Global Policy Forum

Saddam's Regime and What Might Follow

Picture Credit:

By the early 1970s, Saddam Hussein had risen to high rank in the Iraqi government and in 1979 he finally assumed the supreme leadership. His dictatorship ever since has been marked by extreme cruelty and repression against all his opponents. He waged a long and costly war against neighboring Iran (1980-88), backed by arms and aid from the US-UK, as well as France, Russia, Germany and others. No one in Washington complained about his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs in the 1980s, while he was viewed as a useful ally against the Iranian "threat."

Rather, Washington gave him military advisors, satellite intelligence and even targeting for his chemical weapons attacks against Iranian forces. But Saddam provoked Washington's ire when he invaded Kuwait in August 1990, leading to UN sanctions and then a UN-approved military action, led by the United States. Since then the former favorite Saddam has been pictured by Washington as one of the world's most dangerous and violent criminals. This section looks at his regime, the Iraqi opposition movements, and various scenarios/proposals for a post-Saddam Iraq under US tutelage.



2004 | 2003 |2002 | Archive

Timeline Iraq

The Guardian briefly chronicles the history of Iraq since Saddam Hussein became president in July 1979.


What Happened in Kurdish Halabja? (December 22, 2004)

This Aljazeera opinion piece asserts that the CIA and the Israeli Mossad manipulated Western write-ups of the Halabja massacre. A 1990 report by the US Army War College finds that Iran, not Iraq, was responsible for the gassing of civilians when soldiers used hydrogen cyanide to seize the town. Only in 2003 did the CIA openly agree with the report and confirm that the people of Halabja died as a result of "a cyanide-based blood agent that Iraq never had." The admission undermined the last standing US justification for a war on Iraq: the world should not tolerate "a maniac who gassed his own people."

Iraq's Odious Debt: Where Do We Go from Here? (March 29, 2004)

Between 1970 and 1980, oil revenues propelled Iraq's economy to a status of upper middle-income countries, only to collapse after 1980 because of several wars and years of economic sanctions. This paper examines the consequences of Iraq's foreign debt on ordinary Iraqis today and argues that the people of Iraq are not responsible for repayments of a debt incurred during the Saddam Hussein regime. (Middle East Economic Survey)

Downsizing Saddam's Odious Debt (March 2, 2004)

The Middle East Report challenges the White House commitment empowering Iraqis "to build a peaceful, prosperous and democratic nation," arguing that the US should unconditionally write-off loans and reparations claims on Iraq accumulated by the Hussein regime, enabling Iraq's future growth and prosperity.


Euphoria Today, But Difficulties Lie Ahead (December 15, 2003)

High unemployment, the lack of a legitimate transitional government and inoperable public services are persistent problems in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. The Independent urges coalition forces not to forget these major obstacles as they celebrate Saddam's capture.

Cartoon by David Levine
This drawing originally appeared with "The Prospect of War", December 19, 2002, New York Review of Books.

Saddam's Capture is Major Coup, May Not End Unrest (December 14, 2003)

Experts warn that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's capture will not end violence against the occupation, because "it seems most unlikely that Saddam was micro-managing the violence" from his hideout in Tikrit. (Reuters)

Saddam's Legacy or Interventionism Gone Wrong? (April 16, 2003)

The crisis in Iraq is far from over, considering its history with civil wars and bloody conflicts. Parallels can be drawn between General F.S. Maude, commander of the British forces who captured Baghdad in 1917 and President George W. Bush. Both spoke about liberation for the people in Iraq. (Yellow Times)

Winning Isn't Everything (April 7, 2003)

The regime in Baghdad is falling and "victory" is near for the US and UK forces. But will Iraq experience a similar fate to Afghanistan? Virtual anarchy continues to reign in Afghanistan but the US has moved onto its second target, Iraq, before securing the first. (Yellow Times)

US, Allies Clash Over Plan to Use Iraqi Oil Profits for Rebuilding (April 3, 2003)

The United States plans to take control of Iraqi oil production after the war, but UN and UK officials say the US lacks a legal basis to control oil exports without a new Security Council resolution. The prospect of US control over Iraqi oil has hardened international opposition to Washington's postwar plans, says this Washington Post article.

Kosovo for the Kurds (March 27, 2003)

"If you think it's a little academic to ponder the fate of stateless nations while the war still rages around Baghdad, think again," writes Timothy Garton Ash of the Guardian. Military strategists are already contemplating Kurdish autonomy or even independence in a post-war Iraq, raising questions of which peoples have the right to govern themselves, and which don't.

