Saturday, December 30, 2006

World Affairs - Saddam Execution - Death of a Dictator

Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging this morning. It marks the end of 3 decades of violent rule by a leader who ruled Iraq by fear. A short profile of the former Iraqi leader by BBC can be found here.

He brought Iraq to the brink of bankruptcy through an 8 year war with Iran from 1980-1988 and invaded Kuwait in 1990. The war with Iran ended in a ceasefire and Iraq was evicted from Kuwait in a short campaign by a US led multinational force which decimated the Iraqi forces. However, in the usual self delusional state of a psychotic dictator, Saddam declared the Gulf War, which he described as the Mother of all Battles, as a victory for Iraq.

In March 2003 , 2 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the US and a coalition of nations invaded Iraq believing that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction. Within 2 months, most of Iraq was under coalition control and Saddam Hussein went into hiding.

In December 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured in a special operations conducted by the US 4th Infantry Division and Special Forces.

Although Iraq is far away from Singapore and we are far removed from the action. I do keep myself updated on the war in Iraq, having served in the Singapore Armed Forces as a citizen soldier and currently in the reserves. The war in Iraq is very much different from the conventional warfare of the past and the US Army has suffered losses to insurgents who conducts ambushes and hit & run raids and who can simply disappear into the general population. I am not sure how the US can exit from Iraq but my heart goes out to the brave soldiers of the US Armed Forces.

As reported by Global Security:
The number of US casualties are as follows:

US named dead: 2,939
US reported dead: 63
US wounded: 22,401

The demise of Saddam Hussein hopefully ends another violent chapter in the history of Iraq and provides some good news to end the year.

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