Country controlled by fear

I enjoyed Mark Bowen's profile about Saddam Hussain. I like how he provided basic, yet interesting, facts about Saddam's life. One of the facts that sticks out to me is that his wife was his first cousin and they had five kids. However, he had multiple extra marital relations while he was with his wife. This detail provides insight about his culture and morals. I like how Bowden focused on fear throughout his story as well. Bowden wrote, "In a country ruled by fear, the best way to survive is to draw as little attention to yourself as possible. To be invisible." These two sentences gave me a pretty good idea about how much control Saddam had. But the next scene elaborated on my assumption even more. Saddam wanted some men to finish building a wall within a matter of a day. If the builders didn't finish the wall they would most likely be tortured and killed. Even the people that were instructed to inform the men of their task would be in trouble if the wall was not finished within the remainder of the day. Through the combined efforts of the men they were able to finish the wall on time because "terror had driven them to work faster and harder than they believed possible" (p.292). This seems unreal. I can't imagine how hard and fast these men had to work to keep their "Great Uncle" happy and to save their lives. I wonder what Saddam Hussein would have done to Bowden if he read Bowden's profile on him.

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This page contains a single entry by pete6725 published on April 5, 2010 7:46 PM.

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