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Plan of Action  - A Top Secret Internal Memo

To understand how Saddam has remained for 20 years firmly entrenched as Iraq's leader despite wars, sanctions, coup and assassination attempts, read this government memo issued in 1992. It details ways for Saddam's security apparatus to tighten control of the population and crush opposition. Offering a clear view into Saddam's Orwellian police state, it also shows how in many ways his regime parallels the Soviet police state of Joseph Stalin, the leader Saddam most admires.

Principality of Stones

An excerpt from Saddam Hussein - The Politics of Revenge by Said K. Aburish. It chronicles how, after the Gulf War ended, Saddam methodically and brutally set about imposing greater control on the Army and security apparatus as well as his own personal protection system in order to thwart coup attempts.

Saddam, Our Father - A Saddam Music Video

Indeed, You, the Father of Oudai - A Saddam Music Video

Tales of the Tyrant

Mark Bowden's May 2002 cover story in The Atlantic magazine draws on the extensive literature about Saddam, as well as numerous interviews with Iraqi expatriates who worked close to him, to offer a richly detailed, in-depth portrait of Saddam and what has shaped him.


Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction

A summary of what international weapons inspections during the 1990s revealed about Iraq's biochemical and nuclear weapons capability. In 1998, Iraq blocked the weapons inspection agencies, UNSCOM and IAEA, from conducting further UN-mandated inspections.

A Map of Salman Pak

This crude drawing is by an Army officer and defector who describes in his FRONTLINE interview how the area of Salman Pak on the outskirts of Baghdad contained a highly secret installation where, he claims, Iraq conducted terrorist training for Islamic militants from other countries.

The World Trade Center Bomb: Who is Ramzi Yousef? And Why it Matters

Published in The National Interest (Winter 1995/96), this article by Laurie Mylroie argues that the convicted 1993 World Trade Center bomber, Ramzi Yousef, was an Iraqi intelligence agent. Mylroie claims that the Justice Department narrowly focused on prosecuting Yousef for the crime to the detriment of tracing possible state sponsorship behind the attack.

Overview of State-Sponsored Terrorism

Iraq is one of the seven countries that the U.S. has designated state sponsors of terrorism. This excerpt from the U.S. State Department's "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000" report links Iraq to Palestinian and Iranian terrorist organizations, but states that "The regime has not attempted an anti-Western terrorist attack since its failed plot to assassinate former President Bush in 1993 in Kuwait."

Saddam's Open Letters to the U.S.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, Saddam Hussein has written three open letters addressed to "Western nations and their governments." In the first letter, released on Sept. 15, he wrote, "We say to the American peoples, what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 should be compared to what their government and their armies are doing in the world." In his second letter, released on Sept. 18, Saddam accused the U.S. of having made "assumption tantamount to conclusive verdict, namely that Islam, with Arabs in the lead of Moslems, are enemies of the U.S." In the third letter, released on Oct. 29, he criticized U.S. military actions in Afghanistan: "The world now needs to abort the U.S. aggressive schemes, including its aggression on the Afghan people, which must stop."


Speaking of Iraq

In January 1998, the Project for the New American Century, chaired by William Kristol, sent a letter to President Clinton that argued the removal of Saddam Hussein from power "needs to become the aim of American foreign policy." The letter, sent to Clinton just before he was to give his annual State of the Union Address, was signed by many current Bush administration officials, including, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton. Richard Perle and R. James Woolsey also signed the letter.

U.S.-Supported Iraqi Opposition

Many of those who are pushing the U.S. to include Iraq in the war against terrorism argue that the U.S. should support the attempts of Iraqi opposition groups to topple Saddam Hussein. However, this April 2001 article from Foreign Policy In Focus calls the Iraqi opposition "feckless" and urges the U.S. to "halt its efforts to arm the opposition and foment a coup in Iraq" and instead "work with the United Nations to enforce international treaties and resolutions."

Confronting Iraq: U.S. Policy and Use of Force Since the Gulf War

This RAND analysis of U.S.-Iraq confrontation since the Gulf War reveals that although post-Gulf War U.S. policy toward Iraq is widely viewed as a failure, a closer study shows success when U.S. actions threatened Saddam's relationship with his power base. The authors argue that in dealing with Iraq, policymakers must take into account an understanding of which changes they cannot affect through coercive tactics, as well as how to integrate coercive actions into a long-term strategy.

Our Interests in the Gulf

This flashback from The Atlantic Monthly contains two opposing essays on whether fighting Iraq in the Gulf War was in the U.S. national interest. Christopher Layne argues that "Since the end of the Second World War, most recently in the Gulf, the United States has chosen to exaggerate minor threats to its security ... and to equate its safety with the maintenance of world order." However, Joseph Nye counters this argument by writing, "In a world of interdependence Americans cannot afford to define the national interest in domestic or international terms alone."

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