"Saddam Hussein has emerged from Mesopotamia as did Hammurabi, as did Merodachbaladan, and as did Nubuchadnezzar. He has emerged at a time to shake the centuries-old dust off Babylon's face. History must start with us so that Babylon can remain mankind's compass throughout the ages. Spirit arise."

(quoted in Al Hurriya, From Nebuchadnezzar to Saddam Hussein; Babylon Rises Again, fourth edition (Baghdad: Iraqi Ministry of Information and Culture ,1987 1990)

"More than five thousand people were being kept in the prisons on the palace grounds, serving as a kind of protective shield against the rebels. It didn�t take long for Rokan to return with thirty prisoners. They were Kurds. Saddam shot them one after the other, from close range. Uday, Qusay, Arshad al-Yasin, Abed Hamid, Shabib, Saddam Kamel, and Rokan kicked the bodies. They were wading in blood. Everywhere was red. Those not killed instantly were finished off by the security officers, who put guns to the prisoners; heads and fired.

But this massacre wasn�t enough for Saddam. He had thirty more prisoners brought, and murdered them too. He had Rokan bring him a new magazine every time his was empty. When it was over, he seemed liberated by the orgy of bloodletting. He laughed resoundingly, with the laugh of a madman. "Now I feel better," he shouted."

Latif yahia & Karl Wendl

I was Saddam�s Son


   "It was the festival of the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of fertility, Ishtar. Celebrated in a newly consecrated temple district, it was to be the centerpiece of Saddam Hussein's week-long revelry. It commemorated the end of his bloody, costly conflict with Iran in 1989.

   The bronze talisman of Ishtar, faithful reproduction of an ancient idol from the time of Nebuchadnezzar, was unveiled. Incense bathed the entire vicinity with an air of sanctity. Ethereal music lilted in the breeze. Costumed attendants bearing torches led a long processional in a triumphant march. Then, as if this were the moment they had all been waiting for, Saddam Hussein stepped onto a strobe-lit platform and announced the commencement of a New World Order, taking the ancient pledge of kings:

    I will wash my hands and my feet in the flood of the infidels for the glory of Mesopotamia forever.

   The solemn clerics were pleased. The ji'had had begun. The world would once again feel Dar al Harb-the scourge of war. Babylon was reborn."

George Grant

The Blood of the Moon: The Roots of the Middle East Crisis


June 18,1991: Uday�s birthday. The cleanup of the palace grounds was still under way, ye the magnificent swimming pools of the presidential palace looked as if the war had never happened. Uday invited more than three hundred young girls and women to the party, and all of his underworld friends. His car dealers, pimps, and of course Adel Akle, the singer, were there. Champagne, whiskey, French wines, and even German beer were served, along with a fantastic buffet offering all the delicacies one could wish for. Here was the old dream world, the lens that distorted reality. People outside the palace were starving, while inside, the war profiteers, the cheaters, the murderers, the unscrupulous exploiters, were having a good time. Alcohol flowed in streams. The party was loud, lewd , vulgar. All were drunk, without restraint.

Uday behaved the worst. He jumped onstage, ripped the microphone from Adel Akle�s hand, and commanded with an obscene giggle, "Hihihihi, all women get undressed. I want to see the females naked, completely naked."

Some obeyed. Others were reluctant. The uninhibited head of the Journalists� Union, observing the bizarre spectacle from the stage, once again seized the microphone. This time he didn�t grin. " I said everybody. Without exception. Whoever refuses spends the night with my bodyguards." They followed his orders like sheep. Peeled themselves out of their dresses. Uday amused himself splendidly when they were all naked. He lit a cigar, took two puffs, then continued, "Now the men. Undress, you sons of bitches!" They complied too.

The rest of the evening was one gigantic orgy of jerking bodies and screeching women. They did it shamelessly and everywhere, in the pools laid out with mosaics, on the thick lawn, in the lawn chairs. �."

Latif Yahia

I Was Saddam�s Son


"Laid bare, American policy on the Gulf comes down to this: troops have been sent to retain control of oil in the hands of a pro-American Saudi Arabia, so prices will remain low.."

