Donald Trump: Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi Made the World Safer

October 5, 2015   |   Jake Anderson

Jake Anderson
October 5, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) In perhaps an accidental moment of lucid foreign policy insight over the weekend, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stated the Middle East would be better off today if Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi were still in power. The statement came during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press and was reiterated during a rally in Franklin, Tennessee, where 1,500 people listened to Trump sound off on the United States’ strategy of arming rebels in Libya prior to the overthrow of its dictator in 2011.

Trump likened the scenario to what is currently happening in Syria, where he says the terror group ISIS emerged from a power vacuum left after Saddam Hussein was deposed in Iraq. This is a refrain from his statements during the second GOP debate, during which he said the world would be safer if the long-time dictator had remained in power.

Trump thinks the same of President Bashar Assad of Syria. Though he is “probably a bad guy,” the Middle East is safer with him, Trump apparently believes.

“You can make the case, if you look at Libya, look at what we did there — it’s a mess — if you look at Saddam Hussein with Iraq, look what we did there — it’s a mess — it’s [Syria] going to be same thing,” he said.

During the Franklin rally, Trump pointed out the relative lack of terrorist activity in Iraq during Hussein’s reign.

“You know what he used to do to terrorists?” Trump asked the crowd. “A one day trial and shoot him…and the one day trial usually lasted five minutes, right? There was no terrorism then.”

While there is no disputing the terrible and widespread violence these dictators perpetrated on their own people, are Trump’s statements accurate?

Is the Middle East less safe without Hussein and Gadhafi? Many analysts say Saddam’s ruthless police state kept sectarian divisions under relative control. Similarly, Gaddafi’s repressive regime kept warlords from Africa many of whom had strong links to Islamic terroristsfrom allowing groups like ISIS to take root.

Secretary of State John Kerry has vigorously denied the claim that military actions by the United States are responsible for more bloodshed in these countries. “This is about ISIL’s terrorist designs on the state of Iraq. And no-one should mistake what is happening or why,” said Kerry.

It should also be noted that in both cases, any modicum of stabilization was the direct result of brutal domestic state terrorism. In Iraq, this included Hussein, a minority Sunni who ruled Iraq for 24 years, utilizing chemical weapons in 1988 to kill thousands of Kurds and brutally murdering a large number of Shi’ites in 1991 and 1998.

In Libya, Gaddafi murdered thousands of political opponents and committed countless brutal crimes abroad.

Assad is guilty of his own unacceptable atrocities in Syria and, to once again echo Trump’s inane truthism, is “probably a bad guy.”

The question, of course, is not whether to rhetorically defend the bloodshed of brutal dictators who are guilty of countless war crimes, but rather, whether their actions warrant United States military intervention.

Further, since it can be shown that the global war on terror continues to destabilize the region, Donald Trump’s point is well taken, even if he is right for the wrong reasons. America’s economic imperialism, masquerading as national security interests in the Middle East, allows ISIS to gain power. As we continue our decades-old practice of arming dangerous rebels to destabilize the Middle East, a real estate mogul/reality TV star has accidentally stated a truth few other GOP candidates will acknowledge.

RELATED: Forget Hillary’s Emails, Here’s Her Real Scandal That Nobody is Talking About

This article (Donald Trump: Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi Made the World Safer) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Jake Anderson and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email

Author: Jake Anderson

Jake Anderson joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in April of 2015. His topics of interest include social justice, science, corporatocracy, and dystopian science fiction. He currently resides in Escondido, California.

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  5. Thank you for your considered article, but it could go further. No allegation about Bashar al-Assad has held water once investigated. Gadaffi played an extraordinary heroic role in the formation of OPEC and establishing a Libian State, standing up for his people. Watch the Lion of the Desert to see how the Libyans were treated between the World Wars – herded into concentration camps. All these countries have suffered from illegal 'interventions' going back decades and from colonial fragmentation and dispossession of their people going back to before the first world war. Holding a country together when foreign powers continually try to foment revolts and terrorism is not easy. Bashar al Assad was reelected on 14 June 2014 by an overwhelming majority, who depend utterly on him to hold the country together in the face of multiple NATO forces attacking it and them. Despite the fact that the (miserably unrepresentative) United States and other NATO members failed to send observers, some independent observers did attend the election and presented their (positive) findings to the UN. Read more here: By the way, it is hard for this Australian to see how Donald Trump could possibly do the US more harm than its current power elites. Maybe he could do better. The US is overpopulated, divided, has so many people in jails and so much violence. Watching Obama the other day, rambling on about guns in the US made me gag, when the US is running guns via Saudi Arabia that finish up in the hands of terrorists. Thank God for Russia; at last some prospect of balance in the world powers.

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  6. Now, finally I heard something interesting from Donald Trump. He is smart when he said The Middle East is safer if Sadam Hussein and Gadafi are still in power. But I don't really put all the blame on George Bush. I blame George Bush and all the GOP during the Bush administration. They rather folow their supporters allowing the 9/11 event happend to create the War in Afghanistan and Iraq so that a few super powerful groups can be bennefited from selling weapons for the wars. The result is that we all are suffering from the budget deficit and an extreme amount of debt due to the terrible cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  7. WOW! I can't believe that some of you dimwits actually agree with this fool. Now I see why people in so many parts of the world are laughing at Americans for supporting Trump. Now I'm laughing too.

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