While you're telling the rest of us to read our Arab history, perhaps you should study up some, too.
In recent years, Saddam has moved closer to fanatical islam in order to have more control over his peasants.
Saddam may be evil, but he's not stupid or irrational
Um, I'd say someone who uses chemical weapons against his own people is pretty much irrational.
Bear in mind that Saddam absolutely hates George Bush (41) for utterly dismembering his little war. Weak men are often guided by hatred. There's your motive.
He used chemicals weapons against villages where anti-Ba'ath rebels and seperatists were hiding. While such an act is barabaric and evil, for a cold, calculating Machiavalian like Hussein it is perfectly rational. It is in his interests to eliminate his opposition.