oa Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies - Does history repeat itself? The ideology of Saddam Hussein and the Mesopotamian era

Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1022-8136
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0020



Present-day Iraq occupies the area that was once the heartland of the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia. Despite the millennia that separate Mesopotamia and the Iraq of Saddam Hussein, several aspects of the deposed Iraqi leader's ideology (including his concept of warfare) seem to bear a remarkable resemblance to the ideology of the kings of ancient Mesopotamia. This article explores this resemblance and shows that while Saddam Hussein and the Mesopotamian kings had much in common, there were several differences as well. Furthermore, the many empires that followed Mesopotamia also left their mark on modern Iraq. History may have, to an extent, repeated itself in that Saddam Hussein perpetuated many of the traditions associated with the kings of Mesopotamia, but his ideology reflected his specific conditions - conditions different to those that existed in the Mesopotamian era.

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