Iraq is a important state with a very ancient civilisation. Over the centuries Iraq lost itsindependent entity and became by the fifties of the last century a vassal of the United States. A revolution led by Lt General Kasem in 1958 destroyed the American dream and the entire pro-westmonarchy was wiped out.
Kasem was killed in 1963 and the Bath party, basically a Sunni outfit seized power.The leader of this party who rose later,named Saddam Hussein seized power and ushered in a bloody dictatorship.
Saddam was a ruthless man, but he consolidated his rule in Iraq. Positively he broke ranks with hard line extremist organisations and charted an independent course.
Saddam and America
The United was in a cosy relationship with Saddam. They encouraged him to wage a war against Iran. But Saddam was checkmated by Iran and soon realised he had been led up the garden path. He became increasingly nationalist and this was not to the liking of Uncle Sam.
The Americans gave him a tacit approval to invade Kuwait. Once Iraq occupied Kuwait the Americans turned on him and the first Gulf war took place. Saddam was defeated and sued for peace. He accepted all the conditions imposed by the West.
Saddam and Islamic Extremists
One plus point which the Americans never appreciated was Saddam's crackdown on extremist Islamic policyexponents like All Qaeda. He hanged scores of them as he was a progressive and did not believe in the Sharia. He also followed secular policy and his foreign minister was a Christian. He also supported India on Kashmir and thus antagonised the entire Muslim world.
Saddam was a bulwark against extremist Islam. As he was Sunni , a Shia dominated Iran wanted to see his back, but Saddam held on.
Ousting of Saddam and Opening of Pandora's box.
George Bush became President of USA. He manufactured false evidence that Saddam was manufacturing WMD. By an insidious propaganda trick he and his accomplice the British PM propagated that Saddam had to removed as he was a danger to world peace.
Whatever Bush and his accomplice had stated was a bunch of lies. But it gave him an excuse to attack Iraq. Bush in real terms lacked the quality of a great statesman as he could not visualise the effect of the removal of Saddam . In this he let the USA down and he thought he had "won". But it was a victory that was to like a bone in the American throat. It allowed the extremist ISIl to rise and the world knows what is happening.