Against France and Russia, Washington Trying to Curb UN Role in a Postwar Iraq (March 27, 2003)

The Defense Department in Washington wants the UN to assist with aid but not with governing or peacekeeping in Iraq. (New York Times)

Can Blair Convince Bush to Share His Belief in the International Institutions? (March 26, 2003)

Prime Minister Tony Blair is attempting to persuade Washington about the significance of the UN, while officials in the Bush administration want to keep the UN out of a post-war Iraq. (Guardian)

The Day After In Iraq: Lessons From Afghanistan (March, 2003)

Decades of foreign intervention and war decimated Afghanistan's capacity to maintain a viable state, and the international community's post 9-11 nation-building efforts have proven insufficient. Now, a US-led war on Iraq may plunge the country into chaos and ethnic warfare, and post-war reconstruction plans remain unclear. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Democracy Domino Theory 'Not Credible' (March 14, 2003)

According to a classified US State Department report, installing a new regime in Iraq is very unlikely to foster the spread of democracy in the Middle East. (Los Angeles Times)

EU Warns on Postwar Iraq Funds (March 13, 2003)

Chris Patten, the EU commission for external relations, stated that if the US attacks Iraq without Security Council approval the EU might withhold money for the reconstruction. (International Herald Tribune)

Pax Americana: The Building of Empire (March 10, 2003)

History repeats itself in Iraq, but this time, the last stand is between "efforts to create an American Empire and the will of the rest of the world." (Yellow Times)

UN Leaders Draw Up Secret Blueprint For Postwar Iraq (March 5, 2003)

The United Nations has drawn up a plan for a post-Saddam government that includes the creation of UNAMI (UN Assistance Mission in Iraq) to help establishing a new government. This plan could be implemented even if the US goes to war without a UN resolution. (Times, London)

Hussein's Successor Might Be the US (February 28, 2003)

Washington has two different plans on Iraq: one is a "go-it-alone" strategy, and the other is to share the burden of rebuilding Iraq with a political transition plan similar to those used in Kosovo and East Timor. (Los Angeles Times)

For Bush, Saddam is Already in Past Tense (February 28, 2003)

Many of President George W. Bush's statements focus on post war Iraq and not the war itself. It is part of the White House's strategy to refer to Saddam Hussein in the past tense and emphasize Bush's vision of a "Saddam-free world." (International Herald Tribune)

A Reply to an Iraqi Dissident Urging Invasion (February 26, 2003)

Ariel Dorfman, a Chilean writer who spent many years fighting against Pinochet's dictatorship, replies to dissidents in Iraq who are considering whether a US-led invasion could truly help them remove the regime of Saddam Hussein. (Independent)

US Intelligence Categorizes Iraqis to Punish, or to Deal With (February 26, 2003)

US intelligence officials have compiled a list of thousands of the Iraqi elite that Washington might try to convince to turn against Saddam Hussein. Others will be prosecuted for war crimes. (New York Times)

Full US Control Planned for Iraq (February 21, 2003)

US plans for unilateral control of Iraq include a prisoner of war camp with opposition members serving as guards and an American directing the "creation of a ‘representative' Iraqi government." (Washington Post)

Opposition Leaders: The Ties and Rifts (February 21, 2003)

The Guardian provides a guide to several important members of the Iraqi opposition, including their links to the US, their positions regarding a possible war, and their visions for a post-war Iraq.

Breaking Faith (February 20, 2003)

Al-Ahram Weekly reports that members of the Iraqi opposition of all political persuasions have expressed vehement objections to US plans for a post-war Iraq.

Iraqis Will Not Be Pawns (February 20, 2003)

Kamil Mahid, an Iraqi political exile, argues that the suffering of those living in Iraq are caused by political issues that require political solutions, and that "a war under any pretext is not what Iraqis need or want." (Guardian)

Flashback for the Kurds (February 19, 2003)

The Kurds in northern Iraq "are realizing that once again America is about to double-cross them," this time in the interest of appeasing Turkey. Given that the US justifies a war on Iraq on the name of democracy, if it "puts down the democratic hopes of Iraq's Kurds, the administration looks shortsighted and cynical. And not just to the Kurds." (New York Times)

Future of Post-war Iraq Divides Bush Administration (February 18, 2003)

Post Gulf War plans has received criticism some US government have criticized post-war plans, saying that the US must not only remove Saddam Hussein but also other members of his regime. The officials want to see a transnational administration with the participation of the INC (Iraqi National Congress). ( Foreign Policy in Focus)

Our Hopes Betrayed (February 16, 2003)

This statement in Observer by Kanan Makiya, the leading intellectual of the Iraqi National Congress, slams US plans for a post-war military government. The White House considered his statement to be "counter-productive."

