Iraq suicide bombings before and after Saddam.

I have been wondering for a while now. It seems that the situation in Iraq today is a total failure. Every day almost, I hear about hundreds of people injured or killed in Iraq by suicide bombers. Were there any of these attacks when Saddam was in power??? It seems to be that were none. Sure Saddam was a horrible dictator who killed and tortured those who disagreed with him, but it seems that as long as you did not speak out against him, life for the average Iraqi seemed better than it is now. Now no one is safe in the country, and people are dying left and right because of suicide bombers and fighting between different groups. I am glad Saddam was captured for his roles in the gassing of the Kurds, but to me it seems that we destabilized a somewhat (albeit a violent dictatorship) stable country, which is now incapable of sustaining itself and stopping the widespread violence.
It was bad then, and it is much worse now.

Any thoughts??

Just one of the many articles.

Seems to me, the best judge would be the Iraqi people themselves. If you can find a public opinion poll that shows that a majority would prefer to go back to the days of SH, then your thesis holds. If not, then not so much. What we think matters little.

BTW, I did a little googling, but didn’t find any recent polls.

The white van is always at the corner. IOW, you consciously only remember the times that people died in Iraq due to suicide bombers and you forget all the times that this didn’t happen. If 100’s of people died due to suicide bombers every day then that would be 10’s of thousands of Iraqi dead every year from this alone (and it wouldn’t count all the other things that kill people in Iraq).

Depends. There was a general uprising that happened shortly after the first Gulf War, but Saddam rather brutally put it down. In addition, Saddam et al ruled with a rather iron fist, taking basically a hammer/nail approach…the nails that stood up above the rest were hammered.

Such systems rarely have the kinds of low level insurgencies happening that have transpired post Saddam because Saddam was willing to do things that we simply aren’t prepared for. Torture? This was a regular event in Iraq pre-US invasion, and not the humiliation or even painful torture we’ve all read about, but instead the most painful types of torture available. Just to preempt Der et al, this isn’t to say that it justifies American torture, because it doesn’t. But the reality was that Saddam’s regime used torture on a much more regular and vicious basis.

You weren’t paying attention then. There were several uprisings during Saddam’s reign (plus the whole reign of terror thing that had whole villages wiped out just to make examples). You probably didn’t hear much about them because the US and friends weren’t there at the time, so it wasn’t constantly in the news. IOW, it was below your and most others radar.

I’ve never seen any indications that life was better under Saddam than it is today…or even than it was several years ago. Remember, during Saddam’s reign, especially after the first Gulf War, Iraq was under heavy embargo. Even leaving aside the whole reign of terror thingy, the embargo was having a fairly substantial effect on the lives of ordinary Iraqi civilians (of course, if you were one of the elite then it wasn’t…but then, if you were one of the elite your life probably WAS substantially better under Saddam).

You are going to get a different reply to this based on a couple of things. First, how knowledgeable the poster is about the actual state of Iraq today vs how it was before Saddam shuffled off. Second, it’s going to be filtered through the posters preconceptions and prejudices/bias about the whole Iraqi war thing.

For my part, I admit I haven’t kept abreast of things in Iraq that much lately. However, from what I’ve read, things are better in Iraq today than they were pre-invasion…depending. That’s the rub. Depending on where you live, and on how violent the area you live in happens to be. But our (US and The West) perceptions are shaped by the news, so when all we see is the violence it’s easy to think that all of Iraq is a war torn hell hole. It’s not. Large parts of it are peaceful and relatively prosperous…punctuated by periodic and sharp violence.


Saddam’s regime was built on terror. He executed his detractors on day one. While that regime was dismantled the people who comprised it still exist. Add to that a religious component that encourages the wanton destruction of people as a function of God’s will and you have 2 sides of the same coin of evil fighting each other.

There are 3 distinct regions of people all vying for control of their own destiny as well as the oil wealth of the region. Saddam used a minority elite to rule over the majority of the country so there is great animosity between these groups. It is fueled directly by religious leaders from both outside the country and from within.

