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WSJ on Trump Claim: Saddam Hussein Supported Terrorists, Not Fought Them

Image: WSJ on Trump Claim: Saddam Hussein Supported Terrorists, Not Fought Them
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Friday, 08 Jul 2016 01:49 PM

Donald Trump's recent statements about former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein served to make a point, but they were incorrect, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

Speaking at a campaign event in Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 6, CNN reported the likely Republican presidential nominee said, "Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, right? He was a bad guy, a really bad guy. But you know what he did well? He killed terrorists."

"He did that so good. They didn't read them the rights. They didn't talk. They were a terrorist? It was over," Trump added.

The Journal analysis said Trump's description sounded like Hussein was a crusader against terrorists, but the dictator actually supported them. The billionaire developer's point appeared to be that Hussein maintained tight control over terrorists, which is believed to be true, according to the Journal.

Hussein allowed Iraq to be headquarters for some terror groups during his time as leader. He provided "bases, training camps, and other support" to terror groups, according to a 2003 study.

Trump sheltered Abu Abbas, who was involved in the hijacking of the Achille Lauro ship in 1985. Terror leader Abu Nidal operated from Iraq, and Hussein supported the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, an anti-Israel Palestinian group, for years.

Trump's comments had an element of truth, according to the Journal's analysis. Hussein was ruthless against anyone who threatened his authority, including terror groups. Abu Nidal died mysteriously while he was in Iraq, and it's suspected that he was murdered by the regime.

Saddam kept tight control over his region and struck down any instability. Now that Hussein and other strongmen are no longer in power, the analysis points out that those regions are more volatile.

CNN's national security analyst Peter Bergen wrote that Trump appeared to believe the writings of philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who said that a dictator was better than "the war of all against all."

The Intercept reported that Trump was critical of Hussein in 1990, when the real estate mogul was having financial difficulty with his Taj Mahal casino hotel.

"Nobody projected that oil prices would go through the roof because of some madman in the Middle East," Trump said at the time.

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Donald Trump's recent statements about former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein served to make a point, but they were incorrect, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.
WSJ, Trump, Saddam Hussein, Comments
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2016-49-08
Friday, 08 Jul 2016 01:49 PM
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