Here is a little background on Saddam Hussein that you probably won't find in the Sunday paper anytime soon:
Saddam's move to gas the Kurds is a great talking point for some U.S. propagandists who gleefully note that the "Butcher of Baghdad" has "gassed his own people." The Kurds were poisoned mostly with Mustard Gas, which blisters the skin and lungs, as well as Nerve Agents and good old-fashioned cyanide.The moral to the story? It is this: it doesn't matter if you play nice with the Reagan/ Bush/ Republican/ Neocon/ Conservative/ Dominionist/ Rovian/ Whatever the hell they are marketing themselves as these days. In the end, they will kill you to death without a moment's hesitation.
The downside to the whole "gassing his own people" angle is, of course, that the United States under President Ronald Reagan was actively supporting Iraq with logistical and military assistance at the time, in one of those little "proxy wars" with the Soviets that always turned out so well.
In the late 1980s, Reagan dispatched a very special envoy to the Middle East, one Donald Rumsfeld, who wined and dined Saddam even as the dictator was slicing and dicing the Kurds. Rumsfeld claims he warned Saddam about those bad old chemical weapons at the time, but the warning somehow got lost between his uttering it and the notes he submitted to the State Department describing the meeting.
U.S. companies were recruited and encouraged, both covertly and overtly, to ship poisonous chemicals and biological agents to Iraq, by the administrations of both Reagan and George Bush Sr., according to the Washington Post and numerous other reports. The CIA also followed up on these efforts with various military and intelligence assists.
U.S. care packages to Saddam included sample strains of anthrax and bubonic plague, which must have seemed like a really fucking great idea to someone at the time. With U.S. assistance and on its own initiative, Iraq also reportedly developed new and improved toxins, such as ricin and sarin gas.
By the way, Saddam is alleged to have killed 300,000 poeple over 35 years, I think. the Bush administration is alleged to have killed 650,000 people over three years. So, not only will he be executed, he'll die knowing that he's only half as lethal as we are.