Saddam Hussein should have been left to run Iraq, says CIA Officer who interrogated him

A CIA officer who interrogated Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain, after he was captured by US-led coalition forces in December 2003, has revealed that the former Iraq President had warned that the occupation of Iraq wouldn't be a "cakewalk" .
Saddam Hussein
India TV News Desk New Delhi December 17, 2016 12:29 IST

A CIA officer who interrogated Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain, after he was captured by US-led coalition forces in December 2003, has revealed that the former Iraq President had warned that the occupation of Iraq wouldn't be as much of a "cakewalk" as US leadership assumed at the time.

John Nixon, the former CIA officer, has made these revelations in a new book coming out this month.

"When I interrogated Saddam, he told me: 'You are going to fail. You are going to find that it is not so easy to govern Iraq.' When I told him I was curious why he felt that way, he replied: 'You are going to fail in Iraq because you do not know the language, the history, and you do not understand the Arab mind, " John Nixon wrote according to the excerpts of the book  published by Time magazine. 

John Nixon opined that Saddam Hussein had a point and that a ruthless strongman like him was necessary to "maintain Iraq's multi-ethnic state" and keep both Sunni extremism and the power of Shiite-led Iran, a Hussein foe, at bay.

"Saddam's leadership style and penchant for brutality were among the many faults of his regime, but he could be ruthlessly decisive when he felt his power base was threatened, and it is far from certain that his regime would have been overthrown by a movement of popular discontent," he wrote.

 "Likewise, it is improbable that a group like ISIS would have been able to enjoy the kind of success under his repressive regime that they have had under the Shia-led Baghdad government," he added.

John Nixon further said that despite note liking Saddam Hussain, he developed respect for him for his ability to rule a complex nation like Iraq.

"Although I found Saddam to be thoroughly unlikeable, I came away with a grudging respect for how he was able to maintain the Iraqi nation as a whole for as long as he did," wrote Nixon. 

"He told me once, 'Before me, there was only bickering and arguing. I ended all that and made people agree!" he added.

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