From Partner to Villain: America's History with Saddam Hussein

Download Audio
photoAs the Bush administration continues to weigh its options in Iraq, more and more Washington officials are questioning the call to war.

But Saddam Hussein was not always locked in America's cross hairs. In the 1980s, Hussein was a partner to the US, when the US supported Hussein's Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. But just a few years later, the tides had turned. In the Gulf War, the US seriously considered taking out Hussein, but ultimately, decided not to.

How did Hussein move from US trusted partner, to symbol of evil? Did US foreign policy decades ago lay the foundations of today's conflict? What unintended consequences might have come from decisions made, over the past 20 years?

Tonight, On Point: the complicated relationship between Uncle Sam and Saddam Hussein.


Fawaz Gerges, Chair, International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and author of many books and articles, his new book is "The Islamists and the West: Ideology vs. Pragmatism"

Sandra Mackey, author "The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein" and "The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation"

This program aired on August 19, 2002.


More from On Point

Listen Live