The life of Saddam was riddled with controversy and contradictions. His death marred in controversy and contradictions seems only the irony to the fallen dictators spectacular rise and fall. Saddam Hussein Kazmi was born in the town of Al-Awja, Iraqi to a family of shepherds from the al-Begat tribal group. His mother, Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat, named her newborn son Saddam, which in Arabic means “One who confronts.”
He appeared to spend his life living up to the meaning of his given name. Especially, later in life and once he took the leadership of Iraq in 1979. He fled from an abusive stepfather to live with the uncle who raised him for the first three years of his life at the age of ten. According to Saddam, he learned many things from his uncle, a militant Iraqi nationalist.
It would be these earlier experiences in his life that Saddam would often make reference to as the foundation of the great man and leader he believed himself to be for Iraq and even the world. He went onto to join the revolutionary pan-Arab Ba’ath Party, of which his uncle was a supporter in 1957. Years later Saddam and the revolutionary party would overthrow the Faisal II of Iraq.
His historically known brutal rule over Iraq came from the brutal beginning of his participation in a bloodless coup led by Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr that overthrew Abdul Rahman Arif. After which al-Bakr was named president and Saddam was named his deputy, and Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. Hungry for power Saddam quickly became most powerful player in the regime.
Before Saddam Iraq was a divided nation which he modernized and solidified to prevent future coups. It would later be that power and ability to control, which he took to extremes, he used to evade coups and the potential threat of anyone who went against him. Saddam went from a leader who handled the international interest of Iraq and implemented agendas like free education to the world’s most wanted man on the planet..
The world watched Saddam ‘s good deeds turn into atrocities over night. He set a tone of fear and bruit force to control his nation. He battled at least one neighboring country for a decade. Then later sought to invade several other neighboring countries until he was driven back by the American lead Gulf War of Bush Senior’s term in office. Is there to be a righteous justice in that he was invaded by the American lead collision under the term of Bush Junior. The war that ultimately saw the downfall of Iraq and subsequent capture of Saddam came about by way of controversy, suspicion, and misleading intelligence.
The much-covered trial of the fallen dictator appeared to be a matter of lawfulness. The fact that his appeal was swiftly shut down did not. The sentence for the crimes he was found guilty of was execution. The question of validity for the end of Saddam with a 30-day window for the execution that was carried out immediately provides a very controversial closure.
The day of the execution saw Saddam led to the location of his hanging at 6am. The once defiant dictator seemed already almost lifeless from behind eyes that appeared to be somewhat surrendered to his end. Yet, he was alleged to be defiant to the end. The reaction through out the world is that of mixed emotion and response. The fact that America at the same time experienced the lost of the oldest living President made the ending of Saddam seem somehow real and less real at the same.
There is no doubt that Saddam was very bad man and his end was more than met fairly and in keeping with the crimes he was found guilty of. However, what does his execution mean for the stability of the Middle East and the rest of the world? Time will be the judge of that, but for now do we really feel a sigh of relief or is it a gasp of disbelief?