Dictators Hussein and Titoby Rit Nosotro
Compare Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein with Yugoslavia dictator Tito. Both repressed ethnic, religious differences through emphasis of centralized nationalism. How was this done? Was it necessary? What happened to the segments of society after the dictator was out of power?
Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia were two very imposing dictators who ruled their nations cruelly and powerfully. Their tactics worked in the short run to superfically hold together ethnic tensions. However, both countries violently imploded from decades of internal repression after Tito died in 1980 and Saddam was captured in 2003.
Saddam for a more complete biography, see: Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein was born in 1937 into a very troubled household. His brother and father died shortly before birth, and his mother refused to see him after birth. Saddam grew up as a poor street kid and was raised mostly by his uncle. This uncle’s bitterness against imperialism and Western society and culture was passed down to him. Saddam failed to finish high school, but instead got involved in the Ba’ath Socialist Party.
Marshal Tito, meanwhile, was born Josip Broz in 1892 to peasants in Austria-Hungary, and was the seventh child. He only had a few years of education and attended school from only age seven to twelve. At age eighteen, Josip joined the Croatian Social Democratic Party. He enrolled in the Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army. Josip fought for Russia in the First World War against the Serbs, and for Lenin’s Revolutionaries. After Communism took power, Josip eventually joined the Communist Red Guard to fight in the famous Russian Civil War in the year of 1917.
Thus, both Saddam Hussein and Marshal Tito were born into poor families. They both had a relatively poor education, lived through a rough childhood, and became very involved in military parties at a very young age. These were two people who probably did not feel the love of God in their life as they were growing up. They eventually let their anger build up, and ended up with a lot of unsolved bitterness. God does not want anybody to become angry or bitter for an extended period of time; in Ephesians 4:26 it says, “In your anger do not sin; Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry”. Instead, God wants us to be kind, and it is displayed in his own character: “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” Psalm 145:8. How did this bitterness affect how they ruled their nations.
Saddam’s rule had no benefit to the Iraqi people. He ruled with absolute power and force, and treated the people with extreme cruelty, enforcing terror and torture. Patterning his rule after Stalin, Saddam even killed hundreds of his own officials. He led his nation and army to a nearly decade-long war against the neighboring country of Iran after claiming both banks of the bordering river. The war resulted with neither country winning the war and more than a million casualties, including a quarter of a million casualties in his own army. During the war, Saddam also used extensive violence, including poison gas, against the Kurds.
Only a few years later, Saddam laid an ancient claim upon Kuwait and decided to attack the small nation over a dispute of oil. That did not help his nation either. The United States and many other nations sent a vast amount of troops to defeat him. As a result of this war (known as Operation Desert Storm or the Persian Gulf war), his nation was left in ruins. After this war, Saddam still adamantly refused to destroy his weapons of mass destruction in spite of UN sanctions. In 2003 the United States and their allies forced Iraq to complile with directives from the United Nations. Saddam's brutal sons were killed and Saddam was captured to stand trial for his crimes against humanity. Iraq celebrated and, with the help from a USA led coalition, began reconstructing a country laid waste from 40 years of dictatorship.
Tito for a more complete biography, see: Josip Broz Tito
Tito did not leave a positive effect on his nation as the ruler, either. He caused the economy to weaken due to foreign debt, high inflation, and a not-so-efficient industry. Even today there is fighting among the small republics where Yugoslavia once was.
On the other story, Josip Broz returned to Croatia in 1920,which had by now united with Slovenia and Serbia. There, he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (also known as the CPY). The CPY was outlawed, but was gaining power. In 1934, he became a full member of the CPY Politburo and Central committee, eventually becoming the secretary general. This is where Josip Broz first adopted the famous pseudonym “Tito” to use in his underground work. During World War II, the communists took power over Yugoslavia with Tito as the military commander. Tito had a long history of imprisonment, and was imprisoned multiple times for pretty long periods of time. At once he was imprisoned for more than five years for causing political problems.
In 1945, Tito was elected as the premier and minister of defense of Yugoslavia. As the ruler, he originally followed the ways of the rigid and strict Communist USSR, which was ruled by the infamously cruel Joseph Stalin. In 1948, Tito broke his close ties with Stalin. After that he and the Communists began to relax and decentralize the government. However, it was still repressive compared to democracies and republics, and the nation eventually entered into a great economic repression in the 1970’s. This made Tito slowly lose his “good” reputation. Tito had killed "most of the Catholic and Orthodox clergy".1 He died in 1980.
Only about a decade after his death, Communist Yugoslavia collapsed and broke into the small republics of Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia. Now, the nations are still not economically stable. However, there is some improvement. Also, the people are free from the harsh yoke of communism.
In conclusion, notice the many similarities of these two dictators. Both of them had a rough childhood. Both of them harbored their anger and became bitter, which was probably a reason they joined military movements at such a young age. Both of them ruled harshly when they took power and their rule resulted in economic as well as government problems. Finally, when they were finally taken out of power, situations in both of their respective countries have improved.
Anger brought bitterness into the lives of Saddam Hussein and Josip Broz. The Bible says to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. When a leader operates from a motive of anger, the people suffer. After Moses murdered a man out of anger he spent 40 years in the wilderness. God did not allow him to enter into the Promised Land due to another display of anger.
1. What military party did Saddam Hussein join at a young age?
a) Ba’ath Socialist Party
b) Iraqi Communists
d) Communist Party of Yugoslavia
2. What military party did Josip Broz join at a young age?
e) Ba’ath Socialist Party
f) Iraqi Communists
h) Communist Party of Yugoslavia
3 Which is not true of Saddam Hussein?
i) He grew as a street kid
j) He was raised mostly by his uncle
k) He used weapons of mass destruction
l) He had 700 wives
4 Which is not true of Josip Broz?
m) He did not receive a good education
n) He was born to pheasants
o) He did not boost the economy of Yugoslavia
p) He had a pseudonym: Tito
5 Which is something we should do?
q) Let the sun go down upon your wrath
r) Get rid of all kindness and compassion
s) Remember and thank God for all his blessings
t) Be angry, as long as it doesn’t become bitterness
1Interview with Two Former Yugoslav Nationals: "Tito may have been a tyrant, but he kept the nation together and free from Moscow's influence, and even criticized their activities in 1956 in Hungary, 1968 in Czechoslovakia and the Afghanistan invasion. He was an outspoken critic, and for that he should be remembered as well as for his past evil deeds." "...after the war when he [Tito] was president he still allowed these parts of society to function. This is what kept the country together -- his power and his genius. ...Tito was not an evil man like Hitler and Stalin. He was a man of great compassion, but also a man with a large ego."
1Interview with Lothar Pankosk, http://historynet.com/wwii/blcivilwarinbalkans/index1.html
CNN: The Cold War: Josip Broz Tito, Copyright CNN
Encarta Encyclopedia: Tito, Josip Broz, Copyright MSN® Encarta®
Tito’s Home Page <www.titoville.com>
Bible Gateway: Bible Gateway, Copyright Gospel Communications
Additional information about <http://hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/comp/cw30husseintito.htm>
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