In my opinion the most significant person in the last year was, and still is, Saddam Hussein. This man was a born poor boy in a mud hut village in 1937, but in 1979 he seized power of Iraq and began to squander oil. From 1980-1988 the U.S. military supported Saddam during a bloodbath with Iran.
The difficulty with Saddam started in the late 1990's when he refused to comply with United Nations inspections teams to ensure that all nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons had been destroyed. He then again refused United Nation Inspectors in December of 1998. As a result, the U.S. and Britain launched a four day series of air strikes on Iraqi Military and industrial targets. In response to that Saddam declared he would not comply with any United Nations inspection teams in the future and threatened to fire with out warning on foreign aircraft flying over northern and southern Iraq. Despite Saddam's declaration United Nations inspectors succeeded in destroying weapons of mass destruction by the thousands.
Earlier this year the Bush Administration argued that Saddam was not fully complying with the UN inspectors. The U.S. built and alliance with many European countries in order to remove Saddam from power and destroy the remaining weapons of mass destruction. In August a team of U.S. surveyors reported they did not find any alleged weapons of mass destructions, but evidence of activities related to such programs. A few years later the Twin Towers in New York became the target of terrorism Soon after, Saddam fled.
Iraq was left without their dictator and the U.S. took control, all the while searching for Saddam. The search continued until December 13, 2003 when it was announced to the general public the he had been captured and held...