Saddam, frustrated step-son of a sadistic peasant, was the deputy of the Iraqi president, number two in a revolutionary regime that modernized the former British-protected kingdom. When his faction of the ruling Baath Party opposes the president's plan for a union with neighbor Syria, Saddam is able to seize power, and immediately proceeds to unprecedented purges, practicing blatant nepotism -especially Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti as security chief- and a reign of terror based on waves of executions of the 'guilty', the lukewarm and some others thrown in for good measure, so as to instill utter fear and devotion to his absolutist person. Furthermore, he decides the threat of Islamic fundamentalism -of the Shiah branch, majority in Iraq- personified by Iran's revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini must be controlled before it's too late, even if that requires war, for which the West, especially America, will eagerly provide arms and other support.
Did You Know?
I know a traitor before he knows himself.