The fact that Saddam was put into power must have some bearing on the issue don't you think?
As I understand it, Saddam came to power via the Iraqi military and his own violent means. If you say he got help from the USA, I'll may believe you. If you say he was "put into power", then I'll think that's your agenda talking and I won't believe you w/o evidence. I do know that he was helped by the USA after being in power.
But as for it's "bearing on the issue", I don't know exactly what to do about the past. If you can change it, you'll be the first.
Personally, I can only believe that the reason Bush couldn't tell Chirac to "just shut up, ya dunce, you, personally, were selling Iraq a reactor in the 70/80's", is because our own hands are so dirty where Iraq is concerned. Bad situation, but it changes nothing now in regards to who Saddam is and the volatile position of the Middle East.
He didn't turn bad overnight, he was as ruthless when he was put into power as he was after.
Who could possibly know that? I am reminded of a common saying, "power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely".
When he gassed the Kurds, Donald Rumsfeld visited 2 years later and sold him MORe of the weapons that were then used as an excuse to go and invade the country.
Donald Rumsfeld was a fertilizer salesman!!??