Thomas L. Friedman New York Times op-ed piece Aug 10,1990


"The ordinary Arab fully understands that Saddam Hussein is a ruthless dictator, a butcher, and a tyrant. But such a leader is no stranger to the Middle East. To Arabs it seems cynical that President Bush should call Hussein a Hitler but welcome as an ally Hafiz al-Assad, Syria's dictator, who is no les a monster than either Hitler or Hussein. Assad's support made possible the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in which 189 Americans died, as well as many other terrorist attacks in which Americans were killed.

   In Arab eyes, what tends to outweigh Hussein's crimes is the fact that he has been trying to break the neocolonialist shackles imposed on the Arab peoples. To the Arab man in the street, Hussein, for all his villainies, is the preeminent spokesman of Arab nationalism, ranking second in the pantheon of Arab heroes only to Gamal Abdel Nasser and Saladin, who crushed the crusaders in Palestine in the twelfth century."

Roger Hilsman

George Bush vs. Saddam Hussein


"Everyone in Iraq has long since seen through the tawdry Saddam show. The cheers have frozen on everyone�s lips, but nobody can extricate himself from the system, or wants to. The stool-pigeon machinery continues to function perfectly. And Qusay, named supreme security service director by Saddam Hussein on March 2,1991, has even expanded it.

Latif Yahia

I Was Saddam's Son

"Today is a day in the Grand Battle, the immortal Mother of All Battles. It is a glorious and splendid day on the part of the self-respecting people of Iraq and their history, and it is the beginning of the great shame for those who ignited its fire on the other part. It is the first day on which the vast military phase of that battle started. Or rather, it is the first day of that battle, since Allah decreed that the Mother of All Battles continues till this day."

-Saddam Hussein (television address to the Iraqi People-Jan 17,2002)


"People who actually know Saddam Hussein , according to New York Times reporter R. W. Apple Jr., disagree with the pundits who picture him as erratic, eccentric, and mad. Those who know him think he is "cunning, ruthless, vain, bloodthirsty, but not demented in the slightest-a man whose motives and goals are quite comprehensible, even if the world considers his methods despicable. Apple quotes Prof. Jerrold Polst of George Washington University, a psychiatrist who specializes in developing psychological profiles of political figures, as saying that Hussein "is no psychotic megalomaniac. He is a highly rational man-dangerous but well focused." Speaking after the invasion but before the attack to oust Iraq from Kuwait, Polst said that Saddam Hussein was a person who was willing to wait very patiently, to use time as a weapon. "If he sees a way out of this (the position Hussein found himself in after his invasion of Kuwait) with a fig leaf, he'll take it, and then two years from now, five years from now, his appetite for power will be undiminished and he'll strike again somewhere."

Roger Hilsman

George Bush vs. Saddam Hussein


   "When the ground offensive began, there were 527,000 U.S. troops in the theater of operations. The army had 1,300 tanks, 1,420 armored personnel carriers, and 395 Apache helicopter gun ships. The air force had 44 F-117A Stealth fighter-bombers, 38 F-111F strike bombers, 310 fighters, and more than 250 close air support, transport, and tanker aircraft. The Marine Corps had 500 to 700 tanks; 500 armored personnel carriers, and more than 300 aircraft and helicopters. The navy had more than 90 warships and submarines, including 6 aircraft carriers and 2 battleships, and more than 525 aircraft.

   Other countries that provided significant forces, including armor and aircraft, were Great Britain, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Morocco, Pakistan (which contributed planes), and the Gulf Cooperation Councils (which included forces from Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates). New Zealand and South Korea contributed planes and medical teams. Countries that contributed smaller forces included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Niger, and Senegal.

   Czechoslovakia contributed two hundred antichemical warfare specialists. Poland contributed two rescue ships. Hungary, India the Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone, Singapore, and Sweden contributed medical teams.

   Naval forces, in addition to those from the United States, were contributed by Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and Spain.

The total Allied troop deployment was approximately 750,000


IRAQ had an estimated 555,000 regular troops and 480,000 reserves. About 250,000 to 300,000 of these were stationed near the border with Turkey. More than 545,000 troops, including twelve armored divisions and thirty infantry and motorized divisions, were stationed in or near Kuwait when the ground war began

   Iraqi armor in or near Kuwait that had survived Allied air attacks included 2,595 tanks, 1,625 artillery pieces, and 1,045 armored personnel carriers.

