Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (28 April 1937 30 December 2006) was the fifth president of Iraq, from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003. Leading member of the Ba'ath Party, a revolutionary group that espouses a mix of Arab socialism and Arab nationalism. Long before Saddam, Iraq had been split along social, ethnic, religious, and economic fault lines: Sunni versus Shi'ite, Arab versus Kurd, tribal chief versus urban merchant, and nomad versus peasant. When Saddam came to power, he worked on fixing it and modernizing Iraq. Unfortunately, he was a believer in the Josef Stalin School of Fixing and Modernizing Backward Countries: being as brutal as possible.
Over the next three decades, Saddam would proceed to modernize the Iraqi economy and grant more rights to women, but also order brutal persecution against ethnic minorities, particularly against the Kurds, who were murdered by the hundreds of thousands with chemical weapons during events such as the Al-Anfal campaign (making him the first dictator after Adolf Hitler to have committed genocide using poison gas), as well as locking Iraq under a horrific era of immense repression, extrajudicial killings and persistent human rights violations. Also famous for launching the IranIraq War, which resulted in over a million deaths due to Hussein's ambitions to take over Iran, and the 1991 Gulf War, where Iraq basically fought half the world. He was executed in 2006 by the new Iraqi government following a US and British invasion of Iraq.
It is common for conservative U.S. politicians, both when he was alive and long after his execution, to mis-pronounce "Saddam" as if it was a homophone of "Sodom" (It is not).
Appears in the following works:
- He is the Big Bad of Jeffrey Archer's 1993 novel Honour Among Thieves, where he enacts a plan to steal and publicly destroy the American Declaration of Independence. He has some intimidating presence and doesn't speak often, but he doesn't appear that much.
- Appears in the Frederick Forsyth novel The Fist of God, which deals with Iraq's weapons program during the First Gulf War.
- A recurring villain in South Park who usually tries to take over Canada. He is also Satan's abusive gay boyfriend.
- Appears (via edited stock footage) in the first-season JAG episode "Scimitar".
- In "De Bibberballon" Nero and Adhemar fly over Iraq in their rocket ship. Nero asks Adhemar to fly close to Saddam, as he "wants to take a good look at him." When they do he drops a fridge box on Saddam's head.
- In "De Gouden Hemelkijker" Nero has to fulfill three tasks, one of them kicking Saddam in the butt, for which he and his son Adhemar fly all the way over to Iraq to do so.
- An over-the-top caricature of Saddam is the main villain in Hot Shots! Part Deux, despite being killed by an air strike at the end of the previous movie.
- He is the Villain Protagonist of the 2008 biographical miniseries House of Saddam.
- The Simpsons:
- Bart and Lisa beat him up in "Treehouse Of Horror X".
- Krusty's girlfriend had to kill him in Iraq during Desert Storm in the episode "Insane Clown Poppy", but Krusty prevented this from happening, because "he's half of my stand-up comedy act".
- In "The Ziff Who Came To Dinner" while investigating a noise in the attic, Homer Simpson finds an old copy of Newsweek with a cover story titled "Why America Loves Saddam Hussein".
- He's a supporting character in The Devil's Double, which centers around his Ax-Crazy oldest son Uday's body double.
- Appears in the Action 52 game titled Storm Over the Desert in which his name is changed to "Satan Hosain", dies in one hit, and gives extra lives when being driven over.
- The musical dream sequence in The Big Lebowski features Saddam as the attendant at a bowling alley.