37 Facts About Saddam Hussein

1. In return, Rev Yasso said that Saddam Hussein donated US$250,000 to his church, which is made up of at least 1,200 families of Middle Eastern descent.

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2. Saddam Hussein was buried at his birthplace of Al-Awja in Tikrit, Iraq, on 31 December 2006.

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3. Saddam Hussein was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, 30 December 2006, despite his wish to be executed by firing squad.

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4. On 30 June 2004, Saddam Hussein, held in custody by US forces at the US base "Camp Cropper", along with 11 other senior Ba'athist leaders, were handed over legally to the interim Iraqi government to stand trial for crimes against humanity and other offences.

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5. Saddam Hussein was shown with a full beard and hair longer than his familiar appearance.

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6. Saddam Hussein was placed at the top of the "US list of most-wanted Iraqis".

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7. Saddam Hussein was last seen in a video which purported to show him in the Baghdad suburbs surrounded by supporters.

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8. Saddam Hussein expressed a wish to have a live televised debate with George W Bush, which was declined.

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9. Saddam Hussein commissioned the production of a "Blood Qur'an", written using 27 litres of his own blood, to thank God for saving him from various dangers and conspiracies.

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10. Saddam Hussein might be wrong, but it is not America who should correct him.

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11. Saddam Hussein publicly claimed victory at the end of the war.

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12. Saddam Hussein complained to the US State Department that Kuwait had slant drilled oil out of wells that Iraq considered to be within its disputed border with Kuwait.

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13. Saddam Hussein borrowed tens of billions of dollars from other Arab states and a few billions from elsewhere during the 1980s to fight Iran, mainly to prevent the expansion of Shi'a radicalism.

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14. Saddam Hussein feared that radical Islamic ideas—hostile to his secular rule—were rapidly spreading inside his country among the majority Shi'ite population.

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15. Saddam Hussein initiated Iraq's nuclear enrichment project in the 1980s, with French assistance.

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16. In 1975 Saddam Hussein negotiated an accord with Iran that contained Iraqi concessions on border disputes.

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17. Saddam Hussein made a state visit to France in 1975, cementing close ties with some French business and ruling political circles.

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18. In foreign affairs, Saddam Hussein sought to have Iraq play a leading role in the Middle East.

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19. Saddam Hussein rarely left Iraq, Tariq Aziz, one of Saddam's aides, traveled abroad extensively and represented Iraq at many diplomatic meetings.

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20. In 1991 Saddam Hussein threatened to expose those who had taken largesse from him: "From Mr Chirac to Mr Chevenement, politicians and economic leaders were in open competition to spend time with us and flatter us.

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21. Saddam Hussein enjoyed a close relationship with Russian intelligence agent Yevgeny Primakov that dated back to the 1960s; Primakov may have helped Saddam to stay in power in 1991.

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22. Saddam Hussein conducted two show elections, in 1995 and 2002.

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23. Saddam Hussein had thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals erected in his honor all over Iraq.

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24. Saddam Hussein convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders on 22 July 1979.

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25. Saddam Hussein was notable for using terror against his own people.

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26. Saddam Hussein forced the ailing al-Bakr to resign on 16 July 1979, and formally assumed the presidency.

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27. Saddam Hussein slowly began to consolidate his power over Iraq's government and the Ba'ath party.

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28. Saddam Hussein was the de facto leader of Iraq some years before he formally came to power in 1979.

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29. Saddam Hussein focused on fostering loyalty to the Ba'athists in the rural areas.

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30. In 1972, Saddam Hussein signed a 15-year Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with the Soviet Union.

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31. In July 1968, Saddam Hussein participated in a bloodless coup led by Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr that overthrew Abdul Rahman Arif, Salam Arif's brother and successor.

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32. In September 1966, Saddam Hussein initiated an extraordinary challenge to Syrian domination of the Ba'ath Party in response to the Marxist takeover of the Syrian Ba'ath earlier that year, resulting in the Party's formalized split into two separate factions.

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33. Saddam Hussein was elected to the Regional Command, as the story goes, with help from Michel Aflaq—the founder of Ba'athist thought.

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34. Saddam Hussein was arrested in October 1964 and served approximately two years in prison before escaping in 1966.

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35. Saddam Hussein moved from Syria to Egypt itself in February 1960, and he continued to live there until 1963, graduating from high school in 1961 and unsuccessfully pursuing a law degree.

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36. In 1958, a year after Saddam Hussein had joined the Ba'ath party, army officers led by General Abd al-Karim Qasim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq in the 14 July Revolution.

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37. Saddam Hussein formally rose to power in 1979, although he had already been the de facto head of Iraq for several years.

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