A roundup of information on the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. This post is under construction; it will be updated continuously and will stay at the top of the page.
Saddam Hussein, 1937-2006: Iraqi dictator. Full name: Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti. (Alternate spelling: Sadam Hosein.) Born April 28, 1937; died December 30, 2006. Official title: President of Iraq. Unofficial title: The Butcher of Baghdad. Ruled 1979 - 2003. Saddam Hussein was responsible for atrocities against the Iraqi people. He was executed at dawn on December 30, 2006 (Iraqi time; the night of December 29 in North America).
Chronology. Compiled from various sources.
April 28, 1937 (official date): Born in Tikrit.
1957: Joins the Ba'ath Party.
July 16, 1979: Assumes power as president of Iraq.
September 22, 1980: Iraq invades Iran; beginning of the long and bloody Iran-Iraq war, formerly referred to as the "Gulf War" and known in Iraq as the Qadissiyyah (or Qadissiyyat Saddam).
1986-1989: Anfal campaign of genocide against Iraqi Kurds, headed by Saddam's cousin from Tikrit, Ali Hasan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali".
March 1988: Attack on Halabja.
August 20, 1988: End of the Iran-Iraq war.
August 2, 1990: Iraq invades Kuwait. Beginning of the (Second) Gulf War. United States and allies respond with Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm.
January 29, 1991: Iraqi forces attack Khafji, Saudi Arabia.
February 28, 1991: Cessation of hostilities declared; Gulf War effectively ends. Iraq accepts terms of cease-fire on April 6.
March 20, 2003: US-led forces invade Iraq in Operaton Iraqi Freedom.
April 9, 2003: Baghdad falls to US and Coalition forces.
December 13, 2003: Saddam Hussein is captured in a "spider-hole" at a farmhouse in ad-Dawr, near Tikrit.
November 5, 2006: Convicted in absentia of crimes against humanity for the mass killings at Dujail by the Special Tribunal; sentenced to death by hanging.
December 30, 2006: Executed.
Early career and rise to power. Wikipedia:
Saddam Hussein Kazmi (link to Arabic name information) was born in the town of Al-Awja, 13 kilometres (8 mi) from the Iraqi town of Tikrit in the Sunni Triangle, to a family of shepherds. His mother, Subha Tulfah al-Mussallat, named her newborn son "Saddam", which in Arabic means "One who confronts". He never knew his father, Hussein 'Abd al-Majid, who disappeared six months before Saddam was born. He was the son of Musa Al-Kazim, one of the Sunni Imams of the Ahlul Bait. Shortly afterward, Saddam's 13-year-old brother died of cancer, leaving his mother severely depressed in the final months of the pregnancy. The infant Saddam was sent to the family of his maternal uncle, Khairallah Talfah, until he was three.[From Elisabeth Bumiller's interview of Jerrold M. Grumpkin, the founder of the Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior at the CIA in the New York Times (15 May 2004) on the importance of events during Saddam Hussein's youth. It can be read online at History News Network. The interviewee's surname appears as Post in the HNN article. - aa]
The Ba'ath Party. Encyclopaedia Britannica:
Hussein joined the Ba'th Socialist Party in 1957. He participated in an unsuccessful attempt by Ba'thists to assassinate the Iraqi prime minister, Abdul Karim Kassem, and, wounded, escaped to Syria and then Egypt. There he attended Cairo Law School (1962-63) and continued his studies at Baghdad Law College after the Ba'thists took power in 1963. After the Ba'thists were overthrown that same year, Hussein spent several years in prison in Iraq. He again escaped, becoming a leader of the Ba'th party, and was instrumental to the coup that brought the party to power in 1968. Hussein then effectively held power in that country along with the head of state, President Ahmad Hassan al-Bakr. 
Hussein began to assert open control over the government in 1979, becoming president upon Bakr's resignation in that year. Hussein then became chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council and prime minister, among other positions. He used an extensive secret-police establishment to suppress any internal opposition to his rule, and made himself the object of an extensive personality cult among the Iraqi public. 
Controversy over Iraq War.
Open letter from Rania Kashi, 2003:
I am writing this email after a lot of deliberation about whether I have the right to argue the case for an invasion in Iraq. But in the end I have decided that if I keep quiet I have more to lose.
My parents, my family, are from Iraq. My parents fled from Iraq some twenty-three years ago leaving everything and everyone behind. At that point, seventeen of our relatives had been “disappeared” or imprisoned for no reason whatsoever.
They sought refuge in Kuwait for four years, but once again were forced to flee with us (my brother and I) when Saddam had the Kuwaitis deport the Iraqi men back to Iraq. On the border he had these returnees shot dead.
We were lucky; we made it safely to Britain. My father was lucky – his brother was caught trying to escape, and tortured. So here I am, nineteen years later, never having set foot in the country of my parents.
