leader of the Ba’ath political party, drew attention to the country with his various crimes against humanity. From his ascension to power in 1979 to his execution December 30, 2006, he has been responsible for numerous atrocities, including, but not limited to, executions of communists, murders of Shiite Muslims, tortures and killings of political prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison, Hussein’s most frequently used prison for tortures and murders (Kadragic 85), the Iran-Iraq war, murders of ethnic Kurds, the Gulf War, destruction of Iraq’s marshes, and therefore the destruction of marsh Arabs’ habitats and homes, the control of news as propaganda (The New Global Society), and the deaths of many others.

After a rough childhood living with his mother, three stepbrothers, and an awful and immoral stepfather, Hussein moved to live with his uncle, who was an Arab nationalist, when his uncle was freed from jail in 1947 (Saddam Hussein). It was his uncle who introduced Hussein to politics (Saddam Hussein). Hussein joined the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party at the age of 20 in 1957 (Saddam Hussein). He started out as a member of low importance whose chief duty was to organize and fuel riots among his classmates (Saddam Hussein). In 1959 he was promoted to the assassination squad (Saddam Hussein). October 7, 1959, he, along with the rest of the squad, attempted, but failed, to assassinate Abdul Karim-Quassim (Saddam Hussein). This failed attempt resulted in Hussein receiving a shot in the leg and exiling himself from Iraq for over three years to escape prison (Saddam Hussein Ex President of Iraq). Only when the Ba’ath Party staged a coup and took over the Iraqi government in 1963 did Saddam return to the country. However, the Ba’ath Party only remained in power for nine months and Hussein was arrested in 1964 for his affiliation with the Ba’ath regime’s attempt to regain power (Saddam Hussein). During his eighteen months in prison before his escape in July 1996, Hussein was tortured as well as named a member of Ba’ath Party’s National Arab Leadership in 1965 (Saddam Hussein). Hussein gradually gained power in the party, becoming Deputy-Secretary General of the Ba’ath Party Leadership September 1966, and being a key leader in the July 17, 1968 coup that overthrew the Iraqi monarchy and made Hussein’s second cousin, Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr, the Iraqi president (Saddam Hussein). Following this incident, Hussein was made Vice President of Iraq (Saddam Hussein). Eventually, Hussein forced al-Bakr to resign and took over the position as president of Iraq (Saddam Hussein).

The first crime committed under the rule of Saddam Hussein was the execution of 7,000 Iraqi communists that began the year of 1978 and lasted until 1979 (Saddam Era: The Death Toll). Hussein was not in charge of the Ba’athist regime during 1978, but was in power for the latter part of the brutal executions carried out against the communists of Iraq. Though the Ba’ath Party was vaguely built on the idea socialism in the 1940’s and the Iraqi Ba’ath Party of Saddam’s time had an important alliance with the Soviet Union, the Ba’aths of Saddam’s time were very much opposed to communism. The execution of the Iraqi communists strained the Ba’athist Party’s relationship with the Soviet Union considerably.

In the 1980’s Saddam had 148 male Shiites murdered in the village of Dujail. This crime in particular is the atrocity that Saddam was convicted and executed...
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