While he wielded a heavy hand to maintain control, Saddam also sought to win public support with a personality cult that pervaded Iraqi society. Thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals were erected in his honor all over Iraq. His face could be seen on the sides of office buildings, schools, airports and shops and on Iraq's currency.
The line, "sought to win public support" is what really gets me. All those dictators with their attempts at producing cults of personality around themselves are really just trying to 'unite' the many people under their control. By plastering his image across the land, he was just doing a public service. Saddam wasn't a brutal, murderous, foul, filthy, megalomaniacal dictator, instead he was merely a person who, "wielded a heavy hand to maintain control".