Iraq’s history is one of both prosperity and violence, and dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia. While dominated by a variety of civilizations, the region enjoyed a relatively stable society. Since the birth of Islam, the religion has been the dominant cultural belief of the region, and has made its way into the laws and ruling of the region. (InDepth Info, 2010)
At the end of World War I, the British Empire took control of the land, and imposed a monarchy on the region. However, in 1932 the British mandate came to an end, and the Iraqi people came in control of their newly independent country. Led by a series of kings, the country remained sufficiently stable and thrived off of discovered oil in the country. However, due to increased political oppression, a group known as “Free Officers” overthrew the monarchy and instituted a republic government on the land. (Iraq Foreign Policy, Brittanica, 2010)
Pre-invasion Iraq reflected the views and policies of its leader, Saddam Hussein, who made his first political appearance as a supporter of the Ba’ath Party. He was jailed in 1967 for this, and after his escape quickly rose to power within the faction. (Saddam Hussein Biography, 2008) Saddam became known for his political talent and progressiveness, and soon became a popular politician. After working on extensive unification and expansion efforts for the Ba’athists, the man rose to vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council. Faced with a tremendous amount of religious, racial, social and economic divisions, Saddam launched a campaign of total control to bring about stability.
Ever the shrewd leader, Hussein realized that the primary way to ensure stability was to increase the standard of living. The first step in this process was the modernization of Iraqi industry, followed by a gradual ingratiation of the Ba’ath regime into every level of society to prevent unrest. This process allowed Hussein to expand the government’s role in the 1970’s, until state-sponsored compulsory education, literacy programs, and free hospitalization to everyone were possible. (Saddam Hussein Biography, 2008 Furthermore, Iraq’s public healthcare system was so impressive and superior to other Middle Eastern healthcare systems that Saddam Hussein was given an award by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Over the next decade, Saddam worked tirelessly to bring wealth and reform to the peasantry of his country and was met with resounding success. In a few short years, Hussein had managed to establish farming cooperatives that trained unskilled workers and helped the agricultural industry boom. Iraq became such a booming center for expansion that over two million workers from neighboring countries crossed the border to fill in for labor shortages. (U.S. army nurse reveals hidden side of Hussein, 2009)
After assuming official control of the government in 1979, the newly-appointed President Hussein went on to...