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Iraqi 25-dinar note bearing his image, with vignette depicting the Battle of Qadisyyah
Currency, unsigned, 6½x2¾. Iraqi paper currency, a 25-dinar note, dating from the Saddam Hussein era and bearing his image in uniform. Vignette depicts the Battle of Qadisyyah (636), at which Arab Moslems defeated the Persians, paving the way for the spread of Islam in Iraq and soon after Iran. On verso are several lines of text in Arabic, below a large question mark. Saddam Hussein (1937-2006) was President of Iraq from 1979-2003. He had risen to power through the Ba'ath Party, which advocated Arab nationalism and socialism, and took power in Iraq in 1968. As Vice President in the 1970s, Saddam built and controlled the security apparatus, the key to his ruthless dictatorship in the following decades. While consolidating his power at home, and suppressing dissent with force, Saddam pursued an expansionist foreign policy, invading revolutionary Iran in 1980. The Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) went well for Iraq at first, but the tide of battle turned, and Iraq was forced to withdraw to its previous borders. Despite the nation's oil revenue, Iraq was nearly bankrupt after Saddam's war and lavish arms purchases, and in 1990 the dictator settled on a new and apparently easy target: oil-rich but virtually defenseless neighbor Kuwait. Again, Saddam had miscalculated, a broad coalition built through the efforts of US President Bush expelled Iraq from Kuwait and crushed a large portion of the Iraqi army. Saddam remained in power, however, despite no-fly zones and other restrictions on his freedom of action. In March 2003, claiming that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and was in league with terrorism, President George W. Bush sent US and allied forces into Iraq again, this time overthrowing Saddam's regime. Replacing Saddam's dictatorship with a stable new order has proven difficult, but the man himself was captured in December 2003, tried, and executed in December 2006. Fine condition.

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Born: April 28, 1937 in Al-Awja, Iraq
Died: December 30, 2006 in Kadhimiya, Iraq

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