Born April 19th, 1937, Saddam Hussein spent his childhood being raised by his impoverished family. “As a young boy he had to steal so his family could eat. He stole eggs, and he stole chicken, things like that.” Said Aburish, author of Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge, told Frontline in a 2000 biography. Unable to read and write, young Hussein had always been jealous of his cousin’s literacy, and he demanded to have the same opportunity to be able to learn.4 As a young man he joined an underground political party, known as the Baath. The leader at the time, ‘Abd al-Karīm Qāsim, was part of a pro-Western oligarchy, which was a group of people that ruled over the country and repressed all opposing parties. With this being said, Hussein and other members of the Baath party conspired against Qāsim. The assassination attempt failed, and Hussein had to flee from the country for several years.
Shortly after arriving in Egypt he enrolled in the University of Cairo, and after several years earned himself a degree in law.2 The following year, he traveled back home to Baghdad which was governed by a Ba'athist leader at the time. Unfortunately, the Baath lost power later that year , and Saddam was forced into hiding. After being discovered, he was arrested and sent to jail. However, Saddam managed to escape three years later.
Hussein then rose through the ranks of the Baath party. He built himself up to an important role and gave the Ba’athist the ability to have permanent power. Becoming a vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council in 1969, vice president, and then deputy secretary-general of the Ba’ath Party’s Regional Command gave him the ability to make critical decisions for the country of Iraq. Building new roads, schools, and hospitals, along with nationalizing Iraq’s oil industry; the once illiterate Saddam Hussein established a mandatory literacy program.3 People started to appreciate his good intentions until they realized that he was assembling a multitude of secret police forces that would subjugate recusants and those who opposed the Baath rule.4 July 16, 1979 Saddam Hussein became Iraq’s fifth president after the forced resignation of al-Bakr.2 During Hussein’s rule, there were numerous issues within the country of Iraq. Ayatollah Khomeini, a political leader of the Islamic Republic, led a successful Islamic revolution in Iran, Iraq’s neighboring country.2 Hussein feared that Iran may attempt to invade Iraq, just as it happened to them. To prevent this from occurring, Iraqi forces were sent to invade Iran’s oil-rich territories. The conflict escalated expeditiously into an all out war; and resulted in the death of approximately seven hundred and fifty thousand people in Iraq alone. The Iraqi leader lost the war, but remained in power. It is assumed that without a powerful leader governing, the country would not be stable, an Iranian influence would increase over the region, and its Shiite majority would dominate over the territory. Regardless of this war being a major infraction of the international law, Saddam Hussein was supported by the Western countries and provided with supplemental weapons from the United States of America.2 11 After the war ended, Iraq