Tribunal in Africa May Serve As Model for Trial of Hussein (February 12, 2003)

The Sierra Leone Criminal Tribunal is a new type of war crimes court that attempts to make the legal process more accessible to the local community. The US strongly endorses the Tribunal's approach and will probably use it as a blueprint to try Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity. (Wall Street Journal)

The Iraq Bush Will Build (February 9, 2003)

President George W. Bush and his administration are drafting a three phase plan to establish a new regime after the war with Iraq. In the scheme, the final phase includes a "handover to a regime sympathetic to and nurtured by Washington." ( Observer)

US Chooses Saddam's Successor (February 4, 2003)

According to Mohamed al-Jabiri, a former Iraqi diplomat, the United States has chosen Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress, as the successor to Saddam Hussein. ( Sydney Morning Herald )

A Time to Break Silence: US Complicity in Saddam's Crimes Against Humanity (February 2, 2003)

US companies' previous weapons exports to Saddam Hussein's regime reveals that "war crimes in the Third World are acceptable so long as they fit within US global strategy and aims." (In Motion Magazine)

False Trails that Lead to the Al-Qaeda 'Links' (February 2, 2003)

Washington's attempt to link Iraq with al-Qaeda so as to connect its war on terrorism with its goal of regime change in Baghdad lacks convincing proof. Even the CIA has claimed that "the evidence is simply not there." (Observer)

Specter of Lebanon Haunts Iraq Occupation Plans (January 31, 2003)

Does History repeat itself? Foreign Policy in Focus compares a possible post-Saddam US occupation of Iraq with the 1982 invasion of Beirut by Israel. What happened in Lebanon may well augur what could happen in Iraq.

Kurds Play Precarious Role in Northern Iraq (January 26, 2003)

Since the start of the first Gulf War, the US has looked to the Kurdish people in northern Iraq as potential allies to oust Saddam Hussein. Yet the Kurds, a displaced people with communities spanning four countries, remain wary that the US has no interest in either supporting their aspiration for independent statehood or protecting their human rights. (Power and Interest News Report)

How the Butcher of Baghdad Was Given Free Rein (January 24, 2003)

Jeri Laber of Human Rights Watch writes that human rights activists have been calling attention to the crimes of Saddam Hussein's regime for many years, while those who now mobilize for his violent removal looked the other way. (The Age)

Opposing War Is Good, But Not Good Enough (January, 2003)

Contradicting Bush's claim that Iraqi dissidents support a US war, an Iraqi exile living in London argues that "a palace coup might be convenient for the US Administration, but it would be another tragedy for the Iraqi people." He calls for a peaceful, diplomatic approach to restoring democracy to Iraq within the bounds of international law. (The Progressive)

The Ins and Outs of a One-Way Ticket for Saddam: Wishful Thinking? (January 8, 2003)

In a last-ditch effort to avoid a war in Iraq that could destabilize their own countries, some Arab leaders are trying to convince Saddam Hussein to step down and live in exile. (Beirut Daily Star)

US Is Completing Plan to Promote a Democratic Iraq (January 6, 2003)

As the war drums grow louder, the Bush administration is devising a complex plan to occupy a post-war Iraq and impose a military occupation government in the name of "democracy." Plans include the immediate seizure of Iraqi oil fields. Administration officials say US occupation of Iraq will last "at least" 18 months. (New York Times)

Iraqi Minister: US Violates International Law (January 4, 2003)

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri accuses the US of violating international law by "supporting mercenaries against the government of Saddam Hussein," and cites how the US infringes upon the sovereignty of Iraq by funding and training Iraqi opposition groups. (Associated Press)

Iraq: The Military Response (January 3, 2003)

The Iraqi people are absent from United States plans, but the United Nations estimates there will be a million refugees, besides many dead and injured, and that Iraq's infrastructure will be severely damaged. According to Faleh A. Jabar, the length of the war will depend on the Iraqi army and its willingness to fight, rebel or disintegrate. (Le Monde Diplomatique)


Beyond Regime Change (December 1, 2002)

The US administration wants to redraw the Middle East map. The control of Iraqi oil flows and the assurance of Israel's regional military superiority lurk behind arguments of removing weapons of mass destruction. (LA Times)

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.