Roger Hilsman

George Bush vs Saddam Hussein

The war had ended. In Washington, President George Bush announced to the world press, "It�s over. We destroyed Saddam Hussein."

The same day in Baghdad, millions of Iraqis heard their leader, Saddam Hussein proclaim, "It�s over. I am the winner

Who was right, Bush or Saddam?.

Latif Yahia



   "The intelligence report on Iraq's biological efforts went to the State Department, the CIA, and various parts of the military, including the Central Command, which planned and directed American operations in the Middle East. It prompted no action. No one called the American Type Culture Collection to warn against further sales of germs to Baghdad. No one suggested that the Commerce Department with-hold licenses on germ exports bound for Iraq."

Judith Miller & Stephen Engelberg & William Broad

Germs: Biological weapons and America's Secret War



 "More sinister, China had sold to Iraq large quantities of lithium 6 hydride, a key component in the manufacture of a hydrogen bomb. Throughout 1990, the China National Non-Ferrous Metals Import-Export Corporation had shipped several dozen sealed plastic bottles of the grayish-white granular substance to Baghdad. Each bottle held 250 grams of lithium 6 hydride, several score Chinese scientists and technicians had traveled to Iraq. A number had helped China successfully build its own hydrogen bomb in 1967. Their presence, like the export of the lithium 6 hydride, was a breach of the U.N. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. But China had never signed that agreement."

Gordon Thomas

Seeds of Fire


   "Another factor is Saddam Hussein's deep distrust and hatred of the Western countries that have dominated and humiliated Arabs for so long. To some extent, all Arabs share these feelings-the result of ruthless treatment dating back to the Crusades and intensified enormously by the aggressive imperialism of the nineteenth century and the subjugation of so many Arab countries through colonialism. Hussein was weaned on tales of the injustices inflicted on Arabs by the West. In the midst of the Gulf crisis, in a speech given on November, 3, 1990, he reminded his listeners that it was the British who had drawn Iraq's border so as to deny it access to the sea. Is it possible," he asked, "for a civilization which is 6,000 years old to have been isolated from the sea? A part of Iraq's land was cut off by English Scissors.?"

Roger Hilsman

George Bush vs Saddam Hussein


"If the United States continues with what it's doing....there is no question that the region is in for a long period of terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism and terrific hatred."

Kamel Abu Jaber

"We believe that because we are on the side of truth, then we are on the side of God. And because God is with us, then everything shall be in our favour."

Saddam Hussein


"You can flatten Iraq. But no American plane will be safe in the sky, and you will need five bodyguards for every American in the Mideast."

Mohammed Milhme

The following proclamation was issued to the inhabitants of Baghdad on March 19,1917, by Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Maude shortly after the occupation of the city by British forces.

To the People of Baghdad Vilayet:

   In the name of my King, and in the name of the peoples over whom he rules, I address you as follows:-

   Our military operations have as their object the defeat of the enemy, and the driving of him from these territories. In order to complete those tasks, I am charged with absolute and supreme control of all regions in which British troops operate; but our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors of enemies, but as liberators.

   Since the days of Halaka your city and your land have been subject to the tyranny of strangers, your palaces have fallen into ruins, your gardens have sunk in desolation, and your forefathers and yourselves have groaned in bondage. Your sons have been carried to wars not of your seeking, your wealth, has been stripped from you by unjust men and squandered in distant places.

   Since the days of Midhat, the Turks have talked of reforms, yet do not the ruins and wastes of today testify the vanity of those promises?

   It is the wish not only of my King and his peoples, but is also the wish of the great nations with whom he is in alliance, that you should prosper even as in the past, when your lands were fertile, when your ancestors gave to the world literature, science, and art, and when Baghdad city was one of the wonders of the world.

   Between your people and the dominions of my king there has been a close bond of interest. for 200 years have the merchants of Baghdad and Great Britain traded together in mutual profit and friendship. On the other hand, the Germans and the Turks, who have despoiled you and yours, have for twenty years made Baghdad a centre of power from which to assail the power of the British and the Allies of the British in Persia and Arabia. Therefore the British Government cannot remain indifferent as to what takes place in your country now or in the future, for in duty to the interests of the British people and their Allies, the British Government cannot risk that being done in Baghdad again which has been done by the Turks and Germans during the war.

