This morning's piece on the "history" of Saddam Hussein presented by Mike Shuster is a dishonest charade of journalism - but as is often the case on NPR - not without a few choice bits of unintended irony (For instance, Shuster might as well be describing US foreign policy instead of Saddam Hussein's life when he says it "was permeated by violence – in wars, in coups successful and unsuccessful, in assassination, treachery and terrorism.")
NPR's audacity in broadcasting this misinformation is something to behold. Shuster mentions Hussein's attempt to assassinate Iraqi leader Qasim in 1959, but doesn't mention the CIA's active role in the affair. He talks about Hussein not being a "household" word until Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, but he doesn't mention is that Hussein was a much-favored household word in Reagan-Bush administrations that were very supportive of the dictator (and his lethal chemistry) throughout the 1980s. Shuster also fails to mention US ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie's green light given to Hussein for his "blitzkrieg" invasion of Kuwait. Shuster describes the inhuman post-Gulf War UN sanctions with their death toll of half a million Iraqi children (which even Madeline Albright endorsed and did not dispute) as nothing but "an international propaganda struggle." Shuster even has the gall to try and justify the Bush-Cheney campaign of lies leading to the US invasion of Iraq by blaming it on Hussein's intransigence.
For a remarkable contrast let me highly recommend Juan Cole's post today on Informed Comment that lays out a readable, documented, and cogent history of the US-Hussein dictatorship and the amazing slide show by Eric Blumrich at Bushflash.com (this link was also highlighted by Juan Cole).