As if he needed the controversy, Donald Trump stated at a campaign rally on Tuesday: “Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? … But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists. He did that so good.”
He heightened Saddam’s omitting of the terrorists’ “rights” and the lack of “talks”. But former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated back in 2003 that Saddam paid $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers, which among other claims, led him to be blacklisted as a sponsor of terrorism. Saddam Hussein was also known as a de facto oppressor, as he used poison gas to suppress thousands of protesters.
“Saddam Hussein throws a little gas, everyone goes crazy” he stated without any hesitation regarding the event carried out by Saddam that killed 5,000 Kurds in northern Iraq on March 1988.
A Republican candidate praising dictators
Many are concerned about the potential danger that Donald Trump poses if he were to be appointed the head of state. There are many delicate matters in the field of international politics, a topic that Trump has no experience in, unlike his Democratic adversary. Trump has striven for a position of segregation, by proposing the withdrawal of troops from other countries and the upfront negotiation with dictators, such as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.
“Even though it is a culture and it’s a cultural thing, he goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss. It’s incredible,” Trump commented on the North Korean supreme leader.
“I will leave it to the psychiatrists to explain his attraction to tyrants” stated Hillary Clinton in a speech concerning national security.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 6, 2016
Trump has also attacked Clinton regarding her vote in the Senate towards military actions against Gadhafi’s Libya. The GOP candidate says that terrorism would be much less concerning “if Gadhafi were in charge right now.” Libya is now attributed as the second most important of ISIS’ territories. Gadhafi was Libya’s supreme leader from 1969 up to 2011 when he was captured and killed by his own people.
Regarding Saddam, the Iraqi dictator invaded Kuwait, waged war with Iran, killed rival politicians and promoted terrorism against Israel. Besides, according to The Associated Press‘ reporters Calvin Woodward and Robert Burns, Saddam’s Baath party is the responsible of ISIS’ structure and capacity of becoming politically organized.
Trump’s argument of “dictators bring stability” is not completely invalid. In the 20th century, there have been military dictators from other countries that were considered allies to the U.S., but this was a position largely caused by the Cold War’s struggles for ideological supremacy. This explains why the U.S. initially supported Saddam in his fight against Iran, but then he was ousted by the Bush-led invasion of Iraq.
Donald Trump's praise for brutal dictators like Saddam Hussein knows no bounds. pic.twitter.com/5bvlO3rnI5
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 6, 2016
Donald Trump says that NATO is not capable of fighting terrorism and that if he were to become president, he would pressure the member nations to contribute more to international security. His claims have been publicly rejected by at least 70 experts in national security of the GOP through an open letter. They stressed that, even if they are in disagreement regarding a broad spectrum of national security issues, they all reject a Trump presidency.