Saddam Hussein was born on 28th April 1937 in the village of al-Ouja near Takrit one hundred miles north of Baghdad. The modern version of his birth is that his father died before he was born - he was known as "the bastard" in his early village life.
His uncle, as is the Arabic custom sent his sister’s child to school with his own son. After a year the uncle Khairallah Tulfah moved to Baghdad – Saddam went there with the family.
When Hussein was about 19 years of age his uncle Khairallah sent him back to Takrit with a mission – to eliminate one of his uncle's troublesome neighbours. He carried a revolver he had had since he was ten years of age and he shot his first victim. This set the pattern for his future.
Having enrolled in the Law School of the Baghdad University around 1956 he joined the Ba’ath Party. He was recruited by Abdel Khalik Samarrai a clerk in the Baghdad municipality who took him under his wing and who he later repaid on 19th July 1979 by having him executed.
In 1958 he married his cousin Sagida daughter of his Uncle Khairallah. Saddam Hussein was chosen for the first hit team that tried to assassinate Abdul Karim Qassem in October 1959. He was to have given covering fire when the others had stopped the car in which Qassem was travelling and kill him Instead, in his excitement he opened fire with the others and then fled not waiting to see the result – which was failure. He was in exile in Syria and Egypt for the next three years.
In February 1963 Qassem was finally done to death and amongst the ringleaders was a relative of Saddam – one Hassan Al Bakr from Takrit. By March Saddam was back in Baghdad. He rose rapidly in the Ba'ath Party and at the age of 29 in 1966 he became Deputy Secretary General of the party – well placed for the part he was to play in the bloodless coup to power on 17th July 1968.
His relative Hassan al Bakr became President and Saddam was given the job of Party Boss in charge of the security system and the National Guard through which he established his reign of terror and brutality that obtains to this day.
He was thus in a position to take over at any time he chose. He bided his time. He eliminated all those he did not trust both enemies and friends.
Saddam Hussein is a megalomaniac and just as dangerous as was Hitler. The situation he has created and is rapidly consolidating in this stalemate over the 'pull back' from Kuwait is fraught with escalating danger exploding in all directions should he manage to create a Jihad (Holy War) amongst the Moslem nations.
The manoeuvring to get the hostages out from Kuwait and Iraq and the time needed to get the armies of the various nations to site in time required a date as late as 15th January. This time lag has allowed him to exploit the different factions. The peace mongers, the self-interest of many nations (e.g. France) and public opinion in the aligned nations have all contributed to his belief that the United Nations will not go to war.
Like all dictators who plaster their image over every available space and at every opportunity he is deluded into his own maniac belief he is always right.
He is briefed by "Yes" men – even his top aides dare not bring to his attention any thing controversial. His own cousin Adnan Khairallah dared to oppose him on a family matter – Saddam's lack of discretion over his mistress and more importantly his treatment of the Kurds. They both flew north on an inspection tour – in separate helicopters. The one carrying Adnan crashed due to "mechanical failure". No one considers themselves safe from him.
However, although Bush thinks Saddam has not yet been given the full and real message, Saddam can be pragmatic. Witness the settlement he made with Iran soon after the Kuwait debacle. He gave away his spoils of eight years of war with Iran.
It is my opinion he will play for time right up to the last minute. He will then confuse the issue by withdrawing – in part and slowly – hoping to get World opinion on his side. This will put Bush and the U.N. etc. in a difficult position. If he has started to withdraw and hostilities are opened up then the Holy War merchants can start their Jihad and begin the first step in the call for the removal of western influence in the Gulf.
The President of the United Nations can say to Saddam Hussein – "O.K. you withdraw and I/We promise we will discuss Palestine as soon as you are out of Kuwait". In other words the World backs down for the sake of immediate peace. Shades of 1939.
The United Nations can insist 15th January is the deadline and war starts. If he is not removed from Kuwait then the whole credence of the united world authority the U.N. is forever a shambles – as was the League of Nations before 1939.
If he is allowed to withdraw and keep his army and weaponry and all the chemical and bacteriological weapons and his almost completed atomic bomb, the situation is merely postponed for several years with untold mischief being carried out in the whole of the Middle Eastern area.
It is my belief that the forces now collected in the Gulf to carry out the United Nations resolutions will at the stroke of midnight on 15th January mount such a devastating attack on Iraq that the war will be over in three weeks.
How this will affect the future actions of the surrounding Moslem states I do not like to hazard.