Richard Miniter. “Was the Iraq War Worth It?” Hudson New York. September 2, 2010: “Finally, let us remember that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was not a very safe place. There were bombing and shootings at least on par with 2010 levels, if not higher. No official statistics were kept, and the bombings were not generally reported on state-run media; but anecdotal and other reports show a sustained level of violence in the Saddam years. People tend to imagine dictatorships as solid and stable things; instead, dictatorships are a relentless civil war by the rulers against the majority. A continuing civil war can turn hot, and, in Saddam’s era, often did.
The death tolls in the Saddam years were far higher than in the years following liberation; hundreds of thousands disappeared into mass graves.
Even Hussein’s followers and his family were not safe. Using a sharpened cane and electric-carving knife, Uday Hussein, Saddam’s eldest son, killed Saddam’s valet at a crowded party to honor Egypt’s president’s wife. Later, in an assassination attempt, Uday was permanently disabled by gun-wielding man – one of eleven known assassination attempts. Saddam himself faced dozens of assassination attempts: neither rulers nor the ruled were safe in Saddam’s nightmare world.
Iraqis are safer today from their government, and from each other, than ever before.”