Iraq has always been a country whose borders were created by other nations and as such has remained a powder keg of ethnic/religious tension from day on. What we are seeing is a civil war long in the making and made worse by the last regime.

Did you read this?

This is old. I’m very sorry for bumping it up, but I found this thread doing some research and noticed that it never had an accurate response. This topic is incredibly important due to the ongoing situation in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Libya - all of the countries the U.S. is fighting wars in.

Prior to the U.S. invasion of 2003 suicide terrorism did not occur in Iraq. Just days after U.S. troops began the invasion and occupation, the first attack of suicide terrorism occurred inside the country. By late 2006, early 2007, the number of suicide terrorist attack in Iraq had risen to 256. Because of this alarming statistic, we must analyze the situation in Iraq and what differed between the days pre and post U.S. led invasion; we must come to a rational, factual conclusion based on decades of recorded history and statistics, and boldly reject the propaganda (that Islam drives individuals to blow themselves up killing themselves and others, that Islamic suicide terrorism is some out of control problem or new trend - or that it even exists in the way we’ve been taught to understand it, that they ‘hate us because of our freedoms,’ etc) fed to us by the state.

First of all, suicide terrorism has little to do with religion in any way. This is important to establish this fact with people, as it’s contrary to everything the U.S. corporate media and the state have been pounding into our heads. 95% of acts of suicide terrorism occur as well-organized, effective campaigns that are put together by militaristic groups. Almost always these campaigns have great numbers of public support. These cohesive campaigns espouse very precise goals - goals that are both political and secular in nature - to drive a current democracy to withdraw its military forces from land the suicide terrorists know as their homeland. This is the formula that suicide terrorist groups fit, including Al Qaeda. In fact, one of the motivating factors behind Sept 11 2001 given by Osama Bin Laden himself was the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Persian Gulf, and the removal of U.S. military installations from the Arabian Peninsula, regarded as holy land.

So, in attempting to understand the objective or motive behind suicide terrorism, one needs to check religious explanations at the door. 315 acts of suicide terrorism occurred between 1980 and 2003. Among those, a majority, or 301/95%, explicitly occurred not as some random event, rather as coordinated, methodized campaigns with nationalist goals of gaining control of their national ‘homeland,’ and more specifically at compelling foreign military presence to withdraw.

For thought: Many claim, most likely after hearing it somewhere among the perpetual demagoguery by the U.S. media and politicians on the issue, that because suicide terrorism occurs, the world somehow has a ‘Muslim problem,’ erroneously attributing suicide terrorism to the Islamic faith. They teach, through their words and actions, that everyone should be weary of Muslims because whatever Muslim a person is interacting with just might be a suicide terrorist - because they’re Muslim!
Fact: To easily refute racist claims like this, one need look no further than Sri Lanka, home to the Tamil Tigers - the group that statistically commits the largest number of suicide terrorism campaigns. The militants who make up the Tamil Tigers are secularists. They are a Marxist-Leninist group who come from Hindu families. Boom, you’ve instantly shot down this racist idea that somehow Muslims have a patent on suicide terrorism, therefore you should automatically assume when a suicide terrorist campaign has occurred that those responsible will be ‘Islamic fundamentalists.’ Even if they were Islamic, describing them as ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ suggests that the ‘Islamic’ part is in any way relevant to the heinous act, and it’s not.
Have a nice one guys!

How the hell this happened? Was it based on the lies of GWB’s Administration? Like Iraq had WMD, but the US not!
Let’s look at a typical suicide bomber: well, look in the mirror. The poor bastard is willing to sacrifice his life for a justified cause - that is defending his homeland. I’m not calling a SB brave, but there is nothing brave in the way the US is “defending democracy”. Are they not the same peasants in Libya and Bahrain their governments are killing? Now, the US is trying to get the whole Western World involved in this misery.
If Saddam were the ruler in Iraq today, would there be riots? Yes, just like in all the other Arab countries. Why are we “freeing” some of them, but not all of them?

Saddam understood Islamic fanatics better than we do and knew how to keep them under control. By the time we invaded he was house trained and fairly harmless. If we had not invaded we could have devoted more attention to finding Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.