Into the Era of Saddam



In the fourteenth century the Mongol hordes of Tamerlane swept across Mesopotamia, destroying cities and slaughtering entire populations. In 1394, at the small town of Tikrit on the Tigris river, a hundred miles north of Baghdad, the Mongols erected a memorial pyramid with the skulls of their slaughtered victims.1 The fortress of Tikrit — Edward Gibbon’s ‘impregnable fortress of independent Arabs’2 — had fallen to the invaders, but the reputation of the town lived on. Here it was that Saladin was born in 1138. Here it was, some eight centuries later, that Saddam Hussein was born.


Party Member Chemical Weapon North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Coup Attempt Iraqi Government 
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© Geoff Simons 1994

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