But you people of Baghdad, whose commercial prosperity and whose safety from oppression and invasion must ever be a matter of the closest concern to the British Government, are not to understand that it is the wish of the British Government to impose upon you alien institutions. It is the hope of the British Government that the aspirations of your philosophers and writers shall be realized and that once again the people of Baghdad shall flourish, enjoying their wealth and substance under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws and their racial ideals. In Hedjaz the Arabs have expelled the Turks and Germans who oppressed them and proclaimed the Sherif Hussein as their King, and his Lordship rules in independence and freedom, and is the ally of the nations who are fighting against the power o Turkey and Germany; so, indeed are the noble Arabs, the Lords of Koweyt, Nejd and Asir.

   Many noble Arabs have perished in the cause of Arab freedom, at the hands of those alien rulers, the Turks, who oppressed them. It is the determination of the Government o Great Britain and the great Powers allied to Great Britain that these noble Arabs shall not have suffered in vain. It is the hope and desire of the British people and the nations in alliance with them that the Arab race may rise once more to greatness and renown among the peoples of the earth, and that it shall bind itself together to this end in unity and concord.

   O people of Baghdad remember that for twenty-six generations your have suffered under strange tyrants who have ever endeavoured to set one Arab house against another in order that they might profit by your dissensions. This policy is abhorrent to Great Britain and her Allies, for there can be neither peace nor prosperity where there is enmity and misgovernment. Therefore I am commanded to invite you, through your nobles and elders and representatives, to participate in the management of your civil affairs in collaboration with the political representatives of Great Britain who accompany the British Army, so that you may be united with your kinsmen in North, East, South, and West in realizing the aspirations of your race............"

Lt. General Sir Stanley Maude


"The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiqu�s are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are today not far from a disaster.....Our unfortunate troops, Indian and British, under hard conditions of climate and supply, are policing an immense area, paying dearly every day in lives for the willfully wrong policy of the civil administration in Baghdad."

-T.E. Lawrence "A Report on Mesopotamia," Sunday Times (London) Aug 22, 1920


Book: "Banking On Baghdad: Inside Iraq's 7000-year History of war, Profit, and Conflict" by Edwin Black

Book: "Out of the Ashes�The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein" by Andrew Cockburn & Patrick Cockburn

Book: "Storm On The Horizon: Kafji-The Battle That Changed the Course of the Gulf War" by David J. Morris

Book: "The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein" by Sandra Mackey

Book: " A History of Iraq" by Charles Tripp

Book: "Churchill's Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Modern Iraq" by Christopher Catherwood

Book: "Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and American's Perilous Path In The Middle East" by Rashid Khalidi

Book: "Iraq: from Sumer to Saddam" by Geoff Simons

Book: "IRAQ: In The Eye of the Storm" by Dillip Hiro

Book: "The Arab Mind" by Raphael Patai

Book: "Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman's Survival Under Saddam Hussein" by Jean Sasson

Book: "The Continuing Storm: Iraq, Poisonous Weapons, and Deterrence" by Avigdor Haselkorn

Book: "The Bomb In My Garden: The Secrets of Saddam's Nuclear Mastermind" by Mahdi Obeidi & Kurt Pitzer

Book: "The Fall of Baghdad" by Jon Lee Anderson

Book: "The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq" by Kenneth M. Pollack

Book: "Saddam" by Con Coughlin

Book: "The Saddam Hussein Reader" Ed. by Turi Munthe

Book: "Saddam: King of Terror" by Con Coughlin

Book: "IRAQ and the International Oil System: Why America Went to War in the Gulf" by Stephen Pelletiere

Book: "Iraq: From Sumer to Sudan" by Geoff Simons

Book: "Gulliver Unbound: America's Imperial Temptation and the War in Iraq" by Stanley Hoffmann with F. Boxo

Book: "The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Ocupied Iraq" by Christian Parenti


Back to Chrestomathy           Next Page