Juan Cole writes about the "Top Ten Ways the US Enabled Saddam Hussein". An excerpt:
Saddam Hussain was one of the 20th century's most notorious tyrants, though the death toll he racked up is probably exaggerated by his critics. The reality was bad enough.
The tendency to treat Saddam and Iraq in a historical vacuum, and in isolation from the superpowers, however, has hidden from Americans their own culpability in the horror show that has been Iraq for the past few decades. Initially, the US used the Baath Party as a nationalist foil to the Communists. Then Washington used it against Iran. The welfare of Iraqis themselves appears to have been on no one's mind, either in Washington or in Baghdad.