Saddam Hussein : The Father of ISIS in Iraq

Pro-Soviet Iraqi socialists gained power in Iraq in 1958. They killed the pro-British King of Iraq, and established a socialist dictatorship, moving Iraq in the Soviet zone of influence. At the time the Soviets were not selling oil to the West and they did not see Iraq as a competitor.

As soon as the Iraqi socialists came to power, they started claiming parts of the Iranian province of Khuzestan. Khuzestan is located at the southern Iranian-Iraqi borders, and it is one of the richest in oil regions of Iran. The Iraqis based their claims on the fact that there are many Arabs living in Khuzestan. As a result the Iraqi socialists opened straight away a rivalry with the Iranians, a rivalry that would be culminated with the bloody Iranian-Iraqi war of 1980-1988.

Map of Khuzestan

Map of Khuzestan.JPG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khuzestan_Province#/media/File:Locator_map_Iran_Khuzestan_Province.png

Map of Oil (black) and Natural Gas (red) Reserves of the Middle East

Map of Oil and Gas Reserves.JPG

Another great problem between the Iraqis and the Iranians is the Shatt al-Arab River, which is the confluence of Tiger and Euphrates, and constitutes the border between Iran and Iraq at the south.

Map Shatt al-Arab River

Shatt al Arab.JPG

http://www1.american.edu/ted/images3/iraq-150.gif

Saddam Hussein was a strong member of the socialist Baath Party, and managed to rise to power in 1979. It was the period when the previous President of Iraq, Hassan al-Bakr, was discussing with the socialist President of Syria, Hafez al-Assad, the possibility of uniting Syria and Iraq, so that the Iraqis could send their oil to the Europe through Syria, and the Syrians would earn commissions.

Saddam Hussein was afraid that the powerful Hafez al-Assad would be in charge of the new country, and threatened and forced Hassan al Bakr to resign, and he became the President of Iraq in 1979. Saddam Hussein and Hafez al-Assad continued the negotiations, but they did not reach a final agreement, because the Iraqis wanted the Iraqi army in Syria, and the Syrians did not want that.

I have to say that the Assad-Hussein plan of the 70s was a humble imitation of Gamal Nasser’s plan in the 60s. Gamal Nasser, the socialist leader of Egypt, wanted Egypt to conquer Israel and Syria to conquer Lebanon, in order to unite the coasts of East Mediterranean Sea, which would allow Egypt and Syria to earn big commissions from the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, in order to allow them to export their oil to Europe. That’s why relations between Egypt and Israel, and relations between Syria and Lebanon were so bad. To this very day Syria and Lebanon have not managed to fully normalize their relations, even though there is so much pressure on them by Iran. Iran now wants to export its oil through Syria and Lebanon.

Now Iran is Israel’s greatest enemy, but before the rise of the Islamists in power, the Israelis and the Iranians were the strongest allies. At the time there were always two wars ready to break out. One war between the Arabs on one side and the Iranians and the Israelis on the other, and one war between the Arabs of the East Mediterranean See (Egypt, Syria) on one hand, and the Arabs of the Persian Gulf on the other (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates etc).

The Israeli victory of 1967 in reality was a victory of the Iranians and the Israelis against the Arabs. At the time the Israelis and the Iranians wanted to construct the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline, which would send oil to Europe through Israel, avoiding the Suez Canal and Egypt. Gamal Nasser moved his army in the Sinai Peninsula, in order to block Israel from the Red Sea, but Israel attacked Egypt and won the war. The next year, in 1968, the Israelis and the Iranians established the Eilat-Ashkelon Company, with Israel holding 50% of the shares, and Iran holding the other 50%. See Wikipedia.

“Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company”

1st Paragraph

The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) operates several petroleum and petroleum productspipelines in Israel, most notably the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline. It also operates two oil terminal and depots in the country. The company was originally formed in 1968 as a 50/50% joint venture between Israel and Iran (during the Shah‘s rule) to transport crude oil from Iran to Europe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilat_Ashkelon_Pipeline_Company

Map Israel-Iran Eilat-Ashkelon

Map of Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeine.JPG

For more information about the intra-Arab war for oil see “The Intra-Arab War for Oil 1950-1970”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/the-intra-arab-oil-war-1950-1970/

Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, even though he was a socialist, he had to face domestically a much larger Shiite majority, which could also be influenced by Iran. Originally the Sunni Iraqi socialists were hoping that by using socialism in order to crash religion they would manage to homogenize the population. 60-65% of the Iraqi population are Shiite (Shia) Muslims, 20-25% are Sunni Muslims, and 10-15% are Kurds. Kurds are mainly Sunni Muslims. See “Iraq Demographic Profile”.

http://www.indexmundi.com/iraq/demographics_profile.html

At the following map you can see with green the Shiite regions, with pink the Sunni regions, and with brown the Kurdish ones.

