Trial against Iraq's former dictator Saddam Hussein has finally started up again, and the world community welcomes the fact that the despot will eventually have to deal with his crimes. However, there is one pressing question that is likely to be kept far away from the agenda in the flora of Western commentary on the subject; should Hussein have joined the prosecution bench of both US and European heads of state?
Although the George W. Bush administration, in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, presented the crimes of Saddam Hussein's regime in a historical vacuum with no room for nuance or historical reflection, it may be instructive to take a brief (but sincere) look back at how the "monster" Saddam came to power: US authorities, through the CIA, were directly involved in the coup that overthrew Abdul Karim Qasim's government in 1963. U.S. intelligence provided the Iraqi insurgents, who included Saddam Hussein himself, with a list of Communists, left-wing intellectuals, radical nationalists, and other potentially troublesome people who should be liquidated. The ensuing massacre killed around 5000 people and brought the Ba'ath party to power. Throughout the 70s, there were still some tensions in the relationship between the United States and Iraq, when Iraq, among other things, signed a friendship pact. . .
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