Why didn't the U.S. kill Saddam Hussein?

In the attacks to destroy Saddam Hussein, the U.S. military struck many building, reducing them to rubble. The "bunker busters" that were used to detroy even thick concrete basement where Saddam could have been hiding crushed possibly dozens of building. Then, when the military found Saddam hiding in an underground shelter, they "arrested" him, cleaned him up and threw him in the Iraqi (the country he rules) court system. Why go through all the military action to kill him, only to turn around and put him in jail, from where he can order his followers to do what they are doing?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    While I would like to believe that it's because we are good, moral people trying to do the right thing, that isn't why we didn't kill Saddam.

    Capturing him and putting him on trial helps us with the "hearts and minds" aspect of the war. If we put a bullet in his brain, it would certainly be him getting what he deserves, but he would also become a martyr. Since we aren't the home team in Iraq, the Baathists, insurgents, and outside forces with anti-US leanings would have a field day creating propoganda accusing the US of all kinds of terrible things. Since we claimed the moral high ground, it becomes tougher to convince people otherwise.

    Secondly, by involving the Iraqis in the death sentence of Saddam, we are trying to help them take ownership of the changes going on in their country. If we kill Saddam, then he is a casualty of war. If they sentence him to death, the people have launched a sort of democratic coup. Perhaps because Iraqis sentenced their own former leader, they will feel more pride/duty concerning the new direction of the country.

    Hope that helps!

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  • Jay
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Actually it would have been the wrong thing to do. The people of Iraq needed to give him a trial and convict him of the atrocities he committed against his own people. This then validates the fact that the people of Iraq wanted change and Saddam removed from leadership of the country. This has also proved to the world Saddam was in fact a mass-murdering genocidal monster.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The U.S. was trying to kill him with the bunker busters before and shortly after the war began. They didn't know what kind of opposition they would face so it makes sense to take out the leader. Remember the Republican guard was a well equiped army. If they would have decided to fight instead of taking off there uniforms and going home the war would not have been the cake walk it was. Also with Sadam alive there was the threat of chemical weapons. So naturally you want him out of it. After we won the ground war there was no reason to kill him. Better to face trial and let the Iraqi people kill him.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Simple. Bush was passing a message of warning to other leaders of the middle east. It did not serve his interest to kill Saddam. He wanted to humiliate and show the world that Saddam is only a "helpless mortal" and not the strongman of Iraq. He was also trying to show that he is an "honorable" man While he butchers thousands of Iraqi civilians.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    us kill Saddam Hussein? r u kidding me after all the good things Saddam gave to the American. us should give Saddam reward and money for all the great things he don to them. Saddam destroyed Iran in the 80s, with his stupid war in Iran, Saddam brought the American to the gulf so they can be here for hundreds of years and have their bases here and take as much oil and many as they want, no man Saddam is the amaricans hero that what i think.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it's because the US wants Iraqis themselves to convict and hang Saddam; 'better PR' (see we're not vindictive, you guys hung him). If the US wanted to kill him he would have been done in a la Saddam's sons - one bullet in the mouth each to make sure. Taskforce 121 at the time i think.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Americans respect human rights. Thus, they did not kill Saddam but turned them over for trial so that due process will be observed.

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  • 1 decade ago

    who's Saddam Hussein?

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  • 1 decade ago

    to quote Shakespeare, it is because "we are honorable men." If you try to make sense of our policies you will cause your brain to burn up. Don't look too close unless you are prepared for many sleepless nights and severe shock to your ideals. You might also ask the same question about Osama bin Laden. Special Forces were poised to take him out until Bush ordered them to stand down.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The same reason the US finds criminals in holes, cleans them up, puts them on suicide watch, tries them and executes them.

    How can we try to exemplify democratic ideals any other way?

    Source(s): And I'm pretty sure it is up to the Iraqis, just like de-centralizing into three states would have to be.
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