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9 Lives. The Many Uses of Saddam Hussein by Timothy McGettigan, Ph.D. Department of Sociology Colorado State University – Pueblo Timothy.McGettigan@colostate-pueblo.edu. The 1980s. Our boy Saddam slugs it out with Iran. He’s a Hero!. Actually, Saddam is kind of creepy.

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9 lives
9 Lives

The Many Uses of

Saddam Hussein


Timothy McGettigan, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology

Colorado State University – Pueblo


the 1980s
The 1980s

Our boy Saddam slugs it out with Iran.

Actually, Saddam is kind of creepy.

He murders Kurds, tortures and terrorizes his own citizens, and brutally attacks his neighbors.

but he s a strong steady ally in a volatile region
But he’s a strong, steady ally in a volatile region.

So, we give him benefit of the doubt.

Even going so far as forgiving Iraq for firing two “friendly” Exocet missiles at the USS Stark (killing 37 US sailors).
after all saddam was our friend
After all, Saddam was our friend.

He was one of the good guys

so it was during the iran iraq war 1980 1988
So it was during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

However, on August 2, 1990, Saddam Hussein made a fatal mistake.

Hussein invaded Kuwait.

our boy was behaving erratically
Our boy was behaving erratically.

Saddam was murdering Kurds, torturing and terrorizing his own citizens, invading his neighbors…

Admittedly, those were our hero’s primary forms of recreation throughout the 1980s.

But in 1990 our hero changed.

well sort of
Well, sort of

Hussein remained in power.

Poppy succeeded in expelling Hussein from Kuwait while simultaneously winning a huge, albeit short-lived, PR victory at home.

You can’t win ‘em all.




Or can you?

for the balance of the 1990s conflict between the us and iraq was ongoing but low intensity
For the balance of the 1990s, conflict between the US and Iraq was ongoing, but low-intensity.

Having trounced Iraq during Desert Storm, the US viewed Saddam as little more than a malingering second-rate nuisance.

amidst the exuberance of the 1990s saddam became an afterthought
Amidst the exuberance of the 1990s Saddam became an afterthought.

Clinton had other fish to fry.

Leaving aside (for the moment) Paul O’Neill’s rather serious allegations, following 9/11/01 the US was once again gunning for Saddam.

Nevertheless, the Bush Administration’s

focus soon returned to Saddam.

It would take some

doing, but the Bush

Administration was

determined to

rekindle US fear and

hatred of…

The Ace of Spades

The US may have lacked verifiable “evidence” of a connection between Saddam and 9/11.
we knew saddam was our man
We knew Saddam was our man.

He was obviously a monster.

All you had to do was look at him.

There was guilt in his eyes.

just like all those lilly livered protestors
Just like all those lilly-livered protestors.

Who in their right

mind would stick

up forSaddam!?

What kind of sick world is this???

Good for nothing


True, US interests stood to benefit handsomely even if Saddam lacked a direct connection to al Qaeda.

W also stood to

gain by knocking

off Saddam.

Also, focusing on the mano a mano face off between W and Saddam would help de-emphasize another nagging mystery…
In its turbid aftermath, people were quick to forget the ‘real’ reason for fighting the war.
unfinished family business
Unfinished family business

This one’s for you, Poppy.

the bushes knew saddam was a bad egg
The Bushes knew Saddam was a bad egg.

And they were tough enough to go after him.

Regardless of public opinion.

they dug that rat out of his stinking hole
They dug that rat out of his stinking hole…

But not quite yet. In politics, timing is everything.

…and, wow, is he going to get it.

nevertheless thanks to our conquering hero
Nevertheless, thanks to our conquering hero:

1. All of our problems are solved.

2. Peace reigns.

3. And the world is, once again, safe for democracy.

uh oh
Uh oh!!

This looks like trouble…

never fear
Never fear.

You can rely on our War Time Presidentto lash out swiftly, certainly, and lethally to crush any villainous threat that might get in the way…