The anti-“war” feeling prevalent among most people I speak to seems to me totally misjudged and misplaced. (Incidentally, the quotation marks here are deliberate: in truth it will be no war, but an invasion. A war presumes relatively equal forces battling against each other, with resistance on both sides. A US-led force will encounter no resistance from the Iraqi people nor the army).
I have to be honest here and say that, to me, this feeling is based partly on a great misunderstanding of the situation in Iraq, and partly on people’s desire to seem “politically rebellious” against the big, bad Americans. ...
Full text at the link.
As war with Iraq draws closer, commentators, journalists, and policymakers frequently question whether the Iraqi people would really support the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But that question has already been answered. Although Americans remember the Gulf war, many do not realize that, for a few momentous days immediately after it, much of Iraq rose up in open rebellion against Saddam's regime. In fact, 15 out of 18 Iraqi provinces rebelled. I was one of the rebels.
For over a decade, I have stayed silent about what I saw. But now, as the world considers freeing Iraq from Saddam's rule, I feel compelled to bear witness to the last time Iraqis tried to liberate their country.
In February 1991, I was living with my grandparents in Karbala, a city of roughly 350,000 an hour southwest of Baghdad. The Gulf war was raging, and my family and I often listened to Voice of America for news free of Iraqi-government control. We heard President George H.W. Bush repeatedly assure us that if the Iraqi people rose up against Saddam, the United States stood ready to help them. "There's another way for the bloodshed to stop," Bush had said, "and that is for the Iraqi military and the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands and force Saddam Hussein, the dictator, to step aside." I was excited by Bush's words, but, after two decades of living under the brutal rule of Saddam's Baath Party, it was impossible for me to imagine we would ever be liberated. Even though millions of Iraqis dreamed of overthrowing Saddam, we were afraid to speak about it and doubted anyone would ever come to help us. I felt the world had abandoned us. ...
Full text at the link.
Fall from power, capture, and execution.
This section under construction.
Wikipedia has a photo of Samir, a 34-year-old Iraqi-American, pinning Saddam at the time of his capture in Operation Red Dawn.
Wikipedia: Operation Red Dawn.
Operation Red Dawn was a military operation conducted by the United States armed forces on December 13, 2003 in the small town of ad-Dawr in Iraq, near Tikrit. The operation resulted in the capture of the country's former president Saddam Hussein, and put to rest rumours of his death. The operation, and its two main objectives, were named for the 1984 film Red Dawn.
The operation was assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division, the Raider Brigade. 600 soldiers participated, including cavalry, engineers, artillery, air support, and special forces, under the overall command of Colonel James Hickey of the 4th Infantry Division. ...
His trial for the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Kurds was interrupted by his death. Palestinians esteem him for aiding Yasser Arafat and their war against Israel with generous grants to suicide killers and their families. In the first Gulf War in 1991, he fired 39 Scud missiles against Tel Aviv, although Israel did not take part in the war.
Iraq the Model, December 29, 2006: 'Meanwhile lots of updates are coming through news TV here; al-Arabiya reporter said the noose is already set in a yard in the IZ. Al-Hurra reported that preparations for the execution are underway and no delay is expected. ... -Bahaa' al-Aaraji, a Sadrist and member of the parliament's legal commission told al-Iraqiya TV that two execution sites have been prepared; one in the IZ and one in another location he wouldn't disclose. -Al-Aaraji told al-Iraqiya TV that the government is asking clerics whether it's allowed to carry out executions during religious holidays. He added that he expects Saddam to be executed no later than noon tomorrow.'
The Mesopotamian: 'But it must be admitted, that there is haste to execute Saddam for reasons other than simply justice and revenge; there are political considerations. The Government wants to get this over and done with as quickly as possible to forestall any unforeseen impediments, and in order not give his followers and supporters time to plan something. Besides, Saddam is still a symbol for some, and you may remember the demonstrations in Diala, Salahuldin and elsewhere brandishing his photos and shouting the famous slogan “with Souls, with Blood, we sacrifice our lives for you”. And then there is the so-called “Return Party”, which is a group of Baathist terrorists calling for the return of the Saddam regime under his leadership. Therefore, it is of political urgency to eliminate this symbol and put an end to any hopes and illusions of a return to the previous state of affairs. Due to the extreme personality cult that Saddam had cultivated, it would be difficult for "the enemy" to find a new convincing father figure. Also it is an act of defiance in the face of all the terrorists, the Bin Ladins & Co., the international chorus and etc. etc.; here we are stringing up your Saddam and you “can ride your highest horses” as the Iraqi proverb goes. We are not afraid of your car bombs, suicide bombers, I.E.D’s etc. etc.'
Wizbang clears up a point of grammar. 'I was delighted to know that Saddam Hussein was hanged. I have no interest whatsoever in knowing whether or not he was hung. They are NOT the same thing, people.'
In beginning of article, there is profanity that I can [not] edit out, because the page is closed to editing. Would someone with the ability to edit this page please remove the part in the beginning about him being a "PIECE OF S***" even though he really is. Unfortunately, it presents a bias point of view, even though it's just saying it like it is...
