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Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge Paperback – 1 Jan 2001
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'A brilliant Arab-Western examination - by one uniquely placed - of the psychology and makeup of one of the world's political phenomena, in clear historical context, written with pace, detail, and a host of witnesses and sources' SUNDAY TRIBUNE 'Powerful. Aburish provides shameful details of Western complicity, cynical and mostly clandestine, in Saddam's reign of terror' HERALD 'The hypocrisy and amorality of Western policy make uncomfortable reading Aburish's unmatched contacts in the Middle East enable him to provide a rare glimpse into the secret world of Saddam. A chilling biography' OBSERVER
About the Author
Said K. Aburish was born in the biblical village of Bethany near Jerusalem in 1935. He has been a consultant to two Arab governments, and is now a journalist and author living in London. His books include Children of Bethany; The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud; and Arafat: From Defender to Dictator.
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For anyone who really wants to know how the land that produced the world's first civilisation came to its current sorry state, this is perhaps the first book to read. None of the political players emerges with any credit.
But this is just one side of the story of what made Saddam Hussein the man he is. The other of course, is the support he received from the West, primarily the US. Saddam's weapons deals with the US, UK and France are dealt with conclusively, as are his crimes against his own people at the same time as these deals were taking place, showing up the incredible hypocrisy of what we have been hearing from the governments of these countries since 1990. The cynicism of the US government in supporting Iraq with weapons deals during the war with Iran, whilst also ensuring that Iran remained strong enough to keep fighting is staggering. The amount of lives lost on both sides didn't matter to Western governments as it kept their arms industries ticking over nicely and kept both countries weak, confirming Israel as the regions number one military power.
The most fascinating part of the book comes with the lead up to the Gulf War. The facts are presented to allow the reader to make up his/her own mind on what was the real cause of the war. There is ample evidence to suggest the US and UK used Kuwait to goad Saddam into invading, thus sealing his fate as they refused to accept his proposal of a complete withdrawal without attaching humiliating conditions which a popularly elected government would have found hard to accept, never mind an autocrat who wields power over his people through force.
The war of 'surgical precision' which followed is well documented, as are the horrors which US-led sanctions have caused to the people of Iraq, who apparently the US government have "no quarrel with". Any Americans who want to know why many Arabs show such animosity towards them should look no further than the account of the popular uprising which followed Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War. As the people rose up against Saddam, the Americans shamefully refused to help them and even allowed Saddam to use helicopters to put down the uprising while they looked on. The reason: a popular government of the people would have been a threat to US/Israeli hegemony in the Middle East, they wanted a strong man like Saddam to take over, only one who would be more obedient.
For anyone who wants a glossy read which you won't have to think much about, buy the latest Tom Clancy novel. For anyone who wants to read the authoritative account of the life of Saddam Hussein and the tragedy that has been visited upon the Iraqi people since he took power in 1979, look no further than this.
The author is a very informed journalist who became involved with some of Saddam's deals. He explains in detail the background of events as he takes the reader through the Rule of Saddam in a chronological order.For those who have no background knowledge of events it may be challenging reading. For those who know, lived through and survived the events it is interesting to have that afformation of what actually happened.
I would recommend this book to those who have an interest and understanding of the Saddam Regime.
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