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Saddam Hussein donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Detroit church and received a key to the city more than two decades ago, soon after he became president of Iraq.
The events contrast sharply with the attack Saddam’s regime from a U.S.-led coalition, reflecting his changed relationship with the United States since Washington helped Saddam covertly in his 1980-88 war with Iran.
Saddam’s bond with Detroit started in 1979, when the Rev. Jacob Yasso of Chaldean Sacred Heart congratulated Saddam on his presidency. In return, Yasso said, his church received $250,000.
“He was very kind person, very generous, very cooperative with the West. Lately, what’s happened, I don’t know,” Yasso, 70, said. “Money and power changed the person.”