CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA— Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein Monday afternoon in a press conference, calling the late Iraqi dictator a “bad guy, but the one thing about him: he killed terrorists.”
Hussein committed two separate genocides against his own countrymen, creating 6-digit casualty figures against men, women, and children in northern and southern Iraq.
“Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, but the one thing about him: he killed terrorists,” Trump said Monday.
“Now Iraq is Harvard for terrorism. You want to become a terrorist? You go to Iraq,” he added.
“Saddam Hussein understood and he killed terrorists,” Trump said.
— CNN (@CNN) February 15, 2016
Bad guy, but if the president and other people, and frankly, Obama is no better, because the way he got us out is a disaster. Look what’s happened since then. A disaster. Shouldn’t have been there. Shouldn’t have gotten out the way we got out. But if the president [George W. Bush] went to the beach, we would have been better off, believe me.
Human rights groups report that Saddam Hussein butchered between 250,000-500,000 people, mostly Kurds and Shias.
And the Iraqi dictator did not discriminate between men, women, and young children.
In his 1988 slaughter campaign against the Kurds of Northern Iraq, Hussein killed thousands through the use of chemical weapons and nerve agents. His forces then proceeded to demolish the Kurds’ infrastructure and starve the people living in the region.
In 1991, after failing to take over Kuwait, his forces committed massacres against Kurds in the country’s north, and Shiites in the south of Iraq. Human rights groups estimate that between 80,000-230,000 were killed by Saddam’s forces during a one-year time period.
Under Hussein, Ba’athist Iraq was one of the worst state-sponsors of terrorism in the world. The September 11 Commission Report found that Saddam Hussein provided a safe-haven and training ground for radical jihadi groups, and “used foreign terrorist groups as an instrument of foreign policy.”