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As dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War in 1992. His downfall was a direct effect of the Iraq War, initiated by the U.S. in 2003. Hussein was executed in 2006.
Saddam Hussein was the president of Iraq for 24 years beginning in 1979. As leader of the Iraq he suppressed minorities and fought a war with Iran. He was captured by American forces during their invasion of Iraq in 2003 and executed.
A World War II veteran, George H.W. Bush served as Vice President for two terms before being elected President of the United States in 1988.
A short biography of George W. Bush who started out as governor of Texas in 1994 and then became president in 2000. From his handling of 9/11 to the Iraq War, Bush is considered one of the most polarizing presidents of the modern era.
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Saddam Hussein was born on April 28, 1937, in the village of Al-Awja in central Iraq. As a leading member of Iraq's Ba'athist party, Hussein modernized Iraqi life using money obtained in the seizure of oil fields to provide free education, health care and improve Iraqi infrastructure. He combined this with a repressive security apparatus to seize control of Iraq, and was eventually overthrown by a U.S.-led invasion when he was seen as a threat to U.S. interests in the region. Saddam fled,
initially eluding capture, but after an intense search he was found hiding in ad-Dawr, near Tikrit. He then stood trial for crimes against humanity, was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was hanged on December 30, 2006, at Camp Justice, an Iraqi base in Baghdad.
Saddam Hussein was born on April 28, 1937, in the village of Al-Awja in central Iraq. His father, who was a shepherd, disappeared several months before Saddam was born. A few months later, Saddam's older brother died of cancer. When Saddam was born, his mother, severely depressed by her oldest son's death and the disappearance of her husband, was unable to effectively care for Saddam, and at age 3 he was sent to Baghdad to live with his uncle, Khairallah Talfah. Years later, Saddam would return to Al-Awja to live with his mother, but after suffering abuse at the hand of his stepfather, he fled to Baghdad to again live with Talfah, a devout Sunni Muslim and ardent Arab nationalist whose politics would have a profound influence on the young Saddam.
After attending the nationalistic al-Karh Secondary School in Baghdad, in 1957, at age 20, Saddam joined the Ba'ath Party, whose ultimate ideological aim was the unity of Arab states in the Middle East. On October 7, 1959, Saddam and other members of the Ba-ath Party attempted to assassinate Iraq's then-president, Abd al-Karim Qasim, whose resistance to joining the nascent United Arab Republic and alliance with Iraq's communist party had put him at odds with the Ba'athists. During the assassination attempt, Qasim's chauffeur was killed, and Qasim was shot several times, but survived. Saddam was shot in the leg. Several of the would-be assassins were caught, tried and executed, but Saddam and several others managed to escape to Syria, where Saddam stayed briefly before fleeing to Egypt, where he attended law school.
In 1963, when Qasim's government was overthrown in the so-called Ramadan Revolution, Saddam returned to Iraq, but he was arrested the following year as the result of in-fighting in the Ba'ath Party. While in prison, however, he remained involved in politics, and in 1966 was appointed deputy secretary of the Regional Command. Shortly thereafter he managed to escape prison, and in the years that followed, continued to strengthen his political power.
In 1968, Saddam participated in a bloodless but successful Ba'athist coup that resulted in Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr becoming Iraq's president and Saddam his deputy. During al-Bakr’s presidency, Saddam proved himself to be an effective and progressive politician, albeit a decidedly ruthless one.
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