July 1968 was a relatively tame month compared to the rest of the year, which isn’t saying a lot. July would be the low point of tensions throughout the year. However one event that took place would haunt, and continues to haunt, global politics and global stability. On July 17, Saddam Hussein stages a successful coup and assumed power of the Revolutionary Council in Iraq.
As the ruthless leader of the Iraqi people he would use poison gas on his own citizens, engage in a catastrophic war with Iran in the 1980s, and wreak havoc on the Middle East and Israel during his tenure. Even after the U.S. government toppled him during the invasion in the early 21st century, his lack of presence left a power vacuum that
no person has been able to successfully fill. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other terror groups have benefited from his defeat. They have gobbled up the power, pitted groups against others within Iraq and the Middle East, and are waging a war of terror against perceived enemies.
It is remarkable that such an unnoticeable takeover then still has tremendous ramifications for today’s world. And while African-American militants engaged in gunfights in Cleveland, while the Pope officially condemned birth control, and while the South Vietnamese opposition leader was sentenced to 5 years of hard labor, in retrospect it seems that Saddam Hussein’s takeover of power was the most devastating event of the month.
Perhaps it was an ominous sign that a Costa Rican volcano that had lay dormant for centuries erupted that month destroying an entire town. Unnerving as it may seem the volcano has been dormant since 2010.
Will there be an eruption of that size in the present day?