Saddam Hussein

President of Iraq from 1979 to 2003 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti[lower-alpha 3] (28 April 1937 – 30 December 2006) was an Iraqi politician and revolutionary who was the fifth president of Iraq from 1979 to 2003. He also served as prime minister of Iraq, first from 1979 to 1991 and later from 1994 to 2003. He was a leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party, and later, the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party and its regional organization, the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, which espoused Ba'athism, a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism.

Quick facts: Saddam Hussein, 5th President of Iraq, Prime ...
Saddam Hussein
صدام حسين
Saddam in August 1998, preparing to deliver a speech for the 10th anniversary of the end of the Iran–Iraq War
5th President of Iraq
In office
16 July 1979  9 April 2003
Prime Minister
Vice President
Preceded byAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Succeeded byJay Garner (as Director of the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance of Iraq)
Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council
In office
16 July 1979  9 April 2003
Preceded byAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Prime Minister of Iraq
In office
29 May 1994  9 April 2003
Preceded byAhmad Husayn Khudayir as-Samarrai
Succeeded byMohammad Bahr al-Ulloum (as Acting President of the Governing Council of Iraq)
In office
16 July 1979  23 March 1991
Preceded byAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Succeeded bySa'dun Hammadi
Secretary General of the National Command of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party
In office
January 1992  30 December 2006
Preceded byMichel Aflaq
Succeeded byIzzat Ibrahim al-Douri
Regional Secretary of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
In office
16 July 1979  30 December 2006
National Secretary
Preceded byAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Succeeded byIzzat Ibrahim ad-Douri
In office
February 1964  October 1966
Preceded byAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Succeeded byAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Vice President of Iraq
In office
17 July 1968  16 July 1979
PresidentAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Preceded byAhmed Hassan al-Bakr
Succeeded byIzzat Ibrahim al-Douri
Member of the Regional Command of the Iraqi Regional Branch
In office
February 1964  9 April 2003
Personal details
Born(1937-04-28)28 April 1937[lower-alpha 1]
Al-Awja, Saladin Governorate, Kingdom of Iraq
Died30 December 2006(2006-12-30) (aged 69)
Camp Justice, Kadhimiya, Baghdad, Iraq
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Resting placeAl-Awja
Political party
(m. 1963)
(m. 1986)
Military service
AllegianceIraq Iraq
Branch/serviceIraqi Armed Forces

Saddam was born in Al-Awja, near Tikrit, to a prominent Sunni Muslim family. He joined the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party in 1957, and the Baghdad-based Ba'ath Party, and its regional organization, the Iraqi Ba'ath Party. He played a key role in the 17 July Revolution and was appointed vice president by Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr. During his time as vice president, Saddam nationalised the Iraq Petroleum Company, diversifying the Iraqi economy. He presided over the Second Iraqi–Kurdish War (1974–1975). Following al-Bakr's resignation in 1979, Saddam formally took power, although he had already been the de facto head of Iraq for several years. Positions of power in the country were mostly filled with Sunni Arabs, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population.[9]

In September 1980, Saddam abrogated the Algiers Agreement and invaded Iran, marking the start of the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988), which resulted in a ceasefire after a gruelling stalemate that took somewhere around a total of a million lives and economic losses of $561 billion in Iraq. Later, Saddam accused its ally Kuwait of slant-drilling Iraqi oil fields and occupied Kuwait, initiating the Gulf War (1990–1991). Iraq was defeated by a multinational coalition led by the United States. The United Nations subsequently placed sanctions against Iraq. He suppressed the 1991 Iraqi uprisings of the Kurds and Shia Muslims, which sought to gain independence or overthrow the government. Afterward, Saddam adopted an anti-American stance and established the Faith Campaign, pursuing an Islamist agenda in Iraq. Saddam's rule was marked by numerous human rights abuses, including an estimated 250,000 arbitrary deaths and disappearances.

In 2003, the United States and its allies invaded Iraq, falsely accusing Saddam of developing weapons of mass destruction and of having ties with al-Qaeda. The Ba'ath Party was banned and Saddam went into hiding. After his capture on 13 December 2003, his trial took place under the Iraqi Interim Government. On 5 November 2006, Saddam was convicted by the Iraqi High Tribunal of crimes against humanity related to the 1982 killing of 148 Iraqi Shi'a and sentenced to death by hanging. He was executed on 30 December 2006.

Having built a highly pervasive cult of personality, Saddam is accused of repressive authoritarian government,[10] which several analysts have described as totalitarian,[11] although the applicability of that label has been contested.[12]