Saddam Hussein was the fifth President of Iraq, serving from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. He was widely condemned for the brutality of his dictatorship. Saddam was notable for terror against his own people. The Economist described Saddam as "one of the last of the 20th century's great dictators, but not the least in terms of egotism, or cruelty, or morbid will to power".
Saddam was a leading member of the revolutionary Ba'ath Party, which espoused a mix of Arab nationalism and Arab socialism. He played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought the party to long-term power of Iraq. In 1976, Saddam rose to the position of general in the Iraqi armed forces, and rapidly became the strongman of the government. As the ailing, elderly president al-Bakr became unable to execute his duties, Saddam became the de facto leader of Iraq some years before he formally came to power in 1979.
Saddam created security forces through which he tightly controlled the armed forces. He nationalized oil and other industries. The state-owned banks were put under his control. Positions of power in the country were filled with his Sunnis, a minority that made up only a fifth of the population. He soon accumulated a powerful circle of support within the party. On 16 July 1979, Saddam forced the president to resign, and formally assumed the presidency. By 1 August 1979, hundreds of high-ranking Ba'ath party members of questionable loyalty had been executed.
Beginning in 1986, Saddam began his genocidal campaigns against the ethnic populations of Northern Iraq, including Kurds, Shabaks, Yazidis, Assyrians, Turkomans and Mandeans people living in Iraqi Kurdistan. Later insurrections in the South were met with similar tactics. The New York Times described in its obituary how Saddam "murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead. His seizure of Kuwait threw the Middle East into crisis. More insidious, arguably, was the psychological damage he inflicted on his own land. Hussein created a nation of informants...” On December 30, 2006, Hussein was executed for his crimes.
Data: Coins issued by the Republic of Iraq - with images of date-palm s: KM125a(U) 5 Fils - stainless steel; 22 mm; 3.9 g; issued 1971-1981 KM127(U) 25Fils - copper nickel; 20 mm; 2.8 g; issued 1969-1981
Banknotes issued beginning in 1986 – P-80(U) 5 dinars; 157 x 80mm;; Hammurabi / sun-god Shamash; Tomb of the unknown soldier; issued 1992 P-73(AU) 25 dinars; 177 x 81mm; Saddam’s portrait / horses; City-gate / Martyr’s monument; issued 1986 P-83(U) 50 dinars; 174 x 81mm; Saddam’s portrait / monument and statuette; Aljahad Bridge; issued 1994 P-84(U) 100 dinars; 177 x 86mm; Saddam’s portrait / Al-Ukhether castle; Baghdad clock; issued 1994 P-86(U) 25 dinars; 158 x 68mm; Saddam’s portrait; Ishtar Gate and Lion of Babylon; issued 2001 P-88(U) 250 dinars; 155 x 68mm; Saddam’s portrait; Dome of the Rock; issued 2002 P-89(U) 10,000 dinars; 156 x 69mm; Saddam’s portrait / Tomb of unknown soldier; Al-Mustansiriyah Univ. / Astrolabe; issued 2002
Album open measures: 11” x 7.5” Album folded measures: 5.5” x 7.5”
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