Map Iraq : Shiite Arabs (green), Sunni Arabs (pink), Sunni Kurds (brown)

Map of Sunnis and Shias of Iraq

The Iraqi socialists found out that the socialist model was not working as well as expected, and they started using Sunni Islamism too, in order to counter weight the Shiite element of Iraq, and also to unite the Sunni element of the country. For the use of Islamism by Saddam Hussein see the Telegraph “Saddam has Koran written in his blood”, December 2002, and the New York Times “How Saddam Hussein Gave Us ISIS”, January 2016.

Saddam Hussein used what the New York Times call “Baathi-Salafism” i.e. a combination of socialism and Islamism. Saddam even introduced parts of the Islamic Law (Sharia) i.e. hands were cut-off from thieves, homosexuals were thrown from tall buildings etc. Moreover, due to the economic sanctions that were imposed on Saddam Hussein by the West, Saddam developed a sophisticated smuggling network, in order to send Iraqi oil to neighboring countries. This network was based to many mosques that were used as intermediaries. Today the ISIS of Iraq is using the same networks that were built by Saddam Hussein. See New York Times How Saddam Hussein Gave Us ISIS”, January 2016.

Therefore the Sunni Islamists of Iraq, who are today supported either by Turkey or by the Arabs of the Persian Gulf, are mainly the Islamists who were trained by Saddam Hussein. Especially after the Gulf War of 1991, when Saddam was defeated by the West, and his army was greatly weakened, and the Shiites and the Kurds revolted, Saddam Hussein used even more radicalized forms of Islam. For the Shiite uprisings of Iraq see BBC “Flashback: the 1991 Iraqi revolt”, August 2007.

Therefore the Sunni Islamist militants supported by Turkey and the Arabs in Iraq today are ex allies of Saddam Hussein, and most of the time they use the same smuggling networks that were used by Saddam Hussein, in order to sell Iraqi oil to neighboring countries. I suggest you read the New York Times article “How Saddam Hussein Gave Us ISIS”, January 2016.

Articles

“How Saddam Hussein Gave Us ISIS”, January 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/23/opinion/how-saddam-hussein-gave-us-isis.html

“Flashback: the 1991 Iraqi revolt”, August 2007

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2888989.stm

“Saddam has Koran written in his blood”, December 2002

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/1416155/Saddam-has-Koran-written-in-his-blood.html

“Iraq–Syria relations”

5th, 6th , 7th Paragraphs

By October 1978, Iraq President, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr began working closely with Assad to foil the Camp David Accords; signing in Baghdad a charter for Joint National Action which provided for the “closest form of unity ties” including “complete military unity” as well as “economic, political and cultural unification”.[3]

In 1978 Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr and Hafez al-Assad, had agreed to a plan and started to make treaties that would lead to the unification of Iraq and Syria. This plan was to come into effect in July 1979, however Saddam Hussein, the Deputy Secretary of the Iraqi Ba’ath Party, fearful of losing his power to Assad (who was supposed to become the deputy leader in the new union), forced al-Bakr into retirement under threat of violence.[4][5]

Unity talks did continue between Assad and Hussein after July 1979, but Assad rejected Iraqi demands for a full merger between the two states and for the immediate deployment of Iraq troops into Syria. Instead Assad, perhaps fearful of Iraqi domination and a new war with Israel, advocated a step-by-step approach. The unity talks were eventually suspended indefinitely after an alleged discovery of a Syrian plot to overthrow Saddam Hussein in November 1979.[

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq%E2%80%93Syria_relations

“Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company”

1st Paragraph

The Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC) operates several petroleum and petroleum productspipelines in Israel, most notably the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline. It also operates two oil terminal and depots in the country. The company was originally formed in 1968 as a 50/50% joint venture between Israel and Iran (during the Shah‘s rule) to transport crude oil from Iran to Europe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eilat_Ashkelon_Pipeline_Company

“The Truth About the US Invasion of Iraq in 2003”

https://iakal.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/the-truth-about-the-us-invasion-of-iraq-in-2003/

6 thoughts on “Saddam Hussein : The Father of ISIS in Iraq”

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