15:42, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Noting that Saddam was "pwned" is not necessarily vandalism...
CBC News: 'Saddam, who ruled Iraq with an iron grip for almost 25 years, was hanged in Baghdad around 6 a.m. local time Saturday (10 p.m. ET Friday) in Baghdad's Green Zone, according to state-run Iraqiya television. "Criminal Saddam was hanged to death," the report said. The station played patriotic music and showed images of national monuments and other landmarks. The station also quoted Iraqi security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie as saying Saddam "totally surrendered" and did not resist before being led to the gallows.'
Crimes against humanity.
Anfal campaign - Wikipedia:
The Anfal campaign began in 1986 and lasted until 1989, and was headed by Ali Hasan al-Majid, a cousin of the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The Anfal campaign included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, systematic destruction of settlements, mass deportation, concentration camps, firing squads, and the chemical warfare, which earned al-Majid the nickname of "Chemical Ali".
Thousands -- and most likely tens of thousands -- of civilians were killed during chemical and conventional bombardments stretching from the spring of 1987 through the fall of 1988. The attacks were part of a long-standing campaign that destroyed almost every Kurdish village in Iraq -- along with a centuries-old way of life -- and displaced at least a million of the country's estimated 3.5 million Kurdish population. [Human Rights Watch]
Independent sources estimate 50,000 to more than 100,000 deaths; the Kurds claim about 182,000 people were killed. Amnesty International collected the names of more than 17,000 people who had "disappeared" during 1988. [Amnesty International] The campaign has been characterized as genocidal in nature, notably before a court in The Hague. It is also characterized as gendercidal, because "battle-age" men were the primary targets, according to Human Rights Watch/Middle East (hereafter, HRW/ME).
Gateway Pundit reviews the highlights of Saddam's career.
Over 3,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed by Saddam Hussein duing his genocide campaign against the northern minority. (Academic.regis.edu)
... 148 Iraqis were murdered by the Saddam Regime including children in the village of Dujail, north of Baghdad, in 1982.
... Official Iraqi documents recovered after the fall of Saddam regime suggest a staggering 5 million executions were made during Baath era alone. Over 10 million were also imprisoned. They were all Shias save a small percentage of Kurds. It is also very interesting to note that after the 1991 Shia uprising over 300,000 were killed or captured never to be seen again, but there were no injured. (Brookes News)
... The Halabja Gas Attack March 15-19 1988: Estimates of casualties range from several hundred to 7,000 people.
... The Iraqis suffered an estimated 375,000 casualties in the Iran-Iraq War. (Iranatom)
... In southern Iraq entire populations of Marsh Arab and Shia Muslim villages were forcibly expelled.
Michael J. Totten, February 2004:
He waged a genocidal war against the Kurds of Northern Iraq. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International spent more than a decade interviewing witnesses, documenting atrocities, and counting the dead.
While Israel made the desert bloom, Saddam destroyed the marshes of Southern Iraq. It was part of a vicious ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Shi'ite Muslim Marsh Arabs who bitterly detested his rule. He dammed up the water and set the marshes ablaze with rockets and tanks. He didn't allegedly do this. The fire and smoke were seen from the space shuttle Endeavor.
From 2004 to 2005, I compiled a number of Iraq-related internet links at The Iraqi Holocaust. A number of the links on that site are out of date; the following links are current as of the time of this posting.
The Iraq Foundation. 'A major goal of the Iraq Foundation is to promote human rights in Iraq. The information below records incidents of state-sponsored human rights abuses based on reports from Iraqi and non-Iraqi sources.'
Mafqud.org has been designed in order to:
*Consolidate the documentation on enforced disappearances in Iraq into a unified resource which has been checked for consistency and redundancy and which therefore can accurately show that how wide-ranging these disappearances have been among Iraq’s various national, ethnic and religious groups,
*Make this documentation available on the Internet to all, and
*Allow Iraqis to document cases of disappearances they are aware of.
Indict. 'Bringing Iraqi war criminals to justice. INDICT wants to speak with those possessing useful information about the crimes of senior members of the Iraqi regime. Your confidentiality is assured.'
USAID: Mass graves. 'Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in May, 270 mass graves have been reported. By mid-January, 2004, the number of confirmed sites climbed to fifty-three. Some graves hold a few dozen bodies—their arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies.'
Mass graves - victims of Saddam's regime. Photo essay. Text in Arabic.
Online resources are linked. Where appropriate, citations within quoted text have been supplied.
 Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition (2003): "Hussein, Saddam", v. 6, p. 171.
 EB: "Iraq", v. 21, p. 972+.
 Bernard Lewis, The Middle East: A brief history of the last 2,000 years. Scribner, 1995.
 Kanan Makiya (aka Samir al-Khalil, pseud.), Cruelty and silence. Norton, 1993.